I've been in a "creative zone" this week mentally, but it hasn't translated into much code. I did fix the bug where resizing a panel in just the right way can mess up the desktop and worked up some patches to improve scripting in small ways, so it wasn't completely barren of coding. Just not the usual 10-20 commits a day I manage when in full don't-disturb-me-I'm-coding mode. Thankfully there are lots of other Plasma developers these days that help pick up that slack.
So what have I been doing? Well, the P-man's week off from school has been mildly distracting. It's too hard not to go play with him when he's around. ;) So while I've gained back the travel time each day usually spent going to and from school, I've taken to sleeping in a little later (ah, sleep! kind and gentle mistress, I have missed you!) and doing "kid stuff" a few hours each day.
Mostly, though, I've been reading and writing. I was a couple hundred emails-need-to-be-replied-to behind, and now I'm down to, I think, three. They are not simple ones, though: one is a mail to the e.V. board following up on some nice work done by Sebastian drafting up a document, one is the content for the intro to the next e.V. report and one is the email where I introduce all the potential book authors to the managing editor at the publishing house. Each will take from half an hour to an hour to process completely. It'll be a late work day today, I think.
On the reading side of things, keeping up with the content generated by the KDE community is just insane. To do my job effectively, however, I have to do that. I need an overview of what's going on in as many nooks and crannies as possible. In fact, I need to keep my finger on the pulse beyond KDE as well. That means lots of reading, particularly because the KDE people generate so much content!
When I first started in with KDE it was like a small hamlet. Everyone knew everyone else and one could keep up with absolutely everything going on in a couple hours a day, sometimes less. By "absolutely everything" I mean reading every email on every mailing list, hanging out on IRC to catch up on the happenings off-list, read whatever was new on the websites, catch the latest code in CVS, etc. I was impressed back then by the volume of created content, but that was nothing compared to today.
These days KDE is a small city. There are so many people blogging, emailing and committing code that it is not realistic to keep up with everything in the way I used to. I now rely on a combination of summaries from others, skimming through various raw bodies of data and looking at various activity statistics. I still connect on IRC with people, but boy ... it's a veritable firehose of data these days.
I manage by keeping up with it every day. If I let a day slip, I end up behind. I've been out on the road for most of the last month. You do the math. ;)
Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way. After all these years in the project (which is still fewer than many others who are still involved!) KDE keeps my interest because it is so dynamic.
I've also been doing a lot of thinking. Thinking in the bath at night, thinking in the shower in the morning, thinking on my walks to the bakery or to get my hair done. Funny story there, actually: I got my hair done today and the reception computer "was broken" causing all sorts of havoc at the salon. After my hair was done, I had a bit of banter with the receptionist (where I joked that I'd try my best to be an impatient customer to fulfill their expectations of what a typical consumer is like when faced with problems in service ;) and then she revealed what was broken: the screen was upside down. I suggested they just turn the monitor right side up, but that one just got blank stares in return. So I suggested they go to the system tray and click on the monitor properties icon and rotate the screen back to right side up. More blank stares, then "would you like to come around?" So I did and a few clicks later (using a mouse to control a cursor in reverse is hard, just like doing something in a mirror is) the screen rotated back to normal and all the people who worked there who had gathered to watch (half a dozen or so) let out a cheer. They still made me pay full price, the bastards! ;)
I did have an interesting conversation with the hair stylist, who had gone to school for a year of humanities, then a year of comp sci, then a couple years of psych ... before finding her passion in aesthetics! She's quite a smart cookie, and we discussed the whole "finding your passion in life and making that your daily activity" thing, something that seems to keep coming up in conversation these days. I don't even instigate the conversation, people just seem to randomly insist on bringing it up. I love it when the universe does that.
Anyways .. back to relevant things, right? Like KDE and Plasma. ;)
It's really cool to see all the blogs about Plasma on planet.kde.org. I love reading about other people's passion about this thing we're making together. It reminds me that this isn't my baby anymore, and that's awesome. What's best is that we, as a team, are remaining true to the original ideas and vision. Nuno, for instance, recently wrote that "KDE will very shortly become the desktop you need and not the desktop we think you need."
Hmmm... I want to write about scripting and Plasma, but I think I'll start a new blog entry for that as this one is already too long and too scattered.
(Apologies to Beck for the blog title)