4 years in 6 minutes

Another post about looking back and what has happened. This time i can probably show you something nice.

Userbase is in its fourth year, and maybe you want to see what has droven it in the past, how did it grow and who has influenced it most.

So here is a codeswarm video about userbase contributions from the last 4 years, in about 6 minutes. You might want to watch it, it is more surprising than you might think now.

(Direct link: http://vimeo.com/56486573)

For those regular contributors to userbase, can you spot your name? Or can you spot a certain event that has influenced your amount of edits?

I can at least give a hint. The explosion in around mid 2010 happened when we introduced the awesome translate extension for mediawiki. Which also gave me a hard time rendering this video, considering the amount of translations coming in… 😉

But enough about this, have fun finding your name. And more importantly, wishing you a happy new year and a lot of nice things to happen.

Recap 2012

July 7 2009 Extravaganza - Prediction = TrueFor last year‘s words belong to last year‘s language and next year’s words await another voice.
T.S. Eliot

That time of the year again. A time for a recap, to look back and also to look forward.

Let’s start with looking back for a while. What has happened in the last year in the landscape of KDE’s web. Some might remember my post about the Top Ten of KDE’s most viewed websites. Has it changed? What numbers can be shown? Here it is.

(Note: This list includes the domains that are under sysadmins control and have the webstats enabled.)

Rank Domain Unique visitors/month Total 2012 Bandwidth Last year’s rank
#1 http://www.kde.org 269650 3.235.809 2832.46 GB #1 ()
#2 http://forum.kde.org 147341 1.768.088 432.79 GB #2 ()
#3 http://docs.kde.org 113985 1.367.814 811.44 GB #6 (+3 )
#4 http://userbase.kde.org 105088 1.261.058 541.58 GB #3 (-1 )
#5 http://techbase.kde.org 57060 684.717 206.03 GB #5 ()
#6 http://dot.kde.org 48577 582.929 178.70 GB #4 (-2 )
#7 http://edu.kde.org 29529 354.350 490.34 GB #9 (+2 )
#8 http://blogs.kde.org 28607 343.288 50.31 GB #8 ()
#9 http://community.kde.org 27619 331.425 64.13 GB #10 (+1 )
#10 http://planetkde.org 27528 330.337 887.33 GB #6 (-3 )

The list is sorted by the total unique visits. But some interesting remarks:

  • This year we introduced acceleration through Incapsula (many many thanks to them) for our high traffic sites. That includes the wikis, the forum, the dot. So the real numbers for them might be higher than shown here. Tom Albers will provide numbers for this as well.
  • Even though this is the top ten, i’d like to mention some other domains as well.
    • This year Calligra was also moved under sysadmin’s control. And they already show up at #11, even as they show up in our stats since April.
    • The next 2 domains following very close are: windows.kde.org and konqueror.kde.org. This shows the high interest in windows builds. But also, the only domain for a single app so close to the top ten, our very own webbrowser. Very impressive.

Overall, a nice year with nice numbers. Some of our websites have been revamped, moved and improved.

But that doesn’t stop us from taking it even further. The new year will introduce some interesting new changes as well, the list of things we want to do is not finished yet.

Following will a post with a video that shows how contribution to a wiki might look. Stay tuned!

photo by: Pilottage

Wanted: ruby hacker! (Part II)

Our dear planet readers should have seen it, toma asked for ruby hackers who would be able to write a plugin for hooking in our commitfilters to projects.kde.org, based on chiliproject.

Now, i’d like to extend that request. Some might have seen it, our webteam is trying hard to integrate a common look to our websites, called Neverland. Of course, projects.kde.org should also get that look. But as toma already stated, neither sysadmins nor the webteam hackers are really able to handle RoR code. The raw look is done, and available in skeleton html files, as well as the images/css/js via our CDN. It just needs the ruby code.

So for those interested in the plugin, and maybe even in the theming, feel free to contact us either in the #kde-sysadmin channel on freenode, or in our webteam channel at #kde-www or via mail to [email protected] or [email protected]

Why should we care?

Eep! EEp! EEp!

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
(Leo Buscaglia)

Don’t worry, this post is indeed KDE related.

No one would probably disagree that one of the most important aspects in open source is a healthy community, full of users and developers/contributors, each one caring for each other in any way possible. It is not about demanding a certain piece of functionality or behaviour, but working together for a certain target and a nice atmosphere.

