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Desktop Summit – In the midst of codes and cultures

Between the 6th and August 12th (yes, this post is a few months late), I participated in the 2º Desktop Summit – the meeting unified of communities of developers KDE and Gnome. The event was held in Berlin, Germany, in the Humboldt University, which has on its staff more than 29 Nobel laureates and passed by great names of western intellectuals in several areas: Marx, Einstein, Hegel, Planck, Otto von Bismarck, Stiner… an inspiring place.

After nearly a day’s travel across the Atlantic, making a stopover in Amsterdam and pass through immigration in the Netherlands and Germany (yes, I was stopped in two airports, and in Berlin has made ​​me remove all my clothes from the bag 🙁 ) I came to Berlin already looking forward to what they would find, both the city and at the meeting.

KDE e.V. has put me in a room which earned the nickname internal BRIC – I, Brazilian, a Chinese and of a friend from Russian, Nikita. Just missed an Indian to complete the block 😀 . There was also a friend of the Nordic countries there.

This was definitely the coolest part of the Desktop Summit – meeting people so different, in such different cultures, but share the same goal of building good open source software for those who want to use, learn and contribute back, generating more code and more features.

Main Auditorium of the Desktop Summit

So, I can say it was great to meet people like our Indian friend Siddarth (India very significant in the event, in two communities: congratulations!), Nikita, the staff of Italy (maledito alcool) and many others! Also it was nice to review Brazilian friends (have to travel to Germany to see the guys?) and also meet Brazilians who live abroad for a number of years and are outstanding in their activities, as Thiago Macieira and Sulamita Garcia.

In terms of software, I took the time available to continue hacking Cantor and implement the features that were missing at the time for the Scilab backend, my project in GSoC – by the way, ended with success and I owe a post describing how it looks. I hope that the backend for Scilab is available in the next major release of KDE.

Hacker Room

Between one and another session of the meeting, we also took the city to visit and learn a little of their history and culture. We appreciate the architecture of the city (which mixes classical buildings with modern and contemporary architecture, very cool), its museums and its historical sites.

Sony Center

Now for some topics with my impressions of the event and Berlin:

  • I love Berlin! 😀
  • The public transportation system of Berlin is impressive. Subways, streetcars, trains and buses throughout the city, beyond the city to be bike-friendly. Phenomenal!
  • Tasty food and an affordable price – delicious.
  • Ah, the German beer …
  • I never imagined how it would be difficult to use a credit card (international, of course!) In Berlin. Virtually nowhere accepted.
  • The technical level of the meeting was very impressive. A very good meeting with so many good developers.
  • Cultural Activities amusing, with nerds playing soccer, singing karaoke and dancing electronic music. 😀
  • Sad not to have won the tablet from Intel. 🙁
  • Even sadder for having gone to a city pub to watch the Brazil lost to Germany in football. : ‘(

Finally, this trip was very good both culturally, with the opportunity to see one of the great European cities and meeting people from all over the world, and in terms of technical development of free software. I hope I did see his friends there and hope to make more trips like that!

Meanwhile, we continue writing software code and, playing with a phrase from Chico Science, “with Brazil under his feet and mind in the wilderness”!

Daker playing with reflections

Desktop Summit group photo

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