my blog

Friday 5 December 2008

What are you doing on February 7-8 2009?

The answer is, of course, that you're going to Brussels for the FOSDEM. And as usual, GNOME will be there. Christophe took care of everything and we'll have a devroom (GNOME-only on Saturday, shared for cross-desktop talks on Sunday, as we did in the past few years) and a booth this year again! I created some wiki pages about the GNOME presence at FOSDEM a few minutes ago (yeah for copy & paste!), but I guess they need some more work.

I guess there will be a call for presentation so we can have an amazing week-end in the devroom, and you can already start thinking about stuff you can talk about there. Christophe will handle all that. While the devroom looks good, we have an issue with the booth right now: so far, we don't have an official organizer. It'd be really nice to have someone step up and take care of organizing the presence of volunteers on the booth and of making sure that we have all the necessary materials for the booth. That's not really a hard job, and it's really a nice and effective way to contribute to our community.

So if you want to help with the organization of the GNOME presence at FOSDEM, and especially for the booth, go read Christophe's announcement and contact him!

Update: of course, blogging past midnight is not good idea. It's not February 6-7, but 7-8 :-)

Distributions of the year?

Every year, in December, you start seeing a lot of articles about the big events that occurred during the year, or about delivering awards for the best whatever of the year. And when I say a lot, I think I'm underestimating the amount of those articles. Some are interesting, some are meaningful, a few are both interesting and meaningful, probably most are neither interesting nor meaningful. So when Magnus gave a link saying that openSUSE was distro of the year, I wasn't sure what to expect. It turned out to be a good surprise.

Ars Technica chose two distributions as distros of the year: Foresight and openSUSE. I honestly can't say that the choice is good or bad -- all major distros are making great progress, because they all benefit from what the various upstream projects are doing. While openSUSE is now close to my heart, I'm still fond of Debian, Fedora or Ubuntu. That's probably because I'm still very much upstream-centric in my way of looking at the free software world (and hopefully, I'll stay this way). I could probably write stuff about each distribution, telling you a few things that happened there that were great, or why I like them. But let's focus on Foresight and openSUSE.

So yeah, it's good to see openSUSE picked up as one of the distributions of the year by Ars Technica, but I wouldn't usually care much about this -- nearly everybody has its own favorite distribution because it's the best out there (always funny to see that there are more than one best distribution ;-)). However in this case, the way the project evolved during the last year was considered and that's what kept my attention; I'm really glad to see that outside people are noticing that the openSUSE community is growing, with the development being more and more open; the openSUSE distribution certainly has many qualities, but this point is the most important change for the project. At least, that's my opinion. Sure, there are still tons of things to fix in the community and in the way we develop stuff, but we're getting there. And I feel a huge difference in the openSUSE project between what it was at the beginning of the year and what it is today.

It's also great to see the work done on Foresight noticed. What I really like about Foresight is that they provide GNOME with live media for stable releases, and they do that really quickly. That's simply awesome, no need to argue. As far as I know, they're also trying to not do a lot of changes compared to upstream, so you get an upstream experience. And I love that.

But in the end, I really liked the article because it was useful to me. Really. Let me tell you why. It helped me identify a goal for next year: try to get everyone to spell out openSUSE the correct way (hint: it's not OpenSUSE, nor openSuSE, nor OpenSuSE, nor...). Yeah, after the GNOME vs Gnome war, I had to find a new spelling war ;-)

by Vincent