KDE at FISL 2016

The 17th edition of the International Free Software Forum (FISL) took place, as usual, at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul's Convention Center, city of Porto Alegre, from 13th to 16th July. FISL is the largest FOSS conference in Latin America and a quite traditional venue to get a comprehensive panorama of all sorts of FOSS-related new topics: technical advances, adoption cases, FOSS and education, hacker culture, just to mention a few.

This year, FISL started an effort which aims at strengthening the respect for diversity in FOSS communities. Many activities were led by and/or had the participation of minority groups, emphasizing the need for respect and diversity regarding gender identity, special needs, sexual orientation, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic status.

Another novelty in FISL 2016 was the micro-conferences: whole day meetings devoted to specific FOSS communities. Five communities held their micro-conferences at FISL 2016: PyLadies Brazil, Drupal, Mozilla Brazil, PostgreSQL, and ‒ of course ‒ KDE. The KDE micro-conference was named Engrenagem ('gear' in Portuguese) and was a nice way to enhance KDE visibility through a set of talks presented by our special guest and by Brazilian KDE contributors. This year we had the pleasure of having David Edmundson opening our micro-conference with his talk: Plasma 5 ‒ Infinity and Beyond.

David Edmundson at FISL 2016

Our micro-conference continued with Aracele's talk, entitled "20 Years of KDE: from Desktop to FOSS Umbrella". Aracele presented how KDE emerged in the GNU/FOSS panorama in the early nineties and provided a nice overview of the many changes our community has undergone over the many years of its existence. Then, Fernando Teles talked about his experience as a student of Season of KDE, working on Cantor. He highlighted the importance of such a mentoring program and gave some tips on how to succeed in a first-time FOSS contribution experience. Henrique Sant'Anna presented a quite rich talk about all the versatility and power provided by KDE Plasma 5. Adapting Plasma to many users' workflows and using some not common features were some of the highlights of his talk.

Ícaro Jerry talked about the first steps and the many opportunities for contribution in KDE. Illustrated by his own story, he presented the main obstacles and tips to overcome the usual initial barriers faced by newcomers in FOSS communities. In the talk "Stubbornness, Campus Party and KDE", Lays Rodrigues talked about her journey (and perseverance) into FOSS communities and KDE in particular. A different perspective about contributing to FOSS communities was presented by Rafael Gomes, in his talk "Contributing as a Sysadmin in KDE". He presented the particularities of working in this area and the current main demands in KDE. Ícaro Jerry was again on the stage to present an overview talk about KDE-Edu, where practical cases for some educational applications were presented. Our micro-conference finished with two talks presented by Sandro Andrade. The first one was about Minuet ‒ the KDE-Edu software for music education, where he presented the motivations, technical aspects and roadmap for this applications. Then, he concluded with a talk about mobile applications development with Qt, where the main features for developing Android and iOS applications with Qt were demonstrated.

As last year, we had a nice booth at FISL, amazingly decorated with all the bells and whistles KDE deserves to celebrate its 20 years of existence. This year, we had a considerably higher number of people coming to talk to us about KDE in our booth. Some of them had done some port of an old KDE game to JavaScript, while others were interested in knowing more about mobile development and KDE contribution in general. We hope that this somehow turns into more contributors joining KDE in the next months.

KDE booth at FISL 2016

On Friday evening, we had an amazing commemorative cake and a lively 20 years party at our booth. KDE turns 20 at 14th October 2016, but we couldn't fail to celebrate such an important achievement at FISL. As when sharing knowledge :), people rapidly lined up for taking their piece of cake and enjoyed our celebration.

Commemorative cake for the 20th anniversary of KDE

Check the full set of KDE at FISL 2016 photos.

See you at FISL 2017!