David Faure

A Short Intro

  • Located in: Bath, England
    Note: I'm French, not British.
  • Occupation: Software developer. Currently, KDE developer for MandrakeSoft.
  • Nickname on IRC: dfaure. It's actually just a login name, but many people recognize me that way now ;)
  • Claim to Fame: kfm and Konqueror maintainer, KParts (component model) co-author, KIO (network transparency) co-author, other kdelibs and koffice hacks. On a non technical note, I also gave some talks at various Linux Expos in the world, wrote articles for Linux Mag France, and I've been interviewed on linuxuk and slashdot.
  • Fav. KDE applications: Konqueror, if I didn't have to fix its bugs :) Other than that, KMail is the only GUI mail client that managed to make me abandon mutt.
  • Hardware: Dual-Pentium III with Linux Mandrake

The Interview

What is your role within KDE?

Doing the dirty job :). Fixing bugs everywhere I can, helping users and developers that have problems. I also work on some Mandrake-specific KDE stuff. Oh, and when I have time after all this, I work on improving konqueror and I plan to do more on koffice in the future.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

Four years ago, a friend named Hugo had the excellent idea of developing a talk program with an answering machine capability (the only program capable of doing that was a Windows program). I liked the idea and suggested to help him, but then he never started, so I did it when I found some time. It worked great, but the announce that tells the user about an incoming communication was, like in the good old Unix talk daemon, a text message in a console, so it lacked a nice dialog. Since another friend from the same school, Cedric, had shown me KDE a week before, I thought I would use KDE to create a message box for the talk daemon. Yes, it all started from a message box ! But I really got involved in KDE when Torben Weis was looking for someone to take over kfm's maintenance (kfm is the file manager in KDE 1.1) and I said I would give it a try.

How much time do you spend on KDE?

If days had 50 hours, I would spend 49 of them on KDE ;-)
Seriously, it must be something like 12 to 16 hours a day...

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

XEmacs is my favorite editor, by far (I really love it, even more since we have some lisp code to help developing for KDE). This doesn't prevent me from firing up vi very often, though.

Is there a process you follow when you code?

I wish I had more opportunity to do object-oriented design, but with KDE the life cycle is "1 day of design, 2 years of bugfixing" :). So the process that I use the most is trial and error (change a line, recompile, test, change another line, etc.). And I use debug output much more than an actual debugger with tons of breakpoints.

What was your first computer?

I really started to learn computing on an Atari (for which I wrote GFA Basic and Assembly 68000 programs, mostly games). But in fact the first computer I used was an HP 85 that my father brought back from work sometimes, an all-in-one thing with a black and white screen not bigger than 10x10 cm and a tape drive. Kids today don't realize the luck they have :)

Which program would you say every KDE user should have?

Konqueror, of course.

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

Not in England anymore, that's for sure (if only I could find the bug report dialog for the weather! ). Probably in France. Hopefully still working on KDE, since by then it will be used by 70% of the people with a computer ;-)

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

Yes, since the beginning of August I'm paid by MandrakeSoft to work on KDE fulltime. It's really great. I used to have another job during the day and work on KDE during the nights, but given how much I'm involved into KDE, it was just too much. I really enjoy being able to work fulltime on KDE now !

Personal Questions

Where and when were you born?

I was born in l'Isle Sur La Sorgue, in France, in 1976.

Which University/School did you go to?

I went to INSA de Lyon, in France. It's a 5 year course, where the first 2 are about all kind of science (physics, maths, etc.) and for the last 3 ones I went to the computer science department. In my opinion, they do a very good job at teaching computer science. Oh, you know what? I just learned that starting this year, C++ programming will be taught on Linux machines running KDE and KDevelop (used to be on Solaris/CDE) ! As I was saying, they are great.

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

I am very happily married since July last year, to Sabine, whom I met in high school.

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

Apparently she understands very well my passion for KDE and has quite a few passions on her own. In the evening she tries to get me out of it, which is quite a good thing because otherwise I'd never stop :)

Do you have children?

Not yet.

Do you have pets?

Not yet either.

What is your favorite food?

Vegetable lasagna, for instance. Any good meal without too much meat, in general.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

England used to be - but now I live in England so it's not a vacation spot anymore :) Anywhere with water and wind is a great vacation spot, for sailing. Also, our visit in Edinburgh is my best memory of a tourism trip.

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

I like reading but usually have no idea what to read (Shaheed, KDE developer I just met in Germany, just gave me a very good hint on this !). I do a bit of gardening as well (this damn grass doesn't have a stop button!) and on the weekends we visit some places around.

What was the last movie you have seen?

The thing is, I have a very bad memory. I'm sure I enjoyed it, but I can't remember what it was. My wife would know, for sure :) My favorite would be Matrix (used to be Back to the Future).

What was the last fiction book that your have read?

Hmm, memory trouble again. Ah, I remember reading The Complete Robot by Issac Asimov, which was quite interesting, and Time Machines, a collection of stories about time travel (my favorite topic).

What songs do you sing in the shower?

I don't sing in the shower. Does everyone else really do, as implies the question? I play the piano though, and after I do I sing some songs of mine.

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

I would invite Miguel Estrella (argentinian pianist, whom I met when I was 10, a really nice person and a great artist), a French comic like Boujenah, and Mel Gibson because my wife wants to meet him :) Actually I would have liked to invite Einstein, but I'm too late for that...

Note that I would need to buy a BBQ first, and get someone to cook the meat :-)

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

Since I moved to England not so long ago, I couldn't say I have many friends around. My best friends currently are the KDE developers (see next question). My real life best friend would be Matthieu, who lived two houses from mine when I was young, but I haven't seen him for two years now...

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

Yes, I met many KDE developers for the first time last year in Erlangen(Germany), and since then in Trysil (Norway) and then in Erlangen again. The funniest thing about meeting KDE or Linux developers in general is that everyone is always younger than you first imagine.

Name your favorite quote/saying.

My father always says "never do today what you can postpone and do tomorrow", reversing the saying. Well, I have to apply that to some KDE bugs unfortunately :-)