Qt World Summit 2015

I hadn’t been able to attend the Qt Dev Days since the old Nokia days… My last one was when they handed out the blue N9’s. KDE, as a sponsor/partner for the Qt World Summit, had access to a number of passes, and was going to have a booth, and I applied for one. I like doing booth duty and I think I’m fairly good at getting people to listen to our spiel. Here’s a report from the trenches!

Monday is training day, and the KDE team didn’t have passes for trainings. Besides, it probably was more instructive to sit in the hack room and hack anyway. With about ten KDE hackers around, the room was full and stuffy, but on the other hand, it was like a mini sprint. At the end of the day, I had the kxmlgui framework in a state where I could use it again for Krita without needing to fork it.

Very gratifying was the recognition KDE got on Tuesday, during the intro talk and the keynote by Lars Knoll. We know we’re doing a good job stress-testing Qt, and a good job as a community helping Qt develop and grow, and it was good to see that recognized.

Not so awesome was the need another keynote speaker felt to connect to his public by making a little “I won’t tell my wife” joke. Not terribly seriously over the edge, perhaps, but unpleasant nonetheless. When can we have a tech conference where speakers don’t assume that their public are heterosexual, white, middle-aged married men? I happen to be one of them, of course…

I didn’t attend many presentations. Of the talks I attended, both Guisseppe D’Angelo’s “Integrating OpenGL with Qt Quick 2” and Olivier Goffart’s “Using namespace std:” stood out because the presentation was clear, the information went deep so I could learn something new. Olivier’s way of engaging with the public worked really well.

The real meat of the QtWS was working the booth, though. We had a good presentation: nice blue table cloth, two good posters (need to have OS logo’s next year, most people thought KDE was Linux-only), a presentation running on a big screen and videos (Plasma Phone, Calligra Gemini, Krita) running in a loop on a nice convertible Windows 8 laptop, together with some software, like Krita Gemini and Marble to show people that KDE’s Frameworks are a truly tested technology you can use to create serious real-world technology. Here’s a picture Dan took:

That was a story that worked: almost everyone whom I asked “do you know KDE” answered with “Yes, I even used to use it”. So I’d go on explaining that KDE is more than the desktop they used to use, but that there’s this set of frameworks, full of tried, tested and reliable technology. Some examples later, I’d point them at the inqlude website. KDE really doesn’t have a website that ‘sells’ Frameworks, which is a problem. Inqlude worked, though. I could also help reassure some people that doing a new desktop application with QWidgets wasn’t a choice for a dead technology, also by showing off Krita Gemini: QWidgets and QML in the same application, with a seamless switch. All in all, we reached a fair number of interested people and we had a story that appealed and got through.

Wednesday evening, my feet ached and the arm that I had broken just before aKademy was very painful as well, but I was pretty satisfied. Plus, I had a stack of Kiki postcards, and pretty much everyone whom I handed one smiled, no matter how tired they were!

One cannot visit Berlin and skip seeing one of the museums. That’s my story, and I stick to it. This time, I went to the Gemäldegalerie. Usually, I visit the Bode Museum, which has some incredible sculpture. The Gemäldegalerie was showing a special exhibition around Adobe’s famous Illustrator splash screen’s painter. The exhibition was a tad disappointing though.

Botticelli’s work was shown together with 19th and 20th century works inspired by him. Some of those works were really interesting, some were boring. Warhol’s Venus on an Amiga 1000 is much less interesting than the Amiga 1000 itself. Other works were more interesting, like Antonio Donghi or Evelyn de Morgan. But that’s fine: not everything needs to be riveting. More of a problem was the presentation of Botticelli’s works themselves: a
boring, long row of paintings grouped by subject. As if the exhibition designer was fresh out of inspiration. The central room with the sole two works signed by Botticelli was flooded in a red light that made it impossible to see anything.

Anyway, after the exhibition followed a four kilometer walk through the galleries, with so many great paintings that a certain visual indigestion was inevitable. But I’ll go again, and perhaps again. This might be my favorite for now, with the red-haired girl helping her grandmother, and the dancing pair: