Please forgive the cheesy title :-) As everyone wrapping up the conference has said, it was a great place; well organised and a fantastic atmosphere. Here are some of my bullet point thoughts:
- Venue was good, although visibility in the keynotes was a little poor. Doug Fisher's reveal of "everyone" getting an IdeaPad was spoiled by it only showing on half the monitors (the other half showing slides).
- Hotels were close to the venue, which was very handy. Unfortunately, a bit far out of the city centre, but cabs and buses to the touristy Temple Bar area were fine.
- Nokia and Intel are both very committed.
- People like Nomovok are doing interesting things behind the scenes.
- The Hacker Lounges, with table tennis, DVD player, Wii, Xbox, free beer and snacks were fantastic.
- IdeaPad is nice hardware. No-one's done a good netbook/tablet hybrid OS yet, AFAIK.
- It was great to catch up with old friends (Ryan, Tim, Graham, Stephen, David, Carsten, Niels, Quim, Gary, Peter, Ronan, Randy, Dave, and so so many more)
- It was great to people I've only spoken to online (Dawn and Kathy amongst others)
- Lots of new folk met: Chani, Odin, Julien, Morten, ...
- Amy Leeland, Dawn Foster, Quim Gil, Angela Brown and anyone else involved did a wonderful job. A definite successor to the Maemo Summits.
One thing which struck me, which hasn't been dealt with elsewhere (AFAICT), is the obvious struggles MeeGo is having being an "open" project. For example, during the Compliance talk, I asked Mark Skarpness where the discussions on the specification were happening; as we seemed to get new draft, with a request for comments on a regular basis; where are the discussions happening as to what goes in to those drafts? "meego-dev" was the answer, one I'm not quite sure I believe. On the plus side, my suggestion of an "Extras/Surrounds Profile" seemed like it might have some traction in solving the third-party-dependencies problem.
Similarly, in the past few weeks, the MeeGo Summit in Oulu, Finland - at the end of May - is being announced and planned in the open; and discussed on meego-community. However, at the conference, the MeeGo Community Office announced that there would now be two MeeGo conferences a year, with the next being in San Francisco at the end of the May: the week before the Oulu summit. This is not something the Community Office has pulled out of thin air in the middle of the conference: but where was the discussion ahead of time? More back channel collaboration, no doubt. Would the Oulu folks have chosen the same dates if it was known that there was an official conference being discussed for the same timeframe?
As explained in the keynotes, MeeGo's openness to OEMs, carriers and application developers is one of the key differentiating factors which is necessary for MeeGo to succeed in a market where iOS and Android have all the momentum. However, if MeeGo is to have that same openness from a community point-of-view, these kind of things have to be addressed as well.
However, I've come away feeling even more positive about MeeGo than I did before. Chats with Ville, Attila, lbt, Ronan and Peter show that Nokia (at least) gets what the Harmattan device means and the developer story they have to tell. Qt Creator 2.1, with Qt Quick, looks like a really promising IDE for both developers and designers to collaborate.