GNOME 3 Launch Party in Prague

In January, Jiří Eischmann started organizing the GNOME 3 Launch Party in the Czech Republic, with the obvious goal to celebrate the major release of GNOME 3, to promote and talk about the next generation of the GNOME Desktop in front of the Czech audience interested in FLOSS and technology generally.

A rather informal event in its form, organized by the Czech Translation Team, will be hosted on Saturday, April 9, 2011, at the Student Facilities in Strahov (Strahov Dormitory Campus), Block 7, Prague (Areál kolejí Strahov, blok 7, Praha 6). See Google Maps.

We will start at 15:00 with the following talks:

  • Tomáš Bžatek & Tomeu Vizoso: GNOME 3 from users’ and developers’ perspective
  • Vojtěch Trefný: Unity as an alternative way
  • André Klapper: Release and bug management in GNOME (in English)
  • Petr Kovář: Czech localization

Visitors will be offered fresh Live USB Images running GNOME 3 based on Fedora. After the conference part (around 19:00), there will be a social event/informal meeting in a near pub.

There may be some further news from organizers regarding this event, so follow the appropriate Czech GNOME 3 Launch Party page, or this blog.

Come to visit us and join the GNOME 3 fun in Prague!

GNOME 3 Poster

Pan 0.134 “Wait for Me” released

The obvious lesson learned this time is that you either have a handyman or you need to do it yourself. Bear with me and see the results below. The Pan 0.134 release showcases work done by several volunteering people and awaited by a vivid community around the Pan USENET Newsreader.

By the way, the Pan Newsreader is one of the older FLOSS projects out there. As far as I can tell, it went public in July 1999 and the C++ rewrite beta series, which this release is part of, started back in 2006, again under the lead of Charles Kerr. 0.134 wouldn’t be possible without K. Haley who continued with the development after Charles ceased his active involvement in the project.

And last, but not least, C++ developers, translators, artists, testers and other contributors are most welcome!

0.134 “Wait for Me”

What is Pan?

Pan is a newsreader which attempts to be pleasing to both new and experienced users. In addition to the standard newsreader features, Pan also supports yEnc, offline newsreading, article filtering, multiple connections, and more.

It’s also the only Unix newsreader to get a perfect score on the Good Net-Keeping Seal of Approval evaluations.

About 0.134

This release brings a large number of feature improvements and bugfixes that have accumulated over the last 30 months of release hiatus. The code is based on the Pan bugfix & testing repository maintained by K. Haley and it is recommended for everyone using older versions of Pan to upgrade.

