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Extremadura G-I hacking session (Jan 18th - Jan 22nd 2006) -- report

A small group of seven (mainly) Debian Installer contributors took
the opportunity to meet in Extremadura (Spain) for a hacking session
on the graphical version of the installer, and particularly to discuss
the present and the future of the Debian graphical installer.

Hosted by the kind folks representing the Region of Extremadura, the
meeting started on Wed 18th in the Creofonte building in a sunny and
friendly Casar de C�ceres.

The group was composed of five D-I contributors and two upstream
developers involved with the development of the graphic libraries
used by the installer; a very friendly and pleasant atmosphere built
up very soon and accompanied the whole meeting, both during the work
sessions, the meals and informal activities.
During the meeting three local people involved with Linex, the derived
distribution used in Extremadura, were present and were very helpful

The facilities, both the work rooms and the dormitory, were excellent.
The Creofonte building has several work rooms, a large auditorium with
sound and beamer and other rooms like a library.
Lunch and dinner were had in an excellent local restaurant although our
experience was that this took a bit too much time. This was discussed
with the local organizers.

One morning we visited a local school to see how Linex is used in practice.
Of course there were some system problems which made it impossible to
see the system used by teachers to manage a classroom, but still the
excursion gave us a nice overview.
On Saturday afternoon we visited the impressive historical city center
of nearby C�ceres. Unfortunately this was the only day the weather was
less than perfect: the city was shrouded in fog.

The limited number of attendees made it possible to work closely
together on various issues and discuss various topics. A summary of the
topics discussed follows.

* gdk-directfb backend into gtk+ mainline: Mike Emmel, after merging
  his patches for the Cairo library into Cairo mainline, took some
  time to get in touch with the gtk+ maintainers and submitted his
  code, links and various patches; this was really the last piece
  missing and, after about three years, there'll soon be an upstream
  version of the libraries ready to be debianized. Sven Luther,
  Attilio Fiandrotti and myself are already experimenting with the
  above libraries. This was certainly a major achievement.

* mini.iso based on gtk+2.8.10 libs: Attilio and myself were able to
  build a very unofficial but useful g-i image based on the very
  latest graphic libraries. Myself and Sven Luther got the building
  scripts up to date.

* Frans Pop's presentation about d-i: the presentation was supposed to
  be useful mainly for the upstream guys, but at the end everybody got
  a very useful introduction on the installer buildsystem / internals.

* VT switch bug fix: #339379 was finally fixed with the help of the
  upstream guys, Denis Oliver Kropp in particular. 

* Various usability issues were discussed: we mainly focused on how
  the future features of the g-i should look like (the terminal is one
  of the example that comes to mind).

* Frans set up the i386 build environment and debian-cd to create Business
  Card CD images for the graphical installer.

* wiki pages were polished, mainly the building scripts and the font
  page with the help of Eddy Petrisor.

I'd like to thank again the organizers (Dario, C�sar, Jos�), the
people who looked after us in the Creofonte building and all the
attendees who turned the meeting into a total success.


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