Adriaan de Groot
groot at kde.org
Wed Apr 25 09:15:39 UTC 2018
Hi KDE Community and e.V.,
On the weekend of 21-22 april 2018 I traveled to Sweden to the FOSS-North
conference, in Gothenburg. I went there for two reasons:
- to give a talk (submitted via the CfP and accepted)
- to run a KDE booth (asked by the conference org)
The conference had ~150 attendees, 30 speakers, 6 sponsor booths and a KDE and
a GNOME booth.
Gothenburg is a little bit "GNOME country", so it was good to have both
desktops there. In the run up I had quite a bit of communication with the
GNOME booth organizer, since community booths take up a lot of time. We agreed
before hand to take care of each other's stands as needed. Any pictures you
may have seen of us in a fist-fight are, of course, staged (but I beat the tar
outta 'em). The community booths, with T-shirts and some computers showing off
the desktops, did a very small amount of business, but we did have a fair
amount of people to talk with.
Bastian, the GNOME guy, was looking at other merchandise options and we came
up with something exquisitely silly, last I saw he was looking at CnC milling
to make that silly idea come true.
In short, I think the community booths together worked well -- still, you get
people, young people, coming up and going "huh, huh, GNOME and KDE side-by-
side, when's the fight?" I have *no* idea where this notion of viscious
I think my talk went well; it was recorded, so you can probably watch it
somewhere. It was about KDE governance, but mostly "Free Software project
Governance 101" with an emphasis on figuring out your moral stance as
expressed by your license choice, contributor agreement choice (if any),
organization choice, and manifesto, vision and CoC. A bit touchy-feely and not
all that concrete.
I gave roughly the same talk two weeks earlier at a start-ups gathering, so
I've been holding up KDE as *a* way of doing things. We get a lot of things
right, although the order we did things -- historically -- isn't the order I'd
We sold 3 T-shirts at 200 SEK each (~19 EUR). Gave out some folders, a
lanyard, some buttons. We didn't have stickers. This continues, IMO, to be a
real missed opportunity -- stickers are cheap, easy to hand out, colorful,
etc. I'm seriously envious of the GNOME sticker packs.
# Booth (2)
The booth showed Plasma 5.12 running on low-powered ARM hardware. This was the
same theme as at FOSDEM, so if you were there, it was the same set=up with
blinkenlights and a Pinebook running the latest stuff. This continues the
narrative of "of course Plasma runs also on low-powered devices, that's been
driving 8 months or so of work on reducing resource use; it really is a lean
environment." That kind of ties in to something else I noticed: people seem to
hang on to grudges for a damn long time. "I used KDE 4/6/30 years ago, and it
was slow". "I once submitted a bug and it was ignored." Bleh.
Now that I'm writing this down here, I realise I could / should have had
Nate's this-week articles at hand, to better illustrate what's going on and
what is being improved in the rest of the KDE ecosystem.
GNOME has a nice release-video that they just left looping -- it shows off the
new stuff, and even if my response to most of the video is "yeah, we had that
6 months/2 years/30 years ago already" it has movement, it has pizzazz, and
saves the booth staff from talking about some of the basics.
On the other hand, I had blue blobs and Lays' gource video to talk about long-
# Booth Resources
The plastic IKEA box for booth-stuff (the roll of duct tape, the kensington
locks we didn't have to use, pens, badges, etc.) broke on the flight; I'll be
donating a new one.
Sune's blue tablecloth is still in my possession; it still has "KDE" on it in
Frozen-brand duct tape (Olaf is so cute!). This could be better.
Left over T-shirts are now at my house, for whatever conference I go to next.
I'd like to thank Johan for organizing the conference overall, and Bastian for
being a good neighbor in the Free-Desktop space. Thanks Helio for also
spending a lot of hours running the stand.
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