27 February 2013

Planning... in Brno.

So, how did the Documentation sprint go? Not bad, not bad at all. I wish I would have been feeling better (I was quite under the weather, I don't know why) - and that I could have been a bit more productive (and that I could have gone for a few more beers with the others), that's all I can complain about.


  • I finally wrote the "generic widget" example for the Python GTK+ tutorial for beginners. I also learned a bit of Cairo in the process.
  • I reviewed (with a precious help of Kat Gerasimova) the above mentioned tutorial as a whole.
  • Last but not least, with Allan Day and Dave King we planned a complete rewriting of the presentation of the developer docs.

The last point is the reason for the title of this post. The idea is to separate the tutorials for beginners (that may be either a 10 minutes tutorial on "how to do something" or a more extensive introduction to a library) and the documentation directed at more experienced programmers. The former would end in a separate area in the website, whereas the latter would be under "tutorials" in the main website. Allan Day has designed a wonderful mock-up:

Developer docs homepage

So, what's next?

My idea is to start by splitting the current Python GTK+ tutorial in two versions. The first one should be a tutorial for beginners, structured as the way the Tutorial for beginners is now: a gradual path through the widgets with some theory; the pages being a gradual building of a nice example, on the model of Taryn Fox's tutorial for JavaScript. The second one should be something for more experienced programmers, structured on the model of the "GTK+ widgets sample code" page: the pages being almost an API, but with a medium-difficulty example to illustrate it.

I would then revise the Guitar Tuner and Image Viewer tutorials to make them a first example of "10 minutes tutorials" (for GStreamer and GTK+, respectively).

And then... I could do the same for the JavaScript tutorials; I am quite new to the language, so I would love some help - but on the other hand I was quite new to Python last year and that helped me a lot in walking in the shoes of the beginner for which the tutorial was intended! And/or I could continue with Python and do something like what we have for GTK+ for some other library (there is a nice Cairo tutorial that could be a great starting point).

So: many plans for the future have come out of this Documentation sprint. Many pleasant meetings, a lot of new ideas, a better understanding of little (but not less relevant!) things (I never knew that there was a difference between the capitalization of the titles in UK and US English - now I know)...

So: a "see you soon" to everyone who was there, a GIGANTIC thank you to our hosts in Brno, especially Florian Nadge, who woke up at 4am to pick me up at the airport on the first day! and that accompanied us almost everywhere.

And, of course: thanks to the GNOME Foundation who sponsored my travel!

GNOME travel sponsorship badge

And... see you soon for GUADEC, Brno!

22 February 2013

Ready for Brno? I hope so!

In the last week I revised as much Python 3 as I could, and I tried to teach myself the basics of JavaScript. And let's not forget Mallard!

The (Not So Evil) Plan:

  • To give a closure to that Python tutorial! If it is possible to give a closure to something... ;-)
  • To help as far I can, particularly with the other developer tutorials (thus particularly with the JavaScript tutorial).
  • To tackle Izidor Matušov (again, as far as I can: I remember that he is quite tall) and start working on Getting Things GNOME, finally.
  • To have fun! Well, that's always part of the plan...

Will I be able to follow my plan? In everything? At least in part? Will I freeze in the -11°C I read about on BBC Weather?

More news to follow...

12 February 2013

California! (Help! I need somebody!)

Let's go back a few months - let's say, September. Marina Zhurakhinskaya writes me an idea: Tiffany Antopolski and/or I could present something at PyCon about the tutorial for GTK+ in Python I wrote last summer. Unfortunately Tiffany could not make it, so it came down to me. My first reaction was obviously "Who, me? Am I really good enough?", followed by a "If Marina thinks I am good enough, why not?" (Marina has this amazing ability to make you feel you can do it, as every OPW intern knows).

It seems I was good enough to get a slot for a poster! I even got a contribution that partially covers my travel expenses.

A first draft of the poster is ready. But here is where you readers come in: is it there something you think I should absolutely put in? Leave out? And, most important: how can I advertise GNOME in general and the OPW in particular? Is there any material I can use? (For instance, and sorry for the very basic question: how can I use the GNOME logo?)

Please, let me know, possibly before the 21st of this month since I have to print the poster and send it to California. I am also planning to hand out a sheet with some more details on GNOME, the OPW, GTK+3 - same questions, but since the sheets are coming with me on the plane there is more time.

To conclude, once more, Thank you Marina!... and thanks to anyone who is going to help me in this adventure!

UPDATE: the draft of the poster. Sorry for the size, but I have a board of 4 by 4 ft, and I am not afraid to use it! Any comment is more than welcome...

1 February 2013

More kangaroos, children's games, and I cannot make the title too long.

LCA2013 closed this afternoon. My intellectual batteries feel so recharged they could light a medium-sized city.

The children's game is none other than... our old friend Git, as presented by Michael Schwern in Git for ages 4 and up. What is better than a set of construction toys to explain us the building of a directed acyclic graph? And what is better than a talk that explains clearly, taking its time both to have fun and to let you write notes - yet it's not afraid of going in depth? The talk was such a success (people were told to leave the room for health & safety reasons!) that it had an informal second take in the main foyer today.

Quick but absolutely lovely lunch and chat with the queer-friendly BoF group, then it was time for Emmanuele Bassi's Ponies and Rainbows: Clutter 2.0 and GTK+ 4.0. I don't know Clutter enough (and I know Emmanuele Bassi too much, being his proud wife) to comment on it - but it gave me the idea of tackling my beloved husband and write a beginner's guide to Clutter on the model of what I did last summer for GTK+. *Disclaimer*: I don't know when I will find the time...

In the evening, the Penguin Dinner in the wonderful setting of Mount Stromlo. Great company, we saw more kangaroos, but unfortunately I had to leave early because I was not feeling very well (sigh). I have been told that some people left at 4am... so: another success! for the incredible organizers and volunteers of LCA2013!

And then we come to this (Friday) morning. Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Yes, that Sir. Too much in his keynote to fit a post (he seems to talk at double the speed of an average human being): but it's worth mentioning a fond and moving remembrance of a fourteen-year-old Aaron Swartz, and his answer to a parent wondering what the internet has in store for his/her children: a call for the children to be the ones that make said internet.

The last talk I attended was once again Denise Paolucci, Web Accessibility for the 21st Century (the title was changed at the last moment from Beyond Alt Text). Another beautiful tutorial - clear, funny, informative.

I took a long break, then... lightning talks! From What is GNOME OS and why it won't eat your children (our Emmanuele Bassi, again), to Vimperator (I must tell about this to my PhD supervisor, who is madly in love with Vim) to A few words on depression.

The closing ceremony followed... and I hope to be able to make it to Perth next year!