I just got back from the highly-productive and thoroughly-enjoyable IM, Contacts & Social hackfest.
We discussed a number of issues related to chat, video/audio calls, contacts, and social web service integration into Gnome. After each session, we filed all the necessary bugs to make sure we don't lose track of anything. Check out the session pages for notes and links to the related (mostly new) bugs.
It was especially good to have usability people Nick Richards and Allan Day on hand for our user-facing discussions. In general, I'm very happy to see Gnome continuing to move toward an interaction-design-driven development methodology. I'm quite confident that having a strong, consistent design-first, code-second process is the way we can (more than) close the usability gap that all-too-often exists between open source projects and their closed source counterparts.
Gnome 3.2 is going to have fantastic chat and contacts integration with the appearance of Gnome Contacts, Folks getting an EDS backend, Folks/Gnome Shell integration, and a number of other integration points. And it will only get better from there!
I would like to thank my employer, Collabora, for sponsoring the hackfest with a venue and especially the time of so many relevant developers (and to Guillaume for organizing the hackfest). Thanks also to the Gnome Foundation for additional sponsorship and Intel and Red Hat for sending along a few people each. This type of collaboration will help ensure that Gnome (and related platforms) not only keep up with our closed-source friends but begin to surpass them in ways we traditionally haven't (particularly usability).
IM, Contacts, Social hackfest successful
June 20th, 2011