Friends of GNOME Update June 2020

Welcome to the Friends of GNOME Update

A photo of ten people on a rooftop. Some have their arms crossed. They look Very Serious.
“Group picture (testing)” by mariosp is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A Victory for Open Source!

We are so, so excited to share the settlement in the legal case levied by Rothschild Patent Imaging against the GNOME Foundation. Ten months after Rothschild Patent Imagining first alleged that GNOME was in violation of one of their patents. In the settlement, Rothschild dropped all charges. Additionally, their patent portfolio is now available for any project using an Open Source Initiative approved license.

You can read an interview between Executive Director Neil McGovern and OpenUK’s Amanda Brock about the case.

GNOME on the Road

The Pan African GNOME Summit might have been postponed, but the organizers are hard at work making community meetings happen. At the first meetup, Neil, Program Coordinator Kristi Progri, and GNOME contributor Sriram Ramkrishna presented on various topics. Melissa Wu, organizer of the Community Engagement Challenge, joined for the second.


The GUADEC 2020 schedule is in place, we have some amazingly generous sponsors, and registration is open!

Why register for a remote, free, online conference? Registering for GUADEC 2020 helps the GUADEC team and the Foundation. By understanding who is attending, where you are coming from, and what your needs are, we are able to plan better conferences in the future. Please consider [registering today][].

Community Engagement Challenge Updates

The deadline for the Community Engagement Challenge is coming up on July 1. Don’t forget to submit your ideas on how we can bring new contributors into free and open source software.

For the Challenge, we’ve recruited four amazing judges: Gina Likins, Manuel Haro Márquez, Murray Saunders, and Allison Randal. They represent a wide range of experience across free software, education, and community and technical excellence.

We Finished the Annual Report!

We published our annual report! Check it out if you want to know what the Foundation accomplished in 2019 and highlights from community successes.

We Had a Fundraiser!

Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who supported the Spring fundraiser. For it, we asked people to think of their donations as votes for where we should focus efforts in the upcoming months. We had two “buckets,” WebKitGTK development for GTK4 and supporting building a stronger GNOME community in Africa. I’d like to also thank Caroline, Emmauele, and Regina Nkemchor Adjeo for their help.

GTK (and Accessibility) Updates

Core GTK Developer Emmanuele Bassi has, as always, been working hard on pushing forward GTK development. In addition to working on vital infrastructure like technical documentation, Emmanuele wrote an outline for upcoming accessibility rework.

Flathub (In China)

Flathub uses a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that does not work in China. Our SysAdmin team noticed this and went on a quest to find a way to bring Flathub to China. We are now using Oracle Cloud to deliver service to China.

Welcome to the New Board!

Just days ago, GNOME Foundation members voted in the Foundation’s annual Board of Directors elections. We’re excited to welcome (and welcome back) Regina Nkemchor Adejo, Robert McQueen, Felipe Borges, and Ekaterina Gerasimova. This will be Regina’s first term on the Board.

Thank you to our departing Board members! Running a foundation is hard work, and we appreciate their volunteer efforts to set vision, direct the Foundation’s activities, make decisions on finances, and go to a lot of important meetings.

GNOME Stands with Black Lives Matter

Earlier in June, Neil published a statement in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Personally, I am proud to be a member and employee of an organization that understands our role in fighting racism, and how we as a free software community can do better and need to.

From the Community

Thank you!

Thank you for everything you do for GNOME! Whether you are a Friend of GNOME, Foundation member, donor, contributor, or enthusiast, we wouldn’t be here without you!

Meet the GNOMEies: Efstathios Iosifidis

You might recognize Efstathios, or Stathis as many of us call him, if you were at GUADEC 2019 in Thessaloniki. However, he spent so much time running around making things happen, it is just as likely you missed him. A lot of GUADEC 2019 would not have happened without him and the rest of the team, and we’re really glad he’s helping out with GUADEC 2020 as well!

