Wilhelmshavener GNU/Linux Information Days -- Report

This event took part on March 6th+7th in the university of applied sciences in Wilhelmshaven, a city directly attached to the northern sea. The event was organised by the local Linux user group. The Debian project was able to run a booth and give a talk about Debian as well.

The exhibition took place in the assembly hall and commercial booths were located in the middle while non-commercial booths were located around them on the inner side of the wall. A problem, however, was to determine what kind of booth it is you are looking at, since they weren't separated well and not all of them utilised posters properly.

The non-commercial exhibition comprised of booth by LUG WHV, OpenBSD, Skolelinux, CCO (frisian computer association), Debian, KDE, GNOME and a mixture of FSF Europe, ffii, K├╝stenGNU and maybe more. The KDE, GNOME and CCO booths were mostly used for hacking. The CCO brought an SGI Indy and ... tadam ... a VAXstation running Linux for demonstration. Very nice. Some people asked about the VAX port of Debian, sigh...

When I arrived the exhibition looked quite empty, except for the booth staff. It turned out that this won't change during the entire event. So most of the time, exhibitors talked to other exhibitors instead of to interested visitors. That's quite sad, especially given the amount of work such an event required.

On Sunday the event didn't seem to be more crowded than on Saturday, so the day was quite boring indeed. Hence, I talked to a lot of other exhibitors. Talks with Sven Herzberg from GNOME, who works on accessibility in GNOME, spoke of another bug in xscreensaver which won't be fixed upstream. They simply replaced the xlib password dialogue with the GTK dialogue and hence automatically attached accessibility features of GTK to this program.

It seems that distributions, that want to provide accessibility features throughout their environments, will have to maintain a lot of additional patches which won't be accepted upstream, like this example demonstrates. That'll cause a lot of work for the package maintainers and require a lot of talk and coordination with upstream and "peer-stream". That'll be fun in the future, I guess...

Joey Schulze