Quarterly Report Q4, 2010

Art & Usability Teams

Allan Day, Andreas Nilsson, Calum Benson

Application Design

Usability and design work for GNOME 3.0 continued on gnome-shell, control center, and on the GNOME 3.0 theme and wallpapers. Some members of the art and usability teams participated in the GNOME Boston Summit in November.

The Art Team produced the website for the GNOME 3 T-Shirt design competition.

The Usability team produced and sought feedback on some high-level design concepts for Nautilus and Evolution.

A number of IRC meetings were held in November to advance production of the GNOME 3 Human Interface Guidelines. The chat logs are available.

Several usability “office hours” were held on the #gnome-design IRC channel — these are scheduled for Wednesdays at 14:00 UTC. Members of the art and usability teams are available at this time every week to answer any GNOME design questions from users, developers and anyone else who might be interested!

Bug Squad

André Klapper

From October to December, 7240 reports (bugs + feature requests) were opened and 7152 were closed. Top bug closers were Fabio Durán Verdugo (686 reports), Akhil Laddha (484 reports), Milan Crha (252), Bastien Nocera (234) and Felipe Besoaín Pino (224).

Top bug reporters were William Jon McCann (89 reports), Bastien Nocera (80), Milan Crha (80), Akhil Laddha (76) and Matthias Clasen (73).

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


Shaun McCance

The documentation team started pushing harder on the new Mallard-based desktop help. Two interns from the Outreach Program for Women, Tiffany Antopolski and Natalia Ruz, have been hard at work ensuring the Gnome 3 desktop will be well-documented.

As part of the Google Code-in, Jason Lo worked on converting the Character Map help to Mallard.

Andre Klapper and Barbara Tobias have joined Phil and April in working on the Evolution documentation rewrite. Andre has done a significant amount of planning..

Shaun attended the AEGIS conference and the accompanying Gnome accessibility hackfest. He advised accessibility team members on creating topic-oriented help, and began working on accessibility for the desktop help.

In December, writers and developers met in Berlin for the development documentation and tools hackfest. A new set of demo tutorials was created to help familiarize developers with the Gnome developer platform. Work is ongoing.

Phil began work on the new documentation style guide, and converted the usability team’s new HIG material to Mallard.


Petr Kovar

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 were 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 l10n.gnome.org auto-commit translations to code repositories not hosted on git.gnome.org, 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.

The Sysadmin team work on a Damned Lies 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 l10n.gnome.org.

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 welcomed 11 new members:

  • José Aliste
  • Daniël van Eeden
  • Francisco Diéguez Souto
  • Jeremy Perry
  • Sebastian Dröge
  • Zachary Goldberg
  • Jain Punit
  • Adam Dingle
  • Ray Wang
  • Mirco Bauer
  • Dragos Dena

Outreach Program for Women

Marina Zhurakhinskaya

The GNOME project proudly announced eight Outreach Program for Women interns on November 5 with a press release. We were able to accept eight strong candidates thanks to Google sponsoring four of them, the GNOME Foundation sponsoring three, and Collabora sponsoring one. The participants, as well as their location, project, and mentor, are:

  • Tiffany Antopolski, Toronto, Canada – Documentation – Paul Cutler
  • Nanci de Brito Bonfim, Salvador, Brazil – Anjuta – Sébastien Granjoux
  • Luciana Fujii Pontello, Belo Horizonte, Brazil – Cheese – Thiago Sousa Santos
  • Eugenia Gabrielova, Chicago, USA – Anjuta – Johannes Schmid
  • Laura Elisa Lucas Alday, Buenos Aires, Argentina – Cheese – Daniel Siegel
  • Hellyna Ng, Johor, Malaysia / Singapore – GNOME Shell – Marina Zhurakhinskaya
  • Natalia Andrea Ruz Leiva, Valparaíso, Chile – Documentation – Shaun McCance
  • Chandni Verma, Lucknow, India – Empathy – Danielle Madeley

This blog post has more information about each participant as well as the links to their individual blogs. The participants have started their internships on December 15 and have been updating the GNOME community about their work with frequent blog posts that are aggregated on Planet GNOME. The internships period will end March 15. We are hoping that all of the participants will stay active in the GNOME community past the completion of their internships.

We are planning to run the next round of internships from the end of May through the end of August, with the application process announced sometime in the beginning of March and the application deadline on April 8. This application deadline is same as the application deadline for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) this year, which will allow us to direct qualifying applicants to apply for both programs. GNOME has historically had few female applicants for GSoC, and running these programs in parallel will bring the attention of more female student coders to the opportunity to participate in GSoC. Unlike GSoC, GNOME Outreach Program for Women doesn’t require applicants to be students and includes non-coding internships, such as documentation, graphic design and marketing.

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.

Máirín Duffy has completed teaching Girl Scouts’ Digital Media Course that she developed as part of the FSF Womens’ Caucus’ “Bringing free software to girls and young women” outreach program with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and Red Hat. The course consisted of 9 weekly two hour sessions teaching photo and image manipulation using Gimp and Inkscape. The excellent handout materials that Máirín developed for the course can be found in her wrap up blog post. These materials can be used for other similar courses by anyone interested in teaching them.


Christer Edwards

During Q4 2010 the Sysadmin Team has made a number of great improvements to the GNOME infrastructure. To follow these updates regularly, please see the Sysadmin Blog.

In early Q4 we began defining procedures for server downtime and maintenance. In the past these tasks were simply done “as needed”, often without public notice. We’ve now documented procedures for maintenance announcements, “gotchas” and other requirements for all servers. Going forward all planned downtime will be announced with 48hrs notice on the Sysadmin blog, http://news.gnome.org and the devel-announce-list.

We were also able to implement the use of a tool called ‘listadmin’ for moderation of the mailman queues. This dramatically improves the efficiency of the Moderators Team, essentially allowing all GNOME mailing lists to be moderated in under fifteen minutes! GNOME mailing lists are now moderated daily, filtering spam and allowing legitimate email through in a more timely manner.

Our monitoring solution has seen continued improvement. It now includes over 200 checks! We have plans to make this information public sometime during Q1 2011.

Finally, we’ve configured HTTPS Strict Transport Security for all GNOME domains that require SSL. This means that supported browsers will automatically connect directly to SSL for subsequent connections, bypassing unsecured http connections entirely. GNOME domains now supporting SSL connections are: bugzilla, mango, live (wiki), mail (mailman), nagios, snowy, and RT.