A photo of Stathis, looking unamused.

Tell us a little bit more about yourself.

I am a veterinarian and I work at a vet practice. In 2010, my friend Kostas and I had a dream to revive openSUSE community in Greece. Our project was very successful, and the global community trusted us to organize the openSUSE conference in 2013. During that period I got involved in other open source projects and communities. Right now I travel to different cities to attend national and international conferences, I speak and represent open source projects on those events. I was in the organization committee of GUADEC 2019.

What is your role within the GNOME community?

I am a translation coordinator in Greece and I do engagement work for the Greek community.

Do you have any other affiliations you want to share?

I am openSUSE member. I also contribute to other communities such as GNU Health, Nextcloud, ONLYOFFICE, ownCloud.

Why did you get involved in GNOME?

My first distro was Ubuntu and then Fedora. Both using GNOME. During my involvement with openSUSE global community, I met my friend Isabel Valverde. She was into GNOME community and she dragged me into GNOME community.

Why are you still involved with GNOME?

GNOME is one of the most important open source software/desktop environment. I would like to thank the community that releases new versions with many features. I use a powerful “tool” for free, so the least I can do is translate and promote it so more people can use it. Although I’m involved in other communities, GNOME is one of the most friendly and awesome ones.

What are you working on right now?

Mostly translating the new version 3.36 and promotion for conferences and organizing events. I help the GUADEC 2020 committee since I have the experience from the last GUADEC.

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

Since I’m in the “health” area, I’m excited about using open source software for health institutions. Everyone must have access to public health and it must be libre for everyone. Open source has the tools to help people and animals to have healthy lives.

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

Communities such as GNOME, need to “produce” new developers. Programmers are human beings. Sometime soon they are going to slow down and maybe retire. So we might need a system to inspire new people to contribute. We have people that help new contributors to feel welcome in our community. My guess is that we better find a way to get into universities where students are hungry to learn new things and some might want to create something. We need them in open source in general, but it would be nice if they contributed to GNOME.

What do you think GNOME should focus on next?

I see that GNOME users are supporting mostly distributions rather than a GUI. I think that divides our effort to promote GNOME and gain more users for the sake of open source. GNOME has to focus on uniting all communities to have a more powerful voice on promoting open source.

Friends of GNOME Update May 2020

Welcome to the May 2020 Friends of GNOME Update!

A photo of Marina Zhurakhinskaya in front of a photo of a group of women from the GNOME Women's Dinner.
“Women party at guadec” by gonzalemario is licensed under CC BY 2.0

GNOME on the Road

We might be at home, but we still have a lot to say!

Community Engagement Challenge Update

Free software projects want to grow their contributor bases, and one of the most important ways to do that is to make it easy (and hopefully even fun) to get involved. We’ve teamed up with Endless to work on the Community Engagement Challenge, to get more people involved in GNOME. There is the opportunity for over $20,000 USD in prizes. Entries for ideas for projects to engage new and potential community members are open until July 1.

GNOME Social Hours

Deb Nicholson joined us for the Social Hour this month. She is an expert in free software policy and communities. The conversation focused on how roadmapping and delegation can help grow a healthy community.

There will be another Social Hour in early June, which will be announced on Discourse.

What counts as “GNOME”?

The Board of Directors proposed a new system for how GNOME software is defined. It includes official GNOME software, which will be decided by the release team, and GNOME Circle, apps using the GNOME platform and libraries which extend it. The conversation is happening right now on Discourse, so please join in and share your thoughts.

GTK4 Updates

Core GTK Developer Emmanuele Bassi continues to work on GTK4, including on accessibility and documentation.

Infrastructure Updates

The Infrastructure Team has recently updated a lot of really important software for us, including Discourse, Indico, and On a personal note, I am extremely excited about their work updating, a collaboration resource I use every day.

