KDE meetings in Latin America?

[english]
I am back from Latinoware. It was a very good conference, more than 3,000 people on site, and a strong presence of people from other countries in Latin America. I met people from Uruguay, Argentina, Equador, Peru, Colombia and Chile, and of course a lot of brazilians. My talk about Games in KDE4 was good, about 180-200 people in the room. I was worried because it was scheduled as one of the last presentations of the conference, and right before the final 2 and 1/2 hour lecture by Richard Stallman, on another building. But lots of people interested in games and KDE were there, and the room was almost full.
I spent a lot of time with other speakers during the 2 days of the conference, and could feel a strong interest in KDE. I was told by a lot of people that we need to be more present in conferences here in Brazil. Of course, we have very few developers in this country. It is a classic chicken-and-egg problem: how to attract more contributors if we do not have enough people to attend these events and talk about our project?
Another problem is the language barrier. I met several key members of the free source community in Brazil, and lots of potential contributors. But not all of them speaks English. Can we find a way to have contributors operating under a local “KDE Brasil” umbrella, so to speak? What can we do to help people help us, or at least to let people KNOW we are looking for help?
Speaking with the organizers of Latinoware we toyed with the idea of a KDE Latino conference next year, as a sub track of Latinoware. This could be a one day event, focused on the promotion of KDE in our area. Latinoware 2008 is planned to grow to 5,000 people in the audience, and the geographical location of the event is perfect for an event like this. I spoke a bit with GNOME’s Izabel Valverde, and we talked about maybe having some GNOME-KDE sessions as well, promoting the freedesktop specs and talking about the integration efforts to make both projects work nicely with each other, and the community/development aspects of this.
Organizers of FISL 2008 like Carlos Machado were also there, and we talked about a possible KDE track at FISL as well, or maybe a KDE-Brasil users/developers meeting. This would be more focused on the Brazilian community, with maybe 2 or 3 slots in the presentation grid so we can meet and discuss KDE-related topics. But in order to have this we have to act fast. What do you think of these ideas? Would you attend a KDE Latino, or KDE Brasil meeting? What topics do you want to see covered? Please use the comments field, or send suggestions via email to piacentini at kde.org.

[português]
Votel da Latinoware. Foi uma conferência ótima, mais de 3.000 pessoas, muitas de outros países da América Latina. Conheci pessoas do Uruguai, Argentina, Equador, Peru, Colombia e Chile, e lógico um monte de brasileiros. A minha palestra sobre Jogos Livres no KDE 4 foi legal, cerca de 180 a 200 pessoas na sala. Eu estava preocupado porque a palestra era uma das últimas da conferência, logo antes da palestra final (de 2 horas e meia!) do Richard Stallman, em outro prédio. Mas muita gente interessada em jogos e no KDE apareceu, e a sala estava quase cheia.
Eu conversei bastante com outros palestrantes durante os dois dias da conferência, e pude sentir um interesse forte no KDE. Muita gente me disse que a gente precisa participar mais dos eventos aqui no Brasil. Um problema é que temos poucos desenvolvedores no país. É o velho caso do ovo e da galinha: como atrair mais contribuidores se nós não temos pessoas suficientes para ir aos eventos e falar sobre o nosso projeto?
Um outro problema é o da língua. Encontrei vários membros da comunidade de software livre brasileira, e vários contribuidores em potencial. Mas nem todo mundo é fluente em inglês. Será que a gente consegue achar uma maneira de ter contibuidores trabalhando com a ajuda de uma camada “KDE Brasil” de ajuda? O que a gente pode fazer para ajudar as pessoas a nos ajudarem, ou ao menos para que as pessoas saibam que nós sempre estamos precisando de ajuda?
Falando com os organizadores da Latinoware a gente brincou com a idéia de uma conferência “KDE Latino” no ano que vem, dentro da Latinoware. Podia ser um evento de um dia, focado na promoção do KDE em nossa área. A Latinoware 2008 está planejada para crescer, talvez para 5.000 pesooas, e a localização geográfica é perfeita para um evento deste tipo. Falei um pouco com Izabel Valverde, do projeto GNOME, e  pensamos até em fazer algumas sessões conjuntas KDE-GNOME, falando sobre as iniciativas do projeto freedesktop, e sobre a relação existente entre os dois projetos no nível de desenvolvimento e de comunidade.
Organizadores do FISL 2008 como o Carlos Machado também estavam por lá, falamos um pouco a respeito de uma possível trilha  KDE no FISL também, ou talvez um encontro de usuários e desenvolvedores KDE Brasil. Este seria mais focado na comunidade brasileira, talvez 2 ou 3 slots de apresentação para se encontrar e discutir questões relacionadas ao KDE. Mas temos que agir rápido para concretizar estes planos. O que você acha destas idéias? Você iria a um possível evento KDE Latino, ou KDE Brasil? Quais as questões que você gostaria de ver discutidas? Sugestões nos comentários, ou via email para piacentini at kde.org!