Changes since 0.133

  • Fix compilation with GCC 4.4. (Charles Kerr, #573722)
  • WARNING: setting an adjustment with non-zero page size is deprecated. (Charles Kerr, #579753)
  • No window icon when running in NZB-mode. (Charles Kerr, #574419)
  • Remove deprecated glib/gdk/gtk calls to prepare for GNOME 3. (Charles Kerr, #596648)
  • Use GRegex instead of PCRE. (Charles Kerr, #596653)
  • Tooltips missing from two ‘Post Article’ toolbar buttons. (Charles Kerr, #548860)
  • Infinite loop with server that doesn’t support LIST NEWSGROUPS. (Charles Kerr, #545220)
  • ‘Add port to server dialog’ — apply commits 862da67, af30418 from lostcoder. (K. Haley, Charles Kerr, #527313)
  • Support 64 bit article numbers. (Charles Kerr, #549655)
  • Don’t queue xover for 0 connections. (Charles Kerr, #596682)
  • Make wrapping honor changes in compose-wrap pref. (Charles Kerr, #596680)
  • Change nzb task saving delay & add pref. (Charles Kerr, #596683)
  • Port to GMime 2.4. (K. Haley, #541676)
  • Spawn editor asynchronously. (K. Haley, #465763)
  • Change allocation buffer for article tree. (K. Haley)
  • Save some more memory by re-ordering a few variables. (K. Haley)
  • Don’t save files as executable. (K. Haley)
  • Fix handling of multibyte spaces in text-massager. (K. Haley)
  • Re-write multipart handling for viewing. (K. Haley)
  • Change default mime-type for incoming attachments. (K. Haley, #135734)
  • Add some additional mime types. (K. Haley)
  • Add memchunk.h to (K. Haley)
  • GTK+ 2.16 required. (K. Haley)
  • Fix bug in multipart article mids. (K. Haley)
  • Add console support for windows. (K. Haley)
  • Update filter-info and scorefile-test to support non-overview headers. (K. Haley)
  • Skip non-overview test if not cached. (K. Haley)
  • Make ArticleCache::get_message const. (K. Haley)
  • Allow scoring article on all headers. (K. Haley)
  • Promote rescore_articles to data interface. (K. Haley)
  • Update score when article is cached. (K. Haley)
  • Add regex support to search. (Jack Cuyler, K. Haley, #351196)
  • Additional info for about & User-Agent. (K. Haley, #424083)
  • Add support for compiling with gmime-2.5. (K. Haley)
  • Allow subject line use in save path. (K. Haley, #403797)
  • Improve regexes used for squashing subject line. (K. Haley)
  • Reduce memory allocation for multiparts. (K. Haley)
  • Allow newsrc paths relative to PAN_HOME. (K. Haley)
  • Save tasks on exit. (K. Haley, #609355)
  • Always show full revision info in UA hdr. (K. Haley)
  • Remember size of post window. (K. Haley)
  • Add tests for subject line. (K. Haley)
  • Make separator user configurable. (K. Haley)
  • Replace deprecated gdk_pixmap_create_from_data. (K. Haley)
  • Add support for Face header. (K. Haley)
  • Fix crash possibly due to change in cairo. (K. Haley)
  • Change from GdkPixmap to GdkPixbuf. (K. Haley)
  • Remove deprecated function through gtk 2.18. (K. Haley)
  • Compatibility with -std=c++0x. (K. Haley)
  • Fix crash in gio_func on OSX. (K. Haley)
  • Updated translations: Arabic (Djihed Afifi), Brazilian Portuguese (Flamarion Jorge), Spanish (Jorge Gonzalez), Portuguese (Duarte Loreto), French (Claude Paroz, Bruno Brouard), Catalan (Joan Duran), German (Mario Blättermann, Andreas Kuhlen), Basque (Inaki Larranaga Murgoitio), Swedish (Daniel Nylander), Czech (Petr Kovar), Slovenian (Andrej Žnidaršič), Danish (Joe Hansen), Simplified Chinese (Aron Xu)

Localization Update for the 2010 Q4 GNOME Quarterly Report

Just a word of preface to fellow quarterly report writers: we still lack ca. 8 reports, so if you haven’t submit your update yet, now is the right time to do so. The deadline was postponed to February 4, 2011.

On October 16, Gil Forcada presented results of the GNOME I18N Survey which was referred to in the previous report. A brief analysis of the results was included.

Discussion on the possibility and feasibility of translating schema files within separated gettext domains or catalogs emerged from the survey analysis debate, as well as the point of localizing certain types of strings that are usually not user-visible. Especially the price of splitting limited resources within smaller translation teams was compared with the eventual need to make significant changes to the current GNOME i18n infrastructure and also to various module build systems.

With regard to the Release Team’s second proposal for moduleset reorganization from October 7, which would allow various software projects outside of the GNOME infrastructure to become officially endorsed GNOME software, members of the GNOME Translation Project expressed strong preference for working on l10n support within the GNOME official i18n and SCM infrastructure.

In the debate which spread over the gnome-18n and desktop-devel-list groups, GNOME translators were mainly concerned about translation quality, string freeze periods and release schedules, about expecting developers or maintainers to integrate translations manually to their respective repositories in a suitable, timely manner, and generally about changing the current module requirements by dropping them and/or making them optional for official GNOME software and GNOME developers.

