FISL first impressions

I am writing now from the Trolltech booth at FISL, where the KDE contributors have also taken up shop. It's the second of three days and I'm already very tired. I was very surprised by the toll that booth duty takes in such a large conference!

FISL (International Free Software Forum, in its acronym in Portuguese) is held yearly in the city of Porto Alegre, of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. It is probably the largest South American event and one of the largest in the world. Yesterday I'm told there were 7000 people walking by and today it's probably going to be even more, since it's Friday. This is the first time that Trolltech has a booth here, but technically not the first that it has had presence.

At several points in time yesterday, we had our 3m x 3m booth packed with people listening to my ramblings (or Knut's, or Helio's, or Josef's more constructive speeches). Questions ranged from people who wanted to know what Qt was and if it could be used for their application purposes ("Does Qt have forms?" or "Do I have to know C++?"), to people who were asking about Qt 4.4 new features, such as WebKit and Phonon.

There were also people asking about KDE 4 and its current state. Hélio had a nice presentation yesterday showing the state of things. Today, Kévin Ottens from KDAB is holding an introductory course to Qt4 development. Later on, there'll be a KDE-Edu presentation by Maurício Piacentini (the KDE Games coordinator) and one by Andreas Hanssen on the future of graphics development in Qt. He says it's Qt 4.6 material...

We also had people asking about Java and other languages. I was pleased to be able to tell them about Jambi, but I think I need to learn I lot more about it. Thankfully, Helio downloaded and installed Qt/Jambi on one of the demo computers here. It's packaged by Mandriva, so it was a matter of a few commands only.

What amazed me was how much crowd two books and one Greenphone attract. Lots of people asked us when the Greenphone would be on the market -- to which we had to answer that it's already over. They also kept on asking if we were selling the C++ GUI Programming with Qt4 books we had on display.

Things to remember for next time:

  • Bring A4 or A5 leaflets with information on Trolltech
  • Bring a set of small loudspeakers so that the Qt4 Dance video can be heard

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