I am back at home after the Free Software and Linux Days 2018 in İstanbul. It was a small and cozy event. The number of attendees was lower than the previous years, but on the plus side, we had more time for each visitor. It was also a good opportunity to break the ice between different segments of the Turkish Free Software community.
We had a nice booth, jointly run by GNOME Turkey ad LibreOffice Turkey community members, next to the Pardus booth. We gave out stickers to the visitors, answered their questions about GNOME, LibreOffice, and Free/Libre Software in general. Community members also had a lot of time to chat, and to discuss the current situation and the future of our community in Turkey.
We also had two GNOME related presentation/seminar sessions:
Özgür Yazılımları Türkçe Konuşturmak (Making Free Software Talk Turkish), by Muhammet Kara
GNOME Recipe Uygulaması (The GNOME Recipe Application), by Emel Elvin Yıldız
And we now have all materials to set up a complete GNOME booth for any upcoming event in Turkey (thanks to The GNOME Foundation for funding the booth stuff).
Had the pleasure to attend the GStramer Spring Hackfest taking place in Lund Sweden May 6 – May 4, here follow some reflections.
There is likely no overstatement that multimedia development is probably one of the more complex areas of software development so to be present while what must be some of the more competent in the domain hacking was quite an experience.
The atmosphere was intense focused, it almost felt like you could feel vibrations in the air.
Considered it good that many of the participants had an affection towards
GNOME (something to be for grateful/appreciative for).
Would be positive to attend a future GSteamer Hackfest.
Thanks to the local company Axis who provided the venue.
*The GNOME/GStreamer relationship is something to care about.
*There is no overstatement that the GStreamer community is a very knowledge & competent group of people which makes the alignment with GNOME valuable.
We have this week had the pleasure to interview Tanu Kaskinen about his work as PulseAudio maintainer
Do you want to introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Tanu Kaskinen and I’m a PulseAudio maintainer (and also involved in the OpenEmbedded project a little bit). I spent my childhood in Järvenpää, Finland, and moved to Tampere when I started my software engineering studies at Tampere University of Technology. I’ve been living here ever since (13 years, if my calculations are correct).
How did you become involved with PulseAudio and why do you think its’ an important project?
At a time (2007, I think) I had a MIDI keyboard, and I wanted to play along while listening to music in Rhythmbox. That required running software synthesizers with JACK, but I couldn’t make Rhythmbox work properly with JACK. PulseAudio seemed like the future of desktop audio, and Rhythmbox certainly worked with PulseAudio. There was a PulseAudio module for bridging to JACK, but that was glitchy, so I decided to try to fix it (my first open source code contribution attempt!). In the end my fix was not needed after Lennart rewrote big parts of the PulseAudio core.
Why is PulseAudio important? Well, you need some sound server to manage application streams, be that dmix (in ALSA), JACK or PulseAudio. Having an intermediary between the applications and the kernel is required for a lot of flexibility that people expect from their systems.
What are some of the challenges about maintaining PulseAudio?
I guess all projects have their set of difficult bugs… In case of PulseAudio, hardware specific issues are quite common. Not having the hardware yourself is of course one problem when debugging, but even if the issue can be tracked down to a clear misbehaviour in the kernel driver, the bug may be left unfixed, because I have never learned to work with kernel code, and the ALSA developers may ignore the bug report (I don’t really blame them, I believe ALSA is understaffed too).
Any interesting features that are being worked on right now?
Nothing earth-shattering comes to mind, but here are things that I’m personally excited about: Georg Chini has been working on a long-standing bluetooth bug about bad A/V sync when watching videos.
I believe the Intel HDMI LPE hardware is becoming pretty widespread on new computers, and the kernel driver for that has certain unusual behaviour that makes PulseAudio enter an infinite loop when the HDMI cable is not plugged in. I’m happy that it will be fixed in the upcoming release.
There have been various small tweaks to automatic routing in recent releases, and those are going to continue.
What keeps you involved in the PulseAudio community?
I feel a need to do something useful with my life, and maintaining PulseAudio fills that need quite nicely. It’s not always fun, but it’s not so un-fun either that I would feel compelled to quit. PulseAudio has been a significant part of my life for some 10 years, and at this point it’s a pretty big part of my identity.
Can you describe PulseAudio’s role/relevance in a desktop environment such as GNOME?
GNOME tries to make a computer easy to use, and things should “just work”. PulseAudio plays a big role in that when it comes to audio. Also, if the GNOME user interface designers or developers have a vision for how e.g. audio settings should be presented, they have to work within the capabilities of the sound server.
Are you yourself a GNOME user?
Yes I am! I started using Linux when Debian Woody was current, probably in 2003. I don’t remember how I initially chose GNOME, maybe just because it was the default? I’ve sticked with Debian and GNOME pretty much all this time .
Why are you doing a fundraiser?
Because I don’t want a real job I like having complete control over how I spend my time, and even if I didn’t feel so strongly about that, not many companies are willing to pay just for PulseAudio maintenance anyway. (Perhaps the number of such companies is even zero, but to be honest I haven’t tried reaching out to Red Hat or similar.)
In 2015 I found myself having enough savings to last at least a few years if I quit from my day job, and so I did. I wanted to spend more time on PulseAudio, because there was a shortage of maintainer resources in the project . In 2016 I launched the Patreon campaign to slow down the rate at which my savings are drained, and this year I started a similar campaign on Liberapay.
Questions for fun
What is your favorite place on Earth?
Well, there’s a certain quiet spot on the shore of the Näsijärvi lake not too far from where I live. During summertime I sometimes go there to watch the sunset.
Hmm, I haven’t pondered this before, but I think the answer is the Swiss roll. Ideally with whipped cream and banana inside. I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten such Swiss roll, but I imagine that would be the optimal filling.
