Summer of Code 2007 (2/4)

This is the second of four interviews with Summer of Code 2007 students in KDE (read the first one).

Carlos Licea

  • Age: 20
  • Located in: Juárez, Chihuahua, México
  • Occupation: Student at Juarez City Technological Institute, and some other duties.
  • Nickname on IRC: carutsu
  • Fav. KDE applications: Hard to pick one... I just love Amarok, K3b and certainly KOffice 2.0 will be amazing.
  • Blog: I just started a blog a couple of weeks ago, it's outdated but I will post major achievements there. Its address is I tried to get it on the planet but I didn't recive any answer.

Bertjan Broeksema

Pierre Ducroquet

  • Age: 20
  • Located in: Close to Lille, North of France
  • Occupation: Student at Telecom Lille 1, a French engineer school.
  • Nickname on IRC: Pinaraf
  • Fav. KDE applications: In lexical order: Akregator, Amarok, Kate, KMail, KNotes, Konqueror, Konversation, Kopete
  • Hardware: Acer laptop: Pentium M 1.7 GHz, 1.5 GB RAM, ATI Mobility X700...
  • Homepage: None... (ok, you can find some attempts on Google, but I never maintained them).
  • Blog:

Gavin Beatty

  • Age: 21
  • Located in: Dublin, Ireland
  • Occupation: Student at Trinity College (Dublin University, Trinity College for the pernickity).
  • Nickname on IRC: gavinbt (no alter egos, thanks)
  • Fav. KDE applications: Konsole, Kate, Kopete, KWallet are _always_ open. Konversation should easily be on that list.
  • Hardware: Laptop: Fujitsu Siemens, Pentium M 1.73GHz, 1GB RAM, 120GB disk.
  • Blog: - A random collection of links, not really a blog

The Interview

What is your Summer of Code project for KDE?

Bertjan Broeksema: Enhancing KPilot record based syncing. I'm working on a library for KPilot which will serve as a base for conduits that are record-based. These are conduits like the Address Book conduit and the Todo conduit. Currently, each conduit does the loading, syncing and solving conflicts in its own way which makes it really difficult to maintain these conduits. Jason 'vanRijn' Kaspar, my mentor, wanted this for a long time but never had the time to implement it. I was already hanging out regularly in #kpilot and did a bit of coding for it, but never that much. So this seemed to be a good chance to a) get more involved and b) implement a long-time wish.

Carlos Licea: 2D projection for Marble. I'm working on Marble for this SoC. The goal is to let the user choose between the spherical projection or a paper-like flat projection. I picked Marble because it looked fun, and to be honest Torsten Rahn, my mentor, has been very nice, he knows that I'm still learning and hence give me a lot of support. When I contacted him everything was very hard to me, coming from a Windows-ish and school-only environment took me some time to find my way and I think I'm much better but I still need to learn.

Pierre Ducroquet: Improve OpenDocument compatibility in KWord. My project is quite simple to describe: support as many OpenDocument files as possible in KWord 2. That's a quite big project (the spec is more than 700 pages long). Hopefully, that's not Microsoft Office Open XML (> 6000 pages) :) The main reason for choosing this project is that I'm fed up with it's slow, bloated, impossible to maintain... My main problem with KOffice 1 was the lack of compatibility with my documents, so I had to work on it.

I don't have enough words in English to thank the KOffice team: their work is really great, their help is always really fast, and they're quite nice :) Same apply for Sebastian Sauer, my mentor. He's really cool, and I was really happy to meet him in Berlin two times...

Gavin Beatty: KDEPrint - adding support for LinuxPrinting's on-line drivers query. I'm implementing a wizard for KDEPrint that will download and install drivers/ppds/filters for the user's printer from The user can enter their printer's details (make, model) or, if it's a local CUPS printer, the wizard can autodetect for them.

Is the Summer of Code your first experience of KDE development, or are you a longer-term KDE contributor?

