19 Aug 2018

feedPlanet KDE

KStars v2.9.8 released

KStars 2.9.8 is released for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It is a hotfix release that contains bug fixes and stability improvements over the last release.

This marks the last release of the 2.x series, the next KStars release shall be v3.0.0

Highlights:
+ Eric Dejouhanet fixed several issues in the Ekos scheduler to enable running duplicate jobs.
+ Pino Toscano fixed many problematic i18n strings that accumulated over the years.
+ Csaba Kertesz improved KStars Lite android build process and fixed touch support.
+ Andy Galasso fixed several issues with Ekos PHD2 support.
+ Wolfgang Reissenberger fixed logging out in capture module.
+ Yuri Chornoivan fixed minor EBN issues.
+ Using Max RMS value as the threshold to abort the guider instead of maximum pulse length.



19 Aug 2018 11:16am GMT

KDE Itinerary - How did we get here?

At Akademy I've presented the current state of KDE Itinerary. Due to popular demand and since 25 minutes aren't a whole lot of time I'll try to write a few posts on this subject here too, beginning with how this all started.

When travelling regularly you probably have come across or are using the digital travel assistant features found on Android or iOS, or dedicated services for this like TripIt. Getting a unified itinerary rather than digging through ad-infested HTML emails for your departure gate, having a single place to look for your boarding pass rather than two dozen vendor apps and getting up to date information about changes to your trip are all very useful and convenient.

Most of this is available "for free", that is you pay with your data rather than your money. In the extreme case (Google), you have those providers reading your entire email in order to extract your travel information. But even if you restrict this to just your travel-related communication there's a lot of potentially sensitive information involved here:

While I'd like to have all the nice digital travel assistant features, I'm not willing to pay with that much personal information for it. On they way home from the Randa meeting last year and unable to read my boarding time in a proprietary Apple Wallet pass file this lead to a little exploration into possible free software alternatives in this field. That got slightly out of hand, and a few month later we have some working components in the KDE Application releases already.

It turns out that the challenge in these systems is actually not so much code, but data. In particular there are three general categories of data to look at:

While not perfect, that's good enough to get started :) The next post will detail how far we got by now.

19 Aug 2018 10:00am GMT

This week in Usability & Productivity, part 32

I'm back from Akademy, and I can't wait to share some of the cool stuff that happened there over the past week. I'm going to post the video of my talk as soon as it's up. But first, I know what you're all really waiting for: this week's Usability & Productivity update. Though we were all quite busy, somehow everyone managed to accomplish an enormous amount of work, too!

In particular there has been a momentous amount of improvement to Kate and the code that underpins it: the Syntax Highlighting and KTextEditor frameworks. These frameworks are used to provide text editor views to the Kate, KWrite, KDevelop, and Kile apps, so any improvements to them are felt very widely within the universe of KDE apps. I want to recognize the efforts of Christoph Cullmann, Dominik Haumann, Kåre Sårs, and Sven Brauch for their stunning amount of work. While I was working on this post Tuesday night, there was a time when I was literally (not figuratively, I mean literally literally) unable to document the improvements as fast as they would show up in my email inbox. These guys deserve the community's respect for the stunning quantity of work they performed in an astonishingly small amount of time. Let's give 'em all a round of applause.

But that's not all! Take a look at the full list, which includes many, many more nice improvements:

New Features

Bugfixes

UI Polish & Improvement

Next week, your name could be in this list! Just check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters.

If my efforts to perform, guide, and document this work seem useful and you'd like to see more of them, then consider becoming a patron on Patreon, LiberaPay, or PayPal. Also consider making a donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

19 Aug 2018 3:41am GMT

18 Aug 2018

feedPlanet KDE

Akademy 2018 was great!

Hello! So Akademy 2018 has finished and it was a very impressive event. It happened in Vienna, Austria and it was my first opportunity to join in a KDE event, to travel to another country and to meet people from the community! I couldn't participate during the first day of the event (August 11th) because … Continue reading Akademy 2018 was great!