Thanks Tanu for taking time talking with us we wish you continued luck in your efforts!
To celebrate the successfully held GNOME Asia Summit 2017 in Chongqing, the Linux Story community saw the 3.28 release as a chance to promote GNOME and Open Source in China.
With its influence in many major cities of China, Linux Story called upon open source enthusiasts to gather in their local cities to hold a 10 cities get-together event to celebrate the new GNOME release.
A set of pictures from the events with pictures follow here to enjoy (received from Linux Story).
We want to thank the Linux Story community for the initiative and wish them luck in their continued efforts. Initiatives like this are great to see.
As the calendar year comes to an end, we’d like to thank everyone who contributed for the first time to a new project at GNOME. The list below includes people who made their first commit, contribution, or joined a GNOME global team.
Please join us in thanking these excellent newcomers!
Yunfeng He (Jim)
George Willian Condomitti
Alexander Alzate Olaya
GNOME 3.26 is almost here! A new GNOME release is a milestone worth celebrating and is a great reason to get together with other GNOME community members.
Is there already a release party in your area? If there is, we encourage you to join. Release Parties are open to all GNOME enthusiasts. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet other GNOME users.
But what if there isn’t one planned near enough for you attend? Don’t worry, you can plan your own!
A release party can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be; anything from getting a group together for celebratory drinks to a big event with decorations, food, and swag.
Some quick tips on organizing your own party:
Have a rough estimate of the number of guests. While release parties tend to be open to anyone, it’s a good idea to take a quick measure of who might be attending. Send a note on social media or local mailing lists asking who is interested.
Have swag! If you have time and inclination, having GNOME stickers or other swag to give out is always popular. You can always request stickers from a GNOME SWAG center near you.
Have provisions! No party is complete without food. It can be something you provide, a potluck, or even a restaurant where guests can purchase food. Whether you’re a foundation member or not, you can request funding for your party by following the steps on the Events page.
Select a time and location. Knowing what kind of party you are planning should help you decide on a location. Is there a local coffee house that would let you host your event if people plan on purchasing food and drink there? Or if it is a smaller group, maybe a local bar. For a larger group, consider a local park or a room in the local community center.
Announce your bash. Let others know about your event by announcing it to the local user groups, posting it on social media, and adding it to the Events page. Have fellow enthusiasts help spread the word.
Take lots of pictures! Everyone loves to see what fun release parties can be. Make sure you take pictures of the party in action and share your photos with GNOME so we can share them among the community.
Pat yourself on the back. Thank you! You are helping cultivate the feeling of community that GNOME relies on.
This August, as you all know, was GUADEC. This year the annual European conference was held in Karlsruhe, a city in Southwest Germany. Much of the city’s culture revolves around KIT, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, whose campus hosted the conference. Not only did the conference attract GNOME contributors from around the world, but it also brought in newcomers who have been GNOME users, but had never contributed. During the BoF days, we sat down with a long time GNOME user, Tom Pollok, who shared with us his experience of coming to GUADEC as a complete newcomer. Read on to hear his story!
Where are you from and where are you based now?
That’s complicated *laughs*, I was born in Poland but most of my life I have lived in Germany. I’ve have mostly lived in Karlsruhe but also spent a couple of years in Berlin.
How did you hear about GNOME?
When I started studying computer science, I was more interested in Linux, and one thing came after another. I used to use Windows before I started studying computer science, and I started trying out GNOME. I was studying in Cairo for a semester and my hard drive suddenly broke while working on my laptop. No one could give me an ISO file of Windows, so I thought to install Ubuntu since it was free. I started to use Ubuntu with GNOME. I had heard about it in my first semester, a while before.
How long have you been a contributor?
I contributed the first time during this GUADEC during the workshops.
What was it like to experience GUADEC as a newcomer?
It was very nice. All the people are so friendly and so into GNOME. You can see it in their eyes that they really like what they’re doing. I’ve really liked the GUADEC spirit!
Was there anything that surprised you about the conference?
I’ve been to other computer science related conferences, and compared to others I’ve felt especially welcomed here. At others I have felt not noticed, but here everyone has talked to me and it’s been very easy to talk to people and make new friends! And I was suprirsed that everyone spoke such great English! Everyone’s English is amazing!
Was there anything you were expecting or hoping for?
I haven’t had any expectations, I just wanted to see it. I really liked it, so I think I’ll join the next conference as well!
How did you hear of GUADEC and decide to come?
I was very active on the GNOME website and always reading the recent changes. I saw that GUADEC would be in Karlsruhe and knew I shouldn’t miss it! I really wanted to meet the people who developed GNOME and knew it would be a shame if I missed it. I was just lucky to find it!
What was your favorite part about the conference?
I don’t think there was anything specific, I’ve liked the whole package! I’ve enjoyed all of GUADEC.
What is your favorite place on Earth?
I really love Cairo because the people are so friendly!
What is your favorite food?
Hmmm… Do I even have one? *laughs*
No, no! Come on! *Laughs* I don’t have a favorite dish, but I like Arabic dishes and Northern Arabic dishes. I guess I’ll say Koshary.
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
I always ask for two or three, so I’ll say chocolate, mango, and cherry. There is such a great choice of different flavors so it’s not that easy to decide for a single one!
What is your spirit animal?
I’m like a Rhino, because if I want to do something and it doesn’t work I’ll ram against the wall until it I find a way through it! I’m sometimes a bit stubborn when I’m working on a goal.
Finally, our classic question; what do you think cats dream about?
I think they dream of dominating the world!
Thank you, Tom! We’re so glad to see you contributing and becoming a part of the GNOME community.