I’ve been very impressed during last days from the PRISM affair, but what really touched me, has been the totally mental reaction people had and newspaper spread about this fact.
Far to chime-in Mr Orwell, it is absolutely normal to me that when an authority has the tool and the power to control, it will do.
I was 12 when, for the very first time I realised that not everything of my life could be share on the public square. And internet is, definitely a public square. Social networking implies to be very careful about what could be share there and what has to be private. And private is unwired. There is a world out from internet, the perfect place to share emotions, passions and love.
There is nothing unexpected in the fact NSA checks our lives through internet, but it is in people astonishing about this and shares contents they have shame of.
But this opens of course a huge issue: if internet, and cloud, are so vulnerably to the Big Brother’s eye, privacy becomes a very relevant matter.
I totally agree the effort Open source (and GNOME) are spending for privacy, but is it enough?
When a so massive menace is incumbent over our digital life, could be Open source an answer?
10 Jun 2013 6 Comments
I’ve been very impressed during last days from the PRISM affair, but what really touched me, has been the totally mental reaction people had and newspaper spread about this fact.
23 May 2013 17 Comments
Recently a company I know has chosen as a new leader of one of his most important project a very arrogant person.
I had the opportunity to work with him some times ago, and all the people that met him agree with me about his arrogance.
This man has indubitably a great know-how, he’s brilliant and talented for his work (but maybe less than others) but he is very able to increase his self-branding.
He built in times an image of solid professional, built not on his 20 years experience but on his bad temperament, on his arrogance, his language often remarkable when not openly rude.
The question is: he’s been chosen because or despite his bad temperament?
Some times ago I read an interesting story: a leader of a great company asked to a marketing guru if the fact his company wasn’t as big as Apple depended on he was an humble leader.
The answer was that Apple was a big company in spite of Jobs’ bad temperament.
In the highly controversial Good to Great book, the author, James C. Collins examines the performance over 40 years of 11 companies that became great.
The first of seven characteristics of companies that went “from good to great” is to have an inspired but humble leader.
Although many companies and many project have a strong leader, in my mind the my way or the highway approach is located just a step away from Godfather’s style.
I believe that a leader ought to be flexible, to be a good listener and not only a screaming monkey, he should be ready to learn from his mistakes, he should be aware to be not perfect, but perfectible.
In a nutshell, a good leader is charismatic and inspiring but refuses to be bossy.
A good example of charismatic humble leader is without doubt Mr. Barack Obama, a bossy leader is – unfortunately – Mr Silvio Berlusconi.
To be driven to do what’s best for the company, to be enthusiastic and crowd enchanter is quite different from state own authority with arrogance: in my humble opinion, a bad temperament often could hide skills and talents or – worse – cover a lack of them.
In reverse, an overweening attitude, very often shows an inner weakness and a intimate need to be reassured that immediately ceases when that leader lost his/her power.
That said, if mostly researches demonstrate that good-to-great leaders, it turns out, are humble, why so many bully leader there around?
Be inspiring. Don’t be overwhelming. Be a leader.
15 Apr 2013 11 Comments
I’m very excited to share with you all this great change in my life!
I’m moving to Edinburgh! Yes, sometime life knocks at our doors, and we need to open
Moving to UK was a buzz in my mind since a very long time, and finally I have had the opportunity to achieve it, and next Friday, April 19th, I’ll be there!!!
I’m very happy, of course, but it’s a huge challenge, which probably I would not have been able to face without my OPW experience: everyday job in English, that is not my native language, gave me the self-confidence I need to make this choice.
In Edinburgh I hope to find a stimulating environment for my life and my writing, some new friends, and, why not? A good job.
I’ve spent my OPW in GNOME Marketing team and I’ll be really delighted to exploring new employment opportunities, maybe (but not only, of course) in FOSS (if you know of any that might be a good fit, don’t be ashamed to contact me !!!)
And, last BUT not least, I hope (and I’m pretty sure) people from GNOME and Ubuntu living in Edinburgh which are reading this post, will be so welcoming as Ubuntu and GNOME communities have been with me.
See you in UK!
09 Apr 2013 3 Comments
It seems hard to believe but this last OPW months flew like the wind.
My first thought is a HUGE THANKS to all the women which work behind this project, first of all Karen and Marina.
