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.

Friends of GNOME Update September 2020

Welcome to the September 2020 edition of Friends of GNOME Update!

A red maple leaf on a tree stump
“fall leaf” by JustyCinMD is licensed under CC BY 2.0

GNOME 3.38 Orbis is out!

We released GNOME 3.38 Orbis! The release, of course, includes an amazing release video we highly recommend checking out. Release notes are available online.

GNOME on the Road

Several Foundation staff presented at GNOME Africa Onboard Virtual. Kristi Progri helped kick off the event with Foundation vice-president Regina Nkemchor Adejo. M de Blanc and Rosanna Yuen talked about the GNOME code of conduct. Melissa Wu reprised her session on What it’s Like to Be New to GNOME.

Rosanna will also be presenting at All Things Open. On October 20 at 3:30pm ET, you can catch “GNOME Foundation Then and Now — 20 years of bringing free software to the desktop.”

Community Education Challenge

Exciting things are happening with the Community Education Challenge! While the phase one winners work on their projects, our fabulous judges have been hosting office hours to discuss the Challenge. To keep up with office hours and other Challenge news, sign up for the email list.

GNOME.Asia

We’ve been working with the local team on GNOME.Asia. In addition to other developments, the Call for Proposals is open. You can submit to the CfP until 18 October 2020. GNOME.Asia 2020 will be taking place online.

Grants Strategy

We want to help you fund your GNOME projects! While the Foundation is not giving out grants, we are helping with grant applications for specific parts of the project. If you have any ideas, please add them to the wiki.

Annual Report

Each year the GNOME Foundation produces an annual report. This report covers Foundation and community activities over the past year. This year’s report is now underway.

Thank you!

As always, thank you for supporting GNOME, the Foundation, and the community!

Friends of GNOME Update August 2020

Welcome to the August 2020 Friends of GNOME Newsletter!

We’re going to be doing some rebranding soon, including looking for a new name. Our goal is to cover news and activities from the GNOME Foundation, as well as linking out to interesting GNOME news. Feel free to contact us with any name ideas you may have!

A beach, with blue water, brown sand, and a yellow beach umbrella.
“Llegó el verano – Summer is here” by GViciano is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

GNOME on the Road

We had an amazing GUADEC last month. We had talks, workshops, and Birds of a Feather sessions. Topics ranged from role of technology in education to team work best practices around building free software to GNOME specific technical discussions. The videos are now online.

GNOME is people and the community really came through at GUADEC, spending lots of social time together, taking advantage of the platform we used for GUADEC 2020.

We’re actively working on the Linux App Summit and GNOME.Asia. The [CFP for the Linux App Summit is currently open][5].

[5}: https://www.gnome.org/news/2020/08/linux-app-summit-2020-call-for-talks-now-open/

New Infrastructure for GNOME

We installed instances of Big Blue Button (video chat software) and Indico (event software) for GUADEC. These have been made available for general use to GNOME Foundation members and for Foundation activities.

Community Engagement Challenge Winners Announced

The Community Engagement Challenge is about coming up with new ways to get people involved in free software and GNOME. The Challenge is set up in phases – at the end of each phase winners are selected for the next stage and supplied with funding to work on their project. We recently announced phase one winners!

These twenty projects are all excellent and quite different from one another. Some are based in organizations, where others are being created fresh by one person. We look forward to seeing how they develop over phase two!

GNOME is Looking For Fundable Projects

We’ve looking at trying something new! A number of projects within GNOME are stuck at a point where funding could make a big difference. We’re looking to identify those and the people working on them in order to help them take the next steps they need to take. If you know of such a project, please add it to the Fundable Projects page.

In general, we’re in the early stages of starting a Fundraising Working Group. If you’re interested in getting involved, we’d love to hear from you!

Thank You!

Thank you so much for supporting the GNOME Foundation! We appreciate everything you do for us!

Say Hi at GitLab Commit

GitLab Commit starts tomorrow, Wednesday August 26! In addition to a session about how some of us at GNOME use GitLab, we’ll be present at the exhibit hall at a virtual booth.

If you’d like to visit us during GitLab Commit, a number of staff and community volunteers will be present over the course of the day. You will find us on the following schedule. Times are in UTC. Other staff members or volunteers may also stop by to say hi.