We want to start a new initiative, a new fresh look at things. What are we offering? What are we doing good, but also what bits are missing? where do we fail? Sometimes it’s just the easy path to look at our own needs and not ask the actual users what they need.

We worked through that awesome book Lydia wrote, and realised that we are probably not listening thoroughly to all users and we want to change that.
We will start to listen, we will try to make a difference. Small steps, we can’t do it all in one day.

Ok, so we already thought of some items where KDE can improve, but that’s just what *we* have thought, and that’s just not enough, we need your feedback. Let’s give you our 5 minute brainstorm items:

  • We currently mainly communicate with users via bugs.kde.org. This medium really is not the best tool for that. It is not user friendly.
  • We have a great userbase.kde.org but developers don’t use it that much, nor is there any links from applications towards Userbase.
  • We are in no way effectively using web 2.0 technologies, for example live chat, to provide direct support to users from within our applications.
  • We have an more than awesome forum.kde.org where users can help each other, but it is not used a lot by developers, not linked from within applications, nor used in any marketing or promo efforts.
  • In that same forum there is a great system to talk about features, measure popularity of such new features and provide a completely documented feature towards developers. Not a lot of developers are using that. Instead features still are reported to bugs.kde.org.
  • There are new tools out there, for example for crash aggregation. We don’t use those, instead we use bugs.kde.org for those too. Crash aggregation would improve the usefulness of bugs.kde.org, by minimising duplicates and bugs belonging to other components.
  • Overall websites are a very important part of outreaching to the community. They are not effectively used by the developers and lack important parts of information
  • Lack of social media integration within all apps for example, or a ‘feedback’ tab as you see on many, many sites.

The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.
Tenzin Gyatso

All these ideas have let to the formation of a Special Interest Group called ‘water carriers’. Why water carriers? There is a certain group inside the KDE community which is not related to any development nor is a plain user group. Those who try to support users on a daily base. Compare it with the Tour de France, there are some riders that just bridge the gap between the source of the water (cars behind the riders) and the people riding with Moto 1.

We set a goal to focus on these items:

  • Come up with proposals that will create communities around applications.
  • Make sure users have a pleasant experience when reporting bugs, crashes and wishes.
  • Think about how KDE should communicate effectively and efficiently with users.
  • Make sure developers are communicating with users effectively to solve problems with applications.
  • Motivate developers and users to improve the available resources / knowledge about applications.
  • Lower the barrier to get quality support
  • Investigate and implement new technologies.

Does this make any sense to you? Are you willing to help? We are thinking of gathering a special group of users and developers which will provide feedback to us. Do you want to get involved? Do you want to help to shape the future of KDE? What are your ideas? Do you like the ideas given in the above list or is it just a waste of time? We are looking forward to as many comments as possible, we want to make KDE rock, but we need you to tell us what you need.

With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing.
Catherine de Hueck Doherty

(thanks to Tom Albers and Ben Cooksley for thinking and writing about it with me)

photo by: Carly & Art

Bugzilla and Neverland

As some of you might have noticed, our bugtracker got a facelift lately. Not only the sources where updated thanks to our insane sysadmins, but the look changed as well. So let me tell you a bit about it.

This is the first step of many to update the look of all our KDE sites. This newest attempt is called “Neverland” and provides themes for the CMS’ we in KDE use, like bugzilla, mediawiki, phpbb, drupal, our very own Capacity and others.
Naturally, every use case needs adjustments, so the bugzilla theme looks a bit different than e.g. the version for our main site. These adjustments still need to be sorted out, but the Webteam is working hard on it, and you can expect more results soon.

I hope you enjoy the new KDE Bugtracker. And if you have issues, like always you can submit bugs for the bugtracker itself on bugs.kde.org 🙂

Have a nice day.

Top Ten of the most viewed KDE Websites


Internet Access Here Sign
(Image originally uploaded by Steve Rhode)

Some readers might remember, some time back we talked about setting up stats for most of our KDE Websites. Yes, we did. And i thought it is time to share something of that with you, my highly interested readers 😉

Let’s compile a chart of our most viewed sites.
It’s no surprise, our highly dynamics sites are ranking very high. But which and how? Let’s see:

10: community.kde.org (1139 unique visitors a day)
The youngest of our wikis goes to the last place in our chart. Not a big surprise, project specific documentation is done in various places these days, not only in that wiki. But at least it got into the top ten 10, nice. Improvements can be sorted out.
Some other facts:

  • USA ruled out Germany with a difference of over 3000 requested pages. The next follower – Great Britain – is already over 13000 requested pages below Germany.
  • Visits duration is 252 seconds
  • 68.4 % directly enter community.kde.org, only about 10% come from a search engine and approximately 20% find their way from a link on another site.

