All posts by Mauricio Piacentini

Food and exercise

Note to the organizers: thank you for providing lunch, this helps us keep focused on the event and not having to roam around to get something to it. And a special thanks to the cookers: we are getting home-cooked Jamaican stuff, which is great and very similar to Brazilian (rice and beans, and a lot of fruit.)

Till’s second part of training is starting right now, and he will cover QConcurrent. At the end of the room, Jos seems to be practicing some sort of writer’s yoga, from what I can tell:

@ Jamaica

Camp KDE is going well, and Jamaica is amazing. Lots of action yesterday, and today I am going to share a presentation slot with Marcus to talk about KDE Edu and KDE Games. Everything is prepared, hope it goes out well. Videos will be available later at the web, according to the organizers.
I did not have time yet to go to the beach, but today I woke up before the sunrise, and took some photos there, including a failed attempt to do a Camp KDE logo at the sand ­čÖé

Anyway, it will be interesting to share ideas about KDE Edu and Games with people that know much more than I do about the project! I am hoping to get a lot of feedback that we can use in 4.3 and for the future, and maybe do a BoF tomorrow to learn a bit more.

2008 in review

While reviewing my involvement with KDE in 2008 I realized that 2009 is starting in a similar way: I spent the last week or so making sure we had kdegames translated 100% to pt_BR, much like in the first days of 2008. Of course, not all things are equal. We now have several new games, and the pt_BR translation team is stronger than ever, with huge efforts driven by Boaglio mostly, and epic commit logs by Luiz Fernando Ranghetti. So we are still maintaining 100% for releases, even with several new games available, among them Kapman, bomber, Kblocks and some big ones, like KsirK!
Speaking of KBlocks, this is the first application I wrote from scratch for KDE. It is a nice exercise in using the newer kdegames API and QGV as well, and it is shaping up nicely. It still does not replace everything ksirtet had, but it is more customizable, and hopefully ready for additional expansion. It made its debut in 4.1.
At the beginning of the year I was also contacted by the guys at LTIA, at the state university (UNESP) headquartered at Bauru. They did a wonderful job in KBruch, remodeling the application almost entirely, after attending Akademy. Results are now part of the kdeedu package in KDE 4.2, and I hope this will mark only the beginning of this collaboration.
In Akademy it was great to finally meet Niels Slot, which is keeping the KTurtle app afloat while I am very busy and Cies is doing his world tour. Still we all managed to collaborate a bit and incrementally improve the application: I think the version shipped in 4.2 is better than the one in 4.1, which was better than the one in 4.0, and so on. I think this is the beauty of having a team that can take turns developing the same code, and sharing ideas.
Speaking of Akademy, in 2008 I traveled a lot representing KDE, kdegames and kdeedu. In February I had a presentation at Campus Party Brazil, which ended up putting me in contact with Fausto from the Brazilian Ministry of Education. This contact was reinforced during the first Brazilian KDE Meeting at FISL, which generated several initiatives. I also got interested in the ProInfo effort by MEC, and ended up visiting their team in Brasilia in May. Recently I have not heard much from them directly in the last couple of months, but apparently they have a new release and the project is on track. I will keep you guys posted.
Continuing the trip summary, I went to Akademy to talk about ProInfo, and then also did a talk at Bauru concerning KDE graphics and designers. To close the year we had our first Latin American KDE Forum, at LatinoWare. KDE had a huge presence there, with Helio Castro, Boaglio, Frederico, Tomaz, Sandro, Cristiano, Roberto and Alvaro. We are looking forward for the second edition! Huge thanks to the organizers for sponsoring the travel and accommodations for all involved.
Speaking of sponsorship, I also want to thank the KDE e.V., which sponsored partially my Akademy air ticket. For the oher trips I took during 2008 I was able to fund my expenses, but without their help I would not be able to be there. They will also help me go to Camp KDE, where I will co-host a talk slot with Marcus Hanwell. We will try to step in Eugene’s shoes and cover KDE Games and Edu, mixing Avogadro, graphics, community and development in a 1 hour slot. Let us see
Development-wise I did not do so much this year, other than KBlocks. I helped polishing a lot of games and kturtle for 4.1 and now in the final 4.2 sprint, and even managed to do some simple artwork for kapman at the end. I hope I will have more time in 2009 to continue working on the project. The 4.2 release is really inspiring, I am using it as my main desktop for a while now and all of the rough edges have been trimmed significantly.
So, to finish this long post, I hope to see some of you guys and girls tomorrow in Negril. After all…

