Hands up…

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…anyone who has ever been confronted with “budget chicken” at work.

/me raises hand.

Nous sommes dans le caca

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Wow. Just saw hub’s blog. What a way to start the weekend.

The French executive, legislature and courts have combined to produce a law that wipes out vast chunks of fair use law in the state, and which has previsions to put people who try to get around DRM in jail. For years. No exceptions.

Maybe it’s not too late to move…

GNOME Foundation membership

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At the foundation general meeting during GUADEC, a person who shall remain anonymous asked the question “why should I get foundation membership? What does it enable me to do that I can’t do already?”

Membership of the foundation is an odd thing. It doesn’t really give you the right to do anything new except participate in foundation-list and vote in foundation elections. Since foundation-list is a list to talk about stuff related to the foundation, if you’re not a member you’re probably not interested anyway.

But foundation membership means something more than that to some people. I happened on this blog entry today, and I was moved. Honestly, tears welling up moved.

The one of the most awaited things in my life.. Its a really dream come true.. On the may 3rd morning, i got a confirmation mail from gnome.org that i have been added to members list. I just pinched myself to check whether it was real. It was.. I was overflowing with happiness.

Being a GNOME Foundation member for someone outside of the community is another way of saying “Come in! Make yourself at home.” For lots of people in this community, they don’t know how much other people appreciate their work.

The first time you feel appreciated is a special moment. It might be when you get a mail saying “I’m spending too much time checking in your great patches, it’s time we got you CVS access”, or it might be having someone you admire in the community saying “Wow! You’re the guy doing jhautobuild! You rock!”.

Or it might be “We are pleased to inform you that you are now part of the GNOME Foundation Membership”.

XCF update

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After the small flurry of controversy last month about the GIMP’s XCF format, Henning Makhomlm (author of the excellent XCF tools) stepped up to the plate and wrote a complete spec for the XCF format.

It’s still a draft, awaiting feedback from any interested GIMP developers, but I have the feeling that no-one understands the format better than Henning, and this is already vastly better than what went before.

Every time a community member goes above & beyond like this, I really am amazed. This is a huge amount of work, and really well done.

What’s the number?

General 7 Comments

I’ve seen these before, but this page is making me lose more time than I can afford to. Although I just about hit my boredom limit last night – I’ll let others lose time figuring out what the trick is.

Getting up and running with a CRM

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We have lots of contacts we need to organise – friends of GNOME, journalists, distributions, user groups, governments, deployments, ISDs, ourselves, and people whose paths we cross from time to time – people from other projects, or employees of big GNOME users, or previous keynote invitees.

I’ve worked out the main usecases for a CRM system for GNOME – using it for anything outside this would be excessive.

  • Adding a new CRM administrator or user
  • Importing an address-book, and filtering GNOME contacts from non-GNOME contacts
  • Adding a new contact
  • Associating a new event (IM conversation or mail) with a contact
  • Receiving a notification when a contact you’re related to has some new content added (being able to watch people or groups of people)
  • Associate people with events (centralise information about user-group participation in events)

There may be others I haven’t thought of – that’s what blog comments are for ;-)

So far, the feedback I’ve received says “don’t use SugarCRM if you value your sanity, CiviCRM is where it’s at”. As a non-connaisseur, I’m going to probably take that advice, unless there are othr recommendations that people might have that I should consider.

I would love something which had a possibility to integrate with desktop apps (mail, contacts, IM) via a web service API, but that’s not a requirement.

A problem I’ve thought a bit about is what the default level of visibility for a non-privileged user should be. I would like to have 3 levels of security – anonymous users see some stuff (names & events, but not email addresses, for example), authentified users can add contacts and events, and see everything, and administrators can add new users. Anything more than that seems overly complex.

Anyone have experiences with CiviCRM – or anything else – which they’d like to share? Is there anything we’d like to do which isn’t available?

A pig in a poke

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Davyd: I wasn’t coerced – Jono was doing such a crap job on it that I just had to save him from himself. My pride depended on the pig under my arm looking almost realistic, and not being a floating head.

The Marketing BOF – summary

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I finally got around to writing up my notes from the marketing BOF during GUADEC – they’re pretty scattered, and not an exact transcription of my notes. I started off with a from-memory outline of the main things we talked about, loosely organised, and then fleshed bits out from my notes when they needed it.

I would greatly appreciate feedback on this, as well as volunteers for some of the tasks suggested in there (such as setting up a CRM for contact management, and teaching enough people how to use it that it reaches critical mass – bonus points if it integrates with Evo and Thunderbird).

On a related note, there are a few biggish conferences coming up in the US in coming months where a GNOME presence is either confirmed or desirable – Ohio Linuxfest, SIGGRAPH, LinuxWorld San Francisco and OSCon. For the moment, we don’t have volunteers to organise a stand for Ohio, SF or Portland, and we need volunteers for SIGGRAPH (particularly if you’re a talented GIMP artist who can do a snazzy 15 minute demo). So come on down, GNOME marketing needs you.

Update: Ohio Linuxfest is taken care of thanks to Patrick Wagstrom, our man in Columbus (Patrick, why aren’t you on the GNOME map yet?).

Post-GUADEC splashdown

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So – back to normal life after a week at GUADEC where I was the most disconnected person there. (Anyone who would like to offer me a laptop is welcome)

I spent more time outside talk sessions than I did inside them, but I still managed to see some awesome talks.

Simon Phipps from Sun Microsystems gave a nice session which tries to answer the often asked question, “why do companies spend money on free software and then give the results away?” (although he would probably have said open source). Almost the same presentation got some pretty spun press coverage earlier in the week. I guess we’re less radical in the GNOME world – the core message was “everyone wins by co-operating, but co-operation only happens when the individual’s self-interest aligns with that of others”. Or something along those lines.

Kathy Sierra got a lot of response already – suffice it to say that I really enjoyed her talk.

Luis Villa brought a tear to my eye (perhaps it was the fatigue) during his closing presentation.

jim Gettys’ talk on OLPC was eye-opening, if only because of the size of the laptops these guys are making. Overall, the talk was a little too technical for me, and I would have preferred to hear more about the “why” – how does the project plan to change the world? What will the kids do with their laptops?

The talk bu Luis Angel from Extremadura and GNOME-Hispano and Antonio José Sáenz from Andalucia was eye-opening both because of the sheer scale, and because of the thought that has been put into it. Both speakers insisted – computers in schools are a tool, not a goal. GNOME enables learning. But we have lessons to learn about remote deployment and management – our current infrastructure doesn’t scale. We need to start spreading the word about how Andalucia are handling their 200,000 computers (and soon to be 800,000).

The lightning talks were great, and came off surprisingly smoothly. I wish I’d noticed that Avid and Pitivi were back to back, but I am really happy to have seen the all-jumping, all-juggling Chronojump presentation, and Stuart Langridge’s surprising Jackfield talk (download and use 8% of all Mac Dashboard widgets as they are on your GNOME desktop!). The Elisa media center was very impressive too.

I also got to see Federico talking about the “measure, change, remeasure” mantra of performance hacking, and I thought it was an interesting trick to apply the same mantra to 10×10 – growing the user base as a performance hack.