Quarterly Report Q1, 2010

Board of Directors

Brian Cameron

First of all, the GNOME Foundation board of directors would like to express a huge thank you to all the volunteers who help to make the GNOME community possible, and to all those who use the GNOME desktop and understand the value of free software on the desktop. It is you that makes the GNOME community both rich and rewarding.

In Q1, the GNOME community has gone through some significant organizational changes. Lucas Rocha stepped down from the board to spend more time with his family and new baby and Behdad Esfahbod stepped down because other interests were consuming too much of his time. Jorge Castro and Paul Cutler have stepped up to replace Lucas and Behdad. A warm welcome to the new board members and the board wishes to thank both Lucas and Behdad for the years of dedicated service towards the GNOME community. We wish Lucas the best with his family and Behdad with his future endeavors. Also, Willie Walker is stepping down as the GNOME accessibility team lead. The board would like to thank Willie for all of his dedicated help over the years and wishes him the best for the future.

On March 31, the board was excited to announce the successful release of GNOME 2.30, the latest stable release of the popular Free Software desktop environment and applications suite. The next release will be the highly anticipated GNOME 3 release. The board is working hard to ensure it will be a success.

Much energy in Q1 has been focused on planning for the GUADEC 2010 event which will be held in The Hague, Netherlands from July 26-30. The GUADEC 2010 website is looking handsome and is now live at http://www.guadec.org/. Planning is going smoothly and the talk schedule will soon be made public. GUADEC organizers have made a call for volunteers on February 1st, so please consider volunteering to help if you can.

The board reached an agreement to have a training session at GUADEC which will be run by Neary Consulting. The fee will be approximately ???1,500 per person. The training session will consists of full two-day sessions before the event covering the following topics:

  1. Development tools, including source control, profiling, IDE integration, and maybe a word on mobile development environments;
  2. Overview of the GNOME Platform;
  3. Best technical practices for GNOME development – a practical half-day development workshop where people have an assignment to accomplish; and
  4. Social issues of free software development – working with the upstream community, using community mailing lists effectively, evaluating risks associated with community governance, etc.

 

This will be a joint-venture, where the GNOME Foundation will earn 40% and Neary Consulting will earn 60% of the revenues. Neary Consulting will be in charge of contracting teachers, preparing the training material, marketing, etc. and GNOME Foundation will provide branding, support, and quality control. The training materials will be released with a free license.

The board has also been working hard to organize relevant hackfests to prepare and plan for the GNOME 3 release. In Q1 the GNOME Foundation helped to organize The GNOME Usability Hackfest in London (February 22-26), the Desktop Help Hackfest in Chicago (March 20-21), and the Accessibility Hackfest at the CSUN conference in San Diego (March 23-27).

In Q1, the GNOME community has been working to improve infrastructure and has made progress with adopting a new CRM system, though more work is needed. The Foundation is now conducting regular public IRC meetings to encourage more community involvement in GNOME Foundation business. The new Friends of GNOME donation ruler was successfully launched and has made a significant impact towards improving fundraising towards hiring a GNOME system administrator.

In February, the GNOME Foundation received a substantial $10,000 (US$) donation from the Mozilla Corporation to benefit GNOME accessibility. The board would like to thank the Mozilla Corporation for promoting this humanitarian project and we are excited to have the resources to further promote software that breaks barriers that would otherwise prevent people from being able to make use of free desktop software.

On March 16th, the GNOME Foundation and KDE e.V. boards decided to co-locate their flagship conferences once again in 2011, and are now taking bids to host the combined event. This follows on the successful 2009 Gran Canaria Desktop Summit and will again provide both communities with the opportunity for both communities to share talks, work together to improve free desktop software, and socialize.

Looking forward to the next quarter, the board anticipates that a significant amount of energy will be spent planning for GUADEC and helping to ensure the success of GNOME 3 which is planned for release in September. The board is continuing to plan hackfests for the next quarter including a GSettings hackfest in Boston, USA (April 12-17), a Python Bindings hackfest in Boston, USA (April 14-18), and another Marketing hackfest in Zaragoza, Spain (May 5-7). To further outreach to developing nations, the GNOME community is planning to have a presence at FOSS Nigeria in Kano, Nigeria (April 23-25) and the Idlelo open source event in Accra, Ghana (May 17-21).

