Only a few days left before the Desktop Summit 2011, I'm really looking forward to wander around in Berlin again. I'm excited and almost counting hours before my flight out on friday morning! Yes, I'll be there:
And I'm not just attending, I'm also giving a talk on monday during the afternoon (3:20pm to 3:50pm). It's titled "We're a family" and it's a look back at the efforts I put into a Community/University collaboration in Toulouse for the past few years. I had talks around that topic already for an Akademy, but this one is going to be special for two reasons.
First, it'll be much less about the organizational challenges such a collaboration carries than the human impacts it can generate. Here it'll really be about showing the bonds it created among the people participating in this collaboration, and the opportunities it created for the students in the community projects. It will also cover the local and global influences those students had on the community.
Second, the course of study where this collaboration was taking place is closing... Right now it's not yet clear if the students projects we had in the past will still be possible. So this talk is really a wrap up about what happened in Toulouse for the past few years, and probably a "goodbye". Even if we manage to create a new collaboration somehow, this talk marks the end of an era. That's why we tried and managed to line up several generation of students related to this adventure. We'll have a lot to share, but maybe not enough time for all the most juicy secrets. ;-)
So, if you're looking for some laugh, tears, and insights on such a Community/University collaboration, hopefully it'll be the right talk to attend. Don't miss it!
On my side I'm putting the finishing touch to the talk, and of course it'll be ready on time.
One of my good memories from this year Akademy will be about Glyn Moody's keynote. I admit I was a bit skeptical at first with the title:
It could sound like a somehow arrogant way of seeing the hacker community... Except that Glyn has an outsider point of view primarily beeing a journalist. And as a good journalist he gave us facts, simply about what already happened (the genome sequencing example was particularly inspiring as free software saved the day there), and how the free software movement influenced other movements. It looks like a snow ball effect leading us toward more sharing and less egoism. I think that most of us started contributing to free software out of some sort of optimism and because we're aiming at some utopia. Along the way we might loose hope, and not have the idealism in mind anymore simply trying to see free software have more market shares, etc. Thanks a lot Glyn for reminding us why we started contributing at all, and for all the hope you gave us by simply showing that free software is already making a difference in this world.
Those who know me also know that because of both my research career and my free software involvement I attended a lot of conferences and talks. And I really mean a lot. Still, I had to wait for the very first keynote of the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit to attend the finest, and brightest talk I ever attended. It was very rich, didn't simply stick to the technical side of things but got deep into various fields, most notably philosophy. Of course the speaker deserves credit. So if you see this man giving a talk near you:
Simply run and attend his talk. He's also a very nice person, and since he uses free software, he probably matches perfectly his own quote from his keynote (which is getting famous):
Liberal software is software which a gentleman would use.
Bad, bad ervin! I didn't blog during this year Akademy while I usually do it. So this year I'll try to post a few "after the facts" blogs, and I'll call this short serie "Memories of Akademy 2009". OK, I didn't blog, but this year I took pictures, and I uploaded them to my brand new gallery. Go get them!
As usual, long time without blogging from me. A lot happened since the last time, but I'm too tired (and probably lazy) to write about it now. Some of it will be covered in my talks for Akademy 2009.
Of course, Air being almost out of the door we deserve a new updated LaTeX beamer template. Since I wrote the Oxygen template, I decided to produce a new one based on the great work from Nuno. As usual I'm providing a tarball with the template, and you can take a look at an example presentation
And tomorrow morning, very early, I'll meet some more gearheads from Toulouse, and we'll take the plane for Gran Canaria. Looking forward to it! See you all in Las Palmas.
OK, that was really short, I'll try to blog more during the conference. I swear!
This week I've been participating to the FISL conference in Porto Alegre. I held a 3 hours long tutorial here to introduce students to Qt and KDE development frameworks. The feedbak I got was pretty good, the questions were interesting and I even managed to cover what I was planning during this session. It's been really enjoyable.
Apart from that, I've been mostly hanging at the Trolltech/KDE booth, or the speaker's room. Lot of interesting people here. I've been very impressed by the INDT people, they're a very nice and smart bunch of people.
Today is my last day in Brazil, since it's sunday I'm going to relax a bit with Andreas and Thiago. It's been great being here. I'm really looking forward to being back home, that said spending 14 hours in plain will probably be a pain. That's all for now, I'll probably blog again about Akademy 2008 CFP when I get back home.
