KDE India Conf 2020

KDE, SMC

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I attended my first KDE India conf ! conf.kde.in 2020 happened in Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, Delhi during January 17-19, 2020.

I started contributing to KDE since 2019 in localization as part of Swathanthra Malayalam Computing. The KDE localization process is still on SVN and it's difficult for a newbie to localize. I simplified it for the Malayalam localization by setting up an easy to use web interface with Weblate.

I attended #CKI2020 as a speaker.

Event

I attended CKI2020 along with Kannan VM. His talk was on how their company AlphaFork managed to migrate Janayugom newspaper entirely to free software. Janayugom is probably the only mainstream newspaper in the world to run entirely on free software.

KDE contributors from different parts of India attended the event. Some students who are doing Season of KDE (SoK) were also at the event. It was very nice to meet them in person. Adriaan de Groot & Arjen Hiemstra travelled all the way from Europe to attend CKI2020.

Last year, me and Balasankar C took the initiative to localize Calamares (The universal installer framework) to Malayalam. We were able to make it 100%.

Adrian De Groot a.k.a @kdedude is the maintainer of Calamares. He's also a KDE dev and is a member of the KDE e.V board. I got to meet him in person ! @kdedude did a talk on localization and KDE Frameworks which was very fascinating. Did you know that there's an API in KHolidays for moon time cycle ?!

Arjen's presentation on QtQuick was amusing. He took presentation to the next level, by making the presentation with Qt itself. It had live code-compiling demos right in the presentation itself !

My roommate was Anupam Basak, one of the devs of MAUI project. He also had a talk on MAUI. He had a Plasma mobile to experiment on. The MAUI apps were very cool. Convergent apps that work the same as on desktop and mobile with good performace is just 🔥 !

Saw Krita running on Android and artists drawing on it. It will soon be available for the public to work on !

I got to meet with the Indian northeastern KDE people. Coming from the extreme south of India, knowing that KDE folks are spread throughout India, to the north, west and east was very interesting. We all speak different languages, have different culture, but we have 2 things in common : India & KDE ❤️. Unity in diversity.

My Talk

My talk was titled "KDE Kerala". You can see the slides here.

The talk was separated into 3 sections :

  • History of FOSS In Kerala
  • How FOSS is used in Kerala's education sector
  • Localization

FOSS In Education

My extensive experiments with GNU/Linux started from school. I first used Ubuntu when I was 10 (2010) in 6th grade. I didn't have a computer back then. Previously, I only knew of the Windows OS. So, the free software push in schools have personally helped me. It helped many other kids too.

Now, Kerala schools have local students clubs called "KITE Clubs" where students learn and make stuff with FOSS tools. They play with Blender, Raspberry Pi, Arduino etc. Here are a couple examples of animation videos made by school kids :

I've known @AkshayTG3 since I was a kid. We together grew in a free software environment. While I got into coding, he drew with GIMP and now he's amazing all of us with his artwork. He is the chief designer of our college club @fossersvast. And he draws with a mouse !! Here's an amazing artwork by him.

The Aftermath

After CKI2020, Wrishiraj Kaushik from KDE Assam took the initiative to localize Calamares to Assamese, which hit 100% ! I'm now helping Wrishiraj and SuperX team in setting up an easy to use infrastructure for localizing KDE apps to Assamese, similar to what we did for Malayalam.

When I got into KDE Malayalam localization, I had a hunch that this will help other teams too. So, I documented everything as I progressed and tried different tools. We ended up using Weblate and it's going smooth. And now Assamese team are using that documentation to setup their Weblate instance !

Conclusion

It was my first ever conf this far outside Kerala, that too as a speaker. I had a wonderful experience at CKI2020 and Delhi. Thanks to the Delhi organizers for successfully conducting CKI2020 conf. I hope to participate in Akademy and more KDE confs in the future. And along with it, more contributions :)

You might wanna read other blogs on CKI2020 :

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