Meeting the Gods
In the lobby, cool, he's Havoc Pennington
. Introduced myself, but unlike last year I was not recognized, fair enough, since I didn't said I do GNU FriBidi
Next to him is this apparently British guy that I later found out is the developer of both ROX desktop
and Zero Install system
which is way cool.
While still standing there, looking around, trying to see what the plan is and if anybody knows about the wireless internet problem, he moved in, Owen Taylor
was there; finally met him! Introduced myself, got recognized this time! Then the four of us walked out heading to that street full of bars and restaurants in front of the US Embassy.
Here we go, Havoc and Thomas
(as I later found his name) in front, back is me and Owen, this blue-eyed thin tall hacker with t-shirt slipped into his pants that I've wanted to meet for a couple of years to say the least. The t-shirt shows this classic quotation by Mahatma Gandhi that says:
- First they ignore you
- Then they laugh at you
- Then they fight you
- Then you win
with the first three items checked on the left, the fourth with an (yet) unchecked box. Later I found that it's a Red Hat shirt on the back. [right now that I'm writing these, Michael K. Johnson, the former leader of the Fedora Project
, is around here, chatting with ex-co-workers from Red Hat.] By the way, I once took four photos and tried to rhyme them with this Gandhi quotations
. Maybe time to change the misleading quotation on my homepage:
To follow the path:
- look to the master,
- follow the master,
- walk with the master,
- see through the master,
- become the master.
Wasn't hard to start the talk, Owen asked if I'm still working on FriBidi (which like me and unlike Havoc, he pronounced it /frEbEdE/, not /frIbIdI/), and I explained how I'm supposed to make a release in a week or two for a long time now. Explained the problems, that people want to shape to presentation forms, etc. Was a good start. Then I started with how Pango renders Arabic text pretty slow, which is probably because of the OpenType tables in the font. [Update: Read the entry for two days later for more about this.]
We arrived at the pub, found out that the Kernel Summit people are there, so we Desktop people left and found (as Havoc's suggestion) a Vietnamese restaurant for us. Thomas and me ordered pan fried pork, while Owen and Havoc ordered the more weird-looking names, which turned out to be some kind of fish and shrimps. Owen asked about how we do ellipsize text in right-to-left context, turned out that he's been doing ellipsization in Pango
recently. Later that he released new Pango, I updated my CVS checkout and read the code; some ~700 lines of code just for ellisizing Pango layouts, which is quite useful, for example, in window titles. He explained how he uses U+2026 HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS if the first preferred font contains such a character, otherwise uses three dots... Moreover, if the character after the place to put ellipsis is a CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), it uses U+22EF MIDLINE HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS!
He also told us how he drove from Boston to Ottawa in only 7 hours, but he mistakenly drove to Montreal and then came back to Ottawa, so 6:30 from Boston to Ottawa in fact!
After dinner, we went back to Kernel Summit people, asked them where we DesktopConf people are supposed to meet! And went to that place. Other people were already there, including Jim Gettys
and Daniel Viellard, the GNOME developer of libxml2 . Later Andrew J. Hutton, the kind organizer of the conferences showed up and introduced me to my suite-mate. I didn't need to introduce myself to Andrew, he remembered me from Orkut :D.
Spent a couple of hours drinking beers and talking to Telsa
, the well-known GNOME hacker that mostly does documentation and also Welsh translation [right now I read her .procmailrc
. Got to switch to mutt
really soon.] Came back to hotel with Mike K. Harris, the X guy at Red Hat that we all like his packages.