Over the last few months, the Engagement Team has done some restructuring and we wanted to share our updates with you!
As a reminder, the Engagement Team facilitates communication between users, contributors, partners, and anyone else who might be interested in the GNOME project. This includes working on projects like GNOME’s social media and news channels, as well as conference and event organization. During our restructuring, we coordinated our priorities for 2021-2022, which you can read more about here: https://gitlab.gnome.org/Teams/Engagement/General/-/wikis/home. From there we identified five main areas within the Engagement Team and have assigned each a lead coordinator. Going forward these subgroups will have regular working group meetings that are open to everyone.
We implemented this new initiative for many reasons, the main being to provide more transparency on our projects, and to make it easier for more contributors from all over our community to join Engagement Team projects. We hope that having clear priorities and project leads with regular working group meetings will be more accessible to new contributors and help them easily find a project they’re interested in.
These are our five new subgroups:
Social Media: responsible for maintaining all GNOME social channels
Fundraising: works on grant applications and Foundation fundraising efforts
Events and Conferences: plans and coordinates GNOME events, including GUADEC
Onboarding: building a manageable and scalable onboarding system
Graphic Design: supports all Foundation and Engagement projects with graphic design work
Since mid-November, we’ve been running a fundraiser that ends today, January 5. We’re thankful for everyone who donated to support our work.
Welcome to 2021! A new year feels like a time for new beginnings, even though the challenges from 2020 still hang over us. But in the midst of all this, we continue to build free software and a welcoming, supportive community. We do this because we know that even in a world with issues that are so immediately pressing, we must also ensure that the foundations of technology are things that empower people, that people can trust, and that we can continue to use for the hard, amazing, inspiring work still needed.
GNOME helps users. We believe strongly that in order to create good technology, it must be trustworthy. We do this through the creation of world class technology that meets the needs of users — GNOME works for everyday people. This also means that people know a technology is working in their best interests. With rigorous scientific methods and passionate end user advocacy, GNOME is designed for users, by users.
We dedicated 2020 to making sure that GNOME software works for everyone through a focus on accessibility. This work is certainly not finished, but we’re proud of how far we’ve come. With the newest release of GTK4, we’ve completely revamped our accessibility toolkit. The updated layout implementation creates new possibilities for designing interfaces for a variety of user needs and preferences. We know that GNOME must be usable by everyone, whether that is due to disability or simply geography. There are more than 140 translations of GNOME in progress, which includes the billions of people who do not speak English.
GNOME helps people making technology. GTK, a GNOME Foundation project, is a complete set of UI elements implemented to make all sorts of software usable. Since everything in GNOME is free software, not only is it available to people working on software, but the parts, the code, and the designs are available as well. Anyone can look at how any part of GNOME is constructed and reuse that work. We’re excited to hear more about the ways you use GNOME tools to build a better world.
GNOME helps its contributors. We cannot stress enough the impact GNOME has on the lives on the individual community members. With both mentorship and internship, GNOME helps people break into tech and move to the next stage of their careers. Whether it calls for skills that are technical, social, public speaking, project management, writing, or everything else that is required to make a project as large and complete as GNOME succeed. Working on GNOME builds confidence for contributors. People learn to trust their skills and intuitions. They learn that what they do is valuable to the world at large.
GNOME is not just an end, but a means to give people the tools, skills, and resources they need to accomplish what they need to create a brighter future. We except 2021 will be a challenging year, but one we have high hopes for. We’re going to continue to build amazing things thanks to the support of our donors, contributors, and supporters.
The Linux App Summit (LAS) is designed to accelerate the growth of the Linux application ecosystem by bringing together everyone involved in creating a great Linux application user experience. It is a three days conference organized jointly by GNOME and KDE. We had 310 people who joined and participated in the event. This event had 38 speakers and we had 7 Bofs organized. During the event we had 2 social events, the first one was the Amalfi Coast tour and the second one was a pub quiz.
It’s the biggest GNOME event organized in Asia. This year we had 23 talks and 20 speakers participating. It’s a three days event starting from 24th-26th of November. We are now processing the number of participants in the event. GNOME ASIA had 2 social events: one was the Guitar class and the other was the cooking class.
Social media team promoted the call for proposals, registration opening, schedule, and speakers on all channels. Illustration work was created by the GNOME Asia organizing team.
