19:23 - Par Olivier Tilloy - Moovida
I am just back from GCDS (Gran Canaria Desktop Summit) where I gave a talk about Moovida. It was a short stay for me, as I arrived on Friday afternoon just in time for the registration process where I got a cool Qt beach towel, and left on Sunday night after the last talk.
Even though I would have liked to stay the whole week to attend more interesting talks and BOFs and to get to know more hackers, I must say I really enjoyed my stay in Las Palmas. I didn't see much of the city and nothing of the island really (except a bit of the coast from the plane), but I really liked eating next to the beach, facing the sea, and the Alfredo Kraus auditorium is an impressive building pretty well located. Good geographical conditions for such a summit, the first of its kind, bringing GNOME and KDE communities together.
It all started on Friday night at the welcome social event sponsored by Canonical (free beer and tapas) where I got to meet a bunch of interesting people, some of whom I knew from the projects they work on, some not. I got back to the hotel reasonably early and reasonably sober to do some adjustments to the presentation I was to give on Sunday.
The real stuff started on Saturday morning with three very interesting keynotes. Robert 'r0ml' Lefkowitz spoke about Liberal Software, what it is and what it is not, why he doesn't like to give credit to people and how he has a very medieval point of view in that regard. Pretty interesting and impressive as an orator. Then Walter Bender talked about Sugar and the work they are doing at Sugar Labs to promote the use of free software in education, especially in developing countries. I sure would get involved in that kind of project the day I have children. Finally Richard 'rms' Stallman took off his shoes and talked about software patents, about how evil the Spanish government is in that matter, how evil Microsoft is, why we should not write applications in C# and why we should even discourage people to do so. It would have been interesting indeed to have a confrontation with the guys behind Mono at Novell, but it seems they were not there, being kept busy with a release. And he sang the new version of the Free Software Song. And wore his costume of Saint IGNU-cius of the church of Emacs. And held an auction for a stuffed gnu that sold for 170€ (proudly acquired by Zaheer).
After a quick lunch break the afternoon was dedicated to a series of lightning talks (5 minutes each) on various topics, among which I found the following ones of interest: the Open-PC announcement by Frank Karlitschek, "Common interface bloopers and how to avoid them" by Matthew Paul Thomas, designer at Canonical, "Usability Testing for the Rest of Us" by Celeste Lyn Paul, OCRFeeder by Joaquim Rocha, and "KDE Bugzilla: Using the new options" by Alex Spehr. Of that last one I particularly liked the following statement: "~90% of the crash reports are unusable". Reminded me of a tool of ours that got a heavy face-lift recently but still needs a lot of work to produce really interesting results.
After all the conferences I got to meet Brian whom I knew through Launchpad and his multiple bug reports on elisa and moovida. Together with Philippe we sat down, had a look at a couple of problems he had running Moovida on OpenSolaris, and in no time we managed to understand and fix bug #381417. On the way back to the hotel he gave me some interesting insights on Sun's plans about OpenSolaris, his work to integrate GStreamer-based applications in it, and how from the feedback he got from users people seem to appreciate Fluendo's codecs and DVD player. It's always good to hear that of course.
After a refreshing nap I rehearsed one last time my presentation and went to sleep as there was no specific event on that night and I wanted to get early to the conference hall to test the setup of the room.
I spent the whole Sunday morning in the multimedia room and saw among others Lennart speak about audio on the free desktop, Jan on the direction GStreamer is taking towards a 1.0 version after more than 3 years of an ABI and API stable 0.10, and Olivier on integrating video conferencing in applications using Farsight.
And I gave my talk about Moovida, focused on its ease of use, the immersive experience it provides and how easy and cool it is to extend it writing plugins. I demoed some important features of the new version, and got overall some very positive feedback and interesting questions. That was a very good experience for me as my first talk in such an event, and despite the little bit of stress that may have resulted in a weird pronounciation and me forgetting things I wanted to say, I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to see the video of it to learn from my mistakes (and show it to my mum), and I'm looking forward to doing more of this in the future.
After a quick lunch in front of the sea where I joined Mark's table, I saw the opening of GUADEC with Owen presenting GNOME Shell, the presentation of GNOME Zeitgeist, a talk on how successful GNOME was in Google's Highly Open Participation Contest, and a series of lightning talks on the current state of Clutter, by Emmanuele. As the day was over for GNOME hackers I decided to attend the last KDE talk on semantic contextual menus, by Laura Dragan. They seem to have this interesting RDF data store mechanism in KDE which I'd need to have a look at one of these days.
With that it was already time to catch a cab to the airport to fly back to Barcelona. Let's make Moovida rock even more for the next event of this type!