First Latin American KDE Forum

KDE will have a strong presence next week, at LatinoWare 2008, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. We will have 7 presentation slots, as part the First Latin American KDE Forum. We will also have space to do meetings and interact with the Fedora and Gnome Forum events, taking place at the same location, but at different days.

Big thanks to the organizers, not only for giving us this space, but also for sponsoring travel and lodging for several of our speakers. I do not have words to tell you how much this is appreciated.

Preliminary schedule of talks can be found at

There will also be an Introductory course on Qt and KDE4 development, teached by Sandro Andrade and Tomaz Canabrava. The information is reproduced below: the course will be in Portuguese, and the slots are limited, so hurry up if you want to take advantage of this opportunity to join our development community!

O KDE vai estar presente com força total semana que vem na LatinoWare 2008 em Foz do Iguaçu. Teremos 7 palestras, formando o corpo do Primeiro Encontro Latino Americano do Projeto KDE. Vamos ter também espaço para reuniões e interação com os eventos Forum Gnome e Forum Fedora, que vão ocorrer no mesmo local em dias alternados.

Quero agradecer aos organizadores, não apenas por nos fornecer este espaço, mas também pelo apoio de transporte e estadia para muitos dos palestrantes. Não tenho palavras para dizer o quanto ficamos agradecidos por isso, que está sendo fundamental para a viabilização do evento.

Seguem dados do mini-curso de Desenvolvimento com Qt e KDE 4 que será ministrado pelo Sandro e pelo Tomaz na LatinoWare, semana que vem. Os mini-cursos são gratuitos, mas as vagas são limitadíssimas: corra para o site da LatinoWare e se inscreva neste e em outros mini-cursos que vão acontecer durante os três dias do evente.

Título do mini-curso: Introdução ao Desenvolvimento com Qt4 e KDE4
Instrutores: Sandro Santos Andrade (UFBa/Faculdade Ruy Barbosa) e Tomaz Martins dos Santos Canabrava (Faculdade Ruy Barbosa)
Duracão: 2 slots de 3h cada
Pré-requisitos: fundamentos de orientação a objetos (necessário) e noções de C++ (desejável)

Neste mini-curso serão apresentados os fundamentos do Qt4 e KDE4 (kdelibs), abordando aspectos tais como: facilidades para GUI, meta-objetos, arquitetura model-view, plugins, padrões de projeto e arquiteturais utilizados, idiomas Qt, dentre outros. Uma visão geral
sobre os principais serviços disponibilizados pela kdelibs será também apresentada. O objetivo é apresentar as facilidades e benefícios do uso de tais ferramentas e motivar a formação de novos colaboradores para projetos do KDE4.


Sandro Andrade ( é doutorando em Ciência da Computação no DMCC (, Mestre em Mecatrônica e Bacharel em Ciência da Computação, pela Universidade Federal da Bahia. Atua na área de desenvolvimento de sistemas há 10 anos, com foco em tópicos tais como: projeto e desenvolvimento OO, objetos e componentes distribuídos, middleware e frameworks para sistemas de tempo-real, arquiteturas auto-gerenciáveis de software e sistemas autonômicos. É professor do Bacharelado em Ciência da Computação (, da Especialização Avançada em Sistemas Distribuídos ( e da Faculdade Ruy Barbosa (
Contribui em projetos de software livre, em particular sistemas desenvolvidos para a plataforma KDE4/Qt4 e no middleware CIAO. Nas (poucas) horas vagas, é pianista em um grupo musical alternativo de Salvador.

