Marco Gulino

A Short Intro

  • Age: 24
  • Located in: Sciacca (in Sicily), Italy
  • Occupation: Student
  • Nickname on IRC: RockMan (I'm case sensitive :P)
  • Blog: (but I'm not exactly a great blogger...)

The Interview

In what ways do you make a contribution to KDE?

First of all with my own project, KMobileTools. I also created the Konqueror Sidebar for Amarok. And I do bug reporting/fixing, when I can. (I mean of other's apps of course. It would be weird if I wouldn't solve my own bugs.)

When did you first hear of KDE?

I think it was in 2000. I was student in Padova at university, and both my college computer room, and the university one, had some Linux computers, with Redhat and KDE. While there were also Windows workstations, I was pretty interested in the Linux machines.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

It was summer 2004. When I bought my new phone, I was a bit unsatisfied by existing applications for mobile phones management, so I started my own, first as a Qt application, then KDE.

Are you being paid to work on KDE?

No. It would be nice. Not only for money, but also because if my work would be KDE, then I could spend more time on it.

How much time do you usually spend on KDE?

It depends on how much time I have... that's not a constant, and it's always less than I need. Let's say 1 hour a day. Much, much more when I'm on holidays.

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

Recently I spent some times lurking in the kde-artists forum. And yes, I think they should get more publicity, IMHO we've some really talented artist. (And if they'll make my new icon, I'll be even more satisfied :D)

What do you think is still badly missing in KDE?

Nothing I need, probably. But on the "world real users" point of view, I see that a lot of people are starting to manage video editing. I saw some applications here and there, but no "Killer application" yet, nor anything that can compete with $OTHER_OS programs.

Do you have any plans for KDE 4?

Porting KMobileTools, of course, and I'm thinking of a kopete:/ filesystem KIO slave, so you could quickly transfer files with your contacts (i.e. saving a file directly in the contact's virtual folder).

What motivates/keeps you motivated to work on KDE?

It's fun. In KMobileTools I'm enjoying a lot of APIs, like KParts and KIO slaves. They're really powerful. And another point, I like the KDE community.

What chances do you see in your country for KDE as a desktop platform?

Unfortunately, not so much. I think our worst enemy is software piracy. If people should really pay for what they have on their PC especially here, I think both KDE and generically Open Source Software will have a great expansion.

What is your favourite widget style?

Plastik, sometimes Lipstik.

Which text editor do you use? Why?

Vim for quick editing, Kate when doing large changes, or when editing remote files (I often use fish:/).

Which distribution do you use? Why?

Actually I switched to Gentoo, since I feel it's better for x86_64 systems. But I'm still Slackware Inside (my home server is still Slackware, anyway).

What is KDE's killer app? Why?

Surely amaroK. I'm still waiting to see a desktop audio player like amaroK on any platform, *nix, Mac or Windows. They envy us for it =)

What makes you develop for KDE instead of the competition?

KDE APIs rock. It's easy to learn them, and the result is something really cute, already integrated in the desktop.

What does your desktop look like?


What type is your laptop/desktop? What is it named?

Zerogoki: a nice P3 530, 640 MB RAM, 60 GB HD (it had an 80 GB HD, but I burned it :\), and software controlled fans, I like to sleep at night :P

Shogoki: my desktop, Athlon64 3200+, 1 GB RAM, HD 160 GB sata, via-based motherboard.

I reserve also the Nigoki hostname for some spare machines, or emulated ones.
(hint: anyone saw Neon Genesis Evangelion?)

If you were shipwrecked and had to share an island with a KDE contributor who would it be?

Uhm, I need to find a female && free kde contributor. Oh, well, if I can't find her perhaps I'd take Stefan Bogner (bochi) with me. Perhaps we two alone without anything else, will FINALLY finish KMobileTools 0.5 :D (we'll have a PC, right? Otherwise I'd get a bit scared.)

What is your most brilliant KDE hack?

I'm satisfied about current KMobileTools svn trunk. It's becoming a real mobile management suite, with a powerful framework. I just hope we'll release it, we're a bit slow :P

I just added a mobile-centric configuration management. No more searching for devices, you'll have a wizard that automatically finds mobile phones. You can even switch between different kinds of connection (USB, Bluetooth, IrDA) without changing the configuration.

What is your most embarrassing KDE moment?

Nothing particular, but I often ask stupid questions in the developer channels, answering by myself after 3.43 seconds...

Are you coming to akademy 2006 this year?

Unfortunately I am a no-money student.

Personal Questions

First things first. Married, partner or up for adoption?

Still up for adoption.

Do you have any pets?

I've a sweet and intelligent dog, Ricky.
He's 7 years old, he's greedy, jealous, and always ready for caresses :P

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

Probably somewhere in the North Sicily coast. I don't love the sea much, but it's really special there!

Which book is on your bedside table?

Usually I -eat- books in about 2/3 days, too fast to let them stay there. I've a lot of sci-fi books, some other from Camilleri, and some classics like Dante's "Divina Commedia". And some Japanese manga here and there.

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

Probably science. I always had an unnatural curiosity into the scientific world, I also studied astronomy for a while. And besides science, music. I play violin, and often listen to classical music. Both things together probably made me the strange human being I am :D

Richard Stallman or Linus Torvalds?

Linus. I think he has a more practical sense.

How would you describe yourself?

As I said before, a strange human being. Often introverse, sometimes egocentric, with a lot of qualities but often without an "inspiration" to use them. For instance, I was talented in violin, but I stopped studying a lot of years ago. Now I restarted playing, only for pleasure. Probably that's why I found my home in the open source software. Doing something not because I MUST do it, but because I'm free to choice it... free as in freedom :)

What do you get passionate about?

Music, computers, science, reading, girls (I already told you I'm free, right?)

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

Mmh, it depends, often I think on something I should do later. A lot of my programming stuff was planned while travelling. Another thing I'd do would be "virtually listening" to music. That's thinking about a symphony, detaching each instrument, analyze them, doing variations, and so on. I told you, I'm a strange guy :P

What is your favourite t-shirt?

I should buy a KDE shirt.

What is your favourite place in the world?

I really like my country, I think it's good to be at home, and this is my home, it'll always be. But another place I'd like to stay is Australia / New Zealand. I'm quite attracted by the idea to live in a civilized city, surrounded by a lot of nature and unhabitated lands.