every so often something happens that makes me remember just how lucky i am to be involved with such an amazing project such as kde. this week saw a bunch of such somethings occur.
jono bacon and i discussed at length the issues of open source desktop sanity and managed to explain the strategy behind pojects like solid and phonon: to solve "simple" problems for the vast majority of applications in a platform independent way without inventing new low-level solutions (such as HAL/DBUS, gstreamer, NMM, etc). this allows more apps to take advantage of these features, future proofs us better and prevents duplication of effort (i counted 5 cross-platform hardware abstraction code bases in kde last time i did a survey of that). yesterday jono tracked me down on irc to ask more about solid and so i did an `svn up` and saw that kevin's done a bunch more work since i last looked at it. i was able to answer all his questions really nicely just by reading the code. wonderful work!
over on the promo mailing list there was some really great conversations with everyone challenging each other's assumptions and ideas in a very collegiate manner. the result has been a clearer understanding of our goals and some very good insights such as charles de miramon's missive on communicating solutions to people's problems rather than specifications and random capabilities (aka "feature checklists") and sebastian kugler's insight onto marketing to segments we can effectively serve properly. when wade olsen posted a link to a channel 9 video, in response to me belly-aching about not having time right now to look at it danil dotsenko wrote a transcript of it (paraphrase style) for the rest of us. there were several other really great contributions in those threads as well, but for brevity of this blog entry's sake, i'll just suggest that if you want to see this promo machine in action, get involved and sub to the kde-promo list.
and then there is the osdl desktop architect's group. in december a plan was formulated to create a library for software groups (ISV's) to use in targetting the platform that would provide simple access points to things like mimetype activation and application installation without requiring them to learn all of our frameworks or even adopt them fully right away. great idea (and one that was formulated and championed by our own martin konold) but where was the code? well, the other day one my personal heros in the project lubos lunak stepped up with the start of that and posted a tarball that has kicked things off.
and these are just three examples of half a dozen that happened in the last week. in a nutshell, those happenings are the source of my hope and excitement for kde: we have amazing people who are doing hard work. not always glamorous, not always with a big shiny logo and a huge marketing push. just getting shit done.
more and more over time it's becoming apparent that if you want to get something done on the open source desktop, the kde project is a great place to start.