My last evening in Bangalore has been spent at Atul's place with all the other speakers around and the organization team for the "Speaker Party". Once again great food, and great people to discuss with.
I left a bit early with Till, Volker, Christian, Kartik and Sheela. I got back to the hotel with Kartik while Till, Volker and Christian left to the airport to take their plane.
This way I had some sleep, and early in the morning I got a car sent by the organizers to get to the airport. Had my flight for Mumbai with no problem, and arrived in time. I have to admit that Mumbai airport is much bigger and cleaner than the Bangalore one. There, Pradeepto was waiting for me and picked me up to go to a hotel in Panvel (a small town near Mumbai). I'm staying there for the next few days because I'm attending Pradeepto's wedding.
This post is officially the last one about FOSS.in 2007. But likely not my last one from India this year, I'll probably blog about Mumbai and the wedding. As for FOSS.in, I have a short list of things which I'll definitely remember (in no particular order):
- Most of the talks are all done by high profile speakers... I even wonder how I got talks there. You definitely have the best people in their field coming here. The "who's who" of the Indian Free Software contributors is there, but you also have quite a lot of famous international Free Software contributors. If you don't believe me, look at this year speakers list but also past years... I hardly know any other conference with such speaker lists (except maybe FOSDEM).
- The organization team is just awesome and I'll really miss them all. Lovely and interesting people... I admit I was a bit heart broken when I had to leave the speaker party. I'm looking forward to meet them all again.
- The party at Opus, nice karaoke club, terrific atmosphere... and Shlipa learning how to count people when drunk (I'll never let you forget this moment). @Shreyas: No need to smile while reading this, you were half drunk too, remember? ;-)
- The high quality of the organization (the organizers again, but also the volunteers and the logistics around the conference), it was just perfect. I've been speaker in quite a few conferences, and I've never seen something like this. As a speaker, you're never let on your own, you always get help for anything, and you can feel it's all done with a great pleasure. In short: it's the best organized conference I've ever been to. And I don't see another one beating this team anytime soon.
Last day of FOSS.in I had some network problems, and I've been left with almost no access since then. Hence why I'm blogging this only now and the entry will be slightly short.
The last two days were marked by a few talks I attended. Particularly, Danese Cooper talk was brilliant, she's one of the best speakers I know. This talk was very interesting, and relevant to most people employed to work on Free Software. How to keep your ethics. How to make your employer move forward in the right direction. Are important part of the equation now that we see more and more companies involved in Free Software development.
Of course other outstanding talks were the ones by Till and Volker about Akonadi. Very well done guys! It gave me a very good overview of what Akonadi is, and how to develop with it. I already claimed in the past that I would never ever work on the kdepim codebase... Honestly they gave me the will to work on Akonadi based PIM stuff which is a small miracle. Akonadi really looks like the way to go for PIM: shareable accross desktops, lightweight yet powerful, a nice and clean API taking care of years of experience from our PIMsters. Congrats to everybody involved.
Last but not least, the talk from Andrew Cowie about how to become a contributor was quite nice too. The idea to do it along with Shreyas was terrific, it gave a very entertaining talk. Too bad there was too much content for the allocated slot and they had technical issue at the beginning of the talk. They had to rush in the end, which is unfortunate for such an important topic.
Finally, we had the official closing of the conference, it started with a talk by Rusty Russell. Basically he was asked to give a talk which would give everybody the will to become a contributor. Then, he came up with the very nice idea to explain is own story, and to invite other kernel hackers to do the same. After that he invited Sheela on stage and she made her first patch to the kernel in live. That patch was sent on the relevant lists, we learnt later that it got applied and will be shipped in the next kernel... Yes, that was that easy! In the end of his talk he invited almost all the attendance on the stage: contributors, users, people knowing developers, etc.
Atul then got on stage to the closing talk, he invited a few people to talk about other indian conferences and events around Free Software. There's so much potential here that it's really nice to see some dynamics around this topic in India.
It was the opening day for the conference part of the event. Very nice introduction by Atul in my opinion. The keynote was nice too, getting some insights about Anjuta development, where it came from etc.
Then, I attended Holger's talk about Open Embedded, interesting stuff too. It really shows the difficulties of having to deal with small devices and how it impacts the community.