Conferences, games and KDE

[en_US]
I will speak about “Developing free software games with KDE 4” in two upcoming conferences here in Brazil, CONISLI and Latinoware.
CONISLI (Congresso Internacional de Software Livre) starts tomorrow here in São Paulo, my home town, and will run for 3 days, with lots and lots of sessions. My lecture will be on Saturday, 16:00h, on room 2. It will be lots of fun.
LatinoWare will start next Tuesday on Foz do Iguaçu, near the triple borders that join Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. It will be a huge conference apparently, supported by Itaipu Binacional, and including lots of developers and open source activists from lots of places. Among the listed speakers we can find Bruce Perens, Richard Stallman, Alexandre Oliva and Jon “Maddog” Hall. Last time I checked they had 2500 confirmed atendees, wow! My talk will be on Tuesday, 14:00h, room São Miguel Arcângelo.
I will do my best to let people get a glance of KDE 4 and the powerful technologies used by us in the games module. Hopefully this will attract more people to contribute to our project, and will serve to raise awareness about the current state of our betas.
Please stop by and say hello 🙂

[pt_BR]
Eu vou apresentar a palestra “Desenvolvendo jogos livres com o KDE 4” em duas conferências aqui no Brasil, CONISLI and Latinoware.
O CONISLI (Congresso Internacional de Software Livre) começa amanhã aqui em São Paulo, minha cidade natal, e vai durar 3 dias, com um monte de palestras e sessões. A minha palestra vai ser no Sábado, 4 da tarde, na sala 2. Vai ser divertido.
O LatinoWare vai começar na próxima terça em Foz do Iguaçu, na Tríplice Fronteira entre o Brasil, Argentina e Paraguai. Parece que vai ser uma conferência gigante, com apoio da Itaipu Binacional, e contando com a presença de muitos desenvolvedores e ativistas open source do mundo todo. Entre as presenças confirmadas podemos achar Bruce Perens, Richard Stallman, Alexandre Oliva e Jon “maddog” Hall. A última vez que chequei eles tinham quase 2500 inscritos! Minha palestra vai ser na terça, 2 da tarde, sala São Miguel Arcângelo.
Eu vou tentar mostrar um pouco das tecnologias novas do KDE 4 que nós estamos usando para fazer os jogos do KDE Games. Talvez sirva para atrair mais contribuidores para o nosso projeto, ou para aumentar a expectativa a respeito do KDE 4 e mostrar um pouco como está o nosso último beta.
Apareça para dar um oi 🙂

Endangered species

For some time I have followed the progress of Projeto Tamar. It is one of the most active conservationist efforts in Brazil, sponsored by large companies and with a number of volunteers and supporters. It is dedicated to saving the sea turtle, once considered endangered. Read about it at their site. Some of the results can be seen in this amazing graph , which shows the number of small turtles protected on the sands and released in the wild annually by the project.
Does this have anything to do with KDE, you might ask?
Sure it does! We also have our “endangered species” list. Applications that for one reason or another become unmaintained, and face extinction from our official KDE ecosystem. KDE games had several of those, and in the past year we manage to save lots of them for KDE4, the most recent one being KNetwalk, rescued by Fela Winkelmolen in our last monthly meeting, when hope was almost lost.
But back to the turtles. Last week Annma mentioned in her blog: “It seems KTurtle is currently unmaintained, following a good KDE 4 port and rewrite, thus will not be debugged and polished. It probably will have to be put on hold until 4.1, a new developer being interested in it.”
Oh no. Something has to be done about this, right? After all, it is my chance to save at least one turtle! And a cute one, as you can see:

KTurtle
Fortunately, Cies Breijs did an amazing job not only with the original KTurtle but also with the initial KDE4 port. It seems like it could be rescued with some love in the next couple of weeks, and having almost completed my stuff for KDEGames in 4.0, I decided to take a dive in the code and help this little animal.
Some fixes have already been committed, the examples are now working, translation framework is fixed, and work has started in documentation and general polish. Hopefully I will be able to finish the quality check for 4.0, and KTurtle will continue to swim happily during the KDE 4.x life-cycle! If you want to help, find me at the kde-edu or kde-games mailing lists or IRC channels.
And if you want to help the real turtles, consider also adopting one!