my blog

Wednesday 8 July 2009

GNOME Foundation AGM and Collabora Party

We don't have any plenary session anymore, but hopefully, using the Planet is enough to get GUADEC announcements to most people :-)

First, the Board decided to move the GNOME Foundation AGM from 10:00 to 13:30 tomorrow. The main reason is the second announcement (party!) ;-) And we want to make sure that as many members as possible will be able to attend. Of course, just after finalizing all the details and sending the announcement to foundation-list, I saw Bastien's post about meeting at 14:40 for FreeFA — fixing something at the last minute always breaks something else. In this case, though, we'll do our best to make the FreeFA people free in time :-)

The main reason for this change is the Collabora party tonight! You probably saw some signs on walls here and there, but in case you missed them: the party starts at 21:30 and takes place at the Terraza Black Lounge (Las Palmeras Golf course, La Minilla). It will be open bar from 22:00 to 01:00, and some finger food. Yet another long night ;-)

Update: we've prepared a survey to get feedback from the community about the co-located Akademy and GUADEC, so we can know if it's something the community wants to see happen again in the future. So go fill it!

Sunday 5 July 2009

Social Event at the Desktop Summit

Nokia is sponsoring a social event tonight for the GNOME and KDE communities, where people will be able to chat together about really important things, like the good food around here, or the nice sound of the sea when you sleep, or how walking in the sand can be hard.

The event will take place at the Terraza del Muelle at 21:30. I assume most people are like me and won't be able to even know where to go, so we have a meeting point at 21:00 at the Dunas Canteras Hotel (Calle Portugal Nº 68) — it's 10 minutes away from the conference venue and it's really easy to find: walk alongside the beach until you see a big group of people ;-)

Thanks Nokia, I'm sure we'll have fun!

GUADEC tidbits #2

  • First, for everybody in Gran Canaria: there's a hacker room at the Fataga hotel where you can hang out a good part of the night ;-) Just go to Fataga and go downstairs.
  • Robert Lefkowitz's keynote was great: he's a really talented speaker — definitely learnt things about how to do a good talk —, and you could read on various faces that people were enjoying the keynote. Liberal software is what gentlemen use sounds really cool. Not a big message that changes your life, but definitely an interesting way of thinking.
  • Walter Bender talked about Sugar, and learning. Definitely talked to me, since I've still some interest in teaching/learning from my past life. It was also cool to see him do the presentation inside a sugar session run in Xephyr.
  • For some reason, Sílvia (who's still doing an amazing job at the registration desk, with Gil) believes I could have sent her some openSUSE t-shirt without having her address. Really. How was I supposed to do? (Sure, I had forgotten about this since last GUADEC, but don't tell anybody).
  • Went to buy some quick food with Lucas, Diego and Benjamin. For some reason, Lucas keeps pretending he can understand Spanish, but when he was asked do you want something else?, he couldn't hide the truth... Luckily, Diego saved the day.
  • Stormy and the Board had a lunch with RMS (no, Diego, Lucas and I didn't eat twice), where we talked about C# and free software. No big surprise, but was still interesting.
  • Still trying to pronounce Germán's first name correctly. But I enjoy Jorge's name!
  • Lucas showed me Chrome. It starts fast. I mean, really fast. We compared with epiphany and, hrm, well, there's some progress to do there...
  • Met Thorsten Prante, who knows a friend of mine in Grenoble, with no link to free software. Small world.
  • We hopefully managed to poison Luboš — he was the only KDE guy in our GNOME dinner. But we still love him :-)
  • Quite some people are coming to me and try to pronounce Vincent correctly. I just laugh at them evilly, of course! More seriously, that's cool to see how people are eager and curious about those little details which aren't really important. That makes a difference.
  • Just overheard in the hacker room that some Ubuntu people are working on Windows stuff. Ask Jorge for details ;-)

Saturday 4 July 2009

Nokia & GNOME Mobile

Quim just gave his keynote, announcing that maemo will switch to Qt as the main toolkit in the future, with GTK+ being a part of the maemo platform that will become supported by the community. Not a big surprise, since Nokia acquired Trolltech a while ago.

GNOME Mobile in future maemo

The interesting thing, though, is that, listening to Quim's talk, maemo is still a big GNOME Mobile user: the maemo platform will actually still more or less be GNOME Mobile, except that it will be using Qt instead of GTK+. This may come as a surprise to some people since for many, GNOME is GTK+ and GTK+ is GNOME. GNOME is actually way more than GTK+ and the GNOME Mobile platform in particular covers a good number of technologies (glib, dbus, gvfs, bluez, telepathy, avahi, gstreamer, gconf, etc.). All of those technologies are historically close to GNOME (usually living on, or even part of GNOME.

