2009 GNOME Annual Report is out!

From the better late than never department, the 2009 GNOME Foundation Annual Report has been released.

When Lucas first asked me to help with the annual report a year and a half ago at GUADEC in Gran Canaria, one of the goals was to try and help it come out sooner. Apparently, I had the opposite effect. I have lots of excuses, but none of them good. (Though someone did point out to me that Mozilla just released their 2009 report a few weeks ago, so I felt a bit better. But not a whole lot, I hate being tardy, believe it or not).

The Annual Report wouldn’t have happened without Daniel Galleguillos C. who did all of the design and layout work and put up with my constant change requests. (Thanks to those who have already found a couple small typos – please email me with any more you find and I’ll work to get an updated copy out this weekend).

Thanks to all of our writers, including Jason Clinton, Pockey Lam, Stormy Peters and Diego Escalante Urrelo – and everyone who contributed to a quarterly report. I’d also like to thank everyone who helped with photos or re-licensed their photos so we were able to use them including Cody Russell, Chris Lord, Michael Dominic K., and Lucas Rocha. Lastly, thanks to everyone who helped edit and everyone I’m forgetting (because I know I am – especially on the photos!)

Work is already beginning on the 2010 report. It will be out sooner (I promise) and I’m also going to change it so it coincides with GNOME’s fiscal year rather than calendar year, so it may be a slightly smaller as there will be some overlap. If you want to help out, let me know!

GNOME Boston Summit 2010 kicks off

The GNOME Boston Summit 2010 kicked off a couple hours ago. Dozens of GNOME hackers are at the Tang Center at MIT.

John (J5) Palmieri and Jon McCann helped kick off the Summit.

J5 gave an overview of what the Boston Summit is. It’s different from GUADEC which is many presentations and more formal talks. The Boston Summit is much more informal and run Barcamp style. It gives hackers a chance to hack together and get stuff done. Face to face time is very important and the Boston Summit helps facilitate that.

Jon McCann continued the kickoff and thanked Stormy for her time at the GNOME Foundation as Executive Director to a rousing round of applause.

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He then gave an update on things he’s been working on. The Control Center is actively being developed in GNOME git, new themes for GNOME Shell are coming online, and GNOME 3.0 will feature a new font! The new font is designed by David Crossland (spelling?) who is a big believer in open design and is also hosted on GNOME’s git servers.

Jon talked about Shell briefly (and Owen will talk about it more later today). New guidelines are being written for GNOME 3 applications and wiki pages discussing that as well as compatibility and messaging are in progress. He asked the crowd how many people were running GNOME Shell now and about 25% of the hands in the room went up.

Work on the new modulesets for GNOME is in progress and there is a renewed focus on GNOME’s core and a focus on what the desktop is. One conversation that he looked forward to having this weekend is what is the Core OS versus the applications that layer on top of it. A goal is to make it easier to build the core desktop. One example of this is jhbuild – jhbuild has seen its core modules reduced from 255 to 92 modules! Jon is hoping the group will continue to brainstorm on how to make that even easier.

There are 3-5 months left for development (depending on how you look at freezes) and now is a great time for the community to come together. GNOME 3.0 is a very important release for GNOME and it will take all of us.

Lastly, Jon encouraged the community to watch the video of the talk that Michael Meeks gave at Linux Plumbers this week. The talk was about how GNOME is doing open source right. GNOME has a strong message to share and other projects look to us for things such as doing design in the open, community engagement and more.

From there, people proposed talks and sessions to give Barcamp style and we voted to help prioritize the sessions and J5 started assigning rooms and times for the talks.

Thank you Stormy

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Most people by now have heard that news that Stormy is leaving as the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation to take a position at Mozilla.

I’ve had a few people reach out to me to follow up on her announcement to make sure it has nothing to do with the drama going on in the community (it doesn’t) or concerned about the timing with GNOME 3.0 coming (GNOME 3.0 is still coming!)

Now, no one on the Board asked me to do this and I’m speaking for myself, but I believe we’ll be ok. We have a great release coming in April and the Release Team is doing a great job of overseeing that. GNOME Developers are porting apps fast and furious to GTK3, GNOME Shell is coming along nicely, release parties are being planned, docs are being written and I could keep going on. None of these activities are going to stop because we don’t have an ED.

Most of us have left a job at some point – it’s not personal. And Stormy gets to work on something she’s passionate about. I saw this first hand this past April at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit where she organized a track to talk about how the desktop should interact with web services. Cornelius from KDE spoke, I spoke, Rejon from identi.ca and more. She also received some great press from a talk she gave this past August about software freedom on the web. And now she has a chance to work to further that cause – which is a worthy one. While I’m sad to see her go, I’m happy to know she continues to work on software freedom and something she is just as passionate about, if not more so.

Stormy has always been visible to the GNOME community and transparent about the work she does with her regular updates of what she’s working on via her blog and emails to the Foundation list. But one of the most important things she did within the community was never in those recaps – and that’s the encouragement she provided to everyone who pinged her. As the face of the Foundation, volunteers would ping her to get her opinion on a new idea or a new feature. They valued her opinion, but more importantly, they wanted affirmation they were doing something right.

Stormy did that for me – in my last job I would commute to Boulder, Colorado about once a quarter, which isn’t too far from where Stormy lived. I was active in the community, but with Stormy’s gentle nudges, I was inspired to take that to the next level. Stormy made time for me and we would meet for coffee or lunch every couple of months and brainstorm and get stuff done. Stormy encouraged me to come to GUADEC in 2009 and was always there to listen to a new idea or answer a question.

I am grateful we had someone as qualified as Stormy to work for the Foundation the last 2+ years. Sure, I’m sad to see her go – not that she’s going far – but more importantly, I’m thankful for everything she has done for everyone in the GNOME community. Thanks again Stormy!

Taking Snowy for a Walk #4 – Meet the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Photo: “Untitled” by Rach

We are just two weeks away from the Boston Summit which is also the site of the upcoming Snowy Hackfest. We’re cooking up all kinds of plans for the hackfest. Our goals include:

  • An HTML5 mobile client
  • Integrating note editing into Snowy so you can edit your notes in a web browser
  • Focus on the user interface

In other news, Snowy 0.5, “Cavalier King Charles Spaniel”, was released on Monday to coincide with the GNOME 2.91.1 release and Tomboy Online was updated to Snowy 0.5. There is a method to the madness in Sandy’s choice of release names – I have a GNOME sticker (or stickers) as a prize to the first person who can tell me. (Contest not open to Snowy developers. Must be a resident of Planet Earth. Other rules and restrictions may apply but probably not. I’ll pay postage.) Version 0.5 was a minor bugfix release – expect lots of big changes after the hackfest. (Note I just say after – can’t hold me to a date!)

We received some new UI mockups – check them out on the wiki! Here’s one:
Tomboy Online mockup

The second wave of alpha invites went out on Monday. If you’re on the list, you just got a bit closer to getting our invite! Thanks to our alpha testers, we’re getting some great feedback via email and Bugzilla. Keep it coming!

Lastly, I was added as an administrator to help with new account activation. Commence evil genius laugh.

About Snowy: Snowy is a web-based viewer for your Tomboy notes. It’s written in Python using the Django web framework, and is licensed under the AGPL.

Tomboy Online is a deployment of the Snowy software on GNOME servers, intended to provide free note sync and online note access to all Tomboy users.

Please check out our website here: http://live.gnome.org/Snowy