About FISL and III Fórum GNOME

May 01, 2006

Well, as most of you probably know, the 7th Fórum Internacional Software Livre and the III Fórum GNOME took place at Porto Alegre/RS (Brazil) on April 19-22. FISL had more than 5k atendees this year which is an impressive number! Free software people from several countries came to Porto Alegre, mainly from Brazil, Uruguai, U.S., Canada and Argentina. About 275 talk were given by 445 speakers. The III Fórum GNOME happened as a community event of FISL. The schedule was composed by 9 talks with 7 speakers.

First of all, I’d like to loudly say THANK YOU to GNOME Foundation for covering my travel expenses. Without it I would not be able to attend FISL and Fórum GNOME this year.

I arrived on April 16 at Porto Alegre (POA) – three days before FISL because going to Porto Alegre was a wonderful chance to meet some really good friends (Terceiro, Machado e Lucasa) from Bahia who live there. Vinnie, one of my best friends who is living is São Paulo now went to POA too. From 16 to 19 the weather was really cold. At least for me… I spent those 3 days finishing my slides and going for a walk in the talk.

In the first FISL day, I met Thomas just before my talk on GNOME Desktop 2.14. My talk had a good number of people in attendance – the room quite full! Unfortunately, Thomas’s talk on GStreamer was at the same time of mine so I couldn’t attend it. I spent the rest of the day trying to put my Dlink DWL-122 USB wireless key to work on Ubuntu Dapper with no success. ;-/

In the second day (20/04) morning, I saw Aaron Seigo’s talk on KDE4 and Plasma Workspace. Well, the talk was really interesting. In fact, based on what he said, there’s still a long way to get KDE4 and Plasma on a beta functional state but the point here is that they seem to have a strutured conceptual plan for their next generation version. Something that I think we, GNOME, still don’t have it very clear. All we have is an open brainstorming (which is not very effective for practical purposes) with some interesting experimental projects. In the afternoon, I attended Zack Rusin’s talk on technologies for the free desktops which covered some of the latest cool things of X.org and their relation with KDE4. This was a very informative talk, quite nice too. fatalerror arrived in the morning (as far as I remember). Really cool to meet him again on Fórum GNOME. Johan arrived in the afternoon.

The third day began with Miguel’s talk on latest Linux desktop Novell technologies (Xgl, compiz, Beagle, F-Spot, Banshee and others). The audience got very impressed with what Miguel presented there. After Miguel’s talk, Thomas gave a talk on Flumotion and related Python stuff. Although there were too many slides on his presentation (hehe), his talk was really cool. Then, I went the fatalerror’s talk on how to contribute to GNOME. He gave an overview of the several activities of the projects with initial references for each of them. After his talk, lots of people came to him to get more information. I hope to see more brazilians involved in GNOME… Later in the afternoon, Johan gave a talk on best practices on Python GUI development to a big audience. At night, I, Thomas, Johan, Kiko and some Async and Python Brasil guys went to a restaurant to eat some good and cheap food.

fatalerror had to cover kov’s talk about Debian GNOME team because kov could not attend FISL this year. So, I had cover fatalerror’s talk on GNOME Platform. The fourth and last day began with the preparation of this talk. I finished the slides 15 minutes before the schedule. I got in the room a litle bit nervous (I don’t like to prepare talks with that short time) and to get things even better my ibook’s VGA output didn’t work. Fortunately, Kiko lent me his laptop and helped me during the talk. Thanks a LOT kiko! Well, I didn’t like my talk but some people told me it was nice. What can I say? At night, I, Thomas, Johan, Scott Balneaves (LSTP), Keith Packard (X.Org), Jim McQuillan (LTSP), Marlon Dutra (ASL.Org and FISL organization) and Carlos Canto (Propus) went to the best barbecue restaurant of Porto Alegre. It was veeery funny!

One of the negative aspects of this Fórum GNOME edition was that we didn’t get sponsors to produce marketing material. I really missed this. I hope to get it on future Fórum GNOME editions.

Every time I go to free software events I remember that free software is all about people. It was wonderful to meet so many cool people at FISL and Fórum GNOME.

As soon as I get back my camera USB cable, I’ll upload the pictures I took at Porto Alegre. For now, you can have a look at Thomas’ ones.

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