Quarterly Report Q4, 2009

Hi GNOME Foundation members and fans,

Q4 is normally a quiet quarter – but not for GNOME! We ended the year with a lot of really productive activity. We had a record four hackfests and two summits, the Boston Summit and GNOME Asia. Lots of progress was made, plans were set for 2010 and we’re all looking forward to GNOME 3.0!

As you can see from the following team updates, the whole community has been busy and not just at events. In this issue you’ll find the first quarterly update from the GNOME Board of Directors, you’ll learn what keeps the release team busy between releases, you’ll see the amazing amount of work the accessibility team is doing in preparation for GNOME 3.0 and much, much more.

Read on to hear what GNOME teams have accomplished in Q4!

If you’d like to receive this report via email, please let me know at stormy@gnome.org. Please use the subject, “Subscribe to GNOME Quarterly Report via email”.

Best wishes and happy hacking! Enjoy your GNOME desktop!

Stormy Peters
Executive Director,
GNOME Foundation

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.

The GNOME Foundation board of directors continues to work hard to promote the GNOME community and to ensure that the GNOME community runs as smoothly as possible.

Planning for the upcoming GUADEC 2010 has been of particular focus for the board in Q4. The board worked closely with those who submitted bids to ensure that the options were as competitive as possible, and the board was excited to announce last November that GUADEC 2010 will be held in The Hague, Netherlands from July 24-30. Planning is, of course, ongoing, so the board anticipates that there will continue to be a fair amount of work going forward to make GUADEC 2010 a successful prelude to the upcoming GNOME 3.0 release.

Ensuring that the GNOME 3.0 release is successful has been a major focus of the board in Q4. The board recognizes that events and hackfests are essential for GNOME community planning, and has worked hard in the Q4 timeframe to ensure that the GNOME Community events calendar provides ample opportunities for productive face-to-face interaction leading up to the release.

In the Q4 timeframe the board worked to ensure that the Boston Summit, the GNOME.Asia Summit, and the Marketing Hackfests were successful and productive. The board invested considerable time in Q4 to plan additional hackfests in the next quarter which will focus on WebKit, accessibility and usability – all important topics for GNOME 3.0.

To continue to provide for a growing GNOME community, it has been necessary to focus on improving GNOME community fundraising. In Q4 the board announced the doubling of advisory board fees, and this will provide the GNOME Foundation with significant new resources to plan exciting new events, improve infrastructure, and fund new projects.

Ensuring that the GNOME community has positive relations with the members of the GNOME advisory board is an important ongoing task for the board. In Q4 the board organized two advisory board meetings. The first was held in October to discuss finances and to ensure that the advisory board felt the raising of fees was agreeable. The second meeting was held in December to discuss past and future GNOME community events. This meeting was intended to both raise awareness of upcoming events and to get feedback regarding what future event topics would be most important and exciting to plan moving forward. Since most hackfests are funded by sponsorships from organizations on the advisory board, it is important to have some alignment in terms of event topics planning forward.

Looking forward to the next quarter, the GNOME board will continue to focus on ensuring that the GNOME 3.0 release is a success. The board will be working closely with the marketing team and with events planning to provide the resources the GNOME community needs to make this happen. In addition, the board anticipates a fair amount of work will be spent working to improve GNOME infrastructure in the next quarter. Several GNOME community servers are at the end of their life and need to be replaced, and the GNOME community is working hard to adopt a new CRM system, for example. All in all, the next quarter and year is bound to be exciting for the GNOME community!

Release Team

Vincent Untz

The last quarter of 2009 started just after the release of GNOME 2.28, and therefore the release team could enjoy a (short) break where there were no releases to handle for a whole month.

Of course, this did not last long: between the end of October and the end of December, two stable releases of 2.28 went out, and the 2.29 development cycle led to four releases, the last one arriving just in time for the holidays! The GNOME community has been working hard and the 2.29 releases have many interesting changes, ranging from new features (look at the latest nautilus!) to architectural work needed for GNOME 3.0 (like evolution without bonobo).

On the GNOME 3.0 front, the release team asked for feedback about when to release GNOME 3.0 in 2010: March or September. The 3.0 planning document was suggesting March with no hard commitment, and the answers from the various teams in the community made it clear that six more months would make a big difference in the ability to fulfill our plans. It was agreed to target September for GNOME 3.0, and we worked on an official announcement for the 3.0 release date. The release schedule was adapted accordingly.

