https://fosdem.org/2019/support/promote/wide.png

A very large conference

This year I attended the FOSDEM in Brussels for the first time. I have been doing free software for more than 20 years, but for some reason, I had never been to FOSDEM. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was much larger than I thought and that it gathered thousands of people. This is by far the largest free software event I have been to. My congratulations to the organizers and volunteers, since this must be a huge effort to pull off.

My presentation about CubicWeb

I went to FOSDEM to present Logilab's latest project, a reboot of CubicWeb to turn it into a web extension to browse the web of data. The recording of the talk, the slides and the video of the demo are online, I hope you enjoy them and get in touch with me if you are to comment or contribute.

My highlights

As usual, the "hallway track" was the most useful for me and there are more sets of slides I read than talks I could attend.

I met with Bram, the author of redbaron and we had a long discussion about programming in different languages.

I also met with Octobus. We discussed Heptapod, a project to add Mercurial support to Gitlab. Logilab would back such a project with money if it were to become usable and (please) move towards federation (with ActivityPub?) and user queries (with GraphQL?). We also discussed the so-called oxydation of Mercurial, which consists in rewriting some parts in Rust. After a quick search I saw that tools like PyO3 can help writing Python extensions in Rust.

Some of the talks that interested me included:

  • Memex, that reuses the name of the very first hypertext system described in the litterature, and tries to implement a decentralized annotation system for the web. It reminded me of Web hypothesis and W3C's annotations recommendation which they say they will be compatible with.
  • GraphQL was presented both in GraphQL with Python and Testing GraphQL with Javascript. I have been following GraphQL about two years because it compares to the RQL language of CubicWeb. We have been testing it at Logilab with cubicweb-graphql.
  • Web Components are one of the options to develop user interfaces in the browser. I had a look at the Future of Web Components, which I relate to the work we are doing with the CubicWeb browser (see above) and the work the Virtual Assembly has been doing to implement Transiscope.
  • Pyodide, the scientific python stack compiled to Web Assembly, I try to compare it to using Jupyter notebooks.
  • Chat-over-IMAP another try to rule them all chat protocols. It is right that everyone has more than one email address, that email addresses are more and more used as logins in many web sites and that using these email addresses as instant-messaging / chat addresses would be nice. We will see if it takes off!
blog entry of