Shaping the Future of KDE Frameworks

(or: “KDE Frameworks 6 Planning Sprint in Berlin”)

Only two weeks after my previous Berlin visit I came back for the KDE Frameworks 6 planning sprint, kindly hosted by MBition in their posh offices near Spree river and Landwehrkanal.

A whiteboard with a more than 50 sticky notes, mostly orange, some blue, with various KDE Frameworks written on them
Three days’ worth of discussions in a nutshell

Already during this year’s Akademy we started discussing our strategies for a Qt 6 transition and created a giant work board of tasks for our next major release of Frameworks. Overall our goal is to keep API breakages to a minimum while still cleaning up some cruft that might have built up over the years. We kicked off the sprint Friday morning with discussions mostly around policies and guidelines.

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Akademy 2019 in Milan

Last month I attended KDE’s annual gathering Akademy, which took place at the University of Bicocca in Milan, Italy. Never before had I been to an Akademy where I was interested in so many workshops and discussions that I hardly wrote any actual code.

It’s important to stay healthy during a conference – a bunch of KDE developers taking a swim in Lake Como
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Privacy Sprint in Leipzig

Fernsprechamt
Entrance to the sprint location

Our three main goals for the general direction we want to take KDE in the next couple of years are: Top-notch Usability and Productivity for Basic Software, Streamlined Onboarding of New Contributors, as well as Privacy Software. The first sprint dedicated to one of our goals, Privacy Software, took place in March in the City of Leipzig. It took place in the former “Fernsprechamt” (telephone exchange), quite a fitting location when it comes to privacy, isn’t it?

Microphone Indicator

One of the features I worked on was a microphone tray icon indicating when the microphone is in use with an easy way to mute/unmute it by middle clicking as well as change the recording volume using the mouse wheel, just like you can with the volume icon.

Microphone indicator tooltip, "Microphone: Chrome input is using the microphone"
Microphone indicator showing that Chrome is recording
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I was at Akademy 2018!

It was a very productive week of intense discussion and hacking. This year it was hosted by the Technical University of the beautiful City of Vienna.

View from university roof terrace to Peterskirche

After my arrival at the airport on Friday I attended the welcoming event on the top floor at the university, with beautiful city scenery in the background. It was a great opportunity to meet new faces, of which there were many at this year’s Akademy; some of them have been valuable members of the community for years with nobody having them actually seen in person, up until now.

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