Saturday, 7 May 2022
A week ago I attended Linux App Summit (LAS) 2022 in Rovereto, Italy. It was great to finally travel and meet people again, after more than two years. At the same time it would be naive to think the pandemic is over, and it’s still a few days too early for the final verdict on whether we managed to meet safely, but things look very promising so far.
LAS 2022 was the first time leaving the country for me since FOSDEM 2020. That also meant having the opportunity for quite some field testing of KDE Itinerary. It got me safely through three countries to Rovereto and back, passing all ticket and COVID certificate checks easily. I also had no other attendee yell at me for getting lost, but that might just as well be selection bias ;)
A few things were fixed on the way:
- European international train tickets result in fairly large barcodes, to the point of not fitting on my relatively small phone display anymore. This case is now detected and the barcode is scaled down accordingly (something that we generally try to avoid, as it can reduce detectability).
- Editing the address to an event reservation now also works when there was no address information available previously.
- Geo-coding event locations was fixed in the presence of region information.
- A few train stations along the way have floor level issues fixed in OSM now.
- Weather forecasts for layover locations no longer wrongly include train trips in their time interval.
And a few more things popped up but have yet to be addressed:
- Our address formatting code isn’t properly handling the region element in Italian addresses.
- Selecting the right provider for realtime delay information can be improved on international trips, the operator and the ticker issuer might not be the same entity there, and usually the operating company has the better data.
As a nice bonus I also got to see the Brenner railway route before the Brenner base tunnel opens, and have some tasty local food in Italy :)
Meeting people again!
More importantly, this was also one of the very rare opportunities in more than two years to meet people in person. It was great to see some of the old KDE friends again, as well as to make some new contacts. Many thanks to all the people who made LAS possible!
The whole setup felt safe, with the hallway track and lunch generally happening outdoors, masks being the norm on the inside, and more COVID pass checks per day than I had seen in Germany in the past two years combined. I also did daily rapid antigen self-tests to further reduce the risk I might pose to others. So far I haven’t heard of any positive COVID tests following LAS, which is very encouraging.
Another interesting aspect is how well the event worked for remote participants. I’m quite sure hybrid events are here to stay, so we better make them work well. I find it very hard to judge that from just the onsite perspective though, feedback from remote participants will be important here.
Meta-topics aside, there’s of course also one of the core topics of LAS, collaboration with our colleagues from GNOME, which, unsurprisingly, everyone at LAS was very open to and interested in. I had interesting conversations on working together on maps data infrastructure, access to public transport data and energy efficiency/eco certification for example.
Energy efficient software
One of the talk highlights for me was Joseph’s presentation on Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency with Free Software (video). I have been following this work from quite early on, so most of the content wasn’t exactly new to me, but I was particularly happy about seeing the wide interest in this subject, and the following discussions with other attendees on how to improve this.
If you want to get involved, there’s also a planned meeting dedicated to this in Berlin later this month on Saturday May 21st. Details can be found in the announcement.
While online meetings and events have become an invaluable tool, they still don’t manage to fully replace the effectiveness and social aspects of in person meetings. So I have my fingers crossed that we’ll see in a few days that there are ways to meet safely again. That should then hopefully allow a few more meetings this year (KF6 sprint, anyone?), and it makes me very hopeful for Akademy later this year.