KDE Russia

This January, an amazing milestone has been passed by the Russian KDE community: our VK group, main local community page, got more than a thousand subscribers!

Globally, that doesn’t sound like much, but that’s really a lot for a local page of a FOSS community!

Screenshot-2018-2-3 KDE Россия-up.jpg

My participation started more than a year ago, and throughout the year we’ve been covering all major events in community life, helping new users find their ways in FOSS and KDE in particular, inviting everyone to participate and do whatever they can to make the bright future of software freedom closer.

Screenshot-2018-2-3 KDE Россия.jpg

This year we made a friendly Telegram chat and bridged it to an IRC channel (#kde_ru); I developed a bot that publishes news from our page to the chat and delivers them personally. We established a good relationship with local openSUSE and Qt communities.

No doubt, there’s a lot to be done to make our community a brighter, stronger, more welcoming place. But I am proud of what we have achieved and look forward with passion.

If you speak Russian and would like to help spread the word about free software, you are always welcome to join us! 😀

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Halium on ASUS ZenFone 5

Halium is a hardware abstraction layer developed collaboratively by multiple open source communities (KDE, UBPorts, Mer, LuneOS) to enable Android devices to run GNU/Linux distributions.

I had posted this news on Twitter some time ago, but I’m still happy that my port got so mature that it is able to deliver hardware accelerated graphics:

IMG_20180114_145746.jpg

This port is quite special as the phone has an x86 CPU, a PowerVR GPU and a closed source HWComposer. To make it possible, I authored a number of patches to Libhybris and Halium; as of now, most of them have been merged. I am going to continue my work on the device.

Exams are over, new studies coming

Hello blog, no news from me for a while 😀

Studies at the university were really overwhelming, and I feel that passing my first exams was a major step in my life.

Despite my week off coming to its end already, I still haven’t done many things I planned: my brain felt exhausted, and I couldn’t help spending time watching TV series and stuff 🙂

Anyway, I still have some news to share, and so I will in next blog posts.

Studies

ITMO University is a very welcoming place, and I enjoy so much being here 🙂

Welcome party
New friends
Student docs

Also, I finally have a stable web connection.

P.S. And all in all, St Petersburg is not THAT rainy 😅

ITMO University

In a couple of hours I’m leaving my home city and going to Saint Petersburg, where I’m going to study for a software engineer in ITMO University for 4 years. I’ll be there tomorrow, but I probably won’t have a stable Internet connection for a while. If I don’t answer your messages, it’s just that I can’t 😉

Best wishes 😀

Mountain Re-View

Hey blog! How about a new blog post? 🙂

There have been no messages from me for a while, mostly due to my exams, and I feel guilty for the silence. Now that’s high time I write about my experience.

The most important event in my life for the past few months is the Google Code-In trip. It was an amazing opportunity to meet so many interesting people, see lots of stunning views, visit lots of amazing places, hear talks about topics I’ve never thought of before and make new friends.

A small KDE meetup 😀 (Sergey Popov, Kevin Funk and me)
Missing all of them…
Ivan Smirnov told us a bit about his work at Google

With all the planes, trains and buses, it was also a big journey with an 11-hour time difference from my home.

Me at the New York airport (JFK)

I am SO thankful to the Google Open Source team, particularly Stephanie and Mary, for their continuous work on making Google a hospitable place for students, mentors and parents from all over the world. They paid special attention to the food (yummy!) and even invited whales 🙂

Me, Stephanie, Mary and Sergey
Gear cupcakes
A WHAAALE! 😀

I am looking forward to meeting my new friends again.

Currently me, Filip Grzywok and Soham Sen (other GPW winners) are working on a cool app. I highly recommend you to follow updates on the development; we expect our project to be released by the end of the summer.

I am also now working on porting Halium, a hardware abstraction layer developed by KDE, UBPorts, Mer and Sailfish, to ASUS ZenFone 5. It’s quite difficult for me, but the communities around the project are very helpful (special thanks to Bhushsan Shah and JBB) and I learn quite fast. When I succeed with porting, my phone is going to be the first x86 device to run Plasma Mobile!

Currently I am entering a university. That’s an important step in my life, so I am very immersed in it. 

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading and don’t feel like having wasted your time. If you want to ask me anything, suggest an idea on improving my blog or just talk, feel free to contact me by any means suggested in “Contacts”.

Have a great day!

GCompris review

GCompris is a unique collection of educational games for children and a proud part of the KDE community. It is a popular and rapidly developed project with its latest version released less than a month ago and more than 100000 installations on Google Play store.

GCompris consists of more than 100 activities for different ages and purposes that are divided into 8 thematic sections. Games are translated into many languages, making it possible to be used by teachers all over the world.

GCompris has a consistent style, and all of the activities are designed very carefully.

I am a highschool student graduating this year, but some activities were interesting even for me! 🙂 “Land safe” and “Intro gravity”, for instance, are no worse than many games published as separate applications on Google Play.

GCompris is close to perfect, but there are still tiny things to improve. In this blogpost, I want to review 2 GCompris activities and provide my feedback.

Watercycle

This activity is an interactive lesson that allows to simulate the water cycle step by step by touching or clicking cycle elements in the right order. Here is the walkthrough:

The lesson is short, but it explains everything it should and even introduces a character – a penguin who comes home and wants to have a shower. What else is needed? 😀

As for the things to improve, it would be better to show the complete cycle first as a cartoon instead of the text instruction.

Roman numerals

“Roman numerals” is quite a big game with multiple levels that teaches kids to covert numbers between roman and arabic numeral systems. This game is marked as advanced and is meant for older children. Each level is an excercise with increased difficulty.

This activity can replace any school lesson on this subject, and I strongly recommend it to all teachers and parents if they want to help a child learn roman numerals in an entertaining way.

The only improvement I can suggest is to redesign the layout to make it look more friendly:rom_num

I hope my review helps GCompris developers make the games even better. Thanks to everyone who works on GCompris for your effort and for the wonderful experience during Google Code-In!