GUADEC 2023

I attended GUADEC 2023 this year in-person in Rīga. It was nice to be able to see more people in person than last year’s mini-GUADEC in Berlin, and nice to be able to travel overland/oversea to Rīga, avoiding flights and the associated huge carbon emissions. Thank you to the GNOME Foundation and my employer, Endless, for covering the travel.
And a big thank you to the local event organising team, the AV team, the volunteers and the Foundation staff for making it all happen.

The quality of the talks this year was really high. I don’t think there was a single talk slot I skipped. As a result, I didn’t get much hacking done! But there were good hallway conversations and catch ups.

I gave two talks, one on some simple improvements people can make to their apps to reduce internet data use and power use when doing so would be beneficial to the user (when on a metered network or in power-saver mode).
The aim was to remind people how easy it is to do this, and provide some examples of how different apps present these states/events in the UI, since the best way to do that can differ between apps.

You can find the slides to that talk here (notes here), and a video of it is on YouTube.

The talk has resulted in three GNOME initiatives. Each corresponds to a different state your app can pay attention to — some apps should pay attention to all of them, some apps only some of them. Please take 10 minutes to
check your app against the initiatives and make updates if necessary. I’m in the gnome-hackers and gnome-circle Matrix rooms if you have any questions about them.

My second talk was an overview of work I’ve been doing on-and-off over the past couple of years (based on work by others) to allow apps to save and restore their state when the user logs out or shuts down the computer. The idea is that the user can restore
the set of apps they were using, in the state and configuration they were left in, when next starting the computer or logging in. It’s a big project, and there’s a long way to go, but it felt like the right time to present what
we’ve got so far, let more people know how the project is structured, and get feedback from toolkit developers and app authors about the whole idea.

You can find the slides to that talk here (notes here), and a video of it is also on YouTube.

Thankfully there was 5 minutes for questions at the end of the talk, and people used them well to raise some good points and ask some good questions. I’m still in the process of factoring all that feedback into the plan, but
should hopefully have an update to give on the project in a future blog post soon.

Interesting talks I attended included Peter Hutterer’s talk about sending and capturing input in Wayland, which I think distilled his blogposts about the topic very clearly.
Allan Day’s talk about communication, which was an excellent summary of a rather long list of books on the subject, and it was very clearly presented. I feel like I could do with a cheatsheet list of his recommendations to stick next to my computer sometimes.
Evan Welsh, Philip Chimento, Nasah Kuma and Sonny Piers’s talks about JavaScript, TypeScript and the latest changes in GJS. These provided a good update on a lot that has been happening in GJS, a useful overview of TypeScript, and were really clearly presented.
Jussi Pakkanen’s talk about circles, or was it about settings? It was a good example of a lightning talk which draws you in then spins you around.

In the hallway track, I had some interesting chats with Bartłomiej about the infrastructure of ODRS, which is used to provide ratings/review data to gnome-software.
I also had some positive conversation with Cassidy about plans for GUADEC 2024 in Denver.
And at the event dinner, a really energising chat with Scott about canyoning, hiking, skiing and caving in the US and the UK.