Reading planet.kde.org the last few days has been great. There have been several great blogs about akademy.br, a regional Brazilian KDE event that kicked off this year with its first installment. It looks like they did a great job with it and I can't wait to see next year's event. The number (and quality!) of regional KDE events just keeps growing: Akademy.es, Camp KDE, Akademy.br. This is an interesting evolution from KDE only participating as part of other conferences (something we still do, believe in and get a lot out of), through to Akademy growing up as our own themed conference to an increasing number of KDE specific events around the globe.
This reflects the growing efforts in KDE itself, I think, something that can also be seen on planet.kde.org. Frank updated us on the progress ownCloud is making to free the cloud for all, Roozbeh wrote up a bit on Chakra Mini which is yet another Plasma Netbook based offering and Marco showcased the work of Bjorn Ruberg on the Plasma On-Screen Keyboard complete with a video of it running on two different devices:
OGG video version
This is really all just tip-of-the-iceberg stuff, as you might imagine. There's work underway to provide a Plasma front end for KDM, for instance. The most interesting thing for me in all of that (besides standardizing look and feel and the generally neat things we'll be able to do with it visually) is that KDM will get things like that on-screen keyboard for free. This is the kind of stuff people had to hack into KDM in the past (and did, in some cases!), but which we'll now be able to say is just part of the standard kit. This is also an interesting example of how different hardware formfactors (in this case touch and mobile in Plasma workspaces) are helping drive improvements elsewhere as well (in this case accessibility in KDM).
Another interesting example of this is work being done to streamline the KDE Development Platform for non-desktop scenarios that finally made it's way out of the KDE Maemo (should that be Meego now?) team onto kde-core-devel with this email from Kevin Ottens a couple days ago. Everyone will benefit from people casting a critical eye on this key shared set of technologies.
There is so much more like that going on around KDE. We don't always do the best job communicating it out as many of us are busy and having too much fun working on these things, and sometimes the communication side of it gets less priority than our users and downstreams probably would wish for. :)
Still, the KDE steamrollers continue on paving the way forward for all of us who rely, or would like to rely, on Free software on all our computing systems. Efforts to coordinate that energy even more effectively are underway and ongoing and we have so many exciting challenges ahead of us (including really "simple" but actually difficult ones like, "How do we improve our documentation?") that I don't see it getting boring any time soon.