18 Aug 2018 2:52pm GMT

Akademy 2018 wrap-up

As I am writing this, I am sitting in a train home from Akademy 2018, KDE's annual developer conference, which took place in Vienna this year.
Akademy always is a great mix of some talks, some socializing with people you otherwise only communicate with through mailing lists or IRC, and some hacking, and this year's conference was no exception to this.
In this post, I will detail some of the technical progress we made and some of the things we discussed.

Polishing

The small bugs are often the most annoying ones, but now there is a few less of them.
Kate's completion widget (as used in KDevelop and Kile as well) now again is sized correctly such that none of the text is cut off.
If you edit documents with very long lines in Kate, such as LaTeX files, you might have had strange issues with scrolling. This was caused by scrolling one "real" line at a time, instead of one line as layouted by the dynamic word-wrap feature. This behaviour is now changed, and scrolling should be much smoother.
On the performance side, I fixed a performance bug in Kate's QuickOpen widget, such that it now opens much faster for large projects.
Also, the include navigation tooltips of KDevelop's C++ support behave less agressively now.

New InlineNote interface

A good part of the time I spent hacking was spent on the new InlineNote interface for KTextEditor. This interface, originally suggested and implemented in its basic form by Michal, will be available starting with KTextEditor 5.50 and allows client applications to easily add arbitrary inline elements into the text.

Sample use of the InlineNote interface. Screenshot by Michal from https://phabricator.kde.org/D12662

KTextEditor's layout engine takes care of everything complex here, such as cursor navigation and text layout around the note; you only need to specify where you want a note, how much space you need for it, and perform the actual painting when asked to.
After several iterations of discussing how to best design this interface and trying the options out in practice, we now came up with something which we believe to be easy to understand and use, while still having very little computational overhead and being easily extensible in a binary- and source-compatible way in future versions.
The interface even allows interactions with the widgets, allowing its user to react to clicks or other mouse events.

If there is interest in a tutorial blog post explaining how to use this interface, please leave a comment and I will write one.

Syntax error shown inline in KDevelop. You can click the "Fix" button to fix it.

Something I am working on using the notes interface for is KDevelop's problem reporting and code assistants, which I believe could greatly benefit from this.

I'm aware that as shown above it is quite probably too intrusive, and the notes will probably end up collapsed e.g. to a small red exclamation mark and expand on mouse-over or on a keyboard shortcut, but for now I'm trying it out like this.

Michal, the original author of the interface and its implementation, is also working on a plugin for KDevelop which shows additional information inline, as seen in the first screenshot above.

Planning KDevelop's future

I do not want to say too much about this planning since there is no real plan yet, but in the KDevelop meeting at Akademy (which unfortunately only a small part of our core development team could attend this year), we discussed a bit about KDevelop's future, and what we can do to make it more polished and stable.
Stay tuned for this!

18 Aug 2018 8:16am GMT

17 Aug 2018

feedPlanet KDE

Kate gains Support for Inline Notes

Thanks to Michal Srb and Sven Brauch for pioneering the work an a new KTextEditor interface that allows applications like Kate, KDevelop, etc. to display inline notes in a text document. As demo, we quickly prototyped one application to display colors in CSS documents:

Clicking on the color rectangle will launch the color chooser:

Choosing a color and clicking OK finally adapts the color in the CSS document:

The code for this is just a demo and looks as follows:

class NoteProvider : public KTextEditor::InlineNoteProvider {
public:
    QVector<int> inlineNotes(int line) const override
    {
        if (line == 1) return { 29 };
        if (line == 11) return { 29 };
        if (line == 12) return { 29 };
        if (line == 13) return { 29 };

        return {};
    }

    QSize inlineNoteSize(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note) const override
    {
        return QSize(note.lineHeight(), note.lineHeight());
    }

