ALERT, Home and KDE e.V.

This is going to be one of those weeks where a lot of my time is spent on trains and planes…

For the first half of this week, I was in Brussels for the first Annual Review of the ALERT project, in which the project partners – including KDE in the shape of yours truly – presented the work done so far to expert reviewers appointed by the European Commission (the project is part funded through the EU Seventh Framework Programme).

The meeting was very informative, as it was the first time I’d seen in one go what everyone has been working on for the past year. ALERT aims to improve bug tracking and collaboration in open source communities and the technical presentations included demos of the technology. At present, a lot of this happens at the command line, but it is already possible to monitor various data resources, including Bugzilla, and get some interesting updates. There are also some good results in indentifying developers and their particular areas of expertise (to suggest to developers for bugs or bugs for developers) and in semi-automated identification of duplicate bugs.

I got back to England last night, had a quick meeting at my university today and then tomorrow I’m off to the KDE e.V. sprint in Berlin. There, we’ll be spending the weekend working on various issues needed to support KDE contributors worldwide, including attracting more people and companies to our Individual and Corporate supporting membership programs.

By the way, if you lack the time to help KDE, but support our objectives (free software – and all the benefits that entails – for everyone) and have the money then why not Join the Game? That’s a serious question by the way – what’s lacking right now that stops you? Leave me a note in the comments.

What’s going on in ALERT?

ALERT Project logoThe ALERT Project is a partly EU funded technology project that aims to improve the ways in whch free software communities track bugs in software, identify trends and issues and find the right person to fix a problem. KDE e.V. is a project partner and will be an end user, providing feedback and advice on the software system during development. To assist with this, Dario Freddi and I are contracted to the project as KDE experts.

It has been a little while since I mentioned ALERT here, although I chatted to some of you about the project at the recent Desktop Summit in Berlin. If you’re wondering what we and the other partners have been up to, take a look at the latest ALERT newsletter. This has news about the software for extracting information from structured (e.g Bugzilla) and unstructured (mailing lists, KDE forum) data sources, software for profiling developers, the potential impact on KDE, news of ALERT’s latest award and a look ahead to the testing phase.

Well worth a read – and of course you can always approach Dario and myself with any questions.

Freedom

What is freedom to you?

Well, at the moment for me, it is no longer having my PhD thesis to work on, having finally handed that in last week. That means I’m now moving into job hunting (like some other people on the Planet – I may post more about that in a bit). It also means I have again a little time for KDE.

MeeGo is dead, long live MeeGo

No, you read that right. Intel are switching to Tizen and this time it is going to work (just like when they switched from Moblin to MeeGo). But for those people and companies who care about a real collaborative effort at a mobile-optimised Linux platform and those who think that there is more to app development than HTML5, MeeGo lives on. With the likes of Plasma Active as a user interface, we could build a compelling case for mobile software freedom.

KDE eases out of puberty

KDE will shortly be 15 years old, just about the age where its hormones will start to settle down. However, it may begin to get interested in girls – or boys, depending on KDE’s gender and preferences – or start experimenting with things it shouldn’t, so there may still be some turbulent times ahead.

Either way, we’ll be asking you to show your love for KDE on its 15th birthday – keep watching the Dot for more details. It’s almost time to celebrate 15 years of desktop freedom.

To finish, a little rant about 1&1

It’s not often that I rant here, so please forgive me but I feel the need to end with this…

  • If you want a web host whose control panel does not work in Konqueror
  • If you want a web host that buries renewal information in a mystifying maze of submenus
  • If you want a web host that sends you renewal invoices without specifying the domain that is up for renewal
  • If you want a web host where you cannot cancel a contract without logging into a whole different website, clicking through a confirmation email and harassing their customer service reps*.
  • And, most of all, if you want service with a snarl…

…then please sign up with 1&1.

If not, you might prefer another webhost. For example, I’m very satisfied with my main host, ICDSoft.

*Actually, I’m still not sure it’s done. I wish they’d give me the freedom to cancel 😉

Got a printer? Help test Konqueror

GĂ©rard Talbot has been working for the past eight months, checking Konqueror’s conformance to CSS 2.1 (resulting in the impressive conformance tables on his website).

However, he needs help to determine the results of 13 remaining tests that need a colour printer, something GĂ©rard does not have access to.

If you have a moment, please check out one (or more!) of the following testcases in Konqueror 4.6.5 or 4.6.4 (it’s important that you are using that latest versions). Then report your results in the thread on the KDE Forum.

You might also want to check the thread first to see which tests still need checking.

9 testcases requiring a color printer:

  1. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/at-import-008.htm
  2. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/page-box-000.htm
  3. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/page-break-margins-004.htm
  4. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/page-container-000.htm
  5. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/page-container-008.htm
  6. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/page-container-009.htm
  7. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/page-margin-000.htm
  8. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/page-margin-001.htm
  9. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/page-margin-002.htm

2 testcases where Konqueror hangs or refuses to print, but GĂ©rard needs someone to confirm this behaviour:

  1. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/table-footer-group-004.htm
  2. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/table-header-group-004.htm

2 testcases UNKNOWN – several characters are not displayed, but this is possibly due to font availability; GĂ©rard needs someone else to confirm and verify this:

  1. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/text-transform-bicameral-011.htm
  2. http://test.csswg.org/suites/css2.1/20110323/html4/text-transform-bicameral-012.htm

GĂ©rard has been working on this for 8 months. Please take a few minutes to help him get it finished.

Calling All App Developers and Users

The final set of 4.7 releases of KDE software will be landing soon. And we in the promo team would like to be able to tell you (and the media) all about it on release day, but we need your help.

We’re collating information in an etherpad at promo.notes.kde.org/14 – you don’t even need an account to help us.

Developers

If you develop an app, drop by and tell us (even in bullet points) what is new and cool in your app in 4.7. If you have some screenshots, please add links to them in the doc. Afterall, you know what has changed in your app since 4.6. We, the promo team, might not.

Users

Do you follow an app team? Tried the RCs? Know about some cool new stuff that is coming? Well you can help too, just note the features in the pad. you can also look through old copies of the Commit Digest since the 4.6 releases to pick out features from the summaries that have made it into the 4.7 releases.

Plasma Workspaces and KDE Frameworks too

The above also applies of course to the KDE workspaces and the KDE Frameworks, in fact to anything that is part of our general release.

Be a hero, step up and help us tell the world what KDE has been up to in the last six months.