My recent activities

I’ve been a bit remiss at posting, due to my travel schedule (and more recently thanksgiving with relatives from out of town and the like). Last week I went to Latvia to keynote at the LATA conference in Riga. Perhaps not surprisingly to readers here, I spoke (in English) about software freedom and how the software that we should consider essential has expanded considerably. GNOME of course features into that prominently. You can see the video of the talk here. Thanks so much to Rūdolfs Mazurs, who in addition to filming the talk, sat next to me during most of the conference and translated from Latvian! He was such a good translator that I was even able to ask questions and feel fully engaged in the sessions. It was an exciting conference, and I was glad to hear folks who are active with free software in Latvia say in their talks that “GNOME Shell is the future”.

Not too long before LATA, I was able to attend UDS in Orlando. It was a very interesting conference, and I was sponsored by Canonical to attend. I had quite a number of productive meetings with GNOME and Canonical folks there and particularly enjoyed getting to know some of the Ubuntu community members who are not Canonical affiliated. I had a few thoughts that came out of attending UDS that I hope to give their own posts.

While at UDS, I interviewed Adam Dingle from Yorba for the Free as in Freedom oggcast. We talked about free software nonprofits, software freedom generally and the great work that Yorba is doing (you probably know them from their Shotwell photo manager software).

I also interviewed Stefano Zacchiroli, the DPL of Debian. That episode was just released today. We talked about Debian, GNOME and copyleft, and there’s a discussion about the interview with me and Bradley as well.

I’ve also been mentoring a few tasks for Google’s Code-in. I was happy to help GNOME get accepted to the program and now we’re starting to see the benefits. Thanks to Andre Klapper for all of his ongoing hard work!

While on the road I helped Marina to organize and get ready to announce the new round of participants in the Outreach Program for Women. We were able to include 12 participants this time, in a wide range of areas! I’m particularly excited, as I’m also a mentor for one of the participants. The actual work for the program begins in a couple of weeks, when you’ll start to see a lot of activity on the Planet from these ladies. It was a privilege to work with the sponsors of the program to solidify the announcement: A thousand thank yous to Google, Mozilla, Collabora, Red Hat and the GNOME Foundation itself.

I’m very happy to be home and not travelling for the next few weeks – there’s so much to be done! In particular, I’m looking forward to announcing a new Friends of GNOME program…

Tasks for Google Code-in

André Klapper has been emailing about the Google Code-in, a program in some ways like Google Summer of Code but for 13-17 year old high school students.

GNOME participated last year, and we have just until the end of the month (4 days!) to have the minimum number of tasks required to participate. Please check out the wiki page and add tasks! There’s a handy tutorial on How to Write a Good Task, which is a good place to get started. Unlike GSoC, the Google Code-in is focused on smaller tasks that take just a few days. It’s a really great program in that it targets younger students and gives them clear “bite sized” tasks to get involved and accomplish something significant in a short period of time. According to Google, last year over 2,000 tasks were completed by more than 360 pre-university students from 48 countries. In addition, last year’s top participants were recognized by Google and flown to California with a parent or guardian to meet Google’s engineers.

Let’s get tasks added so that GNOME can be accepted to the program!

Also read Johannes Schmid’s blog about it, and André’s original email.

I’m off to #marketing and #guadec to brainstorm tasks for the outreach/marketing category!