my blog

Friday 17 August 2012

Month of birthdays

August is a busy month for birthdays!

This all starts with openSUSE, on August 9th. Seven years ago, the development of SUSE Linux opened up and openSUSE was born. The openSUSE project is actually pretty young, compared to the other projects delivering distributions. But it has 20-years old roots... I joined the project in February 2008, and I've seen the community grow and become more and more involved and, more importantly to me, in charge.

openSUSE is seven years old!

On August 15th, we celebrate the birthday of the GNOME project. Miguel announced the GNU Network Object Model Environment Desktop project fifteen years ago. I'm happy the letters in GNOME don't stand for anything anymore ;-) It's been a long ride, with the great GNOME 1.0 release in 1999 (let's be honest, it was crappy by today's standards — I tried GNOME back then, and quickly gave up), the GNOME 2.0 release in 2002 (I joined the project around that time, I still remember the excitement in the community) and the recent GNOME 3.0 release in 2011 (I can't believe I wrote the 3.0 plan more than three years ago already...). Even though I'm less involved nowadays, GNOME is my family.

GNOME is fifteen years old!

And finally, on August 16th, Debian reaches a new milestone. In 1993, the imminent release of the first version was announced, which makes the project nineteen years old now. I've always loved Debian, and I've long wondered whether I should become a Debian Developer, but I never made the jump as I chose to focus on upstream activities instead for my free time. And then I joined openSUSE. But it's never too late, so who knows, maybe one day...

Debian is nineteen years old!

I use what those three projects deliver daily, literally. Many thanks to everyone who made and still make this possible!

Wednesday 25 July 2012

GUADEC, here I come

I'm leaving for the airport in a few minutes: GUADEC is my next stop!

Like a few other people, I'll land just before midnight, and hopefully there'll still be people hanging around in the lobby with the pre-registration event. Will be good to see old friends and discuss crazy things :-)

I am attending GUADEC

Thursday 19 July 2012

Moving on to something completely different

Last month, I got a new job! After three years in the openSUSE Boosters team, I joined the SUSE Cloud team. I'm now working on OpenStack and on SUSE Cloud itself. Quite a big change!

I had planned a long time ago that the release of GNOME 3.0 would be a good time for me to look at what's next. When it went out, I actually took a few months to cool down a bit (it was pretty much needed), and also have some good fun with openSUSE. But after a while, this desire of trying something new came back: I had been working on the desktop for nearly ten years, and on a distribution for four years. Those were exciting years, but at the end, it started to feel like, you know, work. I wanted to stay involved in GNOME, in the free desktop in general, in openSUSE, in cross-distro collaboration: this is not just work and this should not be just work. I didn't want to slowly move to doing stuff while not caring anymore. This is how I found out that I needed to go back to the early days and contribute in my free time again :-)

There was still the question of, well, work. I started looking around, and I had some good discussions with several people about what to do next (thanks to everyone who took some time for this!). i must admit I changed my mind several times. I was not necessarily looking for a developer position (quite the contrary, actually), as I knew that for me to be motivated for a new project as a developer, the project had to be one that I could care about, one that has a free software community around it and one that would get me out of my comfort zone (so not on the desktop nor on a distro) — yeah, not easy :-) But at some point, SUSE had this cool developer position related to OpenStack. Good timing. (Btw, we're still hiring!)

It's been great so far; of course, you need to ignore the buzz words ;-) I wanted a new challenge and I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, I got served: new project, new community, new code, etc. It didn't help that the hard disk in my laptop decided it was the perfect moment to die, and that Lenovo took weeks to send me a replacement disk (finally got it yesterday). But now I'm all set, so let's have fun!

Wednesday 11 July 2012

GUADEC 2012 program is published!

The program for GUADEC 2012 got published yesterday! Okay, it has been online for a week already, but there were some small adjustments to force the layout of the talks (due to some Indico bug, or maybe some misconfiguration on our side).

If you were still wondering if you should come, now you have no more excuse: great talks and cool keynotes (The History of GNOME will surely be full of fun stories!) during the core days, two slots of lightning talks, the Foundation AGM to get the latest update on the Foundation, our now traditional sport games (football, but possibly other sports too), and several BoF and hackfests... GUADEC will be quite busy!

So go check out the full GUADEC program! And many thanks to the sponsors who help us make this event happen: Canonical, Collabora, Google, Igalia, OpenShine, Open Innovation Network and the Linux Foundation.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

In Geneva for the RMLL

I arrived this morning in Geneva, for the RMLL 2012, the biggest french-speaking community-oriented event every year. It's the first time the RMLL move out of France, and it's also my first time where I actually stay in Switzerland for a few days instead of being there just for a flight connection. Good to go to foreign countries and still speak French, but it'd be even better if we could use euro to pay ;-)

This year again, I'm co-chairing a Communities track with Michael Scherer. We wanted to restrict the track to two days, but we had to add a third day to accept all talks we wanted to see in. In this track, we obviously have talks related to several french-speaking-specific organizations or projects, but we also have talks about communities and freedom in general, as well as talks presenting some theoretical approaches to communities.

The first day is nearly over, and I'm pleasantly surprised by the content: it's even more interesting than what I expected, and there is good discussion between the audience and the various speakers. Some highlights:

  • The presentation about Sigmah, for instance, showed some fascinating work in the world of NGOs.
  • Learning more about the challenges faced by LinuxFr.org (very popular free software news website) was also eye-opening, as it reflects on the evolution of the free software community in general: difficulties to get people to contribute, people getting older, social issues, etc.
  • I was also interested in what EnVenteLibre is doing: sharing the infrastructure needed for online shopping so that free software organizations don't have to each reinvent the wheel can make a big difference for those organizations.

Unfortunately, co-chairing a track has a side-effect: much less time to chat with people or stay in booths. If you want to discuss GNOME or openSUSE, though, just come and say hi!

Oh, and thanks to SUSE for letting me go to this event: it's really amazing to have an employer willing to help you contribute to the community world!

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by Vincent