    void paintInlineNote(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note, QPainter& painter) const override
    {
        const auto line = note.position().line();
        const auto color = QColor(note.view()->document()->text({line, 22, line, 29}));
        painter.setPen(color);
        painter.setBrush(color.lighter(150));
        painter.drawRoundedRect(1, 1, note.width() - 2, note.lineHeight() - 2, 2, 2);
    }

    void inlineNoteActivated(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note, Qt::MouseButtons buttons, const QPoint& globalPos) override
    {
        const int line = note.position().line();
        const auto oldColor = QColor(note.view()->document()->text({line, 22, line, 29}));
        const auto newColor = QColorDialog::getColor(oldColor);
        note.view()->document()->replaceText({line, 22, line, 29}, newColor.name(QColor::HexRgb));
    }

    void inlineNoteFocusInEvent(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note, const QPoint& globalPos) override
    {} // unused in this example

    void inlineNoteFocusOutEvent(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note) override
    {} // unused in this example

    void inlineNoteMouseMoveEvent(const KTextEditor::InlineNote& note, const QPoint& globalPos) override
    {} // unused in this example
};

// later in code:
auto provider = new NoteProvider();
view->registerInlineNoteProvider(provider);
// final cleanup
view->unregisterInlineNoteProvider(provider);

As you can see, it's actually not much code at all: We have to derive a class from KTextEditor::InlineNoteProvider, and then register an instance of our Note Provider in the KTextEditor::View. In a next step, we implement the inlineNotes(), inlineNoteSize(), and the paintInlineNote() functions to get basic visual drawing at the desired location. The above code is just a tech-demo, since it uses hard-coded lines and color positions. Additionally, one can also track mouse events (unused in the example above). On mouse click, we open the QColorDialog to let the user choose a new color.

To give more examples of what's possible, the initial Phabricator review requests contained many other interesting examples (the examples were really implemented). From review request D12662:

Kate showing additional information for loops and structs.

Or a KDevelop addition that adds a lot of meta information on the current code if desired:

KDevelop showing detailed code meta information

We believe this addition to the KTextEditor component has a lot of potential for nice features and plugins. Feel free to use this interfaces starting with KDE Frameworks 5.50. Happy coding!

A big thanks also goes to this year's Akademy organizers. Thanks to this event, we could meet up in person and also finalize the InlineNoteInterface, InlineNoteProvider, and InlineNote class to make it ready for public release. This again shows the importance of the yearly KDE conferences since it enables us to significantly push things forward.

17 Aug 2018 8:48pm GMT

And we’re almost home…

We left really early this morning on the trains to Würzburg, Hannover, Deventer. I was pretty smart, if I may say so, because I gave ourselves half an hour or more time to change trains. Deutsche Bahn is a wonderful institution, but experience has taught me that especially in summertime, 6 minutes are not enough of a safety margin. So we made all our changes, and even had time to lunch in Würzburg.

So, yesterday really was the last day of Akademy for Irina and me. And all of that day was taken up with the fundraising training by Florian Engel. And it was worth it! Oh, gosh, wake me up in the middle of the night and ask me whether it was worth it!

Practical, to-the-point, flexible, engaging, going deep where we needed that, giving examples from outside of free software so we were all getting new ideas just from those examples. I need to prepare my notes for a discussion during Krita's Monday meeting, about our September campaign, software platform, and donation page…

For the rest, it was great to meet so many people I hadn't seen for way too long, including Inge Wallin, with whom I, back in the Nokia days, had founded KO GmbH. Or people I work with every day, but had never met, like Ben Cooksley. Productive discussions about things as diverse as debug symbols in appimages or ways to attract and retain new contributors. Meeting and sitting down with Eliakin, my 2017 student, was awesome as well; pity KDE is so busy that we couldn't spend more time together!

I went to Akademy feeling that the relationship been Krita and KDE is kinda difficult. Krita is part of KDE, but at the same time, Krita is getting really big. We're using up quite a chunk of bandwidth, after plasmashell, we're the project with the second-most bugs reported per year, and still people working on Krita don't have much of a tie to KDE, and people working on KDE seldom have much of an idea what's going on in Krita - other than nodding and telliing me Krita is one of KDE's flagship projects. Sure it is, and I got very much reassured that we're not using too large a chunk of KDE's resources, and could even use more. I'm not sure how to "fix" this, if a fix is possible. If we'd have our Krita sprint during Akademy, I'm sure that would help - but it would also be a pretty improductive sprint for Krita.

