GNOME and Endless have two similar apps, GNOME Recipes and Endless Cooking. Recipes specializes in sharing recipes between its users, by allowing them to add new recipes from the app, but the way it distributes the content is rudimentary. On the other hand, Cooking, specializes in distributing existing recipes. The distribution of this content is done with the Endless Knowledge framework and is used successfully in dozens of other Endless apps but, it is not possible to contribute new recipes from the app.
Based on that, it was clear that both teams had a lot to share and learn from each other so, we held a hackfest at the University of AMIKOM in Yogyakarta, which kindly provided everything we needed.
From the GNOME Recipes team we had Matthias, Emel and Ekta, from the Endless team we had Philip, Emmanuele, Cosimo, Jonathan and me, and from the community we had Umang, Ahmad, Kukuh and Siska. We also had students attendants from the university.
On the first day of the hackfest both teams showed their apps. These presentations helped everyone in the room to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each app and, more importantly, to present the topics that we wanted to cover during the hackfest. The main conclusion of this session was that Recipes should use the Endless content library, and that we would aim to have this for GUADEC. Additionally, Philip did a demo about the Endless content libraries, taking an existing online content source and having it running in a native app. We also discussed ways of introducing more recipes from the local community into Recipes.
On the second day, we moved to the details of the front-end. Emmanuele talked about Emeus which triggered the discussions about the Layouts and Cards from the Endless Knowlegde framework. The conclusion was that it would beneficial to separate the Card implementation from the framework so it could be reused in other places like the Recipes app, GNOME Software and even other components of the Endless desktop. After that, we moved on hacking things. Philip started to reproduce the Recipes UI using the Endless framework, while I started converting the Recipes database into an Endless framework content.
On the last day, we showed what we hacked the previous day. I started by showing the converted Recipes database running in different Endless apps, Cosimo showed a Karaoke app that he bundled using flatpak, and Philip showed his recreation of the Recipes UI running with the converted database that I made, which looked incredibly similar and amazing.
This exercise of recreating the Recipes app using the Endless framework was extremely helpful, because it revealed the places where we should improve our libraries to make these more flexible for new types of contents. On a personal level, this was the most productive hackfest I have attended. It gave me new directions on how to improve the tools that I am working on. Plus, it helped me to connect and to meet with a lot of new people from the community.
I really want to thank the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my travel to Indonesia, from Paraguay, and to my employer Endless for giving me the time to attend to the hackfest.