Maemo Summit day 1: Meeting people, learning stuffSeptember 19, 2008 3:15 pm community, freesoftware, maemo, work
Coming to the end of the first day of the Maemo Summit in C-Base in Berlin. From just outside, you have a view of the antenna of the space station that the C-Base group have been mapping out for the past few years. For those who don’t know, this is the terraforming space station which brought life to earth, and which crashed in what is now Berlin 4.5 billion years ago. Only the central tower, now in use as a television tower, is visible above ground.
The two days in OSiM World were useful and educational. I got to meet people from companies trying to learn how to work well with Free Software, which gave a great opportunity to affect real change by talking to the decision makers in those companies. I also got to meet some Maemo people who came to OSiM to meet up and hang out at the Maemo/Nokia stand (by far the most active stand in the conference, by the way).
But the Maemo Summit is a refreshing counter-weight to that – some of the observations that people made this morning were:
- We got better wireless and power for free than at the high-powered conference people paid thousands of euros to attend (given that the CCC is involved in C-Base, that was not surprising to me)
- The vocabulary has totally shifted. We’ve moved from value propositions, cost-benefit analysis, return on investment and fragmentation to people getting excited about tracemonkey, PowerVR, OMAP3, Clutter, hacks, crashes and bugs… the people who are down in the trenches and know what free software is are here.
- Less suits, more t-shirts
It has been an amazing day so far – some big news from Peter Schneider this morning that the interface for the Fremantle will be Clutter based – Rodrigo Novo went into more details: Nokia are funding new tablet-oriented widgets and off-screen support for GTK+, the integration of Clutter, and more.The lightning talks were fascinating for the breadth and depth of things which people are doing with Maemo – everything from using them in police cars to porting PyPy through running Debian in a chrooted environment as a Maemo application (presentation given in OO.o running in said Debian on an N810!!!).
As usual, what’s most impressive at these things is meeting old friends and making new ones. I’ve got to spend lots of time with Stormy, Paul Cooper, Jim Zemlin, Lefty, Bdale and others, and today I had a chance to have a good chat with Rob Taylor, Philippe Kalaf, Murray Cumming, Simon Budig and more. I was very happy to put a face to Tero Cujo’s name, the latest addition to Nokia’s maemo.org team. I’m a little disappointed not to have met anyone from Nemein here yet after working with them for so long – but Henri is in Korea for an international Haedong Kumdo competition, and getting his 23rd Dan (or something like that) confirmed by a master while there.
In addition to the summit, there is also a desktop search hackfest happening over the next two days, with people involved in Tracker, Beagle and Xesam getting together to agree on interfaces and work on implementation, to bring rocking search to desktops and tablets of the future.
There’s a heavy GNOME influence at the conference, which makes the various noises I hear about Nokia backing away from GNOME seem exceedingly over-stated. It looks to me like Nokia are using more and more of the GNOME and freedesktop.org stack, and are more than any other company right now setting a direction for GNOME in the future with investments in technologies like Clutter.
So far, great stuff! Looking forward to the party tonight, and day 2 tomorrow.