In parallel with the 3.0 discussions, we evaluated the modules proposed for inclusion during the 2.29 development cycle. Based on feedback from the community, the timeline for new module proposals was modified back in Q3 to have decisions published earlier — in November instead of January, in this case. This change should help get more work done for integration of the accepted modules, and should contribute to our long-standing tradition of high-quality releases. For 2.30, gnome-packagekit and nautilus-sendto will be included in the desktop, and we accepted two exciting projects, tracker and vala, as external dependencies. The release team also wanted to have clutter become part of the desktop (as a potential first step towards the platform), but some discussion about copyright assignments blocked the decision; the help of the GNOME Foundation was requested to determine what should be the next steps there. The GNOME Foundation Board is actively working on this topic.

2010 will of course be the year of GNOME 3.0, and this will be quite visible in the activities of the release team. While the first quarter will most likely see a lot of focus on getting GNOME 2.30 out, we expect to see a big push for 3.0-related activities at the same time.

Bugsquad Team

Andre Klapper

From October to December, 8940 reports (bugs + feature requests) were opened and 8374 were closed.

Top bug closers were Akhil Laddha (1092 reports), Fabio Durán Verdugo (681), Andre Klapper (387), Bastien Nocera (253) and Milan Crha (243).

Top bug reporters were Akhil Laddha (132 reports), Pedro Villavicencio (128), Bastien Nocera (113), Guillaume Desmottes (81) and Javier Jardón (72).

On a related note, the Annual GNOME Bugzilla statistics for 2009 have also been published on the corresponding mailing lists.

In its monthly meetings, the GNOME Bugsquad has started to define Bugsquad Goals. This is about setting small concrete goals that will help with integration and consistency. More information can be found on the according site in the GNOME Wiki.

Also, it has been discussed to celebrate a Bugday again for the sake of community building and introducing potential new Bugsquad members into triaging. As usually in FOSS communities more manpower is welcome.

Marketing Team

Paul Cutler

The GNOME Marketing team was fortunate to participate in a hackfest in Chicago in the fourth quarter thanks to sponsorship by Novell and Google. Members of the marketing team met over two days and worked on a number of initiatives, including GNOME 3.0 planning, creating conference materials including brochures and materials for presenters and booth organizers and more. The majority of this work will be completed in Q1 2010.

In addition to the hackfest, Andreas Nilsson continued to work on a GNOME merchandise store which should launch in the near future. The System Administration team installed Piwik for web analytics and Jaap Haitsma updated a number of webpages to take advantage of Piwik. CiviCRM was also installed by the System Administration team and Stormy Peters has begun setting up CiviCRM to track Foundation members, Friends of GNOME, journalists’ contact information and more.

Usability Team

Calum Benson

In Q4 the usability team organised a hackfest to be held on 22-26 February 2010, in Canonical’s London offices. Final agenda is still being worked out, but issues we’re hoping to cover include:

  • Renewing the Human Interface Guidelines for GNOME 3.0
  • Heuristic reviews of some of the new GNOME 3.0 technologies, such as gnome-shell and zeitgeist
  • Developing a lightweight, distributed, open usability process for the GNOME community
  • Feasibility of putting together a portable GNOME usability lab

So far, 12 people, including several from major GNOME distributions, have registered their interest in attending. Thanks are due to Brian Cameron from Sun for getting the hackfest off the ground, and to Canonical for their sponsorship of the event. See http://live.gnome.org/UsabilityProject/London2010 for more information.

In a separate but related activity, Allan Caeg and others have been discussing and mocking up ideas for an open source usability testing suite, based on experiences with closed source tools such as Morae (Windows) and Silverback (Mac), and previous GNOME efforts such as Pongo. See http://live.gnome.org/action/diff/UsabilityProject/Whiteboard/UsabilityTestingSuite for more information.

During the quarter, 70 reported usability issues (as flagged with the ‘usability’ keyword in bugzilla.gnome.org) were resolved.

Finally, Máirín Duffy from Red Hat and Charline Poirier from Canonical have both submitted papers for the FLOSS HCI Workshop at the ACM’s annual CHI conference, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in April 2010.

