2012-07-04

Hackfest in the USA

I'm now in New York, trying to catch my breath after an intense week in Boston. I was happy to attend the aptly named "GNOME & Mono Festival of Love 2012" hackfest.

It was really nice to see some of the usual suspects, especially the Xamarin gang, and it was great to meet some new people. At long last, I was able to finally meet Alexander who has been co-maintaining Banshee with us in the past years.

All other attendees were quite busy, and I was able to get some stuff done, although not as much as I had hoped.

After looking a few Banshee bugs and merging a patch from our GSoC student Timo I then moved to GTK# 3, trying to process some parts of the code marked as FIXME. When I ran the gtk3 branch of Banshee, I then saw that something was horribly wrong: the track, album and artist lists were completely blank. After quite some time spent investigating this, it turns out this is a regression in GTK+ 3.4. You can see the bug I filed about this issue. If anyone wants to help and are more familiar with C than me, converting my test case to C would probably be helpful. Fixing the bug would be even better.

In the meantime, Andreia was making great progress on using the information provided by GObject introspection (GIR files) to generate C# bindings. While I was recompiling gtk+ again and again, we were able to discuss our general strategy, together with Alan McGovern. The idea is to keep the current approach for the gtk-sharp package (which includes glib, gdk, cairo, pango, gio, atk and gtk) as we're quite close to a preliminary 2.99 release. Andreia's work will be used at first for libraries which don't have any bindings yet. In the future, we'll probably switch gtk-sharp to use the GIR files, preserving API compatibility.

On the last day, I looked into using the GStreamer SDK with Banshee. My current plan is to use the native binaries provided by the SDK on Windows, to improve our current build process and hopefully provide a more reliable Banshee on Windows.

Getting stuff done is great, but I think what I love the most about hackfests is all the opportunities to help each other. I'm happy I was able to help Jared with some data structure issue with his Tomboy OSX port, answer various questions from our Google Summer of Code students, assist Stephen with build issues with F-Spot, and even fix a grammar mistake in a commit message written by an American...

And of course, I'd like to thank everyone who help me during this week !

I would also like to thank David for organizing this hackfest. If you want more details on what happened during the week, go read his posts.

And also, big thanks to to our sponsors !

For providing us with a great venue:

For sponsoring travel and board for attendees:



For providing us with goodies:

I really hope we'll be able to have other hackfests like that in the future !

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