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GUADEC GUADEC!

It’s always very exciting have the opportunity to meet face to face people you’re used to deal with on IRC or via mail.

I knocked on GNOME’s door in autumn and I need to say that this choice changed my life: I met some very valuable persons which let me step-in GNOME circle of trust. And that’s great!

And now… GUADEC is coming, and I’ll attend for my very first time!

I do thanks Travel Committee to have accepted my request of sponsorship and GUADEC papers committee to have accepted my talk in which I’ll present my work about outreaches.

And, of course all the friends who supported me during last months!

But much stuff is cooking… Don’t miss incoming news!

Can’t wait to meet you all in Brno!

Cheers,

Flavia

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A new adventure in the GNOME world…

I’m extremely happy to share you all that my candidacy to GNOME Outreach  for women program has been accepted, and from January, I’ll be an intern of marketing team! 🙂
This will give me the opportunity and the great honour to work side by side with Karen Sandler and Sriram Ramkrishna, two key players within FOSS, and GNOME, of course. They are seasoned professionals, and the idea to have to do with them is really exciting to me.
Moreover I have to bring my huge thanks to Allan Day, who spent his time an patience in supporting and menthoring me till now, and Lapo Calamandrei, of course, who talked to me about this opportunity for the very first time and was the real gear of this conspiracy 😉
Just a couple of days ago I was able to have my first marketing conference call with them, and it was really amazing 🙂
We (they have spoken, I’ve listened so far 🙂 ) talked, among other things, about outreach in GNOME, and how wipe out every doubt about how much welcoming and open GNOME community could be.

I believe it is, and you?

Aside
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The private cloud experience is something that, during last years, has become more and more usual in every daily work for every kind of user.

The need to have a safe place to keep and conserve our digital life has had, as answer, the birth of many services that offer the opportunity to store our data, giving a new meaning to the word freedom: a simple connection and you have all your world, just a click away.

Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, UbuntuOne itself, the so-called cloud services are getting very popular these days, but they require to trust an outside server using proprietary code.

A free back way to fulfill these requirements, breaking out from this non-free trend, could be offered by ownCloud, a system that tries to offer the same functionality as these services (eg., a place to store your files, address books and calendars), but does so as a free software project.

These are the reasons pushing GNOME developers to work to integrate ownCloud features in next releases.

«I think it makes sense for GNOME (as a free software project) to have a good integration with ownCloud – said Debarshi Ray, rishi on GIMPnet, who’s working on it – This let everyone to have his own ownCloud server».

Debarshi worked on previous release cycle on SkyDrive integration within GNOME and now, as part of the effort that will lead us to future GNOME 3.8 release in spring, he expects to expose onwCloud features in GNOME itself.

«Well, regarding integration in GNOME – rishi said – our life has been made easier by the fact that ownCloud supports well known standards for applications to interface with the server. eg., WebDAV for accessing the files, CardDAV for the address-books, and CalDAV for calendars».

When it will be ready, every ownCloud account will be shown as a classic volume icon in GNOME, just like a pen drive or a hard disk, so all files stored on it will be reached by Files application as well as the file chooser. Moreover ownCloud will be integrated within Documents application, just like Google Drive and SkyDrive, allowing us to manage our file within the brand new GNOME3 experience.

And, of course, the same will happen in the near future for addressbooks and calendars, automatically added to related applications and services. By now Debarshi has just committed the code you need to add an ownCloud account to GNOME Online Accounts.

ownCloud offers to everyone the opportunity to participate to a new concept of cloud in which you can use the same protocols and programs to access, at the same time, at your own private data on your own home server, or on your remote always-on server or your work data on your company servers, or even to sign up and use an ownCloud account provided by third parts. A list of currently known ownCloud service providers is available on ownCloud website.

«ownCloud is the first free software “cloud service” that we are integrating into GNOME3 – Rishi said – There was a growing suspicion that GNOME was only targetting proprietary cloud providers like Google or Microsoft. So I hope people, especially those who are concerned about the privacy of their data, find it useful».

Nowadays privacy is not only related to our private dimension, but it concerns the places and the ways that store our digital life. A full, free software based solution to private cloud can help us to trust the cloud itself, and allow us to access from everywhere with every device (PCs, tablets, smartphones, TVs, game consoles) safely and reliability, because we are the ones bringing the ring that rules them all.

