Welcome to the Inclusion and Diversity Team at GNOME!

A photo of spherical paper lanterns in a variety of colors, against a dark blue night sky. In the background is a building, lit in rainbow colors.Introduction

The Inclusion and Diversity team at GNOME was created to encourage and empower staff and volunteers, and to create an environment within GNOME where people from all backgrounds can thrive.

We welcome and encourage participation by everyone. To us, it doesn’t matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you: we welcome you.

A sign that reads: We welcome all races and ethnicities all religions all countries of origin all gender identities all sexual orientations all abilities and disabilities all spoken lnguages all ages everyone. We stand here with you you are safe hereGoals

Our main focus is to create an inclusive and diverse community. This means that we want to actively cultivate diversity in all forms, and to create ways to make people feel welcome and able to fully participate in GNOME.

In order to achieve that effectively we do activities like promoting diversity and inclusion throughout and beyond GNOME, educate ourselves and the GNOME community around creating welcoming and inclusive environments, organize events that are safe and welcoming to all, and offer internships and do outreach programs to promote diversity and inclusion at GNOME.

We just started the team this year, and have so far focused on making this year’s GUADEC a more inclusive event. As a small part of that, we will be holding workshops on things like imposter syndrome and unconscious bias. We welcome ideas for future conferences and GNOME events!

How To Join

We welcome everyone who wishes to contribute to this mission! It will be a great pleasure for us to have you working with us for the cause. We currently meet every Wednesday on UberConference at 16 UTC. It would be great to see you there. For more info please visit the wiki.

 

All images are public domain. See: https://unsplash.com/photos/1R2sGnkcECA and https://unsplash.com/photos/1R2sGnkcECA.

Text by the GNOME Engagement team.

Friends of GNOME Update – July 2019

Welcome to the July 2019 Friends of GNOME Update!

New Board of Directors

Members of the GNOME Foundation voted in the annual elections for this year’s board of directors. The current board consists of:

    • Allan Day
    • Carlos Soriano
    • Federico Mena Quintero
    • Robert McQueen
    • Philip Chimento
    • Britt Yazel
    • Tristan Van Berkom

Congratulation to the new board! You can learn more about the board and what it does online.

Where are we going?

OSCON takes place in Portland, OR, USA July 17 – 18th, and we’ll be there! Feel free to stop by the booth and come and say hello. There is also a hackfest July 18 – 21st, also in Portland, OR. The Engagement team, the Documentation team, and the GTK team are all currently scheduled to participate.

Programs coordinator Kristi Progri will be at DebConf 19 in Curitiba, Brazil later this month as well.

Of course, we’ll be at GUADEC, August 23 – 28th in Thessaloniki, Greece! Registration is now open. We hope to see you there!

What we’ve been up to

GTK development

We’re moving forward with exciting new things for GTK, including completing the consistent layout manager for GTK 4. We’re working on an API to make creating custom layouts easier. Focusing on usability across machines, we’ve put a significant amount of work into memory usage, to help things run more smoothly on small and low-powered devices.

We’re using GNOME!

Flatpak.org was running on Google Analytics, but that is no more! We are now using GNOME Matomo.

Inclusion, Diversity, and GNOME

GNOME is launching a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiative to help the community become even better. They are working on revamping some web pages, working on the wiki, and putting together some special workshops and events to help people find their places within the community.

Check out the Annual Report!

Thanks to contributors, the board, and staff, we have a beautiful annual report that highlights what happened during the 2018 fiscal year. You can read it online.

## Meet the GNOMEies

This month we highlighted Sriram Ramkrishna. known around free and open source software communities as Sri.

Thank you!

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Meet Sriram Ramkrishna

Sriram Ramkrishna, frequently known as Sri, is perhaps GNOME’s oldest contributor. He’s been around the community for almost as long as it’s been around!

