Throw your hat in the ring!

This Sunday is the deadline to decide to run for the GNOME board! While it can be a lot of work, serving on the GNOME board is a great way to contribute to the community and make sure that things are run in the way you think they should be. (Plus, you’d get to be one of my bosses!) I’ve only seen a couple of candidacies announced, but I’m hoping to see a lot more this weekend – we need seven directors in total. The details are all here.

Some things I’ve been up to

It’s been an exciting and busy couple of weeks. Here are a selection of things I’ve done, so that you can see what I’ve been up to!

  • worked with Chun-Hung Huang (sakanamax) and the GNOME.Asia committee to choose a bid for GNOME.Asia, get emails and announcements ready, etc. This year GNOME.Asia will be in Hong Kong!
  • worked with Walter Bender and the nice folks at MIT about reserving rooms for the Boston Summit. It won’t be official for a little while, but it’s looking good.
  • participated in our GUADEC organizing meeting. We definitely need some more good ideas for keynoters so let me know if you have any ideas!
  • worked on some interviews, followed up with journalists. I’ve been so happy that my LCA talk continued to get press, but I’ve been sad that it’s meant that I’ve had to turn down some speaking opportunities – I’ve just been doing way too much travel and need to stay put at least for a little bit to get some work done (I feel like I’m always playing catch up). The next public speaking I have lined up is a free culture panel at SXSW, which I’ll be taking some vacation to attend (it feels funny to be taking vacation to speak at yet another conference, but it’s work for QuestionCopyright not GNOME, and besides I can attend a lot of the music performances! The next GNOME related speaking I’ve got lined up is LibrePlanet2012!
  • worked with Rosanna on GNOME’s Form 990 (and asked a lot of questions of our accountant!)
  • started fundraising for the next OPW round with potential new sponsors
  • worked on the biannual report
  • contacted schools for the blind and deaf to see if we could develop any partnerships with our accessibility campaign. Worked with Juanjo Marin on another story for the FoG campaign (coming soon!)
  • worked with Aaron Williamson of SFLC about fixing a bug in GNOME’s bylaws.
  • did some research and looked into trademark implications of uses of logos in Boxes for Zeeshan
  • contacted Hylke Bons, who confirmed explicit permission to use the adorable robot logo he designed for GNOME 3
  • nagged various people about various things
  • thanked various people for various work. I’m always astounded by how awesome our volunteers are! We have to estimate the number of volunteers GNOME has for our afore mentioned Form 990 report, and it’s amazing how quickly the number adds up – thank you to volunteers who organize events around the world, who spend their time staffing the booths at those conferences, who compose our awesome sysadmin team, and our dedicated marketing team, who volunteer to be on our board, who run the outreach program for women and who mentor new contributors in all all out outreach programs, who write documentation, who contribute articles for our reports and press, and of course, who contribute on a volunteer basis to our code base!
  • recorded and published an oggcast on Ambjörn Elder’s talk from FOSDEM entitled Methods of FOSS Activism. I apologize for the crummy quality of my audio – I didn’t realize my gain was so high
  • helped coordinate getting GNOME Do their freenode channel, with SEJeff and Sri’s help!
  • communicated with a few advisory board members, and a potential advisory board member
  • followed up on overdue invoices to the GNOME Foundation

what I’ve been up to this week

With the holidays behind us, I was happy to get back in the full swing of things this week. In no particular order and among other things, this past week I…