Accessibility Team

Willie Walker

GNOME Accessibility Development:

  • The GNOME Accessibility Project began having weekly IRC meetings to go over GNOME 3.0 accessibility plans and status: http://live.gnome.org/Accessibility/GNOME3
  • Mark Doffman, Mike Gorse, Li Yuan, Brad Taylor, and Willie Walker continued to make progress with AT-SPI/D-Bus. Distributions are shipping it with their 2.29.x previews and providing valuable feedback on areas for improvement.
  • Luke Yelavich and others continued work on SpeechDispatcher as a replacement for gnome-speech.
  • Ben Konrath made progress with Caribou: http://live.gnome.org/Caribou
  • Joseph Scheuhammer made progress with the GNOME Shell Magnifier: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=595507
  • Carlos Diógenes began porting gnome-mag to D-Bus and will be working with Joseph Scheuhammer on a D-Bus magnification API to share between gnome-mag and the GNOME Shell magnifier.
  • Alejandro Piñeiro continued work on Cally (Clutter accessibility) and HAIL (Hildon Accessibility Implementation Library), helping with accessibility support on smaller devices (e.g., N900).
  • Gerd Kohlberger is working on migrating the MouseTweaks applet to work with the new GDM panel.
  • Brian Cameron helped organize a group effort with Tim Miao, Halton Hau, Alan Coopersmith, and Willie Walker to debug and improve the accessibility support for the new GDM login screen.
  • Joanmarie Diggs, Xan Lopez and Alejandro G. Castro worked feverishly on WebKitGTK+ accessibility.
  • Willie Walker, Jon McCann, Ray Strode, and Brad Taylor made progress on redesigning the accessibility preferences UI: http://live.gnome.org/Accessibility/NewPreferencesGUI
  • Arky (Rakesh Ambati) began working on “Mallardizing” the Orca and GNOME accessibility documentation. Collaboration with the GNOME documentation team is planned for Q1.
  • Carlos Diógenes began porting gnome-mag to D-Bus and will be working with Joseph Scheuhammer on a D-Bus magnification API to share between gnome-mag and the GNOME Shell magnifier.


GNOME Accessibility Community Building/Outreach:

  • Willie Walker gave a keynote on GNOME and GNOME Accessibility at Jornadas Regionales de Software Libre in Chile.
  • Willie Walker gave a talk on GNOME and GNOME Accessibility at RPI.
  • Willie Walker gave a talk on GNOME Accessibility at the Open Source Accessibility Forum: http://wiki.fluidproject.org/display/fluid/Open+Source+Accessibility
  • Eitan Isaacson is busy organizing the GNOME Accessibility Hackfest for CSUN 2010: http://live.gnome.org/Accessibility/Hackfest2010
  • Willie Walker and others worked with Chris Hofstader and Richard Stallman on drafts for a proposed GNU Accessibility Statement.


Documentation Team

Shaun McCance

The documentation team continued rewriting various Gnome help documents in Mallard. Mario Blättermann worked on the Tetravex help, Milo Casagrande worked on the gbrainy help, and Paul Cutler worked on the Tomboy help. We hope to have even more topic-oriented help available for Gnome 2.30.

Shaun McCance continued developing Mallard and projectmallard.org, and continued his work on Yelp 3.0 and the Yelp tools.

Vikram Dhillon started developing page templates that we hope will help writers to plan and write better Mallard help documents.

GNOME Mobile

Dave Neary

  • Performance Drive. Dave Neary suggested launching an ARM performance drive, the idea gained some traction, but we still don’t have any test suite put together. The next step is to have a test suite (any test suite) up & running & reporting regularly performance metrics for ARM & x86, so that we can identify things to target for improvement.
  • Partnership with Open Mobility conference. We are partnering with the Open Mobility Conference in San Francisco as a media partner. GNOME Mobile members are entitled to a reduced price for the conference.
  • Merge of DBus port of EDS. The DBus port of EDS finally landed in GNOME’s GIT and replaced the old Bonobo version. Ross Burton deserves the credit for this.
  • The “First ELSE” phone, which got a lot of positive attention at CES, introduced a unique new user interface called “sPlay”, co-developed by Advisory Board member ACCESS and Emblaze Mobile, built on top of the clutter library and other GNOME technologies. For more information on the phone see http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/24/emblazes-first-else-unveiled-in-london-promises-to-be-a-game-c/

GNOME Events

Stormy Peters (Looking for a new author!)

GNOME was really busy in the final quarter of Q4. In a quarter that is normally pretty quiet, we got a lot done.

