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KDE Americas Conference was hosted by Jamaica

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king Written by Dmitri Dawkins

In January 2008, two Jamaican IT professionals were invited to attend the KDE Release party at Google's Head Office in Silicon Valley, US. The event was the first of its kind in the western hemisphere, and after a huge turnout it was decided that a KDE Americas Conference needed to be arranged. Jamaica was nominated as one of the possible venues, and was shortlisted for further consideration. After returning to Jamaica the attendees Dmitri Dawkins and Roger Pixley got to work on their proposal, contacting several hotels and submitted two options to the KDE Events Committee. After months of deliberation Jamaica was chosen to host the inaugural KDE Americas Conference. Jamaica was chosen because of its central location, the availability of flights, the paradise-like venue and because of the impact it would have on the country. The event will be held in Negril Jamaica, January 17-23, 2009.

KDE is an international technology team that creates Free Software for desktop and portable computing. Among KDE's products are a modern desktop system for Linux and UNIX platforms, comprehensive office productivity and groupware suites and hundreds of software titles in many categories including Internet and web applications, multimedia, entertainment, educational, graphics and software development. KDE software is translated into more than 60 languages and is built with ease of use and modern accessibility principles in mind. KDE4's full-featured applications run natively on Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows and Mac OS X.

The inaugural KDE Americas Conference is expected to attract over 200 visitors to Jamaica who will be attending the event. The event is a developers conference as well as a release event for KDE 4.2 the latest version of the KDE Desktop. Even though the event is aimed at developers, it's list of attendees does not stop there. Representatives from top tech companies who use KDE are also expected to attend and will speak about how KDE helps them in their business and how their technologies help contribute to KDE. There will also be "Birds of a Feather" talks, which are small group discussions about specific programs and technologies.

Because of its wide range of applications this event will be huge from a development view, and also because of the oppurtunities it will create. Members of the KDE e.V. (KDE's Legal team) will be there to explain how Companies and Governments switch to KDE and the legal licensing aspect. For instance when Brazil wanted to switch all the computers in their school system to run KDE they contacted the KDE e.V. and now 52 Million students in Brazil will be using KDE. Also when the European Union wanted added security in KDE's Mail software they contacted the KDE e.V. to meet their needs and now Kmail has encryption and security built in for everyone to use. The KDE e.V. is a registered non-profit organization that represents the KDE Project in legal and financial matters.

Regular KDE users are not to be left out either, their role in this conference will also be very important. KDE users are welcome to attend to help test new software as it is created at the conference and to contribute their valuable input on the user interface and stability of the work being done. Not only that but all patrons of the event will be the first to see a host of new features and development, as well as what's next to be done. The entire event will be recorded so that KDE users around the world can also watch the talks on different applications and technologies.

Jamaica itself will benefit greatly as local attendees will learn about this open source application suite that covers nearly every imaginable task necessary and its' development framework. Local sponsors will help support the most groundbreaking Open Source Conference Jamaica has ever hosted as well as receive great exposure internationally. The beauty of the KDE interface is that you do not have to change from your operating system of choice but can run it on nearly anything (Linux, Microsoft Windows, MacOS, BSD, Solaris), and use these applications for personal or professional use at no cost. Jamaicans will be better exposed to an alternative choice of desktop applications that is free to use for everyone without having to change OS.

Anyone can attend the event but they will require registration on the event website http://camp.kde.org , registration will open shortly. As the event date draws closer more information such as list of speakers, sponsors, and activities will be posted on the website. The event is going to be a milestone technologically for Jamaica and we at the Events committee are looking forward to seeing you there.

king For further information on this event and how you can support it please contact:
Jamaica: Dmitri Dawkins -uten.jm@gmail.com
International: campkde -organizers@kde.org

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