Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dublin and Meego Conference

Thanks to the generosity of the Linux Foundation I flew out and attended Meego Conference this year as well as payed for a couple extra days to see Dublin.  This is my first time out of the United States (I did pop across the border into western Canada for 10 minutes but I don't think that counts).  I've been a Maemo user since the 770 but I never before attended any of the Maemo Summits.  This was a great experience.

I arrived on Saturday the 13th and left on Friday the 19th.  I ended up site seeing rather than participating in any of the early bird events.

On Day 1 I attended Rob Bradford's location/social aware presentation.  I had not known about libsocialweb before which I thought was interesting.  More interesting is I got some ideas of things to do with geoclue.  I also went to a presentation about the Touch Input Method Framework.  The thing that saddens me about these frameworks being created is that they are in-process and limit you to developing in C++ unless someone goes through the effort for each one to write a proxy plugin.  I try to exclusively deal with Python because it let's me focus more of my time on developing rather than worrying about cross-compiling, debugging, etc.  I can understand that there can be performance issues for some frameworks passing a lot of data over dbus, that was the reason I was given for libfolk.  At the evenings receptions, timeless and I had some interesting conversation.  I just hope I remember all the UI feedback he gave.

On Day 2 I attended the two telepathy related sessions (the project, not the super power though that would have made an interesting and confusing unconference day session).  I am looking forward to telepathy 1.0 despite the extra work it is going to put on me for updating The One Ring (and any future CMs I write).  It will be disappointing if I end up having to drop a couple of platforms (currently I support Maemo 4.1, Maemo 5, and desktop Ubuntu with work being done to prep for Meego).

Some worries of fcrochik and I were eased a bit when Mikhail brought up the QtContact plugin backed by libfolk (a bit before a blogpost hit the various planets).  It still seems odd that QtContacts is built with support for plugins yet you would either need some kind of layer on top to aggregate the plugins (needing retrofits for apps using the old API) or else only have one plugin and it aggregates things that plugin to it (plugin for plugins, joy).

The third day was unconference which is more of a good-chaotic everyone-present-what-they-want kind of day.  Sadly due to a conflict I missed Christian's Wayland presentation.

During one of the slots is when I picked up my Lenovo Ideapad that they were giving away.  A bit weird that it comes with a UK power chord and keyboard (I suspect I'm not the only American that set it to US layout to our confusion).  Sadly there is still some work that needs being done which is not giving people the best perception of the netbook/tablet and of Meego.  Hopefully it'll all be worked out in the thread on f.m.c.

I ended the unconference with leading a session about experiences porting from Maemo to Meego but due to conflicts and being the end of the last day I only had fcrochik in attendance.  We still had the good time.

Being from the US and having seen pretty much no professional football games, I enjoyed the Ireland v Norway game.  I heard from others later that both teams weren't playing all that well.  We had free tickets, the pre-game premium lounge with drinks and pretty good snacks.  We had a good number of rounds of the food because they came in such small bowls.  Thankfully texrat was nearby to take all of our dishes.  I didn't take part much in the half-time or pot-game festivities since the lines were long.

I have to say the venue was great, having the hacker's lounge was great, and it all felt top notch.  Amy, Dawn, Quim, and everyone else involved did a great job and there are many thanks to go around. One lesson learned I think was to have more power (and maybe even power converters at the "Power Plant" for people like me who forgot one).  If my laptop I brought actually had power, it would have been fun to have a day like what I heard happened in Barcelona.

I enjoyed being out in Dublin on the other days.  I managed to do everything by foot besides going from and to the airport (so 10+ km of walking on non-conference days).

On Saturday I spent my time at the city centre.  I saw Marions Square, St Stephen's Green, Dublin Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, and walked Grafton Street.  I enjoyed exploring the city but none of those sites really moved me.  I had some good lamb stew at some place near Dublin Castle.  Coming from Austin and freezing out in Dublin, that stew hit the spot.  That evening I also went and saw Tosca performed at the Gaiety Theatre.  That was a very powerful production.

On the Thursday after the Conference I ended up going to some of the further out spots.  I saw the National Gallery and then walked out to O'Connell Street to see the Spire, the James Joye Statue, the Remembrance Garden (very beautiful both in design and in idea), and the James Joyce Centre.  I then went out west and saw the Leprechaun Museum on my way.  Eventually I was at Kilmainham Gaol and the Ireland Museum of Modern Art.  I then had to rush back real quick to get on the internet to see when I flew back.

Those last three sites ended up being my favorite.  It was fascinating to learn the political history of Ireland from the perspective of a jail, including the execution of the leaders of the Easter Rising.  The Garden of Remembrance was a great place to contemplate.  The Leprechaun Museum was fascinating for learning Irish Mythology.

The things I sadly didn't get to see are the Ireland Botanical Gardens, Mallahide Castle, Knowth/Newgrange, the War Memorial Gardens, and a Famine Memorial I saw on my tour map (if it exists, couldn't find it).  I wasn't even sure how I would get to Knowth/Newgrange but at the Leprechaun Museum they aid that the Dublin Tourism place on O'Connell does a tour up in those parts, you jut need to arrange it a head of time it sounded like.  Something to know for the next trip out to Dublin.

I find it interesting that a friend had recommended I see a lot of the Churches but instead I saw or at least tried to see war memorials, jails, execution sites, ancient burial tombs, etc.  A bit different of priorities I guess.

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