23 September, 2007

KDE-Edu

There was an email today about the KDE4-Edu-polishingday-story from their 'master' (I was almost gonna say mother. Should I?), Anne-marie Mahfouf. She responded to a little discussion about how polished Ubuntu was (or rather, was not) according to Walt Mossberg, some Wall Street Journal writer. The Edu polishing day was very successful, despite all the negative comments on the dot-story. And these developers receive more negative comments, it's not just there on the dot.

PPL don't seem to realize how valuable KDE-Edu is. And they still don't seem to understand how FOSS works. Let's just hope the first can be fixed, and the latter is due to all the new ppl we have in our community, who simply haven't learned the ropes yet. I won't go into the "How does FOSS work", as that apparently can't really be explained, one has to see how a community works and decides how and where to put resources. It just takes time.

But I can talk about the importance of KDE-Edu. And I don't even know where to begin. One might say: "I don't use those applications". Sure. I don't. So that's it? We're just gonna go "If I don't use it, let's stop working on it"? There are millions of children out there who would be (and are) very happy with these apps. Have you ever seen how bad, how incredibly bad most educational applications in schools are? KDE-Edu is ahead of what most schools pay thousands of dollars for, really. It's a driving force for KDE in schools, you know. I actually have an article in the pipeline about that, a company which makes it's mony mostly by bringing Linux/KDE into schools.

But that's not all. KDE-Edu is generally ahead of the rest of KDE. The usage of GHNS2, SVG (!pixmap cache!) and other core parts of KDE in Edu leads to loads of bug fixes and better functionality which benefits everyone in this ecosystem. Marble, anyone?

Also, the KDE-Edu part of our community is very friendly to newcomers. Yes, we all are. Of course, we're all big loving hunks'o'love. But it's rather daunting to work on Konqueror, you know. It's much easier to work on Khangman. That's what I'm talking about. If you want to learn KDE development, it's easier to start in the KDE-Edu project. And these people have a lot of experience with newcomers, as they simply HAVE a lot new ppl all the time. So, there you learn how the community works, you learn how to work with C++, Qt and KDE code, how to use the KDE infrastructure and what code styles are acceptable. In time, you can probably work on other parts of KDE. Big win-win, right?

And last something I know a little about.
  • Do you know which apps have been most prominent in the KDE 4 presentations I gave the last 2 years?
  • Do you know which apps always have been the best looking out there, during KDE 4 development?
  • Do you know which apps where run at booths to show people what KDE 4 could do?
  • Do you know which apps ensured people where like "wow, KDE 4 looks cool" and "hey, it's not all vaporware"?
Yeah, those apps which looked the most polished and stable, which really showed of the new KDE 4 capabilities. KDE-Edu and the KDE games. Promotion-wise speaking, those have been on the forefront, pulling our efforts to a higher level. Without them, I would've been without nice screenshots on FOSDEM, 2006. To give just one example of a meeting where I really would have hated to be without KDE-Edu and KDE-Games. Because EVERY other KDE app still looked like sh*t back then.

Really, KDE-Edu is one of those parts of KDE you CAN NOT IGNORE. Even Edubuntu, a project not exactly pro-KDE (once in a time they wanted to rewrite Kalzium in GTK) is forced to rely mostly on KDE-applications - just because they are the best.

So please, give this part of KDE the respect it deserves. Every part of KDE matters, and they have done an amazing job. I think, after all this flaming and negativity, it is time for three cheers for this Very Important KDE project and their developers.

edit:
and here you go.