April 26, 2011

After a Successful First Round, GNOME Project Announces new Outreach Program for Women Interns

April 26, 2011 — BOSTON, Mass. — The GNOME 3.0 release has far more contributions by women than any previous release in GNOME history. This is largely thanks to the hard work of the first round of the Outreach Program for Women interns, who participated in the program from December 15, 2010 to March 15, 2011. All eight participants had their work included in the main branches of their projects and therefore included in GNOME 3.0. Following on the heels of the successful first round, the GNOME Project is delighted to announce the participants of a new round of the Outreach Program for Women internships.

The accomplishments of the first round participants make everyone in the GNOME community proud:

  • Luciana Fujii Pontello made Cheese webcam application capabilities available to other applications as a stand-alone library, and Laura Elisa Lucas Alday added support for SVG overlay effects and made a number of usability improvements. On completing her internship, Luciana Fujii Pontello became the maintainer of the Cheese project.
  • Tiffany Antopolski and Natalia Ruz wrote a large amount of GNOME 3 user help and participated in the User Help Hackfest in Toronto in March.
  • Chandni Verma made numerous improvements to the multi-user chat in Empathy, participated in the GNOME 3.0 Hackfest, and delivered a well-received talk about her work at the GNOME.Asia Summit in Bangalore in April.
  • Hellyna Ng implemented multiple features for notifications in GNOME Shell.
  • Eugenia Gabrielova made major improvements to searching in the Anjuta IDE, and Nanci de Brito Bonfim improved debugger integration.

Thanks to generous sponsors, Collabora, Google, Mozilla and the GNOME Foundation, GNOME was able to accept eight strong candidates for the new round. These eight women from North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia will be working on GNOME documentation, accessibility, art and localization from May 23 to August 22, 2011.

In addition to the eight Outreach Program for Women participants, the GNOME Project accepted seven female participants for Google Summer of Code, out of a total of 27 participants. This is an unprecedented number of female participants in Google Summer of Code for GNOME. In fact, the women’s outreach effort in GNOME was originally motivated by the lack of female applicants for Google Summer of Code. Scheduling the two internship programs to run in parallel allowed GNOME to encourage women who qualified for Google Summer of Code to apply for it as well. All women who applied for Google Summer of Code in 2011 found mentors and project ideas, made a first contribution, and navigated the application process with the help of the resources available through the Outreach Program for Women.

Cat Allman, Program Manager at the Open Source Programs Office at Google, says: “In a perfect world, outreach programs like the GNOME Outreach Program for Women would not be necessary. Until then, Google is proud to help support the work of the GNOME Project to involve more women in Free and Open Source Software development, and its continued participation in Google Summer of Code.”

“We were impressed by the accomplishments of Luciana Fujii Pontello and Chandni Verma, who we mentored in the previous round,” says Robert McQueen, Director and Co-Founder of Collabora. “We are happy to continue our support of this excellent initiative from the GNOME Project with both our sponsorship and mentorship.”

Mozilla joins Google and Collabora this year as a corporate sponsor of the program. “Mozilla is thrilled to be able to sponsor some promising new talent in the area of accessibility,” says David Bolter, Senior Software Engineer at Mozilla and a mentor for the program. “I really look forward to working with these dedicated and capable interns and helping them achieve great results.”

After completing the previous round as an intern and becoming the maintainer of the Cheese project, Luciana Fujii Pontello will be mentoring this round’s Google Summer of Code participant Raluca Elena Podiuc. “The GNOME Outreach Program for Women was crucial in my becoming a GNOME contributor,” says Fujii Pontello. “I believe it can bring more women to contribute to Free Software and I am happy to help this goal by mentoring one talented woman in Google Summer of Code.”

All of the accepted participants have used GNOME before, are avid Free Software users, and made a substantive contribution to GNOME as part of the application process. The participants will work remotely from home, guided by a mentor and communicating with other contributors over Internet Relay Chat (IRC). The community will be able to follow participants’ progress through their blog updates about their work that will be aggregated on Planet GNOME.

The Outreach Program for Women interns, as well as their location, project, and mentor(s), are:

  • Aline Duarte Bessa, Salvador, Brazil – Accessibility, Documentation – David Bolter and Joanmarie Diggs
  • Meg Ford, Chicago, USA – Accessibility, Art – David Bolter and Andreas Nilsson
  • Ekaterina Gerasimova, Berlin, Germany – Documentation – Shaun McCance
  • Julita Inca, Lima, Peru – Documentation – Phil Bull
  • Yu Liansu, Beijing, China – Art – Andreas Nilsson
  • Priscilla Mahlangu, Pretoria, South Africa – Localization – Friedel Wolff
  • Anita Reitere, Riga, Latvia – Documentation – Phil Bull
  • Kelly Sinnott, Las Vegas, USA – Documentation – Shaun McCance

Google Summer of Code female interns, as well as their location, project, and mentor, are:

  • Tiffany Antopolski, Toronto, Canada – Empathy – Danielle Madeley
  • Tamara Atanasoska, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia – Anjuta – Johannes Schmid
  • Neha Doijode, Karnataka, India – GNOME Shell – Marina Zhurakhinskaya
  • Nohemi Fernandez, Chicago, USA – GNOME Shell – Dan Winship
  • Raluca Elena Podiuc, Bucharest, Romania – Cheese – Luciana Fujii Pontello
  • Srishti Sethi, Rajasthan, India – GCompris – Bruno Coudoin
  • Madhumitha Viswanathan, Chennai, India – GTG – Luca Invernizzi

The Outreach Program for Women is organized by Marina Zhurakhinskaya, with help and support from Máirín Duffy, Stormy Peters, Rosanna Yuen and the GNOME Board of Directors. The essential work is done by the program’s mentors in helping the applicants and eventual participants contribute to their projects. Out of the eight Outreach Program for Women participants, three are being sponsored by the GNOME Foundation, two by Google, two by Mozilla, and one by Collabora. For more information about the Outreach Program for Women, visit http://projects.gnome.org/outreach/women .

The GNOME Project was started in 1997 by two then-university students, Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero. Their aim: to produce a free (as in freedom) desktop environment. Since then, GNOME has grown into a hugely successful enterprise. Used by millions of people across the world, it is the most popular desktop environment for GNU/Linux and UNIX-type operating systems. The desktop has been utilized in successful, large-scale enterprise and public deployments, and the project’s developer technologies are utilized in a large number of popular mobile devices.

For further comments and information, contact the GNOME press contact team at gnome-press-contact@gnome.org.