It was a long day of travel to get to the GNOME docs hackfest in Brno,
but I arrived safely on Friday. Knowing that they would be concerned, I
sent my family a picture to let them know that I was ok, and that I had
indeed made it to the Czech Republic.
This picture was taken in Prague, where we met up with Andre Klapper for
lunch. Andre and Florian Nadge gave us a brief tour of Prague on foot,
but we still had an almost three hour bus ride to Brno. It was a long day.
After a restful night of sleep, we woke up, got started, and day one of
our hackfest is now in the books. Overall it was a very productive day,
and I feel like we’re off to a very good start.
We started at about 9:30am, laying out goals and plans for the hackfest.
Here are some of the goals that we laid out:
- Revised GNOME help for version 3.8
- gedit updates that reflect the switch to gmenu (almost complete now)
- Merge updated gedit snippets for Mallard. The new snippets
incorporate the syntax of the entire Mallard 1.0 draft specification
(many thanks to Jaromír Hradílek for his work on this)
- Assist Sindhu with gnome-terminal documentation
- Passwords and Keys documentation
- Updates to the GNOME Help landing page. These updates will be
necessary to have a smooth transition between the Getting Started
videos and the docs.
- … other
I have to put “other” because I don’t have the list in front of me, and
other hackfest folks aren’t around for the time being to offer their
input. There is a lot more that we’re working on, including at least a
couple of people primarily focusing on developer documentation. If you
are curious about the full plan, I will update this blog post tomorrow
morning(-ish) with the additional details, and you can check-back then.
We also discussed one process improvement. We’re going to stop using
gitorious.org for draft documentation and just start using branches in
the appropriate projects on git.gnome.org instead. Using a branch on
git.gnome.org will simplify things for new contributors who ask what
there is to work on (the new contributor would only need to learn how to
use git.gnome.org, and not also learn gitorious), it will simplify the
merging process once docs are ready for merging, and it will also help
teach new contributors about managing and merging branches with git.
A couple of things make this a very promising hackfest. We couldn’t have
timed the hackfest better, as Gnome 3.7.9 (the beta release for GNOME
3.8) was just released. That means GNOME is in a feature freeze (a good
time to work on documentation updates), and the builds are mostly
stable. Using jhbuild to get the latest bits has been working quite
well. Though there may be a few freeze breaks, we’re certainly in a much
better spot than we have been for prior releases. Kudos to the
developers for getting us to this point at this point in the release cycle.
I also feel like we have a good focus and the resources to do our work.
The task list that we put up on the board seemed like a decent scope of
work for a hackfest of this length. To get all of our work done, it
helps that the group here is an experienced bunch. We have a good set of
docs writers here, and a whole host of GNOME developers present for the
developers conference. Having them around will be be very helpful when
we need to pester someone with application-specific questions.
I’m sure I’ll have a couple more updates as the hackfest progresses, but
this is all for now. Many thanks to Florian Nadge, Petr Kovar and Jana
Švárová for being such wonderful hosts, and to the GNOME Foundation for
sponsoring my travel.