Uch, it's almost a week ago, that GUADEC 2007 ended for me early. Appoligies for those of you I've meet, but could not say goodbye on Thursday - I had to get my flight back home. This goes especially to Federico and Phillip. After meeting many GNOME people in person, I know even more than I knew before, that GNOME is the community I belong to. Once again its an interessting experience of hearing your voices in mind, when chatting with you on IRC. Micke: Nice that Sven was able to introduce you to Jürg - I completly forgot my personal schedule when we talked.
Dominant topics of this GUADEC were desktop bling and web integration. I am all for the bling. Regarding Web integration I have some reservations. Maybe I am too old to get Web 2.0. Maybe I am too paranoid to trust Web 2.0. Lucas brought it to the point: Web awareness is neccessary, but turning GNOME into a fully web-dependent online desktop is absolutly pointless: No need to build free software, when you plan to replace Microsoft with Google (even if Google seems to play nice so far).
Also wondering, that Web 2.0 enhusiasts are that exited about the possiblities to transfer their data from one provider to another. Over that exitement you overlook, that web based services take you away one very important freedom: The freedom to delete data. Google even is proud of havining no delete button in their mail client. Speaking of web mail clients: Could you Google-Mail fan boys stop trying to annoy us local mail users in your doomed attempts to convince us of that concept as beeing the Holy Grail, please? Boys, web interfaces for mail are around since the web exists. Guess they are some of the oldest services! Probably older than search engines. So if people prefer local clients over web clients they have reasons. Examples for unsolvable problems: Privacy and latency (even with AJAX).
So lets come to some talks. The following words are very critical. Seems to be my nature. So do not forget: I absolutly enjoyed that GUADEC!
Havoc: Before your talk I feared you smart guy were hit by a brick, when starting to talk about GNOME Online Desktop. Now I admit you have a point: Let's be faster than proprietary vendors this time. Nevertheless some of the problems you described are artificial and caused by your special live style. People do not get new devices every few weeks - so your configuration synchronisation problem seems to be artificial - expect maybe for contacts. Well, and being in a situation, where your notebook turns into a brick when being offline, is nothing to be very proud off.
Alex Graveley: Incredible demo, you should have reserved more time for it - as you tried to fill your talk with an incredible amount of ridicilous claims. In German I'd say: "Nicht alles was hinkt, ist ein Vergleich". First of all you do not seem to get priorities right for free software development: First priority is freedom. Fame comes after that. You (and your beloved Firefox project) seem to reverse those priorities. Well, and when you claimed "Web developers are free software developers", you absolutly ruined your talk. At least I feelt like having to throw tomatos and eggs at you, when that slide showed up. From my observation a very dominant majority of web developers will never ever show you the backend code of their sites. So how can those guys be free software developers - despite that the use free software? Well, and sharing HTML code on the web is by accident. Guess a very large number of Web developers would prever to encrypt their HTML and CSS hacks. Just want to mention this large ammount of "Show-Source-Code" prevention hacks developed for the Internet Explorer. So - despite Pyro being an incredibly cool technical demonstration - that project is based on a wrong premise: Web developers would care about libre software.