back home and today i'm going through the usual post-conference confusion syndrome: keep forgetting it's actually saturday, lots of discouragement looking at my house which needs a bunch of tlc and my todo list which has only grown.
but the conference was definitely a plus. the kernel people are becoming more aware of what we need, x.org is moving forward and several projects that had low profiles before this got to peek out at the world such as the open content project. i also got to karaoke with a bunch of people including a couple new friends from the gnome project. meeting adriaan degroot for the first time in person and hanging out some more with maddog was also cool.
a highlight was seeing an unpublished study during breakfast one morning that measured the linux desktop as having ~6% market penetration in north america and higher in some parts in europe. given that events such as the waitress that served me lunch the day before noted to me that her brother uses linux on the desktop are increasingly common, i suppose i shouldn't've been surprised ... but i was. that's significantly more than "common wisdom" says we have and certainly jives with numbers i've been playing with and hearing about from other circles. there was a lot more in the study and i'm very happy to have received that knowledge, but i probably can't say much more publicly at this point since the study is still private. hopefully it won't be forever.
another highlight was hearing someone present on the future of graphical interfaces talk about "organic interfaces" which is something that i and a couple others from trolltech came up with about a year ago. the basic idea is that millions of years of humans evolution was directed by the traits of the world around us, molding us to be hands that fit the glove. (or if you believe in "intelligent design" one might say that we were created as perfect fits for the universe we live in.) so if we create software that behaves more like the world around us, these organic interfaces will resonate more deeply with users who will grok the software quicker and feel more at ease. this leads to changes in both visual design as well as metaphor such as the use of non-square corners and pervasive subtle gradients as well as avoiding iconification when avoidable leading to a more realistic one-to-one mapping on screen between thing and action (think drag and drop).
it was also useful to talk with kernel and desktop people together so we could get a much better handle on what the kernel needs to provide the desktop as well as what userspace apps need to avoid doing so as to make life for the kernel utter hell (such as our rampant stating and opening of files... it's really insane right now). there was enough emphasis from the kernel people on supporting the desktop (which includees laptops as well) that i'm optimistic we'll see real improvements here.
and finally, while i was away i got a package in the mail from the K3M meeting people. inside were two booklets that looked quite professional wrapping up the meeting. i wrote the foreword for the 28 page "final report" that is being sent to our corporate sponsors and meeting participants, which is why i suppose i received a copy of these items. i think it's a wonderful way to give those who were there something to remember the event by as well as a perfect means to communicate the benefits of the event to our financial supporters and to those who would like to write about the event. it's the first time i've seen such a thing for a kde event and the coordination team (martijn klingens, claire lotion, adriaan de groot and jos poortvliet) deserve a huge amount of respect for the truly professional results. i know they worked hard on it and it shows. i wish we had such a thing for trysil; next time we'll have to convince claire and martijn to join as and document the event.