Bertjan Broeksema: I'm following development of KDE for a year or three I think, reading blogs, the KDE Commit-Digest, the Dot and hanging around in IRC channels now and then. All that time, I really liked to develop on KDE but never knew where to start. That was until I wanted some feature in KPilot (having the location of an appointment synced to the handheld). I implemented that feature and did some other coding on kpilot. Not very much though, because study and my student association take a great deal of my time.

Carlos Licea: It's my first one and for sure I'll stick around.

Pierre Ducroquet: Well, my relationship with KDE is quite random. I first wanted to participate in the French translation, about 5 years ago, but I didn't have a good enough internet connection (no bandwidth, 3 hours a month only), and later it wasn't interesting enough. For years I was telling me : I must do something. But I didn't know what to doSo it was mainly bug reports, support on IRC, and lobbying. And more recently, I became maintainer of Konquest for KDE4, a small KDE game. And now I'm working on KOffice, and I plan to continue after the Summer of Code of course :)

Gavin Beatty: Absolutely no real experience before 12th July, 2007. Quite hectic at the start! I had collected a few links to tutorials etc. and made a 3 line personal hack on KMix (to add a new global shortcut option) but I was a complete KDE hacker virgin before then. I was interested in Qt because I have a strange desire that all personal little hacks be cross platform (even though I only really run Linux) and GUI development is something everyone should have some experience with. It's so hard to transfer some ideas into programs without them or some custom scripting language (sneaks off to research Lua which has always looked pretty damn cool).

What was your most recent commit to KDE? How has your project progressed so far?

Bertjan Broeksema: My last commit was a piece of code that fixed the ID's of records after committing them to the datastore. For example, committing a new record to the handheld will make the handheld database generate a new ID for the record. So the internal mapping of handheld ID's and PC data store ID's must be adjusted to reflect that change.

Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper and myself think that everything is going fairly well. A lot of work still needs to be done of course, but I think that I'll be able to finish the project. We started with a design session of a couple of weeks which was really helpful to me, and now i'm mostly working on the library, but I also did some work on a proof-of-concept conduit also. No real surpsises so far. But the work seems to be in the details, the design document was a great help but it seems that it's more of a rough sketch than a detailed plan.

Carlos Licea: A fix for the vector map, it was very pleasant to see the vector stuff working almost properly at least :P, I still need to fix some issues but I'm mostly done with that.

Pierre Ducroquet: My last commits are about document saving. That's only the basis. Still a lot of work to be done. For the progress of my project: am I really supposed to have a schedule? :p I'm too messy for schedules. Globally, I'm quite satisfied because my simple documents are working. Recently, I had fields working. Quite a good progress (page numbers are used in nearly all my documents). Most text effects are working now, so the document loading is working quite well. I'd like to work on indexes/table of content, tables, and document saving now. Well, I don't know for you, but now table sounds like suicide for me...

Gavin Beatty: Recently, I committed the XML parser for the driver info retrieved from Oh, how I appreciate QXmlStreamReader! It's quite a simple piece of code but there is a lot of information to pull. The project has been very good so far. There are just so many useful tools available within Qt and KDE - it's easy to jump right in! The only slightly negative thing that I've experienced is that docs/websites/tutorials are generally a release or two out of date or making some minor unkept promises. KDE4 is a _huge_ milestone so I can't complain. Seeing such problems can only remind me of the same issues in my own code - some humble pie please!

How much time do you usually spend on KDE?

Bertjan Broeksema: Currently I'm working full-time on my project. But that will be lowered dramatically when my study starts again I'm afraid.

Carlos Licea: 2-3 hours daily, some days I can spend much more, say 5-6, but those days are very rare because I have a lot of other projects going on, even on vacations!

Pierre Ducroquet: Using KDE, or working on KDE? I near of always use KDE. When I go in a company using Windows, my laptop is never far from me :) And working on KDE... Well, it depends of my free time and my activities during the day. I'd say... More than 50% of my free time.

