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The KDE Project - A project of the community, by the community, for the community. - w00t? /me on LJ??!? :O
September 19th, 2012
10:15 pm


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The KDE Project - A project of the community, by the community, for the community.
Many years, yes years have passed since I last wrote on this space. Life took a small wrong turn when I stopped writing and never got back to it. Since then, life took many many good turns but still I never got back to writing. Today, on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi it seemed like it was a good day to be get back to something I really like to do.

In last three years, I haven't been involved in much code contribution to the KDE project but I did my little bit with community work. Went to many colleges and various events to speak about Qt and KDE development. Organised conf.kde.in, the first Indian KDE ( and Qt ) conference in Bangalore in March 2011. Moved to a new city (Pune). Started writing code in a different language(s). Got elected as a KDE e.V. Board of Director. Each has a different story and maybe will have a blog post of it's own. This post is about another story, far more important than the above stories.

The story of KDE project. A project that was born out of a wonderful vision of a student back in 1996. This baby grew up in a one of the most successful and mature Open Source projects in history. With a history longer than decade and half, this teenager project created, innovated, lead from the front and succeeded in spite of all odds.

The KDE culture is manifold. It is about being beautiful. It is about being thrilling. It is about having fun. It is about being friendly. It is about innovation. It is about hacking and push the limits. Our culture is best experienced when you are at one of the community conferences (Akademy) meetings or sprints. Sprints are an important part of our proud KDE culture. At any given time, we have more than one sprint lined up. Contributors and collaborators come up with ideas and projects to work on at these sprints and get things done.

One of our most successful sprint is the Randa Meeting. You have probably read all about it and they have said it much better than I can ever say in this life or the next (if there is one). But I will try. Randa meeting is about getting a bunch of KDE contributors ( developers, artists, bug squad members and anyone who wishes to contribute at one place. One. Beautiful. Place. These contributors come together and work on their ideas forgetting pretty much all other worries of life. They don't have to go looking for food, water, beer or orange juice (if you prefer ). Every thing is taken care of by our own KDE hero, Mario Fux and his awesome family/team.

Imagine this! You are surrounded by snow capped mountains, beautiful greenery, lovely village and streams. And Internet! All you have to do is brain storm your pet idea, hack on your pet project, collaborate with your project members. No need to worry about somebody knocking on the door or pesky neighbour (in case you have one) bothering you for some mundane thing. No need to worry about cooking your meal or wondering if your favourite takeout place is still open late at night. No hostel roommate to tell you to turn off the light because you are hacking late in the night. Bliss! Heaven! Exactly, that is what happens at Randa Meetings!

This year at Randa Meeting, 35 contributors from Accessibility, Education, Plasma Workspaces, Multimedia and Amarok teams will come together under one roof to take their projects to new awesomeness! All this effort by the contributors, by Mario and his awesome team is make KDE software more awesome, more user friendly, less buggy, add more helpful features and applications so that our users get to experience a quality product. Why? Because we care! We care about our users, our community at large!

An obvious consequence of such all important regular sprints is that we have to find a way to fund them. We have been luck to have sponsors, generous patrons and awesome supporting members to have donated cash and kind to our cause. But with rising costs and sprints becoming larger and more in number, we need new ways to sustain. Mario and others came up with a pledgie fund drive to support Randa Meeting 2012 to raise 10,000 Euros. The fund raiser ends two days from now, on 21st September 2012. We are still short by little over 2,000 Euros.

I believe in Randa Meeting! I believe in KDE contributors! I believe in KDE! I believe in Free and Open Source Software. I made a little donation ( as much as I could with my limited means ). Now it is *your* turn.

Please donate if you can! You can make a difference. Every donation counts. Help us make KDE more awesome! Thank you! You rock!

Click here to lend your support to: KDE Randa Meetings and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

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(5 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:September 20th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)

Too much is too much

I understand that a meeting like Randa is very important for devs to communicate and can have a strong impact on the new features and bug fixes.

That said since the 14th of August, I can see 24 news somehow related to the Randa pledgie on planet.
24 news in 5 weeks... thats about 5 news a week.

I guess that the people that could and wanted to give all got the message and gave, spamming planet for the pledgie could be more counter productive than anything.

If the pledgie don't work, just admit it is a failure and think to a better marketing for next year or a cheaper way to make it happen.
[User Picture]
Date:September 20th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)

Re: Too much is too much

Well, this was our first attempt at Pledgie! We are very close to 80% of our goal. I see it as a "limited success" and not "failure". Obviously, there is always scope for improvement!

You could start helping us for future and tell us how to do it better and make it a huge success next time. We are listening.
[User Picture]
From:Jos Poortvliet
Date:September 20th, 2012 09:15 am (UTC)

Re: Too much is too much

Think about it. KDE has millions of users. Somehow, we only managed to reach so few that only about 200 or so bothered to support us with a few bucks.

That means we failed, indeed. We should've reached 100K, not 10K, imho!

The reason is of course that those millions of users have no CLUE that KDE was trying to reach them - our planet reaches only a very small subset of our users, you're right in that regard. But many of the folks on our planet are also on other blog rolls, that's why their blogs are helpful - they DO reach others, like the openSUSE planet (Sebas, Cornelius) or Planet Ubuntu (why did nobody blog to get on there? tsss)

And we also very much rely on other people, like you, to multiply, spread our message! You have family members using KDE? Friends? Why not ask them to help... They get all this for free but it's not free to develop!
Date:September 20th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC)


I would donate to a KDE quality/testing sprint. Because that is the only field I really do care about, making KDE rock solid and reliable again. KDE 4.9 clearly demonstrates progress in this respect. I don't really need fancy new features.
[User Picture]
Date:September 20th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)

Re: Quality

Agreed and thanks for wonderful suggestion! FWIW, There is an initiative called Extra Mile - http://community.kde.org/Getinvolved/Extra_Mile . Which is basically about improving Quality of KDE projects. Some members of that Quality group are going to be a part of Randa Meetings!
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