Calligra Under The Hood

Just back from Fosdem where I gave a presentation with the above title. It was taped, but I don’t think it’s edited an up yet, but you can get the slides here. I think the talk went reasonably well, but since the organizers had asked for technical content, my content was very technical. Either that, or the timeslot (Sunday 16:00) meant that there were very few people in Jansons and that the people who were there couldn’t come up with any questions. I still do think that the subject was pretty important: how to use the Calligra office engine in your own applications, no matter the form factor your app is intended for.

And development in Calligra is so exciting these days, with 2400 commits since we moved to git. It’s a pity we’re generally speaking too busy to blog or dent. Jan Hambrecht, the Karbon maintainer, has returned and is working on connectors between shapes and clipping. Thorsten Zachmann is properly implementing the long-needed text-on-shape feature. Krita developing is rushing at an enormous pace. Casper Boeman and Sebastian Sauer are rejuvenating the rather unstable, slow and tangled code of the layout engine. Yue Liu is making a go of the development of Flow (formerly known as Kivio). We really should blog more often…

The opening keynote by Eben Moglen was very inspiring, but not everybody could attend since the auditorium was packed while there will still people waiting outside. Eben Moglen called on all of us to make software that promotes freedom on the ground — referring to the current situation in Egypt as well as to the datamining monopoly the United States has achieved in the past decade. Facebook is not harmless, it’s dangerous. Even though they sponsored Fosdem…

It made me think about where Krita fits in there, but the answer is simple: artists who create art to support the struggle for freedom deserve to be able to do that with free tools, tools that cannot be taken away from them. So with my conscience salved, I plunged into the crowded corridors to find the KDE stand where Irina was helping out again this year, despite still being tired from her hospital adventure end of December. Met up with a lot of people, too. I didn’t go to many presentations apart from the keynote and the office track, but it looked like most rooms were packed anway.

The Fosdem organizers really took great care of us main track speakers, with a nice hotel for self and spouse (no free internet at the hotel, though!), taxi between hotel and venue, t-shirt, snack-bag and so on. Wonderful work guys and gals!

All in all, a chaotic, rousing, inspiring and tiring experience. It’s nearly 11:00 now, and I still need to shower. But at least most of my mail backlog is done!