Arash Zeini

A Short Intro

  • Age: 01.09.1970, Iran/Tehran.
  • Located in: Iran, Germany and sometimes India.
  • Occupation: Entrepreneur!
  • Nickname on IRC: I don't use IRC.
  • Claim to Fame: To support Linux and open source in Iran.
  • Hardware: Mainly a laptop (works like a horse) with PIII-850, 128 MB and some other desktops.

The Interview

Is there a certain application/set of applications in KDE you are responsible for?

Not from programming point of view. I engage myself in translating KDE into Farsi.

What else do you do for KDE?

At this moment I promote and support KDE in Iran. I have interest in the KDE Education and Enterprise projects.

Is there any unreleased stuff in your pipe?

Not at this moment. But we are working on some open source projects in Iran and they will be related to KDE (KDE3.0 and KOffice).

How much time do you usually spend on KDE?

Hard to say, it varies; but I know that it is more than my wife approves ;)

When did you hear of KDE first?

As I installed my first Linux.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

As I was trying to find a way to use Farsi on Linux. Farsi, the official language of Iran, is barely supported on any platform and often not to our full satisfaction. KDE, as an open source project, gives us the necessary freedom to work on the Farsi issues the way we want it.

When did you start to use KDE on a daily basis?

Around 1999. There was a small period in 2000, when I didn't use Linux and KDE very much. But now I use KDE only and everyday.

Do you always use leading edge KDE? If so, how did it make you bleed?

No, not always. I run two different KDEs: one officially released one, which usually comes with my Linux CDs. I may or may not update this version. On another partition I use the leading edge KDE compiled from sources. Now a days this is mainly because I am playing with KDE 3 for FarsiKDE. It has not made me bleed, yet.

What is your favorite editor?

I am not a KDE developer, but nevertheless I love and enjoy working with Emacs.

How do you find out what a certain string really means and what it should be translated to?

By looking it up and/or consulting other people.

What is your favorite tool?

Hard to say, probably mutt, ncftp and emacs.

What is your favorite KDE application?

KOffice, Konsole, package manager and Konqueror... and a lot more.

What is missing badly in KDE?

Maybe a good HTML editor. I am not sure if KDE already has one, but that could be a good application.

What do you think, when will "The Tea Cooker" actually be able to make tea?

Probably very soon, before 2005??? But I would still prefer a cup of tea on the side of the road in India, or in an Iranian tea house with dates and a water pipe.

What was the worst thing KDE did to you?

It hasn't done anything bad to me. It takes some of my time... oh, maybe you should ask my friends :)

Imagine yourself designing a style or theme for KDE. How would it look like?

I would prefer a very simple style. I love transparency, it looks good.

Which section of KDE is underrated and could get more publicity?

Its use and functionality in an enterprise or business environment. This section needs more publicity and development at the same time.

Are you being paid to work on KDE?

Not really. If we are successful with promoting Linux and KDE in Iran, maybe yes.

Where and when should the next KDE meeting be held? Will you attend?

I would like to attend such a meeting, I have never done this. If you relate the number of developers or people behind KDE from different regions with the place of the meeting, possibly Asia wouldn't be in the picture (is this statement correct?), but nevertheless I would like to see at least one meeting, if not the next somewhere in Asia. Does Iran sound good?

Where will KDE be in 2 year's time? Will you still be involved? How?

I expect it to be one of the major desktops among end users, as well as business users with great internationalization capabilities. I would like to be still involved, hopefully continuing the translation of KDE to Farsi and doing some development activity.

You are hired to write the script for a commercial for KDE (like "The Heist" by IBM). What would be the plot?

There is great confusion and fear among people. People of different races scream and run around and nobody seems to be able to understand the other one:
The Tower of Babel has been destroyed just now. All of the sudden people become calmer, they point into a certain direction, there is a lot of whispering and then silence. There they are: GNU and Tux. GNU stamping into the ground and Tux floating in the air, both have anger and determination in their faces. People begin to make way for our heroes who make their way to the bottom of the ruins. After a little while of no-action, they both go into meditation position, upon which there is light and spheric music all over the place. Light comes out from their third eyes on their foreheads, which meets near the ground. It is concentrated energy in its purest form. After the light is finished there is an egg, which begins to move (shake).

