Akademy, the annual conference of the KDE community, will take place from July 13 to July 19 2013 in Bilbao, Spain. It will be prefixed on July 12 by the general assembly of KDE e.V., the not-for-profit foundation that supports the development of KDE. As usual, it will be followed by a full week of frantic, collaborative hacking, birds of a feather sessions and mini-conferences. Qt Project and the KDE Community are very close companions, and this year for the first time the Qt Contributor Summit will be co-located with Akademy and take place July 14 and 15. In short, if you haven’t been to a Free Software community conference like that, this the one of the most awesome of them all, and the Qt Contributor Summit only adds more greatness to it. I am on the way to it, to chair the general assembly and to give a presentation on the concepts and philosophy of Threadweaver.
Last year at Akademy, my presentation was all about meritocracy, Open Governance and how the KDE Community can evolve to be attractive to contributors of all kinds and flavors, especially beyond coders. KDE is headed to morph into an umbrella community for similarily minded end-user focused Free Software projects, based on a set of shared values and ideals. Being an ex long-time KDE e.V. board member inevitably provides a certain high level perspective on governance related matters, and the presentation focused on providing food for thought for this process. It was the conference where we drafted the KDE Manifesto. After long consideration, it was published later in 2012 and represents an excellent summary of what the community and it’s contributors believe in. Kudos again to all who contributed to that, especially Kevin Ottens.
Too much of community building, politico-economic analysis and meta-thinking is not good for mental health (besides, I do a lot of that all year around at the Technical University of Berlin). So for this year, the goal was to go back to the basics, and take part in the ongoing work to modernize KDE’s frameworks by refactoring and updating Threadweaver. Real, actual lower-level coding work, also known as pure bliss. Threadweaver is KDE’s concurrency scheduler. It’s goal is provide an abstraction of multithreading and concurrency suitable for developers of end-user applications, and make it as simple as possible in the process. Threadweaver has been in KDE since 4.0, but C++ idioms and Qt, which it builds upon, have evolved dramatically since KDE 4 was first released. So an update was in order. The development work on the new version of the Threadweaver core is mostly complete, and ready to be introduced at Akademy (all changes are in the kdelibs repository, for the curious). The presentation is suitable for newcomers as well, and will contain a programming introduction, a chapter on Threadweaver’s philosophy and concept, and a discussion of performance considerations.
I am writing this post on the direct flight from Berlin to Bilbao, that I reached after a bit of an eventfull journey to the airport. Expecting that an nice extra 15 minutes buffer time to account for the unexpected should be plenty, the taxi driver got pulled over by the police for driving with ludicrous speed (31 km/h in a 20 km/h zone), then navigated around a traffic jam at a construction site, and got delayed again when a scenic tour bus got stuck after thinking it would be a great idea to pass through a single lane road that was about three centimeters wider than the bus itself (a road which, of course, we had to pass from the other direction). I got to the airport just in time for boarding and leisurely strolled onto the plane, since I was already boarded. Should have accounted for 20 minutes of unexpected events, bad planning on my part, I guess. However, the headphones are playing Telegraph Road by the Dire Straits, and I am going to Akademy. Looking forward to see you there, my friends. If you want to meet me at Akademy, send me a tweet @mirkoboehm, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.