Tales of GUADEC 2017 Part 2

Written by Stephen Pearce

This is the second of a multi-part report from GUADEC 2017. You can read part 1 here.


The day began with me penning my talk idea on the Open Talks board. There were four slots available in total. I would visit the board several times throughout the day anxiously checking the vote.

The first talk I attended was with Michael, where he made the case for GNOME Web. Web’s deep integration with the GNOME platform puts it in a unique position compared to the many other browsers available. It is to GNOME what Edge is to Windows and likewise what Safari is to macOS: a deeply integrated browser that’s native to the platform. The most interesting takeaway for me was an understanding of who’s involved in the project and the various ways I could add value.

I feel there’s a misconception among front-end developers about who makes Webkit. Prior to Michael’s talk I assumed Apple were the primary force behind the project, but I learned that organisations like Igalia and Collabora also add significant weight to the project.

Prior to GUADEC, I wasn’t familiar with Endless, so it was great to attend Joaquim’s talk where I was able to experience what they’re all about. I was drawn in by their sympathy for the offline condition - a topic I’m passionate about in my front-end work. Their platform and app ideas spoke to me in many ways, and it was refreshing to meet people from the team throughout the conference with like-minded thoughts and values.

In the afternoon I delivered my first public talk. I made the case for Progressive Web Apps on GNOME. To my surprise it resonated well with those attending including maintainers from GNOME Web, gjs and others. I can’t thank you all enough for voting, asking questions and chatting to me at various points thereafter. I’ve been to a handful of conferences, but this was the first time I felt like my views were valued. You all rock 🤘

Thanks to Kat for encouraging me to give the talk, for practising & refining the slides with me and being present when I needed her. I fought one of my dragons that day and discovered something new about myself. I couldn’t have done it without her. I also want to thank Richard, who delivered his open talk prior, for his support and kind remarks.