Michael Häckel

A Short Intro

  • Located in: Bayreuth, Germany
  • Occupation: Physics diploma student
  • Claim to Fame: KMail
  • Fav. KDE applications: Kicker, because it is possible to start KMail, Konqueror and KPPP with it
  • Hardware: Pentium II, 266MHz

The Interview

What is your role within KDE?

Since 8 months ago I'm part of the KMail team. I do mainly bug fixing all around KMail to make it as stable as possible and finishing things, others have started. Too many things to list them all. A major part was probably completing support for non-latin encodings. Since a few weeks I also work to implement the probably most requested feature that is still missing in KMail (IMAP).

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

The first time I used KDE was about two years ago when I got an account for a linux cip pool at the university. They were (and are still :-) running KDE 1.0 there. A few weeks later I also installed it on my own computer and found, that it is nice.

I got contact to the developers by posting bug reports and one line bug fixes. I was nice to get feedback. Since KDE 2.0 beta 1 I did again intensive testing and some day I decided to join the developers. I though it is much more useful, than visiting a C or C++ course at the university and writing useless applications lots of other people have already written before. Well, I did already coding in nearly all other programming languages besides C++ before. Besides that it is also fun to contribute to KDE.

How much time do you spend on KDE?

Currently about three hours a day. The time between lectures I sometimes use for mail answering and the evening for coding. Sometimes I also spend a whole day on KDE when I have time.

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

Several vi instances in a Konsole window to switch between different files.

Is there a process you follow when you design/write code/translate/write documentation?

Multitasking :-)

I don't draw any structure plans. I simply start coding, and if there is somewhere a problem, then I continue somewhere else. A few days later I have often a better idea for the first problem.

What was your first computer?

The first I used was a ZX81.

My first application was:
10 LET I=1
20 LET I=I+1
40 GOTO 20

And it was even able to count up to 22, then the screen was full up :-)

My first own computer is the one I still am working with.

Which program would you say every KDE user should have?

Besides KMail of course Konqueror.

If you could add one personal feature to KDE what would that be?

Well, there are already a few personal features from me :-)
Besides that, see my answer for the next question.

What application/game would you like to see ported to KDE?

The bavarian card game Schafkopf (sheeps head).

Where do you see yourself and KDE 2 years from now?

Myself; having finished university then.

I guess KDE will continue with increasing in market share. If you compare the development that has happened in KDE the last two years and the development in five years between Windows 95 and Windows ME then I think KDE is clearly in front. At least for my needs Linux/KDE is anyway much more useful than any of these OS since it is much more flexible.

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


Personal Questions

Where and when were you born?

August 1977 in Roding. A small town in the Upper Palatinate. That is located between Bavaria and Franconia. At least some local people believe that :-)

Which University/School did you go to?

University of Bayreuth

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


Do you have children?


If your house is on fire what would be the first thing you would grab to take with you?

As long as it is winter, probably a coat. I think I don't have many things, that could not be bought again. Probably I would take a few personal letters with me if I can find them fast enough.

What are the elements for a perfect vacation?

I prefer to spend my holidays at home with my parents. We live in a small village and I think that is the best place for a holiday.

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

I ride my bicycle.

What was the last movie you have seen?

Translated to English the title would be: For a few dollars more.

What was the last fiction book that your have read?

The last fiction book was probably some time ago. I read a few books about what people really experienced in their life in the past.

What song brings back a favorite memory? And why?

I can't think of anything. I also usually don't hear much music, unless someone of my neighbors or my brother forces me to.

If you could be invisible for 2 hours where would you go and what would you do?

I currently really don't know a place where I would like to go, but don't want to be visible.

You having some friends over for a party and you're allowed to invite 3 famous people who would you invite and why?

I rather prefer to invite people I know. I don't have any famous idols.

Did you meet your best friend (no family) virtually or in person?

In person or by letter written on paper.

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

Not yet.

Name your favorite quote/saying.

Was net. (Slang for "I don't know")