I have been at the CeBIT to represent GNOME. Actually, Herzi got sponsered by his generous employer, Lanedo, to make the GNOME booth happen. And he probably got bored that he called me up to do this together 🙂
We were in Hall 6, booth F60, sitting next to Drupal and some LDAP Webthing. Also, the KDE guys were next to us 🙂
They had awesome posters hanging on the walls, nice T-Shirts hanging around and banners showing off. They even came with name cards pinned on their chests and probably even with working hardware. The Drupal guys had a Roll-Up display and a foldable flyer holder with many information materials.
I envy those guys, because we haven’t had any of this stuff, besides a small computer and a monitor 🙁 There probably is something in GNOME Event Box, but unfortunately Herzi didn’t bring it, probably because it’s way too big and too heavy. Also, a roll-up display wouldn’t fit into that Box. Posters and banners would be nice, too. We even had to install an Ubuntu on the fair (instead of having it prepared beforehand). Then, the webcam didn’t want to work with cheese, so we couldn’t use that as an eye-catcher. Anyway, Sudoku and gnome-about were pretty good 😉 I believe, LinuxTag is going to be better, though. Because we have GNOMErs right there and you can transport things fast and easily, so it’s no big deal to replace a camera or a second PC.
Anyway, most of the time, we told the people, what GNOME is and automatically came to what a “desktop” is, what this “Open Source” thing is and what “Unix like systems” are. Some people actually had Linux experience and have a second (linux) partition, a VMWare or a server running linux.
We were also answering questions related to GNOME 😉 Users were asking what’s new in GNOME, how they use the accessibility stuff or the like. We used the chance of talking directly to users and asked what they like and dislike about GNOME. It turns out, that most of the time, the people are satisfied with their GNOME desktop, because it “just works” and it’s not in their way to achieve things. Also, they thought that the GNOME desktop is more light-weight than, e.g. the KDE desktop. Some people disliked that it looks a bit old-fashioned and that they can’t “play around” as much with their desktop as they are used to from, say, using windows. I told them, that it’s a design philosophy, to not have a huge (obvious) configuration space but to try to make it as easy as possible to do regular stuff. Of course, there is GConf where the about-to-be hackers can turn the nipples (and see the result instantly). I also tried to convert a few users to hackers: I even gave one guy “homework” to do… We’ll see how it turns out *g*
One guy asked me why he should choose GNOME over KDE. I avoided the whole discussion and gave no reason back. He should use what he likes and what fits his needs. Of course, I explained the philosophies behind GNOME and tried to make GNOMEy points.
Another one asked, whether there’s a “german GNOME community” and I sadly had to say “no”. But I hope, we Krauts can meet at LinuxTag and do that name-to-faces thing in a cosy restaurant. Maybe it’d be a good idea to pick one which has *no* WiFi or GSM/UMTS coverage, just to have no excuse to not talk to each other 😉
We pointed many people to our Wiki on live.gnome.org, especially the Roadmap or gnome-love. Let’s hope, they want to give some love to GNOME and fix some bugs 🙂
Of course, there were good parties at the end of the day, as well 🙂