Mario Fux

Posts Tagged ‘edu’

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 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.

Thanks for your help and please go on!

Friday, 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 niceΒ  – 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 ( 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

Tuesday, 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?

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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜‰ 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 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.

It’s great to be a part of KDE

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

This is just a short blog post about a thought I had in mind right now. It’s really great to be a part of KDE. All the stuff that’s going on atm in such a great atmosphere:

And that’s just the stories I’m aware off at this small moment in life. Great to share some of my life with you KDE people and users… Thanks and cu in Randa…

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Go pledgie go – Randa Meetings status update

Monday, August 27th, 2012

First and foremost I’d like to thank all the people (anonymous and less-anonymous πŸ˜‰ who already pledged some money for the Randa Meetings 2012 on our page. It’s great to have gotten so much support from our community and we’re on a good way to reach the goal of 10’000 EUR till the 21st of September 2012.

On this date we are going to start the Randa meetings of this year and therefore I’d like to give you a short overview of the status of the preparations for the meetings and what you can expect from your support and from this year’s meetings.

As it showed it’s not necessarily easy to marry, get your first child and organize a Randa meetings event in the same summer and finally my university decided that I didn’t yet finish my minor in computer sciences as I expected. But these are all the bad news and the good news follow:

Most of the people already ordered their plane or train tickets and with more of your support we can offer to pay the accommodation and the train tickets in Switzerland (from border or airport to Randa and back) for our participants. By the way we searched for quite a while to get the best and cheapest offer for these tickets so we don’t waste your money!

As at every work one needs to eat something to have energy to produce amazing things and thus I can tell you that the kitchen team is already preparing the menu for the meeting at the end of September and they actually already started to shop, prepare and cook the first meals. And I can tell you it looks good, the menu, and the meals will give you a lot of energy to go back to the computer and hack as crazy till late at nights.

The next and probably for this blog the last but most interesting information is about the groups and what they plan to do in Randa (and thus what you get back for your support soon):

  • The accessibility (a11y) group plans to work heavily on KDE (and some Gnome) applications to make them even more accessible for differently abled people. We plan to invite some blind computer users to Randa to help us testing our applications. Together with our friends from Gnome we improve the general a11y infrastructure for better inter-application work. And last but not least the GSoC student who worked on lip recognition for Simon (a speech-recognition system based on the KDE platform) will be in Randa too…
  • The KDE Education group plans to port as many of their (and where it makes sense) applications to mobile platforms and since some time Android is a new target for KDE software and thus opens a whole new eco system of tablets and mobile computers.
  • The multimedia people from Amarok, Phonon and Co plan to work on the next Amarok version, Phonon’s port to Qt5 and QML (QtQuick) and further improvements of KMix and Co.
  • And last but not least the Plasma team plans to work on the next version of the Plasma libraries (libplasma2 for and based on KDE Frameworks 5). Another bigger topic is going to be the porting of more parts of Plasma apps to QML. And we expect to see one or the other Plasma Active tablet there and thus some e.g. educational apps or multimedia software on this devices.

Another great feature of the Randa meetings is the possibility to talk with the other teams, discuss and share ideas or just chat about some thoughts during lunch or dinner (breakfast is not for talking ;-).

Some days ago I set up this years wiki page for the Randa meetings where you find up to date information of what’s happening during the meeting, links to old blog posts about the coming meetings and more interesting information.

So please go to our Pledgie page and donate and thus help us to hold yet another amazing and insanely productive series of meetings in Randa.

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Randa meetings foundation, N9 and Co

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

This will be just a short blog post but at least it will be one ;-). This week first discussions will start about the creation of foundation (legal entity) for the Randa meetings. The following things are quite important for me on this:

  • To keep it alive for the next years.
  • Broaden the scope of free software communitites which can use this place.
  • Make it independent of my person (and thus make it able to to give to people working on this big organizational task at least some expense allowance (and for me to pay the diapers which I need to buy soon ;-))
  • Find more sponsors to save free software organisations (like the KDE e.V.) from costs.e
  • Involve more and more locale people, schools and industry.
  • Bring even more KDE people to Randa in the next years.

