Mario Fux

About Fellow No 1's life

A (or the) secret about the Randa Meetings

This year we hold the sixth edition of the Randa Meetings and during the year we had some really important (for KDE and the users of our software and products) and far-reaching events that happened in the middle of the Swiss Alps.

One good example is a huge step and big foundation of what is today known as the KDE Frameworks in their 5.x versions. A big collection of Addons for Qt and its users (aka developers). Another event was the dicussion with Qt Brisbane back in 2010 about the decision on how to continue with Phonon. As you can see today it was a good decision as our Phonon still exists and applications using it didn’t need to be ported to something else. But the Phonon in Qt is (afaik) deprecated. Even another thing is the new design and ideas for the KDE education apps and their new logo which you can see on the website edu.kde.org. And a last one to mention here (and I’m sure I forgot a lot of other important events and decisions) is a big part of the new energy put in one (if not the one) of the best non-linear video editors in the Free Software world: our Kdenlive.

So but what’s the secret behind these Meetings that you teased us with in the title? Mind you, it all started 6 years ago when I organized the first version of the Randa Meetings back then not under this name and unaware of the coming editions which grew much in size and range. In 2009 I invited the Plasma crowd to come to Randa. In the holiday house of my family I would (and did) cook for them, gave them a place to sleep and some electricity and internet connection but most important of all some place to meet, be creative and prosper in work and ideas. It was a huge success to say the least and people loved the family like feeling.

Then the next year we needed a bigger place and it became a bit more professional (I didn’t cook myself anymore) and there was a group already interested to come to Randa: Amarok and KDE Multimedia with Myriam and Markey. But there were some other groups and here starts the secret: these groups didn’t really come to Randa because they needed a place to sprint and we offered it but because I (or we?) thought it would be great to have a KDE edu sprint in 2010 as well and thus that it makes sense to push some more energy and ideas into the KDE edu group.

So is it about the fact that you decide or invite who should come to Randa? Yes, I think that’s a big part of the success of the Randa Meetings. For certain there are still groups that ask if they could come to Randa as it makes sense to participate and use the opportunity of a small organized location and sprints but it’s about bringing the right (IMHO) groups to Randa and push some energy into them. Not directly via deciding what they should work on but about offering a creative and productive environment to them and let them work for a whole week on this. I wouldn’t have time to really direct their development during this week (as I’m mostly too busy with organizational stuff and would really like to develop more myself) and it’s not really only on my plate who to invite to Randa (I always discuss my ideas beforehand with a lot of other people) but in the end it’s this thing that (IMHO) makes the Randa Meetings so successful and thus important for KDE itself.

And these Meetings are even more important then ever if you look at the decline of KDE Sprints on sprints.kde.org.

Oh and you might now think: but hey, the developers, documentation writers, translators, artists etc. do the work in the end in Randa. And that’s of course right. Their great minds and ideas and hacking hands are what culminates in great art, documentation and software and combined with the great place and the good organization we get a great end result. So the perfect combination is in the end the secret about the Randa Meetings.

So support us in doing more of these Meetings and other KDE Sprints by clicking the above banner and donate!

PS: I don’t want to say that only me can and should do this but I do it currently, I like it and I think I do it quite well.

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