28/November/2004

GNOME-nl

Ronald, I’m
very happy about your idea of setting
up a GNOME-nl group
. It is something that we should try to do in more places, since
it helps a lot in getting more hackers. Some advice about it, from my experience in the
Spanish speaking group. First of all, don’t desperate when you get no help, since people
are difficult to engage, so at the beginning you’ll have to do all yourself. For that reason,
don’t start huge projects, since maintaining them is a PITA, so I would suggest you keep it
as simple as possible. In GNOME
Hispano
we engaged on some huge projects (including the organization of the
3rd GUADEC in Sevilla) that started dying as soon as they were created (not the GUADEC,
of course, but some news site, software projects, etc). So, after many years, we have
just a web site, mainly to have documentation in Spanish, an IRC channel (the best thing
we have, and the first you should try to have for the GNOME-nl group), a few mailing
lists, and little more. We also have a CVS repository, but after the failure of some
projects started there, we now just try to get people to hack on existing GNOME projects
in GNOME CVS. At the end, we came up with a small but very active group of hackers, most
of which are now part of the GNOME project, so once you get that in .nl, I’d say you’ve
succeeded.

Egypt and GNOME

GNOME at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
And all this comes to my second thought today: while visiting Alexandria,
I went to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the new Alexandria Library, an ultra-modern building, with
22 floors and over 400,000 books, which represents a project for the future of knowledge in
the world, while trying to keep the spirit that the ancient
library had in the ancient world. This awesome library was built with a lot of help from many countries and companies
all over the world, so I came to see the sponsors list and found, yeah, what a pity, Microsoft
Egypt on the list, so went to see the computers in the building and all were running
Microsoft Windows. At the time of the building of the library (2000 or so, IIRC), where were
Novell,
Red Hat,
SuSE and all other Linux-related software
companies? It is a pity to have lost such an awesome project.
So, after having been for days visiting monuments more than 2,000 years old, visiting
the library in Alexandria, with all its technology, got me back to my time, and,
of course, GNOME, and I started wondering about a GUADEC (GNOME Users and Developers Egyptian
Conference) there, that would be just awesome, and a good excuse for me to go back to my beloved
Egypt. So, I went to a couple of computers in the library and left them with the GNOME home page
loaded on them, so that the next person to come to that computer could have a look at what GNOME is.

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