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Posted 05-24-2010 at 08:18 AM by williamfromtexas
Updated 05-24-2010 at 08:22 AM by williamfromtexas

I've become involved in preparations for GUADEC 2010, the GNOME Users And Developers European Conference 2010. I can go into detail about the size and scope of the thing, but you can find out more on the website. I'd rather talk about why I became involved.

I am a GNOME user. I know: I fall into a pretty 'vanilla' category for being a fan of the world's most popular linux flavour. But I like it and and it works. And one of the things that impressed me so much about it was GNOME. Years prior in high school I had given some time to experiment with a still infantile Red Hat/Fedora. It was KDE, it looked like my windows, I was comfortable but things didn't work while the whole thing smacked of already existing technology. Why change to something I already had, which did work?

Fast forward a few years. I bought a new laptop. Alternative OSs were coming back in vogue, with Apple picking up speed, MS bogged down with Vista, and internet technology about to become pervasive. I downloaded 'the brown' desktop and was hooked: everything pretty much worked, and its interface was simple, powerful and intuitive.

I should be honest, I haven't given KDE much of a chance, and I hear wonderful things. Currently, though, I have no reason to change.

Which brings me to today. I'm living in Europe, I'm working in the spectrum of web, PR and (other), and I come to discover that GUADEC is being held in my backyard. What else can I do? I am compelled to give back to my community.

I've met a few times IRL and traded many emails with the incredibly diverse GUADEC team, who're voluntarily working across continents to compile a live-action application. We're expecting a sizeable and knowledgeable crowd.

Our aim is to educate people and build GNOME community. If you want to be a GNOME hacker behind your screen fine, you can discuss things by skype or on any internet forum. The idea of a conference is to bring people face-to-face, and thus strengthen common understanding about not just the technology but also the people.

So, why GUADEC? Because, sometimes it just feels good to be IRL.
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