Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting more people involved

cc-by Frank Karlitschek

Akademy is over since a week or so. (Damn, time is running so fast...). After a little trouble with some personal belongings (car broke down, fridge malfunctioning, water boiler defect and at last the death of my laptop screen) I finally could go after some ideas born during Akademy.

On Akademy tuesday we had some community related BoFs. The following summary was made by Diederik (of KMess fame) and me.

One of the main question was, how we could get more people involved in KDE. The "get involved"-pages already give a good overview about the possibilities to contribute. Although we thought that this site could be improved.

Camila did a short survey why the attendees were contributing and how that begun.

Reasons for participating:
The main three reasons were:
  • "Friends invited me to do something for free software."
  • "I feel accepted. / The members of the KDE community were open."
  • "It was not hard to start. (There were no imposed barriers.)"
In the following discussion barriers to enter were summarized.

Why are people not contributing?
  • They were afraid. (See talk from KDE women).
  • They don't know that they could contribute.
  • They didn't know how / where to start.
  • The steps to take for a new contributor were too big (e.g. the advice: "Fix umbrello") and scare them.
In our community we have potentially great contributors, who could use just a little assistance in the right direction. Getting these people aboard could really help us reach new levels.

We decided to enrich that page and to add some emotions and some "selling" points for new members. Working in our community is not only work but gives you something back.

Selling points.

For example, we show people behind the movement, enthusiastic people, learning and working together and having fun! Together with Neja and Ivan we drafted some text and collected pictures.

If you have any ideas or nice photos, expressing the fascination, passion and fun we all experience in KDE, please let us know in the comments section.

Stay tuned to see the final result.

Monday, August 9, 2010

KDE Software on Windows

Why do I need KDE Software on Windows? Use Linux instead! That's much better anyway.
Yeah, that's right. But there are situations where that strategy does not work.

I am sitting in the office and are still fascinated by RKWard (as I blogged before). So I kindly asked our IT guys to give me an old notebook to install Linux onto it. And because they are great colleagues they gave me one. (Yes, I come to the point soon.)
So I started to download openSUSE 11.3. But the network connection was so poor that after an hour or more the download was aborted and I had to start from the begin. If I only had a nice torrent client. (Now I come to the point.) ktorrent!
(Yes, there are other programs as well but perhaps I was searching for a reason.)

That was my chance to give KDE on Windows a try.
After downloading the installer ( I clicked through the wizard until I came to the packages. What packages do I need? And where is ktorrent? I installed the network pack. The installation went well but it took a while.
No. tkorrent :-(
Hey, but there is KGet. This one can handle torrent files, too. After adding the kdebase-apps (konq.dll was needed) I could download the openSUSE iso.

Resumée: The installer is easy to use and works very well. The packages are not really small and it was not totally clear for me, which packages I had to install to get my favorite apps on windows. All in all it works and is easy to use. Kudos to all KDE on Windows dudes. You did an amazing job!

It is so good to have gwenview, konversation and at least some of my other favorite KDE apps around.

Friday, August 6, 2010

RKWard is amazing!

I had the pleasure to meet Aleix Pol and Stu Jarvis at Akademy. They guided me the way to KDE EDU and scientific apps for KDE.

Weeks later I am sitting in my office doing some statistics. The funny thing is, that your brain sometimes is useful and I remembered an app called rkwrd or something.

My friend google told me that it is called RKWard and that it is not a KDE Application. It is an application based on kdelibs (it I see that right).

At home I fired up my kBook and installed the packages for r and RKWard. After a quick look into some of the nice tutorials I could do my first analysis and the linear regression I wanted to do. Brilliant. What a fantastic application. And I had such a hard time during my studies calculating statics by hand.

The other advantage is that I am reminded that I wanted to invest more time for the promotion of KDE EDU (inculding scientific applications). Why has a day only 24h?