Gavin Beatty: I generally do a proper working day. I think I compact it a little by not remembering to have lunch or move my legs. This displeases me! But bar potential onset of Deep Vein Thrombosis, I work about 30-35 hours a week. Most of which is on my project but a good 5-10 hours a week can be on making little sample programs using unrelated libs that I'd like to use in the future.

When did you first hear of KDE?

Bertjan Broeksema: That was I think when I started my Bachelor degree in Computer Science, so that must be 2002 or so. I also started to use Linux/KDE at that time.

Carlos Licea: When I was picking a distribution, wow, seems a lot of time and hasn't been even a year. I started with GNOME, Ubuntu 6.10, but to be honest I found it boring, so I quickly picked KDE instead and I just love it.

Pierre Ducroquet: When I installed my first Linux distribution, about 6 years ago (Mandrake Linux 7.2).

Gavin Beatty: I first installed Linux in 2000, wanting it to be a complete replacement for Windows Millennium Edition which was uck. This was going to be my very first experience with the beast so I went with a user-friendly Mandrake (now Mandriva). KDE was _always_ the desktop I used because my brief existence with Gnome was not comfortable. I was always using KDE apps! So, after moving to Slackware (which ditched Gnome) for about 5 years, I'm officially a big fan of Debian (stable) now (apart from for making packages).

The year 2000 I guess is the final answer. The maths department in my college suggests KDE as the desktop for their excellent FreeBSD/Debian thin client network.

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

Bertjan Broeksema: The sections I don't use I guess. Heh, no honestly I use Gentoo with split KDE ebuilds, so I only install what I use. So there's probably a good bunch of nice software which is lying there to get discovered by me. But maybe it can be better promoted that you can do more then reading mail and browsing the web with KDE. My wife uses KDE now for a while and she was really surprised that she could scan images and even read images from her camera with a really cool app (hello Digikam!)

Carlos Licea: I'm not sure, being very new in this world myself, but I think KOffice was underrated, I can guarantee it will get a lot of atention in their 2.0 release.

Pierre Ducroquet: I think the inter-process communication in KDE is really amazing, when I show how powerful it is, often people are surprised by how easy it is...

Gavin Beatty: Biased but, perhaps KDEPrint? The code exploded into KDE 2 thanks mainly (solely?) to its original author, Michael Goffioul. There is tonnes of functionality and it's all very simple for the user. It was only looking through the code that I realised how much it can do for every configuration. I guess it's hard to see that when I only use a 10 year old USB printer.

What do you think is still badly missing in KDE?

Bertjan Broeksema: It's not something that's specific for KDE, but it would be great if there was a very clear way/program to install/uninstall software which wouldn't be distribution specific. For me, i'm really fine with Gentoo and its ebuilds, but my wife is an art history student. It surprised me how well she handles KDE/Linux after a short period of getting used to it. But she's just unable to see/learn how and where she should look for new software and ways to install it.

Pierre Ducroquet: Hum... a girl friend finder. More seriously, I'd like to see Konqueror being really improved. It'd be fine to have in Konqueror all the web development tools we can find in Mozilla Firefox.

Gavin Beatty: ... I hesitate but, a great browser. The rendering performance of Firefox/Iceweasel/Mozilla is appalling in my opinion, with stability being forever a slight pain (only slight now because of sessions being built in). But Konqueror, I just can't use comfortably or reliably because some of my oft-visited pages are broken/ugly and I get "Connection to host is broken" errors for 30% of pages. Refreshing repeatedly is not fun. I'm pretty excited by QtWebkit so maybe KDE 4.1 will be solid gold for me =)

Do you have any plans for KDE 4?

Bertjan Broeksema: Make KPilot rock! And what I really want for a long time already is a Todo list on my desktop (of course synced with my handheld todo list). Plasma seems to make this really well possible. So....

Carlos Licea: Yes: learn, hack and hopefully be of use.