This still needs mulling over.

17 Aug 2018 6:55pm GMT

Skrooge 2.15.0 released

The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.15.0 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks.

Changelog

  • Correction bug 397018: Check sqlcipher installation (issue detected on GENTOO)
  • Correction: Crash when sort a grouped view
  • Correction: Avoid to create 2 categories with the same name under the same category by using drag and drop
  • Correction: Avoid too many computation in SKGAccountObject::getPossibleReconciliations
  • Feature: Addition of a new option to check if import has been broken
  • Feature: More tooltips on "Operations" table

Get it, Try it, Love it...

Grab Skrooge from your distro's packaging system. If it is not yet included in repositories, go get it from our website, and bug your favorite distro for inclusion.

Now, you can try the appimage too !

Get Involved

To enhance Skrooge, we need you ! There are many ways you can help us:

  • Submit bug reports
  • Discuss on the KDE forum
  • Contact us, give us your ideas, explain us where we can improve...
  • Can you design good interfaces ? Can you code ? Have webmaster skills ? Are you a billionaire looking for a worthy investment ? We will be very pleased in welcoming you in the skrooge team, contact us !

17 Aug 2018 6:16pm GMT

Akademy 2018 Wrap-Up

The Akademy 2018 ends today.

Like each Akademy I attended, it was an interesting experience. As the location switches around each year, so does the set of people attending change every year, too.

That is actually nice, as you get always to meet some of your old "friends" but additionally new members of the KDE community. I think this kind of "conferences" or "meetings" are an important way to get some more cohesion in the community, which is sometimes a bit lacking between people only meeting online via mail/…

Beside the presentation tracks and the e.V. meeting, several of the BoFs did spark my interest.

In the KDevelop BoF, Sven talked about what could be done to give the current KDevelop project a bit more focus on the parts it does well to polish them more for a better user experience. The idea is that if you get KDevelop shining even more in the areas it is good at and perhaps cut off some parts that are really given bad impressions, one might attract more people to both use it and contribute. It is still to be discussed if this idea is shared with the other KDevelop contributors.

In the kdesrc-build BoF Michael talked about the current state and collected pain points from the audience and potential future extensions. For example an API to allow to build a light-weight GUI tooling around kdesrc-build to ease the entry to the KDE development was one topic of interest.

Between the conference/BoF/socializing parts of Akademy, I got plenty of time to finally work again on some KTextEditor/Kate related tasks.

With help of Dominik and Volker I got to integrate the KSyntaxHighlighting framework and we even got at least some initial contact with the QtCreator team about the topic of integrating this framework to replace their own implementation of the Kate syntax definition handling. If you experience any issues with the highlighting or folding in the master branch, please file a bug or even better provide some patch on phabricator.

In addition some small KTextEditor and Kate bugs got either solved or at least started to be worked on again. Help with any bug fixing is always welcome!

As small but perhaps for users important step was to actually link to the new and shiny Windows installers that the Binary Factory for KDE produces. Thanks to the team behind that, once more. Hopefully that will lead to more users and developers for Kate on Windows.

Thanks to the organizers to make this Akademy happen and all people that volunteered! Great job! The sponsors are highly appreciated for their contributions, too.

So, thanks for all the fish (or Krapfen), lets see how Akademy next year will be :=)

17 Aug 2018 3:06pm GMT

Akademy: closing time

Akademy is always a whirlwind which is my excuse for not blogging! Today we wrapped up the program which leaves us in a nearly-empty venue and a bit of time after lunch to catch up.


