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.
The GNOME Foundation board member elections concluded on June 23rd and we have a new board. Everyone please welcome Brian Cameron, Emily Chen, Paul Cutler, Og Maciel, Germán Póo-Caamaño, Andreas Nilsson, and Bastien Nocera who will be serving the community for the next year. The new board is enthusiastic about GNOME’s future. We wish to thank Jorge Castro, Behdad Esfahbod, Lucas Rocha, Srinivasa Ragavan, Vincent Untz, and Diego Escalante Urrelo as they step down from the board. Their dedicated service to the GNOME community is valued and much appreciated.
On June 1st, The GNOME Foundation announced plans to hire a system administrator. The application process has concluded and the board is now in an interview process. Therefore, the GNOME Foundation should have a new system administrator soon, and we expect that this will significantly improve the services and resources that the GNOME Foundation provides.
The GNOME Foundation has been making an effort to foster stronger connections with the developing world. Ben Konrath and Fernando Herrera represented GNOME and provided GNOME training at IDLELO 4 (Fourth African Conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons) held in Accra, Ghana over May 17-21. To help further promote GNOME in the developing world, the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list has been set up to help foster discussion about sharing the benefits of free software in the developing world. Please consider subscribing if you have an interest to contribute.
Lately, the board has been busy planning GUADEC 2010 in The Hague (July 26-30) so that it can be a productive meeting of the minds. It is important to make the best use of our time at GUADEC to prepare for promoting GNOME 3.0 and making the release a success. For 2011, the GNOME Foundation and KDE e.V. board of directors are jointly planning a combined Desktop Summit. Planning is underway and bids are being reviewed.
The board has also been working hard to organize relevant hackfests to prepare and plan for the GNOME 3 release. In Q2 the GNOME Foundation helped to organize a Marketing Hackfest (May 4-7), a Python Bindings Hackfest (April 14-18), and a GSettings Hackfest (April 12-17).
There is a lot to look forward to in the next quarter. GUADEC is in soon upon us and the combined COSCUP / GNOME.Asia Summit will be held in Taipei, Taiwan over August 14-15. We will also be planning for the Accessibility Hackfest and AEGIS Conference in October and The Boston Summit in November.
We very much appreciate when you email email@example.com 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. The board is always looking for people willing to help with different tasks. If you are interested, we encourage you to contact us and get involved. Keep the emails coming.
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.
Having said all that, there has been some concern lately that email discussion on firstname.lastname@example.org has been too confrontational and unproductive. Let me remind all GNOME Fondation members to be considerate and to help make The GNOME Foundation forums productive and friendly. We will not shy away from controversial topics, but lets focus on the topics under discussion and try to keep things relevant.
A special thanks to Stormy Peters for being the best CEO that The GNOME Foundation could ask for and doing things like making the quarterly reports happen.
GNOME Foundation Secretary
Various localization teams that are part of the GNOME Translation Project continued focusing their localization effort on stable GNOME 2.30.1 and 2.30.2 releases which were released on April 28 and June 23, respectively. Localization teams will begin working on localization for the upcoming GNOME 3 release next.
The GNOME translation community that gather together on the gnome-i18n mailing list discussed and conducted common translation project administrivia, including assistance in changing coordinators in several localization teams, the most notable case being the Slovak translation team, in which several translators expressed their discontent with the current way of coordination. The issue was thoroughly discussed within the Coordination Team in order to mediate the dispute and was settled in the beginning of July when the current Slovak coordinator announced his resignation.
Among other things discussed was the legal issue of whether translators who are not legal experts should translate legal notices or license texts that usually come with the free software distribution. This topic was further discussed on the GNOME legal-list with Luis Villa.
Also, there was a change done in the structure of the GNOME Translation Project coordination. Previously, the project was formally led by two spokespeople who were also senior members of the extended Coordination Team. Now, the spokesperson status has been obsoleted in favor of a larger Coordination Team.
For string freeze break requests during the GNOME Desktop development cycle, developers are now required to obtain the approval from two members of the Coordination Team. The Coordination Team that now consists of 11 members will also seek ways to improve the responsiveness about requests.
One of the important tasks that the GNOME Translation Project intends to accomplish during Q3 is completing the implementation of Git commit support through the infrastructure running on l10n.gnome.org.
The GNOME Marketing team kicked off the second quarter with a hackfest in Zaragoza, Spain. The hackfest focused on delivering marketing activities and materials for the GNOME 3.0 launch later this year.
The marketing team discussed and started work on planning a GNOME 3 website that will showcase videos, screencasts, screenshots and information about GNOME 3.0; developed brochures and presentations about GNOME that can be used by volunteers at conferences; planned and started creating videos about GNOME 3.0 and its features; and started the planning process for worldwide launch parties to celebrate the upcoming GNOME 3.0 process. The marketing team would like to thank all of the sponsors that made the recent marketing hackfest possible, including the city of Zaragoza, the Aragon Regional Goverenment, ITA, ASOLIF and CESLA.
