Originally I thought I would just attend the aKademy conference on the weekend and return home after that. I submitted an abstract for my talk on Gentoo and KDE and had hoped to meet some KDE developers and see if we could work with KDE better. Later I applied for my Google Summer of Code project working on the Kalzium 3D molecular editor and was accepted. This caused me to change my plans and stay for the entire week and I am really glad I did
I have been to quite a few open source conferences over the years but I have to say aKademy is my favourite so far. There was a great atmosphere and lots of very intelligent and dedicated hackers present. There were also lots of laughs and humour along with important discussions and debates. I got to meet so many people who work on KDE and whose blogs I have been reading for years. My only regret is that I couldn't get out for a few more beers in the evenings...
I thought it would be a good idea to camp as aKademy was in June and the odds were good that the weather would be fair. In the days leading up to my departure Sheffield flooded and I think it rained every day of aKademy (some days solidly throughout the day). On Sunday evening we came back to a rather large pond at the side of our tent that had previously been a patch of grass with a dip in it. I chose where to pitch the tent well though and the tent remained out of harms way
I attended so many talks over the first two days and there were several times where I wanted to split in two in order to attend two talks. I think my talk was well received and I talked about it in another post. I was intrigued by the news of WebKit being brought into Qt 4.4 and found the unit testing talk very enlightening. So many other talks and so many things to think about. The platforms track was very interesting to me, I was very interested in how other distributions handle packaging and the perception of Gentoo by the KDE community.
Zack's talk on graphics was very interesting and it was great to quietly watch some of these guys hacking. It was really good to hear from the Trolls and what they are currently doing. I could go on and on about the talks but you can watch them all for yourself, although I and quite a few others have had trouble with the videos. They seem to freeze periodically no matter what player I use on Gentoo and someone else told me they crashed the players on the Mac. You can hear the audio and see most of the video though.
Monday was the e.V. stuff and so I took the day off to collect my thoughts and returned on Tuesday for the Edu and Schools Day which was very interesting. I missed some as I really wanted to learn more about interview in Qt and pick up some GDB fu in the tutorial day (that spanned two days).
Then there were lots of BoF sessions and there always seemed to be one I wanted to attend which limited the amount of coding I had time for. I gave a short lightning talk on my GSoC project too but my laptop let me down and I couldn't actually show it off. That was pretty disappointing but the lightning talks were interesting. Linux still seems to have issues with projectors etc (I have friends who run Windows on their laptops for that reason coupled with suspend to RAM/disk). Hopefully this will improve - I am going to try and ensure my laptop is behaving before I give any more talks. Thankfully it was fine on Sunday for my main talk (I took the precaution of checking it out during lunch before my talk just to be sure that day).
The day out went fairly well until the skies opened up and emptied themselves upon us. I decided to get off early at that point rather than stick it out. Before I left I got to witness three crazy KDE hackers take a dip in the freezing waters of the loch. I would consider it but only with a good wet suit on! They didn't stay in for long... I have put up the rest of my aKademy 2007 photographs here. I had a great week and it really inspired me to work on KDE more. I think KDE 4 will be awesome and am pleased to be a part of the KDE community.