After lunch (ah! great food again!), I hanged into the Hacking Room for most of the afternoon showing bits of KDE, discussing the design, trying to give information on how to get started with some of our frameworks. Nice and interesting people were here to discuss. Because of that I missed the QtWebKit talk by Simon, but it was worth it.
And finally, I had my last presentation, about the student projects we did last year in my University (and we have a sequel running this year), it had some exclusive data in it on how it's going this year. I got really nice feedback to this talk, truely nice to see so many students and a few professors in the room. There's definitely some will to replicate this and I'd love to help such efforts. We'll see where it goes...
Since the first day of the conference was over, we moved to a restaurant... Followed by some of the organizers, we ended up being 20 people in there. Was a traditional "on the banana leaf" restaurant. Great people (again), awesome food (again)... I ended the day full and happy!
Daily report from FOSS.in (at least I try). It was the day were we had the KDE project day, so I was of course hanging in the KDE room all day. Unfortunately it was a quite remote room, which didn't make it easy to find us, but we had our share of people, and at least we were sure they were motivated to find us. ;-)
Overall we had nice talks, and of course nice questions. I'm not that happy with my talks too, I think I somehow missed the target audience, but I learnt from this and will do better next time.
In the evening we had a nice party in a karaoke bar. The food was great, the people too. At the end of the party one of the organizer was drunk, she had to count us ten times to know how many taxis to get. In the end we had our taxi and went back to the hotel.
For those wondering: no, I won't give the name of the drunk organizer for her own sake... I've been told it'd be disclosed by other bloggers anyway. :-)
I got my flight to Bangalore yesterday after a night in a cheap hotel near CDG airport. In case you'd wonder: yes CDG airport is still as bad as usual... For instance I met Till and Volker there and we didn't manage to buy wifi time there. Their portal was sooo confusing...
Anyway, we just sit in the plane and after a few hours (with a headache for me) we arrived safely in Bangalore airport. No bagage got lost so after a bit of waiting we got out of the airport. There, Atul and a couple of other people from FOSS.in organization.
We crashed out at the hotel and woke up ready for the first day of the conference. After breakfast we got to the venue which is a nice building in my opinion. I used my day to keep up with mail, prepare myself for tomorrow talks, add the final touch to my main conference talk and discuss with people. It's really nice to meet them, lot of nice folks!
The lunch break was great too (I could I come here without talking about food?). I really enjoyed it, veggie and spicy! We also got joined by Danese Cooper and a few other people, the discussions were very interesting. Last but not least that's the time when the famous Pradeepto joined us. Always a pleasure to see him!
Now leaving for dinner... Later people!
Damn! I didn't even finish my blogging about the Oslo sprint... so much stuff to do. Well, I'll probably make another post about it, more focused on the results we obtained regarding Solid and what I learned there (in short: a lot!).
The three weeks which followed were quite exhausting. First just after the Oslo sprint, we still had quite some work to finish the required refactoring in time for the freeze on the 1st May. But we managed to merge the branch, do the work and have it working for the Alpha1. So you'll get nice Solid and Phonon with kdelibs 4.0 Alpha1. There's probably a couple of cleanups to do until the 4.0 release, but nothing huge. In my opinion, the APIs matured quite a bit thanks to the trolls expertise. Once again it proves that when you work next to other people next door you can achieve far more in less time. We should really keep in mind that more sprints are good for the project!
After that I spent most of my time on my PhD... My life was the one of a monomaniac: sleep, eat, write, sleep eat write, etc. But now I have issued the first draft of my PhD thesis! Was hard but worth it, there's only half a chapter missing because I'm waiting for someone else data. That's just nice to finally see something that looks like a thesis, not a bunch of notes and files scattered on my disks. It's now in the lab for internal review. When it'll be done I'll write the missing bit (hopefully it should be straightforward) and be able to enter the official review process... and maybe get my diploma. That's still a few months away though, since because of the length of the review process and the summer coming the (potential) diploma won't be delivered before september or october. Administration takes holidays very seriously here. :-)
And now? Well, I'm going to travel again! Actually I noticed that I'm only spending two or three weeks at home between my trips this year... It's going to last like this until aKademy. But, the coming trip has something special, I'll be on the other side of the globe this time, the first time I go that far. I got a paper accepted to AAMAS 2007 and since I'll attend tomorrow morning I'll travel to Honolulu by plane.