Interns, Interns, Interns: GSoC and GSoD

We are so pleased to share that we have selected our Google Summer of Code interns! We are very excited to work with these 14 interns on their projects, which cover everything refreshing, UI improvements, and development of adaptive technology. Mentors come from across the project, and include Brand Manager Caroline Henriksen.

We will also be participating in Google Season of Docs. There are three mentors, including Emmanuele, ready to work with technical writers who want to help make GNOME a better project through better documentation. You can read about our projects.

Posts from the Community

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting us in the ways you do! If you’re not already a Friend of GNOME, please consider joining to support the activities of the Foundation and its staff.

We’re currently running a Spring fundraiser geared towards growing GNOME in Africa and WebKitGTK development. Tell your friends!


Help Grow WebKitGTK

We’re asking you to help us set our priorities when you donate to the GNOME Foundation this spring. You have the option of asking us to focus on building GNOME in Africa or WebKitGTK development.

A banner that reads "Growing Together" with photos of the GNOME community and GNOME logo.

WebKitGTK is not only an exciting project for GNOME, but a necessary step in preparing for our GTK4 release. We’ve been growing the project, with a new release just the other day! We have a lot more development to do, and it’s something we are hoping to prioritize. You can let us know if you think WebKitGTK should be a priority by donating today and marking your donation in support of WebKitGTK development.

WebKitGTK is a rendering engine for projects that need any kind of web integration. It can handle HTML/CSS applications and web browsers, and is useful for everything from desktop computers to mobile devices like phones and tablets. We believe the web is for everyone, and we support this belief by making accessibility one of the project’s core principles.

Right now, the main focus is cleaning up the project to make the port to GTK4 smoother. In addition to ensuring there are fast paths for efficient rendering, moving existing users, and incorporating user requirements, this will make it easier for future contributors to find new pathways to get involved.

In order to accomplish this, we could use funds in a number of ways:

  • paying for developer time;
  • hiring an intern to work on WebKitGTK;
  • supporting hackfests; or
  • purchasing equipment necessary for development.

We’re asking you to help us grow the WebKitGTK project. It’s a necessary step in the development of GTK4. WebKitGTK will help build a free web by helping more people create the tools they and others need. So please, donate today and vote for WebKitGTK.

Friends of GNOME Update April 2020

Welcome to the April 2020 Friends of GNOME Update!

As spring hits the Northern Hemisphere, the GNOME Foundation staff is busy indoors working on our laptop screen tans hacking, logisticating, organizing, writing, and trading recipes for baked goods.

Pink, purple, and yellow flowers growing in the spring.
Photo courtesy of JeepersMedia on Flickr. CC-BY 2.0

GNOME at Home

We might not be on the road, but Melissa Wu, organizer of the Community Engagement Challenge, wrote up a trip report from SCaLE 18x, which has been posted online for your reading pleasure.

Every month there is a Social Hour Event organized by Kristi Progri, Programs Coordinator. This month we had Marie Nordin, Fedora’s new Community and Impact Coordinator.

If you’ve missed seeing us in-person, Executive Director Neil McGovern recently did an interview on the Mike Dominick Show.

If you would like to have Neil, or anyone else on our staff, on your podcast, please drop us a line at

GUADEC Updates

After a lot of discussion, GUADEC has moved to be an entirely online event for 2020. While we are disappointed to reschedule our trips to Zacatecas, Mexico to the summer of 2021, we are very excited to meet and learn from GNOME contributors and free software community members who would otherwise be unable to make it.

As GUADEC 2020 will be online, we have extended the call for abstracts, and the deadline is now May 1. If you have an idea for a talk, please share it with us! If you have questions or want someone else to read over your proposal, drop by the channel on the GNOME Rocketchat.

Community Engagement Challenge Launched!

The Community Engagement Challenge is open for Phase One! During Phase One, you are invited to submit proposals for projects that will help get coders involved in free and open source software communities.

If you have any questions about the Challenge or are interested in helping to promote it, please email directly.

