07 December, 2010

GNOME Development Documentation and Tools Hackfest 2010.

I spent the last 4 days attending the Gnome Development Documentation and Tools Hackfest, which was held at Openismus offices in Berlin. The venue was just the most convenient for the event, since with such weather (-15ºC one of the days), the days turned to be very productive... no one wanted to spend much time outside!.

Almost all the attendees arrived during Wednesday evening and to compensate their (most of them) long journeys, we had a great dinner at the Massai's African restaurant (courtesy of Openismus). Hard work started the day after.

We spent almost one day trying to make an agenda with the topics we would like to cover during the hackfest and finally focused on two main themes, the "GNOME developer platform" and the "developer stories" or put another way, "who is going to use GNOME and what for?". After this, we did some brainstorming on the way we wanted to make this possible and some ideas came out.

First, we realized after some discussion, that most of the people find it difficult to know how to get started working on GNOME, so one of the agreement points from the very beginning, was that a platform overview needs to be done. Here, questions such as 'where is 'x'?' and 'what is 'x' for?', among others, would be answered. We also want to do this in a way that is attractive for getting developers involved and convince managers that GNOME makes the difference. After some more discussion and work, the idea took form and now you can already see the results in the form of a screenshot.

An other idea that we decided to put into practice, was the initiative of writing  ten-minute introduction tutorials for various GNOME technologies (first in five target languages: C, C++, Python, Vala and Javascript) in order to show what kind of easy and amazing things one is able to do in a lunch break time period. I was involved in this team and my task was to create a very small simple image viewer GTK+ application in the C language (the tutorial is coming soon). For writing the documentation, we decided to use Mallard, so Schaun gave us a small and very useful introduction on it. You can see all the mini applications and some of the tutorials in the GNOME git repository. Please note that they haven’t been fully reviewed yet.

The hackfest went very nicely and the desire of being collaborative and helpful was present during the whole event. I am happy I was there and had the chance to meet all these people and be useful in a way. Thanks to everybody for comming, as well as to those who read in the planet GNOME that we were meeting, and just appeared by own iniciative in the office and joined us, like Konstantine or Clemens, which might join us at the Desktop Summit 2011 with some cool design thinking workshop again!!

01 December, 2010

MeeGo and The MeeGo Conference 2010.

I was at the MeeGo Conference in Dublin. We were very busy from the first minute we arrived there until the last day we came back, and it was pretty productive.

But, what is MeeGo?
For those of you who do not know about MeeGo (taken from the Meego project Website):
"MeeGo is an open source, Linux project which brings together the Moblin project, headed up by Intel, and Maemo, by Nokia, into a single open source activity. MeeGo integrates the experience and skills of two significant development ecosystems, versed in communications and computing technologies. The MeeGo project believes these two pillars form the technical foundations for next generation platforms and usages in the mobile and device platforms space."

What was the conference about? 
We arrived at the airport and went straight to the hotel, where we left all our stuff. Then, we decided to go for a walk to the center and try some Irish specialities. The center of Dublin is quite lovely!

Back to the hotel, we decided to go to the Aviva Stadium, where the conference was taking place (yes, in such an unusual and great location). There was a lot of work to be done before everything was prepared for the next day, so we helped a bit on this before we all went to bed.

We started the day having a great Irish breakfast all together at the hotel and then went straight to the Stadium.

The whole morning was busy with Keynotes where AMD announced that it was joining the The Linux Foundation’s MeeGo project, and Intel announced that all Meego Conference's attendees would get a Lenovo s10-3t tablet netbook.

In the early evening I attended some different talks. I started with "Meego Infrastructure", where OBS (openSUSE build service) was introduced and followed with "Meego on BeagleBoard", which was interesting but I missed some practical or "in use" example. Afterwards, I went to some other talks about learning from past mistakes and designing Meego apps (which were not really focused on Meego).

In the evening, after a nice reception organized by Novell and doing some networking, the whole Openismus' crew went out together for dinner.

We woke up very early to avoid the crowd and got tickets for the football match (Ireland vs. Norway) on Wednesday evening (courtesy of the organisation as well). We got those very easily but for the netbooks we had to stay in the queue a little bit longer. Once we got them , the organization gave us a pendrive with Meego OS on it, for a "do it yourself" installation·. I must admit, that I was kind of surprised when I turned the netbook on and saw that Windows 7 was installed on it... I would have expected some Open Source OS at least.

Some hours later, I got to know a Nokia representative who I talked with, about the new Qt mini project I am currently working on. Showing interest on it, he gave me an N900 in order to test on the device. What a day of presents!

I spent the rest of the day attending different talks. The ones I especially enjoyed were those based on designing apps for Meego devices and the ones focused on OBS, for instance, "Rolling your first package in the openSUSE Build Service (OBS)".

To finish  the day, a party at the Guinness Storehouse was organized for the evening.

This was an unconferenced day, so anybody who wanted to give a talk, could book his/her slot on a public board and just present it. The most interesting talk of the day was definitely LibreOffice's talk.

We spent the rest of the evening in the football match, well, I spent just the first part of the game watching it. Since I am not a football fan, I decided to spend the rest of the time inside chatting with some people. Norway won!

What did I learn and what are my impressions?
Although this is a very young project and there is still much work to be done, I had a good impression about the way it is developing and the whole infrastructure and organization behind it.

From the conference, I can say that there is a positive feeling and collaboratively-working community surrounding this new born and helping to make it grow strong. It fed more than enough attendees's curiosity concerning Qt Quick and OBS as well, the two star technologies in this project. Since MeeGo targets a wide variety of devices, they need very flexible developing technologies supporting them, and therefore,  a large number of talks were focused on this two subjects.

I am very optimistic about this. Let's stay with our eyes wide open observing and contributing to make this baby grow up healthy!

Interesting links:
MeeGo Conference session videos.
MeeGo Conference 2011.