I’m the executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, former executive director and pro bono counsel to the GNOME Foundation, former general counsel and current pro bono lawyer to the Software Freedom Law Center. I’m also pro bono counsel to QuestionCopyright.org and a sometimes DJ!

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Karen,
    Are you aware of communication problems in Gnome like this one?

    Notice not only the one word response from a dev who (silently!) removed functionality that’s in every other modern terminal emulator, but also that he does not even bother to specify whether Gnome would even accept a patch from users interested in finding a way to make a cleaner implementation for bg transparency.

    Just take a few minutes to read the entire bug comments, as well as the bug of which this is a duplicate, and consider how much ingenuity and knowledge is represented by the people asking why the feature was removed and if there will be a patch. I’d bet that if instead of “No,” the response were, “Sorry, it was buggy and I don’t have time to fix it but if someone wants to submit a patch that’s maintainable by addressing [x, y, z] that’d be great,” someone would have already come forward to fix this. Instead, there’s ambiguity, frustration, and wasted/ignored effort of other devs who spent time giving detailed reasons why bg transparency is extremely helpful in a terminal where it is not in most other GUI applications. And there are busy devs and users who are now using other software as an alternative instead of making Gnome better.

    Put another way, treating users/potential devs with disdain is the reason there’s not adequate mindshare to revise something as common as terminal transparency and get it to work bug-free.

    I’ve seen your youtube video about medical devices. You seem very nice and communicate clearly. Is there any way you could encourage Gnome devs to be and do likewise?


    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jonathan. We’re a pretty big community with a lot of online discussion and sometimes a response gets written poorly. Check out Allan’s response here: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=698544#c45 and some of the discussion that followed. I’m glad you liked my medical devices talk and my communication style. I do advocate for better communication in GNOME and if you reach out to me (karen at the org’s domain) I’ll do my best to help or get an answer. I hope you continue to work with the GNOME community!

  2. Karen,

    Just saw your talk on YT from 2012 when you was talking about open source for medical devices. I totally agree with you, I’ve been saying this for many years. I have just wrote a piece for the Pirate Party (UK) because I think this is definitely a policy they could adopt.

    Anyway, thanks for the video and good luck.

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