KDE 4 Multimedia Meeting :: Done!

Getting in touch with wild peacocks.

So the KDE 4 Multimedia meeting is finished with only minor casualties. Leinir missed his train
and will be back here soon to spend another night in the beautiful village of Zundert – not
completely voluntarily though. We will give it another try to send him back home to Denmark
tomorrow. Today finally the sun showed up, resulting in a nice set of photos of the wild
peacocks
that are living in the neigbourhood of the Annahoeve.
One of the first things that grabbed our attention this morning was Gábor announcing that
the Qt4 port of amaroK actually started.
Matthias told me that he redesigned the core of Phonon to make some neat introspection features
available. We also discussed some vague use cases for Phonon which really showed why Phonon is an
incredibly good idea, and that a simple audio / video backend such as GStreamer just doesn’t cut it:
Imagine you’re listening to music while surfing the web. Then you’re clicking on a link playing a
video file embedded in a website, your music volume will be lowered so your the sound of the movie
file, the movie file finishes playing and the music volume increases again – all done automatically.
I’m obviously really looking forward to all that goodness.
Allan who already left earlier this
afternoon showed us that seeking in KIO does actually work already for KIO file. That will make a
wealth of new stuff possible, I’m imagining running amaroK with your music collection on a remote
machine (and then of course playing your files using Phonon’s NMM backend outputting the music to a
remote machine), using digikam with the photo collection on a remote machine …

All in all, the meeting has exceeded all our expectations by far. Not only have we seen a wealth
of new stuff going into svn (check Danny
Allen’s latest svn digest
, for example). We were able to offer the developers the possibility to
meet each other in person, to exchange ideas that are not easily communicated via the Internet. The
network effects of the meeting are not measurable, but probably even more important than the code
that has actually been written, improved (or killed, such as the sexb^W eeh moodbar that’s gone
because it was unmaintained). We were also able to get the amaroK developers integrated more into
the KDE community, probably another thing that’s not measurable but a long-term important thing.

The concept of making an event possible where everything is taken care of – from
quality food to travel expenses, computers for those that don’t own a laptop, a great location,
information material and above all a friendly host who is
contributing in a very unique way to our project: Thanks Cees and José!

Tonight, after having dinner in a Wok restaurant where you could compile your own wok meal and
have it prepared right in front of your eyes we couldn’t resist and hooked up our notebooks onto the
random neighbour’s access point again and read blogs, comments on dot stories, e-mail and of course
write a blogentry after a terrific and very special and productive KDE event.
Paraphrasing our good friend:
I love this community.

Multimedia :: Productivity!

getting things done.

The KDE 4 Multimedia Meeting is running smoothly now after some problems getting the network
stable enough for compiling using icecream.

Intermediate results of the meeting are:

  • Vastly improved startup time of amaroK (about 50%!)
  • A Phonon media queue class which makes it easy to, well, queue media for
    playing
  • Importing of playlists from last.fm into amarok (of course you can only play the
    things you have
  • Allan began working on seeking in KIO slaves (applause!)
  • Kmix integration with Phonon
  • Usability work on amarok, use cases for Phonon’s volume handling
  • Porting amaroK to Qt4 / KDE4
  • Improvements in the scripting support of amaroK
  • Of course: APIDOX, mostly making it work again using cmake

AmaroK 2 design boF is coming up, so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, the marketing people are working on streamlining events
documentation.

Free Software Bazaar.

KDE-NL at Free Software Bazaar during SANE2006 in Delft / NL.

KDE-NL was at the Free Software Bazaar 2006 during SANE2006, but also quite some other
interesting projects.

As [ade] already mentioned, EduKitty is a development framework for educational software,
written in Qt. Since this guy is looking for new developers, he’ll probably be happy with a win32
port of kdelibs, which could save him quite some code. He’s sent me the pdf file of his folder material so I can share it
with the interested reader. Impressive one-man-show.

Another nice project is Simuze, an Open Content music
community. They have a complete CD for free download. Check out the Penis Song. Speaking of
penises and Open Content, Free pr0n is not just a
pipe-dream anymore.

In dutch railway stations, they are currently advertising Martijn. I wonder why it took so
long to find out that Martijn needs some serious promotion effort. :-)

T60 page and K3M.

The KDE MultiMedia Meeting.

So I finally collected all the necessary bits to help fellow T60 users such as [ade] to get
Linux running on their machines. Therefore, I wrote up most of the stuff I learned about this piece
of hardware, collected stuff how to deal with problems and created a set of customized packages for
the notebook. Custom packages means packages for Kubuntu Dapper, which I use. Those contain a kernel
image, patched with libata fixes and the ipw3945 wireless driver, ATi driver packages (unfortunately
there is no OSS driver other than VESA for the builtin ATi x1300). I also published my config files
for various things, so it should be relatively easy to get the stuff running on other distros as
well. Here’s the page. Suggestions for improvements are
welcome of course.

In other, and for the KDE crowd probably more important news, the KDE MultiMedia Meeting in the south of the – unfortunately
rainy – Netherlands is going to kick of tomorrow morning with developers from 4 different
continents. I’m about to stuff things such as cables and other network gear and a couple of geek
t-shirts in my bag and will be picked up by [ade] later this afternoon. What we’ve learnt until now
organising such a meeting is that purely mailbox-based workflows suck because they create a lot of
confusion and unnecessary work, but that we’re glad to have sponsors such as NLnet, Trolltech, Semprix, Wallsteijn, BasysKom, Novell, OGD and I2RS. They made it possible
to organise this high-quality meeting for the developers. A big thanks!
So until next sunday, we’ll be designing, hacking, discussing multimedia-related stuff, but
we’ll also use the opportunity to work on some marketing related things as well. A part of the KDE
marketing department is based in the Netherlands and involved in the organisation of the meeting as
well (that’s why the business cards had to be put on hold, for those interested – we were lacking
time).

