During FISL 8.0 I caught up with PostgreSQL contributor Josh Berkus who was there to present on PostgreSQL and meet up with the local PostgreSQL community. Josh is a member of the PostgreSQL core team and works at Sun Microsystems as part of their open source database team. Over lunch, Josh shared how KDE plays an important role in the release coordination process which Josh oversees.
Josh explained, "We create a press kit for every PostgreSQL release that is sent out to 600-700 people by email in up to 11 different languages. The translation is done by our translation community which is made up of teams of 1-4 people per language."
How does KDE factor into this process? Josh continued, "Two of my essential tools in this process are KMail and Kate. The reason being that the way some of the translators handle translations is that I put the materials in CVS and some of the translators translate the press release and the web version of the press kit and check it directly into CVS. But not all translators are comfortable with CVS and instead they email their work in to me."
He went on to explain how KMail's excellent internationalization support allows him receive mail with attatchements in multiple languages and encodings without altering or otherwise destroying the contents. Josh noted that he had tried other popular and common mail tools and didn't have nearly the same level of success.
Once he has the documents saved to disk, Josh continued, "Kate allows me to open multiple copies of the press release materials simultaneously in different editor buffers while handling them all perfectly, even when they are each in a different encoding. EMACS was painful in this regard."
According to Josh, having to use other programs such as Open Office or Thunderbird would result in him and the PostgreSQL release team losing significant amounts of valuable time and effort, slowing down their release process. Of course, Kate and KMail are just two of the tools that help Josh and his teammates with a smooth PostgreSQL release process. As Josh noted, "Quality open source tools are key to PostgreSQL development, and KDE is among those tools."
Free and Open Source projects aiding the development and support of each other in this way is a marvelous example of the rich ecosystem that has arisen. Due to the efforts and commitment of those involved in projects such as PostgreSQL and KDE, Open Source projects are able to enjoy a more productive development process resulting in more frequent and impressive releases. The KDE project is happy to be able to participate both as a contributor and benefactor in this technology community.