Tomaz Canabrava trabalhou na Sxip Identity (uma das empresas criadoras do OpenID) em Vancouver desenvolvendo um plugin de segurança para Firefox chamado Sxipper. Faz parte do Conselho Estudantil da Faculdade Ruy Barbosa e há três anos faz parte do grupo de estudos de Software Livre GNU-Ruy. É Coordenador do projeto Rocs, uma ferramenta de programação visual de grafospara KDE4. Sapateador nas horas vagas, apresentou dois espetáculos musicais no ano de 2008.

Forum KDE at LatinoWare


Forum KDE at LatinoWare 2008 is taking shape. We will have a full day of KDE talks and hacking during the event. Details are being finished, but we will talk about everything KDE, from games to Plasma, from coding in PyQt to managing your finances with KMyMoney, from KDE in Fedora to KDE Edu and the work of the pt_BR team. The initial lineup of speakers includes Helio Castro, Roberto Alsina, Alvaro Soliverez, Frederico Gonçalves Guimarães and Cristiano Furtado, with more to come. We will also have a 6 hour workshop that will teach the basics of coding with Qt, C++ and KDE Libs, thanks to our friends Sandro Andrade and Tomaz Canabrava from Faculdade Ruy Barbosa  (, Bahia.
Final schedule has not been posted yet, but you can start planning your trip to Foz do Iguaçu. Be there from Oct 30 to Nov 1, and help us strenghten the KDE community in Latin America.


O Fórum KDE dentro da LatinoWare 2008 está tomando forma. Teremos um dia inteiro de palestras e hacking sobre o KDE! Estamos finalizando os detalhes, mas falaremos de tudo sobre o KDE, dos jogos até o Plasma, de programação em PyQt ao gerenciamento de suas finaças com o KMyMoney, do KDE no Fedora até o KDE Edu e o trabalho do time de localização para pt_BR. A escalação inicial de palestrantes inclui Helio Castro, Roberto Alsina, Alvaro Soliverez, Frederico Gonçalves Guimarães e Cristiano Furtado, e mais alguns ainda serão confirmados. Nós também vamos ter um workshop de 6 horas ensinando o be-a-bá da programação com Qt, C++ e KDE Libs, graças aos nossos amigos Sandro Andrade e Tomaz Canabrava da Faculdade  Ruy  Barbosa  (, Bahia.
A programação final não foi ainda divulgada, mas você já pode começar a planejar a sua viagem para Foz do Iguaçu. Esteja lá de 30 de outubro até 1 de Novembro, e nos ajude a fortalecer a comunidade KDE community na América Latina.

Festival Software Livre

UPDATE: The Festival was cancelled, unfortunately. LatinoWare is coming up in October 30th, though.

I will be in Brasilia for a free software event, the "Festival de Software Livre". We are planning to have a games arena with KDE Games in all computers, and I will talk about the techniques we use to create games in KDE, and how to participate in the project. It will also be a good chance to meet other KDE contributors in Brazil, including Fernando Boaglio, who is one of the leaders of the pt_BR localization team and will also host a talk at the festival.
More information about the event (in Portuguese) at

Nos dias 3 e 4 de outubro eu vou a Brasília participar do Festival de Software Livre, e falar sobre a criação de jogos livres usando o KDE, e como participar do projeto. Vai ser uma boa oportunidade pare reencontrar os amigos que colaboram com o KDE no Brasil, incluindo o Fernando Boaglio, um dos líderes no nosso time de tradução, que também vai palestrar. Seguem informações sobre como participar do evento:

"Abertas as inscrições para o evento Internacional de Software Livre na Capital Federal

Á partir do dia 26/08 estão abertas as inscrições da 3ª Edição do Festival software Livre – DF. Os candidados poderão inscrever-se e participar da realização do evento, nos dias 3 e 4 de outubro, reunindo profissionais e adeptos do Software Livre (SL) com interesse no aprendizado e disseminação da cultura SL. Este será realizado pela Associação de Tecnologias Abertas – ATA, UCB e SERPRO, e organizado pela Training Tecnologia.

