Inside the Fisterra framework, we define a special kind of business objects, quite similar to Java’s “Enterprise Java Beans”, and we call them “Enterprise Gnome Barnacles”. “Gnome” cause they are heavily based on gobject and Gnome technologies, and “Barnacles” cause Percebes (“barnacles”, more specifically “gooseneck barnacles” in English) are a kind of seefood very popular in the village of Fisterra which gave name to the project.

When I explained this to the 40 people audience at CaFeConf 2006, nobody knew what a barnacle/percebe was! Nobody! So this post is devoted to those who have never seen and/or tried Percebes, for some, one of the tastiest kind of seafood.


Back from CaFeConf 2006

I have returned from CaFeConf and Buenos Aires (I will miss the city a lot). The conference is one of the biggest free software events celebrated yearly in Argentina, with about 2000 (yes, two thousand) people registered this year, and about 100 talks, tutorials and workshops -a lot of them in parallel- spread over two days. My two talks went nice.

On Friday after lunch I talked about the Gnome project, during 1 hour, in the main auditorium, with about 150 people in the audience. I presented the history of the project (10 years of Gnome), what is being done today (technologies, applications, organization), and which are the plans for the near future (“Topaz”, world domination, technical priorities, new functionality), but also included some practical aspects about Gnome Love and how people could get involved (including non technical tasks and trying to show that we want diversity). The slides are available for download (in Spanish, with material based on several previous talks about the project and my own talk at aLANtejo 2005); as you can see, I decided to use the great “Gnome is people” picture composition from Luis Villa to close the presentation, and people seemed to like it. I got a bunch of interesting questions about Mono, 3D animations, the relation between Gnome and GNU, and the cooperation between Gnome and Python. And my hope is that someone from the audience decided consider becoming a contributor to Gnome after seeing how nice and cool we are 😉 (according to a fast poll I did, 1/3 of the audience was a Gnome user, and no one was a contributor to the project).

Two hours later, I was talking about Fisterra, a framework strongly based on Gnome technologies which makes life easier for people wanting to use or develop ERP-like free software for business management. This time the presentation took place in a small auditorium, which was full, with about 40 people attending. I talked about the motivation of the project, the architecture, the development process, and even about the business model we propose for it. People showed a lot of interest, asking several questions about functionality, technology and the plans we have for the near future. The slides (also in Spanish, not very technically detailed and quite readable) are available for download.

In the conference I attended to a lot of talks, and had the opportunity to meet very nice people: I had a great time with Dario Rapisardi, from the LinEx project; it was nice to chat with the people from Tecso (main sponsors of the conference), a software development company pretty similar to Igalia in the way they are internally organized; and it was cool to meet Enrique “Gallego” Verdes an Uruguayan free software advocate with Galician roots.

I want to thank the organization, and specifically Martín Brambilla, for the great work they did.

Talks on Gnome and Fisterra at CaFeConf 2006

In a couple of weeks (10th of November) I will be giving two talks at CaFeConf, a free software event organized every year in Buenos Aires by the local lug (CaFeLUG). In one of them I will talk about the past, present and future of the Gnome project, and in the other one I will describe in detail the Fisterra project. I will provide further information on the contents of the talks soon, but you can already check the webpage of the event for more information.

I have to publicly thank Germán and Fernando for offering me to participate in the Chilean Gnome Day at the Encuentro Nacional de Linux, but it was too complex for me to be there cause the day after the event I fly back to Europe from Buenos Aires. I would have loved to meet them again and I hope to be able to make it for the next time.

Back from Guadec 2006

Long time no blog. My work load during the last three weeks, since we came back from Vilanova, has prevented me from writing anything about what happened there. So 20 days late, here is my summary.


