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.

Friends of GNOME Update – October 2020

Welcome to the October 2020 Friends of GNOME Update!

A crescent of the Earth from space
“Earth” by Kevin M. Gill is licensed under CC BY 2.0

GNOME on the Road

Executive Director Neil McGovern spoke at Open Source Summit EU. In his keynote, titled “Patently Obvious – The Year the Lawyers Came to FOSS,” Neil spoke about our patent case with Rothschild Patent Imaging.

Neil was also interviewed in The Registrar. This wide-ranging article covers the patent case, technical development of GNOME, GNOME beyond a desktop environment, and even GNOME on a phone.

GNOME Around the World

We’re working with our friends at KDE on the Linux Application Summit (LAS). This event takes place November 12 – 14. It will be online this year. The event will cover all things to do with apps in a Linux environment. Registration is open! LAS is also looking for volunteers, so if you’d like to get involved, please fill out this form.

Registration for GNOME.Asia is open! The GNOME.Asia Summit 2020 will be taking place online on November 24 – 26. While the conference is centered around the GNOME Project, there will be talks, workshops, and Birds of a Feather sessions for everyone interested in free and open source software. You can register online.

Engagement Team: Engage!

The GNOME Engagement Team, organized by Kristi Progri, launched two new projects: Engagement Team Reports and What’s Happening in GNOME.

“Engagement Team Reports” covers what the Engagement Team has been up to, which includes work from contributors, volunteers, and Foundation staff. “What’s Happening in GNOME” focuses on technical developments in the GNOME ecosystem.

If you don’t already, consider following the Engagement Blog to keep track of these updates.

If you’re now inspired to get involved with the Engagement Team, they maintain an active Discourse, and have monthly meetings.

GTK4

GTK is an amazing, important, and exciting part of the GNOME ecosystem. It gets people excited in ways that few other parts of our technical development does. Emmanuele Bassi, the Foundation’s Core GTK Developer, has been working hard on getting the newest major release, GTK4, ready to go. We’re really excited about this at the Foundation and across the GNOME community.

CEC: Community Education Challenge

Melissa Wu, the head organizer of the Community Engagement Challenge, and Caroline Henriksen have been working hard on keeping up momentum around the Challenge. Between organizing public conversations with the judges and keeping up with the Phase One winners, we have the Phase Two deadline coming up. If you’d like to keep up with the Challenge news, sign up for the mailing list.

Flathub Search Updates

Flatpak is one of our favorite ways to install apps on GNOME. The best way to get the apps you want is on Flathub. Bartłomiej Piotrowski and Jan Horbowicz have recently added new search implementation to flathub.org, which will yield better results in your searches.

LAS (mentioned above) is a great event if you want to learn more about what’s happening with Flatpak.

Thank you!

Thank you for being a Friend of GNOME! Caroline and I are working on some stuff for Friends of GNOME that I’m pretty excited about and can’t wait to share with you. In the meantime, we appreciate your continued support and all the ways you help GNOME.

GNOME Asia 2020 Registrations Are Open

We’re excited to announce that the Registrations for GNOME Asia Summit 2020 are open! You can now register online.

A drawn image of a person at a computer, sporting the GNOME logo, in gront of a window and a plant. Text reads: AGNOME.Asia Summit 2020

GNOME Asia Summit 2020 will take place online November 24 – 26.

Topics covered include the GNOME desktop and a range of other topics that are GNOME specific and general to the free software and tech communities. The summit brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a place for users, developers, leaders, governments and businesses to discuss present technology and future developments.

More information about the GNOME Asia 2020 Summit including is available on the official website. The GNOME Asia Summit will be three days of stand out keynotes, engaging and educational sessions, and skill building Birds of a Feather sessions and workshops, so register today.

A QU code for GNOME.Asia and two sponsor logos for openSUSE and GitLab

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.

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