GUADEC, Dublin

GUADEC is done and a success. Thanks to gman and his helpers it was the best yet. I really didn't expect it to run so smoothly, not because gman was organising it, but because none of seemed to be helping him enough. If only he could organise every GUADEC. Daniel Pisano also deserves many thanks for arranging the perfect accommodation.

My talk was a shambles again, possibly more than last year. I type up notes and then realise that I can't actually read them on the desk while I'm standing up, so I just show the slides and burble about what's on them. The talk is online, in a more structured form.

The combined efforts of several GNOME hackers got one of my WLAN cards working, and educated me about how to do WLAN networking stuff on the command line. Thanks Daniel Pisano (docpi) and frehberg in particular. It's kind of fun having the connection while sitting in the lecture halls, particularly irc, and it means you can get something done during the more dull presentations.

I was utterly demotivated before GUADEC and conciously avoided any new responsibility that might arrise from talking to people, but despite my determination to be glum, even I was eventually enthused by the sheer youth, energy, and activity around us.

We tend to forget it until after every GUADEC, but these face-to-face meetings really help to motivate us. Luckily it sounds like the Boston meeting will be repeated, somewhere else in America, so that other continent can get the benefit too.

Here are some significant people that I met this time:

  • RossBurton, Dan Alderman, and another colleague, who are using gtkmm quite intensively at OneEighty Software. Their company paid for their trip while I took unpaid holiday. Maybe I should ask for sponsorship next time. At least Dan bought me a Guiness, possibly the first direct payment that I've received for gtkmm. I wasn't expecting them to be there, so it was nice during my talk when I said that lots of corporations use gtkmm and someone in the audience backed up my claim.
  • Antonio Sáenz from Isotrol in Seville who also use gtkmm and who is getting more and more involved with GNOME and free-software itself. He's seems to be making good progress with local business and government in Spain and other countries too. Lots of other spanish oragnisations and individuals were at this year's GUADEC, so last year's GUADEC in Seville clearly had an impact.
  • Dave Malcolm, who is now working on Conglomerate with great enthusiasm and sense. This app isn't quite there yet, but it's very close to being a very usable generic XML editor with very wide appeal. It's an app that should exist. Dave should be on advogato.
  • jdahlin, who is working on the Python bindings, and actually tried to convert me from the evils of C++. Live and let live. jamesh stills seems to be the nicest person in the world, and had could at least claim that the ORBit bindngs are easier in Python. By the way, have you seen the GTK+ bindings page recently? It's vast.
  • The release-team, some of whom I had never met in person. Pensive silences during meetings are far more helpful when you can see people's faces. We worked out the final 2.4 new modules list, which I expect jdub will email soon. We're sorry that it's terribly terribly late.
  • Tim Ney, the GNOME Foundation director/administrator, and Leslie Proctor our invaluable PRist. These are two of the least known, but most positive and helpful people in our community. Also, Stormy Peters from HP, who seem to be supporting Linux and GNOME far more than I suspected.
  • Fernando Herrera, the new bug-buddy maintainer. It sounds like he's doing important stuff that will make it easier to triage bugs in future. More importantly, he's full of energy and is a good laugh while enjoying a Guinness.
  • Carlos Garnacho, the gnome-system-tools maintainer now that Ximian no longer expect to make money from them. I really wish these were ready for GNOME 2.4. I pray they are in GNOME 2.6. He seems really dedicated to them.

Before flying back I went on a quest for some UK-style essentials. Alpen and Cider. I should have bought some vegetables to avoid the strange look at the checkout.

Perpetual GNOME

Among other things, I put these pages together during some lectures:

Both of these need to be improved/updated by people who have more of a clue. I really hope that we can get the GNOME community running pretty much perpetually with no barrier to entry.

I've noticed that you can make a difference just by getting things started or asking what's happening. It doesn't take expertise to do that.


So I'm back in Linz, in connection hell. I think it's my WLAN antenna that's broken, but I have no idea how to get a new one in Austria without having one delievered from Germany at great expense.

I have found a spot where I can get a fairly reliable connection, but it is in the middle of the street and it's a problem when cars come by. This does not seem like something that an adult should be doing.

Oh, and work is deeply unpleasant. ClearCase now refuses to let us see our own source code. People pay for ClearCase, but I don't know why.