Published by David Gilson at 16:34 UTC, November 20th 2010
The first MeeGo conference was held last week, in Dublin. This event was the first chance for students, developers, and people from the industry to get together and discuss advancing the platform. Our very own Rafe Blandord was there covering the event, and will be reporting on his experiences. In the meantime, here's a round-up of interesting and personal accounts of the event from members of the MeeGo community.
Registration at the MeeGo Conference. (Credit)
For people who couldn't attend the conference, live streams of all the sessions were offered at MeeGo.com for armchair viewing! All of these videos are still online, which is useful for anyone who couldn't go, or for those wanting to review a session they attended. If you'd like to review the conference sessions, then click here.
Breakfast at the conference (Credit)
A Flickr group has been created too, where attendees have contributed their photos of the event. This is yet another resource for those who missed the conference and want to gain more insight into what was on show, both in work groups and on the hallway track.
Visiting developer @Smartfonefan offers his view of the event in a detailed blog post. If you haven't been to an industry conference before, his post has a wealth of information and experiences, especially as this was his first event too.
"It was apparent that they pulled out all of the stops for the conference as it was very well funded. Organisation was superb and from my point of view, everything ran very smoothly without any hiccups. Amy Leeland was singled out for contributions to the organisation and for her efforts was rewarded with a holiday to Hawaii!" ...
... "I think it was a very well organised and well run affair plus it was fun. The Aviva stadium as a venue was superb as were the people who attended the conference. There is a lot of energy surrounding this particular project from the main sponsors as you would expect but also the community at large. The talks (the ones that I took in) I thought were very professional and well delivered and conveyed a real sense of excitement.
As for Meego itself it is very much a work in progress and currently (as far as I know) there is only the one tablet PC available namely the Wetab which is only available in Germany. I think that when it is finished or close to being finished it will be one hell of an operating system across all the platforms mentioned above. There are obviously a lot of bright people behind this as well as well excellent funding I just can’t see it failing."
The opening keynote of the MeeGo conference (Credit)
Next along, Thiago Macieira, a Qt developer at Nokia, offers his perspective. Thiago's experience of the MeeGo conference will be familiar to most people on the conference circuit - never quite having time for everything. Fortunately, he found time to give his own presentations!
"Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to watch many of the talks, not even the ones I really wanted to, like Ryan and Elena’s double session in security. Fortunately, the sessions were all filmed so I’ll have the chance to do it later when the videos are online. For some sessions, it already is.
Instead, I ended up in what Dirk calls the “Hallway Track”, which consisted of talking to people. I talked to my Nokia colleagues whom I see often, the Intel developers whom I don’t see that often, and friends and colleagues from other companies, from KDE and elsewhere. In fact, there was a nice presence of KDE people in the event — were we about 50 people or was it more? I actually spent most of my time figuring out who I should introduce to whom and then making these introductions. I should really have written it down, because I kept forgetting who needed the introduction when I finally found the person who needed to be introduced. Oh well, in the end it worked out fine — a friend tells me “no matter where in the stadium I was, looking around there was always a Thiago”.
I did deliver my Qt Roadmap Update talk and my Improving cooperation BOF (videos and slides available soon). It was thankfully easy, since I’ve been talking about the roadmap quite often. Two weeks ago, in the week of Qt Developer Days San Francisco alone, I went through it 9 times. I also helped organise the MeeGo Conference lightning talks, though the thanks go to presenters there (see parts one and two).
In addition to the talks, I had nice discussions with several people about the Qt Open Governance, which is a something I’m passionate about and the other topic I talked quite a lot about during Dev Days. I have several offers of help, which I plan to cash in pretty soon as we’re now moving to the implementation phase.
I also had a chance to catch up with Chris Schläger, from AMD, who came to make a surprise announcement of their joining MeeGo and contributing engineering expertise. Chris has been involved with Qt for a long time, from his KDE developer days, SUSE days and leading Open Source Qt-based projects like TaskJuggler, so I was quite happy to see him around. Mark Shuttleworth also make an impromptu appearance but he confessed he didn’t have much time available. I got to talk to him about some topics we discussed during UDS last month."
MeeGo IVI setup (Credit)
Finally, we have a post from Dawn Foster (@geekygirldawn), a community manager for MeeGo. As well as being involved in the conference logistics, Dawn worked with attendees in social events, helping them to engage with each other. It certainly sounds like a lot of fun was had, especially with the Werewolf games!
"I was one of several organizers for this conference, and from an organizer’s standpoint, the conference wildly exceeded all of our expectations. While we were initially hoping we could find 600 people who would attend, we ended up with almost 1100 attendees from 51 countries. Amy Leeland, our lead organizer for the event, proved to be a complete rock star; almost everything went according to plan and the few things that didn’t, she handled with a professional get it fixed attitude. We also worked with Portland design company Quango on many of the design and event logistics, and they were honestly one of the best vendors I have ever worked with."
"The community was very engaged in the event: organizing early bird sessions, volunteering to help out whenever we needed it, and working and playing together in the hacker lounge until the wee hours of the morning. I also led the unconference day, and I’m always nervous about scheduling an unconference at the end of an event when people are tired and have been watching presentations all week. I’ve seen too many unconference days become the time when people leave early or spend the time in a corner catching up on email. In this case, I was very pleased that the unconference day was a success with attendees presenting in every available space (more than 45 sessions) and staying engaged throughout the day.
One of the keys to getting good community participation and getting attendees to hang out together is to have evening events that are more interesting and fun than what most people would decide to do on their own. Add free food and drinks to the mix, and you really can keep everyone together well into the evening. The Guinness tour and the football game, for example, drew large crowds, and people really did seem to have a lot of fun."
All attendees of the MeeGo conference were given a Lenovo S10-3t IdeaPad, a netbook which has a swiveling screen, allowing it to become a tablet. The IdeaPad was of course running MeeGo Netbook UX 1.1, which is strongly influenced by Intel's Moblin platform. There has been a lot of feedback on the IdeaPad via blogs and Twitter, all of which generally sum things up as positive but incomplete; many components require manual installation (e.g. the on-screen keyboard). However, Henri Bergius (@Bergie) has written a brief review of the device and its MeeGo operating system.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Netbook/Tablet (Credit)
"The IdeaPad looks and feels like a typical netbook: cheap plastic construction, big protruding battery, small trackpad and screen. However, it suddenly becomes quite interesting when you swivel the screen around, making it a tablet computer with a nicely sized touchscreen."
"The whole package is quite much heavier than my current MacBook Air, but that is a price you pay for almost eight hour battery life."
"Having all this cloud integration in place means the IdeaPad can quite easily serve in its intended "conference laptop" purpose - I don't need to do anything special to copy my data to the device, just connect it to various services."
"Out of the box MeeGo Netbook doesn't deal with the tablet mode of the IdeaPad too well. Touchscreen works but generally applications are clumsy to use with it, and there is no on-screen keyboard. This can be fixed by installing a Chrome kinetic scrolling extension and grabbing the on-screen keyboard from the MeeGo Handheld repositories."
David Gilson for All About MeeGo, 22nd November 2010.
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