Ariya Hidayat

Actually I come from Indonesia (and even lived in four different cities back then). The reason that I'm in Germany right now is to carry out my doctorate research.

A Short Intro

The Interview

In what ways do you make a contribution to KDE?

At the moment my playgound is KOffice (especially KSpread), I write some code, fix bugs and possibly introduce new bugs. I also follow the KOffice mailing-list, either with little participation or simply in "lurking mode".

When did you first hear of KDE?

Hmm, I have to dig my crappy memory. Let's see, it must be around 1998. In our lab, there was a Red Hat machine, armed with lovely KDE 1.x. After that, I never miss a chance to follow its exciting progress.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

I visited few expos in 2000: Frankfurt LinuxWorld, CeBIT and LinuxTag (at that time, I was in Germany as an exchange student) and met few KDE guys there. I started to have interest on Konqueror/Embedded after inspiring discussion with Simon Hausmann. After that, I moved on to KOffice, notably on import export filters and finally end up being a co-maintainer of KSpread.

Are you being paid to work on KDE?


How much time do you usually spend on KDE?

As much as Legolas uses his bow. That means, sometimes more than 13 hours a day (for example when I took short vacation exclusively to shoot some nasty bugs), or as little as few hours per month.

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

Its underlying technologies (KIO, XMLGUI, DCOP, KParts, ...). When a typical IT guy wants to develop some custom in-house application, the above long list of KDE's building blocks will simplify a lot of things and save him from unnecessary headache.

What do you think is still missing badly in KDE?

The big homework is to do a good PR. KDE has excellent frameworks for application development and constantly delivers so many goodies. In other platforms, the same goodies are still promised, and reloaded.

What are your future plans for KDE?

Plenty, but if somebody trace koffice mailing-list archive, he/she can think of sending me some Dementors for having many vaporware out of my mouth. So let me just mention (in no particular order): Excel export filter.

What motivates/keeps you motivated to work on KDE?

To boldly code what no one has coded before.

A hot item at the moment is software integration, what's your opinion about that subject with regard to KDE?

I'd love to see KDE serves as universal platform for most desktop species out there. That is, KDE isn't only an environment for using UNIX-family of desktop, but also as basis for developers to embrace and extend. You should be able to use KDE technologies using any programming language, in any toolkit, in any imaginable way, without any difficulty.

Which application would you like to see integrated in KDE and how would you achieve that?

HAL 9000 would be a wonderful target. Once DCOP-ified, in any situation Dave can override its braindamaged behavior without problem (pretending there's no contradictory systemic anomaly due to a harmony of mathematical precision).

On the not too distant future, I guess somebody will fiddle around with those Gtk+ applications (like in Sodipodi). Clueless Gimp users like me would be more than happy to have KDE file dialog within Gimp.

Novell acquired Ximian in August for about 20 million. Do you regret not starting your own KDE company? If so what's stopping you?

I never dream of having a KDE company, merely because KDE is rather a passion for me, not a job. On the other, I have neither business talent nor good management capability which are compulsory to guarantee the long life of such company.

What is your favorite widget style?

My choice of widget style really depends on the alignment between Spirit and Opportunity. At the moment, I favor Plastik.

What does your desktop look like?

Out-of-the box KDE, with many Konqueror, Kate and Konsole windows. Every now and then I grab nice wallpapers from kde-look.org.

If you were a KDE app, which one would you be? Why?

KPatience, because you can amuse (and confuse) people in different ways.

Which of your family members do not use KDE and why not?

My mother, she doesn't have computer.

What users do you have in mind when you're developing/contributing for/to KDE?

Left as an exercise for the reader (hint: I work on spreadsheet application).

Do you socialize with any other KDE contributors?

I try to, mostly by e-mails and/or on #koffice once a while. Last time I met few developers offline was in Karlsruhe LinuxTag 2003 (except Gunnar Schmi-Dt, which I met here in Paderborn cause we're in the same university). And I hope I can know more in next LinuxTag.

If you had to be stuck in a lift/elevator with a KDE contributor who would it be?

Tough choice, but let me have Nicolas Goutte. Depends on how long the lift is out of service, we may (or may not) come up with an ultimate RTF library. Hiks!

What was/is your most embarrassing KDE moment?

There's none yet!

What the latest gadget you bought?

Sharp Zaurus, in a hope that I could get involved in Opie development. But in this area, I'm completely as guilty as those Outlook buffer overflows. Hardly I have more time than just to use it.

Personal Questions

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

Can I skip this? (Okay, all I would say is that I'm single)

If you have a partner, how does he/she copes with a KDE addict?

To avoid misunderstanding, let me tell you first that it will be a "she". ;-)

Do you have children?

No. But once married, I plan to have many.

Do you have pets? Names? URL to photo's?

No. Recently I'd like to have an aquarium, but I pulled back that idea after watching 'Finding Nemo'.

If someone visits your country, which spot is a must-see?

Bali (I believe this is well-known already). In any case, feel free to choose among other 17000 islands, 200 ethnic groups and 300 languages
(yes, languages, not dialects).

Which book is on your bedside table?

The Silmarillion.

Who or what in your life would you say influenced you most?

My parents, for they have shaped me for years in such an awesome and memorable way. Borland "Turbo" stuff, because these soaked me once with endless interest on programming.

Who do you admire? Why?

I can list hundreds here, but if I need to pick only one, then be it Ken Silverman. Why? Because John Carmack's charm still didn't bothered his spirit to innovate.

How would you describe yourself?

Ordinary itchy living cells.

What do you get passionate about?

Writing. I have more than 60 articles you can read in my website, they were once published in InfoLINUX, the only printed Linux magazine in Indonesia.

What are three positive things your friends Would Say About You?

Helpful and tender. But don't simply buy these words.

What does "success" mean to you?

An optimum compromise between satisfaction and thrive for perfection.

What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?

First, to try a new thing. This is because sometimes I can be bored quickly, hence I badly need new fresh blood to suck.

Second, to have a close-to-impossible wish every birthday and after that push myself to fulfill it. This reminds me that some things are "impossible, but doable".

You're stuck on a bus for 6 hours and are bored out of your skull. What do you do to amuse yourself?

Assuming this isn't a hijack, I would get to know other passenger(s). When this is a hijack, then I guess I also need to know the hijacker(s).

Which TV show world would you fit right into?

MTV Punk'd. I'm sure some people would be very satisfied to sponsor to nail me right on my head.

Which's slogan T-shirt' would you most likely wear -if you HAD to wear one that is?

A plain white shirt, with four Maxwell equations.

Among your friends, you are best known for ...?

A cheerful and hilarious person. Apparently they're nowhere in sight when I'm hex viewing these pieces of Excel documents.

Your favorite place to be is: ......?

Home ("where your heart is").

What's your favorite web site at the moment?

KDE Dot News, OS News, Friendster.

What is the most difficult question you could be asked?

Let me think for a moment. Hey, why is this question so difficult ?

Shame on me....

What's your signature at the moment?

My standard quote^H^H^H^H^Hreminder:
"Don't code today what you can't debug tommorow."