Other marketing activities in the second quarter included further work on the ideas started at the hackfest. The marketing team also helped with a new t-shirt design proposed by Brian Cameron. Luis Medinas and team members have been helping to grow the GNOME Fan page on Facebook, consistently updating the page with news about GNOME. Lastly, the GNOME Foundation was recently granted non-profit status on Youtube thanks to work done by Bryen Yunashko. Youtube will play a role in the upcoming marketing videos to be released later this year, in addition to GNOME Miro and Blip.tv for video distribution.
From April to June, 9617 reports (bugs + feature requests) were opened and 9325 were closed (4688 of them as FIXED).
Top bug closers were Akhil Laddha (737 reports), Tobias Mueller (574), Fabio Durán Verdugo (363), Milan Crha (319) and William Jon McCann (276).
Top bug reporters were Bastien Nocera (109 reports), Andre Klapper (107), Christian Persch (90), Akhil Laddha (85) and Garrett Regier (78).
Apart from business as usual there has been no other activity.
Christina Boumpouka and Emel Elvin Yildiz were the two women among the 22 students accepted to work on GNOME through the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program this year. Christina Boumpouka has originally contacted us through the Outreach Program for Women (OPW) and we encouraged her to apply for GSoC. She is working on the GNOME Shell project. Emel Elvin Yildiz has been involved with GNOME before and applied on her own to work on BuilDj, but has since dropped out of the program.
The GNOME Foundation has allocated $25,000 towards the OPW internships. We are going to split the program between the summers in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres and start by offering at least three internships from mid-December 2010 to mid-March 2011. This time frame coincides with the school break in some countries in the Southern Hemisphere and works out best in terms of giving us sufficient amount of time to plan and promote the program. The following page contains the program schedule, as well as information for participants, mentors, and companies: http://live.gnome.org/GnomeWomen/OutreachProgram2010 We welcome more people to sign up as mentors and we are asking companies to consider sponsoring additional internships as part of this program.
We continue working with FSF on the movement to increase women’s participation in free software as a whole. Deborah Nicholson from FSF has recently published a list of recommendations based on the discussions and activities that took place over the last year: http://www.fsf.org/news/recommendations-from-the-womens-caucus.
Getting free software into the hands of young women is one such recommendation. Máirín Duffy is currently working with Deborah Nicholson on an outreach program with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. They are in the early stages of planning a pilot 10-week long Inkscape course at a Boston area community center this coming Fall. The course will introduce a group of Girl Scouts to free software. The FSF is working to produce gNewSense-based live USB keys that the students can keep to work on their projects, and Máirín is developing the course materials and will be teaching the pilot course. Depending on the success of the pilot program, the course has the potential to be used again and again for other Girl Scout troops.
We are planning to have a women’s dinner at GUADEC in order to allow everyone to meet each other and share ideas and experiences. We’ll be planning and promoting the OPW internships at GUADEC and after the conference. We’d like to announce the program widely on college campuses and on free software news sites by the end of August.
During Q2 2010 The GNOME membership and elections committee received 23 applications for a new foundation membership and 37 applications for renewals of a membership. Out of those, 57 were processed. During the same period, 16 members did not renew their membership and thus dropped out. We ended up with 382 members (+12 to the previous quarter).
We ended up with 14 new members:
The GNOME membership and elections committee also held the last GNOME Foundation Board or Directors elections. At first, we had too few candidates to actually fill the 7 seats in the board. But then the deadline for announcing a candidacy was pushed back and more people considered becoming a member of the Board. So we went into the voting phase with 11 candidates.
The new members of the Board are¹: Brian Cameron, Emily Chen, Paul Cutler, Og Maciel, Germán Póo-Caamaño, Andreas Nilsson and Bastien Nocera
There were some discussions on the mailing list about the $50,000 received from Nokia to promote GTK+ on Meego.
Cornelius Hald expressed interest in ensuring Hildon works with stock GTK+ and is looking for assistance. There is still a little confusion over what patches might need migrating from “Maemo GTK+” to GTK+. Maintaining Hildon on top of the official GNOME GTK+ would allow the hundreds of Maemo applications to work on MeeGo and other GTK+ based platforms with no extra work from distributors.
The documentation team continued planning the new GNOME desktop help in Mallard, and Phil Bull began writing the first topics for the desktop help, with contributions from Cristopher Thomas. Phil reviewed and edited the Evince and Color Manager help. Jim Campbell worked on the Gedit help. Milo Casagrande worked on the Rhythmbox help. Paul Cutler worked on the Banshee and Tomboy help, and Shaun McCance started help pages for the Banshee Community Extensions.
It is that time of the year again and yes GUADEC is here. The GNOME Foundation was flooded with travel subsidy requests from all around the world. After 3 iterations, we did manage to sponsor 60 applicants this year. This year the committee also involved itself into booking the hotels for all the applicants and following up with the candidates for their VISA invite letters.
