Back in April I wrote a Trip Report of the last major Endless OS Beta release. It was fun! I use Endless OS every day and have a very soft spot for it after Product Managing it for a couple of rewarding yet high stress years. Now the team has released their first beta of the 3.9 release series. If I was still there this is the sort of thing the team would get in a blizzard of Google Docs and Phabricator tickets.
Endless have recently released the first beta of the 3.8 series for their Linux based operating system. As someone who used to work there in product, and is still friends with a number of Endless-ers I upgraded my personal machine and checked it out. This is a “trip report” of my notes and may be a little bitty but I hope it’s useful feedback for the developers and designers and maybe encourages a few other people to give Endless a go.
I was lucky enough to be sponsored by the GNOME Foundation to attend the 2019 Linux Application Summit, hosted in Barcelona between November 12th and 15th 2019. It was a great conference with a diverse crew of people who all care about making apps on Linux better. I particularly enjoyed Frank’s keynote on Linux apps from the perspective of Nextcloud, an Actual ISV. Also worth your time is Rob’s talk on how Flathub would like to help more developers earn money from their work; Adrien on GTK and scalable UIs for phones; Robin on tone of voice and copywriting; Emel on Product Management in the context of GNOME Recipes and Paul Brown on direct language and better communication.
The start of a new year often brings change. Our family has increased in size, which is very exciting. I’m also moving on from Endless and have a new job Managing Product at Lucid. I’m sad to be leaving my friends at Endless after a couple of delightful and very satisfying years but I’m also very pleased to be working with Jonty and Jono again. I still remain as emotionally invested in the GNOME and Flatpak communities as ever - I just won’t be paid to contribute, which is no bad thing for an open source project.
This year at GUADEC in Almería I was lucky enough to give a talk entitled “Product Management in Open Source”. I’ll give a text synopsis of the talk below but if you prefer you can watch the whole thing as delivered at the Internet Archive or have a look at the slides, which are entirely mysterious when viewed alone: The talk begins like so: I’m Nick Richards. I’ve been a GNOME User for 20 years and a contributor and Foundation Member - 10 years (off and on).
A while back I made a Pinpoint COPR repo in order to get access to this marvelous tool in Fedora. Well, now I work for Endless and the only way you can run apps on our system is in a Flatpak container. So I whipped up a quick Pinpoint Flatpak in order to give a talk at GUADEC this year. Flatpak is actually very helpful here, since the libraries required are rapidly becoming antique, and carrying them around on your base system is gross as well as somewhat insecure.
The not-super-great-open-source code hosting system Gitorious has been acquired and shut down by the much-better-and-open-source code hosting system GitLab. This is an overall net win for humanity but does have a few downsides. A few years ago Intel and Nokia selected Gitorious to host the source code for their MeeGo Operating System. With the upcoming shutdown, that code was about to go offline. Since I have a sentimental attachment to MeeGo I’ve copied the repos for the MeeGo Netbook UX (source code) and MeeGo Tablet UX (source code) to GitHub.
A few years ago I worked with a number of my former colleagues to create Pinpoint, a quick hack that made it easier for us to give presentations that didn’t suck. Now that I’m at Collabora I have a couple of presentations to make and using pinpoint was a natural choice. I’ve been updating our internal templates to use our shiny new brand and wanted to use some newer features that weren’t available in Fedora’s version of pinpoint.
Today was my last day at Intel. It’s been an exceptional experience working with the guys and girls in London to make things that people haven’t seen before and do it in an open fashion. It would (and did) take a wonderful opportunity to make me want to leave and I’m really looking forward to telling you all about it when we announce what we’re up to. In the meantime, have fun.
I was delighted to be asked to give the GNOMEcommunity keynote at the recent Desktop Summit in Berlin. It was entitled “Iteration’s what you need” and talked about getting better at making software. GNOME of course was one of the early pioneers of time based releases. They allowed things to get better, six months at a time and started to decouple features from releases. This is a process that has been taken on and intensified by the major browser makers and of course, websites.
Moblin is not you, we do not use ‘My’ anywhere. As Moblin is your friend we use ‘Your’ this should be an informal you if your language has differences in status. Moblin is your friend. She’s one of our design personas - a single woman approx 30 years of age with a teenage son. She speaks informally and demotically to you, but not disrespectfully. You are treated as a partner throughout.
New today, part of the last few months work. MeeGo 1.0 for Netbooks. Hope you like it.
We designed an operating system for phonestoo. Another awesome job from everyone in design and implementation. As ever, I’m proud to work with you all.
If you happen to be heading to the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit in a couple of weeks then I’d encourage you to come and see my talk on designing Moblinat midday on the 8th July. It’ll be fun.
Moblin is different. If there’s one phrase that sums up what I’ve been trying to do with the last six months or so it’s that. After all, all of the stuff that’s out there right now already exists. Doing the same thing again does not create a compelling reason for people to use your software. So we set about putting our money where our mouth was and started building something. Starting today you can see where we’ve got to so farwith the beta release of the Moblin 2.
After a very happy and rewarding time I’ve left Fjordand today I started working in the Intel Open Source Technology Centrewith the old Opened Handcrew in London. It’s good. We’re going to make some nice stuff. I’ll let you know when you can have a look.
I know you, you’re a sly fox. What with wanting to actually use the monitor you bought at the right resolution under Linux. But, you’re on a deadline and you haven’t got much time, not much time at all, so you hit a bit of google to pimp up those pixels and this is what you find. Edit your xorg.conf to display similar things to the content below: Section “Monitor” Identifier “Acer AL1916W” HorizSync 30-82 Vertrefresh 56-76 Modeline “1440×900″ 106.
The 2.1.6 release of gphoto now recognises the name of my camera, the Canon IXUS 50, previously it just worked as a generic device. All it took was one email with the camera ID and name and it’s in the next release. Open source is great.
Every so often I see something and just enthuse about it until someone takes me to one side and shows that it’s not as clever as I think. So let’s try that in real time. Today Nokia announced their new Internet tablet, the Nokia 770. Go on, click on that link and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s fully NickBuzzword compliant with Linux, WiFi, Bluetooth, 800×480 screen, GNOME, GStreamer, Debian and more wrapped up in a nice little package that they call Maemo.