So while the move to Qt is a logical move from Nokia, it's good to see that Nokia stays firmly committed to GNOME Mobile. It's actually quite amazing to see that what we built there is attractive to a big industry player like Nokia (and, well, a bunch of other players ;-)).

GUADEC tidbits #1

  • Arrived on Thursday, and had dinner with Stormy, Rosanna, Jonathan and the evil Lucas. Turned out Lucas and I still have this bad habit of talking in front of a hotel for a long time...
  • Yesterday, we had the first board meeting with the new board. It went amazingly well, with good work going on. It was definitely a good thing to move the elections period to have the meeting at the beginning of the board term.
  • We then went to register for the conference. It always feels good to see familiar faces again :-)
  • Canonical hosted a party yesterday evening, a good occasion to catch up with even more people.
  • At the opening right now. Quite funny to see a warm welcome, with some notes about collaboration from Adrian (from KDE) and Behdad (from GNOME) while they are each at one extreme side of the table ;-) And Behdad has this what am I doing here? funny look; hopefully someone took a picture of him!

Friday 3 July 2009

GNOME Foundation Board Meeting at GUADEC

GUADEC is starting tomorrow, but the GNOME Foundation was busy today with a all-day board meeting. With the election results now being official, we were able to welcome Germán and Srini.

Still, the meeting wasn't easy for everybody.

Lucas doesn't enjoy the meeting

John is having a hard time

Germán discovers a board meeting

Behdad simply gave up

Still, you can be sure that the board is working hard for the Foundation to make sure that the GNOME project will succeed!

This is your board!

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Newsflash: Ice Cream Deathmatch!

Woo, Jan Schmidt just created a wiki page so people can register to the most important part of GUADEC: the Ice Cream Deathmatch (renamed to Ice Cream Eating Competition, probably because Jan doesn't feel he can win ;-)). So go ahead and register! If you want to help organize this, send us a small note — we don't know yet the date or format of this competition.

Last year, the deathmatch was crazy, with Henri being stunningly fast. And fast is actually not giving him enough credit...

Vincent wandering in Berlin (LinuxTag 2009)

Last week was LinuxTag, in Berlin, and I went there to help with the openSUSE booth. We had a really nice booth, where people could play with laptops, try the build service or SUSE Studio. Oh, and we enjoyed writing words with magnetic letters on a board :-)

Attendees were mostly german people, of course. So it was quite funny to start talking with people in English, and have them reply in German ;-) But after some time, I got used to German again, so I could talk a bit, or at least understand what people were saying. Yes, you might not know about it, but I'm supposed to have a good level of German. Let me stress the supposed...

openSUSE booth at LinuxTag

Image from Adrian Schröter

This was a great opportunity to meet various people from the community. I discovered how active the people from the openSUSE Education are — quite impressive! As usual, it was good to also be able to put faces on names, and catch up with friends, or discuss various topics (login-time performance, UI design, openSUSE Conference, etc.). I definitely came back with some food for thoughts.

Sven made sure the GNOME booth was working well The stickers that GNOME-FR had printed for Solutions Linux were quite nice to have, at least I would think so ;-) At some point, Sven and I created a new lovely background for the GNOME desktop, based on Big Buck Bunny; I'm pretty sure it would make a great default background! Ah, if only I had kept a copy of it...

Among the tidbits worth mentioning, I demoed GNOME Shell to various people — mostly people from the KDE community ;-) —, and although the version I had was quite old (it was git master as of May 1st), people seemed to like it. That makes me even more confident there will be quite some positive action around GNOME Shell during the GUADEC/Desktop Summit.

Working hard

Image from Adrian Schröter

All in all, this event was obviously quite some hard work for me :-)

I came back from Berlin on Sunday evening, and I'm leaving for Gran Canaria tomorrow. No need to mention that the three days between those dates were incredibly busy, if only for the part where I naively try to catch up with all mails ;-) Still, I find time to be quite excited about the Desktop Summit: it will probably be a busy week, but it'll be amazing for sure! It was also a good surprise to see people thanking the Foundation for sponsoring them to go! The travel committee did a really great job there!

Gran Canaria Desktop Summit

See you all in Gran Canaria!

by Vincent