I did manage to gather photos together in Google Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qHPwehW8C1zPGuav7

Thanks again to the KDE e.V. for sponsoring my hostel and the Ubuntu Community Fund for part of my travel expenses. This allowed me to attend. Meeting Popey from the Ubuntu community and the Limux team was great, although we didn't do as much Kubuntu work as in past years. However, attending the Distro BoF was a great experience; very friendly and collaborative.

As always, the talks were interesting, the "hall track" fascinating, BoFs engaging. The high point for me personally was being given an Akademy Award on Sunday after a blessedly-short e.V. meeting. I almost fainted from surprise! It feels wonderful to be not just appreciated but honored for my work for the KDE community.

Thank you again!

I will update here with a photo when I can.

Yesterday and today were taken up with trainings, which while exhausting are extremely valuable. Along with the documentation work ahead, I look forward to integrating both the Non-Violent Communication and Tech Documentation trainings into my work.

In addition, I will be happy to see our documentation team re-group and gain strength over the next year as we work with the contractor on identifying pain points and fixing them.

I got lost yesterday, which one should always do in a strange city. Here is one of the beautiful windows I saw before finding the tram and a different way home:

Tomorrow we meet at 3:45 am to share an Uber to the airport and the beginning of the journey home. To KDE friends new and old: we'll meet next year at Akademy I hope, or at least in IRC.

Local friends and family, I'll see you soon!

17 Aug 2018 1:05pm GMT

Memories from Akademy 2018

Here is my semi-traditional "memories from Akademy" post for this year. I have to admit I don't manage to do it consistently each year but this edition was special enough that for sure it deserves one.

First of all, it was the first time I did live sketchnoting of the sessions I attended. I posted the result on social media as soon as the talk was over and I also had a special blog post to present them. I think it was all well received which is motivating. I will likely do it again I think.

Second, we had two excellent keynotes by Dan Bielefeld and Claudia Garad. Thus, none of the keynotes were from people within the KDE community but really I don't think that was an issue. For a keynote I like to get insights on things I wouldn't have explored and there are more chances that it would come from non-KDE people or former KDE people.

Third, we had kind of an extra keynote, from the KDE community. Indeed, due to flight delays, Nate Graham's talk was moved to become the closing talk. Turned out it was perfect to conclude the conference part.

Fourth, the organization and location were just super efficient. I think I didn't thank them properly but really a big THANK YOU is in order to this year local team. You did great and the venue was very convenient and easy to reach.

Fifth, the program was good but a bit more choice in the sessions would have been nice. I understand some of the KDE e.V. assembly topics are now in the main program and the goals are pushed forward. This is good but we should be careful at not cannibalizing the program too much for those.

Sixth, we got proof that both Michael Pyne and Ben Cooksley exist!!! It was really great to finally get to meet them and see them during talks and BoFs.

Seventh, regarding BoFs, I was surprised at the interest to my session about community data analytics. More people showed up than I expected, plenty of good feedback and ideas floating around. I'd also like to thanks Sébastien Renard and Benjamin Port in advance who are working on patches to improve the scripts. Looking forward to review that and sorry guys for not being more present and supportive this week, I shall do better.

Last but not least, this edition was bigger than the past couple of years. More people showed up than before and I think we also had more gender diversity than before (I didn't count, it's purely based on perception and unscientific). Two very welcome trends. This resulted in a more vibrant edition that the last few ones. I think we're doing some things right here and that's very encouraging for the future.

17 Aug 2018 11:50am GMT

Invite me to your meetings

I was invited by my boss to a dinner. He uses exchange or outlook365 or something like that. The KMail TNEF parser didn't succeed in parsing all the info, so I'm kind of trying to fix it.

But I need test data. From Exchange or outlook or outlook365. That I can add to the repoository for unit tests.

So if you can help me generate test data, please setup a meeting and invite me. publicinvites@sune.vuorela.dk

Just to repeat. The data will be made public.

17 Aug 2018 8:39am GMT

16 Aug 2018

feedPlanet KDE

Last week in Kube

Screenshot_20180816_165028Never mind the colors, they are coming from the CalDAV backend.

