Goblin - Then, Now & the Future

It’s been a while since I mentioned anything about Goblin and anything netbook related, sorry.  Anyhow as everyone is aware, Moblin has since been superseded by MeeGo.  The timing was a bit of a PITA for me, as it coincided with the Factory freeze, which means I couldn’t update the relevant packages etc in-time for 11.3.

As it stands, 11.3 should have an almost fully functional Moblin environment – I say ‘almost’ as there were two packages that I just couldn’t get to co-operate and build (the modified Moblin browser, and the Web panel).  They should not affect your enjoyment of the UX so I’m not going to kick myself too hard.   I have learnt several lessons though trying to get Moblin into Factory:

  • 1: Getting things into the next distro release is NOT difficult.

I don’t care what anyone says, the process is very simple and straight forward.  Importantly, there is a huge amount of help from all parties that deal with the acceptance etc.  If you need help or guidance, just ask! I can’t stress enough how much help is available to people.  I would personally like to thank everyone that helped, but I know I will miss some people off due to my feeble brain.  As a start these people have been invaluable to the process – Andreas Jaeger, Marcus Ruckert, Stephan Kulow, Michael Meeks, Henne Vogelsang, Pascal Blesser, Andrea Florio & Dominique Luerenberger.  Thank you all (and sorry to those whom I missed of listing).

  • 2: You need to plan, and plan well.

I started off with great intentions, but I didn’t take into account how disruptive my daytime job would be.  Unfortunately I haven’t wopn the lottery and as such I have to deal with “The Man”, otherwise I have no food or house :-( Part of my bad planning led to me missing the cut-off for getting Moblin listed as an installable option from the get go.

  • 3: Spread the love.

There’s a saying I’ve heard many times and from many different places – A burden shared is a burden eased.  Do you know what?  It’s absolutely true!  Even if there are only a couple of you dealing with a project, it makes things so much easier, and having more is just plain fun :-)  I tried to get some of you reprobates to join in, but you were all too busy.  As such the pace of progress was fairly slow.

  • 4. Have fun doing it.

This applies to almost anything you do, but especially when doing any form of contribution. If you feel that it is getting you down, take a break, try and pass the baton to someone else to carry it forward for a bit.  What ever you do, don’t let it burn you out!  Loosing a contributor to burn-out is disastrous for the community, and is something we should all be aware of and on the look out for.

So that’s the past/present, what about the present/future?  Well Goblin will live on, and incorporate all the new goodness that is coming out of MeeGo.  I do genuinely think that MeeGo is a vast improvement on Moblin, but as always there’s room for improvement; and what better way to start improving than by getting the Geeko involved? :-) As my contribution to HackWeek 5, I have started the importing process for all the MeeGo packages, into the OBS.  Believe it or not, there are only a handful of packages that can be carried over from Moblin which is a bugger.  Regardless I think I have got pretty much all the needed pieces in.

Problem is the way I’ve done it is pretty hacky – I basically just  dropped the contents of the SRPMs in and hoped for the best.  This was done mainly for speed, and I know that it isn’t good enough.  Problem is I’m trying to balance my regular job and dealing with managing the renovation of my parent’s house at the same time, so I really don’t have a huge amount of spare time :-/  So this is where YOU come in.

Please help me to not only get Goblin updated to the latest and greatest that MeeGo has to offer, but also prove to everyone outside of the openSUSE community that we are a coherent and cohesive force to be reckoned with!  Too many people discount us, and just say that without Novell nothing would get done.  Please help me to help you to prove this assumption to be a load of rubbish.  We have the tools and knowledge available to us, so let’s get on with it and get it done!  Oh and we have the real opportunity to be a leader here – the first distro to provide a full MeeGo experience!

So if you can help, then please join in on IRC (#opensuse-moblin), and on the mailing list ( make sure you are subscribed first).  The first step is to get everything building, from there we can move forward.  Oh by the way, this initial push is for the Netbook UX, but I’d love to see use get the Handheld/Tablet UX when that is released ![;-)][6]  I’m tempted by Garrett’s name suggestion of Smeegol, but let’s get it building and working first ;-)