Outreach Updates

The GNOME Engagement Team launched a University Outreach Initiative! Their purpose is two-fold: to increase awareness of GNOME technologies in universities and education institutions; and increase awareness of opportunities within the GNOME community. You can get involved by visiting the channel on Rocketchat or Discourse.

Technical Updates

Accessibility in GTK4

Emmanuele Bassi, core GTK developer, has been working on unraveling the construction of the accessibility stack. He fixed several issues, and has clear next step plans.

Data Centers and Services

We’re moving data centers! Andrea Veri and Bartłomiej Piotrowsk have been taking us across the United States as we transfer data centers. They have setup three new servers and upgraded 15 virtual machines.

News From the Community

Thank you!

Thank you for reading! If you’re not already a Friend of GNOME, please consider becoming one and helping to support the Foundation and work we do for the community.

SCaLE 18x

Melissa Wu is organizing the Community Education Challenge. She attended her first conference with the GNOME Foundation at SCaLE.

The 18th annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE) took place on March 5–8, 2020 in Pasadena, CA. As the largest community-run open source and free software conference in North America, it was interesting to see the variety of corporate and non-profit exhibitors all united under their passion for open source.

A photo of the GNOME booth, featuring a blue GNOME table cloth and exciting GNOME swag, including bugs, t-shirts, and a tote bag.

The GNOME presence was felt throughout the conference with a special GNOME Beers and pre-release party on the first day of the conference, Thursday, March 5th. GNOME information flyers were also included inside every attendee bag.

This presence carried on to our booth where we were able to connect with GNOME community members, contributors, and enthusiasts as well as tote our merchandise, including a brand new GNOME t-shirt, and stickers. Thank you to the number of supporters who assisted us at the booth including Foundation staff, Melissa Wu, Caroline Henriksen, Neil McGovern, and Rosanna Yuen, along with Foundation members Matthias Clasen, Sriram Ramkrishna, and Nuritzi Sanchez.

A photo of three people showing off temporary tattoos of the GNOME logo.

Meet the GNOMEies: Regina Nkemchor Adejo

In addition to recently repping the GNOME project at Open Source Festival Africa, Regina Nkemchor Adejo is organizing the Pan African GNOME Summit in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

A photo of Regina, who is smartly dressed in black with a green jacket, standing in a conference center. Behind her is a man with a dog.
Photo courtesy of Regina Nkemchor Adejo

Tell us a little bit more about yourself.

Well, My full name is Regina Nkemchor Adejo, I am a Nigerian. I am a technology enthusiast who transitioned into sciences from an arts background. I currently work as a database and application specialist in a tax organization. I am a YouTube content creator, I create technical videos related to database and Linux administration.

Most importantly, I love computers! I spend most of my time on them.

What is your role within the GNOME community?

I am member, currently working as an engagement team volunteer

Why did you get involved in GNOME?

I am a GNOME user, GNOME consistently shines for its open source contribution and friendly members and volunteers.

Why are you still involved with GNOME?

It’s an interesting community so many skills to learn around building strong communities and managing projects.

What are you working on right now?

Pan African GNOME Summit (PAGS)! It is a project I am passionate about, to drive GNOME into the African tech space and ntroduce people on how they can make open source contributions in GNOME. Although the first event is happening in Nigeria I hope to expand this into other African countries as well and hopefully one day we have GUADEC in Africa!

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

PAGS, GUADEC, and the Linux App Summit (LAS)!

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

I won’t call it a challenge, I will say it is more like a concern about managing more volunteers as GNOME pushes for greater numbers of contributors. There may be a need to have more mentors in the foundation to help guide newcomers.

What do you think GNOME should focus on next?

Friends of GNOME Update March 2020

Welcome to the Friends of GNOME Update, March 2020 edition! We have some exciting things in the works and a shiny new GNOME release.

