I’ve been participating Guadec 2007 this week in Birmingham. There has been some really interesting presentations about the future of`desktop computing and what are the possible ways in which Gnome could go forward. Online Desktop seems to be the next big thing and there have been some concrete improvements in that direction. One good example of this is the Pyro Desktop, which was released here in Guadec just a few days ago. Also, Telepathy framework seems to be strongly supporting the connected lifestyle of today’s computer users. As mentioned in some presentations, it seems that Open Source Software has the advantage of being able to make bold moves without having to worry too much about backwards compatibility and other such things that commercial desktop systems often have to face.
Mobile computing seems to be another hot thing and Nokia has been widely visible in the conference with Maemo, their Gnome based desktop used in the 770 and 800 devices.
On the usability side, MacSlow was here presenting his lowfat approach, which was even nicer when seen live than watching the videos from his website. I am definitely going to install it and try it out. MacSlow also had a very focused and
clear picture on how to improve the usability of desktops, so lowfat is definitely not only about showing cool bling bling :) And speaking of bling, there is also a new library called clutter which is able to do some neat stuff on your screen. Check out the demos.
This is also a ten-year birthday for Gnome, which is nice. Gnome has definitely come a long way to be where it is today. And, as Jono Bacon said in his keynote speech, even if Gnome kind of competes with KDE, in the end it does not really matter which one wins or is more popular. We still have a Free Software desktop system, something which did not exist ten years ago.