Akademy Impressions

Yesterday evening I returned from this years Akademy which means that today is a perfect time to reflect some of the impressions.

Overall I think this was one of the best Akademies I have attended so far. The atmosphere was just great, the location was overall quite good and the weather was awesome.

Akademy started for me at Friday with the AGM of the KDE e.V. It was a very interesting AGM. I think it was a good decision to move the AGM to Friday and hope that also next year will be like this. If you are interested in more about the AGM, just read Mirko’s blog post. A small reminder: if you are a supporting member of KDE e.V. you are allowed to join the AGM, but without voting rights.

On Saturday and Sunday we had the conference with the talks. I myself had 1.3 talks – the Quality talk I shared with David and Vishesh. Once the recordings are available I recommend to watch it as it also addresses the shorter release cycle discussion and why I think that this would improve our quality. Speaking about the shorter release cycle: we had a very constructive BoF later the week and I think we found a very good compromise to move forward.

The keynotes were overall quite good, I was especially interested in the Jolla keynote. But also Kevin’s keynote about the KDE democracy is worth watching. Quite interesting was the discussion about “Respect the elders” and what makes up a KDE project. That we discussed that the Linux kernel could not be a KDE project because of their bad mailing list communication skills is quite a saying. As if we would have known that LKML would become a big topic a few days later.

The most interesting talks from my perspective were of cause the technical ones. I really enjoyed Volker’s expression template talk covering the topic of implementing domain specific languages with the help of C++ meta programming. Also Milian’s talk about improving the performance of C++ is something you should watch if your application is critical (also if not). KWin already gained the first improvements thanks to this discussion. And more will follow.

The conference ended with the Akademy Award ceremony. I am quite happy with the decision the jury took – especially given that I thought about two of the winners last year when I was a member of the jury. So to say we chose a good jury last year ;-)

What made me really happy at this years Akademy is that we are broadening our scope. This year we had talks about Mer and Razor Qt and like last year members of the VideoLAN project were around. And of course there was the Qt Contributor Summit co-hosted on Monday and Tuesday – though I did not attend any discussions.

Instead I spent most of Monday at the Kubuntu BoF and tried to give some useful feedback from an upstream perspective. And also of course my personal opinion like I would love to see Debian KDE and Kubuntu packagers to work more closely together. During this BoF we got an overview of the LiMux project of the city of Munich. It’s great to hear that we will soon have 15.000 KDE SC 4.11 installations, but this will take some more time – enterprise setups move rather slowly compared to us ;-)

On Wednesday we had the release cycle BoF. I think the outcome is really good and I hope that the community agrees to trying this out. So far the discussion had been very positive and I am really happy that we can get in all the stakeholders. That distributions can share their opinion just as an equal is quite a positive sign that the communication between upstream and downstream is really good in KDE. In fact for quite many distributions I am not able to say if a developer belongs more to KDE or more to the distribution.

In the afternoon we had the day trip to the sea side. Thanks to that I can check the box for “swim in sea once a year” for 2013. In the evening we had a wonderful meal before heading back to the hostel.

On Thursday we had a Bof on Plasma Active, but apart from that I did not attend any further BoFs as I had to head to the airport in the late afternoon. Travel back was quite smooth and way better than the travel to Akademy. I almost missed my flight because the 30 min travel from Mannheim to Frankfurt Airport took 90 min with Deutsche Bahn. On the positive side I did not have to wait for the security check ;-)

Looking forward to next years Akademy wherever it will be.

15 thoughts on “Akademy Impressions”

    1. From what they told the fact that 4.11 is an “LTS” was clearly a contributing factor.

  1. Who did actually win the Akademy Awards this year ?
    I only saw a photo of Vishesh, but there should be two more. :-)

  2. Sounds like a fun Akademy. Looking forward to the talk captures, I’m interested in a few of them (especially the performance part). Great to see even you learned something, and .. a faster KWIN is always a good thing (even though, your changes were always hardly noticable by me because KWIN is fast already) :).

    I sadly still have the checkbox “swim in the sea once a year” open, and I probably won’t be making it this year.

    A side note: You got a typo in the text … search for ” cause ” ;-).

  3. Was a really fun one. Looking forward to the next one, here’s hoping they’ll have more football tables there ;)

    1. I expect that Systemd will become a major part of our stack to start the workspaces and I expect that we will depend on software which depends on Systemd. But nothing decided yet.

      1. Well, not all people are happy with the move to SystemD. Slackware, which I use, do not have any plan right now to move to it and it seems to me that it flies in the face of typical Unix approach, link this binary system log.
        I have not read until now any article that actually proved me systemD solves anything useful and it affects so many things it’s not even funny. I don’t see anyway any reason why user space applications should depend on it.Not to mention the fact that BSDs would be in trouble to run KDE.
        Honestly, I would appreciate of you decided to use it if it’s there but not “depend” on it. Of course, I understand that my opinion doesn’t matter in the slightest, but since it’s not decided yet…

          1. Mmm, I don’t think it’s the place to discuss the merits or not of SystemD, and I’m certainly not knowledgeable to counter-arguments many (any?) of these but it seems to me that :
            - It may be BSD’s decision not going the SystemD way, but they probably have reason to do so and it would be a shame if they could not run a user-space app like the whole KDE SC because of something which is supposed to be only an init system (but is not anymore, as your page recognize). And according to it, SystemD cannot be ported to other kernels, including BSDs ;
            - The whole udev situation, the latest Fedora decision to abandon syslog to concentrate on the systemD journal, and discussions here and there about the possibility to have SystemD as a dependency gives little confidence in the possibility to easily avoid using SystemD in the future. That’s why it would be nice if user space software at least made SystemD optional, for those who don’t want this whole stuff, are happy with their 3s boot on their SSD drive with the current BSD-like init in Slackware and appreciate to be able to edit the boot scripts manually because they’re simple shell scripts and booting depends only on them.

            1. BSDs have more important issues than just systemd – like for example Wayland. As I only mentioned that we might depend on systemd for Wayland the whole thing is a moot point. Either the non-Linux fix their stack (including KMS, DRM, Wayland, systemd, etc.) or the latest software which we produce won’t run on it.

              For everything else: if the distros who think they don’t want systemd (for whatever reason I do not care about) are not happy with us depending on systemd, they are more than welcome to produce patches and support the non-systemd code path. But also that is a moot point as we do not yet depend on systemd and have no concrete plans to depend on it. It’s just that it looks like the Wayland system compositor will use systemd. If that’s the case Wayland support in KWin will depend on systemd. I don’t care how distros integrate software, that’s their task. But I’m certainly only going to support one Wayland setup.

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