GUADEC this year was another good one; thank you to the organisers for putting on a great and welcoming conference, and to Endless for sending me.
Unfortunately I couldn’t make the first two days due to a prior commitment, but I arrived on the Sunday in time to give my talks. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do with the talks on Friday and Saturday — looking forward to seeing the recordings online!
The slides for my talk on the state of GLib are here and the notes are here (source for them is here). I think the talk went fairly well, although I imagine it was quite boring for most involved — I’m not sure how to make new APIs particularly interesting to listen to!
The slides for my talk on download management on metered connections (the ‘Mogwai’ project) are here and the notes are here (source for them is here). I think this talk also went fairly well, and I’m pleased by how many people turned up and asked insightful questions. As I said in the talk, my time to spend on this project is currently limited, but I am interested in mentoring new contributors on it. Get in touch if you’re interested.
During the birds of a feather days, I spent most of my time on GLib, clearing out old bugs. We had the GLib BoF during the GTK+ one on Monday. The notes are here. Emmanuele has already done a good writeup of the results of the BoF here; and Matthias has written up the GTK+ BoF itself here.
There were some good discussions over dinner during the BoF days about people’s niggles with GLib, which has set a few ideas in motion in my head which I will try and explore over the coming few months, once the 2.58 release is out of the way.
It was good to catch up with everyone, great to see Almería and sample its food and drink, and nice to finally meet some of my colleagues from Endless for the first time!
Courtesy of my employer, Endless (we’re hiring), I’m at the GTK+ hackfest in Brussels, which is acting as my warm up for FOSDEM 2018. I’m representing the assorted GLib maintainers, aiming to look at the roadmap for GLib 2.58, and what we need to do to finish off GLib 2.56. If you’ve got suggestions for new features or changes to GLib, get in touch or file a bug!
Inspired by others, I thought doing a retrospective on 2017 would be an interesting thing to look back on in a year’s time and see what’s changed.
December 2017 marked a year of me working for Endless. It’s been twelve months of fixing small bugs, maintaining some OS components, poking my nose into lower parts of the OS than I’m used to, and taking on one or two big projects. I spent a significant amount of time on a project to add new distribution features to libostree and flatpak. That’s something which will hopefully be rolling out in early 2018. It was good to be able to get fairly deeply involved with a new component at a lower level in the stack. More of that in 2018!
I also spent some of my time in 2017 picking up a bit more of the GLib maintenance workload. I’m not sure how much of a difference it’s made to the bug backlog, but it’s kept me occupied anyway.
For most of my working life, I’ve had the luxury of being able to work on FOSS software (mostly in the GNOME ecosystem) as my day job, and as a result, quite a few of my hobby projects are actually maintained during the day. The ones which aren’t have suffered during 2017, because time and energy are limited. I’ve been thinking of ways to ensure that code gets maintained, but haven’t come up with any good solutions in 2017. That’s one to carry over into 2018.
2017 was a bit less of a plane-heavy year than 2016, but some trips still happened:
FOSDEM, catching up with old friends and colleagues, and where the start of the current phase of GLib maintenance started.
A week of caving in South Wales, including a trip down the fantastic Dan-yr-Ogof cave (the short round), which included floating down an underground canal on an inflatable swimming pool ring.
A week of walking in the Glencoe area, where the weather was uncharacteristically cooperative, and the views were, predictably, pretty good.
A party in London to celebrate Endless’ 5th birthday. As always, it was good to spend quality time with my Endless colleagues in endless pubs.
GUADEC in Manchester, right on the back of the Austria trip (including some fun in posting a laptop to myself so I could have it at the conference). I gave a talk, which some people listened to. We also went on a walk in the Peak District, which was good fun (even if the weather was a bit grey).
Two weeks of long-distance trekking in the Svaneti region of Georgia. An excellent destination, with excellent cheese bread. We derived continual amusement from the guide’s dry humour, and the ‘helpful’ comments left by others on the trek information we were using. I did not get struck by lightning.
A long weekend in Stockholm to explore the city and catch up with friends. Stockholm has good running!
2017 has definitely been a year of taking advantage of living in the north of England.
Around 40 caving trips on weeknights and weekends, which have been interesting and (mostly) fun.
Running really took off for me: around 1300km run in total (and 57km of ascent), and about 150 hours of 2017 spent running.
Reading and listening
Gigs were a bit thin on the ground: despite there being plenty on in my local area, I always had something else to do. Despite that:
Insomnium were good, though I had to leave before the end because of trains.
Breabach were very good, and a band I hadn’t heard before going to the gig. Now a favourite.
Kreator sounded uncannily like their last live album, but were otherwise enjoyable.
Opeth were pretty fantastic, playing a good variety of new and old stuff.
I managed to read only 13 books in 2017, though that number is largely padded out by some short stories I read just to reach my yearly target. That’s not quite fair, though; I read 3250 pages in total. Most recommenable: Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang; most disappointing: Hiroshima.
GUADEC 2017 has ended in Manchester. It’s been great; thanks to the organisers and sponsors for a fun conference (this year’s highlight: a preponderance of Tiki bars).
We’ve had sun and heat, and we’ve had rain and more rain. Often within the same hour. On the final day of the conference, a group of us went out to Edale to do some walks to see the Peak District, a national park area near Manchester. This is an area I’ve visited many times before, so it was fun to be able to show it to GNOME people.
This year I gave a talk about the Coverity scans I’ve been running on various GNOME and freedesktop modules for the last year. The slides are online and the video will be up with the rest of the GUADEC videos. If you have a security-critical (or other) module which you’d like to be included in the scan set, let me know. Coverity’s good at finding bugs in complex control flows, but you do need to put some time into triaging its reports. I’m happy to provide guidance about using it.
I spent a fair amount of time during the unconference days reviewing Simon McVittie’s D-Bus work to add support for app-containers into the D-Bus specification and dbus-daemon. This is the first part of an effort to improve support for exposing unconfined D-Bus services to confined app-containers safely and efficiently. The rest of my time was spent working on exciting support for updating flatpak over the LAN for Endless OS. I’ll blog about this more in future.
Thanks to the GUADEC team for organising a great conference, the conference sponsors, and to my employer, Endless, for sponsoring me to go.