Archive for July, 2009

The Buck starts here

July 18, 2009

I started a full time job with KDAB almost three weeks ago. I meant to post a blog about it before that, but I’ve been very busy.

There’s a tradition in KDAB- Actually there are many traditions in KDAB. One of them is that the first thing you get when you start the job is your plane ticket. I was sent back to Dublin immediately, which was convenient as I had some loose ends to tie up there.

Unlike sebas, I didn’t have someone living where I pay half of the rent, so I decided to move from Dublin to Berlin to start the job in the office. Most KDABians work from home, so that actually broke one of the traditions of KDAB. Now I work in an office with Till, Volker, Frank, Mirko and Marc Mutz, with Sebastian Sauer and other talented people in the other room, so I expect I’ll be working hard and doing a lot of peer-learning.

In between eating icecream and being schooled at the foosball table, I’ll be spending my time on Akonadi and other KDEPIM stuff for the next few months (including rich text processing). I have been reading the KJots bugs coming in, and I do intend to solve many of them with the 4.4 release in the Akonadi and Grantlee based rewrite of the application which is underway. One blocker to that for me is support for the concept of moving entities in Akonadi. I’ll be kicking Volker under the table about that in the next few weeks anyway.

On the blogging front, I’m going to try to get retrospective about the road to KDE Developer. Like several others before me, I planned to document the things I learned along the way and the experiences I had getting help from others. I didn’t do it at the time, but now I’m going to dig into the email archives and memories to write about how I got into KDE development from mid-2007 (And how you can too). I have a few more technical blogs to write before that though.

My First Akademy

July 10, 2009

My first Akademy was actually in Dublin in 2006. I only attended for a few hours because it was local, and I didn’t really understand anything at the talks I went to. I’d only been using a Free OS for a couple of months at the time. I didn’t quite escape the camera though.

This year I’ve had a more typical experience though I think. The keynotes were entertaining and informative in their own ways, and the talks I attended on the weekend were great too. I was particularly impressed to see Nepomuk getting more adoption from gTechnologies and particularly identifying where it doesn’t fit their needs and filling the gap. There were a bunch of talks involving Akonadi, and Thomas McGuire was very impressive with his talk about the road to KMail with Akonadi.

I got a chance to talk with Laura Dragan and she demoed SemNotes for me. SemNotes is a note taking application which makes use of Nepomuk and all that it makes possible from a ‘relating things to other things’ point of view. We have several Notes applications now in KDE, and there was some mention about merging the data stores of them (using Akonadi of course), so that if a note is edited in SemNotes, it would be updated in KNotes too (and plasma notes, and KJots, and …). That would require agreement on what each of those apps need, but it will make for a nice ideal.

I also got to meet up with Edulix, who is doing a Summer of Code project to make bookmarks available though Akonadi with Nepomuk support for tagging etc. I gave him some of my thoughts on interface elements, and finally got started on a related project which could turn into something amazing which I’ll be blogging about separately later.

I delivered my own talk on the Grantlee system on Monday. It was reasonably well received, and I can only remember one time I tripped myself up during the talk. I’m not an experienced public speaker. The slides are here, and the video will be available eventually. The part that most people found interesting is the Akonadi integration. I’ll post more about that later anyway too.

One of the nice things about the co-located conference was that I got to meet some Gnomes on the bus around the city, including one of the Tracker guys. We talked a bit about similar goals and vision, and it seems that both projects recognise the some of the same issues, and want to solve them. The great thing is that Tracker will be feeding data into Nepomuk too, so information it generates, (such as the 3rd attachment in this forwarded email is tagged with ‘Giraffe’) will be available to all KDE applications without any addtional work.

We had the annual KDE e.V conference on Tuesday. It took a while to even get in the door. First we had to learn patience, and then we could pass through the bronze door. Then we learned accountability and we could pass through the silver door. After that it was plain sailing though the wooden door and on to the strange ceremonies of e.V internals.

I got to meet Marius and Olivier of QtSoftware too, and I showed them both the extensions that I’ve been making to QAbstractItemModel and related classes. I told Marius that I would have a look at ItemViewsNG in the coming months to make sure it has all the API I need from it, and Olivier agreed to pull the move api into QAIM proper. That’s encouraging because it will make my job easier in Akonadi, and QtSw wants it anyway because it allows greater speed in general and efficiency on mobile devices in particular. I think I’m the one who has to port my hacky patches though…