Halfway through GUADEC

And it has been great so far. People in Britain are very friendly and helpful. Me and my girlfriend has been at in average four talks per day. We arrived late in the Sunday night, so we missed the whole first and second day.

Britain as a country is very similar to Sweden, it almost feels like being home except that the language is different. It's funny how many and varied warning signs they have. There are warnings everywhere, for example "Caution! This door may close at any time!" But the warnings at the zebra crossings that tells you to look left or right are very useful. It is completely weird seeing the traffic going in the wrong direction all the time.

The food is cheap but quite bad. Chips are served with about every meal. Best food eaten so far was from a stand at the coach station that sold "Mediterranean Rolls" they tasted really great. Oh, and you don't have to pay tips! That's very much a plus. At least I don't think so, the waitresses and cashiers didn't seem pissed off when we didn't.

The best talk so far was the lightning talk with Michael Meeks and Federico Mena-Quintero. If a memory access is the distance from your nose to your brain, then a disk seek is all the way to the Middle East. Fun stuff. Havoc Pennington and Bryan Clark held their keynote about, unsurprisingly, the Online Desktop. They definitely have the right ideas, but I'm not attracted by their purple "mugshot" client.

Some developer from Beagle held a talk about metadata in which he said that Tracker was unfocused. It will be "interesting" to hear Jamie McCrackens retort in tomorrows talk. :-P Hurray for Open Source Soap Opera.

Alex Gravelys keynote was boring. If you have only one hour, plan for 30 minutes. It seemed like he would have needed at least three hours to communicate everything he wanted to say.

Some poor Eastern European developer got his lightning talk ruined by computer problems. It was fun, but sad that people where laughing seemingly at him. I'll definitely try out his git GUI front end anyway.

Carl Worth and Behdad Esfahbod held a very interesting talk about how the Cairo community has evolved. They are both very good speakers and the topic was interesting. I wanted to ask them how Cairo could be slower than the older xft toolkit. I mean, when you write new code, you usually try to make it faster than the old code you are replacing right? Unfortunately, I didn't have the guts.

Before that, there was a talk about building a modern multi-user desktop. The main thing I took home from that talk was that ConsoleKit, PolicyKit and HAL are boring.

Ari Jaaksi held a keynote about Nokia's involvement in open source. I don't like it so much I think. It's not like I can flash the firmware of their N800 and compile my own OS to run on it, is there? Besides, the device (which has been on sale for several months) had stability problems. Yes I'm biased because I work for a competing company. But retailing a product that is that easy to crash is just bad.

I only saw the end of the libgnomedb talk with Murray Cumming. It was quite interesting. But I don't understand why he didn't understand what I meant when I asked him which libraries libgnomedb was related to. Not many ideas are new in the DB field, even if implementations can contain innovations.

And the disaster of the week has been that my laptop broke. :( I thought I handled it very carefully, but there seems to be some seriously problem with the harddisk. Maybe it couldn't handle the British electricity current or something.

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