Bangalore GNOME 3.0 Hackfest

GNOME Release Team

Already 5 days in Bangalore, India and time to give an update on what has been done and what’s left to finalize. I have indeed been silent the past 2-3 months preparing the GNOME.Asia Summit and working on Software Freedom Day to get up to speed for 2011. So I am at my first GNOME hackfest and from what I have been told, one of the biggest ever. In total we have about 16 people working on the GNOME 3.0 release, from making sure we catch all the critical bugs, to fixing them, writing documentation (I’ve just been assigned to write some missing sections – that will be my first contribution to the GNOME code base) and preparing the associated marketing campaign (which has already started of course).

On top of those major tasks we are also providing training to the students of Bangalore (2 days totalling 200 seats), organizing a business session with case studies to explain to local companies how others make money with GNOME and Free Software, running a helpdesk to support people curious about GNOME 3.0 and, making sure that all the necessary tasks for the GNOME.Asia Summit have been completed. I have to send a huge thank you to Bharath for his devotion and support everyday and all the sponsors who have made this great event possible. It is a real pleasure to see so many people supporting us and we can definitely feel the pressure not to disappoint anyone.

In that respect I have been particularly impressed with the release team who is not taking their task lightly and have somewhat skipped the group meals since Tuesday. They still move from the hotel to the hackfest location with us but seldom leave their keyboards. The above photo is a shot I just took in their room before writing this post… Of course no one in the team has written their talk for the weekend, but that shouldn’t prevent participants from attending 😉

On the bright side we have reached 1400 registrations for the summit and I doubt anything could stop the success of what we’ve been working on for the past 6 months. India even got qualified for the cricket world finals, which has only happened twice since 1975 (2003 best runner up, 1983 winner). So obviously everything is on our side and the 3.0 release should be a magnificent one.

Last but not least I want to thank the GNOME Foundation for its support and allowing me to join the hackfest and the conference.

Sponsored by the GNOME Foundation

Already 6 months in South China

terrapins and lizard pondIt’s been now 6 months that Pockey and I have left Beijing and moved to Shantou. A great decision if you ask me, and we can now enjoy summertime for about 9+ months of the year (I’ve been wearing only shorts since I arrived – not the same pair though ;-)), our lizards and turtles get to see and appreciate the real sun (which is much better than UV and heat lamps like we had to have in Beijing) and they even have a small pond where they can bathe and swim. It’s a real pleasure to be finally able to have them live almost like in the wild and give them so much space, plants and trees to climb on (about 5 times the space on the photo). The iguanas however still prefer to be hand fed (seems someone has been spoiling them), and living in a climate closer to where they come from allows us to find much more diversity of salads and fruits all year long. Again another positive change from Beijing. On this note I guess that the fresh marine air we have here is also a lot healthier for both the reptiles and us…

waveOn my end I have been able to finally refocus on my contributions to the Free Software projects I am involved in such as Software Freedom Day and GNOME.Asia. I haven’t been able to catch up with all of them yet but it’s well on the way. I also had the chance to meet Richard Stallman in Shenzhen in August “all by myself” and it was a rather pleasant and enriching experience. I am now planning for a new release of RUR-PLE, some work on Greenboard and maybe some integration with the GNOME Education suite. I also attended the GNOME.Asia Summit in August for which the GNOME Foundation generously paid all my expenses to go there and present my work with GNOME applications in Education. I met a wealth of great people and there is definitely a lot more to write about (next post?). I should probably also start a GNU/Linux User Group, as I have to admit to miss the fun of the Beijing LUG and all my buddies there. Last but not least Shantou is also bringing me the opportunity to surf a lot more than Beijing! 😉 So a view like this one is something quite common and which I definitely appreciate.

Oh and yes, I’ve also caught up with cooking (which I did a lot when I was living in France back then – don’t ask when!). Tempted now? Well drop me an email if you’re in town and we’ll take you around. 😀

2010 starting full speed

Moonos - an Englightenment Ubuntu based distro!I hope everybody had a great time over Christmas and the new year festivities. It’s not really my preferred time of the year for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean other people can’t enjoy ;-)! So I have been focusing my time and energy on Open Source stuff, namely RUR-PLE, some GNOME.Asia related stuff, Greenboard of course, our pilots in migrant schools and Software Freedom Day planning for 2010.
On top of those activities I will start blogging for ZDNet Asia about Linux and Open Source in China, most likely organize the Beijing chapter of the Global Ignite Week with O’Reilly and the cool guys from the Beijing LUG, while trying to get a Hackerspace started in Beijing with a few other enthusiasts from various communities (but mainly from the BLUG though for now).
And finally I am happily providing hosting space for two open source projects, the Phnom Penh LUG, a growing Linux community in Cambodia, and moonOS, a lightweight Ubuntu based distribution (using Enlightenment) started by a cool Cambodian guy with whom I chat almost daily nowadays as we’re working on other open source stuff together. I’ll probably come back to all of those but for sure it’s more than enough to keep me away from writing here…

Lemote sponsorship of GNOME.Asia Summit 2009

lemoteAs some of you know, both Pockey and I were at the GNOME.Asia Summit in Ho Chi Minh City this month. A lot of things happened and I will have to get back to this later. I just wanted to thank Lemote and more specifically Zhang Fuxin for his continuous support to the Beijing LUG and Open Source. On top of taking part in Software Freedom Day this year and using this opportunity to announce their new all-in-one desktop computer they have also agreed to sponsor the GNOME.Asia Summit with two Yeeloong laptop that were used for short Linux courses during the conference and that will be then donated to the computer lab in Ho Chi Minh City to be used as hacking devices. We all hope to see a lot of Vietnamese Open Source Software be ported to MIPS and more participation to our growing Loongson communities. And for those who can read Chinese you’ll be happy to know that Lemote has just launched a new Chinese version of their website!

Call for hosts for GNOME.Asia Summit 2009

gnome_asiaBeing part of the GNOME.Asia Summit Committee, I would like to pass along the message and let every Asian community know that we’re looking for a new host this year. So here is the full announcement:

We are soliciting proposals for hosting GNOME.Asia 2009. The GNOME.Asia Summit is planned to be an annual GNOME event hosted in Asia. We started the GNOME.Asia Summit in 2008 and we want to continue this tradition and spread GNOME throughout the Asian region.

The GNOME.Asia Summit will focus primarily on the GNOME desktop including both applications and the development platform in addition to larger GNOME-related community in Asia. The Summit brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments and businesses to discuss a varied range of topics relating to GNOME and the GNOME community in Asia. Learn more about GNOME.Asia Summit from our website at http://www.gnome.asia/en/

The Summit has an active committee to assist the local coordinators, but there is a definitive need for individuals actively involved and committed to the planning and execution of the Summit. There are challenges to work through but the process can be a very rewarding and a lot of fun.

GNOME.Asia is much like a tiny seed we want to grow into a tree in Asia. We are looking for local organizers in any Asian country with the desire to take on and succeed in the challenges of organizing an excellent GNOME event.

The following two links are “must read items” for GUADEC, the European model for the Summit. It has also worked well for GNOME.Asia Summit organizers :

You will also find the template of GNOME.Asia Summit 2008 Proposal is very helpful:
Download the proposal template from: http://www.gnome.asia/static/upload/document/GNOME_Asia_Summit_proposal.pdf

Dear GNOME friends,

For those of you who interested in hosting the next GNOME.Asia Summit in 2009 you are hereby invited to write a formal proposal to the GNOME.Asia Committee list at asia-summit-list [at] gnome.org regarding your ideas for this year Asian GNOME event! The deadline for submitting the proposal is 15th, June, 2009.