Mario Fux

About Fellow No 1's life

Debian: Call for help from KDE Team

May 3rd, 2014

I’d like to quote Maximiliano Curia’s email here:

Hi all!

For quite a while now the KDE team has been severely understaffed. We maintain
a lot of packages, with many different kinds of bugs, but we don’t have enough
people to do all the work that needs to be done. We have tools that help us
automate the update to new upstream releases, but that’s just the tip of the
iceberg of our work and so we are writing to invite more people to get
involved in the team and help us get KDE software in Debian into better shape.

Some of the tasks that we need help with are:

+ Bug triaging: there are many many bugs in the BTS. We need people that go
through them, understand the problem and how to reproduce it, confirm
that they are still present in the latest versions. In particular, there
are bugs affecting the version in wheezy, and we need people to go through
those as well.

+ Bug forwarding: we are so understaffed that we have been asking users to
forward the bugs upstream themselves. Some users do this, but some don’t.
It would help us a lot to have people in the team in charge of this.

+ Patch forwarding: we have quite a bunch of patches applied in the Debian
packages that should be applied upstream. Some need to be generalized
instead of being Debian-specific. This work would save us time in the
future, so it’s very important to get it done.

+ Upgrade-testing: in the past, the upgrade from one Debian stable to the
other has been quite traumatic for KDE software users. We need people to
try upgrading from wheezy to jessie and report any bugs that they might
encounter so that we can fix them ahead of the release.

+ Creating patches: many of the bugs that we have require writing patches,
some are easy and some are harder, but any help here would be really
appreciated.

+ Packaging other KDE apps: we have packages for the core components of KDE
software, but there are many other useful components that still need to
get packaged.

+ Updating our welcoming wiki page [1], adding these tasks and any future
tasks, and unifying the todo lists [2].

If you are interested in helping with any of these, please join our irc
channel #debian-qt-kde in irc.oftc.net, or our mailing list [3]. We are happy
to help you get started.

[1]: https://wiki.debian.org/PkgKde
[2]: https://wiki.debian.org/KDETodo

https://wiki.debian.org/KdeDebTasks

http://pkg-kde.alioth.debian.org/todo.html

gobby://gobby.debian.org/Teams/KDE/TODO
[3]: https://lists.debian.org/debian-qt-kde/

Some proposals for discussion about future releases

April 22nd, 2014

What I wrote to the kde-community mailing list today:

Good morning

With the KDE Frameworks 5 [1] and Plasma [2] well underway the only thing of
the old KDE Software Collection are the KDE Applications that don’t yet have a
release plan or schedule for the Qt5/KF5 port. Beneath these big changes in a
lot of our software there are quite a few other changing and exciting things
like:
- New Qt based software like GCompris and Kronometer
- New software for the web like Bodega and WikiFM
- Even greater hardware projects like the Improv and Vivaldi
- And other things like the new KDE Manifesto and our new Visual Design Group

Everything under the KDE umbrella and in the KDE family. I’d like to take this
time to discuss some ideas for future releases of our software. How we could
reorganize it, what we could formalize and where we need decisions. So this
email is the start of a series of proposals to discuss here and to then get an
agreement on.

The following three (or more ;-) proposals are mostly independent:
- Proposal email One: KDE (Core) Apps and Suites
- Proposal email Two: The Sigma Release Days and independent releases
- Proposal email Tre: More formal release and announcement processes
- Proposal email For: More architectures/platforms for KDE’s CI

They will be sent to this mailing list in a minute and are quite short in text
and that on purpose. We can’t yet discuss these things in every detail but we
want to paint the direction in which we are planning to go.

Short disclaimer: With these ideas I’m sitting on the shoulders of giants as
you. I don’t want to steal ideas or that it looks like I stole them.
These are proposals based on several threads, IRC discussions, personal
discussions and other summaries.

Another thing, not included in these proposals, is the KDE Applications 4.14
release schedule [3] and if we want to make KDE Applications 4.14 an LTS
release till August 2015 (when the Plasma 4.11.x LTS release ends) or if there
should be another 4.15 release. But this discussion should be held on the
release-team mailing list [4].

So thanks for reading and tell me your opinion and constructive feedback to
these proposals. Try to keep it short and precise and I’ll try to keep record
of numberous opinions and ideas and will post summaries in one or two weeks.
Details can be discussed in Randa and/or at Akademy. So let’s concentrate on
the bigger ideas.

Best regards and hugs
Mario

PS: Don’t sent email to this thread for ideas to the proposals mentioned
above.