August 26

13:00 – 16:00 – Neil McGovern and Molly de Blanc

16:00 – 18:00 – Neil and Oliver Propost

18:00 – 20:00 – Molly and Chinwe Zojie

20:00 – 22:00 – Caroline Henriksen and Ruth Ikegah

August 27

03:00 – 05:00 – Melissa Wu

06:00 – Sammy Fung

10:00 – 12:00 – Neil and Bartłomiej Piotrowski

12:00 – 13:00 – Neil and Oliver

13:00 – 14:00 – Neil and Ruth

Social Events at GUADEC 2020

Part of the magic of GUADEC is going out to amazing dinners with your new and old friends; exploring the beautiful parts of somewhere new; and maybe even staying up to watch the sun rise.

This year is a little bit different – but there are still lots of ways to get to know each other, try out new things, and hopefully have a little fun.

Four smiling people at a restaurant
Photo courtesy of Sriram Ramkrishna. Licensed CC-BY-SA

Social Events

Wednesday (22 July) at 21:10 UTC you can join Melissa Wu for drinks. She’ll be teaching us some fun cocktail and mocktail recipes. Thank you Woodlyn Travel for making this happen! (See Notes below.)

Sriram Ramkrishna, every GNOMEie’s fun uncle, is also quite the cook. Join him Thursday (23 July) at 21:00 UTC to learn some of his kitchen secrets. I recommend getting the ingredients ahead of time so you can cook along and then we can all snack together. (See Notes below.)

You might know Sumana Harihareswara from her work with Python, GNOME, Zulip, Mailman, MediaWiki, or many other places in the free software world. She’s also hilarious. If you like to laugh, check out Sumana on Friday (24 July) at 21:00 UTC to hear Sumana’s stand-up comedy.

There might not be a Museum BoF this year, but Ayanna Dozier will be bringing the museum experience to us on Monday (27 July) at 21:00 UTC. Ayanna Dozier is a scholar, filmmaker, and performance artist, and the Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum and an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University. She’ll be introducing us to modern art (1930 – 1965) through key artists and important historical events.

Social Hours

Every night after the evening social events, you can attend or host a Social Hour. Social hours are a time to get together around any topic you’re interested in. These will include a Tea Party, GNOME Beers, and a GLBTQ+ social time. We especially encourage Social Hours based on non-English languages. If you want to host a social hour, please sign up for an account on and add it to the wiki.

Notes

Ingredients for Drinks

Cocktail 1

  • Beer (ideally Mexican beer)
  • Tomato Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Optional: Worcestershire Sauce, Hot Sauce, Tajin Seasoning, Lime wedge
    Non alcoholic version – all of the above minus the beer!

Cocktail 2

  • Tequila
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Agave Nectar, Simple Syrup, or Honey
  • Salt
  • Ice

Cocktail 3

  • Whiskey
  • Lemon or limes
  • Honey, Simple Syrup, or Maple Syrup
  • Ginger beer or soda water
  • Mint or Basil
  • Optional: Berries for flavor
  • Ice

Cocktail 4

  • Vodka
  • Coconut Water
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • Agave Nectar, Simple Syrup, or Honey
  • Club Soda
  • Ice

Ingredients for Cooking

Recipe 1

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (vegan works too)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts (in brine, not oil), drained and finely chopped

Recipe 2

  • 2 slices of bread
  • Various veggies – mushrooms, carrots, onions, beets, cabbage, green or red peppers – thinly sliced
  • 1-2 TB Mayonnaise (vegan works too)
  • 1-2 TB Cranberry pickle (recipe included)
  • 1 slice of cheese (muenster, cheddar, etc)
  • 1 TB of butter

Cranberry Pickle

  • 2 TB Oil
  • 3 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asofetida
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar (optional)

(Some) Highlights from GUADEC

There are so many exciting things happening at GUADEC this year, it would be impossible to highlight everything I’m looking forward to. What really excited me about the schedule this year is how diverse the topics are. I really do think this year’s GUADEC has something for everyone, from people just getting to know free and open source software (FOSS) to people who are hardcore GNOME contributors. Please note that all sessions will be captioned in English.

A woman stands behind a desk, looking up at slides. She has a microphone in her hand and is giving a presentation.
“Guadec 2013: Interns lightning talks” by Ana _Rey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Staff Sessions

I positively adore my coworkers. I’ll spare you how great they are, and instead focus on some of the talks they’ll be giving.

GKT Core Developer Emmanuele Bassi will be giving two talks: Being a GNOME Maintainer: Best Practices and Known Traps and Archaeology of Accessibility. Being a GNOME Maintainer will discuss what it means to be a GNOME maintainer, and Archaeology of Accessibility will be a technical deep dive into the accessibility work Emmanuele and others have been doing around accessibility. (Note: “Accessibility” refers to the ability of technology to accommodate the needs of users who have disabilities, visual impairments, etc.)