9: edu.kde.org (1159 unique visitors a day)
This was a little surprise and i want to congrat the folks responsible for that. No other module specific website comes close to that value. And it even has beaten one of our global wikis. Keep up the good work!

  • 77.1% enter that site directly, only 5% come from a search engine and 17.7% followed a link on a different site
  • the visits duration is not that different than the above community.kde.org

8: blogs.kde.org (2158 unique visitors a day)
Even though the URL seems to be new the site itself is not, formerly known as kdedevelopers.org.

  • Like expected from a blog aggregation the visits duration is now a bit higher: 502 seconds average
  • Nearly all visitors view that site through a feed reader

7: planetkde.org (2598 unique visitors a day)
Another blog aggregation platform and still, not that many visitors. At least probably not that sufficient to widely spread news.

  • visits duration is a bit lower again, 309 seconds. Shorter texts maybe?
  • again the biggest part of the viewers use a feed reader

6: docs.kde.org (2716 unique visitors a day)
Everybody needs documentation, if one likes or not. This site’s hits and the next ones will show.

  • Here we have a surprise. 53.1% of the visits come from – tada! – Windows! Only 41.5% use Linux as their operating system
  • And also now we have way more connections from a search engine, namely 49.6%

5: techbase.kde.org (2928 unique visitors a day)
Developer documentation and tutorials. Yes, expected that this site will rank high. No need for more words.
And also, no interesting facts to tell.

4: dot.kde.org (3108 unique visitors a day)
No documentation, but an official source for news and updates. But did you expect it to be only #4?

  • This is the first site in this top ten where the use of Konqueror is above Firefox with 22.6% (Firefox 22.4%)

3: userbase.kde.org (4336 unique visitors a day)
Our wiki superhero platform. Great team, always taking care to provide the best source of information, they clearly deserve that rank.

  • When watching the most viewed pages, i notice there is a big demand for app pages users do worry about most, like Akonadi, Kontact, Plasma etc.

2: forum.kde.org (8018 unique visitors a day)
And that makes me a little proud, my baby enters the second rank with ease 🙂 Parents couldn’t be more proud.
Sadly no kicking facts to tell for this one.

1: www.kde.org (16215 unique visitors a day)
And this shouldn’t come to you as surprise in any way. But would you have expected that number? What is your thought about that?

  • 356 seconds as average visits duration. Not bad. Some of the above pages are more informational and still worse than that.

Note: due to our caching system the stats may not be very exact, and also they change from hour to hour. This is meant to give a fun overview of what we provide on our web platform.

So what can we learn from that?
Basic values are more or less the same across all domains, like demographical values, browser/os usage. But overall we can say there seems to be a real need for documentation and information, either project news or general ones.
And we reach quite many people out there, probably more than some of you have expected. Now the question is how can we keep that state or even better, improve it and reach even more? I leave that question up for discussion.


KDE Wikis – Get the dust away from it

Some might already have noticed, yesterday we made a long needed update to all of our wikis. Some months after it was already done for Userbase the others (Techbase and Community, the brazilian site and the wiki for akademy) now also followed.
Till now those were run on an over 2 years old mediawiki version. Many improvements have happened over this time in Mediawiki and it was time to get them into our own wikis.
Another reason was the maintenance overhead with managing 2 different mediawiki installations. This is now done and all of those share a single codebase again.

Along with that there is now a new theme in use for Techbase and Community. Some might have seen that on Userbase already. Switching between those wikis now gives a consistent look and feel. And a hidden easter egg…

But now to the bad news. The former syntax highlighting extension stopped its work due to missing maintenance and updates. So we needed to switch to a different extension for that. It is quite feature rich and fullfills what you would expect from it.
But the syntax has changed. You can read up on it here. It was evaluated if we could script the transition, but due to too many possible options and conflicts it was rejected. At least the old usage doesn’t look too broken. If you want to have it a bit more beautiful, you might want to adjust it, once you stumble upon one of those code examples.

I hope overall you are happy with the update. I will be, it is much easier to maintain now. 😉