Bangalore GNOME 3.0 Hackfest

GNOME Release Team

Already 5 days in Bangalore, India and time to give an update on what has been done and what’s left to finalize. I have indeed been silent the past 2-3 months preparing the GNOME.Asia Summit and working on Software Freedom Day to get up to speed for 2011. So I am at my first GNOME hackfest and from what I have been told, one of the biggest ever. In total we have about 16 people working on the GNOME 3.0 release, from making sure we catch all the critical bugs, to fixing them, writing documentation (I’ve just been assigned to write some missing sections – that will be my first contribution to the GNOME code base) and preparing the associated marketing campaign (which has already started of course).

On top of those major tasks we are also providing training to the students of Bangalore (2 days totalling 200 seats), organizing a business session with case studies to explain to local companies how others make money with GNOME and Free Software, running a helpdesk to support people curious about GNOME 3.0 and, making sure that all the necessary tasks for the GNOME.Asia Summit have been completed. I have to send a huge thank you to Bharath for his devotion and support everyday and all the sponsors who have made this great event possible. It is a real pleasure to see so many people supporting us and we can definitely feel the pressure not to disappoint anyone.

In that respect I have been particularly impressed with the release team who is not taking their task lightly and have somewhat skipped the group meals since Tuesday. They still move from the hotel to the hackfest location with us but seldom leave their keyboards. The above photo is a shot I just took in their room before writing this post… Of course no one in the team has written their talk for the weekend, but that shouldn’t prevent participants from attending 😉

On the bright side we have reached 1400 registrations for the summit and I doubt anything could stop the success of what we’ve been working on for the past 6 months. India even got qualified for the cricket world finals, which has only happened twice since 1975 (2003 best runner up, 1983 winner). So obviously everything is on our side and the 3.0 release should be a magnificent one.

Last but not least I want to thank the GNOME Foundation for its support and allowing me to join the hackfest and the conference.

Sponsored by the GNOME Foundation

Mentoring for GNOME at Google Code-in

Google Code-in 2010

I’d like to mention to all the students potentially reading my blog that I am mentoring one task of the many GNOME tasks that GNOME has submitted this year. Google Code-In for those not aware, is something similar to Google Summer of Code except it’s happening now and targeting pre-university students (13-18 years old). Tasks are also supposed to be completable within 3-5 days maximum. So if you’re interested just drop by at the task website and apply for the task you’re interested in. You can find further information here specific to GNOME and Google Code-In. You can also leave me a comment here or find me on IRC (BLUG_Fred).

GNOME T-Shirt design contest!

GNOME T-shirt ContestFor the designers out there I’d like to mentioned that the GNOME Foundation is launching a T-shirt design competition to prepare for the launch of GNOME 3.0. So if you have a bit of designing skills and would like to see the millions of us, GNOME users, wearing your art, then give it a try. First prize also entitles you for U$100 and 2 T-shirts of your own design, though we all know no one does it for the money!

Now for those of you just curious to see what the latest GNOME Shell looks like I recommend trying out compiling from the GIT repository as explained here starting around the middle of the page. It’s definitely nice to see Free Software innovating and coming up with complete new ideas and interfaces in desktop computing. Note that this is still a work in progress (code freeze should happen around February-March) and might not work so well on your machine. Tip: ‘ALT+F2 – debugexit – ENTER’ gets you out!

Attending GNOME Boston Summit

Gnome Foundation SponsoredLast minute decision (and thanks to a misunderstanding) I’m attending the GNOME Boston Summit and will use this opportunity to build a sales presentation for GNOME technologies geared towards device manufacturers. The GNOME Foundation is again financially helping me to go there, as they did for GNOME.Asia Summit. It’s pretty interesting to see the latest directions in GNOME Shell and be part of discussions about what effect could be integrated here and there and listen to people giving feedback on the various issues left before the final release. I’ll probably blog more the conference tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Last but not least I’ll use this opportunity to meet up with SFI board member, founder and treasurer, Matt Oquist as he lives about 3 hours from Boston and we’ll be talking about Software Freedom Day. That’s pretty exciting all by itself as we’ve been talking and doing things together for over 3 years now without even meeting each others.

