Older blog entries for gman (starting at number 274)

So, I feel the need to explain things about GU4DEC, GNOME Users and Developers European Confence, I've been organizing for the past couple of months. A few people have been upset because I told a group of four people [Rodney, James, David & Sharvil] that I had to cancel their talks at the conference, a month before the event.

Just last week, we heard that Alan Kay, one of the earliest pioneers of computing, let us know that his doctor had forbid him to travel on account of the recent SARS outbreak. We discussed this at lengh during a GNOME Foundation Board meeting, and decided that it would be best to try and find a keynote speaker to be there in person, but also allowing Alan to give a live video uplink from California. Robin Rowe, of Cinepaint [which was once film gimp] agreed to give such a keynote.

I was put in the unenviable position of having to make space in the schedule, resulting in 4 talks being cut. It was not an easy decision, but it never is. A lot of people seem to forget how these conferences get organized. Not only do they rely on many volunteer members, they also rely most heavily on sponsorship. In this current climate, obtaining sponsorship is next to impossible. Believe me, I've tried.

GUADEC can not possibly survive as a conference dedicated only to the developers - GNOME has got too big, too important. A lot of people get upset when talks appear on the schedule from companies who have primarily dealt with proprietary software. But sometimes don't you think it is exciting that they are interested in a relatively small conference like GUADEC. Don't you think that it is exciting that a company like Real Networks have given us licenses to be able to stream some of the talks at GU4DEC?

Linux@work is a new experimental day attached on to GUADEC this year, providing an opportunity for government officials, businesses, hackers and press to talk about open source software. I understand that I could never understand open source compared to someone who has found open source in their own time, yet I feel this is something that we are all searching for. A chance for people to use our software - to acknowledge that open source *can* and *does* work. I talked to one of our managers today about how open source works in a company like Sun - everything in her brain said 'Open Source *can't* work, it just *can't*' - but more and more, everyday, she is slowly seeing that it can.

That message is particuarly powerful for me.
Probably a while since I've done one of these. I'm remarkably unmotivated about work recently - I guess it's the fault of the good weather and the lure of limestone, granite and basalt. Still working towards getting a good conference organized for GU4DEC - which is going much better, thanks to jdub who redesigned the site.

I just wonder sometimes what it would be like leaving Sun and GNOME for a year - what new and cool things would be around, what new people would have joined, would the project still be flourishing as it is today. It's rather curious, and I almost wish I could try out the experiment. Someday...someday.
Register for GU4DEC - my only friend.
Wow, it's been a weird couple of weeks - I almost didn't see the time going by and now I head down to the Costa Blanca for a week of sport climbing.

So, Scott couldn't make it to GU4DEC which is a bit of a shame, but the planning for the conference is going well - I'm pretty optimistic that we're going to have a rocking conference.

The offer of nice accommodation closes April 4th - pity more people haven't availed of it as yet. Pity people haven't submitted designs for the t-shirt competition either. Some people will never learn.

This week I got told by my bosses boss that I would make a good manager. I'm not sure whether to be disturbed by this remark or feel strangely satisfied.

Lots of interesting discussion over zenity this week - it's a pity I haven't had much time to improve some of the sucky bits. Improved battfink a little bit and made a 0.3 release - hopefully nailed all the APM bugs this time. Pity no one has offered to do the ACPI bit yet.

Pretty happy about going climbing this week.

dobey: Well first of all, this is what I get paid for within Sun, which *is* a distributor. We're trying to identify some of the missing pieces in the desktop - whether we have found them yet or not, only time will tell. I think your 'portable platform' isn't a terribly good argument - I hope you don't need any explanations of why this is so.

In the end though, we need to encourage people to innovate as much as bug fix. This is one of the most important things for getting new contributors to the desktop and keeping the project alive.
The GU4DEC planning is going quite well now. We seem to have had a good influx of pretty exciting papers and I've extended the deadlines for those struggling to get papers in on time. The sponsorship front isn't going as well. I think I sent about 12 emails last week and haven't heard replies from any of them.

By far the highlight of my week was coming home from the pub and deciding to ask Scott to speak at GU4DEC. I'm not terribly optimistic but I figured it was worth 5 minutes to ask. I'm still a little uncertain where we stand w.r.t. keynote speakers - we really need to get these sorted so that we can hype the conference a little bit more.

I even got a small amount of time to hack on Battfink this week, and released a 0.2 version - still waiting for someone to implement the ACPI support. I'd rather not do it blindly because if it's anything like APM, it's full of funnisms.

Still haven't had any time to work on cronicle, the schedule tasks UI, although I have some pretty firm ideas of what it should do and how it should act - I don't think anything more than a UI wrapper around crontab is a terribly good idea.

Pretty excited by the prospects of GNOME 2.4 discussion. We seem to have a heap of new and exciting modules that we could include. I'm really happy to see the desktop getting more featureful and integrated.

More juggling to do over the next week or so, but at least I feel like I'm juggling the same things and not chainsaws, elephants and potted plants.
11 Mar 2003 (updated 11 Mar 2003 at 16:48 UTC) »
I'm stressed, because I don't think GUADEC is going to work out, because there has been a distinct lack of paper submissions, because we still have a large amount of sponsorship to get, because I have a rake of internal projects that I haven't yet started, because I feel like I'm sucking on the release team and foundation board.

I'm just one little stressball really.

<Gman> Burrito: pokey

Says it all really.
A week later and I am almost ready to leave, all be it a little reluctantly. I've had an amazing time here and met some wonderful, generous people.

Today I wandered around the city for about 3 or 4 hours, taking in the Forbidden City, Beihai Gongyuan and Jingshan Gongyuan. Tommorrow 2 Sun guys, Louie and Pete, will take me out to the Great Wall and then for a wander through the silk markets.

It's a shame I don't have longer here. I will miss the people, the food and the culture.
So I'm in Beijing now - after a really long and crappy flight. My body decided to get a cold, so I spent 11 hours sneezing, wheezing, coughing and fidgeting - must have drank about 5 or 6 litres of water on the flight. That air was so warm and dry - gave me a headache too.

Wasn't sure what to expect when I got to the airport - had a thought that I might be met there, but fortunately there was no one there, since I don't think I would have been able to talk to them very well. Hopped on a bus into the city, found the hotel easily enough and wandered up to the room.

My GOD. It's a large room with 2 double beds, a nice large tv and an on suite bathroom with shower and bath. Plus it has an internet connection. I think I lucked out on this one ;)
So, today, I decided to get drunk. Less than 12 hours before I fly over to Beijing. Couldn't have picked a better time. Oh well.

I guess you could say that I'm a little hesistant about the trip - everyone else says that I have the best job in the world. I guess I do. It's just hard to realize sometimes when you are blinded by so many totally daft things.

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