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I’m one of the oldest members of GNOME having recently past my 50th birthday. I started in GNOME in late 1997, at the time I was a storage engineer working for Intel. I remember feeling amused when someone in GNOME heard my background and asked whether Intel was going to be involved. They weren’t, but it turns out they did later. In fact, it’s because of GNOME that my work life changed from being a simple engineer to a multi-faceted person with not just technical skills but soft skills.

I’m well known in a number of other communities — free software community primarily, but also corporate open source thanks working 20 years at Intel.

What’s your role within the GNOME community?

I primarily do engagement work — social media, public relations, and talks in the community. But I also try help solve specific problems within the project. One current project I’m working on is to help improve the GNOME extensions. I have an on-going project to help with developer documentation using HotDoc. That’s been somewhat lagged and I hope to find time to help lead that effort again.

Why did you get involved in GNOME?

Miguel was a charismatic leader, and attracted me that way. Plus I hate C++, and GNOME was C based. :D But more than that, GNOME was a project that if you think about it was audacious in its purpose. Building a desktop in 1997 around an operating system that was primitive in terms of user experience, tooling, and experience. I wanted to be part of that.

Why are you still involved with GNOME?

Because GNOME is always a forward thinking project. There is still a lot of exciting potential and it’s like we’re only now getting started. The past 20 years was all about getting to the stage so that we can start doing some real innovation. We’ve reached parity with OSX and Windows — mainstream desktops. But now we can leverage the power of ideas even further.

What are you working on now?

Well, right now I’m involved in building a market for Linux applications. It’s no more audacious than the concept of GNOME itself. Five years ago, I had this idea that now that we had come up with ubiquitous app technology, that we can start working on building models that allow for compensation for free software developers, application stores so that developers can know how popular their apps are, and build relationships with the users who use their applications. A lot of this is encapsulated in a conference called Libre Application Summit. We did two iterations of that, and this year we’re expanding the scope and changing the name. Linux Application Summit will be a joint collaboration with KDE and hopefully distros in the future to help create the conditions needed to build modern, useful applications on a free software platform.

What are you excited about right now — either in GNOME or free and open source software in general?

Other than the conference. I’m generally excited about where GNOME is going. I think we have challenges to overcome and I’m excited about overcoming those challenges. In the FOSS community in general, there are challenges with encroachment by big business who I think are still trying to figure out how to exploit the labor of developers and we should ever be vigilant that we keep things fair and balanced between all parties.

What is a major challenge you see for the future of GNOME?

I think for GNOME as a platform, our challenge is to make sure that we have relevant documentation for users and developers. If there is one effort that I wish we could all participate in, it is that. It comes down to how low the barrier of entry is. How one picks one platform over the other is almost always depends on how quickly you can put together an application. Building a library of code, videos, and documentation is what will make GNOME successful. The second thing is that projects like GNOME Builder will also be critical to our success. I’m excited by the idea that I can build an application and have it be easily distributed everywhere and I don’t have to use arcane tools to do it.

What do you think GNOME should focus on next?

Documentation I think is going to be important, building relationships with other organizations and a very active foundation that will put their resources into building a solid infrastructure. So it’s not just one thing, but many.

Edited for content.

Friends of GNOME Update – June 2019

Who’s new at the GNOME Foundation?

Over the past few months, we’ve been building up the Foundation‘s staff. In addition to executive director Neil McGovern and director of operations Rosanna Yuen, we‘re thrilled to welcome:

  • Emmanuele Bassi, GTK+ core developer
  • Molly de Blanc, Strategic initiatives manager
  • Bartłomiej Piotrowski, Devops/sysadmin
  • Kristi Progri, Programs coordinator
  • Andrea Veri, Systems administrator

The election for the 2019-2020 board of directors is going on right now!

Where have we been?

