GUADEC pretty much rocked this year. The number of people and the energy was incredible. The number of things happening out there both from the companies involved, but also the stuff that is being doing by private members of the community like the Gnumeric and Abiword guys is just amazing, think the collaboration stuff underway will rock insanely.
The people rocked too as usual, but the problem of knowing more people than I can even hope to have a real conversation with for the duration of 3 days is there of course. Didn’t bother me as much this year as earlier years though as I guess I had come to terms with the fact that no matter how many people I try to talk to during GUADEC there will be some people I will not be able to talk to who I know.
Talked to a lot of people though and it was wonderful to catch up to both old friends and new friends like Jono Bacon.
There was also the launch of the Nokia 770 and Maemo which was a blast. People really love the little device. The patent issue of cause came up, but for me it is a non-issue, I think Nokia’s stance on patents going forward will actually depend on the sucess of Maemo and this device. If its hugely sucessful I think it will lead to Nokia’s viewpoint aligning more with ours and if its a failure it will mean that Nokia will consider the free software route and ideals of little interest. Its rather logical actually, they have made a lot of money doing business the ‘old’ way and if they are shown that they can make just as much money or more doing business this ‘new’ way then that will of course have an influence on their opinions. Large companies are like oil tankers, it takes time to turn them.
Anyway, if was also great to meat up and talk with Yannick and Makoto again in person, the work they have been putting in at Nokia to create interest in Linux and free software and getting the project for developing the 770 and Maemo going is simply amazing. I remember when I first went to Helsinki to talk with them I was expecting a group of people who’s primary objective was to use as much opensource software as possible while giving as little as possible back. I was very wrong, in fact they where pushing very hard to make as much of the stuff opensource as possible and all non-free parts where there mostly because there where no non-free solution ready or usable. But they where already talking about how to replace those parts of upcoming versions of Maemo as free software alternatives had matured during the development cycle for the device. If you ever get to meet any of them you should thank them for the effort, cause whatever you think of Nokia as whole the Nokia Linux guys have their hearts and minds in the right place. They truly get it.
Back in Barcelona
So I am now back in Barcelona and moved into an appartment in the part of town called Gracia. I am renting this room for June since Ralph Giles, of Xiph, Ghostscript and Theora fame is renting my place for himself and his family. Its quite packed here atm actually as in addition to Ralph we have Conrad Parker from Annodex and Brian Cameron from Sun visiting.
Not sure why Thomas have been spreading rumours about Havoc having a baby or Glynn getting married, esepcially since he have tried to keep a very low profile with Kristien’s pregnancy. While twin pregnancies are more risky than normal ones, I would shout it out on the rooftops if I where them.
Will be a busy month this. GUADEC and the Nokia launch created a lot of buzz and created many new business leads. I am already scheduled to go to the US later this month and then of to LUG Radio live followed by a extended London stay , first crashing with the legendary Bastien Nocera then visiting a beautiful girl in conjunction with her birthday.