Randa Meetings 2014 – KDE

Hi everyone.

Did you know that for the 5th year, KDE is planning a Developer Sprint which is going to be held in Randa, Switzerland from the 9th to 15th of August this year?

Let me tell you a few words about it if you don’t know what is all about. These sprints are mostly the only times when KDE developers gather under the same roof to work on specific parts of our beloved open-source organization. These sprints are a great opportunity to plan and design new features as well as to hack on them. If you are interested, you can find more about previous sprints here.

A picture from 2010 Randa Meetings

A picture from 2010 Randa Meetings

But things cannot be as accessible as we might want. As you have probably guessed already, KDE needs money in order to make possible these meetings, since it is a non-profit organization which gained its popularity (and raises it day by day) owing to its great contributors and its great users. These contributors donate their time to help improve the software you love, so if you are a dedicated KDE user or if you are simply enthusiastic about free and open-source software you can support the Randa Meetings by making a donation here. Thank you! 🙂

Remember that wonderful ‘bird out of cage’ feeling FOSS gives you.

Călin Cruceru

‘Let’s rock this summer’ they said

And this is certainly what we are going to do.

I am proud to say that I have been accepted to Google Summer of Code under KDE, Marble project. Surprised? Yes, a little bit. That is, I belived in my chances but, at the same time, had dozens of emotions as the accepted students announcement approached. I think I had a pretty good proposal and I had also proven my acquaintance with the codebase through the 13 patches I had sent even before the student application period ended, but you never know what brilliant idea one may have.

Marble is a virtual globe and a world atlas. My project, named ‘Editing mode for Polygons inside Marble’, deals with the implementation of a new and fresh feature to Marble, called Polygons Editing. In plain English that is a set of tools which will allow the user to draw new polygons onto the map as well as managing and customizing (adding, removing, moving nodes) already drawn ones.

Why is such a feature highly needed within an exploring software? Well, I will show you a picture to give you a quick insight into what its purpose may be.
This is an existing feature of Marble which shows the eclipses from a particular date. Imagine how many similar shapes one could draw using the the Polygons Editing feature. The people to which this is addresed are researchers who could use it in presentations as an overview of their studies, students who may find it useful for their school assessments and many others who want to mark some specific places onto the earth for any reasons.

My work will also involve polishing the whole Editing Mode from Marble, including the Ground Overlays Editing. This is a feature implemented during Google Summer of Code 2013 and which have not been branched to master, although it was very close to look as a fresh and fully working feature. In fact, this is the task I have been working on lately and all I can say is that it is very close to the full functionality I was speaking above. I will not give any more details, but I will come back with another post where I will present my work done so far and this feature will certainly be included.

I am very excited to get it started officially and, hopefully, every line of code written by me will be accepted upstream.

Călin Cruceru