August 5, 2013

GUADEC 2013, Day 3

GUADEC is still going here in Brno. The conference has switched modes from days of presentations to a busy schedule of working sessions. This is the first of our reports on what happened over the weekend, starting with Saturday 3rd August.

As the temperature continued to rise, the conference continued at full force. A drone was seen flying around the venue, and attracted a lot of attention. The Twitter walls in each of the auditoriums also continued to be the subject of much hilarity as people posted their comments during the talks.

Day three’s keynote was a question and answer session with the newly elected GNOME Foundation Board of Directors. We spent an hour talking about the Foundation’s plans for the coming year, and had a productive discussion about how to improve our marketing and public relations efforts. Then we were into talks once again.

First up, Srinivasa Ragavan spoke about Evolution as an email service, while in the other room Emily Gonyer spoke about FLOSS & Education. Srinivasa explained the plan for splitting Evolution into a mail data service which could serve emails to other applications. He also demoed a working email factory as well as a small application using Evolution as a service. Emily Gonyer described her home schooling experiences and talked about how children can learn using computers from an early age. She also talked about the importance of teaching children to use computers creatively and not purely to consume commercial products.

Next, Philip Withnall, spoke about testing GNOME components that use online services. He described his work to enable diagnosis and recording of the interaction between local libraries and servers. At the same time, Jan-Christoph Borchardt gave a presentation about how GNOME and ownCloud can work more closely together. Jan, who is a designer working on ownCloud, spoke about the opportunities for syncing data between GNOME and the cloud. His motto: “Just. Sync. Everything.” He also spoke about the importance of protecting users’ privacy, which is a goal shared by GNOME.

After lunch, Bruno Cardoso Lopes introduced LLVM and Clang. GNOME indirectly uses LLVM through the llvmpipe software rendering engine, and the Gedit Code Assistance Plugin also uses Clang to assist coders with helpful messages and compilation hints. Bruno explained several beneficial and potential uses of LLVM and Clang by GNOME, for example the LLVM LTO and interprocedural optimizations, the Clang static analyser, and the LLVM ARM backend.

Marina Zhurakhinskaya gave a report on the progress of our fantastically successful Outreach Program for Women, which is now offering internships for women with 16 different organizations. Aleksander Morgado and Carlos Garnacho explain the basics of Tracker and gave practical SPARQL examples and tips about how to use the database. At the same time, Ekaterina Gerasimove gave the annual “Documentation State of the Union Talk”: a summary of the last year’s documentation work, and the team’s plans for the future. Zeeshan talked about GNOME’s new geolocation framework, called geoclue2, as well as the new GNOME Maps application. Maps uses data from OpenStreetMap, and can determine your location using a variety of mechanisms, such as Wi-Fi, and GPS.

Jeff Fortin gave a fun talk about managing bug databases, called “Extreme containment measures: keeping your bugs under control”. His talk contained lots of practical strategies and tips on keeping your bug count low, and getting the most out of your bug reports. In the other auditorium, Sriram Ramkrishna and Andrea Veri gave a report on the activities of the GNOME Sysadmin Team.

The day ended with the first of our lightning talks sessions. A host of presenters gave short talks on a wide variety of subjects, including EasyTag, Boxes, gettext, Cantarell, measuring display latency using Arduino, the words of Jane Jacobs.

In the evening, Mozilla generously funded a party at the local Starobrno brewery. Much fun was had by all.