Engagement Team Report-September 2020

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 mdeblanc@gnome.org.

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.

What’s Happened In GNOME: September Edition

Welcome to the start of a monthly series where we detail what our developers have been working on this past month. Each change listed here is what developers on the project have merged and want to show the world. September month was low volume due to the feature and UI freezes before release 3.38, but it still gives a small look into how much work is done each month.

Getting Ready For GTK4

With GTK4 approaching soon, the GTK team has been working on polishing the experience and tying up loose ends. The demo application has added new demos, showing off new features like layout managers and transformations.

GtkSourceView, an extension of GtkTextView, has been ported to GTK4. This port brings changes to how rendering is done, improves performance, adds new snippet and completeion engines, and more.

Now is a good time to start using GTK4 for new apps, and to start ports of existing apps. Read more about the team’s work on their blog post for release 3.99.1.

Epiphany

Our web browser, Epiphany (AKA GNOME Web), has seen multiple improvements during the 3.38 development cycle. The biggest feature this release is making Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) enabled by default.

Screenshot of Epiphany preferences window showing ITP toggle
Screenshot of Epiphany preferences window showing ITP toggle

ITP applies a set of innovative restrictions to all webcontent, and a stricter set of restrictions is applied by detecting sites that can track you across the web. In addition, Epiphany can now optionally block websites from using localStorage and IndexedDB, preventing them from storing arbitrary data in your browser.

Epiphany now supports user scripts, blocks videos with sound from auto-playing by default, and allows you to mute individual tabs. Various dialogs have been refactored, and the preferences dialog has an all new look via libhandy‘s HdyPreferencesWindow.

There are many more features and improvements this release. You can read more about it on Michael Catanzaro’s blog post.

Librsvg

Librsvg has a new contributor, John Ledbetter, who has been working to bring features from the SVG2 specification. These features include:

  • Blend modes
  • Paint order
  • Filter chains

If you are interested in helping with librsvg, the project is looking for interns to participate in the next round of Outreachy. The deadline for initial contributions and project applications is October 31, 2020 at 16:00 UTC.

Adaptive Apps

As devices like the PinePhone and Librem 5 bring convergent Linux phones closer to reality, developers have been working to make more applications usable on both desktop and phone environments.

Over the past few months, GNOME Weather has received a major redesign. This month, changes landed to ensure that redesign worked on mobile screens. The full redesign is not yet complete, but when it is users of GNOME apps on phones will have a fully-fledged Weather app.

Disks has also been changed to use HdyLeaflet, allowing the window to fold at small screensizes for use on phone. This will bring phone users a fully graphical interface to manage SD cards and internal storage.

Screenshot of Disks and Weather in mobile mode
Screenshot of Disks and Weather in mobile mode

Games

GNOME Games has a few headlining features for the 3.38 release. Games now integrates Nintendo 64 emulation so you can play more of your favorite classic games.

Picture of Games running Ocarina Of Time
Picture of Games running Ocarina Of Time

The Games app now loads faster, and has a search provider so you can instantly find and launch games from within GNOME Shell’s search interface. Nintendo DS support has received improvements, with a screen gap being implemented for clearer viewing.

More of the work done this release can be seen in Alexander Mikhaylenko’s blog post.

Conclusion

We hope to that this was useful. If any of these projects seem useful to you or you would like to contribute, please don’t hesitate to join us via IRC or Matrix or post on our Discourse forum. As usual, donations would be appreciated as well to help support the development of GNOME.