Quarterly Report Q3, 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 you volunteers who help to make the GNOME community possible. 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. Thank you to our advisory board members and sponsors for providing much valued direction for the community.

This has been a busy quarter for The GNOME Foundation. Highlights include:

  • The GNOME Foundation hired a new system administrator. We would like to welcome Christer Edwards to this new role.
  • The GNOME community was proud to announce the release of GNOME 2.32 on September 29th, 2010.
  • To promote free online web services, the GNOME Foundation announced an alpha for Tomboy Online on September 17th, 2010. GUADEC 2010 in The Hague (July 26-30) was a huge success with a terrific venue. This GUADEC provided a much needed opportunity to plan for the upcoming GNOME 3 release. At this GUADEC it was announced that the release date for GNOME 3 slipped until April 2011. The consensus of the GNOME community was that this rescheduling will significantly benefit the quality of the GNOME 3 release.
  • The GNOME Foundation and KDE e.V. board of directors announced that the 2011 Desktop Summit will be held from August 6-12 in Berlin, Germany. A kick-off meeting was held in Berlin this past September and planning is underway. Volunteer help is needed!
  • The GNOME.Asia Summit held in Taipei, Taiwan (August 14-15, co-hosted with COSCUP) was a huge success with over 60 speakers, 977 participants, 25 sponsors, 10 news outlets, 10 exhibitors, and 100 volunteers. A Taiwan GNOME Users Group is in the process of being formed.
  • The LiMO Foundation has become a member of the GNOME Foundation’s Advisory Board and the GNOME Foundation will become an Industry Liaison Partner for the LiMo Foundation.
  • LWN and the GNOME Foundation reached an agreement to offer an LWN subscription to every Friend of GNOME subscriber!
  • Looking forward, the GNOME Foundation is organizing several events to help ensure that the GNOME 3 release will be a success. These include the GNOME Accessibility Hackfest held during the AEGIS conference in Seville, Spain (October 6-8); a GTK+ Hackfest in A Coruña, Spain (October 18-22); the Boston Summit (November 6-8) which will include a Snowy/Tomboy Online Hackfest; the Development Documentation and Tools Hackfest in Berlin, Germany (December 2-5); and a WebKitGTK+ Hackfest in A Coruña, Spain (December 5-12). These events happen when GNOME community members recognize the need and propose them. If you have an idea or need for a GNOME event, please let the board know.

The GNOME Foundation board of directors very much appreciates when you email board-list@gnome.org to let us know if there is anything The GNOME Foundation can do to help or if there are any opportunities that you think The GNOME Foundation should know about. Many different skill sets are needed to help GNOME’s mission. If you are willing to help, there is a diverse set of interesting tasks to choose from. We need you.

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

Brian Cameron
GNOME Foundation Secretary

Membership and Elections Committee

Tobias Mueller

During Q3 2010 The GNOME membership and elections committee received 12 applications for a new foundation membership and 41 applications for renewals of a membership. Out of those, 41 were processed. During the same period, 14 members did not renew their membership and thus dropped out. We ended up with 351 members.

We ended up with 7 new members:

  • Ritesh Khadgaray
  • Friedel Wolff
  • Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias
  • Sumana Harihareswara
  • Jelle de Jong
  • Christer Edwards
  • Pablo Castellano 2010-09-30


Shaun McCance

The documentation team held an all-day BOF at GUADEC to meet with application developers and discuss plans for the 3.0 documentation. The team also held an all-day planning session at GUADEC to map out the GNOME 3.0 desktop help.

During the BOF, we discussed Anjuta documentation and developer documentation in general. Phil Bull has made progress on an Anjuta overview. This discussion also led to the planning of the developer documentation hackfest, to be held in December 2010.

We were also approached by the Evolution maintainers during the BOF. Phil Bull has been working on creating new topic-oriented help for Evolution, based on the existing Evolution FAQ.

The desktop help has been progressing, thanks in large part to new contributors April Gonzales and Cristopher Thomas. Some parts of the desktop help cannot be written yet, because 3.0 is a moving target. Shaun McCance began planning the accessibility topics, and will attend the accessibility hackfest in October 2010 to discuss with the accessibility hackers and users.

