So you want to be a “Summer of Code” student…

… then here are some tips :)

Show us you are bright… and do your homework:

  • Read the documentation

We can’t be there for you 24/7, so don’t expect to be spoon-fed information you can look up in documentation available online. While you will probably never hear a RTFM from us (we are polite), we do expect coders to be able to document themselves. You will be given a lot of links to documentation to read in the welcoming mail, so please do that: read and learn!

  • Use your search engines and try to look up things on your own before asking.

In general, not doing some search on your own before asking questions is frowned upon, as it shows lazyness on your behalf.

  • Don’t send private mail to potential mentors, use the mailing list

KDE is a community and we work on our projects in a collaborative effort. While there is usually one mentor assigned to an idea, there are co-mentors and we do coordinate our work in the mailing list. If you want to work with us, please do use the right channels for that. It also greatly enhances the probability to get an answer, as there are more eyes to see your mail. Private mails from unknown people can easily get lost in a filter, especially if they are badly formatted and sometimes not even have a subject line… *cough*

  • Don’t ping people in IRC, and don’t open Queries without even asking if it is OK

There are some basic rules in IRC, all of which you can find online (search for “IRC Guidelines KDE”), so randomly pinging people you have never met or opening queries without asking beforehand are considered rude and are frowned upon. If you have an urgent matter, use the mailing list, not everybody is online all the time and not necessarily in your timezone. And if you ask a question on IRC, stick around so we can actually answer, don’t just leave after a few minutes. IRC is not for the impatient:

  • Be patient!

We are usually very much occupied with our every day work and life and simply can’t be at your service just because you are there NOW. We do our best to answer your requests and questions in a timely fashion, but don’t be impatient, that is not making things go faster.  Your request is usually not as urgent as YOU might think it is. Did you try to search online and in the documentation on your own? No? Why not?

Remember: there is life out there, and that is often in the way of answering your requests as fast as you would like it to happen.

  • Know what you are going to work on

You want to be a GSoC student but you don’t know your basic 101 of coding? Sorry, that is not for you, then. Consider applying for SoK instead. You need to at least have some basic knowledge of the business you want to get involved in. So if you want to participate, show us you know what you are talking about. The best way to show us is to do some coding beforehand, we have plenty of junior jobs with low hanging fruits.

  • You can’t choose what project is the best for you?

We can’t do that either, sorry, as we usually only just met you. Just telling us what coding language you know about is not helping either, as we assume that to be part of your 101 skills box. You are the one who needs to decide what to work on, how and in what time frame. You want to participate, then make your mind up, study, read, use the software you are planning to work on, that is the best way to find out if it is suitable for you. And do look at the proposals made by other students in previous years, Lydia did send a nice mail to the kde-soc@kde.org mailing list detailing that. You are not on that list? Well then what are you waiting for?

I am NOT detailing links here on purpose: the various mailing lists of KDE can easily be found online, and there have been dozens of mails from me or Lydia or other people with links and instructions that can all be looked up in the archives, most of that in the last 2 months which will help you narrow the search. These mails contain all you need to know :-)

All of the above applies mainly to GSoC, but also to OPW and SoK to some extend. Don’t recognize these terms? Are you sure you read the kde-soc@kde.org mailing list?

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Posted in Community, Free Software, KDE | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

KDE joins the Outreach Program for Women

Outreach Program For Women Logo. CC-BY-SA - artists: Máirín Duffy, Liansu Yu, Hylke Bons

 

KDE will – for the first time this year – participate in the “Outreach Program for Women”. This was originally started by GNOME, but has also other participating organisations like Wikimedia, Mozilla, Fedora and others.

With KDAB as our sponsor we will be offering one internship. This is in no way only limited to coding, but includes user experience design, graphic design, documentation, web development, marketing, translation and other types of tasks needed to sustain a Free Software project.

The deadline for task submission is March 27. Please all in the KDE Community, suggest suitable tasks on our wiki page and volunteer to mentor. Feel free to contact me or Lydia for more information.

Prerequisites for application: Any woman who has not previously participated in an Outreach Program for Women or Google Summer of Code internship is welcome to apply, provided she is available for a full-time internship during this time period. This program is open to anyone who identifies as a woman regardless of gender presentation or assigned sex at birth. Genderqueer and genderfluid people are welcome to apply.

The application deadline for candidates is already on May 1st, while the program runs from June 17 to September 23.

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Posted in Community, Free Software, KDE | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

We Love Free Software!