The Travel Committee also sponsored 8 contributors for the Marketing Hackfest at Zaragoza (Spain) held from May 4-7, 2010. The discussions, organization and many more things pertaining to the success of this hackfest can be read athttp://live.gnome.org/Hackfests/Marketing-2010-05.
The Travel committee continues its tradition of initiating a good practice every quarter and this quarter was no different. Stormy initiated a post-mortem survey to check on how well the hackfest was planned and the things that rocked, things that backfired etc. The survey was opened up for all the sponsored participants of the Marketing Hackfest. The results were promised to be confidential and anonymous. The results helped us analyze on how best we could make use of the available resources and plan the next one better. It helped us narrow down on the exact issues.
Looking at the success of this survey, we plan to roll out similar surveys to all hackfests and conferences hereon.
A great quarter with lots of hackfests and events!
GSettings Hackfest. April 12-17. Boston, MA.
Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. April 14-16. San Francisco, CA. Many GNOME folks were present and there was a excellent GNOME dinner hosted by Yorba.
Python Bindings Hackfest. April 14-18. Boston, MA.
GNOME Hispano Encuentro en Sevilla. May 1-2. Seville, Spain.
Marketing Hackfest. May 5-7. Zaragoza, Spain. See the marketing section for a summary.
Idlelo 4. May 17-21. Accra, Ghana. Ben Konrath and Fernando Herrera represented GNOME at Idlelo 4 in Ghana at the booth, the event and a preconference training. Both Ben and Fernando did a lot of preparation to make the event a big success from a GNOME perspective. The GNOME booth was really busy throught the whole conference. DVDs were popular as bandwidth is slow and expensive.
LinuxTag. June 9-12. Berlin, Germany. Although GNOME did not have a booth, there were a lot of GNOME people present (including Openismus) and several GNOME people gave talks on GNOME, like Vincent Untz and Johannes Schmid. Vincent Untz and Stormy Peters also participated in a RadioTux interview.
Transfer Summit. June 24-25. Oxford, UK. Several GNOME folks were at the Transfer Summit. Stormy Peters gave a talk on GNOME.
Since the release of GNOME 2.30.0 occurred on the very last day of the first quarter of 2010, the very first action taken by the release team in Q2 was to enjoy some time to celebrate this release. And an hour later, the team looked at the plans for the next few months and started working on the next releases. This includes the 2.31 development cycle, as well as two stable releases of GNOME 2.30 that went out, the first in April and the second in May, and that were integrated by our distributors.
One of the main activities of the quarter was the monitoring of the development of GNOME 3. At the platform level, new APIs like GSettings and GDBus, landed in our libraries, and the version development versions of GTK+ 3 were released; this triggered the beginning of the migration to those new technologies for various modules. In addition, we continued pushing the cleanup work to remove the use of deprecated libraries in our applications. At the user experience level, we evaluated the progress of GNOME Shell, as well as other components having critical changes for GNOME 3, like the control center. In addition, several discussions were held with maintainers of those components to get more information on the remaining work to be done.
One strength of GNOME that we are proud of is that it’s usable on various operating systems, based on different kernels. However, this generally requires some work since GNOME needs low-level integration to offer a good experience for hardware support and multimedia. To help with this, the release team created the portability matrix: this is a document collecting in one place the information of what work is required to port GNOME, as well as the current status of the various ports.
Finally, the release team continued the work on the reorganization of the modulesets. A proposal based on two main ideas was sent to the community. The first point was to extend our platform by including bindings in the platform as well as adding libraries that do not offer API/ABI stability yet but that are aimed to live in the platform (this includes GStreamer, part of the telepathy stack or evolution-data-server, for example). The core platform would still be offer API/ABI stability. The second point was to refocus the Desktop moduleset on core components, and to have normal applications live outside the moduleset. The idea behind this point was to extend the GNOME brand and encourage a rich ecosystem of GNOME applications, and bootstrap this effort with our high-quality applications that are shipped as part of GNOME. The community generally liked the reorganization of the platform, but raised various issues about the second point. Some additional work will be done in the next quarters to find a solution that addresses those issues.
This work on the modulesets reorganization influenced the decisions of new modules approved for this cycle: great applications (deja-dup, pdfmod, simple-scan) were proposed, but not accepted because we want to encourage the growth of an application ecosystem around GNOME. But new features like color management, UPnP support and symbolic icons will be part of GNOME thanks to gnome-color-manager, Rygel and gnomee-icon-theme-symbolic. Caribou will also replace gok as the on-screen keyboard, and last but not least, the GNOME Shell was officially approved for integration.
The next quarter will be a critical one since it will lead to the release of the next stable branch of GNOME. GUADEC will be most useful for the release team, since most contributors will be present in the Hague, and help evaluate us where we stand in the middle of this development cycle!