We had a lot of very productive hackfests:


We also held several annual GNOME events:

  • Boston Summit. (Jason Clinton) The GNOME 3.0-specific sessions dominated hallway and dinner conversations; this was clearly where the excitement was at. GNOME Shell was a major factor but others were excited by other upcoming changes like GSettings or even the client-side windows work. The sense of momentum was palpable and in the ensuing two months, this energy has carried us forward. Major progress on our objectives has been made and other teams and hackfests have been positively influenced by the success of the Boston Summit 2009. http://live.gnome.org/BostonSummit
  • GNOME Asia. (Emily Chen) The GNOME.Asia Summit 2009 was held in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, from November 20-22. The event attracted more than 1000 participants from 14 countries including from the US, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, France and Cambodia. 79 speakers with 34 from outside of Vietnam held 109 talks, presentations and panels. 255 students participated at the Linux course. The event was supported by 138 volunteers.http://gnome.asia
  • GNOME Forum Brazil at Latinoware. (Izabel Valverde) GNOME had a dedicated room with great talks, subjects and attendees. The cay started with Licio Fonseca talking about GNOME Love. The second presentation was Rodrigo Flores talking about Portuguese Translation Project. Alessandro Binhara presents Mono and Mono Brazil Project followed by Izabel Valverde and Luciana Freitas talking about GNOME Women. This talk was very special since was the first time that this subject was being present in Brazil. Alexandro Silva talked about Linux Hardening. Vinicius Depizzol gave a talk about Reorganizing the GNOME user experience. And in closing Tiago Menezes presented GNOME Desktop personalization. The GNOME booth was always crowded. Our speakers and a special invited guest Everaldo Canuto made all the difference at the Forum. We held some hack-parties, made some new friends and exchanged knowledge. Also interesting was some Paraguayan and Argentian attendees. Thanks to Latinoware for hosting us, all the GNOME participants and most of all for GNOME Foundation that helped make this happen.


And GNOME was represented at other events:


Next year expect to see GNOME at:


Germán Póo-Caamaño

Friends of GNOME
$6478 Friends of GNOME
$5,000 Sun
$3,000 IBM
Hackfest Sponsorships
$2,975 Canonical
$15,000 Novell
$4,950 Collabora
$12,700 Red Hat
Advisory Board Fees
$10,000 Igalia – 2010
$10,000 Motorola – 2009
$10,000 Access – 2009
$10,000 IBM – 2009
$10,000 IBM – 2008
$10,000 IBM – 2007
Income Affiliate Programs
$64 Amazon
$234 Bank wire fees
$108 Bank service charge
$87 Bank fees – paypal
$5 Annual Report Mailing
$100 Insurance
Employee Wages
$750 401K
$331 Paychex EIB
$160 Payroll fees
$3080 Paychex TPS
$7495 Paychex Payroll
$76 Paychex Workers Comp
$961 Event Box US
$8730 GNOME Asia
$2195 Boston Summit
Local Outreach
$2682 Forum do GNOME
$429 Tobias Mueller
$297 Bastien Nocera
$275 Sebastian Faubel
$200 Janos Reviczky
$55 Simon Wenner
$2250 Jugendhaus Kassianeum
$373 Jason Clinton
$1611 Behdad Esfahbod
$1200 Vinicius Scopel Depizzol
$661 Ketil Wendelbo Aanenson
$336 Clemens Buss
$244 Markus Korn
$225 Jason Clinton
Executive Director’s Travel
$1372 OSW, Latinoware
$2619 Marketing hackfest, GNOME Asia, London

Travel Committee

Bharath Acharya

The final Q4 quarter of 2009 has kept the travel committee on its feet with a lot of events and hackfests lined up. We sponsored:

  • 9 Contributors for the Zeitgeist Hackfest held in Bolzano, Italy.
  • 4 Contributors for the Marketing Hackfest in Chicago.
  • 13 contributors for the GNOME Asia Summit held in Vietnam this year.
  • 6+ contributors for the WebKitGTK+ Hackfest in Spain.
  • 1 contributor to FOSS.in held in India.

We have already reimbursed most of the sponsored people, and some pending ones are already in the queue. 

At the end of Q3, the GNOME Board and the Travel Committee setup a travel policy and the duties of people who receive sponsorship. We asked all the sponsored contributors to share their experiences in blogs, so the ones who missed out could relive the fun and various sessions at the hackfests and events. We are happy to see the results.

For GNOME Asia, we had all the contributors jotting down their experiences and Emily Chen summed it up in her blog here –> http://blogs.sun.com/emily/entry/sponsor_speakers_to_gnome_asia Jason has the Marketing Hackfest summed up in his journal –> http://jasondclinton.livejournal.com/tag/marketing

This really helps GNOME reach out to a lot of people and we would like to build up on this practice with the Accessibility and Usability Hackfests lined up at the start of year 2010.

