GNOME Summit, day 3

Day 3 started 10:00 with summaries. Rodrigo gave a detailed summary of the control center discussion the previous day, and we had quick reports from the other sessions of the previous day.

The day was much like the other: people hacking and talking and a few sessions. I didn’t get to the *Kit sessions (PolicyKit, ConsoleKit, PackageKit), since we were running an online-desktop BOF at the same time, so I can’t tell you what went on there. In the online-desktop BOF, we discussed the code organization, and went over in detail how the GConf-sync feature of the online-desktop is implemented on the server side and client side. We also discussed other possibilities for GNOME enhancements via the online-desktop infrastructure. An interesting question is what data belongs in the core server and what belongs elsewhere? My take is that the core server should generally be storing structural information: what are your accounts, who are your contacts, and so forth. It shouldn’t be responsible for storing actual documents or doing heavyweight computation.

We did the wrap-up session at about 3:00. The highlight was a demo of the results of Tomboy hackfest that Boyd Timothy, Jeff Tickle (and others?) were doing during the summit. Demos: embedding a drawing widget into a note, and special handling of Bugzilla links. Stefan Kost also showed off the bprof tool he created during the summit. The interesting thing to me was the visualization, which plots all the individual allocations with time on one axis and size on the other. I hope he’ll post screenshots.

People who didn’t have flights to catch hung around and talked until 6:00. I spent some time talking to Asheesh and Rob Taylor about microformats and RDFa. With the online desktop we do a lot of work integrating the services you use, but being able to react directly to the data on the pages you are on adds a whole new set of possibilities. (The conversation was inspired by a Firefox hack that Rob showed off during the online desktop session on Friday where he added extra right click actions for names on Facebook pages.)

My overall feeling from the summit was that the people who came got what they wanted out of it … the 50-60 attendees were largely experienced GNOME hackers who already knew who to talk to and what they wanted to do. But I think the lack of structure and small number scheduled sessions would be more of a problem if we done a better job of promoting the events and gotten more people who are not yet core community members. Next year, we should put some effort into planning discussions and hacking sessions ahead of time.

I created a Suggestions Page on the wiki for people to add their own thoughts about how to make it better next year.


  1. Sean Kelley
    Posted October 9, 2007 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    re: lack of structure

    The lack of structure is unfortunate. That is the primary reason I am no longer attending with my software team. Unfortunately, GUADEC is often too far from the US for very many of my developers to attend (business expense and travel budget) so it would be nice if the Gnome Summit had more structure and was more accessible to in-experienced Gnome hackers as well.


  2. Posted October 9, 2007 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the Summit reports! They were quite cool for the ones who didn’t attend it (like myself). 🙂

  3. Posted October 9, 2007 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the write-ups. I’m terribly bummed that I couldn’t make it this year. All the more reason to make GUADEC ’08 a sure thing!

    All this Online Desktop buzz makes me want to try out Fedora 8, so that’s cool.

    Silly detail…you got Boyd’s first/last names mixed up.

  4. Owen
    Posted October 10, 2007 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Boyd’s name corrected. Thanks for pointing out the problem.

  5. Posted October 16, 2007 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Great to hear that you’ve been looking at RDFa. The use-case you have described–enriching the user experience–is actually the one that I am most excited about, and is the one that motivated the original work on RDFa!

    All the best.


    Mark Birbeck, formsPlayer | +44 (0) 20 7689 9232 |

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