Throughout the week we were busy packaging, triaging bugs and introducing new community members to these skills. The releases of KDE 4.3 Beta 1 and Amarok 2.1 Beta 2 kept the team busy fixing last minute compilation errors and replacing 4.2.3 in the KDE:KDE4:Factory:Desktop repository with 4.3 Beta 1 as we move towards openSUSE 11.2. KDE 4.2 continues to be available in the KDE:42 repository so if you haven't switched yet, we expect you want to help make 4.3 excellent!
The week began with a lively chat session discussing the Plasma desktop. Andrew Stromme and Marco Martin from the Plasma dev team paid #opensuse-kde a visit and gave the community a look at what is coming in KDE 4.3. The improved system tray and notifications system got everyone excited, and the channel was surprised to learn about the expanding folders in the Folder View widget that will make powerful desktop file management possible. Marco introduced the ability to link Plasma Activities to virtual desktops, which the openSUSE community thought was a great idea to make Activities accessible and discoverable to the majority of users. Questions were also asked about Plasmate, the planned Plasma widget creator tool, and ways to distribute scripted plasmoids to make user-created Plasma content as ubiquitous as browser extensions.
On Tuesday we discussed issues facing KDE system adminstrators and had a question and answer session on the internals of KDE. Topics included how to lock down Plasma, how to ensure the right Phonon backends are installed on large KDE installations and how to setup and theme KDM.
Things hotted up again on Wednesday with the KDE PIM session. Thomas McGuire and Kevin Krammer, two hyperactive KDE PIM developers, made the short journey from #kontact to #opensuse-kde and let us know how the migration to Akonadi is going. As usual, good things seem to be know they are worth the wait and take a bit longer than planned, but the participants were very happy to hear that when it comes to crucial PIM data, nothing is being rushed and stability and reliability are paramount. The news that 4.3 KDEPIM apps contain numerous bug fixes and stability measures was well received. KContactManager, the Akonadi-based eventual replacement for KAddressBook, was presented and used as an example of how Akonadi will give performance and footprint advantages over every other PIM system out there. Exciting possibilities to integrate with online services were illustrated with the Google Data and Remember The Milk resources. Mailody, the purely Akonadi-based KDE mail client and star of extragear, also got a mention, as well as KJots, the note-taking tool, and everyone was happy to hear that development continues on a KDE 4 port of Basket.
As SUSE has opened up and become openSUSE over the last couple of years, the team has adopted a pragmatic bug policy so that bugs which are definitely not specific to openSUSE are moved upstream to bugs.kde.org. This is in everybody's best interest since the bugs end up where there are developers most able to fix them quickly, and our expert team of bug triagers improve the quality of the reported bugs by filtering out packaging issues, broken patches, reports against old versions and reports caused by underlying system problems. Keeping bugs hanging around distro bug trackers for months where maintainers' limited resources mean they get limited attention is frustrating for users who take the time to make reports. Luboš Luňák led two intensive bug-squashing days on Thursday and Friday which resulted in a large number of bugs being fixed and closed.
Overall the week was pretty intense but productive and the activity level in the #opensuse-kde IRC channel was noticeably higher than normal. We look forward to having another Community Week soon, and also to KDE playing a big part in the openSUSE Conference planned for later in the year.