2 Jul 2006 menthos   » (Master)

I'm back from my 6th GUADEC. I actually got back early Saturday morning, but it has taken some time to sort things out. Interesting to see that it is actually almost as hot in the south of Sweden as in Vilanova, which is kind of rare. But naturally the surroundings are not nearly as dried up as in Spain. My gold fish are still alive and well in the small garden pond.

GUADEC was a big success, as always. The OpenOffice.org and Firefox l10n talks during the warm-up weekend were very interesting, but the difference in attitudes was astonishing. The OpenOffice.org guy was all about enabling different cultures and minority languages to create and view content in their own language. In short, every effort mattered.
On the other hand, the Firefox guy the next day focused primarily on the number of downloads a particular localization would bring. He would prioritize the methods and procedures for a big language over a smaller language any day, in the hope for higher download rates.
It's a pity that neither of them attended the other one's talk, because I think that would have brought an interesting discussion. I am fully convinced that we in GNOME are closer to the OpenOffice.org spirit in this area. Every effort matters, and while some of our tools and process doesn't currently fit every team, it is certainly our goal to make that happen.

Other talks that rocked was the "Creating Passionate Users" talks by Kathy Sierra. It was mostly documentation-oriented, but it truely made you want writing exciting technical docs, no matter how strange it sounds. Of course the "Big GNOME Deployments" talk also rocked. It's exciting to know that there are whole states where there are computers running GNOME in basically every village.

But the most exciting talk of all was the presentation of the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) talk, made by Jim Gettys. There are all sorts of challanges with that, both hardware-wise and software-wise. It is also poses a huge challenge for localization. The talk and discussions focused mostly on technical limits with i18n, and I forwarded the notes from this and discussed this with Danilo Segan, the intltool co-maintainer, and it looks like most of the issues can be solved.

Danilo also presented his new status pages at the conference. Danilo, you rock! Hopefully we can bring the status pages online soon. Unfortunately, I just learned that there has been some trouble with the shipment of the server that the GNOME Foundation was supposed to get donated for this purpose. Let's hope this gets sorted out.

Photo of Danilo Šegan

Among the new people that I met was Sigurd Gartmann, a Norwegian translator, and Benjamin Berg. Benjamin is a young GTK+ theme engine hacker from Germany, and he was all excited about his first GUADEC. He was even more excited when he got his hands on my Nokia 770 when we had a beer at a Vilanova beach cafe one evening. Only a few seconds later, he was all over the UI of the device, testing widget responsiveness and stuff. When I met Benjamin at lunch the last day of the conference, he was extremely happy: Appearantly he had since met and discussed with a Nokia developer, who then subsequently had given him a Nokia 770. I think that was an extremely good decision, and I am confident that we will hear more from Benjamin in the future...

Photo of Sigurd Gartmann

Photo of Benjamin Berg (middle) and Kristen Nielsen (right)

Last but not least, it seems everyone is thanking Quim Gil for the conference. Obviously, the conference would not have happened without Quim's efforts, but I think there is more to it than a "one single hero" story. I would like to express my thanks to all the volunteers that helped out with the conference. You guys really did rock, and the effort you accomplished is simply astonishing. A big thanks!

Lets hope we all meet together in Birmingham next year!

Update: You can find all my pictures at Flickr.

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