Kube Commits, Sink Commits

Previous updates

More information on the Kolab Now blog!

"Kube is a modern communication and collaboration client built with QtQuick on top of a high performance, low resource usage core. It provides online and offline access to all your mail, contacts, calendars, notes, todo's and more. With a strong focus on usability, the team works with designers and UX experts from the ground up, to build a product that is not only visually appealing but also a joy to use."

For more info, head over to: kube-project.com

16 Aug 2018 2:52pm GMT

Akademy & Binary Factory

During Akademy it was brought to my (and the other Kate developers) attention, that we should take a closer look on the Binary Factory for KDE. There were some blogs about the Binary Factory in the past but we somehow never really linked it on our homepage as potential source for up-to-date installers for the different operating systems. I feel a bit sorry for neglecting that area in the past year.

Therefore, as we have now some time during Akademy together as team, we did take a look at the current state of the installers there for Windows and macOS.

The Windows installer is working fine. Kåre's manually created installers are better optimized for size by stripping out things not that commonly used, on the other side the Binary Factory installers bundle more stuff like all translations/dictionaries that might be interesting for some people, too. One other thing that might be fine tuned is the used frameworks. For example the KActivities is not useful for Kate on Windows and we normally disable that for our own build, at the moment the factory still includes that (as it is an optional dependency). If we fine tune that a bit more in the future, I think we can close the gap between the hand-tuned installer and the autogenerated one even more. In other parts like the KHotNewStuff integration the current factory installer even provides a better experience than our last published own one. And last but not least, the binary factory creates an installer every night for the stable and the development version, so we get up-to-date installers with no manual work.

The macOS installer is on-par with what I did manually a year ago (but than gave up due to loss of interest). Therefore we now link the nightly build for that on our homepage as primary preview build. The state is still not that good, but that is not a fault of the installer creation. The macOS port just lacks manpower, as myself has no longer that much interest in improving it and it still is in a "usable" but non-polished state that will still crash in a few situations, which makes using it not that nice. Any help there would be appreciated.

As a conclusion I must say, I am personally impressed how well the Binary Factory installers work. They are a real big step towards having people use up-to-date versions of our tools on operating systems other than the usual unices. Thanks to the team behind that and all others that contributed, including our sysadmins that keep all the stuff running the whole time! I hope we make good use of that infrastructure in the future. Thanks to Hannah, Kevin, Ben and all others that contribute to this effort! And thanks to Kåre and everybody else taking care of issues on Windows or macOS.

The download page is now updated to provide links to both the latest successful Kate release and nightly builds of the Binary Factory.

16 Aug 2018 2:11pm GMT

PSA: Workaround for a working MTP

KDE Connect is awesome, we all know that. But sometimes you still want (or need) to acces the files on your Android phone via a good old USB cable. And to do so, you need a working implementation of the MTP protocol.

Many people on bugzilla complain that the MTP support in Plasma is just broken. And indeed the MTP implementation we have has always been ignoring a fundamental limitation of MTP: the protocol doesn't allow parallel operations, unlike the old Android USB mass storage did. In practice, if more than one process spawns an mtp ioslave, everything breaks.

The workaround

When you need to move files from your phone to your computer (or viceversa), either use only one dolphin window (tabs are your friends!), or use only Plasma's Folder View.

What works

If you follow the workaround above, you will be able to copy/move files to/from your phone, or delete them.

What doesn't work

Everything else will still be broken, unfortunately:

The long term solution

Every time you open an MTP URL (e.g. mtp:/Your Phone/Documents/), an mtp ioslave gets spawned. As soon as you open another MTP URL from another process (e.g. Amarok or Okular), a second mtp ioslave spawns. This model is just wrong for MTP, as there should be at most one place where the MTP implementation lives. A possible solution could be to use a KDED module for that, moving the MTP-specific code from the ioslave to the kded plugin. Then the ioslave would just act as proxy between the applications and the kded plugin.

We discussed this idea with David Faure at Akademy and we came up with a design to go forward. If anyone is interested in the technical details, there is a task on phabricator you can look at.