People are finishing and polishing their articles for the annual report. We are still in the process of gathering, with the hope that we will have all materials by December.
Claudio had been working with Gabriele on updating the Branding library. This is going to be used as a visual framework for all the websites of the GNOME Ecosystem.
Challenge and fundraising
We held a live event for the Community Engagement Challenge Phase Two winners announcement which we promoted over social and streamed live to Youtube: https://youtu.be/poTxMwKDq2g
We’ve promoted Molly’s fundraising efforts throughout all channels. She’s launched a new article every week which we share and developed additional social content around.
Join us on Friday December 18 at 18:00 (UTC) to celebrate the release of GTK4. There will be Q&A time with GTK developers, including Emmanuele Bassi and Matthias Clasen, and open social time. We’ll be hosting the event using the meet.gnome.org.
Welcome to the October and November 2020 Edition of the update series where we detail what our developers have been working on recently. Each change listed here is what developers on the project have merged and want to show the world.
GNOME Web & WebKit
GNOME Web and WebKit have seen some exciting new changes in October. To start off, WebKitGTK now has gamepad support implemented by ChangSeok Oh. Thanks to their work, you will be able to use your favorite gamepads to play games in WebKitGTK-based browsers such as GNOME Web starting next March.
GNOME Web has also received a new icon designed by Tobias Bernard that better fits in with GNOME’s icon set.
Julian Sparber polished off the responsive work for Geary which has landed on mainline. This means Geary now fits better on smaller screens, and this can be tested in the nightlies.
Adrien Plazas has added support for playing Dreamcast games to GNOME Games. It is powered by the Flycast Libretro core and it supports both the .gdi and .cdi formats.
You will be able to use it in the next stable version to be released in March 2021.
Christopher Davis has been working on a slight styling overhaul to be more in line with newer Adwaita styling and recent app designs.
A large merge request from Alejandro Dominguez changed Fractal’s backend to use matrix-rust-sdk instead of a custom API module. Alejandro is also working to refactor how Fractal handles all the UI and interactions between the UI and the internal machinery. The main target is to make Fractal snappier, and more flexible for future development.
Librsvg is a vectorial (SVG) rendering library. Its test suite is now in Rust, and the CI has been intensively optimised: it used to take an hour and a half to build the library, and now only takes 13 minutes!
GTK4 and GTK3 and Rust
The GTK team has been working hard this month again. GTK4 now talks nicely with assistive technologies thanks to the new AT-SPI backend. The Emoji chooser and other emoji handling related improvements have been performed.
macOS can now run GTK4 applications, thanks to the new GDK backend. GTK4 changed the way UIs are drawn and the existing backend for GTK3 could not be reused.
Bilal Elmoussaoui and Sophie Herold have been working on fixing the null-ability annotations in GTK4 before the 4.0 release. Bilal has also put in a large amount of work for subclassing support, further filling out the types gtk-rs users can subclass. Christopher Davis also added initial support for composite templates to the gtk4-rs and gtk-rs bindings.
If you want to get started with the GTK4 bindings, check out the GitHub repository. There you can find examples and links to API documentation.
A new initiative for third party apps has launched, called GNOME Circle. This initiative supports apps and libraries that use the GNOME platform. Circle is meant to showcase all the amazing third-party apps and libraries within the GNOME ecosystem, and support the independent developers creating them.
Developers who are using the GNOME platform can apply to have their projects included in GNOME Circle. When their project is approved, they qualify for benefits including:
Promotion and advertising
Contributors qualify for GNOME Foundation membership
Optional inclusion in the Circle Gitlab group
To learn more and see the apps included, you can visit https://circle.gnome.org/.
Starting this edition, we will be showcasing third-party applications, including those in GNOME Circle.
Rasmus Thomsen created an application to follow your weight and steps count! It accepts
both manual input and synchronisation with Google Fit devices.
If you’re interested in contributing to the project or using it, visit the GitLab repository.
Souk is a flatpak-based app store, written with GTK4 and Rust. It’s written from the ground up to be an app store that works both on desktop and on mobile devices like the PinePhone, PineTab, and Librem 5.
If you’re interested in contributing to the project or using it, visit the GitLab repository.