It’s this time of the year again, where we express our love for what and whom we like:

I love Free Software!

This year I want to express my personal thanks to

  • the kmail developers for the awesome work during the last year,
  • the KDE sysadmins for being so fast and efficient,
  • the Amarok team for their love and dedication,
  • the Sconcho developer for being so responsive and making my knitting pattern editing so easy,
  • the whole FSFE team for their hard work on protecting our Freedom!
Keep up the good work, folks :)

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Posted in Amarok, Community, Free Software, FSFE, KDE, Kmail, knitting | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Amarok 2.7 and Google Code-In

It was a very busy End of Year again:

Amarok 2.7 is out! While the code-name “A Minor Tune” would suggest it to be an average release, it is in fact one of the most polished we ever did. 473 bugs closed, 17 feature requests granted and not less than 100 commits that fixed bugs directly. Rock On!

We also ship a fully updated handbook for this version, with new screenshots. For that we had some help from the Google Code-In students who helped updating the handbook. Amarok also moved it’s wikis to the KDE infrastructure with the help of several students, you can now find the Amarok wiki at http://community.kde.org/Amarok

Google Code-In also saw several students doing some quality work for Amarok, testing the 2.7 beta release as well as with the current git source, and updating the testing instructions on the wiki while doing so. A new Team page also has seen the light thanks to Code-In work: http://amarok.kde.org/en/team

Over all: great work from the Amarok Team and the Google Code-In students, thank you!

PS: the color theme is ‘Evening Lilac’

 

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Posted in Amarok, Free Software, KDE | 2 Comments

On knitting, Google-CodeIn and a nice surprise delivered to my doorstep

Lately I didn’t find much time to blog, as I was busy with my usual errands, namely bug triaging and testing, but, as usual with the evenings getting longer, I was also hit by the knitting virus and already made a pullover and a big scarf :)

The discovery of the Sconcho knitting pattern editor also contributed greatly to fuel this knitting fever – add to that the online knit and crochet community Ravelry which allows me to keep track of my stash and ongoing work and patterns I like - all that contributed on keeping me away from blogging.

But behold, the nearing end of the year is also the time when Google Code-In knocks at my door and since last week I am very busy with mentoring 13-17 year olds in getting acquainted with Free Software in general and KDE in particular. It started at high speed as in only one week I had several students complete 8 tasks for Amarok alone!

And today started with a package delivered to my doorstep with a very nice present: my Kubuntu Team polo-shirt, kindly sent by Jonathan Riddell:

Thank you, Jonathan and the whole Kubuntu Team, it goes without saying that I use GCI to also introduce the students to our preferred KDE software distribution :)

Next tasks for me: make more tasks for the GCI students and prepare for the Amarok 2.7 beta release, more news soon!

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Posted in Amarok, Free Software, KDE, knitting, Kubuntu | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

More Randa 2012 goodness

Traditional Valaisan Food

After an extremely yummy Sunday evening supper the Amarok core developers continued with more Architecture talks all through Monday, the result of which you can see in our community wiki pages.

Valorie and I are also currently updating the Amarok Manual to reflect the changes done for Amarok 2.6. You can see the progress by checking the category tabs or by simply checking the Amarok 2.6 category page directly.

We also have a new landing page on http://community.kde.org/Amarok. I am working on getting the currently relevant information over from our old wiki instance, thankfully the KDE sysadmins did a tremendous work on providing the latest Mediawiki installation to make our work much easier. That move is necessary as there is a lot of outdated information in the old wiki and it was getting harder by the day to find important information. With the very good spam protection installed by the KDE sysadmins we will also be on the much safer side now :)

With all the awesomeness we have in mind for Amarok’s future we also plan to get better testing of the git branch. It is already quite easy for an advanced user to install Amarok from git, and we start having a rather thorough list of what should be tested. While beta testing is important, it would be even better if we could test changes as they happen. For that the Git user should be subscribed to our development mailing list and ideally also follow the commits as they happen, something that can be done very easily as well by going to https://projects.kde.org/projects/extragear/multimedia/amarok and tick the option to “Follow this project” on the left side of that page. Thanks again, KDE sysadmins for making this so easy!

If you are already a git user and would like to help us testing, please get in touch with me in #amarok on irc.freenode.net once I am back home this Friday so we can organize this more in detail.