Hang on for more coverage of the meeting though, and expect the Marketing Team to be fully
functional again sometime next week. :-)

KDE 4 Multimedia Meeting.

The KDE MultiMedia Meeting.

The multimedia meeting is now in full swing, twenty people have gathered in the south of the
rainy Netherlands to discuss, design, meet, program and have fun. After a keynote and a short
introduction round, Matthias has given a detailed overview over Phonon, discussing the design,
explaining how to write frontends, what to consider when building a backend, how effect work and
much more. Matthias will upload his slides later tonight so everyone can have a look at the great
stuff to come.
After Matthias outlined the future of KDE multimedia called Phonon, Max Howell gave us
information about what the amarok guys have discussed yesterday while going out in Amsterdam,
Exciting stuff to come! There probably won’t be an amarok 1.5. The developers plan to do a major
redesign of the code for amarok 2.0 which will be Qt4 / KDE 4 based. More interesting to the user
might be the planned improvement of last.fm support. Why would you
want to tag everything yourself when fellow music lovers already did all the work. Max also
announced “We do want to make a Windows version.”.

Maarten en Jurieen of Source21 fame visited us to
record a couple of interviews with, they’ll be downloadable from their website soon – we’ll announce
that separately.

And I also took photos.

In other news:

  • Allan just blogged that he’s
    planning to add seeking to KIO, which I think is very exciting since it will make KIO useful for so
    much more stuff – think of remotely using your music collection using KIO, running digikam on the
    local machine
  • Linux 2.6.17-rc5 is called “Lordi Rules”
  • Icecream is a nice
    toy

Linuxtag, FSFE, Kubuntu.

Hugging Georg Greve, president of FSF Europe.

So back from Linuxtag, a four-day linux show in the heart of Germany, and probably one of the
best opportunities to meet KDE people other than aKademy.
I met Georg Greve there, whom I knew from the suspend2 mailinglist a couple of years ago where
he frequently hang out helping with debugging. He’s still running it to his content as he told me.
On saturday, we did the t-shirt and hug thing to celebrate KDE being associate of the FSFE now. I think it’s just
right, KDE being an independant, real community where the idea of freedom is one of the core values
and the FSFE as probably the biggest political organisation in Europe. We make a great couple
indeed. :-)

On saturday, we also met with some people of the Kubuntu crowd (well, I discussed some
powermanagement issues with amu and \sh earlier already). The meeting was meant to draft the future
of Kubuntu, and we did our best to develop ideas how KDE can play a role in making Kubuntu even
better. Mark Shuttleworth invited a couple of KDE people to Paris in June, probably not only because
I bribed him with a t-shirt. :-)
He also told that some of the next people to hire for Ubuntu will come from the KDE crowd, so issues
between the Ubuntu platform and the KDE desktop will surface earlier and can be fixed more quickly.
During his keynote, he addressed some of the more technical issues, such as integrating KDE’s
bugzilla with launchpad to make it easier to trace bugs in
the software stack.

Linuxtag was covered with a whole lot more of interesting discussions, meeting people, educating
people about KDE and demoing KDE.
One of the more interesting bits was the meeting with the OpenUsability we started off in a cafe
and then moved behind a screen to sit down and work out ideas we gathered previously. The idea in
question was to apply the results of our ongoing strategical analysis of target markets, filter them
through what makes sense from a usability point of view and develop ideas for KDE’s future. Funny
enough, right after the meeting, Tina dragged my attention to an
article
that exactly described the technique we were using. We’re right now in the process of
getting the rough results of our meeting in shape.

Moving the furry balls.

The new cage for our chinchillas.

Kim and me have finally finished the new cage of the chinchillas, so yesterday was the day –
well the night – they could move into their new home. It vastly imcreases the space they have,
roughly by a factor of three. We also equipped the cage with a small wooden ‘house’, so the two
chins can retract during the day and find some rest. They immediately liked the new cage and it was
really nice to see them exploring everything in an excited way.

The last weeks have KDE-wise been pretty hard work, we’re getting the Multimedia meeting
into shape. This process is now developing from finding sponsors to more practical things, cash
flow, creating a webpage, all that stuff. Other hot items are the business cards, their workflow is
– thanks to Martijn’s great effort – getting more and more into shape. Hopefully we’re able to
deliver the long-needed cards to their owners within the next couple of weeks, so please bear with
us a little more. Preparations for Linuxtag are also in full swing, writing a press release, getting
some documentation for the booth team into shape, solving a couple of smaller logistical problems
such as buying a train ticket despite the Dutch Railways best efforts
in preventing me from doing it. We’re also quite close to setting up a press channel, so we can
inform interested journalists more effectively of what’s happening in KDE. On the other hand, it’s
good to see how much is happening, and that the Marketing Team is going forward at full steam.

My paper I submitted to FrOSCon has been accepted, so
I’ll talk there about Marketing KDE. I’m kinda looking forward to this opportunity since my
presentation at FOSDEM back in february has been received very well. I’ve submitted another proposal
to DesktopCon which will take place in Ottawa in July. I’d
like to use desktopcon as an opportunity to get in closer contact with a couple of guys from the
other side of the pond to streamline marketing efforts on the freedesktop.org platform.