Passing the Torch

This fall, the Simon project will turn 9 years old. What started with a team of ambitious 17-year-olds and a school project, evolved over the course of more than 3000 commits and 4 major releases into a sophisticated speech-recognition platform.

Like most open-source projects, Simon saw periods of stagnation and periods of explosive growth. It saw GSoCs and Open Academies; Research projects and commercial deployments. And through it all, I was proud to be Simon’s maintainer. Almost 9 years in, however, it is time for me to take a step back, pass on the torch, and focus on a new adventure.

At the end of this month, I will start an exciting new career at Apple’s Siri team in Paris. I will therefore sadly no longer be able to serve as Simon’s maintainer, starting on the 20th of August.
I hereby want to announce an open call to find a new maintainer for KDE’s speech recognition efforts.

To help my successor get started, I will hold an online workshop on the upcoming Tuesday, 4th of August 2015 (starting at around 11am, Vienna time), where I will introduce speech-recognition basics, outline Simon’s codebase, and answer any arising questions. I am also planning on discussing my sketches and ideas on where I personally think the project should be going, and how to get there. After the workshop, I will stay available to answer any questions, especially when it comes to the workings of the actual speech recognition, via email until the 20th, to make the transition as smooth as possible.

I encourage everyone interested in potentially leading the Simon team to introduce themselves on the mailing list. Prior knowledge about speech recognition is not required.

At this point, I also want to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone involved in turning this project into what it has become. Franz and Mathias Stieger, Alexander Breznik, Frederik Gladhorn, Yash Shah, Vladislav Sitalo, Adam Nash, Patrick von Reth, Manfred Scheucher, Phillip Goriup, Martin Gigerl, Bettina Sturmann, Susanne Tschernegg, Jos Poortvliet, Lydia Pintscher, the KDE e.V. board, and the countless others: thank you!

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Peter Grasch