About te BoFs I coordinated:

  • BoF on continuous integration for Gnome. It was a clear success. More than 30 people attending (and interested). We managed to get the participation of Thomas Vander Stichele, who has experience using BuildBot for Gstreamer, Frederic Peters, developer of jhAutoBuild, and our José Dapena, who has adapted jhbuild and tinderbox to Gnome. Luis Villa, who had been the continuous integration man for Gnome during the last years, was also there. Thus, as we had the right ingredients, the BuildBrigade (a working group -with already more than 10 members- inside Gnome, in charge of the creation and promotion of an automatic build environment for the project) was created. The general requirements and ideas were agreed during the BoF, and the same afternoon we got together again for deciding about the technical details and the first steps to carry out. I have to say I am very happy with the results of the BoF. Stay tuned! [The slides I used are available here]
  • BoF on the development of business applications with/in Gnome. Quite successful. About 20 people attending. We spent 1 hour talking about how the development of business (ERP-like) applications (using Gnome technologies) relate to the development of the Gnome platform. Lorenzo Gil, creator of Gazpacho, Fernando San Martín, developer of PyGestor and a bunch of Fisterra developers were there. Unfortunately other people interested like Johan Dahlin from the projects Kiwi and Stoq, or Murray Cumming from Glom could not make it for the BoF. There are different approaches for the development of that kind of applications, but in general the feeling was that we have things that could -and should- be shared (knowledge, patterns, marketing, widgets, libraries, and so on); also, the feeling was that they could and should be shared probably inside Gnome. The goal now is to create permanent channels for continuing the discussion and finding out what and how we should share results among projects. [The slides I used are available here]

In general I liked the conference very much. My five favorite talks were:

And I should not forgot to mention that we (the marine blue team) won The Other WorldCup with a very effective mix of catenaccio and total football 😉

Therefore, a lot of new experiences, people, projects and opportunities. I am looking forward to Guadec 2006 in Birmingham (and also to the Guadec Hispana, which will take place a few days before in Granada).

Igalia talks and the final Guadec schedule

As I had explained before, we had submitted three talks for the Guadec 2006. A couple of weeks ago we received an answer from the program committee saying that all were discarded for the Guadec Core (the main part of the conference, Monday to Wednesday). For the BoFs it was already what I expected, they fit better in the After Hours (Thursday and Friday), but as we did not receive any explanation about why the Fisterra talk was not considered interesting, we requested that information in the mailing lists:

Date: Fri, 5 May 2006 10:42:57 +0200
From: Juan José Sánchez Penas
Cc:, guadec-list
Subject: Re: [guadec-list] Acceptance mails sent

After receiving rejections for two BoFs, I have two questions:

a) Wouldn’t be a good idea to send together with the rejections an explanation of why the talk/bof/whatever got rejected? It is a bit frustrating to receive just the notification without knowing why it was not interesting for the selection committee. Knowing the reason would also help in order to propose better talks for future Gnome conferences.

We have not received any answer yet, and I am completely sure it is because of the lack of time, but I still think the authors would appreciate a lot some extra feedback from the committee.

Anyway, we decided to re-submit the Fisterra talk proposal for the Guadec Hispana in the WarmupWeekend (Saturday and Sunday) and the two BoFs for the AfterHours, and they all have been accepted and are now officially scheduled:

You can see the final schedule at the conference webpage.

Packages of the Fisterra project

The Fisterra project had before two branches:

  • The Fisterra 2 branch: fresh technology, with some generic modules, and some vertical implementations
  • The Fisterra 1 branch: old technology, with only one vertical implementation for vehicle repairs

The Fisterra 1 branch is going to disappear soon (by the end of the year). The only vertical implementation that is still using old technology, devoted to vehicle repairs business is being ported to Fisterra 2 technology. So soon we are going to stop talking about different technologies and Fisterra2 is going to be just Fisterra.

The current structure and names of the project is the following ones:

  • fisterra-base: new technology, stable version, all the common libraries an, framework technical features
  • fisterra-bmodules: new technology, beta version, allows code reusability, framework technical features
  • fisterra-distribution: new technology, stable version, POS functionality and soon warehouse functionality
  • fisterra-garage: old technology, stable version, ad hoc development for managing an automotive glass repair company
  • new fisterra-garage: new technology, under development

Fisterra: GNOME development framework for business software

If you need or want to develop business software, like Gnome technology and desktop, and don’t want to reinvent the wheel, you should have a look to this project developed by us at Igalia:

Fisterra logo

From the project webpage: Fisterra is an open source GNOME development framework. It is indicated for the implementation of whole business management applications, ad hoc ERPs or modules of other management systems.

The main features of the project can be found here.

All the code is under GPL license. In the webpage there is a lot of information on how to collaborate in the project.