In the discussion about the future of GTK+, it was suggested that Pigment and Clutter could be used to play with ideas for the 3.0 release. Clutter, like Pigment which was demoed earlier looks very slick and an interesting way to make really cool looking applications. Like Pigment, it is the early stages of development. Before it could have wide-spread use in everyday desktop applications there would need to be a layer on top: “Clutter Widgets” that was highly themeable but incorporated accessibility, i18n etc. Otherwise each application needs to invent the wheel but maybe that’s okay for the occasional, highly graphical UI element.
Alex’s follow on talk about Pyro was interesting (as was his related blog post. Having Google Docs as a first class native app is appealing but HTML/JS aren’t that bling so in order to have the next generation of applications we’d end up running RIAs (or Clutter etc.). The number of layers involved makes it rather mind-bending. It’s a sweet hack. Whether it revolutionizes anything will partly depend on the code – (can the speed and the rendering bugs be fixed?) but also on whether the movers and shakers in the community think this is the way they want to go. I’m still on the fence but it’ll be interesting to see what happens.
The keynotes of Stormy Peters and Doc Searls were both interesting. Stormy had some insights on the differences between OSS and proprietary development that I need to think about more and Doc was talking (amongst other things) about his Vender Relationhip Management (VRM) ideas. I’ve had a look at the VRM stuff before, like most of the things discussed at this conference, it’s fairly blue-sky at the moment.
Finally, I’ve just been in a talk about Anjuta. I’d played with it before but it has changed dramatically. I’ll have another play – if it lives up to the demo we just saw I suspect it’ll become something I use a lot.