Thursday, May 31, 2012

KDE Connect: becoming an official KDE eV program for organizations

During the last 3-4 weeks we have been testing if KDE Connect attract attention from different organizations. To do so, we have done the following:
  • Make a presentation during  Akademy-es in Saragossa
  • Talk to different organization representatives and KDE people at LinuxTag about the project to get feedback.
Both experience has been positive so we think we are now prepare for the following step, getting the ok from KDE eV to the Action Plan.

Back in February, I presented the project general design to KDE eV and we agree on keep pushing it,  creating a team and developing an Action Plan. After some work, it is time to discuss it. So within the Board of Directors first and then within the eV, we will discuss the proposal made by KDE Connect team to make sure KDE networking program for organizations is a success.

To reinforce the project, along with Akademy team, we have decided to organize a networking session during Akademy 2012, on Monday 2nd, during the afternoon, so organizations attending to our event can participate and get a clear idea of what KDE Connect pretend and how they can take advantage out of it.

If you are interested in attending please stay tuned to this blog or Akademy website. Participation will be free (of cost) but you'll need to register.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thank you for your monetary contribution to KDE

This post is dedicated to everyone of you who contributes (or did) to KDE with donations, sponsorship or participating in any of our corporate programs we are currently running.

KDE publish a quarterly report where we include the major activities we do thanks to the money we receive from you. We also publish some numbers so we give you some information about how we are doing in terms of income/expenses. During the AGM, the Treasurer presents the report from the previous year and some numbers to give KDE eV members an idea of how the current financial year is going. To that AGM we invite Patrons and supportive members, so they can also have direct information and can ask questions.

But I would like to go beyond numbers and actions, reports or cold analysis. I would like to point out how important is that money for many young students from countries that do not offer the opportunities we are used to in Europe or North America, for example.

For many of them, the economic support we offer them to participate in our activities allow them to become part of KDE. Attending to Akademy or any sprint means much more than just the opportunity to meet KDE developers. For many of them, the economic support we provide them allows them to access to a future avoided for most of their friends, impossible to provide by their families or educational system. It means a passport to a deserving future.

I've seen in the past as a KDE member first, as a Desktop Summit organizer later and now as KDE eV Treasurer, how relevant is that help we provide, how much they deserve it, how good use of it they do in general and how that benefits to KDE. But above all, I've seen how their lives have changed, how many opportunities brings for them collaborating with a Free Software project like KDE and what a great role we play as opportunity providers.

I'm very proud of participating in a project that really change people's life, specially to those that, because of where the live, they have very few opportunities to get what me and many others can get. And it is possible because of your support.

Thank you.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

KDE as incubator and as an umbrella for other projects: KDE project definition

In KDE we discussed some years ago about who we were and should we define our selves as a project. In simple words, we came up defining KDE as the community the develop the software.

This could be seem as trivial, but in fact, it has a big impact in many areas beside marketing. We put in value our people and our relations, that mean, our ecosystem, above our technologies or our software. 

KDE is currently discussing another hot and relevant topic for the following years, with implications in many areas. We are trying to define what is a KDE project.

An obvious use case we are trying to give a good solution to is a project that is born in KDE and gets commercial success. KDE is becoming a great incubator for commercial activities run by KDE members, so we need to define a few, simple and basic rules to improve them without hurting the project. We have a huge potential in this incubator role.

But there is also another use case that, to me, could have even bigger impact on us. I'm talking about those project who are not KDE right now but could become part of our ecosystem in the future. To them, the definition we give to a KDE project and its implications are key for their possible future as part of KDE.

Our community is a great place to develop your ideas, to share, collaborate and to become successful from different perspectives, including commercially. We need to improve our role as business/project incubators and, at the same time, attract to KDE those projects who could be more successful under our umbrella than by themselves. There are many of those out there. Let's make it easy for them to join us.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Akademy-es 2012, the annual Spanish KDE event, will take place next weekend

KDE Spain, in collaboration with Saragossa City Council, The Saragossa Knowledge Foundation and the Aragon regional FLOSS SME cluster (CESLA) organizes Akademy-es 2012, the V edition of the yearly meeting where KDE community from Spain meets. It will take place next weekend, from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th in Saragossa.