Pierre Ducroquet: Not really. I plan to do some demonstrations when it's released. But nothing more.

Gavin Beatty: An idea my mentor, Cristian Tibirna, had about IM apps. Perhaps I could help him with that :).

What motivates/keeps you motivated to work on KDE (apart from the SoC money!)?

Bertjan Broeksema: The community! I really like the community, the people are great and very helpful. Also there's a great variety of people in it, with all different kinds of skills.

Carlos Licea: The knowledge, the experience, and the friends that you can get from it, just amazing.

Pierre Ducroquet: It's free, it's what I'm using and I love working on what I'm using :)

Gavin Beatty: I'd hate to have to say, with the same jaded sense of shame and pride that a Duke Nukem Forever dev might feel, that I worked on (hush) KDE4... just for a bit :P

What chances do you see in your country (and educational institution) for KDE as a desktop platform?

Bertjan Broeksema: What I see is that Linux/KDE/GNOME is often used in Computer Science faculties and there are also some projects to promote Open Source (like CodeYard), but most people I speak with are just indifferent about Open Source software. Their PC was delivered with Microsoft software, it does what they want it to do (they think), so why bother looking for something else. So I think that the possibility of running KDE apps on Windows is a great step forwards to let these people see that there's more out there.

Carlos Licea: I'm afraid not much, some business are beginning to see a chance to "make the jump", however here the computer world means Microsoft, you know, people still think IE is the Internet, Word is the only Word processor and Powerpoint is that mail thing from what you learn the secrets of the life.

Pierre Ducroquet: In my school, I'm now sort of responsible for the Linux installation in one computer lab, and there launching KDE by default (I wasn't allowed to remove GNOME). And I think KDE can make it. KDE is, I think, the more evolved desktop platform available. Not only on Linux. When I recently tried MacOS X, I was really deceived by it. And I don't even speak about Windows, lacking quite a lot of things. KWin has a lot of really important features I can't live without, and the other desktop platforms just don't have them.

Gavin Beatty: It's already in use in the maths department! Honestly I think there's not really that much at all keeping KDE outside the box. KDE kills the competition for a complete desktop. I think it's a basic Linux question for most people and not about KDE at all. For me moving to Linux, KDE made everthing easier than Windows (apart from maybe a messy Kmenu :P ).

Which text editor do you use? Why?

Bertjan Broeksema: Mostly Kate, but I started to learn and use vim in console also. The use of Kate is because of the fact that I was a Windows user for a pretty long time already when I started working with Linux/KDE so I was reluctant to learn editors like vim and Emacs. But when time passes by, it became clear that learning a good console editor might improve efficiency. The learning started...

Carlos Licea: Kate, I don't know, KDevelop is too complex for me, Kate is lightweight and covers all my needs (except the great auto-completion from MS C++ 2005 I'd love to be able to access all the properties like that, please Kate developers!)

Pierre Ducroquet: Kate. Because it's KDE, because it's free, because it's powerful while staying light... The KDE spirit is in Kate :)

Gavin Beatty: Kate does everything. I don't want the über project management of KDevelop or Eclipse. I want block selection mode, prettiness and quick startup. I'll use vim on the terminal because I don't want six screen incompatible keypresses to do anything like in Emacs. (I barely got my feet wet with Emacs so I'm speaking with remarkable ignorance - shenanigans!)

Which distribution do you use? Why?

Bertjan Broeksema: Gentoo Linux. When I started using Linux I had a classmate which was totally into this, so he taught me how to install and I never tried anything else seriously. I really like the ability to compile only the apps you want and even disable features of it which you don't use.

Carlos Licea: Kubuntu, why? - easiness I suppose, was my first pick and I think the support is amazing if you need it although mostly of the time you can get your way.

Pierre Ducroquet: Debian Unstable. Not a poorly-patched Debian like Kubuntu :) The main reason is stability (yes, I'm running Unstable and I speak about stability). The second is updates: it's always up-to-date. That's really cool. And its package management system is just the greatest available (I think we got an overflow in the trollometer here).

