About me

aka. aes

Lots of bugzilla hacking around 2001-2004; guilty for themus (urk) (now merged into gnome-control-center); less active involvement with GNOME core recently.

Most recent project: poppler-sharp http://www.aes.me.uk/bzr/poppler-sharp

Blog: http://www.aes.me.uk


Underneath here is my journal from the 3 days of GVADEC, which was the event for which this wiki was created in the first place.


  • Arrived in GUADEC. Went on a boat trip around Kristiansand which was fun. Met luis, jdub, jrb, mjg59 (again), others. Something I did discover was that I needed to bring NO->UK mains adapters, which I didn't, so I'm relying on stealing MatthewGarrett's whenever I have time.

    I talked to various people who I know via IRC only, this being my first GUADEC, then went off to find my accommodation. There were lots of rooms for floorspace and people were congregating in about 2 of them. I chose an empty one, dumped my stuff in it and went to sleep early (because I was reaching about 37 hours without sleep). I think this made people who arrived later avoid this room because no-one else appears to have arrived during the night... ok, I've got a room to myself then :)


  • We had an introduction from various important Kristiansand people like TimNey, the organisers, the Mayor and so on. Nat then asked everyone to introduce themselves which was interesting - as well as picking out names I recognised and attaching them to faces, it gave a good overview of what type of people were at the conference. As well as most of the core hackers, we've got lots of people involved in projects not part of the D&DP, and also lots of people who write normal apps or people who said "I'm not a hacker yet but I want to be." These are the most important people in the desktop world - 3rd party apps are what the bulk of programmers work on, and they're what make the desktop awesome. They're also the people best qualified to tell us what we're doing wrong from a 3rd party of ISV point of view.

  • Went to OwenTaylor's talk on TheFutureOfRenderingInGnome. Notes about that are on this Wiki; in general I'm quite excited about the whole-picture the GTK hackers are thinking about because I know that while GTK is going to carry on improving in lots of other ways like normal, people are thinking about using cool stuff like Cairo as a backend.

  • Nat did a keynote about how the Linux Desktop has changed from 1991 through to now and said that we've started targetting a larger userbase by focussing on usability and in the process we've lost hackers who were in the project to add crack features and gained new hackers who are interested in usability. He then went on to show how we can add really cool huge features without compromising usability - he demo'd one really cool search interface which I can't remember the name of which basically indexes the hard drive and then brings together all sorts of data when you do a search. So you can search for "Havoc Pennington" and it displays the contact from evo, recent pages in the web browser cache containing that text, google hits, local hits, and so on. Like the palm does when you do a search on that. It can also do file searches where the results appear in a new spacial nautilus window, or you click on the "Search" link in the list on the left of the file selector and it asks you for a keyword then displays the results in the file selector. Very, very, very cool.

    Update: The project is called Beagle

  • We had an impromptu QaBof with summary notes from Luis on the wiki. It has to be said that some of the summary notes are a bit opaque :P but they were scribbled down while we were talking, to be fair.

  • In the evening the Mayor of Kristiansand came to talk to us. For some reason, FLOSS is suddenly cool. I'm not sure why, but the more people who get excited about it the better :)


  • I got up a bit late this morning since I had to do a fire watch until 3am. Never mind, it just meant I missed Bdale's keynote.
  • I went to a few talks in the morning, and was going to go to Edd's metadata talk when I saw Fernando Herrera. We talked about some bugzilla stuff, which resulted in me creating a bugzilla218 module in CVS and committing some stuff to it. It's completely broken and won't run - this is intentional - but it's a start at getting our custom patches into the 2.17.7 tree. A fast upgrade to 2.18, when it's released, would be good especially since people keep asking me about XML-RPC (which is easy with 2.17+).
  • Had lunch, then chaired the 3 talks in B1-018. The accessibility talk was especially interesting, and a shame it was squeezed into only half an hour. It was a double act by Bill Haneman and Marc Mulcahy, the latter of whom is a blind hacker who is quite amazing in that when he's using a computer you wouldn't realise he's blind.
  • Had a Foundation members' meeting in which the board announced several things, including that they were considering a grant scheme to allow the Foundation to formally pay travel expenses, hardware hackers need, etc. This will formally be announced today. The big exception is that they will not pay for people to code - which I think is good, since the community is currently driven by fun and making the right technical decision and not by money.
  • Barbecue and bar. I talked to Luis quite a bit about bug stuff; Novell actually have a box allocated to binary CVS snapshots of GNOME but no-one employed to run it. Luis is looking into allowing it to be community managed (which is a huge amount of work, but may be our only way of getting CVS binary snaps which I think are extremely important).


  • Went to the Software Patents talk. I felt the speaker jumped around quite a bit, but he definitely brought up some interesting points including the fact that the patents we are seeing now are about 5-7 years old when the software patent situation was in the sidelines. The patents we'll be getting when the ones that are being proposed now go through could be very scary. I hope GNOME and Free Software will survive the next few years; I think I'm going to be more active in opposing patents in Europe as far as I can, but I don't really know how to go about it.
  • Someone (I can't remember who, sorry) brought up an interesting comment that was apparently made in the IBM talk; GNOME should have a box running a system similar to VNC and GNOME HEAD. Then people who are asked the ultra-unuseful comment in bug reports, "Does this problem still exist in CVS?", can answer in a more constructive way that "Wuh?" They can log on to the server and try it out. Coolness. Let's do it.
  • Dave Camp did a GNOME Roadmap talk. The GNOME Roadmap is a document saying what we're hacking on and what's likely to be done in a particular release, based on what maintainers are doing. What I think would be cool is if we could have a community consensus based on feedback from the roadmap, so if there is an item on the roadmap for the next release about HAL (for example) and HAL is going into that release, we as a community can try to make relevant apps support HAL if they don't already. Essentially the idea is targetted releases, especially in cases where we are gaining extra infrastructure in our platform. I'm going to bring this up on a mailing list in more detail when I'm back from GUADEC, so if relevant we can think about it for 2.8.

AndrewSobala (last edited 2008-02-03 14:46:48 by localhost)