Melissa Wu, who is organizing the Community Engagement Challenge, will give two sessions as well. In her first, Remember What It’s Like to Be New to GNOME, she’ll talk about her experience coming to the GNOME community only a few months ago, getting to know people, and making things happen.

Melissa will also join me for A Year of Strategic Initiatives at GNOME, during which we’ll talk about a range of things that have happened at GNOME over the past year (and some future plans), with a focus on organizational sustainability and the initiatives that make us excited to work here.

Executive Director Neil McGovern will lead the Annual General Meeting, to provide everyone with an overview of what we’ve been doing and what we will do, and answer your questions.

Welcome to FOSS, Welcome to GNOME

New to FOSS? New to GNOME? Not sure what I’m talking about? Check out these sessions!

Building Better Community

In these talks you’ll learn about how to build better, stronger communities and be a better community member. A lot of this is applicable to your life outside of FOSS as well!

Building Better Software

These talks cover ways to build software better. Some of them are focused on GNOME, but all of them will be applicable to whatever you’re working on.

Join us!

Registration for GUADEC is free, but we encourage you to do so anyway. Knowing how many people are attending, and learning about who you are, helps us make GUADEC better every year. Register today!

Meet the GNOMEies: Kristi Progri

With GUADEC two weeks away, this was the perfect time to talk to Program Manager and GUADEC organizer Kristi Progri. To see her amazing work live, register for GUADEC today!

A photo of Kristi Progri. She is wearing a red shirt and fabulous bright red lipstick.
Photo courtesy of Kristi Progri. Licensed CC-BY-NC-ND-SA.

Tell us a little bit more about yourself.

For people who have known me for a long time, I am Kiki. That’s my nickname, which comes from when I was playing basketball and I had four other team mates with the same name.

I was born and grew up in the country with the largest number of bunkers in the world, left over from the communist era. I finished my bachelor studies in International Affairs and Diplomacy and my Master’s Degree is in ‘Information Systems Security’

A few years ago I co-founded the Open Source Diversity initiative and for around five years I was the chairwoman of a local hackerspace in my hometown that promotes all Free & Open Source technologies and data. For many years I was part of the organizing team for many years of the biggest open source conference in Albania.

What is your role within the GNOME community?

I am the Program Coordinator in the GNOME Foundation where I help to organize various events, leading many initiatives within the community including the Engagement Team, and working closely with all the volunteers and contributors. I also coordinate internships and help with general Foundation activities.

Do you have any other affiliations you want to share?

Before joining GNOME, I was very active in Mozilla community. I have been part of the Tech Speakers program and a Mozilla Representative for more than seven years now. I have organized many events and workshops and also have participated as a speaker talking about Free Software communities at many events around the globe.

Why did you get involved in GNOME?

I was introduced to Free Software when I was in high school, my friend had a computer running Debian and he started explaining how it worked. This was the first time I heard about it and I immediately understood that I would never be part of these communities. It looked so complicated and not my cup of tea, but it looks like I was very wrong. Once I went for to a hackerspace meeting I completely changed my mind and from that moment the hackerspace become my second home.

Why are you still involved with GNOME?

Diversity, people, community, sorting out dramas in and outside community, are some very important keywords that drive me to love working in such environment. I am working full time, so GNOME gets a big part of my attention everyday, which I am happy to share.

What are you working on right now?

My working desk is full of post-it notes of to do tasks 😀

My main thing now is organizing GUADEC online edition, working as well Google Season of Docs, University Outreach Initiative, other activities and tasks part of the Engagement team, and many others things which I am sure I have missed.

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

We are building a new GNOME Community in Africa and spreading our community more in Asia, I am so excited to know what the future will bring us and how big GNOME will get. I feel like we are gaining momentum and I see very motivated people coming and contributing.

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

As in many Free Software communities we have a big challenge with how to get newcomers on board and to keep them motivated to continue contributing. We need to have a very good structured way within the community to guide people for the tasks we need contributors and show them the way. Another major challenge I see is how GNOME will adapt with the new changes that are occurring in the world due to Covid-19 in terms of events, conferences, and hackfest organization .

What do you think GNOME should focus on next?

Financial sustainability and keeping the shiny growth rate we have right now should be one of the most important focuses. As previously mentioned these are difficult times we are currently living in, in the making the world a bit unsafe and therefore this might mean that finding the resources and donors will be challenging.

