Support Pitivi!

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Exciting news! GNOME is hosting a fundraising campaign for Pitivi. Their fundraising page launched today. I love their announcement:

Free and Open Source video editing is something that can help make the world a better place, as it gives people all around the world one more tool to express themselves creatively, fight oppression, create happiness and spread love.

I’m pleased that GNOME is able to serve Pitivi as a fiscal sponsor on this, and I have to give Mathieu, Thibault and Jeff a lot of credit as they’ve already done so much work to set it up.

So go check out their video (made with Pitivi, naturally) and donate now! I just made my donation…

P.S. keep your eye on these guys, and special thanks to them for partnering up on timing!

A happy end of year to all

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As another year comes to a close, I’m happy to reflect on some of last years highlights (and in no particular order)!

  • We met our goal on our privacy campaign (we’re now evaluating the best ways to use the money – let us know if you have any ideas).
  • Work was done by Igalia with the money from the accessibility campaign to improve document accessibility in GNOME.
  • We were present at many conferences around the world, and I had the honor of keynoting at LibrePlanet, GNOME.Asia, FSCONS, and Minga por la innovación tecnológica in Ecuador and speaking at a few others. Many of us were also featured in interviews and articles.
  • GUADEC was a success in Brno, and even Lionel Dricot admitted that “rumors of the death of GUADEC were greatly exaggerated”. The talks are still available to watch with the files available too
  • Thanks largely to Marina Taylor’s efforts, we had multiple GNOME newcomer tutorial sessions and one that I was able to attend at the GNU 30th
  • GNOME 3.10 was released with many improvements, and noticed for its polish and speed, among other good things. Allan Day’s post about the release is a good summary.
  • The marketing team had its first dedicated hackfest in years, and emerged the engagement team, with a more refined view of what makes GNOME special as a community and a project
  • Two new members joined GNOME’s advisory board – the Linux Foundation and Private Internet Access
  • Some prominent new projectsand companies are choosing the GNOME desktop and GNOME technologies.
  • GNOME seems to be improving in adoption generally, especially in more ideologically driven communities. I was pleasantly surprised at a number of conferences when I asked how many people were using GNOME 3 and a majority raised their hands. I loved sitting in the back of other people’s talks and seeing so many GNOME screens in front of me. In Ecuador I was excited to hear about a new GNOME-based distro in the works as well as government deployments underway in Latin America.
  • Andrea Veri has been working hard to make sure that GNOME has made real progress on the sysadmin front (if you’re not subscribed to infrastructure-announce, you can see an example of the kinds of things he’s been up to on his blog.
  • We ran the Outreach Program for Women, which this year involved more organizations and participants than ever before.
  • We organized many hackfests and meetings, including the first FreeDesktop Summit.

There’s a lot more I could write about, but these things really stand out to me. So many thanks go to the GNOME community. Here’s a holiday card that our president Andreas Nilsson made:


Please don’t forget to donate to your favorite charities as the year ends! This is my usual donation roundup, and this year is no exception:

Gone Fishing!

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Well, not really. But I’m on vacation this week. I’ll be checking email and taking care of a few things that I didn’t get to finish, but I won’t generally be available. Have a great week!


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I had a fantastic time this past weekend at FSCONS, which is a conference dedicated to free society in Sweden. It was really energizing to be around so many freedom-focused people, and it’s a part of the world where I haven’t spent much time (I’d never been to Sweden before, but I confess I did spend too many weeks reviewing documents in Stavanger, Norway when I was a law firm lawyer).

Below you can see a picture of my keynote, as taken by Albin Olsson, and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (incidentally, it also appears that Albin updated my picture and added a swedish translation on Wikipedia!)


My talk was entitled “Proactivism” and it explored how important it is for everyone in our community to be focused on being an activist for ethical technology and to proactively evaluate ways that we can improve. As examples, I talked about GNOME’s accessibility campaign, our privacy campaign and OPW, focusing on OPW to spread the word. I hope that I have another opportunity to give this talk in the future with other examples. I asked the audience to confess, and I would say about 80% of them had used Skype in the last two months. At another conference this may not have surprised me as much, but the vast majority also raised their hands that they were GNOME 3 users. It was great to talk to so many people who were really happy with it!

I enjoyed the other talks I went to too, and learned quite a bit. Of course, a major highlight of the conference for me was hanging out with the local GNOMEees:


And I loved checking out Gothenburg. I was very impressed by how many local free software and free culture people live there. I know the local GNOME team is working hard on putting together a GUADEC 2015 bid (we extended the deadline as apparently two years is way too long in advance to be able to properly plan a conference) and I wish them luck!

