| March 28, 2011 4:57 pm

kde-iconNext Monday, I’m going to be giving a talk entitled “Writing and Publishing With Open Source Tools” at Camp KDE, the annual KDE conference for North America. For those interested in attending, the talk happens at 12:15 pm at the Hotel Kabuki, in San Francisco.

I’m really excited about the talk and I think it’s going to be excellent. (I know, having high expectations for your own performance is the route to obscurity, disappointment, and insanity.) If you live in the bay area, or are going to be near San Francisco next Monday and Tuesday, please consider coming.

Note: While I think you should come to hear me, you might also be interested in the conference as a whole. There are going to be a number of interesting talks that cover KDE developments and core technologies.

I’m particularly excited to hear about what KOffice/Calligra is up to. The abstract talks about “Office Engines” and how KOffice/Caligra can be used to build custom applications. I’m wondering if the technology might be adapted for a mobile project I’m working on. The talks on QtWebKit and the Qt Graphics tools also look neat.

One of the reasons why I’m so excited about my talk is that it brings developments with the book full circle. I first started writing “Writing With Open Source Tools” due to a request for proposals  launched by KDE nearly two years ago. Now, I’m going back to KDE to talk about the (nearly) finished project.

I’m also going talk on other developments I consider timely. For example:

  • How open source publishing tools can be used to target print, web, and eBook platforms from a single source file.
  • How editors, writers, designers, and production people can work together in a seamless, collaborative manner.
  • The strengths of an open approach and where things stand to improve. (Especially for writers and designers.)

While there will be motifs common to the Salt Lake Linux User’s group presentation, most of it is exciting and new. (Which also means untried and untested. So, if it goes well, you can expect to be enlightened. If it goes poorly, expect to be entertained. Either way, it should be a good time.) Since I haven’t quite finished the presentation, it’s also adaptable. If there is anything specific you’d like to see covered, let me know in the comments and I will try to oblige.

Other Cool Stuff

On a somewhat related note, I just came across the work the people at RSA animate.  In their videos, a talented ilustrator draws images as a speaker presents a topic. They are absolutely riveting. (I also know that they’ve been around a while, but this is the first time I’ve really come across their work.)

This video, for example, features Ken Robinson and his thoughts about education. Specifically, about it destroys children’s ability to create.

And this one examines where good ideas come from. (I think it was part of the promotional efforts for Steven Johnson’s fantastic book of the same title. If it wasn’t, it should have been.)

I love the quality of both videos, and I’m trying to figure out how I could capture a similar feel for my presentation on Monday.


4 Responses to “Camp KDE, Writing Tools, Whiteboard Presentations”

Rob Oakes wrote a comment on April 7, 2011

@Stephen: Thanks for posting the links. For reasons I don’t understand, WordPress sometimes eats the embedded video links. I’ve gone back and re-posted the videos. I’ll need to look into that and see if I can figure out why.

Stephen wrote a comment on April 7, 2011

Please tell us if you manage to do something along these lines in your presentations. I run various training courses and present papers from time to time. I am always looking to improve the medium through which I present. Although I think I do better than many of my colleagues with their many bullet points there is clearly room to improve

Rob Oakes wrote a comment on April 8, 2011

Hi Stephen,

Thanks, I will. I ended up going with the illustrations I did last year in the other presentation. I’d like to re-do the slides, but just didn’t have the time.

It seems like design trends right now are evolving toward a rougher, “sketch” look, as though drawn on a whiteboard. These RSA presentations have become all of the rage, in addition, I’ve seen a number of other slide shows that made use of a similar aesthetic. One was given by Matthew Paul Thomas (of Ubuntu Fame, https://twitter.com/mpt) at UDS last October. Another popped up at the Linux Collaobration Summit, which I just got back from.

It’s a style that works for me, mostly because I love to sketch, but I wonder how practical it is.

But then, when I have ever worried about practicality? 😉



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