  • sent interview questions to Daniel Siegel about GNOME participation in Google’s summer of code for our biannual report. I also have been working on my introduction for the report. Emily Gonyer and Juanjo Marin have been great about working on the report. Dave Neary and Marina Zhurakhinskaya have contributed content too!
  • sent some catch up emails to a few of GNOME’s advisory board members.
  • finalized my travel arrangements to Australia for AdaCamp Melbourne and linux.conf.au. I leave on Wednesday and I’m quite excited for both events! If you’re going to be at either event, come say hi – I’d love to see you. Now I just need to finish my talks…
  • evaluated and discussed proposals for the legal issues and policy devroom I’m helping to coordinate at FOSDEM with Tom Marble, “Bradley Kuhn and Richard Fontana. Tom in particular has really been doing a tremendous amount of work on making sure the day is well scheduled and goes off without a hitch! Also, it looks like we’re going to have a marketing meeting at FOSDEM as well. Let me know if you’re going to be there and would like to participate.
  • recorded an oggcast with Bradley for Free as In Freedom. We’ve just released the last episode in which we talk about the devroom. The one we recorded this week was inspired by my anticipation of AdaCamp (but you’ll have to wait until the amazing Dan Lynch puts the show together).
  • dealt with some trademark related things with Justin Colannino at SFLC. A thousand thanks to Justin for all of his hard work on GNOME matters as he transitions out of SFLC.
  • worked with Christy Eller and Juanjo on nominating GNOME for the Computerworld Honors program, which is great because we’re putting together materials that I hope can be turned into grant applications. I’ve loved how fun the #marketing channel has become!
  • talked with a couple of members of the a11y team, about the ongoing campaign and other things. I am so inspired by their commitment to accessibility.
  • helped Rosanna with updating the retirement plan that the Foundation has, mostly to fix a hilarious typo. It’s funny – the last time I looked at the legal documents for the plan I was at SFLC.
  • started working on my own six month report to the board. It’s great to think of my time at GNOME from a general perspective, and I think it will focus me on what’s important in the months to come.
  • did a bunch of pro bono work for Conservancy, as they’ve had a lot going on and are coming up on their audit deadline very soon.

GNOME Outreach Program for Women is now open for applications

If I’ve seen you in person since I’ve started at GNOME it’s fairly likely that I’ve talked to you about the Women’s Outreach Program. I’ve been so impressed at the work that Marina, Stormy, and the rest of the GNOME Community have done in setting it up. It amazes me how the program systematically provides paths to overcome so many of the problems that we identify as possible reasons for the lack of involvement by women in free software.

Last year I was interviewed for an article about the topic, and when discussing this with Alex Skud Bayley (formerly Kirrily Robert – congrats to Alex on the name change) at last year’s OSCON, she said something like “if you are a woman in free software at some point you will be considered an expert about women in free software.” I wanted Alex’s thoughts because her 2009 OSCON keynote on the topic was really great. And while I like telling my story and giving my thoughts about the participation of women in free software, I think Alex was right – I’m mostly speaking from personal anecdotal experience. What I love about the Outreach Program is that it’s something concrete. It takes proactive steps to get women involved and try to keep them involved. And it has gotten great results.

I met many of the last round of participants in the program at the Desktop Summit and even listened to a few of them give presentations about their work. I was extremely impressed. Even better, some of these women stick around in our community after their internships are over, which is especially exciting. A couple of the women I talked to said that they believe that their careers have been kickstarted by the program and they’re not sure if they would have gone down that path otherwise.

As Marina writes, in the last session there were seven female interns among the 27 GSoC interns in GNOME. The most it had in previous years was one female participant. She noted that all of the women who applied for GSoC in 2011 found mentors and project ideas, made a first contribution, and navigated the application process with the help of the resources available through the OPW.

Extra thanks to outside funders of the program: Collabora, Google, and Mozilla. They make it possible for the program to have the reach it does.

The new application period for the program is open right now through the end of October, so if you know someone who may be right for the program please send this information their way!

GNOME is an innovative Free Software desktop. It is easy to use and is the most popular desktop distributed with free operating systems.

In an effort to get more women involved in Free Software, the GNOME project is sponsoring several internships for women from December 12, 2011 to March 12, 2012. The application deadline for the program is October 31. The applicants need to get in touch with individual GNOME projects ahead of time to decide which project they are interested in working on and make a small contribution to the project.

Participants will work remotely from home, while getting guidance from an assigned mentor and collaborating within their project’s team and the rest of the GNOME community. The projects include developing software for the core desktop, file management, messaging, popular applications, educational activities, and the platform libraries. There are also non-coding projects, such as graphic design, documentation, and marketing. The stipend for the program is $5,000 (USD).

Please visit http://www.gnome.org to learn more and apply. The mentorship opportunities are also available throughout the year for anyone interested in getting started contributing to GNOME outside of the internship program.

GNOME 3.2 released!

GNOME has just announced the release of GNOME 3.2. Check out the release notes to see what’s been added. Kudos to the release team and the rest of the GNOME community who pulled together to make this happen.

Bradley and I held the release of this week’s Free as in Freedom episode a day to match the release date and you can hear us talk a bit about that as well as Matthew Garrett’s post about the UEFI issue. Since we’re often a little behind the times in reporting back about the conferences we’ve attended, we also include a brief interview from the Desktop Summit with Jos Poortvliet.