Here is a small overview of the conferences I liked this year at GUADEC.

Disclaimer: If yours is not there, either

  • I was busy elsewhere
  • I have nothing to say about it
  • I found it bad :-) 

Warmup (15-16 of July):

Free Software for the socially excluded

Kind of interesting to see how the english educational system works when you come from a different country. The speaker gave us some insightful information about how giving a computer to a child in the UK could improve his chances to have his graduation. He could explain us how thin clients with remote access via ssh for maintainance, and some cheap USB sticks could help a lot of people. It seems that the english system doesn't help children, and uses the old "survival of the fittest richest" mode to determine who is able to learn, work, or breathe. It's a pitty that we, in France are going towards this direction.

Gnome Memory Use: Naming and Shaming the Culprits

Exmap-console, presented last year at GUADEC is back. It helped us to see in a nice, living presentation what the greater offenders in terms of memory are. The theme cache came quite high on the profile. Last year, the talk was about using exmap-console in a remote, embedded environment, but this time was more about a simple howto for desktop profiling.

I'm quite happy that Pascal Terjan was there, as I could ask him to package it for Mandriva Linux (the last time had tried, I couldn't install it from source).

Screensaver Sanity

A fairly technical talk, but interesting ! In fact it made me discover that multi-user environment, fast user switching, and session management are very difficult to get right. The main information I caught is that a new GDM, almost entirely written from scratch, and improving the situation should appear next year.

Technical Challenges when using Electronic Paper Displays with GTK

First time I could hold an electronic paper device in my hands. The product has some advantages, the biggest being its astonishing readability: no flickering, good contrast. It also has at the moment a good amount of disadvantages. Among them, you can't update just a portion of the screen, and a full screen update takes around 1 second. I'm not sure this will be able to compete with the upcoming OLED technology, but I wish iRex all the best.

Here are some pictures:

A slide explaining how an e-paper works

The device by itself (that's the picture which is blurry, not the screen)