Astonishment, fear and excitement is written on the faces of people witnessing the situation. Out of the egg comes out a friendly looking Konqui, with 48 arms. Three capital characters are written on the palms of each arm. People don't know whether to panic or not. Looking around Konqui blows a smoke out of his mouth which covers the whole area. Out of the background you hear friendly voices and birds singing. With the smoke vanishing you see happy people hugging and talking to each other, shaking hands and kissing. Realizing that Konqui is waving goodbye people look back and see GNU and Tux vanishing in the horizon.

Someone sends you an email about KDE in a language you do not understand at all. What do you do?

I stare into the monitor for a little while, not knowing what to do. Then I remember that we are in the year 2005 and run the text through KTranslator and read it in one of my favorite languages. It is self evident that I then answer the email in my favorite language, run it once more through KTranslator considering that the sender may be using Windows :)

What do you think is KDE 2.2 greatest feature except from being a great desktop?

I like the auto completion of form fields in Konqueror.

In these hectic times, where does KDE stand for, for you personally?

I don't really know. I thought it would stand for good and reliable software as well as technology. But since you are asking, allow me to be a little sentimental! In these times of war, blindness and a lot of haterage this great collaborative effort may stand for more than technology and software.

What was your first computer?

Commodore 16. I upgraded it to Commodore 64 the next day.

Personal Questions

First things first. Are you married/do you have a partner? Or are you up for adoption?

I am married to a wonderful and supportive wife, with the name of Megan.

If you have a partner, how does your mate cope with a KDE addict?

I think she is just amazed about it. And she does use KDE. She knows that she better doesn't mettle in the affairs of dragons :)

Do you have children?

We are expecting our first child (a daughter) in April.

If you have got children, how do they cope with a KDE addict?

Our baby is not born yet, but she already has a Konqui! I know...

How many siblings do you have?

One younger sister. She cannot wait to begin to use KDE.

How was it like to grow up where you grew up?

I didn't grow up in one place. A lot of my memories are gone, I don't really know how it was. How ever it was, I consider it to have been good.

Rumour has it geeks thrive on pizza and coke. What's your fuel?

Tea and chips while I sit on the computer. A lot of tea. Otherwise I love pomegranate and eat as much as I can during the season.

You are visiting a foreign country and the menu in the restaurant you are having dinner in is just gibberish to you. What do you do?

I love food and eating and love to try strange things. I have eaten the strangest things and enjoyed it a lot, but I won't talk about it here. ;-)

Do you cook yourself? If so, what?

I used to cook a lot. It is getting less nowadays. I like to cook improvised sea food and rice items with a lot of spices in them. It has to be flavored and hot.

Who does the dish washing at your home?

The dish washer. (While my wife goes through this, she protests that it is her, but this is not the truth!!!) ;-)

Do you remember what was on screen when you visited a cinema last time?

Sure, but I won't talk about it, since it wasn't good. However I remember 'Beyond hypothermia' as if it was the last movie I saw. Shame on you, if you don't know this movie. :)

Apart from books about programming, do you own any other stuff than your passport?

Oh yes, I/we own a lot of things. Worth being mentioned here, are a lot of old and antique books, a lot of music and two Setars (an Iranian instrument). We don't have any cars and/or TV.

Assuming you do read fiction, what's your favorite quote by your favorite author?

I used to read a lot of fiction, it is getting less though. A favorite quote is from 'Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit' by Sten Nadolny, but I don't have my book with me to quote from. Another favorite quote of mine is: 'The smooth sea never made a skillful sailer'

Would you use software to organize your books/CDs? Why?

No, I don't use any software to organize my books or CDs. I don't know how it would help me to better my reading or listening experience.

What do you sing when nobody is listening and what when people are listening?

When I am alone I sing a lot of traditional Iranian songs. When I am not alone people prevent me from singing.

If you are a smoker, does it ever happen to you that your cigarette sets your ashtray on fire? How often?

I am not a smoker, fortunately.