I came back from Karlsruhe last week, where GUADEC 2016 took place.
It was a wonderful event. Even though it was only my second GUADEC, I felt at home in this community, meeting with old and new friends.
The talks were excellent, but a few really resonated with me:
- Cosimo tooks us for a fascinating dive into the anatomy of Endless OS, explaining how they built Endless OS out of ostree, and soon flatpak;
- Bradley told us about why he doesn't use GNOME but everyone else should, which reminded us why GNOME is so important to bring software freedom to everybody, not just us geeks;
- Jonathan's An asynchronous internet for GNOME, about the Internet-related constraints they face when deploying Endless computers, which are the same as what we face with Bibliothèques Sans Frontières / Libraries Without Borders;
- Rosanna gave us a look behind the curtain — how the Foundation runs, which made it clear I had no idea how the Foundation actually works behind the scenes; (but now I do!)
- Owen showed us how we could rework the desktop distribution, presenting an exciting possible future for GNOME with ostree and flatpak;
Of course the most interesting discussions are sometimes the ones you have outside of the planned presentations, and probably one of the best for me was when Stef Walter showed me the amazing work they've done on the Cockpit project, especially since I should be able to reuse a lot of that for my work with Bibliothèques Sans Frontières.
Other than that I spent quite some time hacking on a few things:
- I reworked
flatpak-builderhandles git submodules as that was blocking us from building GNOME Games nightly flatpaks;
- I also fixed and improved the
flatpak-buildermanifests for GNOME Games and Nautilus. Hopefully we'll get nightlies for the two apps real soon;
- I made various improvements to the GNOME Games code, among which using libsoup instead of gvfs-http (as the latter doesn't work well inside a flatpak sandbox), improving the resume dialog, better handling failures to resume a game, and inhibiting the screensaver/logout while playing;
- I fixed exempi to make it support the build API, which makes it much easier to build inside a flatpak;
Overall, I spent most of the week on flatpak-related issues, which is a technology I'm growing to love more and more, and which could revolutionize the way we distribute applications for the Linux desktop.
And all those fixes allowed me to spend most of the trip back home playing in GNOME Games, running from a flatpak build of git master, with a PS3 gamepad. Obviously that's the only reason I worked on all of this! 😜
All in all, this GUADEC was a huge success, thanks to the efforts of the organization team.
Looking forward to the next one in Manchester!