Welcome to the November 2020 Friends of GNOME Update
GNOME on the Road
The Seattle GNU/Linux Conference took place online this year and we were there. Executive Director Neil McGovern gave a presentation titled “Patently Obvious” about our legal case with a patent assertion entity and how the settlement impacts all of FOSS.
Strategic Initiatives Manager M. de Blanc gave a surprise talk that had nothing to do with GNOME, but discussed the Foundation nonetheless.
We also had talks at Linux Application Summit and GNOME.Asia, which you can read more about below.
We (co-) Hosted Great Events!
Linux App Summit (LAS) took place on November 12 – 14. Co-organized with KDE, LAS brought together attendees from over 80 countries. Videos are already online if you would like to catch up or share your favorite sessions with friends.
We had three GNOME Foundation staff speaking at LAS:
When discussing computing, “accessibility” refers to the technologies that make things like software and web sites work for people with disabilities or who otherwise need accommodations. This includes a range of permanent and temporary conditions, e.g. blind users and people who have broken an arm and are computing one handed while it heals. Accessibility matters to us at GNOME because we believe everyone should trust and be empowered by their technology, regardless of ability.
We’ve started up regular social media working group hours that anyone can join. The goal of these meetings will be to discuss and plan out news and social topics for the following week, and if there is time, to work on drafting the content. You can drop in on one to check it out (or one of the other Working Group or Team meetings). Information is on events.gnome.org.
Thank you for all the ways you support GNOME—the community, the Foundation, and the project. This has not been an easy year for many of us, and we appreciate that you have given your time and energy into making GNOME a place where people have found connection, fulfillment, and even joy.
There are two great conferences coming in November: the Linux App Summit on 12-14 and the GNOME Asia summit on 24-26!
Kristi Progri has been busy co-organizing it all.
The final Program of LAS with the schedule and speakers have been announced. You can find all the exciting talks given on the LAS schedule. Engagement also opened the call for BoF so people can hang out together and brainstorm on issues they face in the Linux App ecosystem.
The call for papers for GNOME Asia is now closed, but the registrations are open! It will take you only few minutes to reserve your seat in our biggest event in ASIA. The papers team committee is starting to review the papers.We will send out the emails to accepted speakers during the first mid of November.
Organizing conferences takes quite a bit of work, so Kristi has been working on a document as well to define the roles and responsibilities for events organization. The Events and Conferences team will meet again to keep improving the document, start putting together the GUADEC 2021 team and set up the agenda for the next meetings.
Social media working groups have started. These will take place weekly every Wednesday at 17:00 UTC. We’ll use the hour each week to talk about news or items we can post on the GNOME social media channels. Everyone is welcome to join and it’s not necessary to stay for the whole hour.
People can also contribute to social media by submitting topics or requesting posts on our GitLab project.
Caroline Henriksen is in the process of writing guidelines for people who manage our social media accounts. These guidelines will cover how we as GNOME sound on each channel, best practices, and tips for creating consistent content. They will also help us onboard new social media contributors.
Claudio Wunder has been monitoring and moderating our Discourse instance and the GNOME subreddit. He has also tweaked the AutoModeration bot to fight abuse and help reporting bugs properly. The subreddit statistics are now public.
Thibault Martin has been monitoring GNOME Planet to find pieces our community wants to share with the outside world and made summaries for the general public to be published on GNOME’s Twitter and Mastodon accounts. He also has been monitoring the Twitter and Mastodon accounts to boost and like the contributors’ posts, and interact with the community.
Our community is currently in an uncomfortable situation regarding instant messaging. We have three platforms running: IRC, Matrix, and Rocket.chat. IRC and Matrix are bridged together, and Rocket.chat is isolated from the other two. This confusing situation makes onboarding of newcomers particularly difficult.
Our Rocket.chat instance was primarily opened for the GNOME Foundation and Foundation Staff. It has been mistakenly advertised as the official GNOME IM platform, which led some confusion. Claudio has been working with our system administrators and the Foundation to determine if access to that instance can be restricted to Foundation members and special guests. He’s working on an action plan to move this initiative forward.
Since many people from IRC complained about the bridge between IRC and Matrix, and the chat evaluation initiative was stalled, Thibault has been trying to gather feedback from IRC users to understand their main gripes. The people from Element, who hosts our Matrix instance and bridge, have been tweaking the bridge to make the experience less painful. Now the infamous URL-instead-of-message should be over!
