Last weekend — it seems like yesterday and like a year ago at the same time — the KOffice team came to Berlin for the first post 2.0 sprint. Graciously hosted by KDAB and smoothly organized by Alexandra Leisse, this sprint was one of the most productive sprints ever for KOffice. Not only because there were many developers attending, among them three out of four of our KOffice Summer of Code students, but also because everyone was filled to the brim with joy and relief about having release 2.0 and eager to forge forwards to 2.1.
We had chosen a slightly different setup from our other sprints, with presentations and discussions on Saturday, followed by BoF sessions on Sunday. There were a couple of themes.
The first was collaborative editing, which is really hot now with Google Wave riding the hype cycle — Pierre Stirnweiss gave a presentation on this topic that was characterized by an almost academic depth and a huge stack of printed research papers. He argued that ODF's change tracking definition is definitely lacking a lot of important features, so that is something we will try to work on within the ODF standards committee.
Boudewijn presented his work on reorganizing the KOffice libraries. We had intended 2.0 to be a stable platform to develop against, but some projects, like Cyrille Berger's Braindump, need more flexibility than we can currently offer. This means that we will, in all probability, be able to offer libraries for low-level ODF handling, text handling and color management that can be used outside KOffice applications.
Then KOfficeSource GmbH introduced their first full-time employee: Jos van den Oever. KOffice being a trademark of KDE e.V., the name the KOfficeSource team had originally selected, had to be changed, and they unveiled the new name, KO GmbH today. This name obliquely refers to the common prefix of the KOffice library class, so it's not totally unconnected either.
Originally we had feared we had so much work to do that we'd only have dinner by midnight on Saturday, but after deciding to try to have the next sprint in Oslo in October or November, more or less concurrent with the release of KOffice 2.1, we went out to one of our favourite Kreuzberg haunts for a really nice dinner, sponsored again by KDAB.
Sunday was for hacking, and your correspondent must admit that he was totally absorbed by the Krita BoF and hasn't got a clue what the other people had been talking about: we had four Krita hackers sitting on the comfortable KDAB couches and we got through an amazing number of issues, chief of which were ways in which we can improve Krita's performance.
Sprints like these are important in so many ways: it introduces new hackers to our community, it's a way of getting work done and decisions made, it offers a chance to get to know the other people's areas of expertise. Thanks again to KDAB for hosting and feeding us, to the KDE e.V. for paying for travel and lodging, to Alexandra for herding the cats and also to Cyrille Berger, for having been the release dude for countless alpha's, beta's, rc's and the 2.0 release.