International OSS Desktop Conference aKademy 2004 Ends in Germany

September 1, 2004 (The Internet) - The KDE Project is pleased to announce the successful completion of the KDE Community World Summit ("aKademy 2004") in Ludwigsburg (Germany) taking place from August 20th to 29th.

With more than 230 KDE core developers, usability and accessibility experts, translators, editors and artists participating, the event is expected to have a huge and lasting impact on the next major releases of the leading Linux and Unix desktop environment. In addition, 270 visitors from the KDE user base and from other Free Software projects brought the total number of attendees to 500. The international participants, coming from 5 continents, took part in 65 talks, 10 full-day tutorials and numerous BoF-meetings over the course of 10 days. Thanks to this huge turnout and the numerous activities, the event evolved into the largest conference ever held that focused on a single open source desktop environment.

The schedule consisted of six parts: KDE e.V. meeting, Developer Conference, Unix Accessibility Forum, Usability Forum, Coding Marathon and User Conference.

Video and audio streams from the Developer Conference (August 21st to 22nd) are available for public consumption, thanks to the magnificent support of Fluendo, who provided the technology and manpower to record all of the talks. A large number of detailed write-ups were contributed by event attendees and have been published on the KDE Wiki website.

During the First Unix Accessibility Forum (August 22nd to 23rd) developers and disabled people met to improve and advance assistive technologies for Unix. The following projects and companies contributed with talks and presentations to the outstanding success of the Accessibility Forum: KDE Accessibility Project (organizer), Trolltech (sponsor), IBM, Sun Microsystems, BAUM Retec AG, GNOME Accessibility Project, FSG Accessibility Workgroup, SUSE / Novell and SeebyTouch Project.

With usability becoming increasingly important for the broad success of Linux and other Open Source Software on the desktop, the Usability Forum (August 24-26) discussed, demonstrated and refined the means by which KDE can effectively and seamlessly integrate usability into its everyday development process. The Usability Lab set up and run by experts from relevantive AG and their professional support resulted in many instant changes to the KDE source code that will significantly advance the user experience in KDE 3.4.

The Coding Marathon saw the evolution of a great many ideas which will make it into upcoming 3.4 and 4.0 releases of KDE. Several completely new projects were also started during the event. One of the most remarkable ones is the FreeNX/kNX initiative, which will bring high speed Terminal Services to KDE, that will connect multiple Operating System platforms and make Linux desktop migration plans significantly easiert to implement.

The User Conference featured the first public announcement of another big public sector organization preparing its move to the Linux OS platform: all 69 local tax offices in Lower Saxony and their central office in Hannover will be migrating the 12.500 desktop workstations of their clerks and employees to the KDE Desktop Environment, utilizing the Kiosk Mode enterprise desktop features of KDE.

In addition to general KDE users and developer community, representatives from the SkoleLinux and Gnome projects were invited and took part. They helped to further improve close cooperation and mutual interoperability between these projects.

Photos of the event are available here.

The KDE team would like to thank the City of Ludwigsburg and the Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart (WRS) for hosting the event. Thanks to the City of Ludwigsburg our first social event featured a delicious buffet. We especially appreciated the hospitality of the Filmakademie -- they were extremely supportive and hosted our coding marathon. This meant keeping the doors open for the computer labs for 24 hours a day, on 10 consecutive days, so that our programmers and contributors could work freely and unrestricted some of whom wouldn't even attempt to adapt to their jet-lags.

The CCC Stuttgart, Space.NET, BelWue and LF.net have been an invaluable help to construct a reliable high bandwidth network and internet connection, providing hardware and connectivity. Their high level of volunteer organization and work was crucial to the overall success of the event: you girls and guys rock! Linux New Media and basysKom helped us in an unbureaucratic and extensive way in all matters. KDE developers, users and outside visitors showed a lot of interest in the available KDE merchandise. We would like to thank Open Source Factory and Kernel Concepts for satisfying those needs.

Furthermore we would like to thank the Blue Angel/Blauer Engel for food price reduction. IBM sponsored "Free Lunch for Free Software Developers" during the first weekend -- that was a very popular benefit for the hungry crowd! Thank you, HP, for making available notebooks to our Free Software and KDE developers for a reduced price! Plus, your notebooks received an excellent rating by our expert Linux users who in the course of the week installed various Linux distributions onto the harddisks.

Special thanks go to the volunteer people running the all-night shuttle-service from the Filmakademie to the Ludwigsburg Youth Hostel. Their service was really extremely well appreciated by all those who avoided 45 minute walks while the German rain was pouring down, as well as those who were simply too tired after coding for 16 hours, at 4 o'clock in the morning.

And of course a big thank you to KDE e.V., all the KDE people and other volunteers for making this year's KDE Community World Summit such a great, ground-breaking and successful event!

Many thanks go to our sponsors! Platinum Sponsor: Hewlett-Packard, who provided us with more than 50 excellent, Linux-optimized notebooks for the event! Gold Sponsors: IBM, SUSE / Novell and Trolltech. Bronze Sponsors: erfrakon, NoMachine, Parity Software, xandros, Intevation, science+computing, Danka, Linux Information Systems AG and LinuxLand.

Printer Sponsor: Danka. Book Sponsor: O'Reilly. Compile Kluster Provider: transtec. Usability Lab Provider: relevantive. Media Partner: Linux Magazine. Streaming Partner: fluendo. Organizing Parties and Main Contributors: KDE e.V., Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart, LinuxNewMedia AG, basysKom, erfrakon, LF.net Further Contributors: City of Ludwigsburg, credativ GmbH, Klarälvdalens Datakonsult AB, LinuxTag e.V. and SourceXtreme Inc..

About the KDE Project and KDE e.V.

The KDE Project is a non-profit group of volunteering professionals and enthusiasts contributing to free and open-source software, especially to the "KDE Desktop for the Enterprise". KDE e.V. is a German entity of KDE members for handling legal matters (http://www.kde.org/areas/kde-ev/).

Contact Information:

KDE Project
Kurt Pfeifle
Phone +49-172-715-7017
Email: pfeifle@kde.org
Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart
Hans-Ulrich Schmid
Phone +49-711-22835-27
Mobile +49-172-731-0463
Email: hschmid@region-stuttgart.de
Linux New Media AG
Ms. Rosemarie Schuster
Phone: +49-89-9934-0
Email: pr@linuxnewmedia.com

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