GUADEC 2007 post mortem

This year the topics are generating emotional reactions, which I think is a good sign. Whether the reaction is for or against is secondary, at least there is a strong message getting through.

gtk+3 bling etc.

I made my presentation on maemo and gtk+ describing our current situation with our patches as well as some pain points we’ve found during our time with gtk+. We continued the discussion about theming separately with several people, trying to bring up all the different needs on the table as toolkit developers simply aren’t currently aware of them all. Benjamin Berg took the ball and is pinging everyone to update the wiki

The discussion around gtk+3 was surprisingly aligned. The consensus seems to be that current gtk+ is a dead end in terms of developing important new features. Most of the time in reviewing patches nowadays goes to trying to guess whether it will break some applications. Making any changes to the core of gtk+ simply isn’t feasible. gtk+3 should be designed in such a way that it would be more easy to modify.

As, again, no one really has all the requirements for more modern toolkit so lots of experimentation, with clutter, lowfat, HippoCanvas, etc. is strongly encouraged. And then next GUADEC the results could be evaluated and discussed.


gtk+2 is still actively maintained. Things scheduled to be considered for 2.14: offscreen rendering, filechooser API, press and hold, GVFS (now would be a good time to review the GVFS API.) Extended layout SoC project is progressing nicely, natural size requisition is working already so we might want to have a peek and maybe solve some of our remaining problems.

online desktop

Apparently controversial topic that raised quite some discussion. In my opinion seamless integration with network services would make a lot of sense with mobile device like n800. I’m thinking the device should be just a big cache for things like Flickr.

Oh, whatever happened to NFlick again…? :-)


Hiker is about UI-less services, so no gtk+ on this level. Alarm and notification services are a potential area for collaboration, not only in mobile space but also on the desktop. One thing that sounded interesting was the Bundle Manager which allows creating Mac style application bundles, applications reside only in one directory as opposed to spread out in /bin,/share,/lib,… and that directory can be easily moved around.

But then again, we have apt and dependency resolution so it might not that interesting.


One point to take home from Practical Project Maintenance: Reduce friction!

We need to make Hildon an easy project to approach if we are to attract outside developers. So jhbuild moduleset you can use on average desktop, integration with gdm or startx rather than running 10 different commands to start up the session, normal l10n practices, transparent processes, etc… Entry points to the project need to be clear.