Gavin Beatty: Debian Stable (maybe Testing in a year). It's comfortable, quick, excellent package management (which drove me from beloved Slackware) and up to date. Module assistant et al are in my mind godlike tools.

What is KDE's killer app? Why?

Bertjan Broeksema: KRunner I think, everything under your hand with only a shortcut!

Carlos Licea: I'm not sure I think the killer feature it's their integration, how well everything works together.

Pierre Ducroquet: Amarok. Because my friends tell me that's the killer app. I don't think we can say "This one is THE killer app". KDE as a whole is a killer app. Each part of it can be a killer app, but often they just work together. K3b is working with Amarok, Kate works with Konsole... Perhaps the killer app in KDE is Qt :)

Gavin Beatty: Ack. I think I'm going to be strange and say KWin. I miss its features the most on other platforms that have yet to get KDE. Always on top, excellent focus management and sometimes the "Special Window Settings" etc. are simply irreplaceable.

What does your desktop look like?

Bertjan Broeksema: It's a bit a mess at the moment... But I like to have Kicker hidden and Yakuake started (not always down of course :)).

Carlos Licea: Trust me, you don't want to see my hacking place, right now it's covered by 5 books opened, and a lot of annotations and calculations, I would be happy if the life could be just coding!. About my desktop nothing unusual, just an amazing wallpaper almost totally hidden by a lot of icons.

Pierre Ducroquet: I'm not seeing it really often. I see it one or two seconds when I boot my computer, but nothing more. And since I'm using suspend to disk, I don't really boot my computer that often. In most cases, I store temporary files on it. Currently, there's only one file: this interview :)

Gavin Beatty: I sometimes completely flip from wanting all the latest everything and the occasional unimportant-but-flashy monitor but no more! But I only use apps, so why have stuff all over my desktop wasting my time when I won't even look at them? Simplicity to the point of neglect it is! I might use a plasmoid or two when the time comes ;) My desktop:

I usually work on the laptop for KDE stuff so I just want a table with a pen and paper handy. Hey, trust me! I like music, art, novels and comedy - I just don't need them to work on KDE! ;) I also have to clean up completely when I'm done so that's why it seems so bare/clean.

My workspace:

What attracts you to Open Source? What makes you contribute to KDE instead of the competition?

Bertjan Broeksema: Only the idea that it is possible to look into the source and fix something if needed I always liked. But now it even becomes more and more scratching itches myself :). Why KDE? It just went this way. I liked the desktop and there where a couple of people encouriging me to scratch my own itches myself :) /me waves to Adriaan de Groot and Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper.

Carlos Licea: Open source possibilities are just amazing, the freedom you have to, well, just do it!, it's a feeling i still have with my PC, that it's mine, that I know how is working, why is working like that and that I can do what I want. About contributing to KDE, I think that it's because you guys always keep us posted, I mean in a lot of other projects you don't hear a word for weeks or months so you just don't feel part of it, unlike in KDE where everybody is posting, updating and asking opinions.

Pierre Ducroquet: Everything in Open Source attracts me: the community, the spirit, the freedom, the global code quality (ok, there are some exceptions but I won't give you any name since you'd tell I'm focusing too much on a bloated office suite)... And I contribute to KDE because there is Qt. Qt is so cute, so easy to use, so powerful. Oh, I also contribute to KDE because I'm using it. Why would I contribute to GNOME? I never use it!

Gavin Beatty: Open Source just makes sense from a user's perspective. If I develop something useful, it might be useful to someone else. It's also fun to make if more general and polished. For larger concerns, it creates a user base quickly and generates huge positive feedback. KDE feels good because it feels nice to use open source (I'm less dedicated to using capitals now :P ) but that means nothing. It really _makes sense_ to use KDE because everything is speedy, consistent, useful and just works better than the rest. It was the main reason for my instant attraction to Linux!

