I had the pleasure of attending my first GUADEC last week. I doubt I’ll have a more enjoyable, tiring, embarrassing, or geek-filled time for the rest of the year.

I started the week locked up in my hotel room. Rob Taylor, John Carr and I were desperately trying to finish a demo that did not make it. Our trips out until Tuesday were mostly visiting restaurants, which would have been enough for me. Lamb Kebab and rice is just about my perfect meal, and during my entire stay in Istanbul I ate like a very happy king.

Once I got myself set up at the conference things got even better, there were some great talks. ‘UXD? WTF!‘ by Leisa Reichelt, ‘Introduction to the desktop data model‘ by Owen Taylor and ‘Syncronization and the GNOME deskop‘ by John Stowers all had me thinking.  It was a real shame that more people didn’t turn up to ‘Accessibility happenings in Novell‘, although it was the very last talk of the conference. Rob and I did a talk, ‘Wizbit a distributed revisioning file system‘, on Thursday morning. It was well attended, and I had a good time speaking.

The whole thing was smaller, and far friendlier, than I had expected. I was fortunate enough to meet Stormy just before, and soon after she had been announced as the GNOME executive director. She was just as lovely to me both times, so I assume power didn’t corrupt too much. 🙂 Thanks to everyone I met for creating a thousand interesting conversations.

I can’t properly express my thanks to the people in Istanbul. They were incredibly helpful, patient and friendly. Even the ‘flexible prices’ that everyone seemed to experience only got bad when it came to taxis and drinks.  Thanks to Ali Sukru Goksu for his organization, and for showing us a great night out on Thursday. The conduit team and I went to an electronica festival on Friday night, which we never would have made it to without being looked after. Thanks Tuçe, Thanks Elvin.

The party prize and the most ‘flexible’ price prize go to John Stowers, for his 5-in-a-row 6am parties and for a certain vodka red bull.

I’ve come back really enthused about GNOME, about the people and the technology. Hopefully I’ll be able to put that enthusiasm to good use over the next year. See you all in Gran Canaria.