Since I'm staying longer for obvious reasons, I'll be back home in two weeks. I don't know since I'll probably have trouble having internet access (depends a lot on the conference organisation): see you in two weeks!
I attended FOSDEM 2007 this week-end. It was my first time there, it's really a great event. It looks a bit like a system at the edge of chaos... but it self-organizes correctly. There's always something happening because of an insane amount of talks. It's even a bit frustrating at times because you definitely can attend only a few talks. Which means you have to choose very carefully... I admit I was disappointed by two really bad talks but no big deal.
Particularly interesting was the OpenMoko talk. I'd say it's nothing ground breaking on the technical side, but it looks great from a business model perspective... Definitely looks like a tempting cell phone for hackers. :-)
Also amazing was the attendance during the KDE 4 talk. The room was just full, it was difficult to find a seat. Jos Poortvliet did a very good job at summarizing the current state of the matter. Keep up the good work Jos!
Apart from the talks, FOSDEM has proven to be just great for socializing. It's great to meet known friends again, to put faces on people you only know from IRC or mail, and new people. That's probably the best advantage of FOSDEM, a lot of different projects are present there, so it's really easy to discuss with them. The cross-desktop and education sessions just showed it.
Wednesday and thursday went nicely. We continued our work during BoF, some outcome will surely be interesting. In particular Adept usability will surely be improved, and the plan for powermanagement in edgy has been consolidated. This release will surely be quite interesting regarding both points. I'm confident that it'll have some other improvements though. ;-)
Thursday afternoon, David Faure arrived and it was really nice to meet him again. It was a small surprise since we didn't expect him that early.
We got contacted by Philippe Fremy that offered to meet in Paris center for dinner. All the KDE and Kubuntu attendance went in the center. We had some troubles to get there by train... apparently the police found a suspect baggage. We finally arrived but at least one hour later than expected. The italian restaurant was quite nice, we had a long table at the first floor and were almost alone during the dinner. It was an opportunity to strengthen even more the relationship between the KDE and Kubuntu communities. Thanks a lot Philippe for this good idea and the great evening.
Finally friday came after a very short night since we got back to the hotel early in the morning. After a few hours sleep we were ready to work again! A few more BoF took place... until some of us left one by one. It's always sad to see people that you like are leaving: Ellen, David, Peter, Sebastian, Tonio, etc. This time I'll also have a thought for Myriam Schweingruber, she's a very kind person from the Free Software Foundation Europe. We had interesting discussions together and that was a great pleasure to have her around. I'll miss you Myriam!
For this evening, I plan to stay away from the exciting stuff, which means that I won't go to the "Au revoir Dinner" organized by Canonical in Paris center. I just don't feel like going to sleep late and being in a hurry tomorrow to pack my stuff and go to the airport. So I'll have dinner in a small restaurant nearby and I'll surely be back early.
It marks the end of my report from the Kubuntu Developers Summit, see you later folks!
The Ubuntu Developers Summit is taking place near Paris since yesterday. I arrived in the hotel on sunday with two Canonical employees who work on Malone (afaik). They were quite friendly and we chatted a bit during sunday afternoon.
People came one by one, and we started to team up. I was glad to meet Jonathan Riddell once again, we shared some fun in a bumper car as one of his photos prove it. It was really nice to go into one of those after so many years, I was like a child for a moment. Thank you for this Jonathan! ;-)
During dinner we had the opportunity to wish Aaron a happy birthday, I hope it was a nice evening for him even if he was away from his home for this important day.
On monday, we had an introduction session. And then the BoF themselves... almost no kubuntu BoF were scheduled, so I attended other topics of interest, some of the discussions were really great. The idea of using TeamSpeak to allow people to virtually attend the submit is nice in theory, but proven to be difficult in practice (it tends to work badly on some computers, some people are missing headset, etc.). We'd surely need something to replace it.