I have been lucky, and I have had the opportunity to work with Karen, who mentored me (and Sriram too, of course!) and this has been an excellent chance to prove myself in an very international environment with people of great competency, and everybody knows competency is the first quality of an outstanding ledership.
This round of OPW is closed, but another one is approaching: another opportunity for new lady rock stars to full try out their competences, in coding, marketing, design and so on
Next round will be held in june/september 2013 and submission deadline is on May 1st: complete details of next round are available here: OutreachProgramForWomen.
This program is an unique opportunity to work with awesome women in every part of the world… why don’t you take a look and have your try?
My only regret in these three months has been that I haven’t met any women coming from Ubuntu.
Participating organizations come from very different FOSS projects, from KDE and from GNOME, from Debian, Mozilla, Wikimedia, just to remember the more famous, but it’s very sad to me to realize that Ubuntu isn’t involved at all, as project and as people.
As a Ubuntu Women co-leader I really hope that my experience will serve. I found a great effort from everybody to make me feel comfortable albeit I’m not an English native speaker and I was really much more tied to Ubuntu than Fedora or GNOME communities.
I’ll be enlightened if this could encourage the build of bridges between Ubuntu Women and OPW, and, why not, be the first step to consider GNOME people as a counterpart again.
I believe every woman in FOSS really rocks, and I really hope all women will find a way to walk together again
02 Apr 2013 Leave a Comment
During the first part of my OPW, I spent much of my time in investigating the issues newcomers could encounter in approaching FOSS. Results of my work, are available here.
Starting form these results, I’ve spent some time in second part of my internship in studying how to apply what I’ve discovered in the GNOME environment.
I’ve tried to provide some answers to the questions I met: I share with you the result of my work.
Classification of newcomers.
I’ve try out that newcomers could be generally set in three type:
Type A: Enthusiastic
An Enthusiastic newcomer is a great passionate of GNOME, is a GNOME user and generally decides to use some of his time to give a hand.
He has not a well established idea about what he can do, but he wants to contribute.
Probably he’ll start to follow as much ML as he can, join IRC channel, proposing himself for every task.
What he really needs is a guide not only a Mentor, but someone who can address him to the right team, supply some indication about guidelines and more important, give him some task to do, that could help him to perfectly feel himself as a part of community.
Risks and potentialities: An Enthusiastic newcomer is proud to serve the project he chose, is very participative, but his outburst risks to burn away and fall very quickly, if he doesn’t find the right way to take part of community.
Type B: Passionate
A Passionate newcomer is a volunteer provided of some experience in GNOME world.
He could be a GNOME user, and very often he came from other FOSS projects.
He desires offer his capabilities and some amount of his time in developing some specific part of project.
What he really needs is to find well defined task to do and some people who could steer him in early days.
Risks and potentialities: A Passionate newcomer is usually a professional who has little time to spend, but can offer a significant know-how. Generally his contribute is not daily, but often very relevant and long-lasting.
Type C: Technician
A Technician newcomer approach a community bringing a great experience.
Usually he has a technical background and is a first class citizen in FOSS world.
Coder or not coder, he has a great familiarity with community tools.
What he really needs is to find well written documentation and guidelines, and some project in which he cans easily take part.
Risks and potentialities: whatever be the know-how brought by a Technichian newcomer, it will be valuable; the main risks involve only the capability of newcomer to integrate his knowledge to work-flow.
A very relevant issue we should take in consideration, is how a newcomer joins GNOME.
My personal opinion is through IRC Channels.
A direct contact is always the best, IMHO, but IRC Channels can’t be enough to provide detailed info.
This should be the role of gnome.org/ gnome.org/get-involved/ pages.
I’ve been really pleased to notice that design renewal of the site occurred for GNOME 3.8 released highlights Discover GNOME3, FoG Campaign and Get Involved project.
But Get involved page is maybe a little confusing.
So, what do you want to do?
This question perfectly fits needs of Type B and Type C newcomers, but type A?
Very often a Type A newcomer doesn’t know what he wants to do, maybe he barely is aware of what he is able to do.
“Hi, I’m a FOSS passionate, I’m not able to code, I’ve a good command with writing and I speak a good English. What can I do?”
