KDE Project History/KDE Three (Developer Meeting)

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KDE Three in Nürnberg, Germany

Meeting Report

KDE 3.0 will be released just over 18 months after the first release in the KDE 2 series, and shortly after the last release of the KDE 2 series. The central goal of this new version is the migration of the KDE 2 code base to the new Qt-3 library. Under these circumstances, the core development activity in the KDE community in the past few months has concentrated on fixing known problems, testing, polishing existing features and completing translation and documentation.

As the KDE-3.0 scheduled release date drew near, it became obvious that a concentrated effort focused on solving problems with the current code base was urgently needed. To solve these problems, and with the generous support of our sponsors, a group of KDE developers met in Nürnberg (Germany) from February 25th to March 4th. These developers were invited to provide the time and energy necessary for the meeting to be successful. This event is now known as the the KDE-Three meeting (see the history of KDE for details about KDE-One, KDE-Two and KDE-Three-Beta).

Among the developers present at the meeting, some journeyed long distances to join the meeting, some neglected exams, jobs or family, and all spent long nights burning the midnight oil. But the opportunity to work solely on KDE for a full week, as well as to place faces and voices on friends never seen or heard before, largely paid off.

Those present needed to exercise significant restraint to abstain from being distracted by new developments or the adoption of new technologies. This focus on problem-solving essentially defined the difference between the KDE-Three meeting and its predecessors, which were instead used as a conference for developing new desktop-wide technologies such as DCOP and KParts.

As already noted, the reunion afforded the unique opportunity to speed up considerably the cyclic process of bug finding, bug fixing, and testing. The developers addressed a wide palette of issues, some of which are listed here, in no particular order:

  • an important number of fixes in Konqueror and the related bodies of code (bookmarks, iconview, performance);
  • fixing, polishing and refinement of KHTML;
  • many fixes to KJavaScript and cleanup;
  • corrections to KIO's functionality, as well as a memory management audit for the components of the KIO technology (library and clients);
  • an exhaustive examination of kdesktop and a large number of fixes;
  • many kicker problems fixed; a code refactoring was made necessary by the process;
  • large scale debugging of the localization support;
  • an important amount of time and attention was paid to plugging memory leaks (the new memory management inspection tool, valgrind was put to extensive use);
  • improving the behavior of memory allocations, together with optimizations in this area;
  • heavy work on polishing styles, improving their appearance and optimizations;
  • an audit of interface and ergonomic issues, with an accent on keyboard and mouse interaction;
  • many SSL, https and proxy fixes;
  • thorough testing of Xinerama, with many of the past issues being solved (a few others issues, which are either non-obtrusive or which are rather features than bugs remain to be looked for in the near future);
  • fixes in KWin related to ergonomy and functionality;
  • debugging of the localization support; and
  • mime-type handling cleanup.

The life of the worldwide KDE community has continued at its normal high speed during the week of KDE Three. The combined efforts of all the active contributors amounted to roughly 3,350 CVS commits between February 25 and March 3.

KDE is first and foremost the result of the selfless contributions of many hundreds of participants. Our deepest appreciation goes to the bug reporters, which help us identify the problems effectively. We also recognize that the results of the work of the KDE community would loose great value without the hard work and dedication of the translation and documentation teams. We express our hope that all of the combined efforts which have materialized since the commencement of preparations for the KDE 3 release will yield a high-quality and stable desktop to the large and growing community of KDE users.

Sponsors

Without the generous support of the following sponsors, the meeting would not have been possible:

  • SuSE provided the space (a very well suited location was put entirely at the group's disposal), part of the computing hardware and the funding.
  • Trolltech covered half of the traveling, accommodation and catering expenses, and provided software tools for work optimization.
  • Intel provided computers.
  • Iiyama made available a number of 18" flat panel displays.

Many thanks to them all for making the meeting possible and for providing excellent logistics and support.

A special thanks to the local KDE developers who cared for hardware configuration and software installation before and during the meeting.

And last, but also the most, many, many thanks to our gracious hosts, Sabina and Lenz, who made the stay in Nürnberg absolutely marvelous.

Sights

For the visually inclined, here are a few photos from the gathering:


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