A photo of six people standing behind a table with a blue GNOME table cloth.
Photo courtesy of Sri Ramkrishna. CC-BY-SA

GNOME on the Road

We went to SCaLE! We had a booth, including Foundation staff Caroline Henriksen, Melissa Wu, Neil McGovern, and Rosanna Yuen. We got to talk with great, excited people out there in the free and open source community about GNOME and all the other things we’re working on. We also had a GNOME Beers event and headed out for an evening with some of our GNOMEies and their friends.

Pan African GNOME Summit

The Pan African GNOME Summit is on for March 27 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria! From 09:00 until 14:00, you can learn about and celebrate GNOME with contributors, enthusiasts, and some remotely participating Foundation staff.


GUADEC 2020 is moving forward! We are still planning on meeting in Zacatecas, Mexico July 22 – 28. However, we are paying attention to the development of COVID-19, and will be making contingency plans for a remote conference.

The call for abstracts is open. We’ll be holding CFP office hours on March 20 at 15:00 UTC! You can join us on Rocketchat to talk about your proposals – whether you just have an idea you’re uncertain about or have a proposal ready that you want an extra set of eyes to review, we’re here for you.

Community Engagement Challenge

Our team is working hard on the Community Education Challenge – formerly known as the Coding Education Challenge. You can sign up for updates, or just continue watching the web page.

Want to help spread the word? Here are flyers you can share!


The new GTK web site is live! Thank you so much to everyone who worked on it!

A lot has been going on with GTK, including a hackfest that was focused on, among other things, accessibility.

GNOME 3.36 Released

We are excited to share that GNOME 3.36 (Gresik) was released on March 11! A huge thank you to everyone who worked on it and made this happen.

Thank you!

As always, thank you for supporting GNOME, in whatever ways you do! If you aren’t already a Friend of GNOME, please consider becoming one t help further our work.

Friends of GNOME Update February 2020

Welcome to the February 2020 Friends of GNOME Update! February was a lot of fun for us, and we’re excited to share what we’ve been up to.

GNOME on the Road

We went to FOSDEM! You can read all about it on the Engagement Blog.

While at FOSDEM, Molly de Blanc gave two sessions, one on ethics and IoT and one debate on licenses advancing social goals. Neil McGovern joined a discussion on the relevance of the Free Software and Open Source Definitions today.

March is a very exciting month for us.


Neil, Melissa Wu, and Rosanna Yuen will be at SCaLE 18X! You will be able to find them in Pasadena, California, US on March 5 – 8 at the GNOME Booth.

March 14 – 15, Molly and Neil can be found in Boston, MA, US at LibrePlanet. We will have a booth where you can chat, learn about GNOME, and, of course, pick up swag.

Come March 19 – 22, Molly and Neil will be in Singapore at FOSSASIA. Molly will be talking about open source citizenship.

Accessibility Roadmap (and GTK4)

The GTK and accessibility hackfest in Brussels, BE was great! Emmanuele Bassi wrote about the hackfest on the GTK blog.

Highlights include developing the schedule for the next snapshot of GTK4; working on features blocking the release of GTK4; and reviewing the current state of accessibility and working on a roadmap for those issues. We’d like to add a special thank you to Hypra for their help in our accessibility work.

Join us in Nigeria and Mexico!

Social Hour

In January, Justin W. Flory joined us for a social hour, a time to casually discuss topics relevant to the GNOME community. Justin does a lot of great things for free and open source software, but the focus of the social hour was his work with the Fedora diversity and inclusion initiative.

Technical Updates

We have some exciting technical work going on. This includes the upcoming addition of three servers. We are busy migrating a number of our web sites to OpenShift, including Indico, which powers

GNOME Challenge Update

Several months ago we announced the GNOME Coding Education Challenge. A lot of planning has happened since then, and a lot of changes. To keep up with everything going on you can sign up here.

Thank you!

Thank you so much for being a Friend of GNOME!