Com a expectativa de mais de 2000 participantes, o evento ocorrerá na Universidade Católica de Brasília. Estarão presentes lideranças de Software Livre do Governo Federal, comunidades, professores, pesquisadores e estudantes de diversas áreas; empresários, profissionais e técnicos do setor. O evento contará com a apresentação de palestras , tutoriais, cases de sucesso, oficinas práticas, maratona de Java e brinquedoteca, jogos em software livre, etc. Aproveite esta oportunidade com os melhores e interaja com a comunidade de Software Livre em esfera nacional interessada em seu desenvolvimento e de código aberto, para o compartilhamento de experiências e conhecimento.

Maiores informações em "

KDE and LatinoWare 2008

Last year I blogged about LatinoWare and the possibility of organizing a KDE Latino meeting in 2008, with the help of the organizers. You can find more about this at:

LatinoWare’s website for this year’s conference is still in constructions, at

It will be a big event, from Oct 30th to November 1st, 5000 people are expected. The geographical location is perfect for the intended audience, in the middle of the triple frontier between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

We (Helio Castro and me) are going ahead with the plan for a KDE event there to promote the KDE community in Latin America. There is a possibility that we can get a 250 person auditory for a full day of KDE talks, and also a computer lab for one full day as well for tutorials and workshops. Some help for transportation and accommodation can probably also be arranged for speakers that live in the Latin American region.

The idea we discussed last year was to also have a Gnome Latino event going on in parallel, same infrastructure, and at the end of the day we could do one shared panel. I still do not know if the Gnomes are going ahead with their side of the plan, but if it happens it can be a small preview of next year’s co-hosted Akademy/GUADEC event, and will help forge stronger ties between our communities.

So, this is a call for action. We need volunteers for the talks and tutorials, and there is not much time left if we want to make it happen. Please send me a proposal for a talk or workshop if you are interested in coming until August 27th, to piacentini (at)

Building software together

I want to talk a little bit about the ongoing collaboration between KDE and Ltia, the  Applied Information Technology Lab – Laborat├│rio de Tecnologia da Informa├ž├úo Aplicada  ( Ltia is connected to UNESP – a state university in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Currently there are about 30 people working at several projects in the lab, in different areas like User Experience, Embedded Development, Software Development and Information Technology.
Ltia has just started a 6-month project with several stages involving five people: Paulo Cattai and Roberto Cunha will work with usability, user experience and pedagogical evaluation of applications, while Danilo Balzaque, Tadeu Ara├║jo and Tiago Porangaba will do the actual coding implementation. For this project they have selected four applications: Kbruch, Kpercentage, Kalzium and Ksudoku. They will work on usability enhancements and some new features related to the usage of these programs in the educational environment, of course always in close cooperation with the existing maintainers and the KDE Edu and KDE Games community. Work has already started on Kbruch, and we can expect the initial results in a few weeks. Of course, the goals of this project are to improve the educational applications and foster collaboration between our community and other institutions, so we can learn from each other. Ltia uses a more formal development structure for their internal projects, and it should be interesting to see how well this can work in association with KDE’s more informal development processes.
Things seem to have started well: Paulo and Tiago are here in Belgium for Akademy. Celeste Paul and Ellen Reitmayr have already exchanged usability advice and some guidelines with them, and the guys seem right at home in the hacking labs and sessions. According to Paulo, “this is an opportunity to push ourselves and learn more about user experience in a large scale project, and share this experience with the lab team and with the academic community.”
I hope collaborations like this one can become more common in the future, and I would like to help it happen. In other words, this is a call for other universities in Brazil with computer science and design labs to contact me and see how we (you and KDE) can work together on building better open source educational software and games in the future.

BTW, I am taking a Nokia 810 tablet with me back to Sao Paulo. These nice little gadgets were distributed at Akademy to encourage development for smaller form factors, and I think they can help us learn how to test and adapt our interfaces to this new class of devices. This is something that will be useful for delivery to netbooks and other small screen laptops (OLPC, Classmate) as well. As I know it is very difficult to get one in Brazil, I am going to make this one available for people who want to play with it, so if you are involved in an educational or game project and need to lend it for some time, please let me know, ok?