After the star studded talks of the main event day, the final day of the KDE 4.0 Release Event returned to the un-conference format of small group talks, demos and discussions. KDE Dot News listened in to some of the sessions, read on for brief summaries.
Benjamin Reed (RangerRick) started the day with a Q&A session on the Mac port of KDE. The Mac builds of KDE are available and work reasonably but there are a number of issues to be sorted yet as well as some bugs that have appeared with Qt using the latest version of OS X so it is not recommended for everyday use. Some unresolved issues include the duplication of Strigi against Apple's Spotlight and lack of a Solid backend. Benjamin hopes to have stable builds available for KDE 4.1.
Later in the day Holger Schröder demonstrated KDE on Windows. Currently the underlying libraries are not stable enough for everyday use and as with the Mac port, the Windows team expect to have a stable release along with KDE 4.1.
A session was held with the plan to turn this event into an annual conference of KDE in the Americas. Locations being looked at include Mexico and Jamaica. Following the success of this event, there seems to be a good level of confidence that KDE could support a second annual large conference.
Jason Harris demonstrated KStars, the professional quality astronomy application. Jason uses it in his job as an astronomer to map his way around the milky-way from his university's telescope in Chile. KStars has this week proved itself as an excellent demonstration app, in a few movements it is possible to show complex physics in a way understandable to all.
KNetworkManager is currently undergoing some re-development with ports needed to both KDE 4 and the work-in-development NetworkManager 0.7. A session was held on the usability of the application since there will soon be many more network options supported than currently and the existing user interface will not scale. A design was mapped out which should be able to make sense of the new functionality.
The technical preview of Amarok 2 was demonstrated to excited masses. The user interface has been entirely redesigned from the stable release with context view set centre screen and the playlist turned from a grid layout to a more space efficient custom list with album headers. When asked how the demo went, developer Leo Franchi said, "the audience was wowed into submission by Amarok's coolness".
Alexander from OpenOffice talked about some of the possibilities of OpenDocument including dedicated C libraries to process the format which could be shared between apps. KOffice developers discussed plans for an OpenDocument API in kdelibs to make use of the format available throughout KDE.
At the KPilot BoF, developers Adriaan de Groot (being afraid to touch code at his advanced years) and Jason Kasper started discussing the architecture and integration layers between kernel, USB and underlying libraries. They attracted the attention of two likely new developers in the progress.
A developer from the VLC (VideoLan) project gave us their experience of porting their cross-platform video application to Qt. They are considering making a Phonon backend of VLC which would allow for using the same multimedia framework on all platforms.
There were also big name visitors from the Linux community including Andrew Morton and developers with NVidia and AMD, as well as many from within our hosts, Google. This event has not only been a successful celebration of the start of our KDE 4 series, it has also been an excellent opportunity to meet and talk with a section of our community who have been unable to get to our European conferences. Many thanks to Franz, Jeff, Troy, Wade, and the other organisers.