Cheers from Vienna!

16 Aug 2018 8:00am GMT

15 Aug 2018

feedPlanet KDE

Museum Day, or, the Benefit of Skiving Off

Tomorrow, there's the fund raiser training session. Given that we've been raising funds for Krita since time immemorial (our first fund raiser was for two Wacom tablets and art pens so we could implement support for them, the second to let Lukas Tvrdy work on Krita for a couple of months and after that, we've had the kickstarters), that might seem superfluous. But I'm still hoping to learn lots. After all, it's not like we're exactly awash in money.

But today, we, me and Irina, we went all-out for a day in Vienna. Just took the day off, had a lazy morning with breakfast in the hotel room (tea and croissants…), then took the underground to the Karlsplatz. From there, it was an easy walk to the KHM. Vienna is quite compact.

One thing I love about Vienna is the ubiquitous availability of non-sugary soft drinks. That is, soda zitrone - sparkling water with lemon juice. Half a litre of that in the museum cafe rehydrated us sufficiently to go out and see the parts that we hadn't seen before. The French/Italian/Spanish parts of the museum are not as paralyzing as the Flemish/German/Dutch parts, but there was plenty! In particular, the three portraits of the Infanta of Spain, at ages 4, 6, 8 (or thereabouts) were touching. Gramps, being the Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation, had asked his son-in-law for regular updates on his little darling grandchild, and got them, painted by Velasquez.

The Roman/Greek/Egyptian part was curious more than impressive: quantity over quality, perhaps, but still, interesting. It's also the most unreconstructed part of the museum, with the exhibits often being labeled only in type-written German, on yellowing paper.

Having gone through that section, we were conveniently close to the museum cafe again, where they do serve excellent food. So we lunched there, then went back to our favourites in the dutch/flemish/german paintings sections. I spent half an hour with Rogier van der Weyden again, and if there wouldn't be that fundraising workshop tomorrow, I would spend an hour in that room again, tomorrow. But we've got a year pass and we will return. I like the KHM better than the Bodemuseum in Berlin… There were other paintings I have stared at, trying to remember all of it, like the Reynolds in a little side-room. I was going all squiggly-eyed, so I decided to try and find Irina.

As I was staggering towards the exit, I suddenly became aware of being spoken at by a clean-shaven person, in what I thought was Danish or Swedish or some other language I don't speak. It turned out to be one of the other Akademy attendees, a Dutchman. I had so much trouble coming down to earth and realizing that he was speaking a language that I could understand! Afterwards, I felt like a loon.

From there, we went out in search of beer. It was, by now, afternoon, and a warm one. We failed though! First we reached the Treasury. Our year pass is valid there as well, and we had been told the Treasury museum is in the medieval part of the Hofburg. And since the Hofburg is, sorry…, weird, it's like an ordinary, rather plain, apartment building like you find them all over Vienna, we were like, let's see what the medieval parts look like!

Well, there wasn't much of that visible. But the presentation was really pretty good: excellent explanations, impressive exhibits, lots of ancient costumes, too. What I really want to know, though, is: how can textile dating back to the Norman kingdom in Sicily, C12, be as smooth and hale as the socks and tunics and orarion are that are shown? Those 1000-year old swords: how can the steel look like it was forged last year? I'm sure it's that old, but how has it been conserved and preserved like that?

From there we went on, and found a Kurkonditorei - I guess it's Kur, because you can only get beer in 0.3 and not 0.5 measures, which must have a slimming effect. Still, the beer was cool, my sandwich was good, Irina's topfenknodel were good too, or so I have been told, and there were so many interesting people to watch… We had another beer.

And then it was time to go back to the hotel, shower, read mail, go out back to the venue area, find that the Bep Viet restaurant was packed, have a pizza at the pizza place, go back again, and realize that this has been one of the nicest Akademy's I've attended, and that Vienna's one of the nicest places I've visited.

15 Aug 2018 9:46pm GMT