[1] http://community.kde.org/Frameworks/Epics
[2] http://techbase.kde.org/Schedules/Plasma/2014.6_Release_Schedule
[3] http://techbase.kde.org/Schedules/KDE4/4.14_Release_Schedule
[4] https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/release-team

KDE Applications 4.14 Release Schedule

April 22nd, 2014

You can find the release schedule for KDE Applications 4.14 at http://techbase.kde.org/Schedules/KDE4/4.14_Release_Schedule.

This schedule follows the same rhythm as 4.13 since it seems to have worked well. So in roughly 4 month you get some new KDE Application with some new features.

Also remember that 4.14 will be applications and kdelibs only (feature frozen); KDE Workspaces (aka Plasma) will be getting 4.11.x LTS releases until August 2015.

We’re still discussing if 4.14 will be the last Qt4 based release of the KDE Applications and thus become an LTS release or if there will be another release: 4.15.

KDE software on Mac OS X

April 12th, 2014

As I probably already mentioned somewhere there is currently quite some energy going into the work of bringing more and better KDE applications to the Mac platform.

So it’s a perfect time to get involved, help to solve the problems or test our software on another platform and thus make another step in {our,a} plan to konquer the world. And don’t hesitate to do this for other platforms as well and/or come to Randa to help with this.

PS: There is still the little poll open about KDE, families and Randa. Please participate and share your anonymous opinion. Currently seven people filled it in.

KDE, families and Randa

April 8th, 2014

First and foremost I’d like to thank the KDE e.V. that they invited me to extended board meeting in Berlin two weeks ago. I got some more insights in the board’s work and could participate in the fundraising workshop on Saturday. So what did we learn?

“Ask, ask again and ask for more” and “KISS – Keep it simple and smart”. I hope to be able to apply this and the other things we learned to the fundraising campaign for the Randa Meetings 2014 which we’re going to launch in the next weeks.

Another thing where I was quite active in the last weeks is the “recruitment” for people that should come to Randa this summer. As you of course already know, two of the topics this year are the KDE SDK and the porting of apps to KF5 and other platforms. Thus I tried to get in contact with KDE-Mac people and then also got in contact with people from Macports. I’m currently working on bringing the technical parts of the discussion back to KDE-Mac mailing list.

And I’m working further to bring Windows, Android and the aforementioned Mac people to Randa. So if you’re interested and I did not yet get in contact with you (under which rock were you hiding?;-) get in contact, please. One of my personal goals is it by the way to get some “foreign” machines to our CI park, namely Windows, Mac, Android and Co ;-) . There e.g. the Macports.org CI people could be of valueable help.

On another topic or actually the middle one in the title above: I’m happy to tell you that this year we’ve already three or four participants registered for the Randa Meetings whom will bring their families with them to Randa. Don’t fear, none of the money of the KDE e.V. will be used to pay their accommodation or travel and food costs. They will pay for their families’ stay. But why do I think that this is so nice?

Because I think this is an important step and the right direction. A huge problem of many free software communities is the fact, that contributors leave after they get graduated or get families. So it’s (IMNSHO) only in the best interest of KDE if there are possibilities for KDE contributors to bring their families to KDE meetings. It is nice if you can hack on KDE software during the day and eat lunch and dinner with your family and spend the evening with them. And who knows probably we need to organize a day nursery in the coming years.

But what about the coming years and my family? First and foremost I’d like to write here a huge and humongous thank you to my family, the small and the big one and even some farther relatives. Without them I couldn’t organize these meetings in Randa. So as you may have already read some time back I decided to found an association for the Randa Meetings and each year since the founding I was searching for some local sponsors for some expense allowance for me and some other helpers. Do you have any idea what amount of work it is to cook for this crowd for a whole week. You won’t believe how much KDE and free software people eat ;-) .

And to be honest for the coming years I plan to stabilize this expense allowance or even small wage even more. But don’t fear (again ;-) . None of the money of the KDE e.V. or the planned fundraising campaign will land in my wallet! I just want to be able to keep the Randa Meetings alive for the next years (I roughly estimate to work one to one and a half month on the organization of a single edition of the Randa Meetings) and thus look for new opportunities. So if you have some ideas tell me or at least participate in this is short and tiny (takes around a minute to fill in) survey or poll about this topic. Would be nice to have it widespread…

But what’s next for the Randa Meetings beneath the fundraising campaign? In the coming days I plan to poke and email the people and groups that are already registered for the sprints in Randa that they should check their data, check their groups and see who is missing and who needs to be poked. We need to fix a more or less final budget till the end of April.

So stay tuned when we launch the fundraising campaign for the Randa Meetings and help us to spread the word. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to flattr me below ;-) .

PS: This blog post already got a bit larger than planned but here is another PS ;-) :
PPS: In the coming days I plan as well to check the wiki pages for the Randa Meetings and add some information about the some hardware present at this year’s meetings (e.g. touch screen, WeTabs, etc.) which you can use and I will add some additional information for families.

