{May 24, 2010}   Activities in 4.5

huzzah! I made a screencast showing the activities stuff in 4.5 :)

if the embedded video causes trouble you can also get it straight from

If you’re not going to watch the video, there’s one important thing in there: beta 1 has some bugs, so don’t try to switch activities with anything besides the new activity manager. Avoid the mouse plugin, the activity bar plasmoid, and the next/previous keyboard shortcuts – I’ll have them fixed in beta 2.

And because I know someone will forget and end up googling this: the default global keyboard shortcut for the activity manager is meta-q (meta is usually referred to as the windows key – I probably should have called it that in the video). That’s also accessible through plasma’s shortcuts config dialog, so you don’t actually have to google it at all. :)

{May 20, 2010}   still alive

wow, whta has it been… two weeks since I blogged? two and a half…

life’s been busy. the end of that conference was fun, but it kinda burnt me out; I still plan to blog about the rest of it eventaually. since then, it’s been a mix of important RL stuff (yes, there do exist things more important than kde), racing to beat the feature freeze, and then racing to fix bugs in those features before the first beta is tagged. oh yeah, and there was a birthday in there somewhere too ;)

I’ve found some good restaurants in my area… enjoyed the sunshine.. watched crazy wind-storms outside my window… gotten horribly drunk.. had a great time without any alcohol… and other things.

and then there’s the code – feature freeze has a way of showign up at times that are reallly damn inconvenient to me personally, so I did something I really hate doing – committed code I knew was buggy and not very well-written, to meet the deadline. since then I’ve been fixing those bugs and cleaning up that code – with help from aaron and ivan and fredrikh and others. :)

I think it’ll be worth it, though – in trunk right now we have an activity manager for plasma, and some basic activity association code in kwin. it’s still got some rough edges, but it generally works, so I’m gonna do a screencast showing off the new features soon. :)

right now though… I’m not sure whether I’m more exhausted or starving… I think I’m gonna go crawl into bed :)

{May 2, 2010}   degrowth, day 3

Saturday’s presetnations were much better. :) The first one was actually done over videoconference, which worked surprisingly well. There was talk about the unsustainability of what we’re doing to the planet right now, and how this growth that we take for granted is actually quite a recent phenomenon in human history. Peter Victor has been running simulations of various economic models, and again there seemed to be a relationship between lowering emissions and working less :) (and lowering unemployment and poverty somewhat, too).

We had more videos, both about sustainability and about how movements grow – I need to find one of them annd post it but I don’t have time right now. We had a talk on happiness, and more history lessons.

Yeah, I really don’t have time for a proper blog post. suffice it to say that there were several good talks, a panel discussion, and then more great circle discussions. alternative currencies, transition towns, how to change things…

There was a party in the evening too… most people were still talking or had gone to bed, but someone showed up with hoola hoops and we had fun dancing :) and whizzing around on carts after we’d packed up the chairs and things (we’ll be in a different building today).

{May 1, 2010}   degrowth, day 2

Friday we had several presentations. They were…. not so great. A ton of doom and gloom – peak oil, population issues, how incredibly fucked we all are even if we were to turn things around right this minute. :/

I don’t much like that sort of thing. It’s depressing. It makes me want to give up. I got the impression that a lot of us don’t even believe in peak oil any more, anyways. One of the presentations was just a half-hour parade of graphs. *yawn* Good thing I had a book. ;)

Oh, but there was also an impromptu presentation by Village Vancouver – they’ve been building sustainable communities right here, and they seem to be running a lot of workshops. Neat. Maybe I’ll go to one of those sometime. :)

Afterwards, we split into discussion groups, and that was great. I ended up in the politics circle, whose topic actually wandered all over the place. we talked about apathy, about how few protests there are in north america these days, and how little they accomplish… about how we might get power back into the hands of the people. Someone reminded us that municipal governments are actually fairly open, and we can go to those meetings – but what they really need from us is metrics, numbers to back up what we’re saying so that they can justify their decisions. I got another history lesson: back in the 60’s, most people could actually afford a house and an education. In many ways, their standard of living was better than what we have now – despite, or because of, their economy being stagnant. We talked about the need to build community and connect with nature, about local currencies, privatization, how participatory government does and doesn’t scale… I’m going to have to sort through my notes later and find out what conclusions we actually arrived at, because this just scratches the surface. :)

The discussions went late, and then smaller discussions went even later. :) Someone told us about how the little redneck town she grew up in has become the local-food capital of the world – change *can* happen. :) We need more success stories like that, more examples of solutions, of what we can really do.

Today there’s another lineup of speakers – hopefully they’ll be a bit more optimistic than yesterday ;) But really, these conferences, it’s about the *people*, the discussions, meeting and connecting and finding out what other people have been doing and that you’re not alone. It’s not about those few people giving talks, it’s about everyone coming together to make things happen. :)

et cetera