Becoming co-maintainer of Damned Lies

Disclaimer: even if Iā€™m an everyday English speaker, reader and writer because of my occupation, English is not my mother tongue, so there should be mistakes in the text.

Two weeks ago, Claude, the current Damned Lies maintainer proposed me to become the co-maintainer of the Damned Lies applications. This blog post will let me introduce myself, synthesize my past contributions and the future I foresee for Damned Lies.

About me and my contributions

Iā€™m Guillaume, currently PhD student specialized in multi-lingual document analysis living in France.

I started contributing to Free Software projects almost nine years ago, on the French Ubuntu Forum (ubuntu-fr.org, for those who may know). My first experiments with Free Software were with Ubuntu 12.04, a time where Unity became the default shell for users, and GNOME 3 came with new GNU/Linux distributions releases.

After about one year, I met the Mageia community, which was smaller and welcomed me as a translator for blog posts, some UI translations as well. I contributed a little on forums, helping others and tried to be involved in the Mageia QA team, without success.

In 2014, I created an account on Damned Lies and started to push translations in the GNOME French Team. At that time, I forgot (šŸ™„) to read the guidelines, but Alexandre, the French Team coordinator and the other team member welcomed me and took the time to explain the rules and the translation workflow. I finally found a place were it was safe to contribute, in a welcoming environment, and that benefited to everyone using the GNOME desktop environment. About two or three years ago, I was proposed to become a GNOME French proofreader, which I accepted.

Since then, I wished to use my skills in design and programming in order to contribute to GNOME at another scale. Two years ago, I started a professional project with Python and Django to develop my skills with them (I need to say they were not chosen for this reason. They fitted perfectly our requirements. This project was shut down at the beginning of June, and for a couple of months now, I started to push new commits to Damned Lies about QA, and had a continual conversation with Claude about Damned Lies and possible future enhancements.

Recently, I was asked if I would become the co-maintainer of Damned Lies, which I accepted.

Future for Damned Lies

In a near future, my plans for Damned Lies consist of three priorities:

  • Ensuring easy contributing, with a standard process to open issues, submit Merge Requests and so on. This will partly come from other projects (internal or public) that I started or currently maintain. To do this, I intend to rely on the Gitlab integrated tools (Gitlab Pages, Wiki and others).
  • Improving quality insurance. Claude and other contributors made a incredible work in order to make the code reliable. The code coverage is quite high (75% for Python code, no template statistics) and the core parts are all tested. This is a strong basis to continue with. To continue with this, I propose to go a bit further and to take advantage of Gitlab integrated tools in order to evaluate the code quality continually and to use, among others, the Gitlab CI tools to make it easy to review contributions. This can include a pre-production instance of Damned Lies. I intend to talk about this a bit later in another blog post.
  • Review the main user interfaces to simplify the user experience and to make users more efficient with Damned Lies. To do this, I intend to contact the GNOME Design Team, to know if they are interested in giving some advices. Otherwise, I know some UX students that might be interested in giving some time of concrete work.Damned Lies is an essential part of GNOME. It makes it possible to have localized versions of GNOME all around the world. 38 languages have more than 80% of their strings localized, this has been made possible by the huge work of translators, reviewers and coordinators from all around the world, but also because of people working in the shadow, like the Damned Lies contributors, and particularly Claude šŸ˜‰.

Thank you for this. Thank you for your confidence!