Please consider becoming a Friend of GNOME. Your donations really do help the GNOME Foundation continue to grow and provide support and services for the success of the GNOME project.

http://www.gnome.org/friends/

The board is always looking for people willing to help with different tasks. If you are interested, we encourage you to get in touch with the GNOME board of directors (board@gnome.org) to discuss the best way for you to get involved.

Release Team

Vincent Untz

The main focus in the beginning of 2010 was the final sprint towards the last major release of the GNOME 2.x cycle. With two development releases, two beta releases, one release candidate, the start of all the usual freezes and a good number of freeze break requests, the three months of Q1 illustrated well the broad work accomplished by the whole community for GNOME 2.30.0. This effort lead to the successful release of 2.30.0 on March 29th. The release notes highlight some of the new features or good improvements in this release: sending files easily to contacts, improved file management, better experience for instant messaging, dbus-based gnome-keyring (using a protocol that will be shared with KDE), etc.

Obviously, the release team did not just work on getting GNOME 2.30.0 out, but also laid some foundations for the next cycle. As a first step, an initial draft of the 2.31/3.0 development cycle was published, and after some adjustments, got announced. Continuing our long-standing tradition of six-months release cycles, GNOME 3.0.0 will be out on September 29th.

The period for new module proposals opened in February, with some initial discussion from the community. This instance is obviously a bit different compared to previous module proposal periods since the next release is GNOME 3.0 and the new modules will receive even more spotlight than usual. The proposed modules include the expected clutter and gnome-shell, as well as various applications: deja-dup (a backup tool), mousetrap (an accessibility tool to control the mouse cursor), pdfmod (an application to modify PDF files), rygel (a collection of DLNA services) and simple-scan (a scanning tool). Other modules might still get proposed as the period for module proposals closes at the beginning of May.

An important area the release team wanted to explore for 3.0 is the reorganization of the modulesets. As of today, we have the Platform, the Desktop, the Bindings, the Administrator Suite and the Developer Tools. This model has served us well and has actually evolved with time (we didn’t have the Administrator Suite and the Developer Tools at first). However, we feel that this organization is reaching its limits, and we have explored several potential changes. A sample of issues illustrate the need for an evolution here. First, the arbitrary separation between the Platform and the Bindings can lead people to think that the bindings are second-class citizen while this is certainly not the case. Another issue that we want to address is that the Desktop set has expanded so much that it’s now unclear which type of application should go in and which shouldn’t; it’s also forcing us to choose one application over another, or to avoid this choice, like in the famous Rhythmbox vs Banshee case. Moreover, we strongly believe that we should encourage a strong ecosystem of applications around GNOME, and integrating all applications in the GNOME Desktop moduleset is not the best way to achieve this.

In the next quarter, GNOME will release two 2.30 stable releases, effectively marking the end of the 2.x cycle. Of course, most of the community is already heavily involved in the 2.31 development cycle that will lead to GNOME 3.0 a few months after GUADEC!

Bugsquad Team

Andre Klapper

From January to March, 8547 reports (bugs + feature requests) were opened and 7776 were closed.

Top bug closers were Akhil Laddha (598 reports), Fabio Dur??n Verdugo (391), Tobias Mueller (314), J??rg Billeter (274) and Guillaume Desmottes (237).

Top bug reporters were Akhil Laddha (91 reports), Bastien Nocera (78), Jean-Fran??ois Fortin Tam (76), Reinout van Schouwen (70), and William Jon McCann (68).

Apart from business as usual there has been no other activity.

Marketing Team

Paul Cutler

The Marketing team has been busy brainstorming GNOME 3.0 marketing activities which will be worked on at the upcoming Marketing Hackfest in Zaragoza, Spain the first week of May. Discussion has centered around answering the question “What is GNOME 3.0″ including the impact of GNOME Shell, new and updated applications on the GNOME Desktop and potential promotional videos to show users the changes.

In addition to GNOME 3.0 planning the GNOME Press Team welcomed a new team lead in Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier, Andreas Nilsson was instrumental in launching the new GNOME store at http://www.zazzle.com/gnome, Lucas Rocha and Andreas Nilsson helped with the Sysadmin fundraising campaign and the ruler on various GNOME websites and the new gnome.org website saw a number of content updates as it gets closer to launching later this year.