Today, started a bit similarly to monday... A short introduction, and not many Kubuntu or KDE related BoF scheduled. It's a bit unfortunate, but the KDE and Kubuntu people there decided to start to work on some of our topics today trying to fit in each others schedule. It was definitely the way to go, we've been really productive. At the moment sebas is even working on a prototype addressing the power management spec. "Strangely" we didn't see Aaron much today... too much beer yesterday night? ;-)
It's really a nice start for this summit, I'm looking forward to the next few days. We still have quite a few topics to address, but if we keep the productivity as high as today, I'm confident that we'll finish in time.
Last but not least, I'd like to thanks again the Canonical crew and Mark Shuttleworth for the nice organization and the invitation, that's really appreciated.
For the last day in Boston, I managed to walk a bit around before going to the airport, it was pleasant. Moreover I managed to buy postcard... but not stamps. The only place I've found stamps I needed to use a machine and I didn't figure out how to use it. So I'll deliver my postcards by hand it seems. :-)
In the airport I noticed that the booked Paris/Toulouse flight was planned for Paris Orly, while I was supposed to arrive in Paris CDG... hmm changing airport, lot of trouble ahead. Luckily the Air France crew in the Boston airport was kind enough to modify my ticket in order to get my connection in CDG, which doesn't mean "no trouble" either since CDG is really messy. Here what happened. My plane landed in the terminal 2F but we didn't have the right to go in 2F ourselves, so we had to take a bus to go in 2C (still following?). But (and that's where it starts to be ridiculous), when I arrived in 2C I had to take yet another bus since I was supposed to check-in my Paris/Toulouse flight in 2F... that's sick. In particular when you have only 30 minutes between the two flights. But, I don't care anymore I'm finally home!
Now it's time to relax a bit, before going back to work tomorrow. I'm also happy to see that some of my feelings about the discussions I had during the Gnome Summit are shared. It was definitely worth it, thanks again to all the people involved!
Today is my last day in Boston. I'll take my flight back to France in a few hours. I'm taking my time, relaxing a bit before I take my plane. I'll surely go to the airport early and try to buy postcards from there... I didn't manage to find an open postoffice, since it's the Thanksgiving week-end, lot of shops are closed.
This week-end was really nice, attending this summit was really a great opportunity. I've been well accepted there, we had fruitful discussions, and I hope it'll be the beginning of a better collaboration between KDE and Gnome in some important areas. We can definitely do a lot of interesting things and push the UNIX desktop at another level. It could become the only platform I know proposing two different desktops (in philosophy, etc.) while keeping consistency when it makes sense with shared frameworks under the hood. Of course, it'll be a permanent trade-off to also keep diversity, and we'll have to make compromises in order to make everybody happy... interesting times.
Finally, the funny thing is that I more or less discovered two cultures this week-end, the american culture and the Gnome hacker culture. Yes, they have a different culture in their own community, and that's perfectly fine: diversity. I like to go in another country and discover some different habits, way of thinking, etc. I had this exact same feeling with the fellow Gnome hackers. Of course, I'm also happy to go back home, both in my country and in the KDE community. ;-)
Now, it's time for me to move on, I'll take a breakfast/lunch in one or two hours, and then try to find my way to the airport. I'll surely won't blog before I get home. See you later all!
This morning I woke up early, even if I get back to the hotel a bit late yesterday. We had dinner in the Cambridge Brewing Company yesterday night... It's really an interesting concept, this bar/restaurant does its own beer! It's really a nice restaurant... and of course a loooot of beer has been drunk at my table. Since most of the people I had dinner with arrived a bit late today, I suppose it was a bit hard for them to wake up. :-)
Finally, this morning we basically waited for people to arrive. Once again I was the first one in the Stata Center, changing timezone has some advantages after all, so I used some of my time putting together slides about my views on the current status of FreeDesktop.org and how we could improve some things. Of course, I know some of my positions might not be shared, but I consider that it's a nice way to try to present the "fd.o perception from the random KDE guy" now that I met some Gnome hackers.
I attended the DBUS BoF, it was interesting. It was the last BoF before lunch, so I jumped out of the room and fought again for pizza, another round of free food!
After lunch, we took some time with David Zeuthen and John Palmieri to discuss about HAL, NetworkManager, DBUS, etc. It opened some interesting opportunities for collaborating. I'm confident it'll give some interesting results, some things are already in the pipe. I gave to David my slides about FreeDesktop, it could be the start of a broader thinking about FreeDesktop to go toward improvements.
It looks like we'll sooner or later prove that we can get really good relationships between Gnome and KDE and share when it makes sense.
