Cold War at the Eighth KDE PIM Gathering


The eighth annual KDE PIM developer meeting in Osnabrück, Germany started out with an extended snowball fight among the Scottish, German and Dutch contingencies. That actual work was being done was evidenced by enhancements to Akonadi, KDE 4.4 and 4.5, and planned further development of the Kontact groupware client.

The eighth annual meeting of the KDE groupware faction was all in the spirit of mobile devices. KDE Kontact is to be ported as fast as possible on mobile platforms such as Maemo 5 and Windows Mobile, if things go according to the plans of the Kolab Consortium under the auspices of Intevation and KDAB. Kolab has recently been releasing repeated new versions of the Windows port of KDE Kontact, the latest with a one-click installer.

In a guest talk, Patrick Ohly presented the SyncEvolution framework from Intel (Moblin) that could develop into the central interface for Akonadi. Some architectural problems and incompatibilities with user devices have stood in the way up to now. The tool, despite its name, has nothing to do with GNOME's groupware client.

KDE 4.4 RC1 currently includes the first Kontact applications that store their files in Akonadi. KDE 4.5 should start including mail, calendar and the countless other applications. One challenge might be the migration path and avoiding data loss for users upgrading from older versions.

Further topics of discussion at the meeting were:

  • Kontact and local applications as an offset to the general loss of privacy in the Web 2.0 age.
  • Test environment (not just for developers).
  • Popular subject of KDE marketing. Suggestions included more focused presence in websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and a "KDE PIM Planet."

A further issue is probably more of a luxury problem: good Qt/KDE/PIM developers are in many cases being recruited away from faster growing companies in the industry sector. The Osnabrück 8 participants therefore agreed that programmers and junior contributors should do more self-promotion.

( Markus Feilner)

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