Saturday, July 26, 2014

GUADEC day 1

I am posting a wrap-up from each day at GUADEC. While I'm actually posting these almost a week later, I will back-date each article to the corresponding day at GUADEC. I hope this will help you follow GUADEC, and perhaps interest you to join us next year!
I wanted to share a few of the talks from day 1 at GUADEC 2014. The first day saw eight general session presentations (four sessions, two per session), one keynote, and an AGM presentation. While every presentation I attended was interesting, here are a few highlights:

Patents and copyright and trademarks… Oh, why!? ~ Andrea Casillas
Andrea gave a very interesting talk about how law and free software intersect. I'd already known about copyright and trademark, having gone through the process to declare a non-registered trademark for FreeDOS. And while I thought I knew the major points about software patents, I learned a lot from Andrea's discussion about defensive patents (there's a group out there to help free software projects with defensive patents) and "willful infringement" of software patents (which is why it's important to let your lawyer search for software patents, not you).
Keynote: Usability Themes in GNOME ~ Jim Hall
This was my keynote presentation about my usability study of GNOME. There were a lot of great questions, and I think everyone was very engaged. It's great to see GNOME taking an active interest in usability. This is often an area that gets skipped, by both free software and proprietary software.
How to be an ally to women in tech ~ Marina Zhurakhinskaya
Marina's talk was a refreshing reminder on how to support everyone in free software. Marina reminded us that women in technology often face the "unicorn syndrome"—if you are a woman working in technology, you will eventually be asked to give a talk about being a woman working in technology. Marina also talked about words to avoid when talking about people and technology, something I realized I fumbled when I gave my keynote. Notably: don't always give female examples of people who can't use technology. Oops. In my keynote, I said that I wanted GNOME to be something that my mom could use. That's something to work on.

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