GNOME Summit

The Boston GNOME Summit was held over this past weekend. The conference was in the Stata Center in the MIT campus in Cambridge, a wonderful environment for a hackfest. I am glad that I went, I feel very much recharged after having a few days of face-to-face interaction with others who work on GNOME. The distributed nature of free software development can make a person feel disconnected and the opportunity to get together a few times each year is really very helpful to me. I want to thank everyone who helped put together such a fun and productive event.

Initially I was planning on giving a talk about ISV interface concerns, but I intstead decided to be more low key on this topic. My interactions about interface stability the past few months on the GNOME desktop-devel-list and release-team mail lists seemed to be generating too much conflict and not enough cooperation. So I've been spending a lot of time lately rethinking my approach towards encouraging improvement and have started focusing more on helping to fix the problems and less time talking about what I think needs to be done. After discussing the idea with my manager, Sun is now using Wipro resources to help identify and resolve bugs in the GNOME Platform library interface documentation. Progress is just starting to ramp up. Refer to bugzilla bugs 313661, 316529 and 313529 for examples.

It was great participating in the Eclipse ISV discussion, and gave me some opportunities to highlight that, from Sun's perspective, the main interface stability issues in the GNOME desktop boil down to issues of documentation. To date, most applications shipped in the GNOME desktop are provided by the GNOME community. Creating an environment where it is easier for others to get involved seems to be an appropriate next step, and working to resolve the problems that exist in the interface documentation seems to be a good first step. Certainly resolving these problems makes future discussion easier.

I've also been engaging in some discussion about interface stability with people internal to Sun and in the GNOME community at large, and it seems that we are gaining some ground. I just have to keep telling myself "less is more" since it is too easy for me to get verbose on this topic. Also, things get done more effectively when we collaborate.

I very much enjoyed seeing the demos at the HackFest. I was especially excited by Dogtail, a automated testing program using the accessibility infrastructure for automated QA testing. It looks like a great product. I enjoyed having the chance to take a look at the work that so many people are doing, and also appreciate all the help that people gave me concerning fixing various GDM bugs which I will get around to fixing in CVS soon.

In other news, I've been doing a lot of work getting GNOME 2.12 working on Solaris. I finally got the latest GNOME media software working again and got evince imported into our build system. We're now starting the process to replace gpdf if our future releases with evince. I've also been keeping busy with GDM hacking and plan to be spending more time on GDM in the near future.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next time!

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