Robotic Tendencies
The personal blog of Robert McQueen

October 14, 2009

Boston GNOME Summit 2009

I spent this weekend in Boston for the annual GNOME summit. I really enjoyed it this year, although there were fewer attendees than previously it felt very focussed and productive. There’s some cool stuff going on, and it’s always great to catch up with all of the usual free software suspects in Boston. Some highlights from the weekend:

  • Corridor session with David Zeuthen, Ryan Lortie, Matthias Clasen and later joined by me and Will Thompson from Collabora, discussed a lot of the issues of integrating D-Bus into Glib and I think achieved a pretty good consensus about how GVariant and GDBus should fit together and start getting the pieces merged. Really looking forwards to it, GVariant looks mad ninja.
  • Some nice discussions about Gtk+ 3.0 roadmap, although I’m still worried that the sealing/accessor work will take so much developer time there won’t be that much time to make the improvements its supposed to enable. Theming was mentioned but what else should there be? Also spotted Kristian Høgsberg, Cody Russell and Matthias again talking about client-side decorations, presumably Wayland scheming… :)
  • Nice session about messaging and other notifications in GNOME Shell. I really like the way the project is going, and hopefully we can join in and spend some time hooking Telepathy up here, although as a fallback to make the existing stuff (which doesn’t have specific code to hook in and make a UI), then it’d be nice if the shell could also be a frontend for the notify/indicate stuff which Ubuntu have been pushing in GNOME 2.x already.
  • Had some good brainstorming about Telepathy integration in games and Tomboy sharing too, as well as some slightly less conclusive pondering about how to deliver metacontacts (ie, merging multiple sources such as IM, social networking and other address books) in GNOME. We need to sync up with what Moblin is doing here as it looks quite promising and should give us some components to re-use.
  • Will, Sjoerd and I spent an hour or two around a blackboard working out how XMPP end-to-end TLS encryption might be exposed to clients in Telepathy, in order to work out how best we’d expose OTR too. It looks like we have a fairly workable proposal now which we’ll be explaining in due course, but it means at least we can give more useful advice to people who are interested in implementing it, or move forwards on implementing it ourselves.

I was really impressed by Jason Clinton and others’ summaries of the sessions, which I think are really valuable for the people who couldn’t make it to the summit. He asked me to take some notes about the first Telepathy session on Saturday evening while he was taking notes about the Outreach session. Rather than lumber him with my deranged scratchings from Tomboy, I’ll blog them separately.

posted by ramcq @ 6:29 am
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One Response to “Boston GNOME Summit 2009”

  1. Jim says:

    Hi,

    I was wondering, regardless of the type of encryption implemented in empathy, otr or whatever, would it be possible to establish some sort of anonymous peer-to-peer exchange method such that keys are always negotiated in an IP-to-IP method such that both sides of the key exchange is not sitting on anyone’s chat server? In other words, do the key exchange outside the chat servers. Do you understand my suggestion? Do you understand why I ask?

    Honestly, it would be nice to have the same capability built into OpenPGP as an option. Perhaps accounts could be set up on a distant server such that if two people want to exchange and sign keys, this server could connect both ends in a direct ip-to-ip session to conduct the exchange, when both clients support this function. This way we can avoid key exchanges that can be recovered simply by grabbing them off the servers a month (or a year) later.

    Any thoughts?

    Jim

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