FOSDEM 2007.

I’ve just submitted a last-minute talk for the
KDE Devroom at FOSDEM in
Brussels.
FOSDEM, the biggest European Free Software Community Event is, I think a great
opportunity to give the KDE e.V. some more exposure and at the same time KDE – The
Organisation
some more transparence. So my talk will give deals about the what and the why of
KDE e.V., the foundation that deals with legal and
administrative details behind KDE.

I’ve picked the slot on Sunday afternoon from 16:30 – 17:00, so I am still able to
attend the talks I’m
personally very interested in, Andrew Morton’s and Dave Neary’s talks do definitely
attract my interest. Apart from that, I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot of people
again this weekend, and then Brussels is quite a lovely city…

If you’re in Brussels this weekend, definitely do FOSDEM, and drop by the
KDE devroom for some chit-chat or hacking on KDE4!

Now playing: Heather Nova, Oyster

powermanager for Feisty.

Current version of powermanager

Only one day after I found out that Pearl Jam would be giving a concert in the park 200m
from here,
I read that 4 days earlier, the Red Hot Chili
Peppers

will be giving a concert in the same venue. Tickets will be available from Saturday, I’ll
try to get
myself one. And I just received an email from a friend that
The Levellers will be giving a concert in Nijmegen
as well,
in March. Yay!

The powermanager we wrote for the Edgy Eft release cycle of Kubuntu has made quite some
progress in
the Feisty Fawn release cycle. Simon kindly added some code to query the XScreensaver
extension
for the amount of seconds the system is idle, and I quickly added code to make use of that.
Powermanager now supports suspending the machine after it has not been touched for a
while.
Luka has added support for changing CPU frequencies based on if the machine is connected to
AC or not,
which is another nice feature that should help to gain some more minutes of battery life.
(This stuff
is not enabled in the screenshot, since I’m running Edgy and Edgy’s HAL does not support
cpufreq.)
During the last Ubuntu developer summit, Ken and Nuno have been working on some nicer icons
which also
give more fine-grained information about the battery state.
Finally, and most boring, we fixed numerous bugs so powermanager is as stable as never
before. We did not,
however try to work around all glitches of various machines HAL reports. This kind of stuff
needs to
be fixed in HAL. Instead, we encouraged people to report those bugs upstream.
Whether or not the screen should be locked after resuming is now configurable, too.
With all those changes in, we managed to keep everything compatible with the existing
configuration
files to make the upgrade process to Feisty as smooth as possible. Also, it should be
relatively easy
to get powermanager running on any other distro, there is nothing distro-specific in it,
having HAL
installed should be sufficient.

There is some stuff in powermanager that makes it more flexible. Partly, it’s debugging
functionality,
but it can also be very useful for various other purposes. At the top of the file
powermanage.py, you
can find the variables SUSPEND_USE_HAL, S4_COMMAND and S3_COMMAND. Set SUSPEND_USE_HAL to
False, then
whenever powermanager initiates a suspend/S3 (or hibernate/S4) cycle, those commands will be
run.
Useful for suspend2 users, who use the hibernate script by Bernard Blackham and who did not
integrate
it into HAL. (The latter can be done by hacking the scripts in /usr/share/hal/scripts/.)

Next, if you are not happy with some default values, powermanager uses, here’s what to do.
(We did
not make everything configurable, but used those const values at the top of powermanage.py
whereever
we had to find some ‘sane default’ for a setting. Most notably, you can set the default
value for
the ‘Suspend when battery life is less than N minutes’, use BATTERY_CRITICAL_MINUTES in that
case
(and set it to the amount of minutes you wish).

Rock.

Today, I bought tickets for a Pearl Jam concert which will be held 200m (yes,
that’s meters!) from
my house this summer. Adriaan
managed to shock me with a “Well, good luck, you’ll
be in Scotland then!”
, but a quick check revealed that
aKademy2007
will only start two days later.
That said, I’m really excited that I’ll get to see Pearl Jam again, and that within a five
minutes walk. I wonder how many people can say that one of their favourite rock bands
are visiting their backyard. :-) Browsing pearljam.com, I
noticed that
they are selling live recordings from various concerts. +1: No DRM stuff; FLAC and MP3
offered and platform independant download application. They even mention Free Software in
their FAQ. Good to see that things can be done different than the Sonys of this world
want us to believe.
More music-related, tomorrow, our new hifi set will be delivered. We (that’s me and Kim)
had chosen it
3 weeks ago, listening to different combinations of amplifiers, cd players and speakers.
The winner is an amplifier and a CD player by Arcam, a british brand and speakers by
Dynaudio (danish apparently). I’m counting the number of nights I’ve got to sleep until
the new toys arrive for some time already. Childhood rocks. :-)

At the same time all this exciting stuff lightens up my private life, it seems that the
call for dot journalists really has had
some great effect. On The Dot There’s a couple of weekly
series running about new stuff in KDE4, among which DannyA’s ever so famous
commit-digest. Be sure to
check it out. Join kde-promo
if you want to help out (there’s also jobs
for PHP coders, drupal gurus and web-people in general).

I gathered that my blog is now also aggregated on
planet.ubuntu
, so hi there!

Now playing: Madrugada, Industrial Silence

Talks.

I’m under way right now returning from Eindhoven where I gave a talk with the
title “Business
Models with KDE”
. The audience was business
club
of Free Software-related IT firms. System integrators, web application
shops, embedded system developers among them.
In the talk I tried to present KDE in a business-compatible way, showing what
KDE is, telling about the organisation of our community, ways to support it and of
course licensing. I’ve also taken a couple of different business models that are
viable in the Free Software world and showed how those can be combined with
KDE.

The feedback was pretty positive, some people were a bit surprised to see
someone coming directly from the Free Software community, visiting them and
telling them how to make money, and that there are Free Software projects around
that think about organisational issues and how to make it easier for companies
to contribute.
One of the more interesting questions I’ve got was “How do you as a desktop
person see webservices becoming more and more important?” Well, obviously we
have the technology to exploit webservices — Konqueror / KHTML. But we can of
course offer more. Integration of webservices in the desktop seems to be a big
point, and things such as Get Hot New Stuff, information of Wikipedia in
applications, KHTML as a desktop component for easy reuse can be quite a big
point. But also, of course locking down the desktop by means of Kiosk — if you
have webservices, you can switch off a lot of other stuff.

Yesterday was quite a bit different. I was invited by a group of Computer
Science teachers with the CodeYard hat on, introducing them to concepts of Free
Software development, collaboration tools and peer-to-peer communication
models.

Saturday, we’ll have the CodeYard Community Day
Adriaan already blogged about.

But tomorrow, I’ll get to know my nephew. I’m uncle for a week and a half now!