Lastly, GNOME Journal saw two issues released in the first quarter. Issue 18 was a special edition focused on Multimedia with reviews of PiTiVi and Banshee, an interiew with Jonathan Thomas, creator of OpenShot and an article focusing on writing multimedia applications with Vala. Issue 19 released in late March featured an interview with Juan Jos?? S??nchez Penas of the GNOME Advisory Board, opportunistic development, an overview of Mallard, an article about the GNOME Miro Community and a case study on the recent GNOME Bugzilla upgrade.

Usability Team

Calum Benson

The main focus for the usability team this quarter has been organising, attending, and working on tasks arising from the week-long GNOME User Experience Hackfest that was held in London in February. The hackfest was sponsored by Canonical, Google, and the GNOME Foundation, with Canonical’s London office also being the venue.

It was one of the largest GNOME hackfests ever organised, with around 30 attendees over the week. As such, many topics were covered, including:

  • ongoing design and development of gnome-shell for GNOME 3.0
  • brainstorming of nautilus file manager improvements
  • planning updates to the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines
  • discussion of control center enhancements (including card sorting sessions with external participants)
  • a new icon style for GNOME 3.0
  • improving designer and developer awareness of accessibility issues
  • how best to present usability findings to developers
  • improving communication and workflow between GNOME designers working in different locations and companies

 

Thanks to M??ir??n Duffy from Red Hat, and Robby Clements and Josh Adams from Isotope 11, the latter of these discussions has spawned a new project called Design Hub:http://live.gnome.org/UsabilityProject/Whiteboard/DesignHub

Pointers to most of the blog output that was produced during the hackfest can be found on Brian Cameron’s blog:http://blogs.sun.com/yippi/entry/gnome_usability_hackfest_write_up.

Accessibility Team

Bryen Yunashko

The GNOME Accessibility (A11y) team has had a number of developments in the past quarter. The biggest event was when many of us travelled to San Diego in March of 2010 to participate in the first ever GNOME A11y Hackfest and to man GNOME Foundation’s booth at the CSUN Accessibility Technology conference. This was organized by Eitan Isaacson and made possible through the generous grant from the Mozilla Foundation. Many of the Hackfest sessions were led by Willie Walker.

The Hackfest largely focused on team organization and priorities for the upcoming GNOME 3.0 release. And the conference booth exposed many people unfamiliar with FOSS to the benefits of using a GNOME desktop for their accessibility needs.

Individually, we’ve seen contribution and development continue to grow.

  • MouseTrap ??? Useability improvements have been made and joystick mode was restored. Focus on translattion from python to C++ for better performance. This effort was led by Flavio Percoli
  • Caribou – Continues to receive excellent contributions from the community. Ben Konrath and Steve Lee joined forces on a hackfest competition between UCLA and USC universities to improve Caribou. This contest was sponsored by Project Possibility.
  • WebKitGTK+ Accessibility ??? Strides in accessibility continue with the contributions from Joanmarie Diggs, Xan Lopez, and interns from Igalia.
  • Orca ??? Bug fixes continue to be implemented and towards the end of the quarter, Joanmarie Diggs assumed maintainership role for the Orca community.
  • Outreach ??? Bryen Yunashko took on the task of forming an GNOME A11y Outreach initiative to spread the word about the benefits of GNOME Accessibility and bring more user adoption and avenues for contributions to a11y development.

 

For the next quarter, the team intends to focus primarily on accessibility for GNOME 3.0/GNOME Shell as well as working with projects like Project Possibility, HFOSS.org, and others to form strong partnership with students developing their skills around accessibility technology.

There is great concern about the accessibilty of GNOME 3.0, and folks like Joseph Scheuhammer and Alejandro Pi??eiro continue to give it their attention. The roadmap for GNOME Shell accessibility can be found athttp://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell/RoadmapTwoThirtyOne#Accessibility

Documentation Team

Shaun McCance

In the first quarter of 2010, the documentation team completed four Mallard documents for the GNOME 2.30 desktop. They began planning on other help documents, and helped plan and write help for applications not in the official GNOME release.

Shaun hosted the Desktop Help Summit, a small gathering of key documentation people from GNOME, KDE, XFCE, Fedora, and Ubuntu. The Summit helped us understand what problems distributors are having, and how we provide documentation that better reflects what our users actually use.

