GUADEC 2017

Few days ago I attended this year’s GUADEC which held at Manchester. This was my third GUADEC and, as the previous ones, attending to the conference gave me the opportunity to talk about both technical and ethical matters, hang out with old friends (even though unfortunately some of them were missing) and meet new ones. My general feeling is that each GUADEC is always better than the previous one and I think it is due to a more tight relationship with the members of the community. GUADEC is the event that keeps my motivation up: being able to talk in real life with people sharing the same concerns and ideas about software freedom helps me to feel less alone.

The conference was very well organized. GUADEC 2017 has been hosted at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and both the venue and the on-site accommodation infrastructures are impressive. If I had to compare them with the infrastructures in my country I would be really embarrassed. Most of the approved talks were a lot interesting to me. Unfortunately some of them were given at the same time, therefore I had to choose which one to listen. Hopefully, all the talks have been recorded. I’m looking forward to see them online! The social events were amazing. The biggest event was the Saturday party to celebrate GNOME’s 20th anniversary. Another event I really liked is the Tour of Manchester, which gave me the opportunity to quickly visit the center of Manchester and to discover the Alan Turing Statue at Sackville Gardens. In the previous GUADECs I didn’t have the opportunity to visit the center of the hosting city, so I really appreciated the organized tour.

 

Speaking about the talks, the ones that I liked the most (and that I really encourage you to listen when they will be available online) are:

The GNOME Way, by Allan Day

In this talk Allan discussed what the principles of GNOME are. Highlighting that GNOME isn’t just about code, but it includes different principle tat make it unique, such as being an inclusive community. Thanks to this talk now I know about the GNOME Foundation Charter. An important sentence from this document is the following:

The foundation should not be exclusionary or elitist. Every GNOME contributor, however small his or her contribution, must have the opportunity to participate in determining the direction and actions of the project.

which shows how inclusive the GNOME community has been since the beginning. You can find a bloggified version of the talk here.

The Battle Over Our Technology, by Karen Sandler

This talk mainly highlights the importance of software freedom, giving some examples on how to explain to non-technical people why software freedom is essential component of a free society and why they should care about it. I really liked this talk, mainly because I often find difficult to explain what are the issues that proprietary software may bring in our every-day life. When the video will be available online I will watch it again for sure.

The History of GNOME, by Jonathan Blandford

A brief history of GNOME. It starts from the beginning of the first graphics system, it goes through each GNOME milestone and it ends showing what the current opportunities are. The reason why I’ve found this talk really nice is that it shows how GNOME improved day-by-day and lists who were the big players that were interested in GNOME (for example, I didn’t know that the accessibility stack was sponsored by Sun Microsystems). If you can’t wait for the recorded version, the slides can be find here.

I would like to thank GNOME Foundation for sponsoring me and the travel committee for their work. Without to their support I wouldn’t have been able to attend to this GUADEC!

Next GUADEC will be in Almería. I hope to be there next year!

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Do you want to test GNOME Photos?

If you are interested in testing the latest version of GNOME Photos, now it will be easier than before!

Recently we made Photos available as a Flatpak application. This means that you can now run the latest, unstable version and help us to find regressions or general bugs. At this time to install the application you still need to use the command line.

See here for installing the Flatpak package, after that you just need follow the few steps described below.

Add the nightly platform and application repositories:

wget https://sdk.gnome.org/nightly/keys/nightly.gpg
flatpak remote-add --gpg-import=nightly.gpg gnome-nightly https://sdk.gnome.org/nightly/repo/
flatpak remote-add --gpg-import=nightly.gpg gnome-nightly-apps https://sdk.gnome.org/nightly/repo-apps/

Install the nightly GNOME platform:

flatpak install gnome-nightly org.gnome.Platform master

Install the nightly GNOME Photos:

flatpak install gnome-nightly-apps org.gnome.Photos master

And when you want to update, just run:

flatpak update

Bug reports are appreciated! You can report them here (a registration is needed).

GNOME Documents collections dialog redone

Few days ago the new collections dialog for GNOME Documents landed in master. Since the last post the dialog received some improvements:

An empty view

gnome-documentsempty-view

When there are no collections, instead of displaying an empty list we show a special view to add your first collection.

A more polished dialog

gnome-documents-full-view

The border of the list was removed giving more view to the list’s content. Suggested buttons are indicated, so that the theme can colour them differently to give a hint to the user. Spaces between elements have been changed according to the GNOME HIG and now they are in increments of 6 pixels.

Animations

When deleting a collection, the row now slides on the left to make room for the delete message with the undo button. If the undo button is clicked the collection row slides back.

When the undo button is showed a timer starts. If it is not clicked in time the collection is deleted and the row disappears.

My work on GNOME Documents as a Google Summer of Code student is over, but I have strong interest in continuing to contribute in this awesome community. I would like to thank again my mentor, Debarshi, for his guidance and help when things didn’t work; the GNOME design team for gave me a good mockup to work on; Lapo for the graphical tips he suggested me after the previous blog post and Emmanuele for his advice on GTK.

A new collections dialog for Documents

This summer, as a Google Summer of Code Project,  I’m working on implement a new collections pattern for Documents. Let’s discuss the changes made so far!

The current dialog has some problems because it hasn’t a clear way to add a new collection and it lacks on some features like renaming and deleting a displayed collection. Although the missing features aren’t reachable from the collections dialog, it is already possible to rename from the property dialog and delete from the selection mode.

The new collections dialog at this time looks like this:

gnome-document-collection2

The collections are displayed more clearly and a new one can be added more easily. With the new design we also gained the ability to prevent duplicate collections names since we can disable the “Add” button if a collection with that name already exists.

gnome-document-collection3

If a collection has just been deleted, it can be restored with the “Undo” button.

gnome-document-collection4

And when renaming a collection the other rows are disabled.

This is what I’ve done until today. It took me a lot of time to reach the current state and I would like to thank my mentor Debarshi for being helpful and available at all times, and for answering all my questions just a second after I ask them.

The work-in-progress patch can be found here. Feedback is welcome, if you have any please let me know!