Of real people, belgian beer and sandals

  • March 1, 2005
  • Jasper Huijsmans

So, FOSDEM is already over. Man, it was great! So good to finally meet the people I only know from email and IRC and to be able to connect the writings to a real person.

Friday I met up with Brian, Jens and Olivier and had something to eat. Olivier and me had ‘Waterzooi’ — we still live ;-) Brian kinda looked like a zombie, but that’s actually pretty good, considering he had been awake for 24 hours by that time.

Saturday morning started with skipping the first talk (wikipedia??) and instead we had coffee with the lunar / xfce group — 11 people (12 eventually), that’s a huge number for a small group like ours.

After that it was off to see and hear Richard Stallman speak. That was dissappointing. His arguments were not always convincing, but what was worse, he proved to be very rude when he couldn’t hear the questions. Oh, and Jean-François appears to have made a picture of FOSDEM staff trying to kill RMS. Or were they trying to cut his hair? Here it is.

Lunch in some restaurant down the street. Auke and Stacey go for ‘chicken’, the others prefer real food. François arrives and is hugged by Jaime. Repeatedly.

Olivier, JF and me go to the ddd talk (Auke claimed we needed it…), the others went to some clustering talk I believe. The talk by Andreas Zeller was very entertaining.

We lost the group and walked around looking for them for a while until François called and said they’d gone back to their hotel ;-) We went to Olivier’s hotel and discussed his presentation. Also had a look at the thin-client by HP using Xfce. Very nice.

Dinner at a restaurant where they gave us our own floor, played to most awful collection of music that you’ve ever heard, and which was outrageously expensive. But we had good fun ;) Auke did a speech like a real project leader. Although he may have tried to delegate it first…

Sunday, the people who could get up early enough went to see a talk about KDE by Mathias Ettrich. Very enjoyable. The colors of the projector where wrong though (no blue), so Olivier was a bit worried, but it turned out to be a configuration problem and was fixed when Olivier connected his own laptop.

Olivier’s talk was excellent. The demo of transparent windows was awesome, that must have impressed a few people. At the end there were some good questions … and there was one strange fellow who started a rant about wanting ‘normal’ configuration files that he could change from scripts or something instead of xml — we didn’t quite get what he meant, actually.

In the afternoon we had a small developer room to ourselves. There were some interested people besides our own group, so that was cool. I managed to scare half of them away with my talk about the panel. It wasn’t that bad, I thought… Here are the slides I used.

Brian did a talk about Xfmedia, which was pretty interesting and unsurprisingly ended with a lot of feature requests by us ;-)

Moritz showed us once again that we are missing out on real money because we don’t have a way to accept donations. He proposed to let Auke try and set-up a not-for-profit company to manage these things for Xfce, Lunar and possibly other projects as well. How could we disagree with that?

Auke then acted as a stand-in for benny and tried explain the design considerations for creating a simple file manager for Xfce. Even if not prepared properly, still a very enjoyable talk. Extra cool thing was that Alexander Larsson of Nautilus fame showed up and took part in the discussions. Thanks Alexander! I don’t think we have actually made up our minds about the design just yet…

I had a great time this weekend, thanks to everyone who was there. We have a great group of people, even in real life.

What’s that thing about sandals you say? Well, we were all kinda shocked that this crazy guy from California actually showed up in Brussels wearing sandals! It was snowing! I hope he didn’t catch a cold.

Let’s do this again some time.