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Posted in Amarok, Free Software, KDE, Switzerland, testing | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

First days of Randa 2012

As every year we gathered in Randa to work on our favorite Free Software projects. Organized by FSFE-Fellow #1 Mario Fux this years edition sees people form KDE Edu, Accessibility, Plasma and Multimedia concentrate on making our software better by the day.

Amarok developers joining remotely

After organizing our schedule on Saturday we spent some hacking through the day and gathered Sunday morning to discuss the requirements for Amarok3, especially since our target platforms are evolving rapidly:

A first shot at the requirements

In the afternoon the core developers held a 3.5 hour meeting to discuss architecture, an ongoing effort this Monday morning.

In the mean time Valorie and I are trying to keep up with organizing the next Roktober fundraiser and organizing the handbook update for Amarok 2.6. So stay tuned for more to come.

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Posted in Amarok, Free Software, KDE, Switzerland | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Please help testing some old Amarok bugs

Every now and then I go through some old Amarok reports to see if these are still valid, but sometimes I am hit by the inability to actually test because I lack the required setup.
So today I ask for some help from users and fellow testers to see if these bugs are still reproducible. All you need is an account on http://bugs.kde.org and the possibility to confirm bugs there. If you don’t have that prerequisite, please ask Mamarok in #amarok on irc.freenode.net

What I currently need help with are the bugs on MS Windows:

We have a new Amarok 2.6 build for Windows and you can find a list of the current Windows bugs here: Amarok on Windows bugs

Of course we will work on all other Amarok bugs as well, especially during our annual Developer Sprint in Randa, starting next week. Please help us reach the goal on Pledgie:

Click here to lend your support to: KDE Randa Meetings and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

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Posted in Amarok, Bugs, Free Software, KDE, testing | Comments Off

Calligra Author – a new tool for writers

Every writer needs a good tool to be able to focus on the essential part: the writing.
Today we welcome the creation of a new tool that will be developed in direct collaboration with writers: Calligra Author.
As you can read in the announcement the main features will concentrate on two distinct use-cases: Novelists and Documentation writers.

As a documentation writer myself I was thrilled when I was asked to participate in the development of this new tool and I am looking forward eagerly to collaborate with the documentation. Calligra Author will focus on the writer workflow and the planned export features will include eBooks which nowadays are an important way to publish documentation.

So stay tuned for the first release towards the end of this year.

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Posted in Free Software, KDE | 5 Comments

Triagers and testers needed…

… for a bugsprint about Kmail!

I had the great pleasure to meet with Kmail developer Laurent Montel at Akademy in Tallinn and we discussed the state of Kmail bugs. We agreed upon the work that needs to be done on that occasion:

Currently Kmail 1.x is not maintained anymore, but still has quite a bunch of open reports. Due to a serious lack of time and resources the database went a bit out of hand and now needs some triaging love. While it currently is closed for new bug reports, we aim to get this cleaned up and find the usable bug reports for Kmail2.

What needs to be done?

  • We need to get rid of open duplicate reports.
  • We will check if a bug is reproducible in Kmail 2 and reassign it there.
  • We will close the Kmail1-only reports as unmaintained.
  • We also need to clean up and remove duplicates form the Kmail2 bugs list.

To make sure we can work reasonably well, this is the setup you should have to help with the testing:

  • KDE SC 4.8.4 with Kmail 4.8.4 at least, but 4.9 would be better and if you can run from Git it would be even more helpful.
  • Either a POP3 or an IMAP setup, to make sure we can test both extensively.

When?

Since this will take quite some time I propose 2 weeks in a row, where you can get in and out at your leisure, with a clear focus on the weekends. I will be around most of the time (in my UTC+2 timezone at least) and will try to give a hand in #kde-bugs on irc.freenode.net

So let’s meet on Saturday, August 18th on #kde-bugs and get this sorted as much as possible.

Of course, you can start earlier: you will find two saved searches in b.k.o called “Kmail1 open bugs” and “Kmail2 open bugs”. To find these, go to your Preferences -> Saved searches and add these to your footer, so you can easily access the list whenever you feel a triaging itch. If you don’t see the saved searches then you probably don’t have enough rights on KDE’s bugzilla yet, but that can be improved easily, just ask me.

If this is your first triaging experience, don’t be shy, just ping me in #kde-bugs – type: “Mamarok: ping” – and I will try to give you the necessary help ASAP :)

And finally: if you want to be kept updated about the Bugsprints we organize, you can subscribe to this Calendar: KDE BugDays

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Posted in Bugs, Community, Free Software, KDE, Kmail, testing | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments