Progress.

Photos from the KDE4 Branding Meeting in Darmstadt, Germany

I’ve got a shiny new telephone, a Nokia n73. It has a big display, colorful icons,
it can play music, take photos, show images, view pdf files and much more.
Playing around with it tricked me also into the experience that I see my first
complete freeze of the telephone. In the course of getting the new phone, I also
had to buy a memory chip (miniSD, wich I found out is not microSD, or even
‘normal’ SD, of course I need the faster version!). I’m serious asking myself
how much harder the industry that creates such a mess will make it.

On the bright side, I managed, after a long struggle to have some internet shop
ship me an AMD X2 4600+ for socket 939. They’re quite hard to get. The reason is
probably that if I wanted to upgrade to a new socket AM2 motherboard, I’d also have to
replace my graphics card and memory, all less than two years old and more than fast
enough for what I’m likely to do with it.

Eva already blogged about the two two-day
meetings she hosted (thanks!). The Marketing Meeting went really well, especially
since it’s one of the first meetings of this team. We took a lot of notes, which
have to be polished and put up on SpreadKDE, we hope to get that done within the week.
Check on kde-promo if you don’t want to miss the progress. :-)
In the course of the first day,
we discussed in different session the current state of the art of branding-related
topics in KDE. Target Groups and Community Identity being the most important.
We began the second day with a longer, split-out session. The first group worked
out a rough planning of branding-related areas, such as artwork, public relations,
copywriting, …). The second group took an attempt to work out different possible
target groups for KDE ‘brands’.
The general way to go will be that KDE as it is should become an umbrella brand
that shares (parts of) its Community Identity with different brands such as KOffice,
Oxygen, Plasma, or the KDE desktop as you use it now, KDE technology as a development
platform and not at least the great and bright community around it.
We structured the Team using the Community Identity as a template. Wade Olson,
Jürgen
Gerner and Claire Lotion stepped up and agreed to giving a go to coordinate the effort.

We also had presentations about various topics. Jürgen Gerner
educated us about Emotional Marketing, Christian Bobzin of
Konsylo gave information Viral Marketing.
It’s really exciting to see the team flourish, to see a group of professionals in
that area get together and work out an improved way of presenting a diverse and
strong community such as KDE is.s

Day 3 and 4 of the DarmstadtMeetings was the Board Meeting we started with a packed
agenda. Eva has already written something about it, so I’ll try to cover different
topics here.
On Monday night, we met Carsten from a company named iverse. Carsten works on a way
of file and data browsing that involves visual representation of the data, sorted by
different characteristics in a 2d space. Check
liquidbrowsing.com. Carsten told us he’d
like to see those concepts (and maybe code) reappearing in KDE. It’s an exciting
technology.
On Tuesday, we paid a visit to Wikimedia Deutschland, who have a couple of months ago
hired an Executive Director who’s handling the daily business Wikimedia, keeping the
administrative part of running a Free Culture project going. Since we have similar
plans,
Arne and Matthias from Wikimedia had a lot of good advice, and good experience
with taking this step.

I’m very happy with both meetings in general, we made great progress in most areas, and
maybe still most important: It was great to see everybody again, and some for the first
time.

UDS – last day.

Photos from the Ubuntu Developers Summit in Mountainview

Tonight, the Ubuntu Developers Summit in Mountainview, California at the Googleplex will
conclude. Some people,
such as the Oxygen guys are already flying out in the course of the day, so attendance
is thinning out.

Today, I’ve attended a couple of BoFs on X in general, since that’s pretty interesting
for the future of
Guidance’s displayconfig. The
good news is that X will
be able to do much more runtime configuration, to the point where the developers think
that the infamous xorg.conf
can be abandoned completely. That’d mean that we’re basically doing all kind of
displayconfiguration at runtime,
no necessity to restart X anymore and less risk of ending up with an X server that’s not
starting after
configuration changes such as switching to dualhead setups. Really nice.

On the driver front, there has been some discussion during the last days. The intention
is to enable
Composite (bling!) by default in the next Ubuntu release. Unfortunately, that includes
shipping and enaling binary
drivers by default in some cases.

More good things Keith Packard told about is that there’s some light at the end of the
tunnel: It seems that ATi
is currently trying to find a way to publish specifications for at least some more of
their chips
(not *if*, but *how*!), that might have been the effect of AMD buying ATi. There’s also
promising work being done
on a new free NVidia driver. Apparently, some time ago there have been patches
obfuscating some code, that is being
taken as a starting point for reverse engineering the “Nouveau”
driver. So at some point in the future, hopefully not too far away, there will be 3d
accelerated X for most of the
graphics hardware around.
Also coming up in Xorg is a new memory management system, that will make Composite at
acceptable framerates possible
for most of the free drivers, and thus more free software users happy.

