Home again

After a great Akademy, I’m home again and back in my office chair trying to build a new Krita package for CentOS 5.8. Would have succeeded, too, if Qt 4.8 could have worked with the built-in dbus. Recompiling Qt 4.7 now, that used to work.

But I’m still tired… Akademy was wonderful, but I got hit pretty badly by the dust in the bedroom of my apartment and now I’ve got little infections everywhere, as if my immune system has gone on vacation. So if you’ve seen me vegging out in the coffee shop in the Akademy venue, that wasn’t because I had a hangover, but because I was feeling horrible… And in fact, I’m still feeling rather grumpy.

Fortunately, the allergy tended to clear up in the afternoon. There have been plenty of blogs and posts on the dot about Akademy, but for me, highlights were the keynotes which were way more inspiring and awesome than usual. I blogged about a few already, but not about the keynote from Will Schoeder from Kitware. He talked about Open Science — and how lack of openness hurts a lot. His slide about mri scan interpretation differences was absolutely frightening. Not just because therapies are based on these wildly diverging results but also because pop science books like “Wij zijn ons brein” take these results inside the brain for absolute proof for lots of behaviour — and people are starting to make policy depend on that.

KDE-wise, the e.V. meeting took really long, but it was worth it. We got a lot of things done, and I’m particularly happy that Ingo, Tom and Ben’s proposal for creating a working group focussed on improving the tools and process used to enable developer-user interaction succeeded.

I had a very enjoyable afternoon hacking with Aurelien Gateau, implementing the first beginning of colormanagement into Gwenview.

The dealing-with-the-press session with Jake from LWN, Markus from Linux Magazin and Open Hatch’s Deb Nicholson. Lots of good tips, and now I need to implement those in Krita’s efforts to reach press and public.

And let’s not forget this: Camilla Boemann won the Akademy Award 2012 for Calligra Words! A huge compliment and boost for her and the whole Words and Calligra team!

[Once again, pictures no longer available.]

The last day, I went to do the tourist thing. The old town of Tallinn is a Unesco World Heritage. The damage done by the Soviet bombs in 1944 and by the decades of Soviet rule has been mostly cleared up — often by Polish restoration companies. Poland seems to have a lot of experience in that area, from Krakow to the University of Wroclaw, which I visited some years ago. The ensemble of buildings was very impressive. Less impressive is that apart from two bakeries and a hat shop at the very outskirts, the whole old town contains nothing but restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. Well, that, and a few museums and embassies. The city history museum had a quite good overview of history. Weirdest place of the old town: a tower called Kiek in Kök — that sounded so Dutch, and in fact, the name is low German, and I was right that I remembered to have seen the name before..

There was a kind of medieval re-enactment festival going on Thursday, which I enjoyed a lot. The Musica Ficta ensemble was singing, and I was really impressed and very happy to snag their CD.

It might be cheesy, but I didn’t care — the Olde Hansa restaurant’s spicy beer and wine served by dressed-up waitresses was plenty of fun.

There were a lot of rather pretty wooden houses around in our apartment’s neighbourhood. I saw a poster from the The Museum of Estonian Architecture about an exhibition on these houses, called “from Slum to Architecture — Tallinn’s Wooden Houses”, and I really wanted to see that, but couldn’t find the museum. In any case, awareness probably means that they won’t all be demolished.

Given the problems we currently have in our Parish in Deventer, I haven’t been to church for half a year, so I felt it would be a good idea to go to the morning Liturgy in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. I’ve been Russian-Orthodox for over 18 years now, and I’d never been to a service that was fully in Church-Slavonic. I could follow most of it, but I couldn’t confess because the English-speaking priest was on vacation, so I couldn’t receive Communion. Despite that, it was an intensely moving experience.