Jeff Waugh - Great Speaker, Better Guy

Last night was the first ever week night GLLUG. We were lucky enough to have Jeff Waugh come and speak to us as part of his BadgerBadgerBadger tour (although he didn’t do the dance :)). He presented some of the recent innovations and newer projects in the Gnome ecosphere before moving on to an overview of Ubuntu and its infrastructure.

I only know the basics about Ubuntu (I had a play with the warthog release) but from the presentation last night it was easy to see that it’s not just the software which is important. Shuttleworth knows business and you can see this in the distros polish and features. A good example is the OEM installer stuff. This shows Ubuntu isn’t an old style distro, it’s an attempt to scale the enterprise and get Linux everywhere.

After the talk we headed down to a local pub to meet up with some more Ubuntu (and some Debian people) to become the Ubuntu London release party. I don’t usually get much feedback from people after GLLUGs (hint hint) but the few emails I’ve had from the usual people have all been very positive about the talk, which I was expecting as it was pretty interesting and very entertaining, and about the speaker. I’d never met Jeff before last night so I wasn’t sure what to expect. He was friendly, affable, and really active in meeting people and getting them involved. One of the feedback emails summed it up best, “Jeff’s very charismatic. If he’s doing ISV relations I can see Ubuntu appearing in a lot more places.”

We had about thirty-forty people in the room for the talk, and considering it was both a Friday night and I’d only advertised a week ago, it went really well. The biggest difference in recent GLLUGs has been the makeup of the audience. I’m not as dedicated a Linux user as the people who organised the older meetings, which means I can advertise the event in other locations and, hopefully, pull in a more diverse crowd.

As the host you end up running around a lot and not getting to speak to many people, event hosting’s still new and shiny to me so I might be doing a little too much panicing, and the limited time with each person is always a shame. The audience last night was every bit as interesting as any speaker line up I’ve seen. In addition to the speaker we had Matthew Garrett, Phil Hands, Simon Willison, Gervase Markham and Mark Shuttleworth in a room. And I bet some of the other people I didn’t get to meet were every bit as interesting.