Call for hosts for GNOME.Asia Summit 2009

gnome_asiaBeing part of the GNOME.Asia Summit Committee, I would like to pass along the message and let every Asian community know that we’re looking for a new host this year. So here is the full announcement:

We are soliciting proposals for hosting GNOME.Asia 2009. The GNOME.Asia Summit is planned to be an annual GNOME event hosted in Asia. We started the GNOME.Asia Summit in 2008 and we want to continue this tradition and spread GNOME throughout the Asian region.

The GNOME.Asia Summit will focus primarily on the GNOME desktop including both applications and the development platform in addition to larger GNOME-related community in Asia. The Summit brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments and businesses to discuss a varied range of topics relating to GNOME and the GNOME community in Asia. Learn more about GNOME.Asia Summit from our website at

The Summit has an active committee to assist the local coordinators, but there is a definitive need for individuals actively involved and committed to the planning and execution of the Summit. There are challenges to work through but the process can be a very rewarding and a lot of fun.

GNOME.Asia is much like a tiny seed we want to grow into a tree in Asia. We are looking for local organizers in any Asian country with the desire to take on and succeed in the challenges of organizing an excellent GNOME event.

The following two links are “must read items” for GUADEC, the European model for the Summit. It has also worked well for GNOME.Asia Summit organizers :

You will also find the template of GNOME.Asia Summit 2008 Proposal is very helpful:
Download the proposal template from:

Dear GNOME friends,

For those of you who interested in hosting the next GNOME.Asia Summit in 2009 you are hereby invited to write a formal proposal to the GNOME.Asia Committee list at asia-summit-list [at] regarding your ideas for this year Asian GNOME event! The deadline for submitting the proposal is 15th, June, 2009.

One more application fully localized, one started!

Still actually working on that new project of mine, we (Pockey and I) finished Gcompris localization in Chinese last Saturday. Ok, most of the work was done with 98% completed, which shows a huge increase from 6 months ago actually where less than half was translated into Chinese. Gcompris is an educational software suite which proposes different activities to children from 2 to 10 years old. Gcompris po files are available from the Gnome website where you can find a few other languages that need completion. Coordinating the Gnome Chinese translation effort it is worth mentioning that you can find BLUG member and occasional presenter Funda Wang (Yeah BLUG again).

This being said we have also started localizing Hex-a-hop, a puzzle game with 100 levels. The internationalization process was completed last year in July by Jens Seidel, who has developed the patches for making it work with SDLPango and to support all the spectrum of Unicode characters. With debian packages, the process of getting the po file is a big more “complicated”. In fact there are two ways, one given to me by Miriam Ruiz (Hex-a-hop maintainer at debian) and one by Anthony Fok (BLUG member among so many other things, and great Linux contributor). So here we go (for those who would like to actually translate other debian projects):

miriam@miriam:~/tmp$ apt-get source hex-a-hop
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Need to get 1020kB of source archives.
Get:1 sid/main hex-a-hop 0.0.20070315-6 (dsc) [1004B]
Get:2 sid/main hex-a-hop 0.0.20070315-6 (tar) [892kB]
Get:3 sid/main hex-a-hop 0.0.20070315-6 (diff) [127kB]
Fetched 1020kB in 1s (577kB/s)
dpkg-source: extracting hex-a-hop in hex-a-hop-0.0.20070315
dpkg-source: info: unpacking hex-a-hop_0.0.20070315.orig.tar.gz
dpkg-source: info: applying hex-a-hop_0.0.20070315-6.diff.gz
miriam@miriam:~/tmp$ find . -name "*.po"
miriam@miriam:~/tmp$ find . -name "*.pot"

Then you just need to open the .pot file with poedit. Second method is to convert the .mo file which you can get from the binary deb file back into a .po file typing:

dpkg-deb -x hex-a-hop_0.0.20070315-6_i386.deb testdir
cd testdir/usr/share/locale/de/LC_MESSAGES
msgunfmt > hex-a-hop.po

Now there is a good explanation here on the translation process used in FOSS for those of you wanting to understand more. Should you want to join us and help, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you want to translate other applications that you feel should be in your language but are having problems with it, I won’t mind helping out neither.