Incremental building

Today is the first day of Latinoware, at Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. The website lists this as the biggest edition so far, around 4,000 people already registered. And if you go to the site you will see that KDE is listed as one of the supporters, as well as iNdT (Nokia’s research institute in Recife, Brazil).
The event schedule shows 5 KDE presentations in the first day, including Anne-Marie Mahfouf, Artur, Hélio, Caio, Eduardo and James. For tomorrow Adrian de Groot is listed. And, to top it all, there will be no less than 3(!) courses on KDE/Qt programming. Sandro and Tomaz will first teach the basics of Qt programming, and then will do another round as a crash course specific to KDE 4 application programming, and geared towards getting even more contributors to the project here. Then Jesus will do yet another course, this time focusing on what is new in Qt4.6: State Machine Framework, Animation Framework, new features of QtWebKit, QGraphicsAnchorLayout and QGraphicsEffect. Each of these courses is a full 6h session, btw. I liked how these were layered, so people of all skill levels could find something appropriate.
KDE will also have a booth there, and the nice people from the LiveBlue and KDE-MG user/developers groups are making sure the community aspect is not overshadowed by our technical presence at the event. In fact, they are organizing a bunch of activities that aim to increase the interaction with would-be contributors and basically everyone at the conference. One example mentioned by Amanda is a "suggestion whiteboard" and contest for new KDE features and ideas, which will be always opened. And it is rumored that there will be t-shirts and other cool stuff as well, all made by local user groups. Fred from SLEducacional (brazilian largest group of educators and free software enthusiasts) will also be there, hopefully wearing his KDE hat in-between GCompris demonstrations. Well… I am eager to read the reports from Foz over the next few days.
Hum… and what does this have to do with the blog title, one might ask? Well, this is the sixth edition of Latinoware. And we had no KDE presence in the first three. Then, three years ago, on the fourth edition, I sent a submission to talk about KDE Games there, and started building bridges, together with Helio. Last year we had a substantially larger presence and this was important to begin forming several groups of people hacking KDE on different areas of the country, and this has exploded into a much larger presence today. And I realize this is yet another strength of open source and open source communities: the ability to layer your work on top of what was done before, incrementally. It does not depend on one or two people doing all the work: you can make your contribution and let it run wild, and see what comes out of it. Just like building KDE4, where you start with the pillars and a few years later there is a explosion of creativity on top of them, the community building appears to work in much like the same way, growing quickly and surprisingly positive directions. I can only imagine what we will be able to achieve by next year, in both fisl and latinoware.
Special thanks to Adrian and Anne-Marie for coming all the way down here, and help making KDE even better in South America!