In the latest time planetkde readers will have noticed an amount of posts by students about Google Code-In. This is one more of these. Instead of posts about the next plasma release or an interview with an artist that uses krita I will write about the Wikitolearn project that creates collaborative text books. Or more specifically LatexToMediaWiki which is a tool Wikitolearn uses.
I have to admit that before Google Code-In 2015 I had never heard of Wikitolearn although I had used plasma and other KDE software and also read planetkde. In order to create “a free and user-friendly computing experience” it makes sense to also support projects aiming to create free content. Latex2MediaWiki is used to convert latex documents to the MediaWiki format which is used to contribute to Wikitolearn. However, it is not limited to Wikitolearn as Wikipedia and its sister projects also use MediaWiki.
It has never been a secret that the KDE community is very welcoming. Still I am more impressed by it now I have had contact to a very different part of it. Because I am not able to get a telegram account and this is the preferred means of communication of wikitolearn I have primarily had contact to Davide Valsecchi who is the main contributor of Latex2MediaWiki. He has not only been helpful by explaining things to me and improving my work(I suppose he had to do so sometimes as python is not my main language), but has also asked me for my opinion when he did changes or even about functions he has created a long time ago so I feel very integrated in the development process. I am probably the person who has contributed the second most to Latex2MediaWiki and feel proud of being a key element in supporting tables, code environments and tikz pictures. One thing I want to tell people is that they don’t need to be master coders in order to contribute. You will learn by doing. I believe I am better at programming now than two months ago. The only problem about it is that it is far more fun than learning for exams.