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小兔黑黑 | 12th Jun 2013 | 自由軟體 | (694 Reads)
DSC_0609
Photo
taken by Sammy Fung

As the organiser for GNOME.Asia 2012, it was quite a change for me to assist the team in Seoul to kick off GNOME.Asia 2013. We chatted on IRC nearly every Tuesday night and there were times that I would like to be in Seoul instantly and got some tasks done, but I had to remind myself that it was more important to grow the Korea team so that the work of GNOME can continue in the years to come.

After a bit less than half a year of work, GNOME.Asia 2013 arrived on May 24-25, and we could finally meet each other in person. It was the first time that I was sponsored to a Free/Open Source conference, and I was very grateful for the support of the GNOME Foundation. It was great to meet our executive director, Karen Sandler and listened to her talking about her heart in live.

From the talks given by Allan Day and Tobias Mueller on the history and future of GNOME 3, I was glad to see how GNOME 3 became more mature. The talks also brought back memories from the summit last year, where there was an extended question time after the first keynote. A number of participants had doubts about GNOME 3 but they still took the initiative to come and ask questions to the design team of GNOME 3 [video link]. I had my own doubts as well, but I appreciated very much that the team would allow such an occasion to happen. I would not imagine Microsoft to allow such openness on their Windows 8 design team. It also helped me to understand what it took to make big changes and I wondered if GNOME 3 had gone through the most difficult time already.

DSC_0600
Photo
taken by Sammy Fung

Another purpose for the region conference was community building. From the presentation of Tong Hui, Mohammad Anwari and Eric Sun, I learnt about FOSS in Beijing, Indonesia and Taiwan. There was a participant from Japan as well. We hoped one day that GNOME.Asia could be in Japan as well.

As an organiser for GNOME.Asia 2012, I was surprised by the commitment of GNOME to include women and there were always sessions in GNOME.Asia summits related to this area. For this year, I attended the session by Sphinx Jiang on her journey to become more geeky and I appreciate her courage to come all the way to present.

One nice thing for not being an organiser was that I could attend more sessions. I learnt more about Gstreamer from Olivier Crete, Tizen from Joone Hur and DLNA from Jens Georg. Anish Patil talked about applying Markov Chain in input method prediction, and he helped me to fill one of the missing holes in my engineering training. I would like to see if it could be applied to the Cangjie input method as well (a common input method in Hong Kong). I also appreciate the team to invite Cedric Bail to present on Enlightenment, something quite different from GNOME.

As for my contributions, I was honoured to present in the opening of the summit. I had to admit that I copied a good proportion of the materials from Max Huang, who did the previous opening in 2012. I was further intimated by the great 3D opening video from the local team. So, I asked for help from FSF, where they provided an infographic on "Upgrade from Windows 8". I told the audience that there was more beyond Microsoft and Apple. You could make the choices and be your master. Without any co-ordination with Karen Sandler, this message fitted quite well with the story of her heart.

On the second day, I learnt about the news of Tizen Shell and how it was built on GNOME. A number of the people involved could not make comment yet and so I put together a lightning talk on this news when both sessions were in Korean (sorry to Namhyung Kim and Sunjin Yang). I presented at the end of the day 2 to let everyone know about this great news. Together with the news that Linus Torvalds was back to GNOME 3 that I believed that the most difficult time for GNOME 3 had passed. I hope to see more news like this in the near further.

After the conference on the Sunday, the local team provided us with a guided tour to both the new and old part of Seoul. It was again a good time to build relationships. Photos of the conference and the this guided tour can be found here.

Usually when I go back to work after a weekend, I miss the hot corner on my work Windows 7 box. I am grateful that I can be a part of the community and there are ways that I can give back. Other than the technical stuff, one thing I will remember is from the summit to take the GNOME 3 project as a reference for managing changes in how to be open to the community and firm in the right direction.

Thank you for the Korean team for the hard work and the hospitality, and GNOME Foundation in making all the above possible.