This year we pay special attention, beside pure KDE contents, to Qt and companies, with several talks related to them. KDE Spain (a legal entity), as usual,  also celebrates its annual assembly on Saturday, May 19th, as part of the event.

We have several sponsors. One of them, Wadobo, is owned by Eduardo Robles Elvira (aka edulix). This is nothing but a confirmation of how Free Software communities, even local ones, work as business incubators, feeding the project back. This is definitely, something to promote even more in KDE.

On Friday 18th I'm giving a talk specially oriented to companies. I will try to explain them the advantages of getting involved in a community driven Free Software project like KDE. On Saturday 19th I will talk about KDE Connect.

I'm glad to see that this year we will also have several talks from representatives of non KDE initiatives that helps us in different ways, like Jesus, G. Barahona, from Libresoft (we collaborate in FP7 project ALERT) or Paul Brown, from Linux Magazine (Spanish version director). We will also have OpenSUSE related contents. I hope next year some other distros propose talks for Akademy-es.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

My activity as KDE Treasurer... so far.

KDE is a mature worldwide community FLOSS project. Contributors develop KDE Frameworks, Workspaces and Applications that are used by many people and companies around the world. Some of them get paid for contributing while others do it for fun. All them share an identity and some universal and specific values.

To sustain such a huge activity, resources are needed, and they need to be managed. One of those resources is....yes, money. One of the KDE eV Board of Directors goals is to build relations with organizations that could be interested in supporting KDE activity in many different ways. Supporting us economically is one of the relevant. To improve this goal, KDE eV hired a Business Manager, Claudia Rauch. You can check KDE Quarterly Reports to get information about our incomes and expenses.

KDE eV Board manage those resources, assuming the legal responsibility for them and making sure they serve to KDE goals. Claudia is also of great help in this goal.

Beside contributing in every aspect of the Board activity, as Treasurer, I have three major duties:
  • Assume the legal responsibility for a correct management of the economic resources.
  • Lead the creation of the budget, the financial reports and the everyday control of KDE eV resources. Presenting the year repost to the KDE eV assembly is a major milestone.
  • Lead the economic discussions/decisions within the Board to take the better possible decisions to accomplish the action plan, guided by the strategic decisions.

I have previous and wide experience in business and professional associations but this is my first relevant experience as Board Member of a community project. As expected, there are many similarities and a few but relevant differences. Maybe one day I have time to talk about them. I think it could be an interesting post.

I'm still trying to catch up with my responsibilities and it will take me a little while to contribute at 100% but, fortunately, since I'm not working, I have some time to make this adaptation process shorter. The rest of the Board members and Claudia are helping me.

As you can see in the financial section of every Quarterly Reports, a big part of our economic effort is concentrated in two areas, Akademy and technical Sprints. The last couple of months, the Board is taking decisions that have a big impact, in terms of budget, on those two areas, so I've tried to catch up fast to participate with criteria, being useful.

The third week of May I will go to Berlin to work with Claudia on the 2011 report we will present to KDE eV during the General Assembly (check previous announcement), that will take place during Akademy 2012 in Tallinn. I have also to learn a little about German taxes/law that affect KDE eV so it will be more efficient to work at KDE office with her.

LinuxTag will take place during that week so I'll meet Cornelius Schumacher (KDE eV President) and Lydia Pintcher (Board member) there. We will have time to talk about what needs to be done during the second half of the year. With this effort, I expect to be prepare to defend the Board action from past and present year, in the economic area, during the General Assembly.

I have a second personal goal. My election as Board Member and Treasurer ends in Akademy so, no matter if I present myself as candidate for a full period election or not, I would like to leave to the next treasurer the most relevant/urgent decisions related with this year already taken, so he/she will have a few months for landing, evaluate and prepare the budget for next year with little pressure.

In future posts I will write about other aspects of the Treasurer job. I think that in general, they are not well known although they are relevant. During Akademy, Sebas and Lydia (Board Members), will give a talk about KDE eV. Don't miss it. It will be very informative.