GCDS round-up 6: The tail-off

community, freesoftware, gnome, guadec Comments Off on GCDS round-up 6: The tail-off

The last in the series!

After Mobile Day on Wednesday, I chilled out on Thursday morning, and attended the GNOME Foundation AGM where I gave a quick report on GNOME Mobile, before heading off to play in the fourth annual FreeFA world cup, with the mad dogs and Englishmen who went out in the midday Gran Canaria sun to play football for 2 hours.

As is usual, the team I played on won and the team that Bastien played on lost :-) After the match, though, I let Bastien in on my secret: always play with the team with the most local guys. Why? Because the people from the local team who take time off to go play in the patch usually play regularly. The rule has never let me down :)

Another highlight of the match was Diego, ending the match without breaking a sweat, finally broke a sweat just as we were taking the group photo at the end.

Thursday evening, met up with Federico Mena, and Jonathan and Rosanna Blandford for a very interesting hippie BOF, with conversation varying across a bunch of subjects, including compost heaps, growing trees and herbs, architecture pattern languages, cultural variations in building design, and more. On to dinner, and home to the hotel early, ready for the cycling trip on Friday.

Up early on Friday, down to breakfast, no sign of Aaron or J5 yet, so I start eating without them, and go get started with the bike. Turns out we were sitting in different parts of the lobby in the Fataga.

Armed with bikes, we set off around 9:30 to get to Arucas, on our way to Teror. We made pretty good going of it along the waterfront, and after taking it fairly easy on the edge of the motorway (surprising that we could cycle there actually, but apparently that’s the only way to get where we were going) along the coastloine, we finally came to the intersection for Arucas. John was starting to find the going a little tough already, but nothing had prepared us for what was next.

The nice straight GC-20, from the coast to Arucas, was steep, much steeper than I had expected (if I had to guess, I’d say an average of around 8% with some bits around 10%). It was a struggle, but we got to the top, before a nice long downhill stretch to come into Arucas, after which we all needed a water stop. We agreed that the goal of Teror (600m higher and 15km further on) was probably not realistic, so we decided to cut across on the GC 300 to Tamaraceite, grabbing lunch in the first village we came to on the road.

And so we set out after a nice long break & a walk around the “cathedral” in Arucas, the town gardens and the main shopping district (with a detour by a farm supplies store) for what we thought would be a nice light 20 minute cycle to the next town over. No such luck.

After climbing a nice hill straight out of Arucas, we had our reward – a really nice winding fast descent towards Tenoya. But when we got up to the village of Tenoya, we couldn’t find a restaurant anywhere. Eventually a nice old man pointed us towards “la cantina”, which turned out to be a bar with some very nice young men standing outside calling us crazy. So we decided to go to the next village over.

Through a road tunnel – watch out for the oncoming cars! Traffic lights don’t know about bikes going through and we didn’t have lights. then we got to a sort of service station with a promising sign: “Supermarket in Las Mesas: 500m”. If you ever come across that sign, don’t believe it. Between us and lunch was a killer hill and 2km of dusty road.

We settled in to la Cantina to weather the hottest part of the day, had some nice lunch (food always tastes better after physical effort) and set off again to get back to Gran Canaria. Getting around Tamaraceite was a bit tricky, we took one or two wrong turns before finding the nice small back road to get us on the right track. Then one last killer hill, up the Cuesta Blanca to the major shopping district, and then downhill all the way through the roundabouts, right down to the hospital near the golf club, and home.

It was a great ride, lots of fun, and I’m happy I made time for it. Aaron & John were great partners.

After that, packed my bags, out for dinner with Lefty, home to bed quite early, and up with the birds for an early flight, when I got to run into lots of GCDS attendees in the airport – a nice breakfast with Guy Lunardi, Jonathan & Zana and Owen Taylor (IIRC), and I was off on my plane once more. Homeward bound, for a few days, before heading off to OSCON and the Community Leadership Summit.