Last chance ;-). And some more information.

February 18th, 2014

As my questionnaire is now open for two weeks I plan to give it another 24 hours and then close it. So you’ve still time till tomorrow, Wednesday, February 19, 23.59 UTC to fill in the survey and participate in the draw.

If you should need more time or planned to fill in the questionnaire after tomorrow night please ping me (unormal) on freenode.net or write me an email (fuxkdeorg). And thank a lot to all the people who already filled it in: thank you!

And now a promise: this is the last time I write here to ask you to fill in this questionnaire. Next time I write about this topic I’ll write about results. Although my diploma thesis will be in German I’ll write some summaries or blog posts about the results in English and probably will do even a presentation or two about it.

And here yet another teaser: tomorrow I’ll blog on planet kde about the dates and topics of the Randa Meetings in August 2014 ;-)

Thanks for your help and please go on!

February 14th, 2014

First and foremost I’d like to thank all the people who already took some time and participated in the questionnaire for my diploma thesis and KDE.

But it’s not over yet (last chance is on 25th of February) and we still need more data and as a member of KDE I know we can do more and better. I got some feedback about the length of the questionnaire and that some questions (mostly the once at the beginning of the questionnaire about the 12 different tasks) are quite abstract and difficult. But please try it, try your best and take the time and brain power. The remaining part of the questionnaire (after these two pages with the tasks questions) is quite easy and quickly done.

So if you already started the questionnaire and gave up then or needed to run for something else: no problem, you can reopen the questionnaire and continue where you left. And don’t forget the chance to win something niceĀ  – but just if you complete and submit the questionnaire.

And if there are any questions, feedback or you need help don’t hesitate a moment to write me an email or ping me on IRC (freenode.net) as unormal.

Thanks a lot for your help and tell your fellow KDE mates about this questionnaire
Mario Fux

I need your help. Diploma thesis about media choice and usage in KDE

February 11th, 2014

Dear KDE mates and contributors

Finally the end of my studies is near and thus I’m currently in the process of writing my diploma thesis. I’ve worked hard during the last weeks and months on a questionnaire which shall collect some data for my thesis. Furthermore the data of this survey will be interesting for the KDE community as well.

So please take some time and add it to your todo list or, even better, go directly to my questionnaire and help me make a great diploma thesis and improve the KDE community in some ways.

The questionnaire takes some 20 to 30 minutes and will show you some interesting facts about our community in the last 15 years. At the end of the questionnaire you’ll find a way to participate in a draw where you can even win something nice.

So once again: Old and young people of KDE, documentation writers, developers, translators, bug reporters and triagers, packagers and all the others of you who contribute to all that makes KDE a great community with great software and more, please take some time and help me to filled in questionnaires from all over the world.

Thanks to all for reading and helping and towards the summer of 2014 you can read here what all the data you gave me showed us and where we can learn and improve.

Thanks in advance
Mario Fux

Randa Meetings 2014 – Which date do you prefer?

January 16th, 2014

At the end of last year we started the organizational process for a new version of the Randa Meetings. After a year without them we’d like to invite some KDE (and other) people to Randa in the summer of 2014. One of the first things that need to be set is the date for the meetings and thus at the beginning of this year we started to ask some people in the KDE community (and the chef ;-) and started a Doodle.

Projects ideas we had and have for the Randa Meetings 2014 are:

  • Creating one or two new KDE books (possible topics: application development with KDE Frameworks 5 or Plasma Workspaces 2). The books should be done in the same manner as the well known KDE Guide.
  • KDE Edu group
  • KDE Multimedia, Phonon and Amarok
  • Kate and/or KDevelop
  • KDE Accessibility, Simon Speech Recognition and the new Open Speech Initiative
  • OpenStreetMap (Switzerland)
  • OpenUsability

Some other ideas are meetings of the KDE Workspaces, Nepomuk/Baloo or inviting an artist or two (hey Krita guys ;-) to Randa to be creative there.

The slogan for the Randa Meetings 2014 could be something like Porting KDE and Qt applications to KDE Frameworks 5. With a possible first stable KF5 release in June this could be quite a good time to push forward in this direction. About this topic see some recent blog posts on the KDE planet.

But now back to the actual topic of this blog post: the date selection for the next Randa Meetings. If you or your group is interested you (single person) may add yourself to the Doodle or come to #randa on freenode.net and talk about your ideas. We plan to finish the Doodle thing at the end of next week and then reserve the house.

Or you’d just like to help. We plan some crowd funding actions and other stuff where we could and would need your help.

4.12 release notes need your help!

November 21st, 2013

Please take a look at https://notes.kde.org/p/release_4.12, add your information (about your changes and bug fixes for 4.12) and links and check if what’s there is correct.

Let’s make some release notes we can be proud of!