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The EU is the 25 countries, governed by an elected parliament and a nominbated commission. It’s a system similar to the system used in France, where the president and legislature are elected, but then the president nominates his cabinet. Anyway, I am sure that in the coming months, the EU position on patents will be clarified, and will be more in line with Michel Rocard than Charlie McCreevy.

Update: By the way, one of the things the proposed EU constitution does is to limit the power of the commission to change reccommendations of the parliament. That’s the main reason why I would be voting yes if the French let me have a vote (which they don’t), or the Irish let me vote by mail (which they don’t).

There are 2 sessions on patents planned during GUADEC on the user day too, though. One is on software patents in Europe, and another is on the movement (which is gaining momentum) in North America advocating reform of the US patent system. Both should be interesting.

It has to be said, though, that mixing up free software (which is a construction of copyright) and patents is playing into the hands of people who use the phrase “Intellectual property” to blur the lines between copyright, trademark, trade secret and patent issues. Let’s avoid that trap.

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GUADEC Schedule is LIVE!

Really, it should have been Glynn Foster announcing this – that man rocks!

We now have a preliminary schedule for GUADEC online. This will change considerably as speakers are confirmed, or drop out, or ask to be moved.

I’m really happy with this – we have a big day of talks, BOFs and tutorials on Sunday, with 2 tracks of traditiona techie talks and presentations, one track of multimedia talks, one track of tutorials and one track of BOFs.

Then the crown jewel of the conference on Monday – a day where we get the juices flowing and do what everyone is coming to GUADEC for – plan the future of GNOME. Some of this is planned, and a lot of it isn’t. This is your day, particularly module maintainers who have had to skip lunch to do planning sessions in the past. Use the wiki, use the whiteboards, get your major actors in one place, and knock yourselves out.

Highlights of the day will be the Topaz planning session, the lightning talks (Impress in 5 minutes, or your money back!), and the Freeform Group Session (kind of a second session of lightning talks, where people come back from their planning sessions, and share all of the cool plans with everyone else). Oh, and the party afterwards.

And finally, on Tuesday, we give ourselves a chance to evangelise. We will show the best of the GNOME desktop to local businesses and users. Some highlights of the day will be, without doubt, Glynn’s talk about 101 things to know about GNOME, Barbara Held who will be talking about the EU’s committment to free software, and the inimitable Jon Trowbridge showing off the coolest new development to come out of GNOME since the cheese theme in 1.4, Beagle.

Get on over to the wiki at and start sharing your plans! Oh, and don’t forget to offer lifts if you’re coming by car.

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So – I’m a daddy again. A healthy 4.16kg boy, we’re calling him Paul. Yay for Anne!

One side-effect of this is that people who sent me GUADEC papers directly are probably not going to get any feedback for a couple of weeks.It would be a really good idea to resend your paper to guadec-papers (which is all I would do anyway).

Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for all the papers!

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Can you say “Road trip”?

Murray Cumming’s done some work sprucing up the GUADEC wiki pages for public consumption, and the first task that needs help is getting people ther.

This year, GUADEC is on (as everyone knows) in Stuttgaret, which is a relatively accessible place by car. While Kristiansand, Dublin and Seville are great places, and I really enjoyed the Kristiansand conference, none of them are places which are accessible in under 8 hours drive from most of Europe. Stuttgart, on the other hand, is a handly 7 hour drive from Lyon, so I’ll be coming by car with 3 other people.

The wiki page has space for you to add details if you are coming by car and have places space, or if you are looking for a lift. Feel free to add your names! When it gets long enough, we will probably move that to a sub-page, but right now the goal is to make the GUADEC wiki live!

Also, for all information and announcements about GUADEC stuff, people are recommended to sign up to guadec-list. This should also be a source of general sharing of information, from cheap airlines and good restaurants to arranging meeting places.

GUADEC is now only 2 months away, so it’s time to start thinking about booking flights. We are doing our best to move along announcing things, but if you want to come to GUADEC, start planning now.

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Ed Catmur let me know that my t-shirts crashed nautilus and X with librsvg HEAD – cool ;)

The problem is #s in an attribute value which is an xlink:ref, which is bad. Bold inkscape.

Ed went mad and found & fixed 3 or 4 bugs because of this. 17 comments in 2 hours!

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T-shirt designs

In an effort to make things easy for artists (and to give them an excuse), I made a t-shirt template in SVG last night, and made a simple monochrome t-shirt (which sucks). The idea was to shame people into doing better. It’s attached to the MarketingMaterial wiki page (link near the bottom).

Sri suggested that it might be subversive to put a beret on Dave Camp, and make a t-shirt out of that. Well, I couldn’t find a beret, but the result of my t-shirting (with another cruddy caption – I need help!) is also attached to the MarketingMaterial page, as tshirt-dcamp.svg.

I don’t know why people like using Dave for things like this. I guess he just has one of those great faces that’s instantly likeable and recognisable. Like Gandhi. Or Churchill.