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Goal Sprint 2024

Last week, like many other people, I was in Berlin for the Mega^WGoals sprint. Natually the three goals (Sustainability, Accessibility, and Automatability; the three abilities) attracted a diverse crowd of people that brought also other topics, so it turned into a proper megasprint.

Being interested in all three goals made it a bit callenging to follow all relevant discussions unfortunately, but on the flip side it never got boring.

Most of my goal-related work was towards the automation goal. One thing I was working on is a CI job that checks for spelling mistakes in the code, so that those can be caught when doing a MR. A while ago I create a website that tracks which KDE projects are ported to Qt6. What started out as a joke for a talk turned out to be a useful tool for planning porting work. During the print I fixed the site to actually work correctly again and, most importantly, changed the text from “No” to “Yes” since most projects actually use Qt6 now. For a while the site also has auto-generated reports for other things, like showing which projects don’t yet have clang-format applied to them or which projects don’t enforce passing test in the CI. I used the latter list to enable this for the remaining projects that don’t have failing tests right now and prepared a change to the CI system that enforces passing tests by default. In the same spirit others and I also fixed some currently failing tests. We also discussed the idea of extending the site with more checks and turning it into a proper KDE site that isn’t hosted on my personal infrastructure.

Harald, Carl, and I worked on a dashboard to show the CI status for our project. This is something we haven’t really had since switching to Gitlab CI but is very useful e.g. as part of the release checklist. We do have a working prototype, but some things remain to be ironed out. As part of this we also fixed some of the currently failing builds.

My main contribution to the systainability goal was debugging why Nate’s NeoChat is using too much CPU. With a team effort we eventually pinpointed this to an invisible animation constantly repainting the window, which was then promptly fixed.

In terms of accessibility I was mainly involved in discussions about challenges and new developments with accessibility on Wayland. Expect to hear more on this soon.

In “off-topic” topics there were plently of discussions about visions, ideas, and challenges for our application development story. This included discussions on visions for design/UX, theming, API design, and software distribution. Being KDE’s Software Platform Engineer it is part of my responsibilities to facilitate these kinds of discussions. Later this year I want to host a sprint dedicated to application design to discuss and establish our vision there. If you are interested do reach out to me.

All in all it was a fun few days with great people. Thanks to MBition and Aleix for hosting us, and thanks to those donating to KDE to make these sprints possible.

© Nicolas Fella, 2024 MastodonNicolas Fella
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