Gran Canaria Desktop Summit started

Today the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit has started with a series of keynotes. Since 16:00 yesterday registration has been open, and hundreds of community members have received their badge, accompanied by a big green Nokia towel, a Google fitness bottle and a Nokia mini USB stick/mini SD card reader. Furthermore we received coupons for drinks sponsored by Intel. After the registration closed, a Canonical-sponsored party was held.

Next morning at 10 the conference was opened by a group of government and local officials and representatives of KDE and Gnome:

– Fernando Navarro Cardoso Counselor for the government of innovation, Employment and Human Resources for the city of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.

– Jose Regidor Rector for the University of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria

– D. Juan Junquera Temprano Director of the State Department of IT Society and Telecommunication.

– D. Roberto Mereno Díaz Advisor to the government for tourism, technological innovation and international commerce for Gran Canaria.

– Adriaan de Groot, Vice Chairman of KDE e.V. Board

– Behdad Esfahbod, President of the board of directors for Gnome

Each welcomed us and thanked the many participants for the work they have been and will be doing. After these short introductions we moved on to the keynotes by Robert Lefkowitz, Walter Bender, Richard Stallman and Quim Gil.

Robert Lefkowitz drew a wider picture of how software, and especially Free Software fits into our culture. Robert’s main point was probably that Free Software is best viewed as literature, with the side effect of it also being able to get work done.

Walter Bender from Sugar Labs spoke about the Sugar children interface and why they started to work on sugar. He spoke about sharing, cooperation and the plans and wishes the Sugar community had for this summit.

Third was Richard Stallman. He spoke about what Free Software is (Software that respect the users freedom and the social solidarity of the user’s community). Proprietary software keeps users divided and helpless (they are not allowed to share and they don’t have sourcecode so they can’t control it).

Richard finally mentions how the spanish government is planning to hand out computers with windows to school children. Even worse, these computers use Digital Restrictions Management for books distributed on these computers. According to Richard this plan is evil. Teaching children that taking away their freedom is good seems like a bad move by the government.

After a break, one more keynote was held by Quim Gil from the Maemo community. He made a very surprising announcement: Qt will replace GTK as the officially supported development platform for Maemo. Nokia wants to offer third party developers a common platform to build upon on both Symbian and Maemo, attracting more contributions and applications.

The conference ended around 15:30 but many community members stayed for some informal talking and hacking.

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