Are you planning on continuing your work in KDE after the Summer of Code concludes?

Bertjan Broeksema: Yes, although it won't be as intensive as I do now. Study will come first.

Carlos Licea: Sure, beside Marble I might join KOffice development, they need help for KPresenter.

Pierre Ducroquet: Sure. But, to be honest, I fear I'll run out of free time quite often during the next school year.

Gavin Beatty: Yup. I'm not sure how much but I plan on doing something every week. I didn't make as much room for study (for my degree) last year as I feel I could have - that's the only reason I shouldn't stress my involvement _too_ much. I want to keep working and I think only a lack of ideas and serious time constraints could stop me.

If you could be any part of the KDE platform, what would you be? Why?

Bertjan Broeksema: Heh, really no idea.

Pierre Ducroquet: An-eye candy part. That way, I could perhaps attract girls :)

Gavin Beatty: Kicker. Hide me at your pleasure and dock all your INfrequently used stuff in me! While we're at it, will I tell you my starsign? ;)

What is your most brilliant KDE hack?

Bertjan Broeksema: That would definitely be the base framework for record conduits.

Carlos Licea: I'm afraid I don't have a "brilliant hack" yet - I'll let you know when I get one.

Pierre Ducroquet: I don't know. If it was working, I'd say table support in KWord :p

Gavin Beatty: Finding QWizard? No chance, I think it's much too early for me to have an answer. Others no doubt will though - keep it up!

What is your most embarrassing KDE moment?

Bertjan Broeksema: Which of gazillioen? Heh kidding, not that much but I had some. Breaking stuff in KPilot? Making stuff more complex instead of less by adding some design patterns (Yes VCal, you'll definitely get a makeover when base-conduit is ready :)

Carlos Licea: I haven't had any, but I'm sure it's because I've just contributed for a few months.

Pierre Ducroquet: None that I know of, actually. It was embarrassing when I met some other developers in real life because I'm easily over stressed in real life...

Gavin Beatty: I reported about a nasty compile error I couldn't work out to kde-print-devel. I thought I had some awful type issue. In the end of course I had just not seen that I had passed a pointer to a function expecting a const reference! Here's the proof:

It was hilariously funny recieving the one line patch though! :D

Were you at Akademy in Glasgow this year? Will you go to the conference next year?

Bertjan Broeksema: No, unfortunatly not. Previous year I was and I really enjoyed it. Maybe next year, depends on the amount of money and time I have then.

Carlos Licea: No, I live far away from it, perhaps the next year, who knows!

Pierre Ducroquet: Sadly not. I was having an internship in Germany, so I just couldn't go to Glasgow. But next year, I hope I'll be able to go. That's not depending only on me, but I'll try.

Gavin Beatty: Afraid not. I would love to go to Glasgow now still though! I think that (especially if it's in Europe) I will go next year. Lend a hand even.

Personal Questions

What course do you do, and what educational institution do you attend?

Bertjan Broeksema: I study at the University of Groningen and i'm doing the Master Software and Systems Engineering.

Carlos Licea: I'm studying Computational Systems Engineering at the Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Juárez. I'm just beginning my 5th semester there.

Pierre Ducroquet: I'm gonna enter in the third year of a five year cycle in an engineering school in France. So after the next three years I should have a French engineering diploma, in networks and telecommunications.

Gavin Beatty: BA in Mathematics in Trinity College Dublin. I'm getting an Arts degree!

Tell us about your educational institution...

Bertjan Broeksema: Hmm, what can I say about it. I'm only walking around there for one year. It's full of geeks.... Oh and they do run Linux there (yah!).

Carlos Licea: Mmm, It's just a school you know, as crazy as any other, some teachers make you exams the Saturday's morning (7:00AM sometimes), some days you want to be eaten by the earth because you have 2-3 exams and a presentation, some teachers think that 5 pages long exams are good to go... the usual in a University.

