Engagement Team Report- November 2020

Conferences

LAS took place from 12-14 November,

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.

GNOME ASIA

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.

Annual report

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.

Website updates

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.

Community bonding

Engagement Priorities

This month Kristi and Thibault worked on a report for Engagement team priorities as well that has been published on Engagement’s wiki

Instant Messaging Moderation

Thibault has been working with the system administrators on IRC’s end and from the people of Element on Matrix’s end to set-up a moderation system that will support both worlds at once.

It appears that many issues are caused by Matrix rooms being in an outdated version. Those matrix rooms will be upgraded in January with the help of Element’s system administrators.

What’s Happened In GNOME: October and November 2020 Edition

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.

New Epiphany Logo
New Epiphany Logo

Geary

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.

Screenshot of Geary in 3-panel mode
Screenshot of Geary in 3-panel mode

GNOME Games

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.

Screenshot of Sonic Adventure running in Games
Screenshot of Sonic Adventure running in Games

You will be able to use it in the next stable version to be released in March 2021.

Fractal

Christopher Davis has been working on a slight styling overhaul to be more in line with newer Adwaita styling and recent app designs.

Screenshot of Fractal's main view, showing new rounded styling.
Screenshot of Fractal’s main view, showing new rounded styling.
Screenshot of Fractal's image viewer, with round buttons
Screenshot of Fractal’s image viewer, with round buttons

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

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.

GNOME Circle

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.

GNOME Circle logo on green background
GNOME Circle graphic

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/.

Third-Party Applications

Starting this edition, we will be showcasing third-party applications, including those in GNOME Circle.

Introducing Health

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.

Introducing Souk

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.

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 https://discourse.gnome.org. As usual donations would be appreciated as well to help support the development of GNOME.

Friends of GNOME Update – November 2020

Welcome to the November 2020 Friends of GNOME Update

A photo of a group of people in matching shirts, sitting on a table making spring rolls.
“GNOME Asia 2009 with FOSSASIA, Saigon Ho Chi Minh City” by FOSSASIA is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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:

While writing this, GNOME.Asia Summit is taking place. Organizationally based in Malaysia, GNOME.Asia is happening until November 26. It features an amazing list of speakers, including talks from Bartłomiej and Melissa; GNOME Foundation Board Members Felipe Borges (giving two talks), Rob McQueen, and Federico Mena Quintero (also giving two talks; and GNOME Foundation members and friends.

Accessibility GTK (and GNOME)

Emmanuele, Core GTK Developer, has spent 2020 focusing on accessibility. He recently worked with Matthias Clasen on a blog post about some of that work.

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.

Community Education Challenge Phase Two Winners

The Community Engagement Challenge Phase Two is wrapping up. Melissa Wu and Caroline Henriksen have been preparing for the announcement of the Phase Two winners. You can join us on December 2 at 18:00 UTC for a showcase of projects, highlighting how they’ve developed since July, and the grand announcement of who will be moving on to Phase Three.

Check Out A GNOME Working Group

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.

Building the Future of GNOME

We’re running a fundraiser to fund the Foundation’s activities in 2021. We appreciate how much you’ve already supported GNOME! We’re asking if you’d be willing to share our announcement of the fundraiser; one of the weekly updates we’ll be sharing on gnome.org, including this one on GTK4; or your GNOME Story on social media using #GNOMEStories.

Even if you don’t, we recommend checking out Director of Operations Rosanna Yuen’s GNOME Story.

From Planet GNOME

Here are a few posts we particularly liked from Planet GNOME:

Thank you!

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.

Engagement Team Report-October 2020

Conferences and Events

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

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.

Molly de Blanc has issued this months’ Friends of GNOME newsletter.

Communication platforms

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!

Thibault also has been busy trying to gather how people use IRC and what makes it dear to them to look for alternatives. He wrote an tutorial for IRC users who would want to give Matrix a try while still using IRC, all in the same client at the same time.

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.

Initiatives

Claudio has been gathering feedback on the Faces of GNOME project and scheduled a meeting to decide on its direction.

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.