[[ copied from the internet wayback machine from the old fruitsalad blog, so it’s missing pictures ]]

Pradeepto, Shashank, Piyush and the rest of the guys behind the successful KDE handbook (now headed towards a second printing with updated materials under the covers of kde-promo) have now reached five continents with their work. Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. I had only one box of the booklets left, so I handed them out sparingly – just like the OpenSolaris CDs I had, I had to say “this is not for everyone.” A dozen or so were left with Mustapha, who is undeniably the KDE dude around there.

Picture of IbrahimThe enthusiasm for developer materials – because that handbook is undeniably for developers, explaining some of the terminology around KDE (plasma, sonnet, solid, …) and how to get involved – is wonderful. It also serves to illustrate that we need to keep the things up to date, especially on techbase. I consider that part of the “hard work” bit around a Free Software project.

One of the presentations I gave was Stormy Peters’ “How to get involved in a Free Software project.” Based off of one of her blog entries and kindly sent in through me, it goes over the things that seem straightforward once you are on the inside of a project: do stuff yourself; you don’t need permission; communicate; listen. Well, maybe not all that obvious, really. One of the important items in the list was “be prepared to do the boring stuff, too.” We can’t all be divas all the time; nor is doing funkazoidal extreme wild-wild coding going to take up all your time, because then it’s a one-person show and not a project. So documentation and communication can – and will – chew up a considerable amount of time once a project grows beyond infancy. During my talk I asked “Ok, so I will do all the fun stuff. You, sir, in the front row, will you do all the boring stuff and the hard work for me?” To which the gentleman replied “yes, sure.” Dang it, it’s supposed to be a rhetorical question.

Anyway, it serves as a reminder that there’s always more code, more introductions and more documentation to write and update. This goes for the KDE handbook, and also for KDE-Solaris webpages.

The two little pictures here are of Ibrahim Dasuna, one of the organizers of the conference and managing director of Hutsoft Nigeria; he literally couldn’t put the book down as we went out for pounded yam and spinach soup (guys, I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten nearly all of the food words you taught me; only what’s in kdelibs4.po is what is left).

Promotion flagsOn the dot story some folk were asking what kind of promotion had been done around the event in Kano. The photo shows some of the banners that were flying in the city – this is apparently a common way of promoting events, and I took home one banner to hang up in the KDE e.V. office. As far as bringing the programme together, there was an early announce of the event on the dot calling for presentations – that’s what Jonathan and I responded to. Granted, the conference is hard to find through a casual search. Something to improve for next time (because there will be a next time, so keep March 2010 in mind for an educational experience). As far as overflowing the venue: you don’t want to do that. I realise there’s 147 million Nigerians and only 500 conference seats at the venue this time, but bigger does not necessarily mean better.

SpeakersAlthough, really, I think Jonathan and I are more like stadium rockers and we can easily fill the Kano Pillars FC venue next year. We can also do rooftop concerts, I hear they’re all the rage again.