Membership & Elections Committee

Tobias Mueller

The GNOME membership and elections committee has processed 13 applications for a Foundation Membership and 17 applications for renewing a previous existing membership. During the same period, 12 members did not renew their membership and thus dropped out. We ended up with 358 members (+3 compared to the previous quarter).

Our new members are:

  • Henrique Paulino Machado
  • Alexander Gabriel
  • Jerry Tan
  • Adrien Bustany
  • Rodrigo Luiz Marques Flores
  • Felix Kaser
  • Yan Li
  • Luca Ferretti
  • Fabio Esteban Durán Verdugo
  • Andrea Veri
  • Siegfried-Angel Gevatter Pujals


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

The GNOME Journal issue with all the articles written by women involved in GNOME was published in November. Sumana Harihareswara, Leslie Hawthorn, Diana Katherine Horqque, Danielle Madeley, Cathy Malmrose, Stormy Peters, Ara Pulido, Hanna Wallach, and Marina Zhurakhinskaya worked on the articles for this issue. Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier, Paul Cutler, Sumana Harihareswara, Jim Hodapp and Stormy Peters worked on editing the articles. The articles included introductions to technical projects such as GNOME Shell, Telepathy, Empathy and Mago, tips on using Epiphany, a story about young girls having fun building Linux desktops, an interview with the Google Summer of Code organizer Leslie Hawthorn, and a follow-up with the participants of the GNOME Women’s Summer Outreach Program in 2006.

The new GNOME Outreach Program for Women has been announced in several blog posts, including ones by Peter Brown in the FSF blog and by Marina Zhurakhinskaya in her blog which is aggregated on Planet GNOME. The information about the program was picked up by other bloggers and various free software news feeds on Twitter. The list of mentors for the program already includes people working on GNOME Shell, Empathy, GNOME Games, Anjuta, documentation and marketing. More people are welcome to sign up as mentors.

Several women have already e-mailed women-outreach@gnome.org to express interest in the program and have been put in touch with the mentors to start learning about the projects that might interest them. One of the goals of the program is to help people find someone willing to help them get started contributing to GNOME any time during the year. Beyond that, we are encouraging students and mentors to work together before the application period for summer internships, so that the students are well familiar with the projects before they apply and the mentors have the contributions they can take into account during the selection process.

Máirín Duffy, Leslie Hawthorn, Stormy Peters, Hanna Wallach, and Marina Zhurakhinskaya are involved in the planning of the women in free software track at the LibrePlanet conference hosted by FSF on March 19-21. One of the goals of the conference is to highlight and increase women’s participation in free software. GNOME project and GNOME Outreach Program for Women will have a strong representation at this conference.

The plans for the next quarter include raising funds for sponsoring the summer internships, defining the application process, and finding participants by advertising at colleges and through Google AdWords.

Art Team

Andreas Nilsson

During Q4 2010 the art team did:

  • Lots of work on gnome-icon-theme by Jakub Steiner and Lapo Calamandrei
  • Lots of work on moblin-icon-theme by Jakub Steiner and Hylke Bons
  • Discussions around monocrome icons for various places in the system: http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/xdg/2009-December/011143.html
  • Lots of brainstorming (on Wave) on how to improve gnome design-wise.


System Administration Team

Paul Cutler

The System Administration team updated a number of GNOME systems in the fourth quarter.

  • Piwik, an open source web analytics program was installed by Jeff Schroeder to help the Marketing team with managing the GNOME website.
  • Alexandro Silva installed a Plone test instance to allow the Web team to start writing content directly in Plone for the new GNOME website.
  • Owen installed Splinter, a Bugzilla extention providing integration for attachment reviews.
  • Olav update the GNOME wiki (live.gnome.org) to a much newer version of MoinMoin, version 1.8.6.
  • GNOME servers hosted by Red Hat moved to a different data center. Owen helped facilitate the move and communication with the Red Hat IT staff.
  • CiviCRM was installed by Jeff Schroeder to help the Marketing team track contacts, donations and more.


Lastly, Andrea Veri joined the Accounts team and he has helped provide much needed support with account requests in Request Tracker. Welcome Andrea!


Lucas Rocha

The GNOME Web team has been gradually working on reaching alpha status on the new GNOME website. Alexandro Silva and Carsten Senger worked on instance of the new website will allow editors to start working on the missing bits of the website content. The idea is to have an initial complete version of the website together with GNOME’s 2.30 release.