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GUADEC wrapup

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 15:46


First of all, for people who are wondering what's up with the archives of the streams: don't worry, we're working on them. The online copies have a few problems, most of them related to networking problems during the conference (ie. parts of the stream never reached our online platform). But don't worry, we have local copies that we are currently fixing up and cutting nicely, and we will put them up as soon as they are done.


plane hackin'

So, wrapping up GUADEC. Excellent conference, as usual. While GUADEC itself was great, I really need to do something next year so I get to enjoy more of the conference itself. Running the streams is a pleasing thing to do, but it makes you miss out on a bunch of the talks, and it doesn't give you as much time as usual to talk to a bunch of people you otherwise don't get the chance for. Which is, after all, the main reason we want to go to these conferences. Oh, and getting up at 7.30 is no joke either for someone like me.

There were a bunch of logistic issues to deal with as well that I really need to make sure are solved for next year. The volunteers did great work. But I feel there are some baseline issues that need to be guaranteed in some form so we can avoid the more silly problems like "no network" and "no power".

If your name is Karin, for the love of God don't go to Germany

Stuttgart itself was a nice surprise. I don't particularly like Germany much from past experience, but Stuttgart had plenty of green, nice buildings, a good looking city centre, and the GUADEC venue was a very nice building. Some of the rooms were a little on the small side though. But some of the stereotypes I had got reinforced as well. For example, there were five rooms available for GUADEC: one 500 people room, one 300 people room, and three 50 people rooms. We couldn't use the two big rooms at the same time on Sunday because there *always* needs to be a building technician in the room when it's in use, and only one of them was available on Sunday. So, no, he can't turn on the equipment in room A then do the same in room B - he is only allowed to open up either of the two rooms at any given time. This apparently also involves strict union labour law. I gave up understanding at that point.

bad usability is a good excuse for ending up in the "wrong" place

The parties were really my only opportunity to socialize a little with people. I discussed Anna's usability video recording setup (this would make an excellent GNOME bounty), and discussed various other technical and non-technical stuff with the people I knew there. The bar was called C64 and there were joysticks at the bar and you could play Frogger. Excellent. My plans for sleeping late and preparing my presentation were subtly thwarted by beer ending up in the belly of a beast that was hard to drag home.

sadly our new wireless router does not reach all the way to the pool
if you are a burglar, watch out for streams of zeroes and ones reflecting off walls at geometrically incorrect angles and hitting you in the eye

We were adequately prepared for this GUADEC in hindsight. We could have brought some install CD's to save some pain, and we ended up buying a wireless router we needed anyway for the office, and which proved to be a lifesaver during the setup. Once the basics like power and network worked (which happened the first time at 07.30 in the morning the first day of the conference ...), setting up Flumotion was pretty damn easy. We did run into a few things that we should definitely work on for next time to make it even easier to manage the streams while the conference is running. But overall stuff worked very well. People were commenting on IRC (how I wish we had an a CMML bot running so we could have annotated the streams), and everyone seemed to enjoy the chance of almost being there. At one point someone complained about the distortion in one of the rooms, and from some other room I could just bring up my admin client and turn down the volume on the firewire input. Sweet laziness.

The other Gergely Nagy

Flumotion has its second outside contributor, algernon. You can see his good twin (the exact same name, there at GUADEC, freaky) up above. Gergely posted an entry on his site a while back on why he still prefered icecast over Flumotion. I can't link to it because his site is currently down. I posted a reply to some of the points he made, since he had a bunch of constructive criticism that needed to be adressed. A few weeks later, he took a good look at Flumotion and saw a lot of stuff he liked that he didn't notice before. He got over his python "aversion" and started submitting patches for various bits. We're happy to have a new contributor to our growing project :)

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