My 2014 Terra Incognita

My 2014 Terra Incognita

2014 just started and already proved to be a challenging year. First thing, I will have to find or create a new job. After 3 years having the luck of managing open source projects at Lanedo, I’m leaving the company. This is an opportunity for me to try something new, to get out of my […]

When technical experts do the job of politicians

As most of you know, I’m working for Lanedo, an Open Source consultancy company. Free software is not reserved to students and a geek elite anymore: it’s a real professional solution that brings many benefits and is, according to me or our customers, a pragmatic way to share resources in a complex and quickly evolving world.

At Lanedo, we are working for many private customers but, recently, we have seen an increasing interest from the public sector. That’s why I attended the Open Forum Europe 2012, a summit on openness and standardization taking place in the beautiful Bibliothèque Solvay.

Bibliothèque Solvay

You probably know that, in my spare time, I’m doing some politics on the local level, being candidate for the Pirate Party in my city. But I was attending the summit as an Engineer, an Open Source professional and flop taker, not as a politician.

A freasy future for GNOME

Last week, Lanedo sent me to GUADEC, the GNOME developers and users conference. As you may have read elsewhere, the conference was wonderfully organized, with splendid weather, gorgeous food and awesome people.

But there was a strange feeling amongst participants. Was it the last GUADEC? What is the future of the GNOME project? Xan López and Juan José Sánchez suggested to ship a tablet with GNOME in 2014. But isn’t that too late? Is it really useful?

Tore de Hercules, La Coruna Is this the end of the world, the end of the road?

Crosscompiling LibreOffice for Windows on Linux

LibreOffice heads to become one of the most prominent Free Software in the desktop ecosystem. Despite an increasing trends towards alternatives, most of desktop users out there are using a Windows operating system. The implication is straightforward: most of LibreOffice users and potential users are running Windows.

On the other hand, most of LibreOffice developers are currently under Linux. Which means that early testing, nightly builds and debugging mostly happens on Linux.

This is a known problem in free cross-platforms software. Tristan Nitot, head of Mozilla Europe, explained several times that he was using Windows not as a choice but to experience what most of Firefox users are experiencing.

What happened during GSoC 2011?

I know I’m very late, but I really wanted to talk about this year Google Summer of Code.

For the third year in a row, I was a mentor. And this year I have a huge deception to share. I’m really sad. This week, I’v received the GSoC 2011 t-shirt. They sent me the wrong size. XXXL. I can use it as a sleeping bag with my girlfriend. I’m really disappointed.

GSOC 2011

Hopefully, GSoC is not only about receiving a t-shirt. It is also about mentoring a student.

One year of LibreOffice

Not so long ago, was the less attractive project of the Linux ecosystem. You would need it, you would use it daily but you would not think it was possible to contribute to that project or to improve it in any way.

It was a necessary pile of spaghetti code from the eighties that only Michael Meeks was able to understand. He was even spending every FOSDEM trying to convince you that compiling OpenOffice was not so bad, that it took only a couple of weeks and a few terabytes of hard disk.

Then, in only one year, multiple things happened:

  1. was forked into LibreOffice
  2. Lanedo, my employer, started to offer services around LibreOffice.
  3. The first LibreOffice Conference took place in Paris.

LO conference in Paris

Cricket, cows and GNOME 3

Welcome to GNOME Asia How strange. I’m sitting in my apartment in Belgium, I don’t hear any horn, my food tastes surprisingly unspicy and there’s no cow in the streets.

It is impressive how quickly India can grow on you. Last week, I was kindly sponsored by Lanedo to attend the GNOME.Asia conference in Bangalore. It was my first trip to India and if I had only one word to describe this event, it would be *AWESOME* (look mam, I’m Jono Bacon!). Or absurd but in the good old Monty python way.

Awesome, absurd and extremely funny. I had a smile on my face for the whole week. I initially planned to give one talk and ended giving five of them (+ one bad lightning talk). I met a bunch of wonderful people and even more really motivated students. I’ve never seen so many friendly people at the same time. Or maybe are we really grumpy in Europe? Anyway their questions were really insightful, ranging from « What distribution do you recommend to develop GNOME 3 » to the unexpected « I want to contribute to and spotted this particular bug I want to solve, have you any advice? ». And I don’t talk about the incredible head-banging technique they use while you talk to them.

Joining Lanedo

Today is a new step in my life : I’m starting to work for Lanedo, an European GNOME company.


Each change in a life is a somewhat sad. I’m leaving an innovative usability job with a bunch of very good colleagues that I nearly consider as friends. It will be strange to not have philosophical discussions between two running sessions anymore. Or to discover strip after strip that Scott Adams is spying my life.

Each change is a huge opportunity. Working for Lanedo will allow me to work with GNOME technologies, to learn a lot while contributing to them. In summary, a lot of stuffs I wanted to do if only I had more time or more lives.

It makes me very proud to join such a bunch of talented hackers. I hope to meet their expectations soon.

But this isn’t just a job change. It’s a whole life experience change.