Several proposals were made to (require to) allow the DL infrastructure on auto-commit translations to code repositories not hosted on, to migrate from the DL application altogether and replace it with Transifex, and generally to specify l10n requirements for official modules more narrowly and precisely. No final resolution was made in this regard.

Sysadmin work on DL auto-commit, providing translators a way to manage l10n support without interacting with Git system directly, was resumed during October and November. Furthermore, GTP members discussed options to integrate automatic QA checking with

There were also changes in coordination of the Persian and Romanian team in October and November, respectively.

Localization Update for the 2010 Q3 GNOME Quarterly Report

(As drafted on the gnome-i18n mailing list several days ago.)

On July 29, Andre Klapper represented the GNOME Translation Project at the AGM meeting at GUADEC with a Project update report. At GUADEC, he also gave a talk on “Identifying software projects and translation teams in need” where he provided an overview of interesting data combined & gathered from Damned Lies, GNOME Bugzilla and other relevant sources.

Gil Forcada, with the feedback from other community members, conducted the GNOME I18N Survey by sending a questionnaire on August 13 to every GTP language coordinator, and collecting answers for two weeks. Out of 120 coordinators, 36 answered. The rationale behind the survey was to know each other within the GNOME translation community better, and thus to find ways the GTP can improve the overall experience of translating GNOME.

The sent questionnaire consisted of more than 20 questions on various areas of community l10n in GNOME, e.g. inquiring about general team information, coordinatorship & membership, team workflow, QA processes, use & evaluation of GNOME Damned Lies infrastructure, collaborating with downstream translators, other translation teams, and language institutions, community knowledge sharing, etc.

As for the GNOME development itself, GTP language teams have been busy working on providing l10n support for the new GNOME stable release 2.32, which was delivered on September 29. GTP has been also investigating approaches to help out language teams that seemed to be considerably short on manpower and/or proper coordinatorship, this included the Persian and Welsh teams.

We also communicated with GNOME developers to try to solve i18n issues with translating strings within submodules, strings with constructed sentences, and some other problems that (re)appeared during the Q3 period.

During Q4, apart from working on l10n support for the upcoming GNOME 3, GTP community aims for identifying issues with the current i18n & l10n infrastructure inside and outside the GNOME Project, like the Git commit functionality, and solving them, hopefully implementing the necessary GTP support for repositories hosted at and elsewhere. This is to be done in conjunction with the Release Team’s proposal for moduleset reorganization.

It’s time to participate in the GNOME i18n survey

If you happen to be one of the GNOME Translation Project language team coordinators, and you haven’t done so yet, now is the right time to participate in the GNOME i18n survey conducted by Gil Forcada on behalf of the GNOME Translation Project!

The rationale behind this survey is that the GNOME i18n community (which the language team coordinators are naturally part of) wants to know better each other, so that the GNOME Translation Project can improve the overall experience of translating GNOME, as Gil outlined in his survey email. Some of you may remember that there was a similar survey conducted by an Ubuntu i18n community in the past which greatly inspired this effort.

On August 13, Gil sent out a plain text file with survey questions to all coordinators’ addresses we could gather. Nevertheless, only a fraction of coordinators have responded so far, so once again, in case you are one of the majority, please don’t hesitate to take a few moments to fill out the questionnaire! Or if you know any of those coordinators, please ping them! Yes, it’s quite important!

For those of you interested in knowing what the survey questions are, you can find them attached in the aforementioned Gil’s email, and a final draft is available on Also keep an eye there for results.

Interested in helping Pan?

Usenet may not be as popular as it used to be years ago, but this worldwide net definitely still has its users. According to Wikipedia, it was established in 1980, so Usenet users observe a nice anniversary this year. Given its popular stance throughout the Internet history, there exist, without much surprise, many FLOSS solutions to access Usenet, or to work with the NNTP. Using GNOME software, you can accomplish it e.g. with the official GNOME PIM Evolution.

