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GNOME Extensions Rebooted Initiative

With the advent of the new release of GNOME 3.38 – we want to start focusing next cycle on improving the GNOME Extensions experience.

What Extensions Rebooted Initiative is about

It is not a surprise that most people are aware that a large number of extensions break after each release which causes a lot of friction in the community.

Extensions Rebooted is a collaborative effort to address the issues around the GNOME Shell extension ecosystem. We want to start addressing this by making a number of policy changes and technological improvements while building a sustainable community.

Here are some highlights on how we plan to creating a better experience for GNOME extensions:

  • Proper documentation of how extensions work, reasonable expectations to be an extensions developer, participating in the GNOME extensions community.
  • Build CI pipeline (a virtual machine) for extension writers to test their extensions prior to GNOME releases.
  • Centralizing extensions for break testing on the GNOME gitlab space
  • Creating a forum for extension developers and extension writers to work together for the GNOME release cycle

To appreciate and expand on the details of this project, you should check out Sriram Ramkrishna’s Extensions Rebooted Bof on the last GUADEC and his GUADEC talk.

The Extensions Rebooted initiative’s ultimate goal is to get the extensions community to work with each other, have closer ties with GNOME shell developers and provide documentation and tools.

Extension writers are encouraged to get involved and build this better experience. Consumers of extensions are requested to help spread the word and encourage extensions developers to participate so we can all benefit.

To get involved:

GNOME Discourse:

  • Use the “extensions” tag when submitting questions about extensions.

Chat:

Gitlab:

The success of GNOME extensions cannot happen without participation and discussion as a community and so I hope that all of us who write extensions can come together and make extensions a sustainable part of the GNOME ecosystem.

The next post will talk about using a pre-built VM image that extension developers can use to test their extensions and have them ready to be used prior to GNOME 3.38 appearing on distributions.