GCDS round-up 5: Mobile Day

community, gimp, gnome, guadec, maemo 5 Comments

Nearing the end of the series on the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit.

On Wednesday morning (after SMASHED), we had to get to the new location for the conference. I missed the bus window of 8am to 9am, so I took a taxi, without knowing the address of where we were going, other than knowing that it was the “Gran Canaria university, informatics building”. Turns out that’s not enough information for a taxi driver :) Anyway, got there eventually, late for the opening session, and a little more expensive than expected. I also lost some change down the back of the bucket seat, so he even got a tip.

Anyway, the rest of the day went pretty well, and we had some great mobile related presentations (to compliment all of the other mobile related content in the conference):

  • Multimedia in your pocket, by Stefan Kost: Nice presentation on using MAFW to build complex multimedia applications
  • Designing Moblin-Netbook. A free desktop on a 7-10″ Screen, by Nick Richards: Great overview of the Moblin platform, and the design principles guiding it – from design requirements, personas, and dealing with constraints.
  • Hildon desktop in Maemo 5 by Kimmo Hämäläinen: An overview of the Hildon desktop on a whiteboard by Kimmo.
  • MAFW: the Media Application Framework for Maemo by Iago Toral: Drilling down into the details of MAFW.
  • Why its easier to re-invent rather than participate on the mobile? by Shreyas Srinivasan: My favourite presentation of the day. Shreyas laid out what he had expectied from GNOME Mobile, the problems he encountered, his understanding of the issues, and some proposed solutions to those problems. All in 15 minutes. I really appreciate people who don’t pad out the content that they have to present and instead focus on making a high-impact presentation.
  • GNOME Mobile BOF, led by myself: We talked about how far we’ve come, the original goals of the initiative, and identified a bunch of things that we can improve short-term and medium-term.

Had a great dinner again on Wednesday, in a tapas bar with some Red Hatters and Michael Meeks, and then on to the party. Wednesday night was the golf club party, sponsored by Collabora, with a free bar until 1 (of which I mostly did not avail – I was being good), and I was in bed by 2. It was a great party, and I picked up another couple of cyclists for the outing I had been planning for Friday, before they wimped out on me.

GCDS round-up 4: Days 2 – 4

General, gnome, guadec, maemo 2 Comments

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were the “core” days of the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit, with cross-desktop and KDE & GNOME specific presentations throughout. I caught a number of presentations, but mostly I was chatting in the hallway track, or doing work on the schedule, or actually working.

For me, the story of the 3 days was “parties”. I missed the early sessions on Sunday and Monday to get breakfast at 10am, after the parties hosted by Nokia (Sunday night) and Igalia (Monday night) – I was relieved that there was no party planned on Tuesday night, my 35 year old body couldn’t stand the pace! Great parties, not marred by excessive boozing mostly, and some great chats, notably with jrb, and Adam Dingle and Jim Nelson from Yorba, makers of Shotwell, a Vala photo manager with some really nice features and plans. And some great discussions with Michael Meeks and Matthew Garrett on the fouton during the Igalia party, with Federico Mena Quintero on architecture design patterns, and Jorge Castro on dinosaurs. I also got to meet Joaquim from Igalia, the Macacque band were great, but I’m sure that a hoarse Lefty regretted sweet home chicago and smoke on the water the day after.

I did get to some presentations though (here with a one line summary):

