Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Kubuntu Alive and Thriving at KDE Akademy

Having come a quarter away around the world in part to meet up with my Kubuntu colleagues, it was surprising to hear that some people thought (at a KDE meeting?) that Kubuntu is dead.

Not a chance. We're having elections right now for some Kubuntu Council positions that end this year. We have four candidates for three positions, which seems very healthy to me. By the way, if you are a Kubuntu Member and have not gotten your ballot, please contact Aaron Honeycutt, since the vote closes on the 12th of September.

We ended up meeting for more than 4 hours plus lunch yesterday, the first day of BoF meetings. Then Phil had to leave, which still seems sad, as we all miss his gentle, kind wisdom and humor.

During the meeting, we accomplished a great deal, mostly cleaning out the Trello. We now have
one and only one board, which has been mostly evaluated card by card, commented, and tagged. We hope that this will make it much easier to find a task to work on when you have a bit of spare time. If you have a login to Trello, but need inviting to the board, please check with someone in #kubuntu-devel Freenode IRC. Feel free to create cards when needed, and assign yourself and someone else to it. Many of the items on our Wishlist contain things we really do want, but do not have the time or skills to do. So pitch in as you can.

One of the wonderful parts of Akademy is not just that teams get to meet up face to face, but that *many* teams are in the same place. So when we had a question for Harald or Jon, we could pop next door and ask it. When Jon or Devaja got a Dot story mostly ready, I could just bring it up on my travel laptop for a last look for typos etc. and publish. And when I remembered a problem that was in one of our Kubuntu Trello cards that said "contact X about this" when I saw X in the crowd, I could introduce him to our devel who could work with him on getting the newest Kolab packaged and out to our users more quickly. Things like this can happen only at meetings like Akademy.

For those who don't know, Akademy is usually two days of talks, followed by some days of "BoF" sessions. BoF stands for Birds of a Feather and means short meetings and even sprints for each team that schedules one (or more). And alongside Akademy the members of the e.V. gather for their annual  meeting (AGM), which this year was on Thursday.

This year was different because we co-located Akademy with Qtcon, hosted by KDAB, Qt, VideoLAN and the FSFE. While a lot larger and thus more intense, I found it exciting. The service at the bcc at first seemed very posh, but by the end of the three days of meeting felt *essential*. There was coffee, tea and juices along with food or snacks all day. I tried to sit down to lunch with someone I didn't know every day, which was a great experience! Some of the folks had no experience with free software previously; merely using Qt as part of their job. One fellow even asked me, How is all of this organized? My reply: Organized? It is barely controlled chaos! There was a general laugh around the table, because it is so true. I love it!

Thanks again to the Ubuntu Community for sending me here to Berlin to attend this wonderful set of meetings. Kubuntu survives and thrives.