Pierre Ducroquet: Well, quite a hard question! Telecom Lille 1 is a rather small engineering school, with about 600 students. Well, little-known facts... I installed Linux Debian in one of the computer labs, the other labs will be done later. And that's KDE by default :) For a photo... Well, I don't have any here, and you can find only old photos in Google Images.

Gavin Beatty: It's actually my favourite place in Ireland. It's right in the centre of the city, nice open spaces, random cobbles everywhere (only girls with the ability-to-walk-in-heels-on-cobbles gene get in apparently so it's not an issue), huge old buildings, brilliant student accommodation (depending where you are really but, where I'll be next year has high ceilings - pointless opulence!) and great people.

It used to be that you needed a letter from the Bishop if you were a Catholic and wanted to attend. I believe there also used to be a rule about it being "permitted" to "shoot" said Catholics from a certain tower - never could quite believe _that_ one though. If you attend exams and hold your scabbard (you know, your scabbard for your sword?) a certain way, you can get a free draught of brandy or some such - not quite sure of the quantity. Regardless, it's one of the sillier rules that everyone likes to tell everyone else and always get a little bit wrong.

From what I've seen, heard and experienced it's also ridiculously easy to be yourself here; whether you're straight, gay, quantum presbyterian or whatever. Also, we just got a new gym, swimming pool and rock climbing wall too!

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

Bertjan Broeksema: I guess my parents do a good job here, also my wife Agnes and most importantly, Jesus.

Pierre Ducroquet: I think that's the first computer I really used: a Thomson TO8. That's not known at all outside France. It was a computer used in a project from the French government in 1985 to deliver computers to school for the children to discover computers and programming. It was a disaster (one of the biggest problems was the obsolete computers).

Gavin Beatty: I'd have to say science and its big sister, reason. Realising I didn't believe in a God made me a much happier and more compassionate person. Though I didn't know about him at the time, if you took Christopher Hitchens and stripped away all the politics, those are the ideals that have been subtly influencing me the most.

Is your best friend from the physical or online world?

Bertjan Broeksema: Physical.

Carlos Licea: Physical world. We are 4 friends, inseparable, we attend all classes together and still want to go to movies and parties together, now that's resistance.

Pierre Ducroquet: From the physical world, yes. Even if most of my relations with the physical world are done through the online world.

Gavin Beatty: Physical definitely. I've never been a real fan of online chat or the phone. I like physical gestures and facial cues. And it's hard to get worked up for a phone call - they didn't even bother to visit! ;) A certain college friend who knows who he is anyway. With room for a late inclusion of another who knows who she is too.

What is the best birthday present you could receive?

Bertjan Broeksema: A good book, a good cigar and a good bottle of whiskey is the most ideal combination.

Carlos Licea: I don't have preferences, I believe that the fact that anyone took the time to buy/make you something it's enough by itself.

Pierre Ducroquet: A girlfriend... Or a howto: "how to find a girlfriend for geeks". More seriously: free time to work on KDE.

Gavin Beatty: Whatever fits the moment and the person giving it. Honestly, I'm not hard to buy for! :P

Richard Stallman or Linus Torvalds?

Bertjan Broeksema: Heh, I really don't know. I think they did both a good bunch of work to get Open Source software into the market but I don't know them well enough to make a choice here.

Carlos Licea: I used to be on Linus' side however all the GNOME fights, GPL v3 fights and recent problems make me think that he's an amazing programmer and a good part of the Linux world but that I'm on Stallman's side because of his ideas.

Pierre Ducroquet: I think it'd be Linus Torvalds. Because Freedom is necessary, but impossible to accomplish without great software...

Gavin Beatty: Linus. Who wouldn't want to be arrogant, pragmatic and a hugely influential cog in a wonderful machine? He's certainly the most agreeable of the two. I've found Richard Stallman to have a somewhat ignorant social conscience on occasion, despite being a huge force for good on the whole.

How would you describe yourself?

Bertjan Broeksema: Calm, interested in people and with broad interests.

