Lauri Watts

A Short Intro

  • Located in: Sweden
  • Occupation: Graphic Designer
  • Nickname on IRC: KrazyKiwi
  • Claim to Fame: Zip
  • Fav. KDE applications: KNode, Konqueror
  • Hardware: Lots of things :) - Mostly an Intel PII400

The Interview

What is your role within KDE?

Documentation Reviewer. I guess you'd call that "Help File nitpicker". I help review the documentation for various things including sgml markup, typos, completeness. Closest to a real world job would be a copy-editor, but I try to stay out of editorialising the actual text unless it's not making sense. That's rare, the doc writers are doing a wonderful job.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

Earlier this year. Saw people complaining on newsgroups about apps that didn't have help files, and got tired of opening up the help files that were there and seeing "Not written yet". I'm no developer, but I believe in KDE, so I offered help doing what I can do - there's plenty of artists involved already, but documentation isn't as "sexy" as drawing cool icons and themes. But... someone's got to do it, and I enjoy it.

How much time do you spend on KDE?

Too much :) I couldn't guess. A lot, some days, none at all on others. Since I'm generally working on things other people have sent in, it depends how much work other people are doing, how much ends up with me at any given time.

What is your favorite tool? (for developers; what is your favorite editor?)

Screwdriver. To scare my computer into submission when it's misbehaving. Oh you meant software? I will have to be a heretic and say Emacs + psgml mode. I probably couldn't get a tenth as much done as i do, if I didn't have it. If someone would like to write me an editor that groks sgml, with a KDE face on it, I'd use that in a second.

Is there a process you follow when you code?

Validate document. Fix errors from the validation. Generate HTML from that. Read through the HTML output in Konqueror, looking for typos and errors, and fix those. Go through the source with a fine tooth comb, marking up everything in sight (there can never be too much markup in an sgml document!) Validate again. Fix anything left over - sometimes my fingers type way too fast for my brain, and I introduce more errors than I started with. At least I don't have to debug and wait for user bug reports, I have the almighty validator to point them out for me.

What was your first computer?

Sinclar ZX81 :) At school we had Apple IIe's I didn't meet my first Intel PC until the mid 90's.

Which program would you say every KDE user should have?

KNode: Usenet is such a great resource, everyone should use it!

Where do you see yourself and KDE 5 years from now?

Myself, I have no idea. I'm a bit of a free spirit when it comes to planning the future: I don't do it. KDE, perhaps looking very different, but still the best desktop out there, and it should be extremely mature by then, with a wealth of native applications (including that editor I want.)

Are you being paid to work for KDE and if yes by who?

Nope, it's a labour of love.

Personal Questions

Where and when were you born?

New Zealand, 1972

How did you end up in Sweden?

Long story. I left New Zealand and went to the USA to stay with a friend and find a job. Met Matt (my s.o.) who came to the states to visit (we'd known each other online for quite a while), and in my typical "not very planned" fashion, I moved to Switzerland two weeks later to live with him. We were there for about a year, then moved back to Sweden, where Matt is from. Here I've been, ever since.

What's your status, are you single and up for adoption?

Nope :)

If married/girlfiend/partner(m/f), how does he/she cope living with a KDE addict?

He converted.

Do you have children?

3, Sam, Zac and Kajsa (9, 6 and 1 respectively)

Do you have pets?

Great Pyrenees dog, Lina. She's 3.

What is your favorite food?

Thai anything. Swedish christmas food, except for the herrings.

What is your favorite vacation spot?


What do you (and your s.o) like to do in your sparetime?

We're in the process of clearing the wilderness that will be our back yard, when we move to our new house. Once upon a time it was a lovely garden, but it's sure keeping us busy getting it back that way.

What was the last movie you have seen?

The Boondock Saints (Loved it, I'm going to have to buy a copy.)

What was the last fiction book that your have read?

Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone. Before that was Anne of Green Gables. Having a 9 year old colors my reading habits, I'm usually reading with her! (But that Harry Potter book is a pretty good one, if you haven't read it)

What songs do you sing in the shower?

I don't sing in the shower - I have a toddler, I'm usually in such a hurry to get clean and get out, I don't get time to sing!

You are having a BBQ in your backyard and you're allowed to invite 3 famous people who would you invite and why?

Tough one.

  • Douglas Adams - To see if he's that clever and twisted in real life (he wrote the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy if you don't recognize the name)
  • Penn & Teller (is that cheating to get to three?)
I'd have to advise other guests at such a barbecue to check their food over very closely and very carefully before eating it.

Is your best friend (no family) a real person or an on-line one?

How about real life but we mostly hang out on IRC, because she lives in Canada. I think that's a "both"

Did you ever met a fellow KDE'r in person, when and where?

Not yet :)

Name your favorite quote/saying.

"If there's no light at the end of the tunnel, get down there and light the darn thing yourself!"