By bnitz on Jul 03, 2006
Many thanks to the organizers of the GNOME developer/user conference "GUADEC 2006" in Villanova i la Geltrú, Catalonia Spain. The venu was ideal for the talks and even though the transportation to the campsite was awkward, it forced GNOMEers to share a bus every day and encouraged us to stay in the village after work for tapas, beer, football, swimming and technical discussions. I was made to feel welcome from the moment I arrived and I really enjoyed the casual collaboration that took place. I think it helped that our desktop developers are now working closer to head and that other parts of Sun are beginning to follow the desktop team's lead of open development. It feels as though Sun is becomming less 'evil' in the eyes of other open source developers. The GNOME developers I met were very approachable, honest and open. GUADEC highlighted areas where Sun can make significant new contributions (e.g. perfomance via dtrace, canary and libumem, QA , marketing, customer feedback, APOC). There are other areas where Sun needs to stay involved to help prevent GNOME from being locked to non-extensible or linux-specific APIs.
It's interesting to hear that other GNOME companies are encountering some of the same issues that have been plaguing Sun for several years. For example:
- Heavy memory and CPU usage impacts Nokia embedded devices, the One
DesktopLaptop per child initiative... and Sun Ray.
- Application background kill or checkpointing could be useful on Nokia, ODPC and Sun Ray.
- Sharing gconf settings between several GNOME releases in the same NFS home directory affects nearly all enterprise GNOME users, including the 18,000+ thin-client GNOME desktops within Sun.
- The original gnome-session fade out effect is slow on all thin clients (not just Sun Ray.)
- It is difficult to support customers using old versions of GNOME, but it is also difficult to migrate customers to newer version of GNOME. Common experiences, common requirements, common solutions. GUADEC might just help prevent everyone from reinventing their own version of the wheel.