  • Power management by Matthew Garrett: “Power management isn’t doing the same amount of work, slower. Do less work, or you’re killing polar bears.”
  • ConnMan by Not Marcel Holtmann (Joshua Lock from Intel gave the talk in the end – thanks Emmanuele!): “ConnMan solves some problems for Moblin that NetworkManager wasn’t designed to solve.” (I think).
  • Bluetooth on Linux by Bastien Nocera: “It mostly works now”
  • Introduction to GNOME Shell, by Owen Taylor: “It’s pretty cool stuff already”
  • GNOME Zeitgeist, by Thorsten, Seif and Federico: “We record what you’re doing”
  • Communicating design in development, by Celeste Lyn Paul: “Keep it simple until they get the design principle, excessive realism too early just makes the discussion about the details”. Unfortunately, I don’t see a video available, highly recommended viewing if there was one.
  • GNOME 3.0: A live circus^Wstatus update, by Vincent Untz et al: “It’s not just GTK+, Zeitgeist and GNOME Shell”
  • GNOME 1,2,3, by Fernando Herrera and Xan Lopez: “A history of GNOME with thanks to YouTube” (my favourite presentation of the conference)
  • Personal Passion lightning talks, by Aaron Bockover: “We’re not just Free Software hackers!” This was absolutely my second favourite session of the conference. We got a 10 minute overview of the burnout cycle from Jono Bacon, underlining how important it is to have a life outside of software, and heard from people whose passion was running (complete with a soundtrack of me finishing a marathon), airplanes, motorcycling, cooking, bacon, dinosaurs, Aikido, buddhism and calligraphy, trekking in Argentina, and also a couple of geeky ones on icon design and scheme (which was very enjoyable indeed, thanks Andy!)

Update: Memory playing tricks with me – for of course, Tuesday evening was the highly anticipated meeting of SMASHED. We finally met at the Mare Baja again, where the opening night party was held, and enjoyed a bunch of tapas courtesy of CodeThink, before scoffing down some great whisk[e]y, including (from memory) a 21yo Highland Park, a nice 16yo Longmorn, a very lod bottle of Oude Ginever from Lefty, an old standard Connemara single malt, and a Yamazaki 10yo I brought.

SMASHED 2009 in Gran Canaria

SMASHED 2009 in Gran Canaria

Festivities carried on until after 1pm, when I left with Andrew Savory and someone else (whose name I don’t recall), and Behdad got in an unprovoked fight with the footpath on the way back to the hotel – it came right up and hit him in the face. Some nice KDE people took him to the hospital to get sewn up – luckily the group photos had been taken earlier in the day.

Got back to the hotel around 2, and tried to catch up on some of that beauty sleep before Mobile Day on Wednesday in the new conference location in the university.

Gathering Gran Canaria press and feedback

del.icio.us, gnome, guadec Comments Off on Gathering Gran Canaria press and feedback

I have been bookmarking Gran Canaria Desktop Summit blogs, articles, photos and more today, and I could definitely use some help (help!).

So, here’s what I have:

  • Tag all GCDS related webpages as gcds
  • Tag pages related to specific presentations with presentation and talk (slides or video or presentation description inline)
  • Tag blog entries as blog
  • Tag photo pages as photos
  • Tag news articles (outside press, including slashdot for example) as press
  • Tag non-English articles with the language they’re written in
  • Optionally tag GNOME specific content with guadec gnome
  • Optionally tag KDE specific content with akademy kde

This way, we can find all of the GCDS related press, GCDS related blogs, GCDS photos and so on, as well as having one big bucket of GCDS related content. There are hundreds of blog entries, and I didn’t get them all. So as an easy first step, if you blogged about your presentation, put up a photo set, spot an article about the conference (in any language) or blogged about the conference in general, please tag your content in delicious. It makes it easier to filter everything and get an idea of the buzz created, generate publicity for future conferences, and a ton of other good stuff.


The Dummies Guide to Hadopi

francais 1 Comment

A French cartoonist has explained the effect of the proposed Hadopi 2 law in France:

The dummies guide to Hadopi

The dummies guide to Hadopi


A law to protect authors

  1. Suppose you didn’t close the door to your apartment properly.
    • Hey! It’s open! We didn’t pull it shut properly?
  2. And a neighbour came in and stole your DVD collection
    • My God! My Harry Potter collection! And all of my Disney collection! Gone!
    • He left my three Ozu films… that’s weird. A thief who doesn’t like the Japanese?
  3. This seriously hurts all the authors of these films
    • Do you realise, the thief will be able to watch Snow White without paying! This will ruin Disney!
  4. You are guilty of “a serious breach of the obligation to monitor access to your multimedia equipment”
    • I didn’t know! I thought that Harry Potter protected his DVDs with a magic spell. And that the Hulk beat up thieves with his super powers.
  5. As punishment, you are thrown out of your apartment for 3 months! (And not just the guilty party, the whole family, even the pet cat)
    • I can’t even watch my Ozu any more
    • That’s not the worst of it
    • lil’cat! Eat this rat, he’s keeping me from sleeping!
    • Yeah, right…
  6. And you’re lucky that we don’t set fire to your apartment
    • If it was a house, I’d think about it. But in a 10 story apartment block, we have to wait until everyone is guilty! It takes a little longer.

For some background for non-French people: Hadopi is a law which says that if anyone downloads copyrighted material illegally over your internet connection, your internet access can be cut off for up to 3 months. I believe that you get 2 warnings before it gets cut off, but that the decision is made by an “independent” commission, and not by a judge, so you don’t have any recourse to appeal. The first version of the law was struck down by the French constitutional court, and the law is back with a second wind now.

The goal of protecting copyright holders is not a bad thing. I even mostly approve of the goal – it’s the rule of law by which free software lives and dies. But this is a bad law, badly drafted, and like “security” in airports will have far wider ranging collateral damage than the government realises.

Barriers to community growth

community, freesoftware 13 Comments
Barriers to entry

Barriers to entry

I often talk to vendors who are interested in growing their developer communities around their free software projects. When I do, my advice centers around two things, one of which I think I can help with.

The first is your project vision – why would someone look at your stuff instead of anyone else’s? You are competing for the attention of the pool of free software developers out there, as well as trying to grow that pool, and what will draw people to your project is your vision.

The second is the Hippocratic principle of community building: Primum non nocere, first do no harm.

Most communities fail to reach critical mass because someone becomes interested in your project, and just bounces off it, because of some difficulties they meet when engaging you. To build a successful community, it is usually sufficient to build a compelling vision, and remove all non-essential barriers to participation in your project that exist.

I have compiled a check-list of various barriers to entry which are found in vendor-led projects, roughly grouped into technical, social and legal barriers to entry. Sometimes it’s appropriate for a new community member to face a learning curve – you want to maintain a tone in your community, and ensure that core developers understand the social and technical norms of your project – but often the things that they have to learn are incidental, rather than essential, and removing these is a worthwhile thing to do.

Without further ado, here is Community barriers to entry (pdf) – I’m publishing this under CC BY-SA 3.0 and I would be delighted to get feedback on this to help improve it and make it more useful. Comments welcome!

Gran Canaria wrap-up 3: Day 1

gnome, guadec Comments Off on Gran Canaria wrap-up 3: Day 1

Saturday morning, dragged my sorry ass out of bed to get to the conference hall for 9am. Shared a taxi with Stormy & Behdad, got my badge, met the keynotes (except Richard, who I was told would be arriving later), briefed them on how the morning was going to go down. I had some hastily written introductions for each of the keynotes I wrote around 2.30 the night before, after Stormy told me that it looked like I was going to be introducing people.

The opening got underway at 10:00, and kept good time. The local politicians who wanted to show their support and excitement without getting in the way did a fine job. Thank you very much to the Cabildo, the high school and the university for having us.

I introduced and attended all the keynote sessions, I was particularly impressed with Robert Lefkowitz‘s (better known as r0ml) presentation, although I would have liked to hear the end of his argument (I got a chance to get the main details later, and I like it). As I said in his introduction, Robert never tires of teaching us that the ideas which we consider radical and revolutionary now were also radical and revolutionary centuries ago. In this case, Robert was arguing that software development was more liberal art than production, and thus as a liberal art, it is something which people should learn merely for the enjoyment of the pursuit. In his words, liberal software is software which a gentleman would use. The continuation of the argument is thus that liberal software is more like reading and writing than brain surgery, and thus in time, everyone should learn the basics of programming, since it will be just another way of expressing oneself. He also mentioned an aside that since liberal, unlike “free” or “open” is a gradient rather than an absolute, it is possible for software to be more or less liberal than other software, with some unusual conclusions.