And for this I created a new internal mailing list (German only, sorry). So if you’re interested send me an email (my lastname at kde dot org) and we’ll add you to the list.

Another nice thing that happened in the last weeks was the arrival of my new N9 I got from KDE. It actually was a nice coincidence that the device arrived at the same day I officially finished my WiktionaryParser university project which I’d like to port to the N9.

As I won’t find the time in the next days to port this software and work a bit on QML frontend at least I installed all available KDE software for this nice mobile. Thus I’ll be able to demonstrate KDE software on yet another device (and to e.g. show it to potential new sponsors for the Randa meetings.

And the last thing in the post. I’ve of course already some plans for this year’s Randa meetings: My favorite focus this year would be Accessibility (a11y). I’m already in contact with a11y developers and blind users. And this year September would be the date of choise… And don’t forget to flattr me if your like what I do :-).

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Randa 2011, KDE and young informatics trainees

Friday, March 18th, 2011

This morning at 8:30 I gave a presentation about KDE and design & graphics. The reason? It was quite spontaneous. Yesterday I got an email of a design and graphics teacher from the local (to the south of Switzerland and thus Randa) vocational school that he got an email of a colleague of mine that I need help in some "logos for Randa" stuff. After having a phone call I decided to visit the class this morning and present them about what KDE is and what the Randa meetings or sprints are and what kind of graphics I need for them. And since after the morning break they work on art for Randa 2011.

After the presentation I had some time to go through the class and saw some quite nice work. They worked on some business card ideas with Adobe Illustrator on Macs. But the nice thing was that they had Gimp and Firefox installed even though the teacher didn’t know Gimp. And I mentioned Inkscape as well (yes, I know, what about Krita and Karbon, will do better next time). And I couldn’t resist to mention that Safari is based on KDE technology. The pupils are actually first year informatic trainees but noone of them heard of KDE – till this morning ;-). I’m curious what they show or send me next week and who knows probably one of this guys (yes, unfortunately no girls) will one day commit some code or artwork directly to the KDE repositories…

On the way to my parents for lunch then I decided to visit a friend of mine in his shop where he sells second hand hardware. Nice stuff and working perfect. But before I wanted to go to his shop I phoned him. Good idea as he was in hospital after food poisoning (get well soon, Luki). But that wasn’t the reason I started to write about him and his shop (he btw sponsored some stuff for the Randa meeting last year and will hopefully do so this year again ;-). Beneath the "normal" PC and notebooks he’s some Android netbooks in his sortiment at the moment – for half of the normal price. But mention my name when you order one ;-).

Another thing that happened this week is the agreement of my professor (in education, not computer sciences) that he allows me to setup an Apple system as a KDE build server and host it at our institute. Will talk next week with the IT guy for what old hardware he has for me. And yet another thing is that we (thanks a lot Emil Sedgh for your work on this thing!) will launch the registration page (and thus a first version of a KDE sprint manager) for the Randa 2011 meeting in a few hours or days. And thus to the todo items of last week:

  • Finishing registration form: done.
  • Reading some Sonnet code: no.
  • Doing more QML: can’t remember.
  • Bringing Oxygen to the devel env: no
  • Finishing the German translation of the booklet: no. I’ll do it this weekend – for sure. But if you speak German and want to help. Send me an email and I tell you the pages which are still to be done.

And here is the todo for the next week:

  • Send the translation to the layouter.
  • Do some code for my KDE morphology API work (and thus my colleague) and start the concepts.
  • Get in contact with more potential sponsors for Randa 2011.
  • And do a lot more work for Randa 2011. All the little details…

Btw you probably noticed that I deleted the "KDE work day xy" part of my blog posts title. At the moment I work much more then one day per week for KDE stuff even though I don’t find the time to blog that much. And thus the numeration is obsolete and incorrect anyway. And markey didn’t like it ;-). So see you next week and all a happy weekend.

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