Who is Randa for?

The Randa sprint starts on September 21st. The fundraising drive has just a few days remaining. Randa is important to the KDE Community, which includes everyone who contributes, participates, supports and, most importantly, uses KDE software. Two key KDE developers—Aaron Seigo and Martin Gräßlin—have shared insights about Randa.

The value that KDE software delivers to millions of desktops all over the world is mind-boggling; made more so because the cost to users is zero. This is possible because the KDE Community thrives by giving, not taking. It is the epitome of Free and Open Source software. Many people donating small amounts will make a big difference. As part of the KDE Community, would you please consider donating?

A few days ago, there was a Dot story about twin brothers from Greece who will be part of Randa for the first time. In that story, Giorgos wrote about what Randa means for him personally and mentioned being inspired by his brother to be part of KDE. Below is what Antonis wrote about Randa.


When I got to college to study computer science, I knew that there was another operating system called "Linux", but I never had the time to use it. Later I decided to check it out. Like other new Linux users, it was cool because it made my PC faster. I experimented with different distros. Some had GNOME as default and others had KDE. I liked KDE better.

The best part of KDE for me was that there were new features in every new version. And that made me very happy because I always had the chance to learn new things. Also the User Interface of the KDE was amazing to me. Which is important for a new Linux user. So I decided to contribute to the KDE project.

My first contributions were to KMail. My first patch was added to KMail around January of 2011. I got my commit account in the summer of 2011. A few months later, my brother, Giorgos, decided to start contributing to KDE.

Right now I am working on Plasmate, the Plasma SDK. My GSoC [Google Summer of Code] project this year was to add KWin support to Plasmate.

I am going to Randa because I want to work with Giorgos and the rest of the Plasma team to release Plasmate version 1 in November. I also want to work on libplasma2, the "heart" and future of the Plasma Workspaces.

KDE and free software are important to me because they make it possible to do valuable work with other people. Learning new things every day is more than awesome for me. When my brother started to contribute on KDE, I was very excited by the fact that I could code together with somebody else. And that became even cooler when some people from the Plasma team assigned me some tasks. I enjoy being able to improve existing software that will have many users. That keeps me motivated to contribute to KDE.

I am very happy by seeing every day emails from new people who want to start to contribute on KDE software. In addition to the fact that the new people come with new ideas, which of course is important, the number of the new contributors increasing every day means that KDE is a healthy project.

I don't feel that I am interrupting my life to do Randa. KDE is something like a FOSS family for me. At Randa, all those people that I am working together with every day online over IRC, they will come to life. That is more that enough for me. Also when you are involved in an Open Source project, you have responsibilities. I cannot ignore those responsibilities...so I’m just like the people who contributed before me. I think that Randa is very important. Because without it, we wouldn't have the cool software that we have now.

The Randa meetings are very important because they give developers the ability to work together to make KDE better. That has the most impact for the users, because what we make in Randa will appear in the next version(s) of the KDE. As a user, (developers are also users), I am very excited by the fact that some developers have the chance to work together. Because when a lot of people come together into one place, they are able to find new ideas. And new ideas means new features. Which is very important, because adding new features to the KDE means that new features can bring new people to the KDE. New ideas also often mean new ways to improve. So users win in many ways.

KDE is one of the most innovative projects. The KDE Desktop environment has a full range of applications like Kontact PIM (mail, addressbook, calendar, notes, todos), Calligra office suite, Plasma Workspaces, and much more. In addition, KDE has spread into the mobile world. With applications such as Plasma Active, Calligra Active and Kontact Touch. Which is very important because it shows that KDE community projects can be used on tablets, mobile phones and other touch devices.

You Can Make a Difference

KDE is one of the leading Free Software projects in the world, thanks in large part to skilled, committed developers like Antonis and the others who will be in Randa. For 7 intense days starting on September 21st, KDE software developers will be working to benefit all KDE users. You can make a difference by contributing financially. The Randa fundraising effort has already generated almost € 7,000; the goal of € 10,000 is easily within reach. There are 5 days remaining to raise money for the Randa sprints. Please donate if you can. Share the responsibility, and the satisfaction of giving.

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by BrianS (not verified)

I still don't know what Randa is.

The first paragraph of this story has several links to more information. Randa is explained at the link with the text "Randa is important to the KDE Community". The other links there provide different perspectives on the importance of the Randa meetings to the entire KDE Community...especially users.

by Teunis (not verified)

Randa is a small town in Switzerland where KDE developers get together. As you can imagine, these people live all over the world developing the various parts that make up KDE software, and they typically communicate via IRC and email. Here they have the chance to be in one room, which speeds up development and breeds new ideas.