How do you say “desktop environment” in Flemish? FOSDEM 2020 Trip Report

A cake shaped like two gears with a red "20" printed on it.
Photo courtesy of FOSDEM. Licensed CC-BY

FOSDEM is one of the biggest community organized conferences in Europe. Run by a team of dedicated volunteers, the conference has been going for 20 years. It’s one of the biggest yearly events for us at GNOME Foundation and a rare opportunity for the staff to come together.

As a fully remote team, the GNOME Foundation staff all get together twice a year to strategize, plan, and collaborate at GUADEC and at FOSDEM. This is also when the Foundation Board of Directors and Advisory Board have the chance to meet in person.

In the four days leading up to the event, GTK Core Developer Emanuelle Bassi and Matthias Classen hosted a hackfest focused on GKT and the future of accessibility in GNOME. We really appreciate everyone who showed up, and would especially like to thank the blind participants and those with vision issues and expertise as those using the accessibility tools.

A stack of liege waffles on a red plate.
Photo courtesy of osiristhe on Flickr. Licensed CC BY-ND 2.0

Prior to the conference, we had two days of meetings – one for the Board and one for what we affectionately call the “AdBoard.” At both we learned and planned, which we’re looking forward to sharing with you over the upcoming months.

While Executive Director Neil McGovern and Director of Operations Rosanna Yuen met with the Board of Directors, I attended Sustain Summit. I led a session on diversity in open source with a focus on building global movements.

On Friday the entire staff met with the AdBoard. These meetings are focused around what our AdBoard members are up to, what GNOME has done over the past six months, and what we’re looking forward to over the next six months. It is a time for questions and answers, and also a place to find points of collaboration and to help the Foundation understand what is happening for organization stakeholders, where their interests, successes, and pain points lie.

Buildings of Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium.
Photo courtesy of Friar’s Balsam on Flickr. Licensed CC BY 2.0

FOSDEM itself was a whirwind. On the first day we participated in three sessions. Neil participated in a friendly debate over whether the four freedoms and the Open Source Definition are still relevant today. I had a lot of fun arguing in support of the creation and adoption of licenses to advance social issues. I could also be found in the main track talking about the ethics of Internet of Things devices and how they impact communities.

While all of this was going on, the rest of the staff attended sessions, had meetings, and helped with the GNOME booth in the exhibit hall. The GNOME booth was amazingly successful. Caroline Henriksen, Brand Manager, and Melissa Wu, who is coordinating the GNOME Education Challenge, talked about our upcoming plans for Challenge. Program Coordinator Kristi Progri spent her time representing the GNOME Foundation to stakeholders, meeting participants in the project, and forged new connections for the future.

Saturday night we had a fun evening at BAR NAME SOMETHING BOOI for GNOME Beers. Contributors and FOSDEM attendees came to hang out, have a drink, and have a chance to meet one another in person. Meanwhile, I attended Open Source Funding Speed Dating, serving as a judge to help fund up-and-coming free and open source projects.

The Sunday of FOSDEM was full of meetings, more sessions, and, of course, the GNOME booth.The GNOME booth wouldn’t be possible without the awesome volunteers who took on so much of the responsibility of running it. Thank you, Adrien, Anisa, Bastian, Ben, Bilal, and Kat!

On Monday, several of us attended CopyLeft Conf, a conference hosted by our friends at the Software Freedom Conservancy.

As I write this, I am on the plane headed home. Reflecting on the great week I had in Brussels, Belgium, I recognize the role all of you had in making it happen. Your support of the GNOME Foundation makes it possible for us to attend events like this. Without you we wouldn’t be able to bring the Board of Directors together in person. We wouldn’t be representing our project and the value of community built, free and open software. We wouldn’t have been able to host the hackfest that pushed forward GTK development and accessibility planning. We wouldn’t have been able to bring other GNOME contributors to the event, by funding their travel.

Thank you so much! I believe this was my fourth FOSDEM, and my first with GNOME. It was definitely the best yet.