Solutions Linux 2008 was great!
written on Friday, February 1, 2008
I was a bit worried about the way Solutions Linux would go this year. We had no proper booth and I was expecting either no one would find us or we would have to face a mass of angry users coming to us yelling that KDE4 was worse than KDE3.5, destroyed their data, flashed the BIOS of their computers and other nasty things.
We solved the booth issue thanks to Gérard Delafond, famous former KDE booth master, now working on AILES, an association promoting free software for health-care professionals. This year, the KDE booth were indeed a "virtual booth", hosted in the AILES booth (who said virtualizations was only for computers?).
Before leaving home, I printed an A2 sized KDE logo (more precisely, 4 A4 sheets put together with duct tape) and a fake "KDE" label to hang alongside the "AILES" label.
Sébastien Renard (coordinator of the KDE French translation team) and me were the permanent demonstrators on the booth, but we got support from Charles de Miramon, Gaël Beaudoin and a few others. I was also very happy to meet Helio Castro for the first time.
I think the most asked question we got was "Can you show me KDE4?". People were very pleased with what they saw and most of them had no problems with the fact that KDE 4.0 is for enthusiast users willing to try something new, and that they should not expect a drop-in replacement for their KDE 3.5 desktop.
I usually got visitors interested with Plasma + KWin. KWin is great to get people hooked. I continued with Dolphin and Gwenview or Okular. It was fun to demonstrate the new Gwenview without telling visitors I was actually its author. This way I got objective reactions to the application.
Quite a few of them leaved the booth saying they would give KDE4 a try at home. Not all of them were current KDE users.
On the last day, we had quite some fun demonstrating Plasma with the Fluffly Bunny Plasma background :-)
PS: Thanks to our booth neighbor traduc.org for sharing their food with us on the last day! Now we can say KDE actually eats all available resources :-)