The GNOME Foundation is excited to announce that GUADEC 2021 will take place July 21 -25. This year’s conference will be held online and last five days. The first two days of the conference, July 21 – 22, will be dedicated to presentations. The 23 – 24 will be Birds of a Feather sessions and workshops, and the last day will be for social activities.
Call for Papers
The GUADEC 2021 theme is “Future-Proofing FOSS”. GNOME is always anticipating the future and looking to innovate and build better for whatever the future may hold, whether it’s with events, technologies, or ways to empower users and integrate free and open source software into our lives. We are interested in proposals that align with this theme as well as ones relating to free and open source software, technology, and community building. In the past, we’ve had talks on:
Shauna Gordon-McKeon is a writer, programmer and community organizer who focuses on the intersection of technology and governance. She co-organizes the Washington DC chapter of the Tech Workers Coalition. She serves on the board of Tech Inquiry and is an advisor to Metagov.
If you’re interested in presenting at GUADEC and want to talk with organizers and experienced speakers about your ideas, have someone look over your session proposal, or just want to ask some questions about speaking at a conference, come by Office Hours to discuss all of these and more!
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.
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.
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.
Ingredients for Drinks
Beer (ideally Mexican beer)
Optional: Worcestershire Sauce, Hot Sauce, Tajin Seasoning, Lime wedge
Non alcoholic version – all of the above minus the beer!
Agave Nectar, Simple Syrup, or Honey
Lemon or limes
Honey, Simple Syrup, or Maple Syrup
Ginger beer or soda water
Mint or Basil
Optional: Berries for flavor
Fresh Lime Juice
Agave Nectar, Simple Syrup, or Honey
Ingredients for Cooking
1 cup mayonnaise (vegan works too)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
14 oz can artichoke hearts (in brine, not oil), drained and finely chopped
2 slices of bread
Various veggies – mushrooms, carrots, onions, beets, cabbage, green or red peppers – thinly sliced
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.
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 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!
The GNOME project is built by a vibrant community and supported by the GNOME Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity registered in California (USA). The GNOME community has spent more than 20 years creating a desktop environment designed for the user. We‘re asking you to join us by becoming Friend of GNOME.
The GNOME community hosts numerous hackfests, meetings, workshops, and first time contributor events around the world. We also host two very special events: GUADEC and GNOME.Asia. These two conferences are for GNOME contributors, enthusiasts, and the GNOME curious together twice a year on two different continents. Over the past few years, we have also organized Linux Application Summit (LAS) with the KDE community.
Every year, GUADEC (GNOME’s biggest annual conference) brings together developers, designers, users, and other experts and enthusiasts for a week of talks, workshops, roundtables, team building, and more. GUADEC is one of the most important events for the GNOME community, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to push the project forward. GUADEC 2019 was no exception. Taking place in the beautiful city of Thessaloniki, Greece from 23 – 28 of August, we had conversations on a variety of topics and a splendid range of presentations, many of which are available online.
GUADEC not only offers a place for people to enjoy different sessions and workshops, but it’s also a unique opportunity to bring together the GNOME Foundation staff, board members, and Advisory Board for making strategic decisions.
While GUADEC has historically been in Europe, we are very excited that GUADEC 2020 will take place in Zacatecas, Mexico. This will provide an opportunity for people who have trouble traveling to Europe. By hosting the event on the North American continent, a whole new group of people will be able to join us to celebrate GNOME.
Another interesting event we have is GNOME.Asia. GNOME.Asia 2019 took place in Gresik, Indonesia between 11 – 13 of October at the Universitas Muhammadiyah Gresik (UMG). This too was a rousing success. It was the biggest event organized by the GNOME community in Asia, with the first day dedicated to workshops and the second and third days for presentations.
In 2019 we also worked with the KDE community on organizing LAS in Barcelona, Spain. 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. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and the hard work of the organizing team, attendance was free for everyone.
Among the hackfests this past year, there was a particularly large West Coast Hackfest, which took place in Portland, OR. The focus was on getting the members of Documentation team, Engagement team and GTK team working together for four days to push some initiatives forward. This was a unique opportunity for the Documentation team to work on ideas that had been planned for some time. Members of the Engagement team worked activities such as social media strategy, event planning, and merchandise design. The GTK team continued their outstanding work on one of the most popular free libraries for graphical user interfaces.
GNOME events are organized by the GNOME community, with the support of GNOME Foundation employees, principally Programs Coordinator Kristi Progri, with sponsorship assistance from Strategic Initiatives Manager Molly de Blanc. These events are built by the GNOME community, and supported by the GNOME Foundation. We provide infrastructure and organizational support for the local and global teams who spearhead these events. We work alongside the community to make these events happen.
