Rinse de Vries

A Short Intro

  • Located in: Bolsward, Netherlands
  • Occupation: I'm a cook
  • Claim to Fame: Dutch translation of KDE GUI
  • Fav. KDE applications: KBear, Konqueror, KOrganizer
  • Hardware: Intel P166MMX

The Interview

What is your role within KDE?

Currently I'm translating the KDE-gui and coordinating our team.

How and when did you get involved in KDE?

It was around august 1999. I learned about the KDE project through local magazines and wanted to participate. Around that time I came across http://www.kde.nl/, A Dutch mirror of KDE. I decided to join the team behind it and started to maintain the web site. A few months later the team was ready to start translating KDE2. Because of the high quality of my translations, and my dedication to the project, some team members asked me if I would like to coordinate the gui translation and maintain the cvs. I took the job and started working on the gui translation.

How much time do you spend on KDE?

I try to limit the time to 1 hour a day.

What is your favorite tool?

It's definitive KBabel. Without this advanced tool, we could never have translated KDE in just 6 months with only 4 GUI translators.

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

First a update my local cvs sandbox. Then I fire up KBabel and check which programs contain new/fuzzy messages. Then I start translating the strings, until my time is up. I mark messages I don't know how to translate as fuzzy, and send an e-mail about them to our mailing list. Afterwards I commit the updated files into the cvs and send a log to the mailing list.

What are the problems you encounter while translating?

There are 3 issues I have to deal with:

  1. Should the string be translated or not - The Dutch language is lending a lot of foreign computer words. If we translate too much English terms, we could scare away the advanced users, but if we translate too little computer terms, the newbe would not understand them.
  2. In which context is the message used- some messages can be translated in 5 ways, depending on its context. To deal with this, I try to determine the context by reading the other messages around it, or by checking the German translation.
  3. Conflicting accelerators - this is the hardest one, it is not easy to avoid conflicts between accelerators. Most of the time I can solve this by reading surrounding messages, but sometimes the messages don't look related in the po-file, while in the real world, they are used in the same menu/dialog box...

How many people are working on the translations?

Our team has 7 members. Currently 2 of them are working on the documentation, 2 others are working on the gui, and one is maintaining the web site.

Do you get reactions from the people who use your translations?

I don't get them personally, but I do read about it in the many Forums and newsgroups/mailing lists.

What was your first computer?

The same one I'm using right now, a P166MMX computer, with 16 MB RAM and 2,1 GB hdd. I recently upgraded it with a 4 GB hdd and 64 MB Ram.

Which program would you say every KDE user should have?

Hmm, hard question, they all are great programs ;-) I think no one can work without a good file manager, so Konqueror is definitely the program everyone should have ;)

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

I would like to make KDE "Internet Connection Aware". It would be nice if KDE knows when it's connected to the Internet and when it's not. so if I want to check my mail, start icq, or visit a website, I would not have to bother about being connected or not, KDE would prompt me if I want to connect when I'm off line.

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

Well, I can't think of an application, but my little nephew is crazy about "Freddy the Fish", a learning-game for children. It would be nice to have this or similar programs available in KDE, so I don't have to reboot every time he wants to play ;)

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

I have no idea.. I think I would be still doing the same thing, translating the GUI and web site.. KDE would probably still be the leading desktop for Linux/Unix, providing even more exciting features and applications.

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


Personal Questions

Where and when were you born?

16 March 1971 in Marssum, a small village in the very north of The Netherlands.

Which University/School did you go to?

I went to the "Bakkerij en Horeca Vakschool, a school for cooks and bakers. After that I followed some other studies about cooking and management.

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

I'm single.

Do you have children?


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

My cd collection. I am a great fan of Prince, and have some irreplaceable cd's of him. ;)

What are the elements for a perfect vacation?

No rain! Last year I went to Italy. Great country!! But the first week we had lots of rain and Venezia doesn't look that good when it's raining ;(

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

Going to the moves, theater, cycle, spending time on the beach...

What was the last movie you have seen?

Under Suspicion.

What was the last fiction book that your have read?

John Irving - De wereld volgens Garp (I guess the English title is The World According To Garp)

What song brings back a favorite memory? And why?

Bill Medley and Jennifer Warns - I had the time of my life. Around that time I finally knew who I was, what I wanted to do with my life and also had the best time of my life with my friends.

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

I think I would only invite my closest friends. Although It looks like fun to meet your idol, I'm afraid of getting disappointed when the person in reality can't live up to my expectations.

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

I know all of my best friends since High School, so I met them all in person. But I also have some good online friends.

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


Name your favorite quote/saying.

If a man is considered guilty for what goes on in his mind, then gimme the electric chair for all my future crimes...
==Prince - Electric Chair==