Mario Fux


Posts Tagged ‘multimedia’

A (or the) secret about the Randa Meetings

Friday, August 14th, 2015

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.

Count downs: T -10 hours, -12 days, -30 days, -95 days

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

It’s already for quite some time that I wanted to write this blog post and as soon one of the fundraisers I’d like to mention is over I finally took the time to write this now:

So the first fundraiser I’d like to write about is the Make Krita faster than Photoshop Kickstarter campaign. It’s almost over and is already a success but that doesn’t mean you can’t still become a supporter of this awesome painting application. And for the case you shouldn’t have seen it there was a series of interviews with Krita users (and thus users of KDE software) you should have read at least in part.

The second crowd funding campaign I’d like to mention is about the board game Heldentaufe. It’s a bit a family thing as this campaign (and thus the board game) is mostly done by a brother-in-law of mine. He worked on this project for several years – it started as his master thesis. And I must say it looks really nice (don’t know if the French artist used Krita as well) and is “simple to learn, but difficult to master”. So if you like board games go and support it.

And the third fundraiser it’d like to talk about is one of our friends from Kolab. They plan to refactor and improve one of the most successful pieces of webmail software. And as everybody here should be aware how important email is, I hope that every reader of this blog post will go to their Indiegogo page and give at least 10$.

So some of you might ask now: and what about the -95 days? In 95 days the 6th edition of the Randa Meetings will start. And as I’m sure it will become a very successful edition again and a lot of people want to come to Randa and work there as hard as they can and we want to help them with sponsoring their travel costs we plan another fundraiser for this and other KDE sprints in general. So if you would like to help us don’t hesitate and write me an email (fux AT kde org) or ping me on IRC.

UPDATE: As the first comment mentions the Heldentaufe Kickstarter was cancelled this morning and you can read about the reason on the latest update. But I’m optimistic that there will be a second fundraiser campaign in the future and if you’re interested about it don’t hesitate to write me an email and I’ll ping you when the new campaign starts.

Last chance to register for the Randa Meetings 2015

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Konqi - the KDE mascot in the Randa Meetings edition

If you are interested in participating in this year’s Randa Meetings and want to have a chance to be financially supported to travel to Randa then the last 24 hours of the registration period just began.

So it’s now or never – or maybe next year.

You can come to the Randa Meetings 2015 – Please register now

Monday, April 13th, 2015

The dates for the sixth edition of the Randa Meetings are set: Sunday, 6th to Sunday 13th of September 2015. The first Sunday will be the day of arrival and the last Sunday accordingly the day of departure.

So what about you? If you know about Qt and touch gesture support, want to bring your KDE application to Android and Co, plan to work on KDE infrastructure for mobile systems, are a UI or UX designer for mobile and touch interfaces, want to make your software more accessible or just want to work on your already ported KDE application please register as soon as possible on our Sprints page.

The registration is open until the 13th of May 2015. Please add your estimated travel cost and what you plan to work on in Randa this September. You don’t need to include any accommodation costs as we organize this for you (see the Randa Meetings wiki page for further information about the building). After this date we will present a budget and work on a fundraiser (together with you) to make it possible for as many people as possible to come to Randa.

If there are any questions or further ideas don’t hesitate to contact me via email or on freenode.net IRC in #randa.

Last chance to vote on the date for the Randa Meetings 2015

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

We plan to close the Doodle for the Randa Meetings date selection at the end of this week. So if you plan to participate please vote on the date that best fits you! And keep in mind two things:

  • You might bring your partner or family with you to Randa. We started this last year and people really liked it (and Randa is a nice holiday place in the Alps too – near to the world-known Zermatt).
  • If you see a lot of well-known names on the Doodle don’t think you shouldn’t be part of this. We always want to see new people with fresh energy and inspiring thoughts and ideas in Randa.

So please add yourself as quickly as possible or write me an email (fux AT kde) or ping me on IRC (unormal).

 

Randa Fundraiser: The countdown is ticking

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Just some more hours and the Randa Meetings 2014 fundraiser will close. It will end at 23.59 UTC, afterwards you need to go to the normal KDE donation page to support us ;-) . So may I ask you one last time this year to help us and give something. It’s high time and we can still achieve a big jump on the progress bar with your help!

In the picture below you see the group photo of the Randa Meetings 2011 in the form of a jigsaw puzzle. The year and place when the KDE Frameworks 5 planning and work started which achieved an interim stop with the first stable release yesterday. Some great (KConfig, KArchive, Sonnet, ThreadWeaver, etc.) Qt addons for you Qt developers and for many different platforms.

Jigsaw puzzle of the group picture 2011

Jigsaw puzzle of the group picture 2011

And guess what we plan to work on this year in Randa? Porting even more KDE applications to KDE Frameworks 5. The KDE Edu group will be there too and will port its collection of educational software to KF5. Software for kids and people that want to learn and understand the world. Understand why it’s important to be free in your decision to choose the tools you use to create great things and communicate it to the world. All these are things we work on for your and our freedom.

So take a look at your wallet and give what you can and thus help to make another great edition of the Randa Meetings possible where we create even better software for you.

10 more days – we can do it

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

The Randa Meetings 2014 fundraiser is quite successful and I want to thank everybody who already donated or supported us. But there is still some time till the 9th of July and thus we have still some time to convince more people for this good cause.

So please, remove the dust from your blog or social media account and spread the word and convince your friends and environment to give something. Just ask them politely and the worst you get is a “no”.

You can tell everybody that they will get even better KDE software, software that runs on almost all platforms and in the future on even more and software that everybody can use and share. Concretely this means that at the end of September 2014 you will get an updated KDE Book that helps you to work with KDE Frameworks 5, a more stable Kdenlive, a first port of KMyMoney to KF5, a glimpse at Amarok 3, another beta of GCompris based on Qt, a reinvigorated Gluon Games Framework, at least a first idea of the KDE SDK and much more. Isn’t that worth it?

And we will try something new this year at Randa to keep you, dear supporter, better informed about what happens at the meetings. Everyday you can check this work page and see in a short and concise form what everybody has done and achieved.

So thanks for donating, spreading the word and supporting us!

KDE, families and Randa

Tuesday, 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.

Randa Meetings 2014 – Which date do you prefer?

Thursday, 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.