Woke up early this morning, so I started looking at my mails. And then prepared to go out. I decided to not take my breakfast in the hotel (don't ask me why... I was just tempted by taking a "pedestrian breakfast". I walked down the street in the general direction for the subway station. Explored a bit the streets around, and found a place to buy a breakfast, took a "small" hot chocolate (and they're not joking since I burnt my mouth) and a muffin... The chocolate was far enough for me (and they call this "small"!), the muffin was big. Everything is larger here, cars are larger, street are largers, train are larger... I'm not a tall guy, and I feel even smaller here. =)
Took my breakfast under the rain, next to a tree (in order to protect myself) in a park near my hotel. And then took the subway, it went almost smoothly (had some difficulties finding the right track in the station) and reached the MIT Stata Center easily... but, very early! I was there at 8am (but the event starts at 9am). I helped some people around to prepare stuff for the attendance, and people where slowly coming.
I chatted a bit with people around they generally look amazed when I tell them that I'm a KDE developer ("what the hell is he doing here?") but that's well accepted of course, they are friendly. I feel like a diplomat, I've already some possibilities for cooperation between both projects through books ideas someone raised to me. I have to admit that it's really tempting... some topics we could cover would be interesting.
My diplomat role became even more "official" during the presentation session, during this session everybody had to introduce themselves. I then stated that I was basically here to improve collaboration and sharing in my own area (hardware discovery and interaction) but that if some Gnome developers wanted to point some other area where we could do better, they just have to ask me and then I'll take the time to push the information to the right persons in the KDE community. Ok, we have the FreeDesktop but most Gnome people don't know KDE people working in the same topics (and vice versa).
For lunch, we had loooot of pizza sponsored by IBM. Very good idea, free geek food!
I contacted David Zeuthen already, he's really friendly and passionated about his work. I'm sure it'll be really a pleasure to work more with him in the future. Because of the small discussions we had with him and some other people working on DBUS or HAL, we'll surely have a BOF about FreeDesktop tomorrow.
This evening I'll surely go to dinner with other people that expressed an interest in improving the collaboration between both projects. It'll surely be interesting. Overall, I'm really happy to be here, doing all that. :-)
Today started with a call from Air France informing me that my flight from Toulouse to Paris CDG had been cancelled. Grrreat! Initially they only proposed me to take another flight going to Paris Orly (which means troubles to get to Paris CDG) or to reschedule for tomorrow (which is plain stupid when you have just two days). I told them I need some time to think about it (and take a shower and shave...). They finally called me back again proposing another flight going to CDG directly... but I had only 45 minutes to reach the airport and check-in. Which meant no breakfast... and possibly troubles for going from home to the airport. But thanks to E. (a fellow PhD student) who kindly proposed to take me to the airport I was in time!
And that was the start of a looooong day... since I got to CDG earlier than expected I waited more hours before taking my flight to Boston. I was wondering if the situation was about to get worse to the point where I would actually live in CDG (something similar to Tom Hanks situation in The Terminal). :-)
The flight went well, lot of time... reading, watching movies, "eating" in the plane, and finally we landed! Some formality with the border... which looks impressive to me. I mean they took my fingerprints, and a picture of me. As if the passport wasn't enough... weird.
The last step was to reach the hotel, I took a courtesy bus and surprise the driver was speaking french almost fluently. :-)
So now, I'm writing this from the hotel, using the free wifi network. It's really terrific, this is the best hotel I have ever seen! I had almost the feeling that I landed in another planet when I entered it. It looks a bit retro, that's really a nice touch. I definitely like it.
Ok, time to sleep now... otherwise it'll be difficult to be productive.
Yes, I'll obviously attend this year Gnome Summit. I expect this to be very interesting, I'm planning to meet at least a part of the HAL crew... I'll surely learn a lot of things which is always a good thing. I'm looking forward to meet clee again, I just hope I'll interact more with him this time (we didn't succeed during Malaga, shame).
I'll take my flight tomorrow around noon. I hope I won't be too tired when I'll land there. I just need to finish to pack my stuff, I'm almost done.
That's really a great opportunity, I'm really feeling a lot of gratitude for Waldo and the persons at Intel involved in this trip. It would have been impossible to make it without this Intel sponsoring.