my blog

Monday 16 August 2010

Want to join Novell?

I've been at Novell for two years and a half now, and it's been an interesting ride. I must say I've had two amazing bosses who understand the way I work and who have been really supportive, so that definitely helps! I don't know if Klaas will stand me much longer, though ;-) In addition to that, being part of the Boosters is a good way to be with people as crazy as I am, working on weird stuff like me.

Of course, it has been hard to see good people leave the company in the past few months — they are generally still involved upstream, though, so that's positive :-) But recently, we've been joined by two friends: Frédéric, who's working on SUSE Meego, and Jos, the new openSUSE community manager. And guess what? We expect more! Because we're still hiring:

  • the very same team I'm part of (remember, the crazy people) is looking for a new member. The job description is, well, you know, a job description ;-) What is most important, in my opinion, is that we're looking for someone who understands free software communities: the goal of the team is to grow the openSUSE community by enabling the community, and we're having fun with that! You can have the right profile even if you don't know the openSUSE community well at the moment: for example, it's totally fine to come from upstream (some of us do have an upstream-only background). I heard that some people even wonder if it's normal to get paid for such a job. But yes, you will get paid. To apply, go here and use the openSUSE booster keywords.
  • our SLED team is looking for a GNOME developer to help with the maintenance and the development of SLED, and I certainly hope that this developer will also work with the GNOME team in openSUSE :-) If you enjoy fixing bugs and adding some nice features that make a difference to users, this could be a good position for you! To apply, go here and use the SLED GNOME keywords.

If you want to chat about any of those jobs or about how it feels to work at Novell, don't hesitate to ping me!

Saturday 14 August 2010

More GUADEC tidbits

GUADEC Open Space

GUADEC Open Space by Sense Hofstede (Creative Commons by-sa)

See my previous post for the first GUADEC tidbits.

  • Of course, Fernando and Xan's talk was a great moment!
  • Apparently, I was not for sale (I didn't know, or well, I knew it). And the result is that someone I won't name (let's call this someone Kat) tried to buy me. Without success.
  • Sílvia and Gil won the GNOME Pants this year! Woo! It's a bit sad that they chose to wear it only during the Collabora party: they pretended they were not the right size...
  • I had quit an interesting chat with Luis during the Collabora party. I liked his keynote.
  • Gustavo and I are invincible at table football when in the same team. Mwahahaha!
  • Some people didn't know how to easily get GNOME Shell running from GDM. I hope that by now, most distributions do something like openSUSE, where you can select a GNOME 3 Preview session in GDM.
  • Ryan made some I support the release team stickers. Sweet. He also made some that used a cryptic vuntz 3.0 message...
  • Jos, the new openSUSE community manager, happens to live just a few kilometers away from the Hague. He was still at his previous work back then, but we were able to share a dinner before the Canonical party.
  • I got a very nice Openismus t-shirt (thanks Kat!). I was told there's a fox on it. I see a cat.
  • It was great to have more time with Dominique, one famous openSUSE hero.
  • Bastien and I tried to send a poster to a generous Friends of GNOME donor. During 45 minutes, we walked around, asked people, looked on maps, etc. to find a post office. And when we found one, it didn't have what we needed to send the poster. Oops!
  • Didier helped me find a real post office on Saturday. And there we were able to send the Friends of GNOME poster.
  • I was finally able to chat with Adam from Yorba. I've been wanting to meet the great people at Yorba for a long time!
  • Some people are talking about a French Conspiracy. I don't know why. Anyway, after Reinout's closing speech, Bastien and I went on with the closing ceremony together.
  • The Foundation released three press release this week. Many thanks to Zonker for his help for this!
  • The next GUADEC will be in Berlin, with Akademy! I'm already excited!

Friday 13 August 2010

My late GUADEC post

I came back from the Hague after GUADEC nearly two weeks ago, and I still haven't posted anything about it. Bad me. The short summary: it was a really great event! I don't know exactly why, but I'm thinking it's the GUADEC I enjoyed the most. Many thanks to all the organization team who did a fantastic job! Also a big thank you to the sponsors who made this event possible!

GUADEC Group Photo

GUADEC Group Photo by Nicolas Christener (Creative Commons by)
See the whole set or download the full sized pictures.

The first few days of the events were quite busy between a good board meeting on Sunday (woo, and the last one for me!), a Monday where Frédéric and I chatted with various teams about the current status of GNOME and an advisory board meeting with useful feedback on Tuesday. Busy but good busy. And after that, the event simply went well. I don't think I attended many presentations since I used most of my time to chat with people — that's what is most useful for me at events.

Some tidbits about the event (I have more coming in a later post):

  • The first thing I did when I got at the hotel: I slept for a few hours. Jetlag. When traveling from France to the Netherlands.
  • Apparently, Diego and Germán slept together, and took a shower together. I'm happy for them!
  • Quote from the very first evening: This is not javascript, this is real code. -- Diego, who works on a web browser.
  • Somehow, I couldn't stop saying we when talking about the board. I guess that's what happens after four years and a half.
  • Daniel (or David? ;-)) has a twin, Adrien, and it turns out they were sharing the same room.
  • We had a release team meeting during the event. On IRC. (only two release team people were in the Hague on Monday).
  • I was surprised to see the GNOME roadmap we've started working on in Jon's slides. But good surprise :-)
  • People loved the openSUSE Geekos we gave away! We need more of that!

GNOME Policy on Copyright Assignment

I guess a few people remember that Clutter was proposed for inclusion one year ago. Most of the GNOME community loves it, so there was no real question about accepting it. Except that it required copyright assignment, and the release team didn't really know how to handle this. So we contacted the Foundation Board to see what should be done. And the Board did two things: talk to Intel about it, and work on a more general solution.

First, we talked to Intel to understand if the copyright assignment for Clutter was really needed, or if it could be removed in the future. As this is a discussion involving some legal magic, it obviously took some time. But Emmanuele kept pushing this internally to get a resolution, and in June, it was announced that everybody could contribute to Clutter without signing anything :-) Thanks Intel! It's my guess that this happened not just thanks to GNOME, but I don't have any details on that...

Still, we wanted to have some general guidelines to know how to proceed in case this happens again in the future. The Board discussed this topic with the Advisory Board in December, and after the discussion, we felt that Bradley and Michael had a position that reflected best what would be the position of the community. So we asked them to work on the topic. They wrote some blog entries about the topic, and drafted a first document providing a policy for copyright assignments in GNOME. This got discussed again with the Advisory Board, and finetuned. The whole process took quite some time — and Bradley talked about it during a lightning talk at GUADEC.

As a result, we got two documents that were published in July on the wiki, but I actually only really announced them now. You can read the policy and the additional document, but here's the short version for the lazy ones (quoting my mail):

The inclusion of a new module in GNOME that requires copyright assignment has to be explicitly approved on a case-by-case basis by both the Release Team and the GNOME Foundation Board. The decision will be made based on criteria explained in the policy as well as in this additional document.

It was a great experience to work with Bradley and Michael on this, especially as I was doing nothing and they did all the hard work :-) So I'm glad this is finally out, and even though I personally hope we won't have to look at copyright assignments in the future, at least, now, we will know what to do if the original issue occurs again.

by Vincent