He also has been in touch with the Mozilla community to get feedback regarding how they handle abuse and moderation on a federated platform in the open.
Finally, with the help of people from Element he has been assisting our system administrators in fixing an issue that prevented users from using gnome.org in Fractal to log on GNOME’s Matrix instance. Fractal users don’t need to remember the odd gnome.modular.im URL anymore!
It is to be noted that despite a very Matrix-rich month, the chat evaluation is still running and we still haven’t decided which will be our recommended platform.
Claudio has been gathering feedback on the Faces of GNOME project and scheduled a meeting to decide on its direction.
“Engagement Team Reports” covers what the Engagement Team has been up to, which includes work from contributors, volunteers, and Foundation staff. “What’s Happening in GNOME” focuses on technical developments in the GNOME ecosystem.
If you’re now inspired to get involved with the Engagement Team, they maintain an active Discourse, and have monthly meetings.
GTK is an amazing, important, and exciting part of the GNOME ecosystem. It gets people excited in ways that few other parts of our technical development does. Emmanuele Bassi, the Foundation’s Core GTK Developer, has been working hard on getting the newest major release, GTK4, ready to go. We’re really excited about this at the Foundation and across the GNOME community.
Flatpak is one of our favorite ways to install apps on GNOME. The best way to get the apps you want is on Flathub. Bartłomiej Piotrowski and Jan Horbowicz have recently added new search implementation to flathub.org, which will yield better results in your searches.
LAS (mentioned above) is a great event if you want to learn more about what’s happening with Flatpak.
Thank you for being a Friend of GNOME! Caroline and I are working on some stuff for Friends of GNOME that I’m pretty excited about and can’t wait to share with you. In the meantime, we appreciate your continued support and all the ways you help GNOME.
GNOME Asia Summit 2020 will take place online November 24 – 26.
Topics covered include the GNOME desktop and a range of other topics that are GNOME specific and general to the free software and tech communities. The summit brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a place for users, developers, leaders, governments and businesses to discuss present technology and future developments.
More information about the GNOME Asia 2020 Summit including is available on the official website. The GNOME Asia Summit will be three days of stand out keynotes, engaging and educational sessions, and skill building Birds of a Feather sessions and workshops, so register today.
Engagement Team has been busy this September. We’re working on several things we would like to share with you.
We have regular meetings to discuss our strategy and goals, under the impulsion of our Program Director Kristi Progri. We recently decided to set-up three working groups to structure our activities: a Social Media group, an Onboarding group, and a Fundraising group. As always, we will be happy to welcome you if you want to join us in any of those activities.
This month also had an important milestone: the release video project for GNOME 3.38 Orbis was completed! This project was led by Caroline with input and feedback from Foundation Staff, Engagement Team members, and other GNOME contributors. The video was created for us by Freehive. From this iteration we learnt how to smoothen the process for next releases with closer collaboration with the Release Team and the production of Release Notes.
The Fundraising Working Group has kicked off organizing the Fall Fundraiser. Our goal is to get 50 new Friends of GNOME this Fall. Initiatives like the Fall Fundraiser help provide the Foundation with the resources it needs to grow GNOME, through supporting events, infrastructure, internships, partnerships, and software development. If you’re interested in getting involved, email email@example.com.
Claudio Wunder is taking over the GNOME.org website update started by Britt Yazel and Evan Welsh. The update focuses on upgrades to the backend of the site and minor changes for visual consistency, but will also include migrating the Foundation content to a separate page. While no visual impact should be expected for this first milestone, it will ease our systems administrators’ work.
Claudio also is following-up on Clarissa Borges’ internship. That internship was about the creation of a CSS library to have a common UI on all of GNOME’s websites. That library will then be used for a second milestone in the GNOME.org website update, this time for visual improvements.
Sri Ramkrishna had been working on two exciting initiatives. Scalable Onboarding and Scalable Mentors are meant to attract more contributors to stay in the long run and turn them into mentors for a solid community.
Thibault Martin has been following our GSoC interns and their reports to help spread the knowledge about their great work on our social media, with the help of Caroline. Closer collaboration with Felipe Borges for next iterations of the GSoC and Outreachy should be expected so we can follow our interns earlier in their process and integration with the community.