The new year has been full of new experiences for me. First, my proposal for Season of KDE got accepted, starting a new journey with KDE organisation. An amfoss member then told me about the conference of KDE taking place in India on January 17,18 and 19. So secondly, I got the opportunity to meet the KDE developers in the conf.kde.in held in New Delhi in North India.
Living in Kerala, in the southern part of India where it rarely gets cold even in winters, I made the journey to New Delhi, which, being in North India was freezing. It was a learning experience for me as it was the first time I was travelling alone, that to so far away from home, to a new city. Thankfully, I safely made it to the hotel in Delhi with the help of the all knowing Google baba and my parents’ constant guidance. I was more than ready to attend the conference the next day:)
Day One : 17 January
Bundled in layers of sweaters, I made my way to where the event was being held, Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, which was a few minutes walk from my hotel. The attendees were handed the schedule for the three days and ID cards. True to the planned schedule the talks started at 11 am sharp.
Bhushan Shah, a KDE developer, began the session with an introductory talk about KDE and the Indian community. We were told about the past conf.kde.in held in India.
Then Kannan VM, a developer from Kerala talked about how he and his team had helped the Kerala newspaper daily, Janayugom, to FOSS. They worked to make a separate OS that uses open source applications. Workshops were then conducted by them to train the newspaper employees on how to use the OS.
Next up was the talk by Wrishiraj Kaushik, the CEO of Libresoft. He gave a talk about Open source contribution in Indian context. It was a helpful talk that covered the financial aspect of open source development.He kept the attendees entertained by sharing anecdotes and his experiences in his journey to open source contribution.
Piyush Aggarwal the went on to talk about KDE Connect, its advantages and the work that is currently being done on it.He also showed how his laptop and phone were connected with the help of KDE Connect.
Many attendees who were unaware of the concept of FOSS and open source projects were enlightened by a talk by Kunal Kushwaha about what really means by FOSS and contibuting to open source projects.
The day concluded with a workshop on how to make a basic Qt quick application using cmake. It was a very helpful session for the open source newbies like me who were attending the conference.
Day Two : 18 January
Day two started with the same vigour as the previous day. Only difference was that I had become familiar with the speakers who were going to give a talk that day.
The day started with a session on use of qml in kde applications by Shantanu Tushar. He showed some interesting ways in which qml can be used to add different ui components in a basic Qt application.
Arjen Hiemstra then talked about the process of using QtQuick Scene Graph. The scene graph is a graphical representation of the Item scene. The talk was quite informative and I came to know about a lot of new stuff through it.
Adriaan de Groot, who is the maintainer for Calamares briefly talked about his work on Calamares and the recent work on translating it to regional languages. There has been a lot of focus lately on translating Calamares and making it more accessible for people.
Subin Siby from Swathanthra Malayalam Computing then talked about KDE in Kerala. He talked about how the open source contributions started in the state and his work on translating Calamares in Malayalam using unicode.
Finally, the day ended with a workshop by Shantanu and Bhushan on using qml and kirigami to make a qt application.
Day Three : 19 January
The final day had a few changes in the schedule. Since a few SoK students like me were attending the conference, the organisers requested us to give a talk about our Season of KDE projects later that day. Since this was the first time I was attending a conference, the idea of speaking in front of a bunch of experienced developers was rather intimidating, but after encouragement, I agreed to speak about my project.
So, the day started with a talk by Rituka Patwal,a GSOC student, who had worked with plasma mobile developers. She talked about digital security and Plasma Mobile’s approach to solve or rather prevent it.
Anupam Basak talked about the ongoing work on the MAUI project. He explained the use of the MAUIkit and the MAUI application. He also demonstrated the working of the application from his system. I found the project really cool. It has amazing graphics and a user friendly file management system.
Adriaan then gave a short talk on some of the major KDE Frameworks, their uses and importance in KDE applications. He later gave a detailed talk on one of the KDE Frameworks - the KMacroExpander. This framework is very handy in using macros in large code bases.
After his talk, I, along with four other SoK students went on to talk about our respective projects. It was interesting to hear about their journey with contributing to KDE.
Finally the conference ended with a workshop on how to resolve cmake and make errors and how to build a kirigami application.