At the Summit, Shaun and Richard Johnson (KDE) created a proposal for a common place to install documentation and a standard way to reference it. This will help third-party developers integrate with the desktop, and it will help distributors create and manage common documentation.

After the Summit, Shaun, Phil, and Milo had a planning session for the new Mallard-based help for 3.0. They focused on Internet connectivity and file management.

Phil has been talking with the Ubuntu team about using Mallard, and how GNOME’s use of Mallard affects Ubuntu. The Ubuntu documentation team seems largely positive. There are some concerns which are being discussed and handled by the community..

GNOME Mobile

Dave Neary

Third party related news: Intel & Nokia announce MeeGo project and make initial source release (based on GNOME Mobile). Current MeeGo architecture/components design is shown here: http://meego.com/developers/meego-architecture

Nokia have proposed budget to GNOME to enable porting of GNOME applications to MeeGo – we are still brainstorming how to spend the money.

GNOME Events

Stormy Peters (Looking for a new author!)

We had some great hackfests and events with a GNOME presense in the first quarter of 2010. For more information on the hackfests, you can check out the website, http://live.gnome.org/Hackfests.

  • GNOME devroom and GNOME Mobile at FOSDEM 2010, February 6-7, 2010
  • 2010 Workshop on the Future of Research on Free/Open Source Software, February 9-11
  • Usability Hackfest, London (UK), February 22-26
  • Panel at Open Mobility, San Francisco (CA, USA), March 9-10
  • Talks at Libre Planet, Boston (MA, USA), March 19-21
  • Desktop Help Hackfest, Chicago (IL, USA), March 20-21
  • Accessibility Hackfest, San Diego (CA, USA), March 22-27
  • GNOME Booth at CSUN, San Diego (CA, USA), March 22-27

 

In the second quarter of 2010 we are planning:

  • GNOME Booth at Texas Linux Fest, Austin (TX, USA), April 10
  • Python Bindings Hackfest, Boston (MA, USA), April 14-18
  • Desktop Track, Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, San Francisco (CA, USA), April 14-16
  • GSettings Hackfest, Boston (MA, USA), April 12-17
  • GNOME Hispano, Encuento en Sevilla 2010, Sevilla (Spain), May 1-2
  • Marketing Hackfest, Zaragoza (Spain), May 5-7
  • GNOME booth, user group and talks at ENSOL, Brazil, May 6-9
  • GNOME training and booth at IDLELO, Ghana, May 17-21
  • GNOME track at Linuxtag, Berlin (Germany), June 9-12
  • GNOME talks at OSS Watch, Oxford (UK), June 23-25

 

Finances

Germ??n P??o-Caama??o

Income
Total
$204,275 Total Income
Friends of GNOME
$9,587 Friends of GNOME
Accessibility
$10,000 Mozilla
Advisory Board Fees
$70,000 2010
$10,000 2009
Events
$1,000 Boston Summit
$1,000 GNOME Asia
$3,929 GUADEC (2009)
Income Affiliate Programs
$111.22 Amazon
Hackfests
$3,875 Hackfests
One time donation
$7,213 One time donation
Other
$14,150 Google Summer of Code
$73,350 Corporate Donations
$60 Interest – Bank
Expenses
Total
$69,543 Total Expenses
Accessibility
$6,000 Contracts
Hackfests
$4,337 Hackfests
Events
$196 Event Box US
$7,798 GNOME Asia
$582 GUADEC (2009)
$2049 Other Events
Administrative
$364 Bank fees
$5956 401K Plan/Wages
$13,020 Payroll taxes/Wages
$818 Medicare/Wages
$35 Office supplies
$24,961 Wages
Other expenses
$3,438 Other expenses

Travel Committee

Bharath Acharya

GNOME started the year 2010 with a great vision for GNOME3 and kick started the year with the Usability and Accessibility Hackfests.

The Travel Committee sponsored 2 contributors for the Usability Hackfest held in London. They were sponsored for their airfare and also the accommodation. You can read more about this Hackfest athttp://live.gnome.org/UsabilityProject/London2010 We also sponsored contributors for the Accessibility Hackfest in San Diego. With some last minute additions and changes, we managed to sponsor 8 of them. The details on the a11y hackfest can be found at http://live.gnome.org/Accessibility/Hackfest2010.

