A Report From BeGeistert 023
Probably forgetting half of what took place and getting the other half backwards, below are my recollections of BeGeistert 023.
Friday evening, together with Fredrik Holmqvist (tqh), I arrived at BeGeistert 023 held at the youth hostel in Düsseldorf. The hostel was recently renovated and besides comfy beds it sports a restaurant as well as a bar.
Greeted by the BeGeistert orga-team, we were handed our room keys and decided to hit town ourselves to hunt down a schnitzel and a beer, since the rest of the attendees had already left for dinner. Back at the hostel again, we met the coding sprint guys, talked for a bit, svn upped and went to bed.
Saturday morning, more people were dropping in and a fierce amount of coding, testing and committing was taking place, only to be interrupted by a few presentations after lunch.
First to give a talk was Clemens Zeidler (czeidler), the topic being the innards of ALM, the Auckland Layout Model, and how to use it in Haiku application development. In addition to taking part in the coding sprint preceding BG, he also subjected the BG attendees to a Stack-and-Tile usability test where he gathered data to use for his studies at the University of Auckland.
Next up was the thoroughly jet lagged Christof Lutteroth from New Zealand, who clued us all in on a new type of database called PD-Store that he and others are developing at the University of Auckland. It is aimed for desktop-sized data sets (1 MB -> 1 GB) and has some interesting properties like transactionality, history and interactiveness. The fearless field reporter DaaT from IsComputerOn managed to snag a copy of Christof’s presentation slides, so expect those to pop up over there soon.
Stephan Aßmus (stippi) followed up with a two-pronged attack consisting of talks on WonderBrush and Clockwerk. Exemplified by using stress test images, he demonstrated the weaknesses of WonderBrush in its current form and the strengths of a rewrite that he is currently undertaking. Clockwerk is a fairly advanced application, originally designed for automated presentation but can also be used as a sound and video editor. Think mixing, clipping, fading, animation, text overlay.
Saturday night coding spree continued into the early hours of Sunday morning.
After lunch on Sunday, a series of short presentations was held, giving more Haiku developers a chance to brief the audience about what they have been up to lately. In short: Olivier Coursiere (oco) revealed that he has been working on a light version of Open Office for Haiku, including sending patches upstream for consideration. Jerome Duval (korli) has been extending code developed during last GSoC, providing native support for the ext3 file system. Axel Dörfler (axeld) talked about his work on the network stack, his hopes to tackle WPA encryption and how Coverity helped him track down the last known file system corruption bug. Oliver Tappe (zooey) spoke about his work on POSIX locale and the joys of testing and evaluating a bunch of distributed version control systems. He now seems to have a clear idea of what direction to recommend for the Haiku project, but I’ll let him spill the beans on that himself. Fredrik Holmqvist (tqh) has been chipping away at improving Haiku’s ACPI support, aiming at hopefully closing the infamous bug #5 and down the road to provide neat features such as switching on/off dual-screen mode. Alexandre Deckner (aldeck) talked about the delicate work going on in his Tracker branch, where he tries to bring order to chaos. Lastly, Andre Meissner of the BG orga-team threw out the idea of making BG an annual event as opposed to bi-annual, where money saved would be put towards coding sprints instead. If you want to give him a piece of your mind on this or any other BG issue, consider becoming a member of Haiku Support Association and the mailing list that comes with HSA membership.
Big thanks to the BeGeistert 023 orga-team for doing an excellent job with such things as reservations, Internet access, drinks and snacks!