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A month as KDE Software Platform Engineer

Monday, 6 March 2023 | Nicolas Fella

Precisely one month ago I joined KDE e.V., the non-profit organization behind KDE, as Software Platform Engineer. This is part of three positions in KDE’s “Make a living” initiative.

The exact scope of this position is a bit vague. I like to describe it as “Taking care of everything needed so that people can build and enjoy awesome software”. A large part of that is taking care of foundational libraries such as Qt and KDE Frameworks, but it can be really anything that helps people do awesome things. This is pretty much what I’ve been doing as a volunteer for the last couple of years anyway.

So what have I been up to this past month? A lot, but also not a lot that’s worth mentioning individually right now. As you probably know we are heading full steam towards using Qt6 for all our products. This is something that started almost four years ago (and I’ve been involved from the start) and is growing ever more closely to being finished. Last week we switched Plasma master to use Qt6 exclusively, completing an important milestone for the whole transition. This involved a ton of small to medium-sized changes and fixes across the stack.

Instead of listing all the changes I have done as part of that let’s focus on the outcome instead: I’m typing this post running on a full Plasma session running against Qt6. There are still some rough edges, but overall it’s quite usable already. Definitely enough to get involved and hack on it. I’d show you a screenshot, but that would be pretty boring, it looks exactly the same as before!

So what does the future hold? The transition towards Qt6/KF6 is going to stay my focus for a while, but once that settles down I’m going to focus on other areas of our software platform eventually. If you have ideas for what it would make sense for me to focus on please get in touch.

This position is enabled and financed by KDE e.V.. To allow me to keep this position in the long term (and perhaps even hire additional people) please consider donating to KDE e.V.