my blog

Wednesday 19 October 2005

Thanks Nokia!

I'm writing this post with the Nokia 770 I received today. It's really great, and it even works in ad hoc mode.

(photo uploaded from my computer)

I had some difficulties with the memory card, but I'm told this is just an IQ test (that I miserably failed ;-)). I also found a bug: when you first start the device, it asks you what language you want it to use. I selected French, but it forgot to change the keyboard layout (it was still a british one). I should report it to Maemo's bugzilla.

Thanks a lot, Nokia!!

Make it fun

One of the things we discuss with Dave at the JDLL was Making GNOME fun for users. As Thomas points out, we held a discussion about this yesterday on #marketing. Here's a quick summary of what I think: GNOME is great, it just works, users like it, but users don't get passionate about it. And this isn't right.

So, let's take a look at where we are now. We have an easy-to-use free desktop with lots of really good points (accessible, localized, etc.). There are some areas where we could be better, but some people are working on it (documentation and performance come to my mind). So GNOME will be even better in the near future. People will like it. They will use it. But they won't get excited about it. We get excited about it, but our users are not. They're satisfied with GNOME, but that's all. Nothing more. I believe we should do our best to change that. Making GNOME fun for the users would definitely help for this.

The killing Wanda discussion was interesting. I for one think we should keep her. There's the argument of where we come from, but this is not the main reason why I think so. Let me say it straight: Wanda is totally useless, and that's why we should keep her. When people try Wanda, they wonder why it even exists, why we took the time to include it, why it is so useless. But most people also smile while doing this. They're having a good time while trying it. We should keep Wanda, if only for this. This is something that make some users love the desktop, and not just like it.

A friend of mine showed me Steve Jobs' latest keynote. One thing struck me, and it was not the new products that were announced. What struck me is PhotoBooth: this is a small application, used to take photos with the videocam integrated in the new iMac G5. The way the application was introduced is brilliant: it's just an application you can use to take photo of you making some weird faces. And everyone was laughing when he presented it. Everyone will love this application, although nearly nobody will really use it.

Thomas is right: we need themes that people love. But we also need fun applications. I don't know how we can handle this, since right now, the GNOME modulesets does not really include applications that are fun, but applications that are useful. For example, Monkey Bubble was a great game but it was not included in GNOME 2.6. Creating a new moduleset for such applications would be a solution, but I'm not sure it goes well with the idea of a GNOME Certification. I don't think we can say to the user looking for something fun go on GNOME files and search there, because what's important here is to include some fun things by default.

We need GNOME to do more than its job. We need GNOME to be fun for users.

JDLL 2005 report

Last week-end was an event week-end for GNOME-FR: we were at the JDLL 2005. There were a lot of people helping on the booth and I'd like to start with a big thank you to everyone involved.

Talking about the booth, here it how it looked:

Dave can probably tell the difference between this booth and the booth we had last year ;-) We now have posters, more computers, CDs, things to give, nice screens, etc. The GNOME Event Box was really helpful to achieve this. Here it is (I can't find a photo with the box open...):

Diamond Editions kindly sent us some Linux Pratique magazines, since the latest issue featured the GNOME 2.12 LiveCD. They also sent us some LiveCD and we distributed everything:

We also had a nice surprise:

We had a Nokia 770 to show. A lot of people were really interested in it and wanted to buy one as soon as possible.

It was also a good place to meet some people and some friends. Let me mention that Dave is really great. We should have more people like him :-) Each time I discuss with him, there are tons of new ideas in my head. And those are useful ideas.

Again, a big thank you to everyone involved: GNOME-FR people, but also Nokia, Diamond Editions, the organizers (the ALDIL), Murray and everyone I'm forgetting :-)

I'm really glad because GNOME was very well represented there. Since we also held a successful booth at the RMLL, I believe we can say that GNOME-FR is starting to do a good job. Yay for us!

JDLL 2005

Je n'ai pas encore eu le temps de parler des JDLL 2005 depuis mon retour de Lyon. Parlons-en donc un peu !

GNOME-FR y était présent en force. Le samedi, nous étions jusqu'à six sur le stand, ce qui permettait d'être vraiment actif. Et nous avions en plus une quantité de matériel impressionnante. Tout d'abord une boîte :

Il s'agit de la GNOME Event Box. Avec tout le matériel inclus dans celle-ci, plus le matériel que nous avions apporté nous-même, nous avons réussi à obtenir un magnifique stand :

Nous avons pu distribué beaucoup de choses, comme par exemple des exemplaires du Linux Pratique avec un LiveCD GNOME 2.12, ainsi que des LiveCD, gentiment offerts par Diamond Editions :

Et enfin, le Nokia 770 que Nokia avait envoyé pour démonstration a eu un énorme succès :

Beaucoup de gens voulaient en acheter un immédiatement. On sentait qu'il y avait tout de même des geeks, notamment quand la première question que quelqu'un pose est où est le terminal ? ;-)

J'ai été content de pouvoir voir ou revoir des gens que je connaissais, mais aussi de rencontrer de nouvelles personnes. Il y a eu quelques discussions très intéressantes, notamment avec Dodji et avec Dave. Je tiens d'ailleurs à dire que Dave est vraiment quelqu'un de fantastique : dès que je parle plus de cinq minutes avec lui, des idées me viennent à l'esprit et des choses s'éclaircissent. Je vais probablement en reparler dans un futur billet...

Un énorme merci à nos amis de l'ALDIL pour avoir organisé cet évènement, à Nokia pour avoir envoyé un modèle du Nokia 770 ainsi que des casquettes Maemo, à Diamond Editions pour les exemplaires du Linux Pratique, à Murray pour la GNOME Event Box, à David pour son aide précieuse, ainsi qu'à tous les volontaires ayant participé au stand ! (et aussi un énorme merci à Olivi* pour leur accueil ;-))

by Vincent