What else should we have asked about that we didn’t? Please answer 🙂

Whats you favorite physical activity? Weightlifting

Answers edited for length.

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.

GUADEC 2020

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!

A conversation with Outreachy student Sonja Heinze about Fractal

Sonja Heinze was an Outreachy intern for GNOME from December 2019 – March 2020. She worked on Fractal, GNOME’s Matrix client. She was interviewed by Oliver Propst during her internship.

Do you want to introduce yourself?

I’m a mathematician and have just finished a PhD in algebraic singularity theory. Last year, I went to a place called Recurse Center for three months with the idea to figure out if programming would be a fun alternative to an academic career.

Can you tell us about the work you’re doing?

At the moment, I’m implementing a video player in Fractal. Fractal is a communication app for the GNOME desktop based on the Matrix protocol. Communication is organized into rooms. With my contribution, video attachments get handled as follows: any message with video attachment that appears in the room history (i.e. list of messages sent in that room), gets provided some own little space where it gets auto-played in a loop without sound.

Of course, when the user scrolls up or down in the room history and the video message gets out of sight, it stops playing. When clicking on the video, the media viewer opens. There, the user can play and pause the video and seek in it (see second picture in mail attachment). Furthermore, in the media viewer the user can go forth and back through all the media sent in that room (i.e., images and videos). Both, in the room history and in the media viewer, the video widget dimensions get adjusted well according to the video resolution ratio.

Why did you choose this project?

The project seemed the most interesting and challenging one on the Outreachy list. For me, learning through the internship is just as important as starting to get to know the open source world. I hadn’t seen GTK or GStreamer before and reading about them seemed very interesting. Furthermore, Fractal is written in Rust.

I hadn’t seen any code written in Rust before, but Rust had already caught my attention during my time at the Recurse Center. I guess, if the project was written in a very common language that I didn’t know, I wouldn’t have chosen that project. But for a newish language like Rust, it seemed more acceptable and learning Rust through the project was a motivating idea. Also, contributing to a non-commercial open source communication app alternative to the mainstream ones was another mo titivating factor.

How would you rate the development experience?

It has taken me a little while to get used to the general work flow programmers are used to; as in, when to ask in a private chat, when in a public chat, when on GitLab and, if on GitLab, where. I find GitLab very user friendly. Also, whenever I don’t know about a functionality that’d be useful, my project mentors tell me about it. And whenever I know about one, but don’t know how it works, the documentation is very useful.

What are your impressions about the GNOME community and how do you feel about contributing to GNOME in general?

My two mentors for the project are super nice and helpful. And the other community members I’ve interacted with so far, are so as well. I haven’t interacted with that many people yet, though. Contributing to GNOME is cool. I see GNOME as part of a non-commercial open source alternative to Windows or Mac and contributing to that is, for sure, worth the while.

Your work on Fractal involves using GStreamer can you and tell us something about GStreamer?

GStreamer is a library used for media reproduction. In Fractal, GStreamer was already used for the implementation of the audio player that appears for messages with audio attachment in the room message history.

GStreamer reproduces audio or video by means of a pipeline, i.e. a system of connecting pieces, called elements, that manipulate the media in one way or another. In Fractal, we use a high level API provided by GStreamer for that called GstPlayer. In the end, I’ve been able to do almost everything through GstPlayer. But on my way there, I’ve sometimes manipulated the pipeline directly and through that I’ve learned a little bit about how GStreamer works. 

For example, I’ve read a little about how communication with and inside the pipeline works. The way a pipeline communicates internally is by sending events from one element to another. There are different kinds of events. Some of them are responsible for informing all pieces of the pipeline about an instruction that might come from outside the pipeline. 

An example is wanting to access a certain point of the video and playing the video from there, called seek event. For that to happen, the application can send a seek event to the pipeline; that’s one way of communicating with the pipeline from outside. When that happens, that seek event is put on all sink elements of the pipeline and from there sent upstream, element by element, until it reaches the source element, which then pulls the requested data and sends it through the pipeline. 

Events are just one example of pipeline communication. To mention some more ways to communicate with the pipeline from outside: messages the pipeline leaves on the pipeline bus for the application to listen to, state changes and queries on elements or pads.

Anything else you want to add or share?

Fractal uses Flatpak, which provides isolation of the app from the rest of the user’s system. I didn’t know Flatpak before and the concept seems pretty interesting. I hope to find some time to learn a bit about it soon.

We want to thank Sonja for taking time talking with us about Fractal and the work she’s done. More information about Fractal is available on the GNOME wiki.

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.