I’m sure every translation team leader is smiling
I’ve a long searched a graphical way to immediately depict if skills and team requests match via comparison tables or similar tools, but I didn’t find a good solution.
GNOME has a great initiative, GNOME love, but how can I find some info about GNOME love in Get involved page? At the very bottom of this page.
I’ve browsed through many FOSS pages and their “Get involved” pages are very similar to each other.
I believe we should give more relevance to all the GNOME love initiative: GNOME love logo should be put in evidence on the upper part of “Get involved page” (I’ve tried to draw some mock up but it wasn’t really remarkable) and immediately has to catch newcomers focus.
“Are you just arrive? Take a look to our GNOME Love program for newcomers!”
GNOME Love pages, in my opinion, should be a very easy page, with a large use of Icons referring to each team, the name, mail and or nick of some referents for each project, a IRC channel (if present) and some quick info about most common used programs, technologies and tools.
I’m not pretty sure of which solution works as a charm to encourage newcomers outreach in GNOME Community; I can’t be sure that my proposals will be realized or perfectly match with GNOME lacks, I hope nevertheless they could be useful, in some ways.
I believe that every newcomer who becomes a volunteer and maybe a Member is a great achieve of whole community, GNOME Community, and FOSS Community.
Sometimes it’s hard, because newcomers are often very demanding and mentors are always too busy, but I believe it’s worth trying.
This is my last post as GNOME OPW intern, and if this internship has been so exciting, I have to say thanks to my mentors, Karen and Sriram, but to all the people I’ve met during last three months.
My OPW internship is over, but my work in GNOME is going ahead.
28 Mar 2013 Leave a Comment
GNOME 3.8 has been finally released, as everybody knows.
But what really you can’t imagine, it’s the deep sense of pride and excitation you can try out in feeling yourself part of this fantastic adventure.
I’m member of Ubuntu, but albeit I’ve always taken part of Marketing team, I’ve never felt so involved previously.
I suppose it depends from the deep differences in power relations between Canonical and Ubuntu in regard of a community driven project as GNOME.
I haven’t wrote code, or drawn interfaces, but I’ve been asked to write up a draft of Press Release, and I can swear it has been exciting.
Obviously everyone in Marketing team made of his best to improve earlier text, and I feel it was born as a awesome mix of different passions and backgrounds.
What I really get from this experience is that everyone is truly capable to add his help in this project, and that GNOME 3.8 is really a common effort.
GNOME 3.8 has been the very first release I’ve been involved to, and I’m proud to be there.
20 Mar 2013 Leave a Comment
And thanks to Jon for his patience!
This is probably the more exciting task I’ve completed in my work at marketing team…
GNOME 3.8 will be a great release, and plans for future are really stunning!
05 Mar 2013 1 Comment
Blogging time here in Rome!
Last two weeks have been very demanding for me… Moreover flu and elections (I have run as officer) stroke me hard.
Nevertheless, I’ve done my job
During last days I’ve completed the interview to Andrea Veri. I wrote an article and explained the hard work of sysadmin
I uploaded to gnome.org, and hope that very soon it will be available to be read!
UPDATE: my article is finally out! Thanks to Fabiana, Andreas and Juanjo!!! You can read it here!
Finally I’ve completed the interview to Greg KH, I need to collect a pair of interviews to start publishing them.
But it’s ready… stay tuned
Then I’ve prepared and sent questions to interview Brett Legree… I’m waiting for his answers
Moreover, I’m looking for some GNOME 3 users to purpose for new interviews… And I have some cats in my bags…
GNOME 3.8 release plan.
In a month GNOME 3.8 will be released, and everyone in marketing team is very excited and deeply involved in release notes and press release writing.
I don’t feel very comfortable with release notes, but I’d like to put my experience as journalist on press release.
In relation of GNOME 3.8 release instead, I’ve planned with Allan to write a couple of interviews, and I’ve set the first one with William Jon McCann for next Friday…
…and last but not least…..
My work on newcomers is still in progress… I’m working on something new that improves the research I’ve just done…
But this will be a surprise…
New interesting issues are coming… Stay connected!
11 Feb 2013 Leave a Comment
Some days ago, I have had the opportunity to hang out with Kevin Carrillo, and talk with him about his extraordinary work on newcomers.
His work touched about 12 different FLOSS volunteers, who are involved from less then 3 years in a community and answered about their step-in.