Paul Cutler finished the Banshee help. Milo Casagrande began work on the Rhythmbox help and updated the Empathy help. Phil Bull created new help for Evince.

Bug Squad

André Klapper

From July to September, 7622 reports (bugs + feature requests) were opened and 7193 were closed. Top bug closers were Akhil Laddha (596 reports), Matthias Clasen (287), Fabio Durán Verdugo (254), André Klapper (236) and Felipe Besoaín Pino (231).

Top bug reporters were Akhil Laddha (125 reports), Philip Withnall (106), Pedro Villavicencio (97), David Woodhouse (82) and Guillaume Desmottes (70).

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


Petr Kovar

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 git.gnome.org and elsewhere. This is to be done in conjunction with the Release Team’s proposal for moduleset reorganization.

Art & Usability Teams

Allan Day, Andreas Nilsson, Calum Benson

Application Design

Ongoing work on design work took place around Nautilus. A new round of mockups were created, as well as specifications for icon view layouts. Cosimo Cecchi implemented designs for a new sidebar and connect to server dialog. Several design concepts were developed for Epiphany as a result of discussions with developers at GUADEC. Some redesign proposals were created for Evolution. Hylke Bons revised his voice recorder designs following interest from a developer. These are being implemented.

GNOME 3 Theming

Lapo Calamandrei developed the GNOME 3 window manager theme.

GNOME Design Team

Thanks to the creation of Sparkleshare, the GNOME designers started using a public version control repository for storing and collaborating on design work. The design team started holding weekly design office hours on #gnome-design.

GNOME 3 Core Desktop Designs

Designs for the new GNOME 3 Control Center got underway: specifications were created for the background chooser, screensaver, power, time and date chooser, tablets and web accounts panels. New designs for the GNOME Shell date and calender widget.

Human Interface Guidelines

Drafted some initial GNOME 3 UI patterns for further discussion.

Outreach Program for Women

Marina Zhurakhinskaya

There seemed to be a stronger presence of women at GUADEC this year. We held the first women’s dinner at GUADEC which was attended by 15 women. Everyone really enjoyed meeting and talking to each other. Marina Zhurakhinskaya made short presentations to the GNOME Advisory Board and at the Annual General Meeting about the Outreach Program for Women (OPW) efforts.

We announced the OPW internships for December 15, 2010 to March 15, 2011 dates on September 15. Máirín Duffy designed a catchy flyer for the program. Many members of the community helped spread the word by micro-blogging, blogging, sending information to the universities, and handing out flyers at conferences.

We are currently in the middle of the application process with the application deadline on October 25 and accepted participants announcement on November 3. We have already received a good number of applications and inquiries. We should be able to accept at least five participants, with three being sponsored by the GNOME Foundation and two being sponsored by Google. The following page contains all the information about the program:http://live.gnome.org/GnomeWomen/OutreachProgram2010

Stormy Peters attended the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing on September 28 – October 2. She organized the first Free and Open Source Software booth at the conference and participated in the Open Source Track. At the booth, they handed out 180 flyers about the GNOME Outreach Program for Women as well as lots of GNOME stickers – the logo on a field of grass was the most popular. Heidi Ellis also attended – her class at Western New England College is working on Caribou as part of GNOME’s a11y and HFOSS program.

The FSF Womens’ Caucus’ “Bringing free software to girls and young women” outreach program with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and Red Hat has started. Máirín Duffy taught the first class session on October 15. The class will run on a weekly basis through mid-December. Red Hat produced live USB keys with the GNOME-based Fedora Design Suite that were distributed to the girls. Their first project involved photomanipulation with Gimp. Future projects will involve Gimp, Inkscape, and other creative tools. This page contains more information about the course:http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Women%27s_Caucus/Girl_Scouts_Free_Software_Outreach

In the next quarter, we look forward to working with the OPW internships participants and introducing them to the community.


Christer Edwards

The Sysadmin team has seen some major changes over the last quarter, primarily the hiring of a part-time System Administrator Christer Edwards. Christer can now be considered a liason between the general community and the team. Any questions or concerns regarding the progress of bugzilla issues, or project ideas can be directed through him.