In the “bulletproof X”, we discussed to make the odds that X doesn’t start as small as
possible. That requires some
changes in GDM, mostly to check if X started, and to take measures if not. As Kubuntu
guy around here, that kind of
fixes also needs to be done in KDM, since Kubuntu is not using GDM. Keeping track of
this is probably a good idea,
although I wonder how much more things like that are being forgotten to also ‘port’ to
Kubuntu.

Yesterday night, we went out in Mountainview again, visited a bookstore where I got a
copy of
Lawrence Lessig’s Free
Culture
. David Vignoni
from the Oxygen team joined us to have a burger (restaurant version, not the fast food
thing, I managed to avoid that
special experience yet) and a couple of beers. Tonight, we’ll conclude this summit going
out to have food with most
of the people attending it, tomorrow I’ll go to San Francisco for four more night,
nothing specific planned yet
(drop me a note if you’re in the Bay area and want to go out for a drink).

The Googleplex is a really nice location, though, and the Googlers are taking care of us
Free Software people just
excellently. Special thanks to Leslie Hawthorn for being around, answering all our
questions and being the nice girl
we can approach with whatever we have. Thanks Leslie!

Feisty Fawn and KDE4.

Yesterday night, we met George Staikos and David Vignoni for dinner in Mountainview. I
took the
opportunity to order a ‘real burger’, and that was also when George and Celeste taught
me how
to eat a burger properly (I first started with cuttery, but they kept complaining).
When in
Rome, do as the Romans do
. The food itself, though, was really good, although not
necessary.
Here at google, there is a buffet all day long, so if you feel like it, you can keep
eating all day
(which is what I try to avoid), and the food is pretty good, too. Yesterday it was
Indian food, lots of
different cakes, fresh fruit, sandwhiches, wraps … goodness!

Today, we started off discussing KDE4 in Feisty Fawn. Kubuntu will be providing KDE4
packages during
the development phase. Feisty will still be based on KDE3, though. We discussed some
technical issues
when having KDE4 stuff installed at the same time as KDE3, effects of running KDE3 apps
inside a KDE4
session, migrating settings, porting KDE3 specific stuff from Kubuntu. …
Usecases we thought of are the developer that wants to port his app to KDE4, and use the
KDE4 packages to
do that and users who want to help maturing KDE4 by testing the packages. You can find
more details
here.

Having the whole Oxygen team down here in California of course also means some eye-candy
improvements:
Ken and Nuno have been working on new icons for powermanager, which should improve
contrast on darker
panels, expect them to hit svn soon! Nuno also helped out with my Portwine addiction by
bringing a
bottle of Single-Quinta Tawny here. Thanks Nuno! I still have some hope that the bottle
makes it back to the
Netherlands next week, the authorities seem to be accepting the occasional bottle of
wine as long as
it’s in checked-in luggage.

Ubuntu Dev Summit Mountainview.

Arrived in San Francsico yesterday, and had already met some Ubuntu people on the plane from
Amsterdam,
one hour later, we were at the hotel in Sunnyvale and things started to settle down. Had
some Indian food that night and went to bed early (the day had already been more than
24 hours long in terms of hours being awake).

That resulted in me being quite fit this morning (despite the long trip yesterday),
and enjoying a good start of the Ubuntu Developers Summit at the Googleplex in Mountainview.

The Summit starts quite promising, the motto for Feisty, which we’ll be sketching this
week is “make things just work”, and that includes some polishing of the multimedia, such
as getting ALSA to work nicely, codec installation, and more.
People from a lot of different groups came here, for example the guys from the Beryl
community (went out with Jason last night, where we had an interesting discussion about
how the compositing manager community looks like at the moment, and why it’s been split up),
then there’s Ivan from the OLPC team (he was my roomie at the last summit in Paris, so
it’s really nice to see him here again, he even waved around with one of those toy
laptops :-)), of course people from the GNOME community (already saw dholbach around here,
gotta hug him later), Oliver from Edubuntu (already talked a bit during breakfast), and
of course lots of others.
The industry is also quite well represented, SUN, Intel, Novell, ATi, Nvidia promised
to drop by, and of course our host Google. Leslie from Google welcomed us with free hugs.
There’s
obviously some cultural overlap between KDE and Google. :-)

My personal agenda for this Summit includes topics such as getting Marketing of KDE and
Kubuntu a bit aligned (and planning it in the first place), while looking forward to the KDE4
release. I’ll of course also be discussing improvements in
powermanager (Luka is here, we finally met
yesterday night :-)), and I’ll be providing input to various other topics.

Then there were some introducing talks of Mark Shuttleworth, Scott James Remnant,
Matt Zimmerman, Colin Watson, and other. And now, let’s get to work!