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GUADEC 2019 wrap-up

12 Sep 2019 . category: tech . Comments
#gnome #guadec

This year is the third edition of the GUADEC. Things were slightly different now: I was not a GSoC student anymore and I had my first jet lag. Three flights, some trains (including a type of train which rails were suspended in the air) were enough to go to Thessaloniki lands. When I arrived to Greece, I was a bit scared of the language since the alphabet would be almost impossible to type in my smartphone. However, I could easily reach the accomodation point.

My purpose for this GUADEC was different than the past ones. In the past I went basically to talk about my Google Summer of Code projects, but this time I wanted to show to the attendees the project I was working on as part of my dissertation project. I wanted to re-write almost everything of what I did and in the best case my plan was to find a contributor to my project. I am very happy to say that I found one contributor to this project. The project I talk about consisted on adding face overlay effects to Cheese developing a GStreamer plugins which elements should be better than gstfaceoverlay and gstfacedetect. The code of the project I made for my dissertation project can be found on this link and the one that is being written from scratch can be found on this repository. The slides are available on Google Docs and the full details (actually the thesis document) is written (in Spanish) in this document.

My lightning talk about face effects in Cheese.

Although this GUADEC has not been very productive to me in the sense that I was pretending to make more progress on this project, I feel very happy to have shared my knowledge with a polish guy I met the first day I arrived to Thessaloniki. His name is Mieszko Mazurek and he has never been a GSoC student or contributed to any project. However he is very talented, and has a company that develops drivers and software to manage embeded systems using GNOME-based technologies. I taught him about GStreamer, how to create an application, and he learned on his own to make a GStreamer plug-in. That was amazing! He is from Poznan (Poland) and coincidentally I was going there to have some vacations there. So we agreed to meet each other for further discuss about my project.

The conference days have been very informative as always. I got very hooked up for the Engagement team announcement and found out very interesting some intern lighning talks specially the ones about Usability given by Clarissa, who would later become a nice friend, and the one about the thumbnail generator for Polari. A talk that I liked the most was one about controlling GNOME Shell windows with a VR remote controller. That was a actually a project from Lubosz who works for Collabora and who was doing a Google Summer of Code in parallel to my first GSoC. Was nice to see him again but it was also nice to test his project. He is a really skilled guy. Finally, among other talks other that I found very intersting was the one about GTK4 and its new ways to define layouts.

During the event I met some of the Endless people I’ve been working with. I met also some ex-endlessers who I worked with, Cosimo and Meg. I had some time with Manuel Quiñones, who works with me on Hack, which develops software in top of Endless OS which is intended to teach kids to learning to code. We were also discussing about our workflows, commenting about some possible improvements on the software we develop and, because I had with me the Hack Computer, we showed Cosimo our progress in such software. It was really a pleasure to talk with each of these people in person. Also, I cannot skip to say that it was a surprise to hear about the donation of Endless to the GNOME Foundation for the “Coding Education Challenge”.

guadec2019-endless-folks1.jpg guadec2019-endless-folks-manuel-quinones.jpg
Endless people With Manuel Quiñones

I also attended to the GStreamer-related BOFs/workshops. It was basically a workshop about developing a simple webcam application in Rust with GStreamer. The workshop was lead by Sebastian Droge. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there during the whole session, but I stayed there most of its duration. I will set the personal goal of learning Rust by February of the next year. During the event, I also had the opportunity to talk with Sebastian Droge and Tim, GStreamer maintainers, and told them to review some very old patches I have. I am not in a hurry, but I hope that happens soon. Now I remember, that I also talked with another GStreamer developer about the possibility of writing a GStreamer element that inherits from GstOpenCVVideoFilter in Python. There is an issue regarding this, since cv::Mat types are not introspectable. So even when I tried to write my own filter similar to GstOpenCVVideoFilter in Python from scratch, I faced that I couldn’t access the raw data of the GstVideoInfo of each plane. I wrote a patch long time ago that I did not published but faced with the problem that I could not wrap that raw data info about the frames in a GLib.Array (from Python) without creating a copy.

The conference was an enjoyable event. Definitevely this event is more than its talks and about meeting people, discussing ideas for future projects and having some fun there. There were scheduled and non-scheduled social events. I also had some fun going to spontaneous dinners, having some drinks and a small boat trip and the visit of the various museums in Thessaloniki. Finally, I want to thank to the foundation for sponsoring me. To be honest, I was not expecting to go this year to the conference, but there I was.


After GUADEC I had some vacations in Greece for about one week more and then I was going to Poznan, Poland. As I mentioned, the first day of the event I met Mieszko Mazurek who actually lives in that city. He was showing me the city and his office in which he works were he develops low-level and high-level software to control batteries. He uses GNOME-based technology for this high-level software. I also continued to show him and explaining him about the Cheese Face Effects project. Finally, that day I could get the code I wrote during the event with the help of him to work as expected. Now I am on Krakow, and he is going to do an inter-city trip to continue talking about the mentioned project.

Mieszko and I trying the gst-plugins-cv repository


Fabián Orccón is an awesome person. He lives in Perú, the land of the Incas.