Nowadays freedom runs outside the code that runs on our computer: it’s on cloud, better if on ownCloud.

10

How I’ve learnt Canonical isn’t the wrong :)

An open letter to Mark Shuttleworth.

Hi Mark!
This is the very first time I’m writing to you, and I would like to share with you some of my thoughts about Ubuntu and Canonical’s future.

As spokeswoman of Italian LoCo team Community Council, I had interesting experiences about Ubuntu and Ubuntu users, and I suppose that Ubuntu and Canonical have many challenges to face, in the next months, inside and outside our community.

Ubuntu is growing and Ubuntu-related world is growing faster and faster: needs, dialogues, ideas that was very easy to exchange and to spread when we all were a few hundred of people, seem today find obstacles to free running.

I know that Canonical has always point as an honour the openness to dialogue, the sense of participation that has built in years, but now I feel there is the need of something more.

As Ubuntu member, sometimes I found very difficult to explain what is happening and where Canonical is leading.

Of course I’m not judging Canonical plans, but only the way Canonical explains its choices, both to Community and people.

Let me tell you, for example, what has been my very own experience.

I was disappointed by Unity shipped with 11.04, so I tried GNOME Shell, checking if it would be better for my personal habits.  I spent the past months very close to GNOME Community, giving my little help testing GNOME Shell and providing feedback.

Meanwhile I was wondering why Canonical hadn’t dedicated some more resources directly in GNOME 3 development, instead of forking in Unity. But reading discussions on desktop-devel mailing list and staying in touch  on IRC with some people from GNOME upstream, I realized it’s not so  simple for Canonical or any other individuals to be helpful to upstream  and in mean time try to follow a personal path or point of view. There  are strong ideas, other leading companies and, sometimes, a lack of collaboration wish.

Now I agree with political, marketing and technological reasons that lie under the choice of Unity, it’s a legitimate and appropriate change offered by Canonical (and Ubuntu), but it was an hard job 🙂
Maybe these choices has been discussed at UDS, maybe there are some wiki pages or some blueprints, but even an Ubuntu member like me has to have a direct experience before comprehend.

I’m not suggesting Canonical reveal its strategies, technical or political, but only giving a correct and complete information about its roadmap, to preserve the imagine Canonical would like to offer about itself avoiding misunderstanding.

During last months I have often heard Canonical be addressed as the worst company whithin opensource ecosystem, while everyone else is the good, and the motivations were very odd, something like “Canonical is not-ethical, ’cause Ubuntu is a mix and match of our product (i.e. GNOME) and their ugly patches”. I’m sure we can try to disprove this habit, expecially considering the “mix and match” is GPL approved, and there isn’t any ethical or not-ethical purposes  in patches. I believe it could be done with a better communication marketing.

Canonical has brought a deep renovation in the very idea of open source, a revolution built upon rocks and breaks, upon dreams and concrete. But now I believe we all need a bit more. Reading the rants and the questions across the web, I strictly believe Ubuntu users want to exercise their critical judgement, and sometimes new for the new’s sake isn’t enough.

It seems to me we are in the dawn of a  new course of Ubuntu. I realize there isn’t still a mascot nor a name for -P cycle and I’m quite sure that is a symptom of some deep changing, landing with LTS. (Maybe a rolling distro? I don’t know…) I feel there is the need to build a new trust between Canonical and Ubuntu community.

And what will happen in case of decision as dual licensing that deeply touch the sense of the Ubuntu promises…?

I believe it’s time for Canonical to define some issues about what she wants to appear to the rest of the world, elaborate a strong communication strategy: Ubuntu is the third OS in the world. Isn’t it?

Here the second issue. Ubuntu communities aren’t fan-boys communities. I’ve always intended my role as a bridge, especially when I’ve talked about Ubuntu in tech-fairs or in Universities. I strictly believe we do need a line, a channel between Canonical and LoCos. We are in the same part of the barricade, and I deeply believe community needs to get more trust in Canonical: I believe every member of Ubuntu Community, as well as anyone in Canonical, has to feel that she/he is working for Ubuntu, and not to feel that our community is working for Canonical through Ubuntu, even if nobody can or wants deny the work that Canonical daily makes for Ubuntu.

I’d have many other things to say, to tell, and I’d have like very much talking face by face, but I’m very glad to have wrote you and to have exchanged some of my thoughts with you.

Cheers
Flavia