Google London Open Source Jam

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Edit: Added a link to the Google Group of the project of Mal about the sync-stuff. It's name is PySync.


Yesterday I went with a collegue (thank you Serage, particularly for the pictures ;) ) to this event that the Google's London Office sort twice (or more?) a year. Google London Open Source Jam.

I went for one main reason and other two minors (and... I didn't know that the most important was another one ;)):

  1. The Topic
  2. <li>To take a look to the <a href="http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=sw1w+9tq&ie=UTF8&cd=1&mpnum=0&ll=51.494851,-0.146685&spn=0.009806,0.020084&z=16&iwloc=addr&om=1">Google Office in London</a> (very very close to <a href="http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Victoria+Station,+Westminster,+London+SW1V,+United+Kingdom&sll=51.494851,-0.146685&sspn=0.009806,0.020084&ie=UTF8&cd=1&mpnum=0&ll=51.495305,-0.144517&spn=0.009806,0.020084&z=16&iwloc=addr&om=1">Victoria Station</a>)</li>
    
    <li>Free Food (very nice pizza ;) )</li></ol>
    

    (What's the "main one" is up to you... :-D ).

    The Topic

    This time, our topic of interest is Mobile.
    1. Linux on phones
    2. JavaME vs JavaSE vs .NET CF vs Native
    3. Browser technologies: AJAX and Flash
    4. Building native apps that port to multiple architectures
    5. Open platforms (e.g. OpenMoko)
    6. Cross platform testing
    7. Making the most of mobile hardware (camera, voice, bluetooth, GPS, etc)
    8. Phone bling

    FAQ

    What is it?

    In a nutshell, it's a pretty informal evening, we ask developers who have ideas or are already working on them to come and engage others to collaborate and code for your open source project. In a way, it will be like what goes on in the corridors, between sessions at a conference, except without the sessions. So you get to tell others about your idea and get new interested folks to work on your projects.

    Who is it for?

    Anyone who wants to work on a fun project. You may have an idea and need more help or are already working on an open source project and want to work with others, or you'd like to get involved in a new open source project and meet like minded developers. Or perhaps you've got nothing better to be doing on a Thursday night than hanging around with a flock of opensourcerers and hack.

    What will be there?

    Other interesting people to code with. A space to hang around in. Computers and wifi. Oh, and lots of delicious pizza.

    What will happen?

    Some people may choose to present a 5 minute lightning talk on what they're doing. Then little groups will form and people will work together on code! We'll encourage contributing good things back to open source projects, or maybe the launch of new projects.

    What shall I bring?

    The only thing you really need to bring is yourself. If you have a laptop you like to develop on, please bring that too.

    Why is it in the evening?

    It's intentionally on a school-night as that allows many people to attend who would struggle during the day because of their job commitments.

    What kind of talk should I give?

    Five mins lightning talk. If you want to bring slides or a demo, please do, but don't feel you need to - talking and/or whiteboards is just as good. Remember your audience are techy open source geeks. If you feel like giving a talk (and we'd love you if you did), please let us know.

    It was a very good occasion to know what Google does in London (Mobile Development... why I'm not surprised? ;) ), and to know a lot of different and very smart people that like Open Source and that have "something to say" about Open Source, Mobile Development, Future of Computing and so on.

    Some of them have presented interesting stuff. For example Nick Burch has presented a lot of interesting stuff about his works on S60 interacting with Linux (and using Python) (PyS60). Besides, he has highlighted this AMAZING and INCREDIBLE project called Perst:

    McObject's Perst is an open source, object-oriented embedded database for Java. In addition to high performance and a modest footprint, one of Perst’s greatest achievements is its tight integration with Java, resulting in exceptional ‘transparent persistence’ and ease in working with objects. ...
    I can't imagine all this stuff running on a phone... over Java!!! O_o

    ... I received the request to remove a piece of this document because of Non disclosure agreement. Sorry. ...

    Last but not least (also because there were also other interesting guys (and one Chinese girl too!)), I met Mal (I don't know the surname) and he presented an amazing idea about connectivity and synchronization between Mobile Devices (mainly, Symbian based) and the Desktop world. The idea is simple but powerful: to write a deamon on the mobile that wait for bluetooth connection (for example) and use an easy and published protocol to... send and receive whatever you want: SMS, Pictures, Contacts, Calendars, Notes... Why? Because simply [en:SyncML] doesn't work and NO-ONE implement it following the standard straightaway. And with something like that, the client side on the desktop could be everything. But this project needs to be defined better, particularly for the problem of [en:Capabilities] on Symbian OS. Mal has also opened a Google Group: PySync.

    Anyway, this group of guys in Google has also a Google Group. Let's subscribe if you are interested.

    But, the best of the evening was a chance meeting with It!

    Me with It Me: ... and I'm pretty sure you have an iPhone in this building! ;) Joe: To be honest, I have one in my trousers! ;) Me: O_O

    Me on It Obvioulsy, this is the proof that I'm not a liar!

    What about [en:iPhone]? Obviously, the WOW effect is the first thing! But, I think there are little minor defects related with keyboard input (I typed 4 times a "P" before to manage to have an "O" and... you need to have very clean hand to use it) properly (the glossy screen is VERY slippery). The first can be fixed via firmware updated.

    What about the Google London Office? What to say... it is like any geek-software-engineer know: free food (better to say "free everything"), a lot of smiles, a lot of couches, a lot of pillows... a lot of whiteboards with sheeps on it (as you can see on the pictures). But, to be honest, we have almost the same environment in Symbian. The difference, probably, is that we don't offer so much stuff to the Open Source World. But this doesn't means that Google work only for the Glory, right? ;)

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