Helping Purism structure its messaging

I meant to finish writing and posting this a month or two ago, but urgent tasks and life kept getting in the way. I don’t often talk about client work here, but since this is public-facing ongoing work for a company that is insanely pro-Free-Software (not just “open source”), a company that ships GNOME3 by default on their laptops (something I have awaited for years), I guess it makes sense to talk about what I’ve been up to recently.

So, for a few weeks three months now, I have been helping Purism structure its messaging and get its business in a better shape. Purism is, in itself, a hugely interesting endeavour. Heck, I could go out on a limb and say this venture, alongside the work Endless is doing, is quite possibly one of the most exciting things that has happened to the Free desktop for the past decade—and yet almost nobody heard of it.

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Vice-President’s Report — The State of the GNOME Foundation

Hi! Long time no see. My blog has been pretty quiet in recent months, in the big part due to my extended commitment on the GNOME Foundation‘s Board of Directors (for a second year without an executive director present to take some of the load) and the various business engagements I’ve had.

Generally speaking, this year was a bit less intense than the one before it (we didn’t have to worry about a legal battle with a giant corporation this time around!) although we did end up touching a fair amount of legal matters, such as trademark agreements. One big item we got cleared was the Ubuntu GNOME trademark agreement. We also welcomed businesses that wanted to sell GNOME-related merchandise, you can find them listed here—supporting them by purchasing GNOME-related items also supports the Foundation with a small percentage shared as royalties.

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In which I turn into an international shipping operation

In months prior to the GUADEC 2015 conference, both the board of directors and engagement team were kept busy with an above-average workload, so the GNOME Foundation‘s Annual Report had to wait until things settled a bit. After the core days of GUADEC, we held an all-day meeting among members of the Engagement team (and whoever was interested in joining the fun, really):


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Capturing the essence of a cool symphonic orchestra through video

One of the things I do as part of my varied service offering at idéemarque is filmmaking, sound and video editing—as some of you must have realized by now, I have this undying passion for storytelling and the making of motion picture.

So when a symphonic orchestra requests my help to make a promotional video for them, and gives me carte blanche when it comes to creative freedom, you can imagine I’m pretty thrilled!

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President’s Report — The State of the GNOME Foundation

As I hinted in my retrospective in February, 2014 has been crazy busy on a personal level. Let’s now take a look at 2014-2015 from a GNOME perspective.

When I offered my candidacy for the GNOME Foundation‘s Board of Directors in May last year, I knew that there would be plenty of issues to tackle if elected. As I was elected president afterwards, I was aware that I was getting into a demanding role that would not only test my resolve but also make use of my ability to set a clear direction and keep us moving forward through tough times. But even if someone tries to describe what’s involved in all this, it remains difficult to truly grasp the amount of work involved before you’ve experienced it yourself.

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Pitivi status update for Q1 2014, fundraiser launch

Since my previous technical update in January, I haven’t had time to touch Pitivi’s code. Thankfully though, Alexandru Băluț has been filling the gap with a ton of refactoring work: around 150 commits! That took a fair amount of time to review and merge, believe me. Besides code cleanup, he also finished the port of the viewer to a cluttersink, fixed fonts and theme colors detection for the timeline (so it looks fine even if you’re not using the Adwaita GNOME theme).

Alexandru took the opportunity to not only fix some bugs, but also do some visual refinements on the timeline ruler: it now shows hours and miliseconds only when needed (depending on the zoom level) and subtly grays out units that did not change from one “tick” to another, so your eyes can focus on what actually changed:

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Applying for a GSoC project is all about early involvement and commitment

This year, Pitivi‘s focus for GSoC projects will be a little bit different than in 2013. As you can see in our preliminary ideas page, there is much less GStreamer (or GES) work involved, as we tried to focus on Pitivi UI work — easier, concrete projects, mostly only in Python. Most of the hardcore backend work we needed to accomplish was done throughout 2013. Of course, there are still some hardcore project ideas around if you feel like you’re up for a challenge. Anyway, the list of ideas is just that: a list of ideas. We’re more than happy for you to come up with your own ideas (thinking outside the box is a positive trait, feel free to impress us).

