There are still a few lingering blog entries to write, but the show is now winding down. I'm in the closing session, in which they've announced the winners of the HP-sponsored OSCON Photo Competition and gnat has given recognition to the key O'Reilly staff who've made the conference run so smoothly. He also distributed some left-over swag. Generally by throwing it over the seated crowd.
The closing talk is Miguel de Icaza, talking about the efforts made at Novell to move ~5500 employees to completely-Linux destops. This involves replacing apps where they can, and writing new ones where they have to. The new apps they develop are all built on the Mono platform, in C#.
Desktop issues have come up a lot this year at OSCON. There's some "enterprise" work, applications that go beyond the basic things we (currently) expect from a desktop environment. He's talking about something they call "iFolder", which handles smooth synchronization of file-trees between systems that are only occassionally connected. Now he's talking about "Beagle", a search appliance similar what Google and Yahoo! are doing, using Lucene.NET and other elements.
He's also touching on how the progress of the desktop has been hampered by the lack of a really-good rendering library, until Cairo came along. He's also referring to a new implementation of an X server on top of OpenGL. Not X trying to support GL, X11 in it. Combined with Cairo, there's a potential for amazing stuff. Right now, he's demo'ing it: true transparency in windows, 3-D zooming of the desktop, switching virtual desktops by grabbing the bottom edge and flipping it around. He just started a video player, moved it half-way off the edge, then started a flip: the video was wrapper around the edge of the "cube". OpenGL effects are applied at pretty much al levels; moving windows or icons, etc. GNOME 2.12 will feature some or all of this, it wasn't clear how much would be deployed with that release (slated for October). Really stunning, though admittedly it falls more in the "eye-candy" camp.
It's been a heck of a week. I still have more thoughts to sift into words, so be sure and check back.