Great Summit in Montreal

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I got home a day and a half ago and am packing up to go to San Francisco for the Mentor Summit, but email from James with his excellent write-up of the event reminded me that I too needed to report back.

James covers the bases so I won’t give that overview again but one of my favorite things from the weekend was that a whole group of students drove up from Western New England University. They’ve decided to work on Mousetrap (an assistive application that uses facial recognition to move the cursor without having to use a mouse) for their senior project. I kicked things off with an overview of free software for them (and discussed just what you need to know about licensing to get started) and Colin and Ryan helped them out with jhbuild. Colin, Ryan and Joanie hung out with them all weekend and I think they made great progress. It was also fun to have them at all of the social events.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Ryan and Tristan for organizing the events, plus CRIM for hosting us, Savoire Faire Linux for helping us to organize and for hosting the cocktail party on Saturday, Red Hat for sponsoring the pool party on Sunday and Canonical for providing snacks and coffee during the days. The famous Montreal bagels in particular were a huge hit:


I was glad to see such a diversity of companies represented at the Summit, and nonprofit orgs too – I had great conversations with Yorba and Debian people. The Summit is pretty amazing in that it’s a small event so it’s intimate and it’s easy to talk to everyone and the people who come are focused and awesome and a good amount of stuff gets done at a high level. The event was so productive and fun that there was some talk of adding a west coast summit, and that sounds pretty great to me.

You can also check out Mike’s and Matthias’ write-ups too.

GNOME at GNU 30th

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So I am at the Boston Montreal Summit, but I realized that I never published my post about the GNU 30th so I thought I’d get this up now and then write about what’s going on here this long weekend!

The GNU 30th was really fun. There was a great turnout and the GNOME room was petty full the entire time. Marina and Owen ran a Newcomers’ Tutorial and other GNOMEees were around to hack on stuff. We took a break for lunch with OPW interns and mentors. It was amazing to look down the long table and to realize how many non-GNOME people were there – a testament to the success of the program with other projects too. The GNU MediaGoblin folks were in full force, and I got an awesome 3D printed “Goblin Force” badge, which I now have with me in Montreal!

One of my favorite moments was a conversation I overheard just after the Newcomers’ Tutorial.

Richard Stallman asked a gentleman named Matt what he was involved in with free software. After initially describing himself as a fan, he corrected himself and said, “I’m no longer just an admirer, thanks to Marina!” He went on to explain how he went through the GNOME Newcomer’s tutorial and was now able to contribute for the first time to free software. I was also very pleased to give stickers to some students from George Mason University who wanted to run their own Newcomers Tutorial with the local user group.

On Saturday night we had a GNOME dinner at an Indian Restaurant to celebrate the GNU 30th and also the 3.10 release. Thanks to Joe for remembering to send me this picture of some of us outside afterwards:


Book your hotel for Montreal

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We’ve gone ahead and gotten a block of rooms at the Hotel Le Cantlie Suites subject to availability. The rate is $135.00 per room per night for single or double occupancy. You can either call the hotel directly at +1.514.842.2000 and mention “GNOME” or reserve online.

All the information on the summit that you need is on the wiki. If you’re planning to come and haven’t already, let us know. Hope to see you there!

Linux Format Interview

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The nice guys at Linux Format Magazine have published a pretty long interview with me. I had such a great time with them I got fairly chatty and we talked about GNOME, medical devices and the Outreach Program for Women. It gets pretty serious at some points. Check it out!