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Life after Akademy

Published on Monday July 13, 2009 by Thomas Zander in Qt Git KDE | Comments

This year again a gaggle of geeks went to Akademy from the Qt/Troll office, most of them flew there on Friday in a too-long 14 hour travel trip (office to hotel). For next year we should really choose a location that is easy to reach for the majority of our contributors.
But this is where the complaining stops, I've been having a great time. I saw various thought provoking keynotes and spent hours talking to old and new friends.
I loved that the lunch-breaks were long, so you could walk to a new restaurant every day and try out all the great food. I think the worst food I had here was a bit-too-simple spaghetti with only a red sauce. But it still tasted good :)

This is a conference of geeks and naturally this means lots of talking. And a good percentage of that about computer stuff. I've been talking about git migration with various people and noticed I should really get more people to help out perfecting vng.googlecode.com

For instance I opened a discussion point about kDebug() which taught me a lot. So, the assumption I always had was that kDebug (and qDebug() )will completely be gone in end-user versions of my software. Which means that I can add as many debug statements as I want and it will not have any negative result on the size or speed of the final shipped executable.
To my big surprise distros like Suse have always shipped binaries where the debugs were still executed but by default just went to /dev/null
This means that when I added a kDebug() in a loop and printed some QRectF all those floats are still converted to strings only to be discarded and slowing down execution. Which is a sad surprise as my users will see the software being much slower than it could be.
In KDE4.2 this behaviour has been committed to kdelibs as the upstream default, whereas in kde3 only distros patched it. The good think is that it lead to the discussions. The end result is a much better awareness of the issue and how it affects apps. Last I heard was that Andreas is looking into fixing all issues using an updated kdebug macro. o/

I spent a total of 9 days at Akademy at it was very tiring, but also quite satisfactory. I didn't blog much as I use identi.ca, follow me there for more details. I still have to go though my notes and todos which I'll get to in the coming days. This year no KOffice core developers were there so the couple of KOffice-libs discussion points I prepared didn't get attention.

The internet connection was not great, just too many people for wifi to handle (bug in the protocol?) which had the upside that nobody felt all that guilty just wandering into town or sitting down on the beach with our great green Qt towels discussing code and community. I think that discussing code and technical stuff is only a small part of what makes these conferences successful for a community. The part where you get to know the people you work with in face to face chatter is at least as important. Its just easier to see that name on IRC or in email as a real person if you know his background and hobbies.

Random thoughts;
Its been too long since I walked on flip-flops. My toes got hurt after just one afternoon.
It took me only one day to get used to the colder (~20C) Norwegian weather. Its compatible enough in my mind ;)
Spanair may be part of the SAS group, its not the same quality. Legspace is...painful.
Git seemed to have gotten a lot of support. The people that don't support it are mostly in the "haven't actually ran it" camp. (did I mention vng?)
Free software conferences gather the smartest people whom are always up for some fun discussion topics. Even after my bedtime ;)

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