Carlos Licea: A crazy read-whatever-falls-in-your-hands boy, fan of the computers that loves to talk to his friends.

Pierre Ducroquet: Random: random hair (currently shot), random beginning beard (currently, I don't know)... Of course, there are some stable things: geek, or even nerd, blue eyes hidden by the old glasses...

Gavin Beatty: Often confusing, happy, philosophical and non-judgemental. I don't have to _like_ you but I don't think any less of you for it. What's the point in sort-of liking lots of people and not being yourself?

What would you do more of if you had the time?

Bertjan Broeksema: Long rides on a bicycle with Agnes.

Carlos Licea: Community service, I want to be much more active but I just don't have the time.

Pierre Ducroquet: Programming on KDE, sure :)

Gavin Beatty: Learn to _focus_ when playing the guitar? Or perhaps learn to compose. I'm also debating J1 to the USA or charity in the East next summer. I fear there's only decent time left this decade for me for one :(

What do you see from your window?

Bertjan Broeksema: Another flat :(.

Carlos Licea: A park that's just in front of my house.

Pierre Ducroquet: I can see trees, some gardens and some houses... I live in a quite small town.

Gavin Beatty: Suburbia! How interesting! :S So here's the back garden (with intentionally sneaky shots of my brother's bad barbecuing).

What do you get passionate about?

Bertjan Broeksema: ICT-related political discussions.

Carlos Licea: I can get passionate in any good discussion, whether politics, science, computers or recent news, you name it, I love to talk about it, although I hate that the people just can't get in a conversation without mixing feelings on it, like you can't have a debate, it has to be a fight to death.

Pierre Ducroquet: Programming and computers. I'm programming since more than 13 years so I can hardly speak about something other than programming.

Gavin Beatty: Music, dancing in Doyles, programming, a good novel, new friends, real friends, women and these days, travel (though my experience is very limited).

What does "success" mean to you? What do you want to do after you graduate?

Bertjan Broeksema: Doing the things I like to do. It would be great to get some Open Source related job somewhere. But I really don't know where i'll end up after I graduate.

Carlos Licea: Travel, I love to travel and I hope I get enough of it, I want to be a good programmer, perhaps an Open Source one, would be great.

Pierre Ducroquet: Success means that I'm happy with the result. Even if there are some problems, it's a success. And after I graduate I still don't know what I'm gonna do: be an engineer, or a researcher... To be determined later.

Gavin Beatty: Doing something you like with someone you like. After I graduate I honestly don't know what I want to do yet. I'd like to live in London or the continent for a year or two at least. My career would really depend on the environment. Other than that I'd like to either work in software or _perhaps_ finance (excluding accounting etc. :S ). I have a constant debate about further math also.

What do you do in your spare time?

Bertjan Broeksema: Reading, hacking, take my bike sometimes (note to self: do that more often).

Carlos Licea: Right now I don't have much spare time, my days are like: school, work, other projects, Marble, sleep...

Pierre Ducroquet: Programming on KDE of course. And sometimes going with friends for some bowling, or roller skating/bicycle (last time I tried roller skating, I damaged my arm so no more of that!)

Gavin Beatty: Reading, spending ridiculous amounts of time talking and having a laugh in the mathsoc room, going out (usually partially involving said room again), reading Penny-Arcade and White Ninja, swimming and uh, other fun stuff! I might also make a proper effort at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. :)

What is your favourite place in the world?

Bertjan Broeksema: The place where I feel really at home.

Carlos Licea: I can't pick one.

Pierre Ducroquet: My home. Because I feel good here.

Gavin Beatty: The Liffey late at night.

Final Words

Bertjan Broeksema: It was great to do this project, and i'd like to say thanks to Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper for being my ubercool, ever-present and cheering up mentor!

Pierre Ducroquet: Hello world!

Gavin Beatty: No lasting impression can be made so instead, 10 points for spotting the double reference: Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.