The hackfest organizers have done a great job of aggregating all the blogs. You could read on all the developments athttp://live.gnome.org/Hackfests

The Travel Committee started Q1 with a goal to clear off all the pending reimbursements, and by the first week of April we did achieve it. We reviewed all the previous applications, collected the invoices from all the sponsored contributors and had them reimbursed within a week. This closes the chapter for 2009. The Travel Committee also made its announcement of accepting sponsorship requests for GUADEC 2010.

Membership & Elections Committee

Tobias Mueller

The GNOME membership and elections committee has processed 24 applications for a Foundation Membership and 20 applications for renewing a previous existing membership. During the same period, 13 members did not renew their membership and thus dropped out. We ended up with 370 members (+12 to the previous quarter).

Our new members are:

  • Adam Janos Reviczky
  • Thibault Saunier
  • Marc-Andre Lureau
  • Jeff Schroeder
  • James Vasile
  • Ke Wang
  • David Schlesinger
  • Benjamin Konrath
  • Frank Solensky
  • Bradley M. Kuhn
  • Joanmarie Diggs
  • Jim Evins
  • Juan Jose Marin Martinez
  • Holger Berndt
  • Scott Balneaves
  • Alexandre Franke
  • Koen Martens
  • Hylke Bons
  • Tomeu Vizoso
  • Xabier Rodriguez Calvar
  • Nils-Christoph Fiedler
  • Simon Van der Linden
  • Zhang Sen
  • Jean-Fran??ois Fortin Tam

 

You can see a full list of members at http://foundation.gnome.org/membership/members.php.

If you have any further question, do not hesitate to ask us on membership-committee@gnome.org.

Women Outreach

Marina Zhurakhinskaya

Several women from GNOME participated in a very successful track on women in free software at the LibrePlanet conference hosted by FSF on March 19-21 in Cambridge, MA. It was a great opportunity to meet women from other free software projects and discuss the strategies for recruiting and retaining women in free software. In addition, M??ir??n Duffy made a presentation about GIMP and Inkscape and Marina Zhurakhinskaya made a presentation about GNOME Shell.

We have encouraged women to apply for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) with GNOME this year by e-mailing the GNOME women mailing list, spreading the word on Facebook, identi.ca, and Twitter, and e-mailing the individual women who got in touch with us through the outreach program. In the end, there were five women applicants for GSoC with GNOME this year – two of them originally got in touch with us through the outreach program and three applied on their own. We guided all of them through the application process, matched them up with projects and mentors, and provided application feedback. The selection process is still underway.

In the next quarter we look forward to supporting the selected GSoC participant(s). We’ll keep up our efforts to encourage women participation in GNOME by making it more obvious that the mentors participating in the Outreach Program for Women are happy to help women get started with the projects any time throughout the year and following up with interested women.

Art Team

Hylke Bons

The Art Team has been quite active this quarter.

Lapo Calamandrei and Jakub Steiner delivered the finishing touches of GNOME’s new icon theme, which has been under development for a couple of years now. It is great that we can finally see this work released in GNOME 2.30. With that comes a whole new set of high resolution icons. A lot of icon improvements have also been contributed by the broader community.

Vinicius Depizzol has been doing a lot beautiful design work for the new GNOME and GUADEC websites.

At the User Experience Hackfest, Garrett LeSage, Jakub Steiner and Hylke Bons made the first steps towards a new visual style and theme for GNOME 3.0 and gnome-shell, including a symbolic icon set. Thomas Wood and Benjamin Berg started creating the technical foundations needed to make these designs a reality.

Andreas Nilsson released a banner for GNOME 2.30 and did the new GNOME Store website layout,http://www.zazzle.com/gnome.

The Art Team also did the Sys Admin Fundraising Campaign ruler and the Thank You banner.

In addition to that the Art Team has been working on refreshing old assets that are scattered across the desktop.

System Administration Team

Paul Cutler

The Sysadmin Team was happy to welcome to new members in 2010, Christer Edwards and Ray Wang. In the first three months of the year, the Sysadmin team worked on deploying a new server (Combobox) graciously donated to the GNOME Foundation by Jeff Schroeder who is also on the Sysadmin team.

In addition, the Sysadmin team upgraded Openfire for jabber.gnome.org, Postfix was updated to reduce spam and a number of closed mailing lists were removed.

Website

Lucas Rocha

Content is still being worked out.

Johannes will be fixing front to match expected design soon.