DX Hackfest part 2

I’m writing this post back home after a week in Brussels. I feel it has been overall a very interesting week; the hackfest has been great, and I really enjoyed the intense weekend of FOSDEM.


Following from my first report, I kept working in the Toolkit group for the rest of the time.
Quite some time was spent in a couple of all-hands discussions about choosing a recommended language for application development in GNOME; I’m really glad we were able to make a decision, and looking back at some of the code I wrote for GNOME in the last year or so, I think it’s the right one, and couldn’t be happier about the choice of JS. Travis did an awesome job explaining the reasoning behind this in his post, and I suggest you read it if you want to know more.

The rest of the time, we dived into some of the topics from the list we made initially; there were lots of conversations, but I think we had a very good start on at least two important topics:

  • it was great to see people interested in helping with the new notification API for GTK. We spent a couple of hours with Ryan and Lars (can’t find your blog, sorry!) fleshing out some of the details, and Lars already started writing code for the GLib part of the implementation, for which we settled on a GLib 2.38/GNOME 3.10 timeframe. A follow-up summary will be posted to gtk-devel-list soon detailing the changes from the previous draft, and we ideally will start porting core applications and testing the API in real world usage early next cycle.
  • with Jon and Alex we took a closer look at Tristan‘s EggWrapBox, which looks like a great start towards having a GtkIconView-like container for widgets (i.e. that doesn’t use cell renderers). After putting together a quick patch to allow height-for-width-based scaling in GtkImage we were able to get to our goal of having centered icons dynamically changing size and rearranging themselves together with the window. More time was then spent looking at the current EggWrapBox API, cleaning it and bringing it up-to-date to the GTK3 align/expand container flags design, and drafting a set of methods that could consistently work on both the wrap box and EggListBox. There’s also a very interesting overlap with Alberto‘s libmodel project, since the good ol’ GtkTreeModel might not be the best fit for this; unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to dive too much into the details of how that would work.

Further work on the other features we identified as interesting the first day is basically up for grabs, so if you feel adventurous and want to help improving our toolkit please get in touch with us.

I also suggest reading these other posts by Colin, Allan, Alex and Meg to find out what was discussed in the other groups.


This was my second experience with this great conference (first one was 2009), and I had a great time overall. I especially enjoyed the beer ^W the fact that the conference was spread out among more buildings than I remembered, making it possible to walk around the hallways without feeling oppressed by all the people squeezed in a tiny space.
I liked a lot Vincent’s talk about the GNOME community, and it was refreshing to see a huge number of people in the auditorium raising their hands on Vincent’s questions “do you love GNOME 3?”.
It was of course nice to hang out with friends and colleagues you only see once or twice an year, I wish we had more of this 🙂

I want to thank again the GNOME Foundation and Red Hat for funding my trip, and the people at the beautiful Betagroup Cowork space for hosting (for free!) the hackfest, you guys rock!