Saturday, 18 October 2008

My trip to "Journées du logiciel libre" 2008

  • Woke up around 5h in the morning.
  • Arrived on time at the train station to pick up the TGV for Lyon
  • TGV departed on time, at 6h57 in the morningCaught Frédéric Peters at the bar, in the train. We took two petit déjeuner, café/croissant. You need that when you woke up at 5h something.
  • Went to seat near Frédéric's place so we did chat during all the journey to Lyon. Nice.
  • Arrived in Lyon on time at 9h00. Off to the tramway station.
  • Arrived at CPE around 9h30. We were lucky, the opening session of the JDLL was late so we were there on time for it...
  • Met some usual suspects like Rodolphe Quiedeville, Frédéric Couchet, Dave Neary, Fredix, Lucas and Misc (get yourself a web space!).
  • Attended the talk. Interesting.
  • Off to the GNOME booth. Met some new faces with whom we had some nice chats. Thanks to Dave, we could have some nice posters as well as a couple of Nokia tablets to show off GNOME Mobile. At some point, the Mozilla folks did even borrow us an N810 device to install Fennec on it to show it off. Nice.
  • Did my Nemiver talk. It went quite well. I had some nice questions at the end, even about the new stuff coming up in GDB. This alone could be the subject of a dedicated talk. Anyway, the slides of the talk are here.
  • After the talk Fredix took us (Frédéric and Guillaume Desrat, of Ruby fame) to a bar, near the train station. Had some nice chat there as well.
  • Took the TGV at 20h00, arrived on time at 22h00 in Paris.
  • Nice and exhausting day. A nice event all in all. I just wish there were more technical talks though. I think that event could gain in traction if more technical speakers could be invited. It'd have been nice to have an update of the last released Linux kernel,, GNOME, etc. I am quite confident that this could raise the awareness of this event amongst french speaking free free software enthousiasts.
  • Today (Saturday) the other GNOME folks have taken care of the booth there. I hope everything went well.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

The perfect jewel

Reading Christian's blog entry about what the Free Desktop needs to grow in market share made me smile a bit because I have been thinking about this exact thing a couple of times.

I agree with Christian that we have the technological base to rise and shine today.

I do think however that Free Desktop Software bits alone will have hard time taking over this market. I Think we need more than that, even if our software can flip cubes around and do fancy things when you snap your fingers.

You need a device which the software will be integrated with. And tightly. You need disitribution channels for that device and for the software bits that run on it. You need to build an ecosystem of applications that integrate well on the device. You need to assure people that things keep working when they upgrade the hardware and the software. You probably won't be able to do that alone, so you need partners. Lots of them. Partners who can make a living by writting and distributing apps for the ecosystem.

I believe there is an opportunity for an organization to focus on these tasks today instead of focusing on cost saving shortcuts that make our Free Software Desktop just look as a cheap alternative to today's established monopoly and thus eroding our image capital a little bit more everyday.

The funny thing is that even once you have all those hard things done, end users don't see it. They don't see the hard work. They might only see a nice device on which applications do work. Assuming the device is so cute that even my little sister will be wanting one in her bag, some users might see it as a jewel. Just a perfect jewel.

That shall be time for all of us Free Software Lovers to rejoice. But until then, until such organization(s) emerge I believe hard work is due.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Nemiver at "Journées du logiciel libre"

This Friday 17th and Saturday 18th the "Journées du logiciel libre" event is being held in Lyon, France. It's an interesting French Free Software event where you can meet users and people from different communities.

I will be talking about the Nemiver debugger on Friday afternoon. The talk will cover the history of the project, the features and architecture of the debugger as well as its future perspectives.

On Saturday, there will also be a GNOME booth where you can meet the folks from the French GNOME squad. So if you are around Lyon and are interested, please come and say Hi :-)

Checkout the planning of the talks here.