And then there’s Pan, quite minimalist, HIG respecting, easy-to-use newsreader for GNOME, that has been developed for a decade. Unfortunately, owing to the limited time resources of the main Pan developer Charles Kerr (whom you might also know from the Transmission project), the Pan development has slowed down considerably during the last two or three years, and it’s now officially in hiatus.

The community around the newsreader will hopefully be able to organize itself enough to resume and continue with the active development in the Pan official repository hosted on Luckily for Pan users, there’s a competent developer K. Haley around who has been working on Pan during the last few years, although not in the official repository.

Anyway, what the project now needs is, preferably, a bunch of volunteers with interest in Usenet and NNTP who are willing to lend a hand and get involved in the project.

The much needed roles include:

  • a developer with experience in C++, to help out with the Pan main development, to review and accept patches that got accumulated during the years in the “Pan” product at,
  • possibly a developer who may be willing to  take over the maintainership in the future, once it is needed, or in case K. Haley will resolve to participate in the project not as the maintainer,
  • bug triagers, patch reviewers, testers,
  • people who are willing to work on user documentation and Pan website that might be migrated from its current location, and which is in serious need of getting up-to-date; I, for myself, am willing to work on these and will appreciate any help,
  • translators who are thankfully willing to work on Pan without break, as the last commits to the official Pan repository are those from the GNOME Translation Project members,
  • users, users, users.

If interested, please contact the Pan community that gather together on the following mailing lists:

Naturally, as with other FLOSS projects, every help and every contributor is welcome. TIA.

Localization Update for the 2010 Q2 GNOME Quarterly Report

(As discussed on the gnome-i18n mailing list.)

Various localization teams that are part of the GNOME Translation Project continued with focusing their localization effort on stable GNOME 2.30.1 and 2.30.2 releases which were released on April 28 and June 23, respectively. Localization teams will proceed further with working on localization for the upcoming GNOME 3 release.

GNOME translation community that gather together on the gnome-i18n mailing list discussed and conducted common translation project administrivia, including assistance in changing coordinators in several localization teams, the most notable case being the Slovak translation team, in which several translators expressed their discontent with the current way of coordination. The issue was thoroughly discussed within the Coordination Team in order to mediate the dispute and was settled down in the beginning of July when the current Slovak coordinator announced his resignation.

Among other things discussed was the legal issue of whether translators who are not legal experts should translate legal notices or license texts that usually come with the free software distribution. This topic was further discussed on the GNOME legal-list with Luis Villa.

Also, there was a change done in the structure of the GNOME Translation Project coordination. Previously, the project was formally led by two Spokes Persons who were also senior members of the extended Coordination Team. Now, the Spokes Person status has been obsoleted in favor of a larger Coordination Team.

For string freeze break requests during the GNOME Desktop development cycle, developers are now required to obtain the approval from two members of the Coordination Team. The Coordination Team that now consists of 11 members will also seek ways to improve the responsiveness about requests.

One of the important tasks that the GNOME Translation Project intends to accomplish during Q3 is completing the implementation of Git commit support through the infrastructure running on

Czech GNOME LUG nonsuccess

A member of the Czech GNOME community once had a promising idea to strengthen and organize user community in our country (and possibly also counting in people from the neighboring Slovakia) at a common place where interested visitors could find various information on the GNOME Project, and on what could be called as a GNOME software ecosystem, on its developers and, in particular, end users. This all provided in their local language, and considering needs and concerns of the local user group. It was nothing new, after all, we knew about similar local groups that have been very active in, e.g., Asia or Hispanic world.

But contrary to the vital successful ones, the Czech group (or what was meant to be the Czech group) soon showed its limits. I assume that this GNOME LUG attempt failed mainly due to the quantitative factor: in a country with 10 million people, the FLOSS community may be seen as strong and vital enough, probably thanks in part to a distinct tradition of higher technical education (in the country that has been continuously attracting many ICT businesses from 90s on, including those well-known in the FLOSS world), but in the end, it showed that it’s not enough for an enthusiastic individual or a handful of people with interest in a minority software to be able to form an organized group.

