i crashed out early last night and slept until 13:00. i was woken twice in the morning, once by the phone and once by a thoughtful delivery of goods (mmm... coffee; razors and nice too) by m. but don't really remember much about them as i was completely hazed out. when i got back home i felt on the edge of burn out. i've been there before (burn out) and it ain't fun. a good sleep helps a lot, though, and i plan on spending tomorrow (which is a holiday here in canada) with my son just enjoying the day. that should give me enough "harumph" to hit the floor with guns blazing again. i already am feeling the "must code now" itch but am holding off on it so that my batteries can fully recharge. it's interesting how that used to take weeks when i was younger and now it takes but a couple days every few months.
those who read my blog may have noticed a couple of blank entries recently. that's because something changed either in blogger or khtml in svn ... either way it was screwing up. and then someone (i forget who; sorry.. but props to ya, man!) on irc mentioned that if one flips the user agent to Firefox 1.0 is works fine. bingo! stupid. bloody. blogger. that and web site creators who can't code their way out of a paper bag.
since people are blogging about books i thought i'd join in the chorus. i picked up "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time" which is mark haddon's first novel. the protagonist is autistic and the writing style is very interesting. i really connect with his obsessive detail oriented mind and relationship of obliviousness to the common world of people.
i also picked up a book for p. (a star wars universe young adult novel) and "oryx and crake" for t. atwood may not be much to look at (personally, her pictures give me the willies) but damn! can she write.
celeste blogged about target audiences today, which is something we really do need to look at. as i mentioned in a recent blog entry, i don't think the open source desktop is of interest to the enterprise yet to the point they will deploy it in any serious fashion. this is based both on my personal conversations with such folk as well as simply watching the market and where deployments are (and aren't) happening. this is confirmed as well by the actions of linux companies who concentrate on enterprise sales.
so who is our target audience? it's something i've been thinking quite a bit about lately, and ettrich and i had some conversations about it in oslo this last week. obviously we have a lot of enthusiast and others who fit into various "individual user" type categories. how can we make kde more interesting, compelling and worthwhile for those people?
second, i have the inkling that we have a lot of small and medium sized business deployments out there. personally i count anything under 500 seats to be in that umbrella. at the table (which i picked at random) i ate lunch at in munich during trolltech dev days there i found myself sandwiched between two such examples. while eating the rather amazingly good food, i discovered that on my right was a fellow who works for a company that makes linux based satelite t.v. transmission software (sky t.v. is amongst their clientelle) and they use qt for their in-house engineering tools. on my left were three men from a vienese company that writes kde software for a group of five private hospitals. these hospitals all run kde on the desktop and everything from patient records to x-rays is handled on them.
have you ever heard of either of these deployments? i'll bet you a pint of the best that you haven't. why? because we (the royal 'we') don't know about them. why? that's a good question. what do they need? another good question.
we often create somewhat blindly when it comes to our user's needs, and that's not always a good thing. for many apps it's easy enough to guess at, but for many (including the part i'm working on these days), it's not.
the rest of this month i'll be blogging mostly about the questions raised above in an attempt to empty my addled head enough on the topic to approximate some possible directions.
p.s. i'll be doing an article on the hospital deployment as one of the people was kind enough to respond in the positive to such a request today by email
p.p.s. the whole gnome and kde and blah blah blah kindergarten fest is silly. please people, let's just put on our big boy and girl clothes and move on. we have exciting and fun things to do, and pissing on each other is neither of those.
p.p.p.s. while in oslo i got to meet brad hughes of blackbox fame who now works for trolltech. he was one of my coding heroes when i first started using linux for my desktop so it was really cool to meet up with him. it was even more cool to sit and do some software design stuff. and yes, i'll be working on that whiteboard app =)