Another Post About Camp KDE 2010

There have been lots of posts about Camp KDE on Planet KDE, along with posts and a stream of photos on flickr. It has been a great event so far with some really interesting talks. I especially enjoyed Philip Bourne’s talk on open access to data which is very close to my heart, but noted that many parts of the stack used are still closed source. My background in Physics and Chemistry tell me that this needs to change. Open access data without open source tools to create, store and view that data is only addressing one part of the problem. I hope to address other parts of this issue in the work I am doing at Kitware

Celeste's talk was also interesting, and I found out that I may be an OCD interface design guy (many of the points she outlined bugged me in projects I had worked on, especially consistency in interfaces, grammar, etc). Great talk, and illuminating for someone like me who has not worked with anyone in this field before. Then of course there was Till and Alexandra's talk on career opportunities in FOSS, which was a great talk and I found myself nodding along with them. My windy path was not quite so glamourous as rock star or opera singer, but I can certainly identify with them. I instead pursued a degree and a PhD in physics research (largely experimental too), only to find I was extremely passionate about developing software to edit and visualize the data, rather than spending months in the lab.

This is not even the end of the first day, and so you can tell it was a great conference. Jos talked to use about marketing and then Artur presented his take on KDE form the desktop to the pocket. I still really want my own N900 to experiment with taking scientific visualization to the pocket (I have the desktops, laptops and a netbook to play with already). The next morning began with Frank presenting his vision of open source in the cloud, I find myself using the cloud more and more (especially now I have a Droid), but share his concerns and wish to create AGP led alternatives that can be easily deployed by both companies and individuals.

I also really enjoyed Romain's talk on the state of KDE PIM/KDE Windows, with live demos (warts and all). It also nicely segwayed the need for automated testing in order to improve the quality of KDE on other platforms, as well as use our limited resources wisely. I presented my talk on CMake, CTest, CDash and improving the software process in KDE. I think the testing framework can really help KDE developers by providing continuous feedback about platforms not everyone has access to. There are already quite a few KDE projects on, and I would like to improve that and possibly use subprojects to divide the projects up into manageable pieces.

More great talks from Leo, and we ended the day with plasma talks and demos from Marco and Chani. I don't want to reproduce the schedule, but needless to say we had a great set of talks (all of which were taped and should be available soon). Thanks go out to Jeff and the ground team here for organizing the event so well. Monday was taken up with some more technical talks, Will's talk on the build service is something I would like to use in the future and see if we can get it contributing build/test results to KDE dashboards. The day concluded with CMake training run by me. I really enjoyed the dialog that was present in many of the talks (mine included), and got some great feedback about the training afterwards. I would love to do this again at future KDE events, and from the feedback I received it would seem others would like that to. It was very strange not to talk about any of the scientific visualization work I am doing, one of the first conferences in years where I have not.

Tuesday was the traditional trip day, and we checked out Stone Brewery, tried some excellent ales and then had dinner at one of the longest tables I have ever eaten at. William was of course in attendance, as the youngest attendee. After that we braved the driving rain and winds to get back to the UCSD campus. I took the opportunity to catch up on some work, and recharge my batteries a little ready for the Qt training that is being offered by Till Adam of KDAB today. Looking forward to a day of learning and admiring the sun this morning! The company has been great, and I am very pleased I was able to make it along. This is my first business trip for Kitware, and I am very pleased they sent me along, and that NAMIC sponsored my attendance.

Disclaimer: The opinions and musings in this post are mine, and not those of my employer. Any mistakes/inaccuracies are also mine, that said I would love to hear what people think of this new work.

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