The KDE PIM spring sprint was held in Toulouse, France in March this year in Makina Corpus offices.
The sprint was very important, because the team needed to decide how to continue from the current situation. At the previous sprint in Munich in November when Christian Mollekopf and Aaron Seigo introduced their new concept for the next version of Akonadi it was decided to refocus all the efforts on working on that, which meant switching to maintenance mode of the Kontact Suite for a very long time and then coming back with a "big boom". In Toulouse this plan was re-evaluated and decided that it is not working for the team and that it will be much better for the project as well as the users if they continue active development of Kontact Suite instead of focusing exclusively on the “next big thing” and take the one-step-at-the-time approach.
The result was that the team re-focused on releasing the Frameworks 5 based Kontact Suite in August as part of KDE Applications 15.08. After that they will be fixing bugs and further stabilizing by improving the current code and adding new features as normal. At the same time they will be preparing the code base for migration to the new major version with the Akonadi 2 backend. So instead of one “big boom” of Akonadi, which Christian will be working on in the meantime, this approach ensures that when they finally do the switch when the code base is ready for it. With that approach the disruption to user experience will be minimal, while allowing for active development of the project. In other words a WIN-WIN-WIN situation for users, devs and the KDE PIM project.
Season of KDE is a community outreach program, much like Google Summer of Code that has been hosted by the KDE community for seven years.
It is meant for people who could not get into Google Summer of Code for various reasons, or people who simply prefer a differently structured, somewhat less constrained program. Season of KDE is managed by the same team of admins and mentors that takes care of Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in matters for KDE, with the same level of quality and care.
Season of KDE 2015 is now open for applications. To apply head to season.kde.org register as a student and click "Submit a proposal".
KDE, through its legal body KDE e.V., is one of the launch partners and initial signatories of the User Data Manifesto 2.0. The User Data Manifesto defines basic rights for people to control their own data in the internet age:
Control over user data access
Knowledge of how the data is stored
Freedom to choose a platform
KDE e.V. President Lydia Pintscher explains "I believe that in today’s world where more and more of our daily life depends on technology it is crucial that people have control over that technology. You should be empowered to know what your technology does and you should be empowered to influence it. This is at the core of Free Software. Unfortunately it is not at the core of most of the technology people interact with every day – quite the opposite – walled gardens and locks wherever you look with few exceptions.
"KDE is working hard to provide you with technology that you control every single day so you are empowered and the one ultimately in charge of your technology, data and life – the basis for freedom for many today. This is written down in the first sentence of our manifesto: “We are a community of technologists, designers, writers and advocates who work to ensure freedom for all people through our software.”
"Do you want to join us in providing more people with more access to Free technology? Today is a good day!
KDE software has been used in many large scale deployments, including universities, governments and countless companies.
One of these organizations suggested that KDE create a deployment forum so that others can benefit from their deployment experience. The forum would provide an opportunity for sysadmins and developers to ask questions and discuss problems/solutions related to deploying KDE software in large, complex environments.
All administrators of any deployments planned or in progress are invited to join this list to share and field questions. KDE developers and people maintaining Linux distributions with KDE software will also participate.
The Randa Meetings are happening now in the Swiss Alps. More than 50 people are giving their time to improve KDE software and innovate new value for users. The theme of this sixth edition of the Randa Meetings is Bring Touch to KDE, and the KDE Visual Design Group (VDG) is making their contributions to the look and feel of KDE technology. Visual appearance has been a primary consideration for KDE from the beginning—"users [should be able to] expect things to look, feel, and work consistently".
To wrap up the KDE Incubator success stories, here's a bit from the Kdenlive folks.
Kdenlive, one of the rare free-as-in-speech video editors, started its life more than 12 years ago using KDE3 libraries. At that time, it was mostly the effort of a single person—coding, fixing bugs, publishing releases, managing the website. There was no real connection with the KDE Community. Good contributions came in from other people, but no team was built, a risky situation. In 2013, the main developer, Jean-Baptiste Mardelle, was not able to work on the project, so it was on hold for several months and had some technical problems. We tracked him down like a "Giant Spy" to get the project running until his return! That taught us a lesson. When Mario Fux presented the KDE Manifesto, it was the exact answer to our problem.