{November 19, 2010}   meeeeeeeego!

whee :) the meego conference was fucking awesome. so awesome I was avoiding starting to blog about it ’cause I’m not sure so much awesome can fit into one post ;)

also, I have other things to blog about, like the other activity stuff I got in just before the freeze. I’ve got a blog backlog, which generally leads to having a bigger blog backlog. :P

So, let’s start with the conference. OMGWTFBBQ. I arrived saturday – also the day I finally started to speak full sentences of german. how ironic… anyways, I found the hostel ok, and then more people did, and we got over to the venue just at the end of the bridge-building contest. :) KDE wins at bridge-building: leinir’s group had the bridge that was unbreakable, even with all their weights – so I tried to hang from it, and then it finally broke. :)

That night we found an amazingly good indian restaurant (seriously worth the 30 euros I spent) and.. hmm. I can’t remember anything after that, but I think I just went back to the hostel to get a good night’s sleep. And failed horribly at that, thanks to some girls so drunk that even with earplugs and a blindfold they kept me awake (and no, not in a good way). :P Luckily I only had to put up with them for that one night, though. :)

Sunday was the pre-conference workshops… several of us stayed out at the front of the hotel for the morning, enjoying the sunshine, but eventually ervin herded us into the meego room to help with his qt workshop. :) That evening, Dawn taught us to play a game called Werewolf – it’s about the same as Mafia, and was a continuing obsession throughout the conference. ;) I think it was monday night that I left the game around 2am, and people were still playing until around 3…

Monday was the first day of the official conference. We found out that there we’d be getting lenovos – but didn’t actually get them until wednesday. Unfortunate for those hoping to demo things on them, but probably good for getting people to actually attend the sessions. ;) Speaking of which, there was a great community one by dave neary. I often had trouble deciding which session to go to :) plus I spent a lot of time wandering around getting to know people – or hooking them up with hardware ;)

Tuesday was more of the same, until the social evening – we went to the guinness storehouse, where they had lots of drinks and snacks and people telling us where we weren’t allowed to go (luckily I was one of the few to get up to the top viewing area). My UK-ish accent started returning around then, I think. I danced, learnt how to pour guinness, danced more, drank a lot, and ended up bar-hopping and speaking chinese with Ronan. :) I made it back to my hostel eventually, but I’m not sure when. ;)

Wednesday.. well, that was tuesday’s revenge ;) It was the unconference day, and I missed one session I probably should’ve been in and there was a few minutes of confused chaos, but it all got sorted out and I got my lenovo and in the afternoon I led (ish) a session on plasma and meego, which turned into a “requirements for getting kdelibs-mobile into core” discussion. That was quite… educational. There’s a huuuge culture gap between kde and intel (it was an intel guy in the session, nobody from nokia could make it unfortunately) and lots of awkwardness, but I think it turned out okay. :) Getting to actually talk about things in person helps dispell a lot of the misconceptions. This conference was wonderful in that regard – I arrived nervous and uncertain, worried that we’d be unwelcome outsiders, but it was nothing like that – everyone was there for meego, and it didn’t seem to matter where they were from kde/gnome/etc or intel/nokia/etc or anything, it was all good. :) We did find out that a lot of them have no idea what kde is, though – but now at least some of them have heard about kde-mobile and so on, so again misconceptions are reduced. :)

I didn’t want to leave the conference wednesday evening. I made friends there, and it was fun, and I hope I can go to the next one. That said.. god it was good to get home and be in my own bed again. :)

Now it’s friday, and I’m at the kde mobile sprint in berlin, and marco just showed us plasma running on meego :D and we’re running out the door for dinner now. :) later I’ll blog about how to get kde packages on your own meego. ..and all that other stuff. :)

:) There’s been lots of fun plasma stuff going on as feature freeze approaches.

Ivan’s been doing lots of stuff behind the scenes, making big changes to the activitymanager service. He’s also been polishing up the UI – you’ll notice that it highlights the current activity now (although the effect’s a bit subtle in whatever theme I’m using), various little bugs have been cleaned out, and it’s possible to edit the name and icon right there. :)

Then there’s the template thing Ivan mentioned – I hardly had to write any code for this really. The options are organized so that new users won’t be as overwhelmed (it was.. educational.. watching people try the UI at the opensuse conference) and anyone can write templates – little javascript snippets that set up widgets for an activity. :)

There’s one unfortunate thing here – the guy who was planning to actually create a set of templates for 4.6 is busy, and the freeze is thursday, and all we have right now is one ugly demo template I threw together in a few minutes. So if you want to create some – well, come pester me to document the process. ;) Hopefully I’ll have time to add a GHNS button to the UI too, and then more templates can be downloaded – but it’d be nice to have more than one shipped with 4.6. :)

That’s not all that’s been going on, though. :) Thanks to ivan’s changes under the hood, we can finally hook up my activity-session stuff to an actual UI! :D Clicking the little stop button in plasma now properly closes it, windows and all. :)
There’s more to do, like queuing things under the hood so that you don’t have to wait for one activity to finish shutting down before clicking hte stop button on the next; that’ll give us something to do after freeze. ;) I’m sure bugs will turn up too, now that I’m not the only person using the session thing. In fact, this will also expose bugs in most applications’ session handling. I already know that many qt apps (assistant, anki, etc) are not very good at session-restore; I’m still hoping there are a few things I can do on the kwin/ksmserver side, but a lot of this is up to the application itself.

One more thing: I created a dataengine for activities. This means that if you think you can do better than the current activity management UI, you can easily give it a try. :) There’s even examples to look at – I’ve ported the activitybar plasmoid and the switchactivity mouse plugin to use it. I haven’t added all the new API yet (you can add/remove activities but not open/close them) but I’ll get that done today or tomorrow. :)

One thing I’d love to see is a popupapplet for quickly switching activities. The activitybar takes too much space for my liking – I just want a cute little icon showing my current activity, and a popup that lets me switch to the others. then I could put it right into my regular panel. :) I’d write the applet myself if I only had the time…

btw, sorry for the lack of screenshots – my ksnapshot is crashing instantly this week. the joys of running trunk, eh? ;)
Maybe I’ll do a screencast instead, this weekend. :)

et cetera