KDE Release Party in Nürnberg

Last night SUSE invited to their new Nürnberg offices at the Franken Campus in the city’s south for a KDE MegaRelease 6 release party. There were around 25 people from KDE, SUSE, and owncloud, with a good portion of non-contributors meeting some of the people behind their favorite desktop environment and suite of applications in-person for the first time.

ThinkPad 600E with a Pentium 2 processor running an old version of SUSE Linux with KDE 1.1
Live demo of the latest and greatest KDE 1.1 on a ThinkPad 600E

After we had settled in, Dirk Müller gave an introductory speech about SUSE, followed by Cornelius Schumacher’s presentation about the history of KDE. Corneliuis showed pictures from how it all started and important milestones along the way. Some of them, like the infamous “KDE One” group photo, I already knew but also many I haven’t seen before. He also showed a couple of graphs illustrating the “KDE 4 Death Valley”, the two-and-a-half year gap between KDE 3.5 and 4.0, a very ambitious release, to put it mildly.

We surely learned our lesson from that and it’s also why for a transition between major releases, like from Plasma 4 to 5 ten (!) years ago, or now to Plasma 6, we set ourselves the goal of only freezing feature releases for a maximum of one year. Otherwise we’ll again lose many contributors, particularly new ones, that won’t see their hard work released for a very long time. Cornelius also counted a total of 530 stable KDE software releases since 1.0. We totally should have done 70 more for Plasma 6, right?

Afterwards I did a presentation on Plasma 6.0 (Slides, German, CC-BY-SA 4.0), an extended version of the interview I gave heise earlier this week, on what our goals were for the release, what’s actually changed, and a bit about the Wayland session which is now the default. Particularly the “older” folks in the room had to giggle when I mentioned the glorious Compiz days while talking about the return of the Desktop cube. Nicolas Fella then finished off by giving a presentation on KDE Frameworks 6 using an “eco-certified presentation software” with a “recycled slide deck” from his Akademy talk of 2021 – a good opportunity to reflect on which of the points we planned were actually implemented.

A wodden table, lined with various stickers, a beer and ice tea bottle, and pizza box in the background
How to keep hackers happy: pizza, beer, and stickers

Just as we finished the presentations, pizza kindly sponsored by owncloud arrived and we rounded off the evening by chatting, eating pizza, and drinking beer. We also got a chance to toy around with KDE 1.1 on an old Thinkpad someone must have found in the archives. Sadly, we had to leave before 22:00 or else building security would have kicked us out. It seems, they have regular working hours at SUSE these days ;-) Thanks to everyone for organizing this party and I hope to see you all soon, not later than Akademy, our annual community conference, which is conveniently located in nearby Würzburg this year!

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