Celebrating GNOME 3

GNOME 3 Hackfest

I was delighted to see that GNOME 3 released yesterday without any complications.  It seems that everyone is eager with anticipation and I know the GNOME community is very much looking forward to feedback as people try it out.

Just the other day I returned home to the USA after attending the GNOME.Asia events in Bangalore, India.  The GNOME 3  Hackfest was held from Monday, March 28th through Friday, April 1st.  I felt it very productive with key members of the marketing team, the release team, the GNOME board of directors, and other key GNOME community members attending and working to help ensure that the GNOME 3 release was as successful as possible.  I think this really helped to make for a smooth GNOME 3 launch.

I felt that everyone who attended the hackfest put forth a great effort to do needed work, fixing bugs, and having good fun.  For example, I believe the hackfest gave the marketing folks an opportunity to put the final polish on the new GNOME website.  The website looks simply beautiful, and nicely shows off the new GNOME 3 design.  Not everyone liked the April Fools joke, but I took it in stride.  Personally I would rather be involved with a community that has a sense of humor than not.

The hackfest was followed by the GNOME.Asia Summit on April 2nd-3rd.  Past GNOME.Asia events had been held in eastern Asia (Beijing, Vietnam, and Taiwan), so having the event in India this year made GNOME.Asia feel like it is developing into more of an international Asian-wide event.  India won the cricket World Cup over the Summit weekend, which seemed to nicely complement the positive energy of the GNOME 3 launch.

I delivered a keynote and the first talk at the Summit.  In my talk I introduced the audience to the GNOME.Asia community, our journey, the volunteer spirit, and encouraged people to get involved.  I played a few videos created at past GNOME.Asia events which showed the vibrancy of the Asian GNOME community.  Vincent Untz followed with a more technical introduction to the new GNOME 3 technologies. 

The one thing that struck me the most about the Summit was how many local people approached myself and others with an enthusiastic and genuine interest to get involved.  This was really exciting to see.  I further encouraged people in India to get more involved when I was interviewed by The Hindu, an Indian newspaper.

At past GNOME.Asia events, local GNOME Users Groups have sprouted soon after.  I know that the organizers hope very much that GNOME enthusiasts in India follow this example and that this event also leads to a strong Indian GNOME users community.

The local organizers and the GNOME.Asia Committee really worked overtime to make this event a success. The scope of GNOME.Asia 2011 was much larger than any previous GNOME.Asia event.  For example, this event included the first GNOME hackfest in Asia, and was the first GNOME.Asia Summit to include training sessions (over 260 people attended).  Furthermore, the GNOME.Asia Committee also made arrangements to hold over 130 GNOME 3 Launch parties around the globe during the same timeframe as these Bangalore events.  When you consider that GNOME.Asia 2010 was held last August giving the organizers only 7 months to prepare, this is just an incredible display of the GNOME volunteer spirit.  I think Fred Muller, Pocky Lam, Emily Chen, and Barath Acharya deserve special recognition for their tireless effort.

Also thanks to Google, Oracle, Mozilla, Lemote Technology, Novell, Intel, Airtel, Convergent Communications, EDF, JoomlArt, Lanedo, and Linux Pilot for helping to sponsor the event.  Also thanks to the GNOME Foundation for helping to make the event possible and for covering the cost of travel arrangements for myself and many other key people who attended this event.

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