Complete result of his survey is not published yet – it will be available under a ‘share-alike’ Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL) – , therefore the data he reported to me are to be considered as a general overview, but they show nevertheless some interesting reflections.
The final step to define an outreach successful is when newcomers begin acting themselves as a good community citizen: to reach this goal they need to proceed an identification with the community.
When they start referring to the community as “we” this goal is got.
Data which Kevin collected show that there are both human and technical needs to give a volunteer a welcoming feeling in a new community.
The interaction with the rest of the community is one of the most relevant issue for a successful outreach.
It’s up to community manager/leader to offer to newcomers a right, comfortable, human environment, which immediately makes them feel part of the community and accepted by other members.
Mentorship is very important, representing the human connection with community, but, unfortunately, despite of its importance, is probably less present than it should be.
Instant messaging and IRC Channel cover a key role in direct interacting with other community members.
Daily interaction is very useful to improve newcomer’s tasks and help them meet community’s standard and guideline.
The most a job will be close to community’s standard, the most newcomer will be considered as a good contributor by the rest of community, and mutual respect will grow easier.
A strong, structured community is the ground floor to offer the best approach to a volunteer.
In such a community, tasks should be organized in a progressive way, from easier to harder to let the volunteers improving their knowledge and avoiding the risk of fast-rising boredom.
Generally a good choice is to reserve some easy and short tasks to newcomers, task fit to learn community workflow and feel immediately involved.
The same kind of progression could be spent in bug reporting/ticketing system.
Most projects are used to organize tasks’ management though bug reporting/ticketing systems, but differences among all bug reporting/ticketing systems used by FLOSS projects could represent a bemusement issue for newcomers.
Organizing bug reporting/ticketing system progressively, and clearly explain bug reporting/ticketing system criteria, surely helps in make newcomers more comfortable in triage/bug triage/bug reporting process.
The Women factor
The Women-in-FLOSS issue is always an open question.
There’s no denying that the FLOSS community has many virtues, but gender equality doesn’t seem to be one of them.
The lack of female participation is a plague that hits about every FLOSS community.
Female participation in FLOSS is not so easily measurable, but generally it has considered in an average between 1% and 5%.
Well, the birth and the rapid grown of mentoring programs for women really demonstrated to be the leading way to increase women involvement.
All the communities involved in GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women have seen an effective, increasing participation of women and GUADEC 2012 has reached the awesome goal of 17% women attendees.
What happens in GNOME?
We could figure volunteers that wishes become GNOME contributors, access to gnome.org website and from there to Get involved page.
Then they have the opportunity to get in touch with team members via mailing list or IRC chat o start contributing by choosing a Bugzilla task.
In GNOME tasks reserved for newcomers are marked as gnome-love bug.
The heart of welcoming process in GNOME is represented by GNOME-love initiative.
GNOME love initiative offers, among others, a selected task list for coding and not coding contributors, a list of members willing to give advice to newcomers and serve as Mentors, and a dedicated IRC channel, #gnome-love.
During last days I’ve tried to figure what could have happened to me if I had decided to start contributing in GNOME by myself.
I found gnome-love bugs too technical for me, but I’ve been lucky in #gnome-love IRC channel where André Klapper has been so kind to explain how I could give my contribute in translation team (the team which I pretended to want join in).
My outreach in GNOME definitely could not be done without human factor.
The following are only my suggestions to improve newcomers outreach.
Enhance GNOME love initiative.
I firmly believe GNOME love initiative is excellent, but, maybe it is not very advertised.
I suggest to slightly redesign the “Get involved” web page to focus the presence of a dedicated path for newcomers. A good project to lurk could be Wikipedia.
Moreover a stronger visibility of available tutorials for newcoming developers –
– could be helpful to offer a nice, quick and effective overview of GNOME development kit.
Design Development & Documentation.
I know that designers and developers are something that could be reasonably compared with artists, and artists are generally driven by inspiration. But offer to a contributors, an exhaustive guideline and a rich documentation could be very useful to let them get the right perspective. A wiki page as Nautilus for instance, is not very supportive for a new arrived volunteer.
Maybe Documentation team could support designers and developers in providing accurate documentation.