In April we visited FOSS North in Gothenburg, Sweden and Linux Fest Northwest in Bellingham, Washington, USA. Our table at FOSS North was staffed by Kristi and Neil, and volunteers Bastian, Anisa and Stefano. GNOMEie Zeeshan Ali presented on open source geolocation. Molly and Sri were at LFNW, where Molly spoke about following through on a code of conduct. Kristi participated remotely in FLISOL. There were two hackfests in May, Rust+GNOME 2019 Hackfest#5 in Berlin and Gstreamer Spring Hackfest 2019 in Oslo. We’ll be in Portland, OR, USA in July for OSCON. After OSCON we‘ll be hosting a West Coast Hackfest, July 18th – 21st.

Exciting Goings-on

Meet the GNOMEies!

The GNOME project is what it is because of the GNOME community. This month, we’ll be introducing you to Matthias Clasen!

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Meet Matthias Clasen

Matthias Clasen is enjoys spending time outdoors, having great hair, and working on GNOME Tool Kit (GTK).

A photo of Matthias Clasen. He has short blue hair and is standing amongst trees.

What is your role within the GNOME community?

I have been involved GNOME for a long time. My first commits to GTK are from sometime around 2002. GTK is where I spend most of my development and project maintenance time. But I’ve been involved in many other parts of GNOME at one point or another, from GLib to GNOME Software.
Apart from writing code and fixing bugs, I am a member of the release team, and do a few of the GNOME releases every cycle. In recent years, I’ve often done the .0 stable releases.

Other affiliations you want to share?

In my day job, I manage the “GNOME” part of the Red Hat desktop team, which is an outstanding group of engineers. We juggle upstream work on GNOME and related projects with maintaining the workstation products in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora.

Why did you get involved in GNOME?

That is a tough question to answer — these things usually just happen, and we try to retroactively make sense of them. To give some answer: My first love in software was typography — I spent my university years in Germany happily doing math and TeX. At some point, I got interested in window managers, and trying to write a better menu system for fvwm is what created my first contact with GTK. And things just grew from there, with many lucky coincidences along the way, not the least of which was that I got a job in the Red Hat desktop team.

Why are you still involved with GNOME?

On the one hand, it is part of my job (and I am extremely lucky that it is). But, really, it is just a way of life. There are so many good friends and colleagues in the GNOME community that I can’t imagine not being involved in it anymore.

What are you working on right now?

It is always a mix of things that are going on at the same time. The big tasks are getting Fedora Silverblue ready for prime time and trying to push GTK4 over the finish line. But there are a whole lot of smaller things that take up some of my time. A few weeks ago, I took a day to write a Flatpak portal that lets applications update themselves. And last week I spent a day working with Behdad on pango (I still have a soft spot for typography) and wrote a post about it.

What are you excited about right now — either in GNOME or free and
open source software in general?

I am feeling quite positive about Flatpak, and the opportunities it opens up for getting out of the “Linux distro” conversation. It is exciting to see many apps on flathub that I had no idea existed. And now it is just one click for me to try them out. Together with gitlab and its CI, flatpak has also changed the way we develop GNOME. It is like night and day, compared to a few years ago — things generally just build and work these day, and you can download flatpaks to try out branches — it is fantastic.

What is a major challenge you see for the future of GNOME?

I think it is a challenge to teach generations the value of having a local computing device (e.g. your laptop) that is powerful and accessible enough to let you explore and build things. Between phones and the online world, there is a risk that we lose that important aspect of the freedom to tinker an explore — you don’t compile things on your phone, and you can’t reboot the cloud…

What do you think GNOME should focus on next?

I have a hard time answering this, because GNOME is thousands of individuals, who all have their own motivations and goals, not a monolithic block that can be turned in a different direction with a quick command. I think the work Endless has been doing for bringing computers (and GNOME) to people in the developing world and to young people is very relevant for the long-term future of the project, and we should support them.

What should we have asked you about that we didn‘t?

You could have asked me about my kids and my cats.

My kids are 21 and 19, and in college. Thankfully, they are both at home for the summer, so we can share the cooking and do some hiking and kayaking together.

The cats are not in college.

A bright red leaf on the stony grey ground.
A lovely leaf Matthias found while hiking in the White Mountains.

This interview has been edited for clarity.