The second keynote, Walter Bender, former president of One Laptop per Child, and current executive director of Sugar Labs, presented his vision for educational software, which was the really revolutionary part of the OLPC project, and his continued pursuit of that vision through Sugar Labs. A cause worthy of our support.

Half way through Walter’s presentation, I was getting a little worried that I had not yet seen Richard. So I got up, and asked around, I was informed that he was here, in the building somewhere, and would be in the auditorium 5 minutes before it was time for him to start. The problem is that I didn’t know where he was, and hadn’t yet met him.

Later in the presentation,Walter was coming to the end of his planned slides rather earlier than had been planned, so I asked a local organiser to find Richard and get him to the auditorium ASAP. In the end, Walter demonstrated some of the Squeak tools on the Sugar system, and even ran a little over time. Not knowing what to do, I thanked him for his presentation, and told the masses that Richard was around somewhere, and that we would get him ASAP. Unfortunately, a significant number of people took this to mean that there was a break, and started leaving the auditorium, around the same time that Richard entered, from stage right, apparently unaware that I had been frantically trying to get him to the hall.

Anyway, after introductions, Richard Stallman started his presentation, with people still coming back into the hall. After an overview of the four tenets of free software, he gave a history lesson of the origins of GNOME, and a warning about the dangers of Mono, before his Saint Ignucius segment which has garnered so much attention, and the auctioning of a gnu (benefits to the Free Software Foundation) for €150 if memory serves, and some rather heated Q&A.

After that, Richard went for a press conference, and I went to lunch with our other invited guests to a very nice tapas place near the beach.

In the afternoon, Quim Gil of Nokia presented the future of the Maemo project, a future closely coupled to GNOME technology, but whose face will be QT from Maemo 6 onwards.

I was in the press room for some press conferences and interviews for the rest of the afternoon, but before leaving I had a funny story at the start of the lightning talks where my laptop, which Quim had borrowed for his presentation, and which I left there for the lightning talks, didn’t appear to be working any more, and in spite of frantic xrandr manipulations, we could not get the screensaver off the big screen.

The organisers finally realised what was going on, and turned off the screensaver, which was in the projector. This is particularly funny because, after the first lightning talk finished, the technician once again put the screensaver up, and the person running the lightning talks (sorry Mr. “Buried in the Sand” Mexican, I can’t remember your name) wasn’t aware of what had gone before,  causing him to think my laptop was broken. More xrandr/frantic hand-waving/laptop changing followed, before the technician once again removed the screensaver. I believe we got to the 3rd presentation before he realised that we didn’t want the screensaver between 5 minute presentations. It’s moments like those that make you realise the importance of talking to the A/V technicians beforehand so that hand signals and instructions are known to all concerned.

One person remarked that this kind of story is typical of free software hackers – while other people arriving to give presentations go talk to the organisers and say “here, I am in your hands, instruct me”, we want to use our own laptops, record our own video, and in general master and change our environment.

Anyway, after the conference, I headed out to dinner with Karen Sandler, Walter, r0ml and some other people we met on the way to look for a very nice place I had eaten in with Vincent, Claudia, Will and Sebas when scouting the place in December. Unfortunately, my well placed intentions were not matched by a sense of direction and good memory, but we ended up in a very nice grill place where we had also eaten in December. Nice wine & food was had, interspersed with funny and tragic stories (sometimes both at the same time), capped off by some very nice rum, offered by the establishment.

Beers near the beach, followed by some later beers with Matt Garrett and others (what happens in Gran Canaria stays in Gran Canaria) crowned off a choc-a-block day that ended around 2am.

