Blog Post

Desktop Help Summit 2010 Complete

What an amazing weekend! First off, I really want to thank the following people:

  • Shaun “Is it Help? Hjelp? Yelp?” McCance – This entire event was his idea, his baby, and he pulled off one hell of an event. Thanks for showing off Mallard and Yelp.
  • Kevin “Is my iPad here yet?” Harriss – The venue was hosted by Kevin at the always awesome IIT Institute of Design in downtown Chicago, IL. Also thanks for allowing me to crash on the futon.
  • Jim “There are spy camera’s in my mansion” Campbell – Xfce and Xubuntu should be proud to have you on their teams, thanks for hosting that silly Brit Phil Bull and thanks for the coffee, donuts, and bagels.
  • Milo “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie” Casagrande – always good to see you again, and thank you for admitting that Italy could learn to make pizza from Chicago.
  • John “Fedora has a bat cave” McDonough – Google thanks you for realizing you shouldn’t listen to me for directions, and it was great to get to hang out with some (somewhat) local Fedora peeps.
  • Brian “GNOME is in the hizzy” Cameron – Thanks for spilling GNOME’s secrets so I can take them back to KDE ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for being a whicked cross-collab dude. Don’t think I didn’t hear you over there in the corner while I was writing American Idol’s next great hit!
  • Phil “The Intern” Bull – Thanks for the surprise! It was awesome to finally meet you after working along side you for the past 5 years on the Ubuntu Documentation Project. I had no idea you were coming and then hearing some British voice yell my name in Chicago scared the hell out of me, I swore I paid those tickets, really I do!
  • Silke “I’m with the Mallard” McCance – It was great to meet you, and great to see who it is that keeps Shaun in line ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the spy videos of my computer voice song, and thanks for running across the street and picking up the utensils and drinks when there was free food, and thanks for getting Milo to admit that Chicago knows Pizza! Thanks for the coffee and bagels this morning too!

I would also like to thank Paul Cutler for trying to make it. I hope your family is feeling better, and I am sure this summer we can all get together for some documentation love!

So, the Desktop Help Summit 2010, the main reason for this post. We, members of GNOME, KDE, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Oracle/Sun/OpenSolaris, gathered in Chicago this weekend to hold the first, but hopefully not the last, Desktop Help Summit. It was all about collaborating on bringing help to our users and doing it better than everyone else. We collaborated, we learned, and we quacked! Heck, Shaun even gave the dancing Mallard some background music provided by Severed Fifth. Some of you who have followed me in the past know that for 3 years I chuckled at Project Mallard and called it nothing more than vapor-ware. Maybe I said it enough that Shaun, deciding to shut me up, has provided an amazing markup language specialized for topic-based help. If you doubt it for even a second, you should really see it in action. It is definitely something I would like to see make its way into the KDE SC one of these days. He showed off what he has been doing on Yelp 3.0, I think that is the version, that made be a bit envious and made me want something like it in the KDE SC.

To learn more about the event and what went on, check out the links to the people above, as I am sure they will post more information as well. I know John and Milo already have started blogging about it. There are pictures somewhere, as Silke was showin’ off her mad super camera skills. I really want a nice camera like that. I think Milo took some pictures and John has as well. Phil didn’t take any pictures because he was to busy looking up in the air at the tall buildings. We had to take him over to the zoo because he was missing the view of sheep on a daily basis, so to curb his home sickness, we looked out for him.

I also had some tweets (by @nixternal) and dents (by @nixternal) about the event as well. Thanks to those of you as well who participated on IRC. Notes are also available via Ether pad at and

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