In 2020, we are going to continue to step up for the community and are asking you to join us by becoming a Friend of GNOME. Though this, you’re helping to make amazing events like these possible. By continuing our work, we are able to support the GNOME community and help it grow. We want to keep doing this, and we want you to help us.
We recommend a recurring, monthly donation of $25 ($5/month for students). As thanks for becoming a Friend of GNOME, we’ll send you a thank you postcard from a GNOME hacker and offer you a discount on swag at events. If you donate more than $30 a month, you are eligable for a subscription to LWN at no additional cost to you. If you donate more than $500 a year, Executive Director Neil McGovern will send you a special thank you note.
Everything the GNOME Foundation does is for the GNOME community. By supporting us, you’re supporting a global community looking to serve everyone, regardless of geography or language. Join us in working towards a brighter future for GNOME by becoming a Friend of GNOME today.
As we at the GNOME Foundation celebrate the end of summer, we’re also celebrating another successful GUADEC.
This GUADEC was really special for the Foundation, as it was the first year that there was a significant staff presence. In addition to many years of Rosanna Yuen, and lately Neil McGovern, we had four other staff members at the conference. As most of us were hired in the past year, thanks to several very generous donations, this was our first opportunity to come together, meet in person, and plan for the future of the GNOME Foundation.
While Kristi — along with an amazing group of volunteers — was hard at
work pulling together the last minute details of the conference, Neil and Rosanna met with the Board of Directors to the GNOME Foundation to make important plans for the next six and twelve month periods, and to look five and ten years into the future of all the projects that fall under the GNOME umbrella.
Several of us met with the Advisory Board, a collection of organizations with a stake in the future of GNOME projects, who advise us on the needs of their communities, and who help push the project forward through various kinds of support.
GUADEC kicked off with a warm welcome from Kristi and we embarked on three days of talks, unconference time, and, of course, fun with GNOMEies. We had updates on various parts of GNOME projects, visions of the future for Linux on the desktop, strategic discussions, and calls to focus on accessibility, global access, and environmental concerns. Personal highlights include learning about the open source community in Africa from Sigu and Stellamaris; hearing about the messaging of the Engagement Team from Britt Yasel; the keynotes by Dr. Luis Falcon, from GNU Health, and Deb Nicholson, from the Software Freedom Conservancy; lightning talk from GNOME interns; and the conversations I had during the coffee breaks. A collection of videos from the conference is available for your viewing pleasure!
Another highlight for me was the AGM — the Annual General Meeting. The AGM was open to all attendees of GUADEC. It also provided an opportunity for GNOME Foundation Members to have discussions and vote on two proposals: modifying the bylaws to use gender neutral language; and extending the terms of Board members. Both proposals passed.
We heard from Neil and newly elected president of the Board of Directors, Rob McQueen. There were also updates from various committees on their activities over the past year. GUADEC attendees had the opportunity to speak directly with the Board and Staff in a public fourm. We discussed topics like the sustainability of the GNOME Foundation, future technical directions of the project, and environmental sustainability.
Perhaps the most exciting thing from the AGM was the announcement of a collaboration between Endless and GNOME: a year long competition, to develop new tools, strategies, and methodologies for teaching coding using free and open source software. You can read the press release online, and I’ll be writing a bit more about it in the near future.
Following the three core days of the conference, there were two days of
BoFs. I personally attended the Engagement BoF, the Inclusion & Diversity BoF, and SpinachCon. There were also sessions for newcomers, GTK, documentation and localization, vendor themes, Rust, content apps, GStreamer, and Flatpak — to name a few. During these sessions we hacked, had strategic discussions, made decisions about our work moving forward, and welcomed new members to teams and initiatives.
Perhaps the most important part of GUADEC came at the very end of the conference: the Museum BoF and the Beach BoF. Those brave souls who stayed through the final days split into two groups, one that visited various museums around Thessaloniki and one that went to Eponami beach. Both groups had a great day, exploring, learning, and relaxing in our own ways.
GUADEC was amazing. I learned so much about GNOME, and I find myself more enthusiastic than ever to be working for the success of the project and all its endeavors. Even though I am new to the community, everyone made me feel welcome and valued. I had amazing conversations and hatched exciting plans for the future, which I am looking forward to sharing with you as they develop.
I’d like to personally thank the volunteers, various teams, and especially the local team that made GUADEC 2019 possible! I’d like to give a special shout out to Mariet, Stathis, and Vivia! On behalf of the organization, I would like to thank the sponsors of the event: Private Internet Access, Redhat, Endless, Ubuntu, openSUSE, CodeThink, Igalia, arm, our host the University of Macedonia, ubicast, for providing recording and streaming services, and Centricular, for bringing us drinks and snacks during the coffee breaks.
Whether you were there in person, participated online, or skipped GUADEC entirely, I hope to see you next year!