In addition to the above, the team has been primarily focused on a few specific tasks:

First, the team has been putting a lot of attention into everyone’s favorite new project, Snowy, which is moving along nicely. The alpha testing has been open and the stable public release is anticipated around the release of GNOME 3.0.

Second, a baseline was set for server reporting and the noise was significantly cut down. This allows us to better monitor the daily health of the servers and catch issues early.

Thirdly, a monitoring solution is being put in place to keep us apprised of outages. This includes core services such as mail and DNS as well as web services, load, etc. This is still in progress, but the final solution should give us early notice on any outages which we can hopefully act on before they affect the general community.

Lastly, some new services were implemented for community use such as a public Gobby service, and Collabtive, a Project Management web service currently being tested. We’ve also started publishing scheduled maintenance on thehttp://blogs.gnome.org/Sysadmin. Anyone needing access to these services can contact Christer or the other team members.

In the next quarter we look forward to continued improvements in documenting procedures, standardization and expansion.

Accessibility Team

Joanmarie Diggs and Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias

The Accessibility Team continued improving the user experience with GNOME 2, while at the same preparing for the GNOME 3 release:

  • Documents within GNOME are becoming even more accessible: Daniel Garcia has been implementing the AtkText text interface in Evince and Poppler (the PDF library used by Evince). And Mario Sanchez continues to work on adding full accessibility support to WebKitGtk. By implementing this support in the environments being accessed rather than in the assistive technologies, Daniel and Mario are each bringing us much closer to having access that “just works” automatically for users.
  • Emmanuele Bassi integrated Cally (Clutter’s accessibility support) into Clutter beginning with version 1.4, resulting in yet another “just works” environment. Cally’s creator, Alejandro Piñeiro, has also been actively working with Dan Winship, GNOME Shell developer in the areas of keyboard navigation, theming, and the implementation of accessibility support in certain Shell Toolkit widgets.
  • David Teyssiere has been collaborating with Joaquim Rocha on OCRFeeder development: making the user interface fully and more compellingly accessible; improving content recognition, including new support for deskewing images; and adding spell-checker functionality and the ability to import images directly from the scanner.
  • Joseph Scheuhammer continued his work on GNOME Shell’s built-in magnifier, including the addition of color and contrast functionality, work on the user preferences dialog, and converting from GConf to GSettings. In order to provide continued support for gnome-panel users, Fernando Herrera ported gnome-mag from Bonobo to D-Bus and from Gtk+ 2 to Gtk+ 3. Work has also begun on porting gnome-mag’s drawing to Cairo, which should improve its performance. Finally, Joseph and Fernando have been collaborating on a common D-Bus API so that Orca and other assistive technologies can easily work with either solution.
  • Mike Gorse made progress on AT-SPI2, the D-Bus-based implementation of AT-SPI, fixing several critical bugs and improving performance.
  • Javier Hernandez, Juanje Ojeda, and Alejandro Leiva have nearly finished with the implementation of the new Profiles system they have been working on for Orca. This system will make many things possible including multiple alternative keyboard layouts, fast language switching, and — once AT-SPI2 is implemented within QT — support for accessible KDE applications being used from within the GNOME Desktop.
  • Joanmarie Diggs added support for a system voice into Orca so that users who are blind can better distinguish on-screen text from the supplementary information Orca provides. She also added additional support for users with print learning disabilities.
  • Fernando Herrera made many improvements to DOTS, GNOME’s braille translator, including: Support for PDF and OpenOffice text documents, the ability to review lines while in Braille View and make formatting changes “on the fly”, the addition of a translation table editor and printing support, and the creation of a new command line tool.
  • Many of these exciting changes — and quite a few of this quarter’s nearly 100 bug fixes — are the result of the Guadalinfo Accessible Projects of the Junta de Andalucía in Spain, for which the Accessibility Team is extremely appreciative.

When not working on code, the team was busily preparing for October’s AEGIS Conference and associated A11y Hackfest in Sevilla.

Going into the fourth quarter, the team plans to focus on GNOME 3.0.

For more detailed information on the Accessibility Team’s work this quarter, please see the team wiki.