This winter seemed long in many ways, and not just the weather. In life, progress continues during the winter, but it can be slow and hard to see.
Finally though, the snowdrops are up, dogwood tree buds are swelling, and progress is finally apparent in many areas of volunteer life - KDE, Kubuntu, and my genealogy society.
In KDE, Plasma 5.12 has been released, and it is great! It has been released in time to make it into Kubuntu Bionic, our next big release which will become an LTS. Plasma 5.12 is a great fit there, since it is also an LTS. After living through the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerability early-exposure, it feels great to finally be back on track. We have it available right now in Artful (17.10) as well: https://kubuntu.org/news/plasma-5-12-arrives-in-backport-ppa-for-kubuntu-17-10-artful-aardvark/. I'm using it now.
I'm also using the new KDE browser Falkon, which has not yet been released. I've written to the developers in hopes of a KDE release in time to make it into Bionic.
On the social front, it's great to look forward to Akademy in Vienna this August! I have hopes that many of our Kubuntu team will be able to attend, for the wonderful face-to-face meetings of Akademy. And this year, a special treat for me, since the great Boud and Irina have invited me to stay at their house for the week before Akademy and then make our way together from their home to Vienna by train. This will remove so much of the pain of travel!
Finally, my genealogy society has suffered greatly while Rootsweb was down. But our website is finally up again at https://skcgs.org and our Facebook presence is undergoing some long-needed maintainance as well. Finally, our Program committee has been doing fantastic work getting interesting speakers. It's fun to go to meetings, fun to do my work on the newsletter, and fun even to go to board meetings! You can't ask for better than that!
Even in my own genealogy research, Ancestry.com is making it easier than ever to find cousins, and more ancestors. Also looking forward to Google Summer of Code if KDE is accepted as an organization. It will be another very busy year!