I ate something today that really did not agree with me. Or maybe it was a combination of things. I find that unless I prepare everything myself, eating is such a gamble like that. It's not just that one never really knows the quality of the kitchen that produces the meal, it's also that when I'm the cook I tend to be a lot more conscious of what foods I combine. When I scrounge/scavenge/eat out I tend to be less discriminatory over the combinations and end up doing silly things like eating jalapeno rich nachos for lunch, and then having a bowl of (vegan) hot and sour soup a few ours later. I think that was the combination that did me in. Ugh. So it's probably my fault.
On to more interesting things .. we've received a good number of SoC proposals already for Plasma. More important than the number of proposals, however, is the quality of them. I was impressed with the increased quality of proposals last year, but if the Plasma proposals are anything to go by ... this year is going to rock even harder.
Coinciding (though not strictly related) with this, a new wave of Plasma hackers have started to arrived on our shores. The best part of that happening is that new comers always sharp edges to catch themselves on that we haven't addressed or even noticed sometimes. API documentation inevitably improves and we get a very good idea of what needs to be adjusted or added.
I've also been watching toma's blog with great interest the last few days. With the recent round of Akonadi hacking, I'm looking forward to hopefully be able to do a couple of things: move to a KDE4 mail client full time and implement integration between calendars that appear in Plasma and events accessible via Akonadi.
Which reminds me: I was recently contacted by a fellow who has been researching timeline widgets for a couple of years now as part of his work at the university he's at in Germany. He's about to publish the culmination of his work to date in April. I've seen some demos of his work, and it's already very impressive. I think it has implications outside of just Plasma (to state the bleeding obvious ;). What's quite exciting is that we've discussed working together to bring his code into relevant areas of KDE, which shouldn't be too hard as he uses Qt4 already. =) After his presentation in April, the plan is that he will release his code under an open source license and we can go from there. I'm sure I'll blabber on more about it then. (Note: I haven't mentioned his name or other possibly identifying information, because I didn't get his permission to do so before writing this ... )
I've also been back and forth with another fellow who's been doing research (again, with practical results) in creating a way to rather powerfully define, discover and compose services in rich client applications in rather elegant ways. An outstanding problem has been the "Now that we have the API exported via DCOP/D-Bus, where do we go from here?" question. There have been bits of answers, such as standardizing interfaces via freedesktop.org or in interface classes hosted in kdelibs. But that only goes so far and still leaves a lot of the consumer-side work up to the developer to do by hand. This work provides a bridge between the IPC (e.g. D-Bus) and the consumer; in a way, one might consider it to be bringing some of the web service concepts to the rich client. I've encouraged the author (who's permission to blab his name, etc. I didn't get before writing this either ;) to submit a presentation paper for Akademy, so hopefully that will work out.
It's really enjoyable to work with people doing practical research in areas of my own personal/professional interests. One of the things I came to regret about entering the "IT industry" in the era I did was the lack of collaboration and meeting of minds. I remember reading in my youth about the great collaborations (and rivalaries ;) in science, art and philosophy in history and thinking, "I want to experience that!"
But shortly after getting into the industry, I found that the opportunities for collaboration diminished in direct proportion to the proprietization of technology. I started out in a very open environment, and probably got a bit spoiled there. It wasn't until free software seeped into my life years later that I re-discovered that open environment. Score another one for freedom.
On a more practical level: it will be interesting to see how many of these research concepts actually pan out and in which ways ...