my blog

Friday 21 May 2010

De la publicité dans le bon contexte

Je travaillais tranquillement hier soir quand, soudain, le drame : paf, plus de connexion à Internet. Évidemment, dépendant comme je suis, je pense que c'est la fin du monde, l'apocalypse, le jugement dernier. J'imagine Eyjafjöll qui recouvre le monde entier de ses cendres. Je vois des crevasses s'ouvrir au milieu des villes, des Katrina détruisant les côtes, des raz-de-marée jusqu'au milieu du Canada, la lune qui s'écrase sur notre planète, l'invasion par une race extra-terrestre loin d'être amicale, l'effondrement de notre cher soleil, l'apparation soudaine d'un trou noir, voire le big crunch.

Mais après cet état de panique, je réalise qu'il s'agit simplement de la freebox qui ne semble plus vraiment connectée, même si elle affiche l'heure tranquillement. Naïf comme je suis, je me dit qu'il suffit de la redémarrer. Chenillard lent, chenillard rapide. Tout va bien, on est sur la bonne voie. Puit lent à nouveau, avant de redevenir rapide. Ouf, c'était chaud. Rectangle clignotant, rectangle fixe. Allez, ça va le faire, il y a peut-être juste une petite mise à jour de firmware. Mais... mais... non, rien, on reste sur le rectangle fixe. Convaincu qu'il ne s'agit que d'une erreur temporaire, je réessaie. Résultat identique. Je m'obstine. Sans succès. J'insiste. La petite boîte me nargue. J'envisage des solutions alternatives, créatives, innovantes. Un marteau, par exemple. Mais un bout de raison se réveille et met en doute l'efficacité de la méthode.

Je tombe à genou, j'implore les dieux de toutes les religions. Et à ce moment précis, à la télé, j'entends la publicité : "Il a Free, il a tout compris".

Épilogue: en allant me coucher, je me dis qu'ils ont pensé à gérer le cas où une freebox est bloquée sur ce rectangle fixe et que ça va se débloquer tout seul à un moment. Au réveil, aucun changement. Il fallait redémarrer encore une fois la freebox. Donc, quand cela arrive, soit on débranche la freebox et on doit la rebrancher, soit on la laisse branchée et on doit quand même la rebrancher. Bravo, clap clap clap.

Thursday 20 May 2010

GNOME Foundation Elections 2010

Next month, the GNOME Foundation membership will vote to elect a new board. It's that time of the year where we think about how the Foundation is doing, where it's going, and who should help run it. Yeah, we all have to plug our brains for a few weeks :-)

I first want to highlight two important points:

  • as many probably didn't notice, I want to remind everybody that the deadline to announce candidacies is May 23rd. That's next Sunday. You can see the full timeline in the announcement.
  • the Membership & Elections committee will again do an amazing job organizing the elections. So a big thank to them for their unsung actions!

If you're thinking of running for the elections, then stop thinking: this mere fact is an indicator that you should run. Else, well, think about it now :-) I've written about the job last year and Paul has written about his experience as a new board member. I can only tell you that it's an amazing position to be in if you care about GNOME: it gives you a different perspective on what's going in the project, you get to work with great minds and you can at least slightly influence the project (by working on new initiatives, or deciding how to allocate the money, among other examples). And you do feel rewarded for your work: you can see how it makes a difference.

If, after reading the previous paragraph and the linked posts, you still wonder whether you should submit your candidacy for the elections or not, I invite you to come talk to any past or current board member. And do the same if you have questions or need details about what it involves to be on the board (meeting over phone every two weeks, very active mailing list, action items to complete, etc.). I obviously can't talk for the others (although I strongly suspect they're like me), but I'll make time for you if you contact me about this. It'd be a shame if you don't run because you're in doubt!

As for me, I won't run this year. Although I decided this after the last elections, I actually had to repeat this to myself many times to make sure I really won't run — I have this bad habit of taking this exact decision and then changing my mind at the last minute (usually for a good reason). It's not an easy decision since I care deeply about the Foundation. But it's also because I care that it's the right decision. I've been on the board since January 2006, which is a long time; a long time that makes things feel too much like a daily routine, and that means a break is a good idea. It's also time to leave my seat to some new blood: putting aside the fact that the new board members can easily be pushed to do a lot of work ;-), there's my belief that we should have more different people involved at this level and knowing some of the internals of our community. Good reasons, but difficult decision; it's stupid, but unsubscribing from board-list won't be easy.

I feel the board has been doing a good job over the past few years, which hopefully means I've contributed to that. I could be worried of leaving, but I'm not: there will likely be some continuity thanks to some current board members running, and Stormy is rocking with her job, so the Foundation will most certainly be in good hands. I'll surely miss the constant flow of information (average of 97 mails a week), but on the other hand, it's also an opportunity to try to help the board from the outside, now that I know how things work.

Now, I'm just eager to see who's going to be elected. Aren't you?

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Marketing Hackfest: Day 1

It looks like I'm good at blogging about the first day of a hackfest and then not continuing that, so I'll continue this trend ;-) I just want to state publicly that I have a few GSettings-related posts in mind to write, though: schema, gconf backend, porting your application, etc., so now I'll have to deliver those posts about the results of this amazing GSettings hackfest!. But I am now in Zaragoza, attending the Marketing Hackfest, so let me write a bit about it.


Andreas hard at work by Licio Fonseca

Sumana wrote about the first day quite extensively, so I won't repeat here what she wrote: just go read her post! We're working on the plan and roadmap for the 3.0 launch, but we're not just about the high-level ideas: we're working on design and content (of websites, brochures, etc.), so we'll have results to show. And don't hesitate to send us feedback about what you're reading in blogs or on the wiki: you can leave a comment here, send us a mail, join #marketing on IRC — there are many ways to reach us!

It's exciting to see the whole plan and the many ideas, and here a few things I want to highlight (obviously, much more is worth highlighting!):

  • Marketing Roadmap: having a marketing plan is good and already makes me happy. Turning the plan into a roadmap is just the logical next step to make sure everything gets executed.
  • GNOME 3.0 Website: there'll be a specific GNOME 3.0 website to introduce this new version of GNOME, and get people excited about this new version. In the long term, the content will be moved to the main website, but we feel a separate website is the best way to build momentum for the 3.0 effort. The target audience is existing GNOME users and there is already a good sitemap. Work is ongoing for the exact content and design, and the hard work will be the creation of videos. If you're interested in helping there, raise your hand :-)
  • GNOME Ambassadors: we're preparing materials to help everyone talk about GNOME at events, or at a university, inside a company or just to friends. We've always said that anyone can help represent GNOME like this, but it's a hard task if you have to start from scratch. With talking points, slides, a template for new presentations, business cards, a great shirt for ambassadors, we want to lower the barrier here and help all GNOME enthusiasts share their love for the project.

Sponsored by the GNOME Foundation

Zaragoza is really a fantastic environment to do the hackfest, so a big thanks to all the organizations that are sponsoring this event: the Zaragoza Municipality, the Aragon Regional Government, the GNOME Foundation, the Technological Institute of Aragon, ASOLIF and CESLA. And a personal thank to the Foundation for sponsoring part of my travel and to Novell for letting me attend this event :-)

Time to go back to hackfest work! Oh, and again, send us feedback and join #marketing!

by Vincent