Gran Canaria wrap-up 2: Day 0

community, guadec, maemo 7 Comments

Note: I actually wrote something like this already in GNOME Blog, and a combination of the Intel graphics freezes in Jaunty and GNOME Blog not creating a local copy of in-progress entries cost me the lot. Funny that WordPress, a web-app, offers better transparent data retention across unexpected events than a local client. I have resolved to use Tomboy for drafting blog entries off-line now, and to figure out how to patch GNOME Blog to save drafts.

My Gran Canaria adventure started in a funny ha ha way when I got the airport and I was told I wasn’t on the plane which I had a ticket for. I checked my email to ensure I hadn’t received any schedule change emails, and found the last mail I received from Expedia, indicating I was booked on the 15h flight from Lyon to Madrid. But the friendly & helpful people at the Air France desk eventually figured it out, the airline had bumped me to an 8am flight, with a transfer to Gran Canaria arriving in the early afternoon. The travel agent wasn’t aware of it (I checked later when I got some internet access). So the Air France people asked if I minded flying through Bilbao, I said no (imagining they meant that I’d be flying from Lyon to Bilbao), and they checked in my bags, and gave me a boarding pass. For the plane to Madrid.

“I don’t understand”, I said. “We can’t issue you a boarding pass for the Madrid-Bilbao or Bilbao-Las Palmas legs now”, they explained. Ah. When I looked at the transfer times, and realised that (if we were on time) I would have 30 minutes to transfer in Bilbao, I was told that I would probably be able to get a boarding pass for the Bilbao-Las Palmas in Madrid.

When I got to Madrid, I queued behind some Swedes who were on their way to some holiday destination and had just been told that their flights were over-booked, and that they’d be staying in Madrid for the night. Happy happy joy joy. I also surprisingly ran into Alex Larsson, who was looking for a boarding card for his flight to Gran Canaria, which was delayed. I debated asking to get on the flight with him for a second, but figured that my bags wouldn’t make it even if I did, so I decided to play it safe.

The transfer desk in Madrid couldn’t issue me a boarding card for Las Palmas, so with 35 minutes transfer time, I would have to find the transfer desk, get a boarding pass, and hope that both my bags and I made it to the plane on time. I was not optimistic. After checking in, I bought a nice bottle for the SMASHED meeting, a Yamazaki 10yo.

Landed in Bilbao (the approach looks beautiful, I really want to visit the Basque country now), and found that there was no transfer desk. I had to go past security, with my newly purchased bottle of Yamazaki, check in, go back through security, and have my bags and I both make the plane. I have learned over time that the quality of hustle is important in airports. Relax when things are beyond your control, and when you can do something about it, run. So I ran. Headless chicken style.

An airport attendant who took pity on my cause very kindly brought me out through the security check-point, and I left my whiskey with the security guard. Ran to the first check-in counter I found to ask where I could check in for my flight. And by complete coincidence, the girl who was supposed to be manning the check-in desk had stepped away, since the flight was almost closed, to chat with her friend, who was minding the check-in desk I ran to.

Checked in, registered baggage tags to get the bags on the plane, back through security, got my whiskey back, ran to the plane, and (with take-of delayed a few minutes) felt much more confident about making it to the islands that night, with baggage in tow. Be thankful for the kindness of strangers. And it’s better to be born lucky than rich. All in all, a day made much better by the desire of everyone I met to be nice & helpful, in spite of the bureaucracy they work under.

Landed, picked up my bags, got a taxi to the hotel, and dropped them off. Said hello to someone with a laptop in the lobby (Hi mpt!), and ran to the welcome party to see if anyone was left, as it was now almost midnight local time.

I forgot this was Spain.

I met lots of people on the way. Lots of people (but no free beer) were still at the party. Talked briefly with Stormy, Lefty and family, Quim, Oskari, Henri, Sebas, Richard Dale, Rob Taylor and many more over a couple of nice beers. Thanks Canonical for the t-shirt and for the party, a great time was had. Home & to bed by 3. So endeth day 0.

Gran Canaria wrap-up 1

community, gnome, guadec 13 Comments

First in a long series that will probably get finished next June, just in time for the next edition

Of course I was aware of the reaction to RMS’s keynote during the conference, and spoke about it with Lefty on a number of occasions.

