this GUADEC has been quite a ride, and we’re just halfway through.

gtk+: the gtk+ team meeting on tuesday went really well — and part of the discussion was incorporated in Kris always excellent State of the union talk. the team went over and over this issue since last GUADEC and during the hackfest, and even though something at some point will probably go wrong the plan is good and allows leeway to reduce the overall effort for moving the entire platform. I think that given the circumstances this is the best plan that can be realistically implemented.

gnome: everyone will be discussing the release team plan as well. I can only say: let’s do it!

clutter: the Clutter Guts talk went really smoothly; we tried to fill Matthew shoes — and had to be in three to do it — but I think people came out of the talk with more knowledge about the deep magic and the pixie fairies dust that power Clutter and make it as awesome as it is. as I said during the talk, Clutter 0.8 is really in the final stages now, and it’s going to be released as soon as we finish testing some of the backends. people will just have to wait a little bit, but by the time everyone gets back home from GUADEC they will be able to get the tarball from the server.


This year’s GUADEC has been really great – it seemed hard to top last year’s but paul, thos, robster and the rest of the GUADEC team really rocked hard to make everything work at its best. Kudos to all of them.

Unfortunately, my GUADEC was cut short on Wednesday for a small medical emergency, as my wife had some health problems on Tuesday night that got worse on Wednesday. Now it seems everything’s back to normal, but as we’re still expecting some of the lab analysis to come through, we had to postpone our holidays and the trip back to Italy.

I could only stay in Birmingham for the GTK+ “state of the union” (awesome) talk by Kris and the 3.x4.x workshop and see the wonderful presentation Fer and Xan did – really funny but also straight to the point. The following discussion was a bit hijacked towards the ABI/API break issue, which I believe is neither interesting nor really important. I also missed the Clutter talk on Thursday, but I was told Matthew rocked. It’s fun to see people picking up Clutter and finding it API-friendly: it’s hard, being very near to it, to judge whether some of the choices you make are the right ones.

I had to cancel my tutorial on Perl and GTK+, as well as the GConf workshop. I’m very sorry if this has caused you some trouble; I heard that Ryan did an interesting talk on his dconf project, though.

I missed Havoc’s keynote on the online desktop, but went to Alex’s keynote; it was intriguing, even though I disagree on some of his points – especially the bit about Firefox being an interesting platform to develop towards or with, after the utter disregard that the Mozilla developers have had in the past for Linux and GTK+ (two issues spring to mind: borked clipboard usage and UTF-8 drag and drop); oh, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the words “good engineering practises” and “small extensible core” anywhere near “mozilla”, unless “the Fox” that Alex mentioned was a new web browser I’ve yet to see. What I completely agree is that we need to tap into the resources of the non-C, non-hardcore programmers: we need tools to make possible for Flash developers, for Javascript developers, for designers to use our platform, and provide new ideas; in short, make the platform interesting and usable for developers, like the desktop should be interesting and usable for the users.

Let’s take Plasma, the new environment KDE provides for writing their version of desktlets-dash-widgets-dash-applets-dash-somethingets. Obviously, right now, it’s just an exciting new way to write not really useful stuff, like the uptenth variant of a clock, or a weather applet, or a note taking applet; but you get an HTML canvas widget, and you can write ${FOO}ets in Javascript. This way, KDE will get a truckload of useless stuff lying on a desktop which will be covered in windows anyway – but they will also get the attention of web developers writing small apps integrating with web services in a transparent way, using their own strengths and knowledge, without forcing them to learn the intricacies of a complete platform; and in time they’ll get those developers to know this platform and gain new workforce to work with it, and on it. Compare to GNOME: if I want to write something as simple as a desklet, right now, I’d need to know GTK+, Cairo, GConf and possibly gnome-vfs, libsoup, or third party modules for talking to web services through their API. The curve for contributing to the platform is still too steep; and you don’t even get to use your own knowledges: you have to learn everything from scratch. KDE core developers understood this before we did, and their move might keep KDE from falling into the irrelevancy of geek-only usage. It’s up to us find a way for making the GNOME platform interesting again for developers, as well as users.


I’m back to London after the really amazing days in Vilanova. This year’s GUADEC has been really amazing: lots of interesting talks and great people to meet; there definitely was a great energy in the air. Kudos to everyone involved in the creation and management of this great event: you really rock the world of GNOME.

I’ve put online the slides from my talk, if anyone wants to check them out: just PNGs, so you loose all the Clutter sexyness. I’ve also put on flickr the photos I took with my really crappy mobile phone.


If there are any liferea developers at GUADEC, I’d like to have a few words about the key bindings used in your application – specifically why did you choose Ctrl+N for “go to new item” and why Ctrl+W doesn’t close the window.

Please, don’t let me patch your application in order to behave sanely.

You can easily recognise me: I’m the one hopelessly trying to read new items using Ctrl+] and trying to close the window using Ctrl+W.


The OH Gang arrived yesterday at GUADEC – just in time for my talk. I think that the tutorial went well – Clutter worked out of the box on the VGA port, which was quite a surprise. About Clutter: it was fun to see Jeff use it for his presenytation too. I’ve met with many interesting people – just hope to remember their names, though: I’m terrible with name memory; so, if OI see you and I’ll look desperatly at your name tag even if we already introduced ourselves, please bear with me.

GUADEC this year is awesome, and kudos goes to Quim and all the wonderful staff that made this magic possible.

A Sort of Homecoming

Sci-fi – I’ve ordered on Play.com the DVD box of the first (and last) season of Firefly and I think it really was a great show, where Joss Whedon really tried to follow the path of Isaac Asimov, and show that sci-fi it’s not a genre but a device of storytelling, encapsulating a genre; too bad some clueless executives shot it down. I also bought the 2003 mini and the first season DVD box of Battlestar Galactica, and I just can’t express how amazing it is.

GUADEC – Getting everything ready and packed for going to Vilanova. I prepared the slides for my talk (sunday 25th, 18:00) about (guess what?) recent files; it’s a tutorial, so I’ve also prepeared some bits and pieces of code to show how to add places/bookmarks and recent files support, and to port from EggRecent to GtkRecent. After a year, from Stuttgart to Vilanova, from a GUADEC to another.

Security – Thanks to Tim for the reminder about security and laptops; another sane advice is do not put sensitive data on a laptop in the first place. On my laptop I didn’t create a partition for my data, so I can’t use Tim’s advice unless I resize everything – hence, I’ll leave everything on an encrypted volume at home. :-)

Life – The apartment is almost done – only a couple of items missing: a sofa-bed and a coffee table for the living room; I hope to have everything in place after the wedding. From the 3rd of July to the 13th I’m going back in Italy with Marta, in order to get everything ready before and after the ceremony.