More importantly, here’s how our approach differs this year: Continue reading “Applying for a GSoC project is all about early involvement and commitment”

Lightworks is not anywhere close to open-source

I’ve seen everybody hail Lightworks as the messiah that will make all other open source video editors irrelevant. So far, I didn’t blog about this (because frankly, life’s too short to be pessimistic, and I was also quite curious as to how it would play out and wanted to give EditShare the benefit of the doubt—after all, I’m a fan of video editing software in general).

However, after all these years, most of the blogs or news sites (including the most popular ones) still don’t bother checking for factual accuracy and just blindly accept what corporate press releases would have them believe. I would have thought they would have grown more careful with time, but the situation has generally not improved, to the point where I am now compelled to say this now, officially, in public: Lightworks is currently not open-source and never has been. Furthermore, if it ever is open-sourced, it most likely won’t be anywhere close to a truly open project.

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Reducing our core apps’ software inventory

In my free time, I try to help other open source projects get rid of accumulated weight from the years. At GUADEC, I told the Epiphany devs that the 3.x series (with its new design direction/vision and the gradually improving Webkit backend) would be the perfect opportunity to close massive amounts of old bug reports. Indeed, there were nearly a thousand of them open. This week-end, I closed about 150 of them. I’m not even nearly done; this will take time and patience, especially since I want to do the same thing with Empathy, which also expressed interest in a radical round of cleanup. What I’d like to convince you of is the need to reduce our “excess inventory”. Read on.

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Staring into the Axis’ Abyss: the Railgun map

This blog post will not be picked up by the usual news sites. News sites don’t care about positive things, it is much more interesting to talk about impending doom. Don’t get me wrong, it is quite healthy and necessary to talk about these things, but it is also an opportunity for haters to come out in full force. From the comments section of Benjamin’s post, I just got the same vibe as usual (note: take the following as an introduction with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor): Continue reading “Staring into the Axis’ Abyss: the Railgun map”

Community involvement

~Ducking Out~

Although PiTiVi is a FLOSS project developed entirely in the open (that is, everything is public/transparent), I have been told that it still feels intimidating for potential new contributors. Believe it or not, I spend a lot of time thinking about that and smoothing out that process. Sometimes I still find myself a bit surprised that people are not exactly rushing through the doors to hack on the code. I have a few multi-factorial theories about that (they make for lively conversations), but this is not the point of this blog post.

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Améliorer les performances de GTG

Pour les fans de la technique GTD de David Allen, Getting Things GNOME! est une révélation, un logiciel qui rend «sans douleur» l’ajout et la gestion de tâches. Je considère les fonctionnalités suivantes comme étant celles qui démarquent GTG des autres applications:

  1. La capacité d’utiliser un langage naturel, tel que “defer:20100224” ou “due:vendredi” (et on peut quand même utiliser les mots clés en anglais, c’est généralement plus court: “due:friday”);
  2. La capacité de «reporter» une tâche;
  3. Un mode «vue de travail», qui fait en sorte de masquer toutes les tâches reportées, qui ne peuvent pas encore être commencées ou qui dépendent d’autres tâches. Dans mon cas, c’est la différence entre avoir 130 tâches devant les yeux et en avoir 30. C’est fantastique, ce que ça permet et termes de «focus»;
  4. Un système de «tags», avec la possibilité d’exclure certains tags de la «vue de travail»;
  5. Un bouton «Marquer comme fait» qui est, naturellement, jouissif.

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Getting Things Done: le changement visible

J’applique l’essence de la technique de David Allen depuis septembre environ, en me fiant à cent pour cent à Dates et Tasks pour mes besoins d’organisation. Je peux dire que je ne regrette pas d’avoir lu Getting Things Done (j’ai fait un review plus complet de ce livre dans le numéro 2 du Psy-chose, si vous ne savez pas de quoi je parle).

Bon jusque là tout baigne, on le sait Jeff, alors pourquoi tu blogues? En fait c’est simplement que ce matin, j’ai retrouvé une image SVG datant de vendredi le 03 août 2007, qui est en fait une carte heuristique (un plan mental) de toutes les choses que j’avais à faire à la fin de l’été dernier.

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