KDE sprints – Randa, 2015

So, following this year’s Google Summer of Code, I have now the opportunity to be a part of the annual KDE sprints which will be hosted in Randa, Switzerland from the 6th to the 13th of September this year. Thankfully, I have all my documents sorted out and I’ll be flying to Switzerland on from Pune, my hometown, in India, on the 5th this month.

But more importantly, I must speak a few words about the Randa sprints themselves. I have mentioned a lot about this “sprint” taking place in Randa and of course, there’s not the slightest of chance that you’ll find me sprinting, as such. Sprints are basically, productive developer meetups in which a lot of time and effort is put towards planning, brainstorming and actually implementing most of the plans. The organizing community invests a lot of funds in bringing together these developers to meetup at a common place with a common aim – to make great software, or indeed to improve upon the already great work that is out in the open. Developers will collaborate during the Randa sprints and all that is expected of them would be to just code it out throughout the week. At the end of it all, I’m sure we’ll witness something magical.

There are around 50 participants for this year’s sprints and they come in all shapes, sizes and ages 😉 A lot of seasoned developers would be involved in this year’s sprints aiming to make the motto for this year’s sprints a reality – “Bring touch to KDE” !

This year’s Akademy saw the KDE community announce the Plasma Mobile and demo it’s PoC and I’m sure there’ll be a lot of work revolving the same. My Season of KDE mentor Bhushan Shah is just one among the few who are dedicated full-time in working towards making Plasma-Mobile more reachable to the user. I for one can’t hold my excitement as I track the progress and note the developments and it’ll be a great opportunity for me to get up close with the development group of the same.

There’s is of course a lot to look forward to and in the hustle and bustle of all this, I can ill afford to undermine the work that would be expected of myself. For this year’s Google Summer of Code, I had taken up the task of porting Kopete to KF5(KDE frameworks 5). Back in the days, Kopete had a lot of contributors and users(most of them still active), and to be able to work on it’s codebase and bring it up to the latest API’s is a real privilege indeed. The port is at the moment in an incomplete state and I aim to make as much progress as possible in this regard. Joshua, a fellow Google Summer of Code participant, who re-wrote the history plugin of Kopete will be present in the sprints and I hope to team up with him and Olivier Goffart – one the early and main authors of Kopete – to make Kopete better. That is my personal aim for the sprints this year and I know as well that my Summer of Code mentor Laurent Montel would be following the developments with Kopete keenly. We’re still working our way on various reviews and are constantly working towards obtaining a more polished version of Kopete. I’ll keep you posted on the developments during the sprint !

To sum it all up, the sprints provide a great pedestal for upcoming developers to learn more about the community and how free software works in general, of course, most of the people attending the sprints are already aware of it, but to see it all unfold in front of their very eyes is something quite special indeed. Usually, sprints are very productive and produce top-notch products and features that users will just love to get involved with. This really is a very ingenious way of promoting free and great software and ensuring the baton is passed from one generation to the other.

Too much of ranting for now, I can’t wait for the sprints to get started. To know more about the sprints, visit the Randa page : http://randa-meetings.ch/ and get involved !

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