my blog

Wednesday 28 November 2007

GNOME & Google Highly Open Participation Contest

Google Highly Open Participation Contest

The news is now out: Google is launching a new Google Summer of Code-like contest, the Google Highly Open Participation Contest (GHOP contest). We've been excited as soon as we got contacted to participate in this project since the goal is to put pre-university students in contact with free software, and have them contribute. And I'm really glad that it's not just about code, but about all types of contributions you can think of. There's a list of tasks that students can choose from, covering really everything. In this contest, a task is small and not-too-hard: it should only take a few days to complete, in between normal school work. This is only the first year for GHOP, so there are only 10 projects involved this year, and I really hope that it will be a success and that it will grow like GSoC in the following years so that more organizations can welcome those young contributors.

On the GNOME side, we'll be using the gnome-love mailing list as a central hub for this. It's the best place to help people contribute, and therefore to help the students complete the tasks. Everything has been prepared in the last few weeks in a small corner, and a team of around 10-15 GNOME people have been slowly working on our participation to this contest. We would have loved to see the whole community involved, but we couldn't let the word out; that's why we asked several people working on various topics within GNOME to join the small team. With this team, we've defined a first list of tasks, but the good thing is that the community can now propose new tasks. I'm eager to see other people jumping in and have new task suggestions that we can approve.

Oh, and soon, we should have a specific GNOME/GHOP logo and/or flyer to help promote the contest :-)

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Dark theme

Bruno, Wouter: guys, just use the Darklooks theme shipped in gnome-themes-extras or Darkilouche (although I can't find a package for the latter). Much easier :-)

When people look at my screen, I usually get some very positive comments about the theme, so it seems many people are enjoying a dark appearance. Oh, and of course, everybody should use our default background.

Thursday 8 November 2007

Travelling for GNOME...

Long time no blog... It's been a few weeks since I've wanted to write many many many many many many posts (yes, that many) about many many many many topics (also that many). I guess I won't have time to write all those posts, though... Anyway, it's time to try to stop the no post curse, with one long post. In the past few months (and especially this month), I've been travelling quite a bit, mostly for GNOME-related things (there were also one or two personal trips) and some summary of all this is long overdue.

(Skipping FOSDEM in February, since I blogged about it)

Last May, Canonical invited me to the UDS in Sevilla. It was a good occasion to meet at lot of people, and of course some GNOME friends (Ryan, Raphaël, Sébastien, Don, Olav, Fernando and probably other I forgot, sorry!) and Ubuntu friends (won't list everybody, but there's the German Gang: Daniel, Michael and Martin). I discovered there that Raphaël is a mangeur de tripes. It was a great event, but the thing that made it really rocking for me is that it helped me start hacking again. During my return trip, I had a whole night at the Barcelona airport, where I could fix a few gnome-session and libwnck bugs: this was an amazing experience, being alone in the dark, in a small corner of this big airport.

In June, I went to Paris to participate with David Larlet (Ubuntu-fr), Tristan Nitot (Mozilla Europe) and Sophie Gautier ( to a roundtable about communities during Paris Capitale du Libre. I felt there was some quite interesting discussion, unfortunately I don't think anybody posted notes of this session. It was also good to catch up with friends of the French Free Software community. Christophe Fergeau was kind enough to host me. You definitely want to go to his home to see a big TV.

July came and I went to the RMLL in Amiens where I helped with the GNOME/GNOME-FR booth. I really have to do a whole post about this event: it was just fantastic! Frédéric and the magic Claude Paroz (translation hero) were there too. I also talked about the GNOME community for the community track, and the presentation went quite well. Thanks to the Foundation for sponsoring me to get there! After the RMLL, I went directly to Birmingham for GUADEC. Some girl saw my computer (with a Ubuntu sticker) at the airport and laughed: she told me she was using Ubuntu at home! As people probably guessed by reading some of my blog entries, I really enjoyed GUADEC :-)

Jumping to October, and the JDLL in Lyon. This is probably one of my favorite events each year for a few reasons: I always feel at home there (it's not far from where I live, and I lived in Lyon for a few years), it's also a good occasion to see some friends in Lyon, and a few years back, I went to the JDLL for the first time and it was the first free software event I attended. I made a presentation about GNOME and how we're trying to reach as many people as possible; the talk went okayish, but it could have been way better. Probably because I was so tired (previous weeks were very busy)... There was of course a GNOME/GNOME-FR booth, mainly manned by Laurent, a friend of mine. Of course, lots of people were there, and I was quite happy to see Dave, and some familiar faces from Mozilla, Fedora-fr and the whole French community.

One week after the JDLL (ie, last week), I went to Boston for the latest UDS (although it turned out to be really difficult to fly to Boston because of the Air France strike; some people never made it). Again, the main point for me was to meet people to discuss and it worked quite well. There was a whole GNOME mafia, with Pedro, Sébastien, Ryan, Andreas, Christian, Jorge, etc. I also tried to catch up with mails: Sébastien now believes that most of my day is used to reply to mails, which is not so far from the reality... Thanks Canonical for inviting me there!

I left UDS one day before the end to do two talks about GNOME during the Gutsy Party in Paris last week-end. One of the presentations was the same as the one I did for the JDLL and the other was about what's new in 2.20; everything went quite well and it was great to see the Géode again. I would have loved to attend a Fedora 8 release event too, but I don't think there is one :/ Oh, and thanks Pascal for hosting me (and allowing me to visit the Mandriva offices)!

This brings us to today. On Saturday, I'm going to Nice to talk about the GNOME philosophy at the JM2L (will be glad to see Baptiste, it's been a long time) and then, next week, I'll go in Italy for SFScon where I'll talk about, guess what, GNOME. Oh, and I can't wait to see there the lovely Andreas!

That's quite a bunch of events, isn't it? I must admit I now feel really happy to stay at home for a few days... You may notice the lack of travel between the end of GUADEC and October. This is a period where I've been more generally much less active, for one specific reason. More on this later :-)

by Vincent