I have been bothered by the creation of a “meme” which has, apparently, been perpetuated by people who weren’t even at the conference. The meme seems to be speaking more to Richard’s Mono comments (my opinion here) rather than the Emacs virgins segment, but it’s sufficiently ambiguous that I can’t tell.

If people are primarily concerned about the Mono comments, then say so – it’s not useful to conflate two issues. If you’re primarily concerned with the emacs virgin jokes, then for all those who weren’t at the keynote, or who don’t remember exactly what Richard said, go look at it now:

Aside: anyone know how to embed a youtube video on GNOME Blogs?

Richard is sufficiently predictable that he has been giving the same segment, word for word, for many years – last week was my third time to hear it – and to my knowledge this is the first time there has been such outcry.

Personally, I didn’t think it was offensive. As a born & bred (unbelieving) catholic, we’re big into the Virgin Mary ourselves, and while the “relieving them of their emacs virginity” line felt a bit awkward, I didn’t think that the segment was particularly offensive or inappropriate. I could see how others might feel uncomfortable, and so I have no problem with someone who did feel that way taking the point up with Richard directly. Go look at the video, and make up your own mind.

This is to underline a point: Offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder. It is dangerous to jump on a band-wagon about something as significant as whether someone was inappropriate or not if you were not there. I spoke to a number of people who were bothered by the speech, and many more who hadn’t noticed anything in particular, and who laughed along. It’s very easy to jump on a morally outraged bandwagon, without knowing what we’re talking about exactly.

I don’t mind people being morally outraged, I occasionally am myself, but at least make sure you are before you get in a huff. I have a lot more respect for Lefty, Chani and others who were at the conference than the sheep jumping on the issue as an easy way to take a pot-shot at the FSF and Richard Stallman. Oh – and for all the Boycott Novell crowd that are jumping on this as a way to get at people who support Mono, the same thing I said earlier goes for you too – conflating the issues isn’t helpful, in fact it’s inflammatory, stop harming our community with your bad behaviour.

By the way, the “Stop sexism” sign referred to a presentation in a rails conference, where a guy was using scantily clad glamour model shots to illustrate his talk about how “hot” rails was, IIRC. A bunch of rails heavyweights including DHH jumped in to defend him against the “thin-skinned” crowd. Is a parody of the christian church comparing an editor to a god really on the same scale? I dunno, maybe. Like I said, I can see how some people might not like it, but it didn’t bother me.

Can we move on now?

Update: Before moving on, one thing needs clarification. Let me emphasise one thing I said above: while I personally didn’t find RMS’s Emacs virgins segment offensive, I can see how others might. Taking someone to task because they were made uncomfortable by something is never acceptable. Accept that they were made uncomfortable, explain that it wasn’t intentional, apologise, move on. As I said, being offended is in the eye of the beholder. Other people are just as entitled to feel uncomfortable as you are to be unoffended. So to all those posting comments in Chani, Lefty and others’ blogs telling them to grow a thicker skin, get a life, or whatever other bile you’ve been spewing, think about that. And then don’t post the comment.

Last minute schedule change: Personal passions

General, gnome, guadec 1 Comment

I was talking with Aaron Bockover yesterday and he told me that he wasn’t going to give the Silverlight talk which he had submitted back in March, and that he planned to give a presentation on something completely unrelated that he found interesting. Chris Blizzard suggested that he could give a lightning talk on amateur aeronautics, and as the idea spread a whole bunch of ideas on interesting non-GNOME related subjects that GNOME community members are interested in came up from architecture to running. There’s also a really valuable short talk on the burnout cycle (and how to break it) from Jono Bacon in there. So for 45 minutes, we will have a set of lightning talks reflecting the eclectic nature of the GNOME community – if you see Aaron and have something you are passionate about that you want to talk about for 3 to 5 minutes, grab him today or turn up at his session at 5:30 and shout.

And spread the word!

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