Conference Summary


I didn't have a laptop at OOoCon 2004 and didn't manage to write anything in detail then, and have been busy since, so this is my executive summary...
Was fantastic meeting loads of different people, lots of whom I've been in contact with before but not met in real life... and attending some great sessions. For me the discussions afterwards were often the best part. Was able to make some contributions about how difficult the localization process currently is, and what we could do to improve it. Also a lot of discussion on how to make it easier for developers / others to contribute to
Javier Sola who runs the Khmer project in Cambodia: he uses our translation tools and says that in fact they're the only viable way to translate Mozilla into Khmer and other languages that use Indic scripts. Was fantastic to see the depth and breadth of the project - translated Firefox and Thunderbird, nearly finished, has developed a public domain Khmer Unicode font, and is writing lots of documentation on the localization process, using our tools as a basis. Were staying in the same place and on the first afternoon, managed to bash out a final version of moz2po / po2moz so that you can do a round-trip from xpi to po and back again.
Pavel Janík has been absolutely fantastic doing our builds for us, so it was nice to meet him finally and say thank you, though I'm still not sure he realizes what a help it is. Since the conference we're now working on getting our tools working with OOo 2.0 and generating PO files automatically for all languages...
Various people from Sun were there, including Eike Rathke, Joerg Barfurth, Ingo Schmidt, and others... Was great to hear about new features for OOo 2.0, especially the new installers and how they will be able to produce language packs etc.
Michael Meeks did a great session on building the developer community, at which I signed a JCA, thus making all the patches I'd previously had integrated legal :-)
Dan Williams did a talk looking at various possibilities of migrating the resource system to be a loadable-on-demand XML based system, possibly with caching. This would be great and could make localization a lot simpler by splitting out the text strings into a separate file for each language that could be replaced on demand.
Caolan McNamara ran through debugging/profiling techniques for and how to make them work as God intended.
Chris Halls, the Debian maintainer for, suggested ways to simplify the build process - breaking down the source into manageable parts, not including external libraries, providing the build tools as binaries, etc. Man, I want all that yesterday!
Had a great discussion at a Chinese restaurant with cph and Jacqueline McNally on ways to make it easier for new developers to get involved. Going to have READMEs for each module - yay. Also suggested having janitorial / TODO lists like the Wine project does.
All in all, was a fantastic conference, and really glad I was able to go.
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