Therefore I strongly suggest to increase the visibility of aforementioned gnome-devel-demos, which could be expanded with more tutorials and demos. Or, more generally, I suggest any initiative that could feature in a structured manner focused articles, short guides, and getting started content covering the core of GNOME development.
A good reference for an accurate and structured documentation for developers could be found at
(articles, getting started, guides, references, featured content…).
Could be interesting to explore the possibility to gather the mid-long term planned tasks in order to integrate the effort of new contributors.
Wiki pages of single projects could list those info and help people (new and old too) to understand the direction a project is going to take and what will be needed of useful or important to do.
GNOME Open Day
Human touch is the key for success.
Sometimes newcomers find difficult to step-in the circle of trust of people that everyday work together and have the same vision of a project.
I believe a huge help could be offered by regular IRC open meetings, in which new contributors could run into developers/designers to debate projects which are interested in.
Keep an eye out other communities
FLOSS world is populated by many communities related to many different projects.
I don’t believe there is a standard way to welcome wannabe-volunteers – it depends on the basin in which each project draws, from technical and not-technical volunteers – but keep an eye out other communities could be always inspiring.
I do remember that data Kevin collected, regard only volunteers that are now structured contributors of each project, but don’t forget that there is a large amount of people who approaches a community or the FLOSS world and then leaves it.
We’re not able to measure the average of people who remains and who leaves, but every contributor, every contribute matters, and work to improve outreach process means work to avoid precious efforts be lost.
31 Jan 2013 1 Comment
It seems very incredible, but I’ve already arrived at my third week of this wonderful adventure that this OPW is representing for me.
Almost a quarter of this trip is over and I’m here to tell what I’ve done.
Marketing work is hidden, but I knew it. All the subtle details you see, even those you don’t notice, require painstaking labor, and there is much I’ve done, much I’m working on and, of course, much I’ve planned to do.
Article about Keyboard data.
GNOME desktop is released in many localized versions. GNOME developers refer to a database to predict which keyboard layouts are relevant to a user. The developers are collecting data to fix database bugs and to improve localization.
Next article instead will concern Andrea Veri, who has joined GNOME as a part-time SysAdmin: we’ve already discussed the key elements of this post, and write it will be one of the tasks I’ll devote the next few days.
I’ve been asked by Karen to help her in preparing some interviews to very cool GNOME 3 users.
And the first one is really really cool: Greg Kroah-Hartman.
What I’ve done is to compose a draft for a questionnaire, divided in three sections: the first one with some general questions about how and when the interviewee began to use GNOME3, which part of GNOME 3 she/he likes most, if they use extensions, and so on.
The second part strictly depends on interviewee, there are questions involving her/his interests; the third part consists of tips for newcomers and the request for a quote: I believe our interviewees are inspiring people, and I like to ask them who/what has been inspiring for them.
I’ve sent everything to Greg, I hope to make this interview public very soon, I’m very excited and proud of this work.
Many thanks to Karen for making my questions smarter – she is an awesome donna. -
Now I’m planning to interview Brett Legree, I’m wondering what can I ask a nuclear engineer!
This is probably the project that will ask my effort during all my OPW.
Sriram asked me to do marketing research about newcomers: to list key elements in successful outreach.
What I’ve found is that, generally, a successful outreach depends from a good mentorship.
As Sriram has brilliantly summarized, you need a human touch.
But this is only the first step to plenty understand how can GNOME Community becoming as welcoming as it desires to be.
I was planning to prepare a survey to submit to newcomers, current and past OPW and SoC interns, but Marina suggested me to contact Kevin Carrillo, who reached out to several open source communities with a survey in late 2012, focusing on outreach activities, and got hundreds of responses.
We got in touch and now we’ll work together for a while.
I don’t know where we’ll arrive, but we’re going.
More than a project, this is an idea I had.
I was drinking a cup of tea from my GNOME mug, and I thought that could be funny make and share a G+ post showing the mug and linking FoG campaign (this is my post).
I work very much to this post, that in my idea should be re-shared like a “meme”.
Unfortunately, at moment this post is still unsatisfying, is lacking of groove and even if Juanjo Marin spent some of his night-time time to work on it with me, I’m not sure this project will be completed.
Ok, I suppose that for this time is really enough!
If you like, you could put an eye on my sandbox, where I write-up my ideas…
For all the rest…stay tuned, news are arriving!