Notes on the Akademy 2018

This year I attended to my fourth Akademy, the annual KDE summit.  The conference is always a good place to meet old and new KDE people. This year we had a lot of new faces showing up there, which is very good because new people might mean new ideas coming, more hands to work on KDE projects, and more mouths to spread our message 🙂 From Brazil we had three new contributors attending for the first time, Lays, Caio and Eliakin, from a total of eight Brazilians who participated this year. I think we can count with Tomaz and Helio although they are living in Germany 🙂

Brazilian group at Akademy 2018.

As part of the conference program we had some good talks and the usual BoF’s (Birds of a Feather) sessions. This year, as part of our effort to get more people from Latin America to participate to LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, we decided to host a BoF about KDE in America. Actually we were more interested in discuss with people from the three Americas about if we should try to make a big conference gathering all of us from South, North and Central America. We thought about a conference that could revive the Camp KDE and at the same time to get LaKademy outside of Brazil. Some possibilities were thought, like organize a conference in Cuba, Argentina, or in Colombia, because these are places where we might have local KDE teams to help with that. This is an idea that still needs to be matured, but the kick-off to thinking about a better integration of contributors in America has already been given.

In addition to BoF’s and talks, Akademy this year offered some trainings, which I thought was a great idea. The attendees could choose among four different trainings: Nonviolent Communication, Online Fundraising and Campaigning, Documentation writing for non-writers, and Public Speaking Training. Before the event I was very excited to participate in the non-violent communication training because I’ve been reading the Marshall Rosenberg’s book and enjoying to think of new forms of communications, especially a more empathetic one.


Be able to communicate with people inside a big and diverse community like ours without using a violent language that provokes conflicts is a important goal that we should pursue as a community. The Akademy team is to be congratulated for having offered for us such a great opportunity to think and to practice non-violent communication in our context. I think we should have more this in the next Akademies. In my opinion, one of the ways we can attract more contributors to our community is making the environment even more friendly and the language we use to express ourselves is a very important part of this. So, to finish this post, I would like to say that my main highlight and insight from Akademy this year was think about empathy in our community. After all, for me Free Software it’s all about community <3.

Akademy 2018 group photo.

Thank you all involved in make this community an amazing place to be!




QtCon + Akademy 2016

This year Akademy took place along with QtCon in Berlin, Germany. It is a year of great celebration for some free software communities, so they decided to get together to celebrate in a single event. KDE is celebrating 20 years, while VideoLAN and FSFE are celebrating 15 years. It was a historic moment and I could not miss it, so I went to Berlin for the second time (the first was to attend the Desktop Summit 2011).

As a new member of KDE e.V. I arrived early to attend the AGM, the general assembly of KDE e.V. It is the annual meeting of the members where the board of directors and working groups present their reports, the elections to the board and the KDE Free Qt Foundation happen, as well as other important issues are discussed and voted on. This year a new board member was elected. Thomas Pfeiffer was the most voted to take the place of Albert Astais Cid. By the way, thank Albert for his great work for KDE and welcome Thomas!  🙂

Lydia presenting the report of the e.V. board.
The new composition of the board with the newly elected member, Thomas Pfeiffer.

After the AGM we had three days of talks in QtCon, held at BCC. The talks were on the various issues related to the communities participating in the event: Qt and KDE technologies, VLC technical topics, and questions about free software and privacy presentend by FSFE team, among other things.

QtCon reception.

KDE presented about forty talks. One I most liked was the talk “KDE development, how it was done in the last century”, presented by David Faure. In this 20th anniversary it is very nice to see someone who is in the community from the beginning to talk about its changes over time.

David Faure, our KDE dinosaur  🙂

We also had Brazilian representation at the event. Sandro Andrade presented a talk on the Minuet, the music education free software which he is a developer.

Sandro presenting his talk.
Brazilians at QtCon.

After the talks marathon in QtCon, we went to the Akademy at Technische Universität Berlin put the hands on the hacking sessions and BoFs during four days.

Concentrated people.
BoF wrapup.

During the Akademy we announced two commemorative projects, a book and a timeline. The book has 37 stories of various community contributors presenting their vision of the past, present and future of KDE. You can download it or purchase a printed copy and help the community.  🙂

The timeline was a project developed by me and Camila Ayres. It was one of the coolest contribution I could ever do to this community. It shows some of the most important events of the community’s history. The idea is to add more content as time passes. It will work as a repository of our history. If you have any suggestions or interest in translating it to another language, just send us email or clone the code here.  🙂

Book cover.

Last but not least, we had a day trip around the Pfaueninsel island (“Peacock Island”), a UNESCO cultural heritage which dates back to the seventeenth century.

Us, crossing the river to reach the island.

If you would like to know everything that happened in QtCon/Akademy, the talks were recorded and you can watch them here or see some photos here. For more stories about the meeting, stay tuned to our or