Back from Gran Canaria

Posted by berto on July 14, 2009

So many things happened during the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit that it’s impossible to summarize them all, but here’s a list of the ones that come to my mind now:

  • Alfredo Kraus auditorium is a great venue, and its location couldn’t be better.
  • The University was less spectacular, but from a functional point of view I think it was more suited to this kind of conference than the auditorium (to begin with, Internet connection worked better). Its main problems: distance to the city center and lack of places to have lunch.
  • When Jos van den Oever said: we not only share specifications, we also share code, and everyone in the room started to applaud.
  • Despite that, and at least for me due to the packed schedule, I couldn’t attend any of the KDE talks. I don’t know if other people had the same feeling, but I left Gran Canaria a bit skeptical about the actual usefulness of having both conferences together.
  • All keynotes were good.
  • Moblin 2 looks promising.
  • GNOME Shell, Zeitgeist, Clutter, WebkitGTK+, client side windows.
  • The hacking sessions at the hotel lobby.
  • Nokia’s announcement that Maemo will switch away from GTK+. While this is a complex decision with a lot of causes (probably some of them political and some of them technical), I think it’s fair to say that this is (at least party) a failure of GNOME/GTK+, and deserves some debate inside the GNOME community.
  • Few women giving talks. I hope there comes a day when the number of women in free software conferences is not a matter of mention.
  • The weather was too hot for me (although at night it was fantastic).
  • The beach at night.
  • Canarian food at the dinner with the GNOME Hispano team.
  • Fernando and Xan’s GNOME 1, 2, 3 show.
  • The GNOME band.
  • Kimmo using a whiteboard for his talk.
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  1. Joe Buck Tue, 14 Jul 2009 06:58:48 CET

    My take on the Maemo decision is that Nokia controls Qt, they don’t control Gtk+, so they figure that they can do whatever it takes to make Qt work well, while for Gtk+ they have less control. Under those circumstances, all things being equal, I’m not surprised to see them transitioning.

    Sometimes companies will throw out superior outside technology for inferior inside technology. Microsoft does it all the time when they acquire companies, the first thing they do is throw out everything that stinks of Linux or BSD.

  2. Michael Schurter (schmichael) Tue, 14 Jul 2009 08:29:56 CET

    Open Source Bridge[1] was not only created by 2 women, but, if I remember the stat correctly, 1/3 of the presenters were women.

    Selena (@selenamarie) and Audrey (@spinnerin) might be good people to ask about that point. :-)

    [1] http://opensourcebridge.org/

  3. Mathias Tue, 14 Jul 2009 12:00:58 CET

    You also have to consider things like Nokia’s app store at OVI. To be useful this store must work for all Nokia devices I guess: Symbian phones, Maemo web tablets, … Such an app store won’t work, if 3rd party developers have to support completely different toolkits for different platforms. Telling that only Qt is needed to support phones and webtablets makes a much better business story. Actually this Qt thing even gives Nokia a chance to let their OVI store conquer Android phones and the iPhone. I’d love it to earn money with my competition’s devices.

  4. Monkey Tue, 14 Jul 2009 14:05:11 CET

    @ Joe Buck: google “Imendio”. They don’t need to fully control Gtk to use it as they like. If they wanted, they’d have a Gtk shop independent of Redhat and Novel, yet ten times more productive than current Gtk maintainers and contributors. It’s not about control, it’s something different.

  5. Michael Tue, 14 Jul 2009 15:50:54 CET

    Joe, can you elaborate why you think that gtk is technically superior compared to Qt? Usually people claim it is the other way round.

  6. LinuxCertif Tue, 14 Jul 2009 20:17:56 CET

    Joe is just making noise…

    They must have some good reasons to drop everything they have done with GTK+. Performance and productivity certainly come to mind. The work on Freemantle has also been unnecessarily painful, this has certainly put pressure on Nokia to drop GTK+.

    We cannot exclude the political aspect of this choice. If they did not own Qt, they would probably have switched to Java.

  7. Chani Wed, 15 Jul 2009 02:12:39 CET

    the womens’ talks were on the KDE track! ;)
    actually, I don’t know the relative numbers for the different tracks. I know we had at least three. yes, I hope we have more than this someday.
    I meant to give a talk on plasma, but the call for proposals came at an awkward time for me.

    also, the “they’re using qt because they bought it” idea sounds backwards to me. they bought it because they wanted to use it. :)

  8. See you at DebConf9 « root’ing the net Fri, 24 Jul 2009 18:01:27 CET

    […] tomorrow, as this will be my first time at a big community event and it really looks like this kind of things are really interesting and a great opportunity to get in touch with latest developments, […]

  9. […] Canaria on Tuesday but the rest of Igalians attended to the whole event. As usual, Berto reported his personal impressions and it is always enough for me when I need to keep me up to date. Thank you […]