Instead of that, Czech and Slovak people who want to read or communicate about FLOSS tend to frequent two or three major Czech FLOSS-oriented websites with a standard set of social networking services. In addition to that, the only viable FLOSS websites beside the major ones are those aimed at “downstream” projects, i.e. distributions, operating systems or productivity software end-user support. This might be a significant drawback for upstream and much more “generic” projects like GNOME in general: users are aware of the distribution they are running, but they don’t know much about exactly what desktop environment they use. Nor they seem to care that much, after all.

So to make long story short, we had (and still have, for what it’s worth) a LUG-supporting website, but we quickly learned that such a website is merely unable to attract its potential users. That being said, for our Czech case, it wasn’t very helpful, either, that the project was planned and realized more or less as a one-man-show, with its primary and sole author not allowing website visitors to actively participate on and contributing to website content, thus making it hardly interactive, making it less like what many call Web 2.0 nowadays.

The author was ultimately able to work on the website for less than a year, from Summer 2008 to April 2009, with the last published news commenting the GNOME 2.26 release. Since then, the website has been dead as in never coming back.

Open Source Conference in Zilina and Slovak localization

From Thursday July 1 to Sunday July 4, I attended a local open source conference in the Slovak city of Zilina. The conference was called Otvorený softvér vo vzdelávaní, výskume a v IT riešeniach 2010 (i.e. “Open Source Software in Education, Research and IT Solutions 2010”). Unlike the conference of the same name last year, this year it was being organized by a Slovak open source society Spoločnosť pre Otvorené Informačné Technológie (“Society for Open Source Information Technologies”), held at a local university campus, and sponsored by e.g. HP or Red Hat.

Organizers thought not only of a highly specialized event for technical academia, but also of a convenient place to let the open source community gather together. Since todays Slovakia has (still) so much in common with the Czech Republic (and this is far from being only a language thing, i.e. the fact that Slovak and Czech languages are mutually intelligible), representatives from both countries were present, and it was nice to see the omnipresent language switching during both the official conference program and past-conference informal social events.

As for my presence at the conference, it all began in the spring when on various places throughout the Slovak and Czech technology-oriented websites and online communities, people started to express discontent with some parts of the Slovak FLOSS localization, and, particularly, with the translation quantity and very much related work flow issues that evolved within the GNOME Slovak translation team. For what it’s worth, a little later this was also brought to attention of the general GNOME translation community by one of the Slovak translators who also attended the Zilina conference. Eventually, the Slovak case was discussed thoroughly by the GNOME Translation Project coordinators and settled down with Slovak coordinator stepping down from his role in the beginning of July.

But back to my participation. I discussed the described issue with Czech FLOSS advocate Vlastimil Ott (see his summary report from the conference, and some pictures) and with Slovak organizer Miloš Šrámek of the mentioned Slovak Society, and I was invited to take part in the event, as they previously decided on devoting one of the conference days to FLOSS localization. I was generously sponsored by organizers to be able to attend the event and give a talk on FLOSS localization on Saturday morning. (Thank you!) Miloš Šrámek also approached many of the Slovak FLOSS translators and invited them to Zilina. Though not many of them visited us on Saturday eventually, the event generally went good among the organizers, presenters, and audience who were actively participating in the subsequent debate.

We concluded the debate with similar points that were outlined in the linked GNOME Slovak case resolution. Also, we identified a persistent issue with how the Slovak FLOSS translation community is organized (or, better say, disorganized). During the debate, Miloš Šrámek offered a proposal of setting up a centralized place to gather the translation community together, and to begin work on common fundamental terminology, glossaries and translation memories, much similar to what the Czech project is or tries to be nowadays. The possibility of operating local instance of the Pootle server to help mainly beginners, at least partially, with the localization process was also discussed.

Hopefully, some willing Slovak translator or, better, group of translators will volunteer to put this much viable idea into action soon.