UDS Karmic Koala, or, BTV to BCN and back...

2009.06.01 in personal and thoughts

There are lots of pictures at Flickr. There are some below, interspersed throughout the words, too...

Say what?!

On Saturday, just after 10PM, Delta flight 6372 from JFK to BTV landed on the tarmac in Burlington, and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief! I was finally home, after my first solo trip, my first trip across the Atlantic, and my first UDS.

I was in Barcelona attending the Ubuntu Developer Summit for the next release, Karmic Koala (that's 9.10, for those of you counting)... talking (mostly listening, actually) about GNOME, fast boot, X, mobile stuff (Android and Moblin), NM, prettiness, and who knows what else! I met lots of awesome people, saw lots of awesome sights and ate lots of awesome food (sometimes). I don't think it's possible to properly describe the last week, so I'm just going to write bulleted bits to the best of my ability, separated into UDS-things and Barcelona-things.


  • Scott/Mark want boot in 10/12/15 seconds on a Mini 9.
  • It's not clear if all of gnome-games is going to be in main (partially my fault; oops).
  • Ekiga isn't going to be in main anymore, but WebKit will!
  • GDM Face Browser? Maybe! (just like every year) That would mean Clutter in main, too.
  • Non-KMS systems and wake-from-hibernate lose bootsplash.
  • "OS switcher" during boot and GDM.
  • Running a demo (Moblin) on alpha hardware is not a good idea, but it looked shiny anyway.
  • KMS by default on Intel and ATI. Damn NVidia. (nouveau KMS maybe someday)
  • Canonical has a design team; they all seemed very cool!
  • Someone (design team?) wants to have a theme that has both dark and light bits which applications can request.
  • Ryan wants windows to be able to display whether they have escalated privileges or not (PolicyKit).
  • Client-side window decorations!! Also, discussions about what happens if you draw to (0, 0) now, and how to solve that...
  • Some talk about putting Wayland between X and the video card, mostly for fast-user-switching and the like. Probably not Karmic? I really just want a system where Wayland is easy to install...
  • 10.04 or 10.10 is going to be LTS, so we can't expect to change anything drastically after Karmic and before then... so this release is probably going to be very experimental..
  • Compiz, gnome-panel, and nautilus (was it nautilus?) are the big problems with GNOME startup. Has anyone tried anything more intelligent and useful than printf? DTrace? If not, I'll do it, later this week...
  • gobject-introspection is going to be packaged; I don't remember exactly what we decided on but it was mostly "make upstream get typelib generation out of gir-repository and into projects themselves".
  • I started a Seed+Clutter+Cairo+DBus nm-applet mockup based off of a blog post about NM 0.8 which I can't find right now... just for fun!
  • Got lots of work done on LO3 in the airports and stuff.
  • The region around the airport is slightly frightening compared to the rest of the city; I was a little uneasy until I got off the metro at Zona Universitària. The fact that I'd just been dumped somewhere where it was really hard to understand everyone (even with 4 useless years of Spanish) certainly didn't help any either.
  • The power is a lie. You need the grounded plug or it doesn't work, unless you're in the rooms (not the lobby) of the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos. The Palau and my hotel both require the big plug, somehow. This is a problem; a brand new 15" MBP battery only lasts 3-4 hours in a fresh install of Karmic.
  • There's a train to Valencia about 2 minutes before the train to the airport, from the same platform. Far too tempting...
  • Universitat de Barcelona students are significantly more kind and helpful than the average RPI student.
  • It's a poor choice to schedule a conference during what is practically a national holiday (the Barça vs. Manchester United soccer game). The city was insane that night and the night after...
  • Parc Güell is beautiful and crazy; Gaudi must have been insane, but that makes it all the more worth a trip.
  • Apparently carrying around a DSLR suggests to people that you're qualified to use their strange point-'n-shoots; I took quite a few pictures for other people while wandering around the Parc.
  • Sagrada Família is actually still under active construction (I didn't believe it until I got there)... going to finish in 2026!? But it's one of the most ridiculously complex and beautiful buildings I've ever seen...
  • It's really hard to find Casa Batlló (I failed).
  • The Mediterranean is pretty much the same as any other harbor-bearing sea, at least from the Paral•lel region. The sunset from down there is really nice, though!
  • There are lots of street musicians, especially around the touristy parts, like Parc Güell. A good number of them were pretty good; then there were these subset who make the strangest noises with their mouths... they sound like irritating birds or something :-)
  • The whole philosophy of tapas seems like a much better way to do dinner than what we do here in the States. I much enjoyed the various tapas bars, especially the night of the game, out with the GNOMEites.

I probably have a lot more things to say, but I can't keep writing in this post! Too many words! I'll probably tell more stories as the days go on or something...


I walked a lot more than I usually do during the trip; I also rode the metro to many different places around the city. I totaled the distances of the walking and public-transit parts of my trip with Google Earth last night (approximations, of course), and discovered that I'd walked about 41 km (26 miles), and ridden (on the ubiquitous trams and metro) somewhere in the vicinity of 101 km (63 miles). I took notes while I was measuring, too, detailing the trips of each day to the best of my ability.

Comments (legacy)


Sounds like quite the adventure!! :D glad you had fun :D :D