my blog

Friday 5 August 2011

Joining the masses... in Berlin

I'm going to Desktop Summit 2011

I happen to go to Berlin next week, and it seems a awful amount of other people are going too (including the evil twin). I wonder why so many people. Maybe they all want to listen to my ramblings on Monday just before the lunch break, or attend a dream team session later on the very same Monday, about upstream and downstream and co-presented by Allison Randal, Jaroslav Řezník, Harald Sitter and yours truly.

Of course, this could also be because of the FreeFA Tournament, sponsored by SUSE this year. This football game is always one of the highlights of our summer events, and I must admit I can't wait to see Bastien give it another try.

However I don't see any ice cream deathmatch in the program. This is rather unfortunate, but I guess Diego was way too afraid of trying again anyway... Or maybe the true Lennart voluntarily sabotaged this?

Wednesday 3 August 2011

RMLL 2011 & Strasbourg

While everybody is talking about going to some small event apparently occurring in Berlin next week (with random speakers), let me talk a bit about the RMLL 2011, which I attended a few weeks ago.

Close-up of the Strasbourg astronomical clock

Close-up of the Strasbourg astronomical clock

For those who don't know, the RMLL is one of the main free software-related events in France. It's moving to a new city every year, and this year it happened to be Strasbourg. Obviously, this was a good choice since everybody knew that it would involve great food :-)

At the end of the RMLL in 2010, Michael Scherer suggested to organize a new track about Communities, and we were crazy enough to give it a try, with the help of another Vincent, Vincent Kaltenbronn. We managed to get a rather good program: we wanted to have some international outreach on the first day (english talks, and an interesting talk about an initiative related to Africa), a day specific to the french world of Free Software on the second day, and then talks about various projects on the last day. And it all turned out pretty well, thanks to the speakers!

While we had many GNOME-friendly people at the event (Frédéric, Claude, Alexandre, Didier, Michael, etc.), we didn't really have a proper booth as most of us were busy either with the organization of the event itself, the chairing of a track, the preparation of talks or the participation to Radio RMLL. But we still had PromoDVDs to give away (thanks openSUSE!), and apparently, people were happy to take them :-) We still managed to have a meeting to discuss the future of the GNOME-FR organization, and the good news is that there is a plan. Frédéric also had a talk about how the GNOME project changed in time, where people actively participated in a discussion about current issues in the community, with the discussion ending well after the end of the talk.

Illuminations of the Strasbourg Cathedral

Illuminations of the Strasbourg Cathedral

It was also great to see the openSUSE presence there, with Jean-Daniel Dodin organizing the openSUSE part of a booth shared with Fedora and Mageia, and Alexis Guéganno sharing his Alionet experience while talking about non-profit organizations.

As I apparently can't go to an event without delivering talks (I keep submitting tons of proposals...), I had three talks scheduled: a brief introduction to packaging, an overview of GObject Introspection and a status update on the AppStream project. The three talks were well-received, or at least that's what I like to think :-) And during the GObject Introspection talk, a GSoC student working on MELT suggested the use of MELT to help make sure introspection annotations are correct; I didn't have time to take a close look at that, but that does sound like a fun project.

Fireworks during Bastille Day

Fireworks during Bastille Day

Since the event ended on Bastille Day, I was able to stay a few days in Strasbourg to enjoy the city. There's no shortage of good time there, and it was funny to meet every now and then other RMLL participants who also stayed the week-end. The various illuminations organized by the city for the summer were extremely cool, and I felt I really had to make sure there was no missing step in the stairs to the top of the Cathedral. Interestingly, there seems to be less steps when going down than when climbing!

Oh, and I should do that more often, but thanks to SUSE for letting me go and participate to this event (and even encouraging me to do so)! That's really a cool company :-)

by Vincent