Great Summit in Montreal

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I got home a day and a half ago and am packing up to go to San Francisco for the Mentor Summit, but email from James with his excellent write-up of the event reminded me that I too needed to report back.

James covers the bases so I won’t give that overview again but one of my favorite things from the weekend was that a whole group of students drove up from Western New England University. They’ve decided to work on Mousetrap (an assistive application that uses facial recognition to move the cursor without having to use a mouse) for their senior project. I kicked things off with an overview of free software for them (and discussed just what you need to know about licensing to get started) and Colin and Ryan helped them out with jhbuild. Colin, Ryan and Joanie hung out with them all weekend and I think they made great progress. It was also fun to have them at all of the social events.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Ryan and Tristan for organizing the events, plus CRIM for hosting us, Savoire Faire Linux for helping us to organize and for hosting the cocktail party on Saturday, Red Hat for sponsoring the pool party on Sunday and Canonical for providing snacks and coffee during the days. The famous Montreal bagels in particular were a huge hit:


I was glad to see such a diversity of companies represented at the Summit, and nonprofit orgs too – I had great conversations with Yorba and Debian people. The Summit is pretty amazing in that it’s a small event so it’s intimate and it’s easy to talk to everyone and the people who come are focused and awesome and a good amount of stuff gets done at a high level. The event was so productive and fun that there was some talk of adding a west coast summit, and that sounds pretty great to me.

You can also check out Mike’s and Matthias’ write-ups too.

GNOME at GNU 30th

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So I am at the Boston Montreal Summit, but I realized that I never published my post about the GNU 30th so I thought I’d get this up now and then write about what’s going on here this long weekend!

The GNU 30th was really fun. There was a great turnout and the GNOME room was petty full the entire time. Marina and Owen ran a Newcomers’ Tutorial and other GNOMEees were around to hack on stuff. We took a break for lunch with OPW interns and mentors. It was amazing to look down the long table and to realize how many non-GNOME people were there – a testament to the success of the program with other projects too. The GNU MediaGoblin folks were in full force, and I got an awesome 3D printed “Goblin Force” badge, which I now have with me in Montreal!

One of my favorite moments was a conversation I overheard just after the Newcomers’ Tutorial.

Richard Stallman asked a gentleman named Matt what he was involved in with free software. After initially describing himself as a fan, he corrected himself and said, “I’m no longer just an admirer, thanks to Marina!” He went on to explain how he went through the GNOME Newcomer’s tutorial and was now able to contribute for the first time to free software. I was also very pleased to give stickers to some students from George Mason University who wanted to run their own Newcomers Tutorial with the local user group.

On Saturday night we had a GNOME dinner at an Indian Restaurant to celebrate the GNU 30th and also the 3.10 release. Thanks to Joe for remembering to send me this picture of some of us outside afterwards:


Book your hotel for Montreal

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We’ve gone ahead and gotten a block of rooms at the Hotel Le Cantlie Suites subject to availability. The rate is $135.00 per room per night for single or double occupancy. You can either call the hotel directly at +1.514.842.2000 and mention “GNOME” or reserve online.

All the information on the summit that you need is on the wiki. If you’re planning to come and haven’t already, let us know. Hope to see you there!

Linux Format Interview

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The nice guys at Linux Format Magazine have published a pretty long interview with me. I had such a great time with them I got fairly chatty and we talked about GNOME, medical devices and the Outreach Program for Women. It gets pretty serious at some points. Check it out!

3.10, released and celebrated!

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Many thanks to everyone who contributed to GNOME 3.10 – almost a thousand contributors and 35,000 changes!

GNOME 3.10 Screenshot

I am a bit late in my own blogpost because I had to run out after the GNOME posts went out in order to make the Brooklyn release party. I like this picture of the event as it shows not one but two former pro bono lawyers to the GNOME Foundation, plus users!


It was organized fairly late as I wasn’t sure about babysitter availability but we were saying that we should do this more regularly. Are you a GNOME user or contributor in the New York area and interested in meetups? Let me know!

Now I’m getting ready to leave tomorrow for the GNU 30th, where we’ll have another release celebration on saturday night. We’re also going to have a tutorial for newcomers as well as a hackfest, depending on who turns up and what they want to work on. If you know of someone who wants to contribute to free software but doesn’t know how to get started, this is the event for them. I can’t wait to see you there.

Let’s have dinner at the GNU 30th!

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The FSF has made some reservations at local restaurants for the GNU 30th in Cambridge on Saturday September 28th. If you’re in the area please sign up and come have Indian food with me and other GNOME folks. Sign up soon so I can get excited about seeing you.

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