It was really lovely to get back to GUADEC. I loved being around old friends and meeting the new faces within the project. The venue was stellar and I thoroughly enjoyed a lot of the talks this year.
For me, my favorite talks were the progressive webapps talk by Phaedrus Leeds, Federico’s meme-filled talk on accessibility, and Rob’s talk about the Endless deployment to Oaxaca, Mexico.
[Note: I hope someone goes back to the youtube videos and adds timestamps / links to all the talks. It would be easier to find and browse them. ]
On my part, I gave a talk on GNOME Crosswords and participated on a panel on how to get a Job with Free Software. The crosswords talk in particular seemed pretty successful. It had a great article written about it in lwn.net (thanks Jake!), which lead to an increase in bug reports and crossword contributions.
One observation: it felt that attendance was down this year. I don’t know if it was Covid or Mexico, but some combination led to a smaller crowd than usual. I saw that there was a mini-GUADEC in Berlin as well (which I’ll assume was a lagging indicator of the above and not a cause.)
If we continue to have remote GUADECs in the future, I hope we can find a way to do a better way of connecting people across the conferences. One of the real advantages of GUADEC is it is a place for the project to unify and decide on big things collectively, and I’d hate for us to develop schisms in direction. I didn’t feel particularly connected to the folks in Berlin, which is a shame. I’d love to see them again.
Hopefully a few more of us can get together in Riga next year! But if we can’t, I hope we can find better ways to be more inclusive for remote events and individuals.
There was enough interest from the Crosswords talk that we were able to hold an impromptu BoF on Saturday. Seven people showed up to work on various aspects of the game. We tested the existing puzzles, wrote some new puzzles, and added some additional features. Great progress was made towards UTF-8 support for the WordList, and some initial Printing support was coded.
More importantly, we were able to clean up a bunch of small papercuts. We tweaked the colors and controls, and also added acrostic support. The end result is a lot of visual tweaks to the game that improves the playability and appearance.
I took a bunch of these improvements and packaged it up into a new release. It’s now available on Flathub.
Mexico was lovely as always. I’ve always wanted to visit Guadalajara, and it definitely met my (already high) expectations. It was a walkable city with lots of hidden spots and surprises in store. I’d love to go back sometime with a bit more time, and really explore it more thoroughly.