IT X: Open Source

In my city we have no local GNOME group or linux user group. I’m trying to shake that up a bit. I helped arrange an event called IT X, happening at Platform 4 which is a local non-profit venue in the center of my local city in Aalborg, Denmark.
2015-11-15Previosly part of an amusement park, now a non-profit venue for local citizens. Picture by Troels Leegaard.

With help from my local IT Union PROSA, we’re trying to create more publicity about open source among IT students. They helped organize what became the first edition of ITX – a monthly talk show event, this time themed Open Source. I was one of four speakers:

  • Lars introduced what open source is about.
  • I introduced GNOME, how and why to get involved.
  • Søren talked about Kodi/XMBC.
  • Mads introduced Aalborg’s local hackerspace Hal9k.

IMG_20160224_190413The event is about to begin – so exciting!

At 7 in the evening we had around 20-30 participants. With me I had brought 10 USB sticks with Fedora 23 and a printout of GNOME’s latest annual report. My talk was about GNOME, how we collaborate together, introduced our community and why contributing is valuable to me.

impress-slidesI used pictures from hackfests to emphasize that GNOME is people (tags were given by permission). Slides/Recording coming up soon!

I felt the audience were generally really intruiged and curious about GNOME! I was promoting a facebook group called “Open Source Aalborg” for those who wanted to know more. This group grew double the size after the event. Furthermore, a handful of people seemed genuinely interested in getting involved and contributing themselves too.

My plan now is to start doing weekly or bi-weekly events on open source, likely in collaboration with the local hackerspace Hal9k. I’ll use the opportunity to have a good time and help people getting started in GNOME. Afterall, we still have some user onboarding issues to fix in GNOME. But I’m really happy to see genuine interest from people in the project – these are partly people who have never even tried Linux before. Maybe you’ll see some more newcomers on IRC – greet them welcome. Let’s see where this is going. :-)

Belgian Vacation

On 26th I finished the semester exams and the day afterwards went on a trip.

It kicked off with me getting around Brussels with guidance from my printscreened map mashups – looking forward to being able to use Amisha’s Print Support in GNOME Maps in the future for this as I have no internet on my phone. :)

Wednesday was spent at the developer experience hackfest, discussing the future of GNOME Developer Center with kat, lasse, afranke, matthieu and fredp. Matthieu demoed his tool hotdoc and ptomato showed off his efforts on getting GJS documentation online. My understanding of where we ended was that there was some consensus so far to try to unify the hand-written docs so they are written in a single language (fx Mallard) and make it play with hotdoc which can integrate that with source code documentation. Hotdoc also allows a lot of cool things such as being able to change the language of the code examples and online editing.

I spent another part of the hackfest on creating CSS style that can make it easier to use our TemplateFancy for applications which want to be newcomer friendly. I partly achieved to create a navigation bar – I’m having some issues finding a non-hacky way of center-aligning the li elements relative to the width of the ul elements though, so I left that effort aside after a while. Beyond that, what remains now is to create CSS classes for title, subtitle and frontpage content.

devx my small laptop in a large room with a dozen hackers. The location was provided by betacowork – they are awesome.

The rest of my productive time went into iterating on some designs for planned features of Polari:

  • IRC commands auto-completion
  • Undoing connection removal (landed)
  • NickServ handling
  • Improvements for changing nicks (landed)
  • Contextual Popovers
  • polari-small-stuff Snippets of small UI mocks I’ve been working on (some of it is still WIP).

    Then FOSDEM happened. Also this year did GNOME have a booth although not as big as in previous years. I had designed merchandise and kat printed it – we had hoodies, t-shirts, mugs, stickers and a demo computer with the latest stable version of GNOME.


    I watched Christian Hergert’s demo of Builder which was quite insightful and something I can recommend you watch when a video appears online. Beyond that I was mainly standing in the booth, selling wear and talking to GNOME users. Some visitors asked how we (the people in the booth) were involved with the project. Some were even interested in contributing, so I showed them our newcomers page. When they appear on IRC, make sure to show them we don’t bite (most of the time)!

    31st January is today and that marks the end of the vacation. Last semester of my bachelor degree starts tomorrow, exciting times ahead.