my blog

Monday 25 October 2010

Sending feedback to Ubuntu

I'll blog a bit later about how the openSUSE Conference went and all the good stuff that happened there, but since I'm at UDS, it's a good time to get discussion with Ubuntu and send some feedback to this downstream. Obviously, the recent news makes this week much more... how to put it... challenging. I won't talk about that right now — trying to get more discussion here before — but obviously, I won't say I'm pleased with this decision (and I like Jeff's comment about it ;-)). The main reason of my presence here is to get more communication happening between Ubuntu and GNOME and openSUSE, so:

  • to all GNOME friends: Andreas, Ryan and I are in Orlando attending UDS, which means you should not hesitate to tell us what we should discuss with Ubuntu. Leave a comment here, or send us a mail.
  • to all openSUSE friends: same thing, ping me if there is a topic where you want more information, or if there's something where you want to get some collaboration with Ubuntu.

Thursday 21 October 2010

openSUSE Conference Party

I'm in Nuremberg since Sunday, and the openSUSE Conference started yesterday. So I have already tons of interesting bits to tell. But the really important part is:

openSUSE Conference Party

Thanks to B1 Systems for sponsoring the party tonight!

JDLL 2010

Last Friday, I headed to Lyon for the JDLL 2010. It's an event that feels always a bit special for me since the JDLL was the first event I attended a long while ago. Even though it's not the biggest event in France, for some reason, all the usual suspects from the french-speaking free software community is coming. So a good place to be to catch up with various people (Alexandre, Didier, FrédéricP, Michael from the GNOME-FR conspiracycommunity, as well as our friends from Mageia, and more).

Of course, I first had to prove I really wanted to go there: with the strikes, it took me around five hours to travel there, instead of a bit less than two. I didn't really mind, though. The real downside of the strikes for the event was that a bit less people attended the event than usual, but it worked out quite well given the circumstances.

I had submitted two talks for the event, and both were accepted: one introducing the Build Service, and one explaining what the GNOME community is up to with GNOME 3.0. The talks themselves went quite well, but I had some last minute fun with GNOME Shell, which was crashing on start (thanks Benjamin for the quick fix!).

The GNOME 3 talk was helped by some really recent GNOME 3-related changes in openSUSE just before the event: FrédéricC has been working on automatic packages of GNOME Shell from git (works great, and makes it easy to test Florian's branch), and I managed to quickly create packages for a GTK+ 3 version of the openSUSE theme (thanks to the work from Andrea on porting murrine to GTK+ 3). All this improves the GNOME Shell demos I usually do, while still enabling people to keep a stable GNOME around. Of course, these changes are already in Factory for openSUSE users, and FrédéricC might announce his plans with his GNOME Shell package from git soon :-) Exciting times in the openSUSE-GNOME land, if you ask me!

The JDLL was also an opportunity to show, in addition to GNOME Shell, some of the great mockups done by the design team to various people, and the reaction is nearly always positive. If you haven't tried yet, I encourage you to go to an event and talk about GNOME 3 to people, even if it's just in the hallway: you'll see people getting positive, and more importantly, really excited about the changes we're introducing. This definitely boosts motivation :-)

Saturday 16 October 2010 specifications migrated to git

A few months ago, after talking about this for a while, I finally did a git migration of various XDG specifications (autostart, basedir, desktop-entry, menu and systemtray). It was a test migration, so I only published this in a personal repository on And I quickly became busy with other things.

I finally pushed this repository to xdg/xdg-specs on Thursday. It's a shame it took so long, especially since some people were waiting for it. But it's done. So what's next? I'll see if we can import a few more specifications in there, but I'll also look at improving the website, and how it's generated. It might make sense to re-use what was done for here.

Oh, and it's also a good opportunity to start fixing some long-standing issues with some specifications :-) I have some list of improvements I'd like to see, but do not hesitate to share some of the annoyances you experience with the specifications!

Friday 8 October 2010


Apparently, I'm joining the GNOME Old Farts Club today. May I know all the dirty secrets now? :-)

50000th request

A few hours ago, I submitted the 50000th request in the Build Service. It's a shame that this request is nothing fancy, but at least it's not a submission I did during a massive push to Factory (it's common for me to push tens of packages at once — hey, GNOME is not so small ;-)). Interestingly, Dirk was pushing some KDE packages to Factory around that time too and got requests 49999 and 50001,

(Okay, so, technically, this is not the real 50000th request, since back in August 2009, there was a bug for a short period that caused around 40 requests to start again from 1, but it's a secret!)

For those not familiar with the development of openSUSE, we have a collaboration model in the build service where anyone can submit a change to any package, and the relevant maintainers can then review this request. So it's extremely easy for everyone to update a package to a new version or to add a patch to a package: if you want to do it, then don't ask and just do it! And I'm told we're friendly people, so it's not too hard to find help if needed. The GNOME team is using this feature extensively, and we love it :-)

Now, the sad thing is that I didn't win anything for this 50000th request. Ah, well, I'm sure I'll find a way to celebrate this unique achievement at the openSUSE Conference! And, blast from the past, all this reminded me of the 100000th GNOME bug contest that Luis organized: I did okay back then.

by Vincent