KDE 2008 fly-by.

The beginning of this year in KDE was marked with the tagging and release of
KDE 4.0, followed up by the release event in Mountain View. KDE 4.0 has marked for the KDE community a stable base to build a kick-ass desktop and applications on. Over the past year, we see this effort paying off. Applications such as Dolphin, Gwenview and Okular are mature tools, powerful and userfriendly at the same time, speaking for the KDE4. With KDEnlive and Amarok 2.0 as their first KDE4 version, we see the more complex applications coming up. On the workspace side, new UI technology has matured, KWin’s compositing and Plasma give you a very smooth ride as well.

The development platform is paying off, it proves to be a very extensible and future-proof platform, more and more applications are becoming available on Windows and Mac, KDE on OpenSolaris is getting closer to inclusion in the distribution, and we’ve seen KDE already available on FreeBSD. New applications written in Python have entered KDE, and scripting support for many applications is becoming available as well, in the form of services in Amarok and scripted Plasmoids for example.

The development platform appeals to be very attractive to new developers as well. At the end of 2008, we’ll have welcomed 300 new developers in the project. The current activity in terms of commits to the KDE’s SVN, the ongoing bug frenzy and general polishing of KDE4 desktop and apps is amazing.

On the organisational side, this growth in the KDE community and the increased attention from both users and the wider Free Software community, has been balanced out by the launch of the KDE Forum and UserBase to improve communication across a wider community. The formation of the Community Working Group has worked out very well and has come far in smoothening out how we work together. The wide acceptance of the Code of Conduct is another successful chapter in improving the collaboration.

The opening of the KDE e.V. office in Frankfurt and employment of Claudia has been an important step, and are leading to a smoother functioning organisation in many ways. In 2008, many developer meetings have been supported both financially and organisationally and two larger conferences have been held in Mountain View and Mechelen, which scored the record number of attendees.

So what’s up next year? Personally, I’m hoping, actually being confident that in 2009 we see the rise of new technologies such as Akonadi, Decibel, integrated desktop search and the semantic desktop. I’m looking forward to seeing KOffice2 becoming available and maturing. Higher level concepts such as the Social Desktop will start to be integrated, and a wide variety of new and existing applications will make their way onto everyone’s desktops and mobile devices.
More imminent, there will be the second KDE conference in the Americas on Jamaica in January, and a smashing Akademy during the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit in July.

It’s been a smashing year, and we’re not even done yet.