Gnomes in Hong Kong

GNOME.Asia 2012 ended two days ago, and the event was full of awesome.

Aside from the great talks by international speakers, I could meet lots of new people and had lots of hallway chats about our favourite OS.

But that's not all, I could also get some important stuff done.

First, I started hacking on the new Hong Kong Linux User Group web site, as Wan Leung hasn't had the time to finish it yet. Hopefully, I'll send him a pull request soon, and then we'll be able to deploy it to replace our ageing wiki.

My goal is to have that done before the LUG assembly in July..

Perhaps more importantly, Wan Leung took some time to explain to me the biggest problems with IBus for Hong Kong people.

This is a fairly new topic to me, and if I'm to promote GNOME in Hong Kong, it's something I need to understand. To be honest I discovered input methods even existed less than a year ago: the few languages I'm capable to type don't need them, so I learnt what they were when I moved to Hong Kong. Thanks to Wan Leung, I now have a much better understanding of what the problems are.

After he was done getting me up to speed, I sat down with him and Anish, an IBus developer who came to the conference. We focused on only one issue, the biggest, which renders IBus completely useless to Hong Kong people, and we came up with a possible solution. A potentially very simple one.

This means that if all goes well, by the time GNOME 3.6 is released with input methods integration, the required change will have been made to IBus, enabling Hong Kong people to type with the Quick or Candgie input methods (used by around 90% of the population here). The rest (performance, suggestions adaptability, wildcards support,...) is just bugs and improvements that can be fixed in due time.

All in all, this was a great event. Haggen, Sammy and the local volunteers team did a great job of organizing it (no, I'm not self-congratulating, I joined so late I wouldn't consider myself part of it ;-) ).

From what I've been told, this was also the first big international free software event in Hong Kong. I'm thrilled it was such a success, as it will be a great base for our future work here.