DevConf.CZ 2020

Once again, DevConf.CZ, is our meeting-while-freezing winter conference in Brno. For this year I cooked up two talks:

An hour-long talk about Portals during the first day of the conference. The room was almost full and the questions were very relevant. A few attendees met me after the talk seeking help to make their apps start using Portals and with ideas for new Portals.  You can watch the recordings below:

On the last conference day, I had a quick twenty minutes talk about GNOME Boxes in the virtualization track. The audience wasn’t our known faces from the desktop talks, so I got the chance to show Boxes for the first time for a bunch of people. I did a quick presentation with live demos and Q&A. It was a success IMHO. Check the recordings below:

Besides, I participated in the “Diversity and Inclusion” and “Women in Open source” meetups. It was a good opportunity to see what other teams are doing to be more diverse and also to share my personal experiences with mentoring with Outreachy.

Langdon White had a talk on Fedora Silverblue raising important questions about the development workflow in it. I was glad some of their issues were already addressed and fixed, but I recommend to those who didn’t attend this talk to watch the recordings. It is important feedback.

I felt honored to be mentioned in Rebecca Fernandez’s talk about “Growing your career via open source contributions”, where she had slides showing people’s stories, including mine.

I managed to catch up with the developments of the virgil driver on Windows in order to support Direct3D, and discuss other future developments with folks from the SPICE team.

Other than that, I attended many podman/containers talks to better understand their development workflows and how we could accommodate these workflows in Silverblue. I spoke to Red Hatters from other teams that need CodeReadyContainers to test their applications, and how we could improve their workflow in Fedora Workstation.

Lastly, I had a great time with [delicious] food and drinks at the DevConf Party in Fleda, which is 200 meters away from our flat. :-)

Trip report: Flock to Fedora 2019 + Fedora Flatpaks

This was my first time at Flock to Fedora, and it was a blast! The conference took place from August 8th to August 11th in the astonishing city of Budapest.

It is very convenient to host the conference at the same place where people are accommodated. The whole infrastructure and conference organization was top-notch. Nice social events and great comfort during the talks/workshops.

At the very beginning, it was pleasant to watch Matthew Miller’s “The State of Fedora”, especially the emphasis on Silverblue being “the future of Fedora Workstation”, and the overview of all the other teams building fantastic things on top of Fedora. The “Facebook Loves Fedora” talk was definitely the one we talked the most about during the breaks. Long story short, Facebook’s IT is supporting Fedora Workstations for its employees and they have a quite appealing story of their adoption. All recorded Flock talks are planned to be published in the Fedora Project YouTube channel, so I encourage you to watch specifically this quick one (25 minutes) once it is out.

Debarshi Ray’s “Toolbox” talk was well received by the audience, and the post-talk corridor convo was productive. People seemed curious and optimistic about the solutions we have for “making their workflow-breakage less painful”. :-) Unfortunately Rishi’s talk was scheduled at the same time slot as Christian Schaller’s “Fedora Workstation update and roadmap”. It is great having talks recorded for this very reason.

“Fedora IoT” by Peter Robinson was a nice surprise. Peter brought an Exxon Mobil representative to talk about their use and challenges while using Fedora technologies in IoT devices. These folks have a very interesting set of problems to solve, and I would love FOSS to be the go-to option in this market (any market, really!). I am personally interested in home/domestic automation with open hardware tech, and I can see how the “Fedora IoT” efforts can have a beneficial impact on the enterprise but also in STEM education.

To start the second day, Denise Dumas presented a very reassuring keynote talk on “Red Hat + IBM” and how that impacts the Fedora project. Once again,  it was very satisfying to hear “Fedora is RHEL’s upstream” being emphasized. The Red Hat commitment to upstream communities is something we hear a lot internally, but I feel we rarely express that to the outside world (to the point that a significant amount of people eventually question that).

My colleagues Jiri Eischmann and Tomas Popela had a talk on Silverblue. It gathered an interested audience that engaged in Q&A with us afterwards. Some of the questions were positive feedback that we should take, and some others were useful questions that enabled us to clarify some common misunderstandings and lack of knowledge about Silverblue, ostree, containers, Flatpak, and all things. :-)

At the end of the day I presented a “Fedora Flatpaks” talk. You can watch its recording below.

After the talk, I was approached by a couple of packagers interested in converting their RPMed apps into Flatpaks. Win-Win!

The river cruise and dinner in the Danube is now history! Check out all the pics https://photos.app.goo.gl/rz1VZqdw6MKeasuc8

I am looking forward to seeing you all again in DevConf.CZ and/or Flock to Fedora 2020.

Introducing GNOME Usage’s Storage panel

GNOME Usage is a new GNOME application to visualize system resources such as memory consumption and disk space. It has been developed by Petr Stetka, a high school intern in our Red Hat office in Brno. Petr is an outstanding coder for such a young fellow and has done a great job with Usage!

Usage is powered by libgtop, the same library used by GNOME System Monitor. One is not a replacement for the other, they complement our user experience by offering two different use cases: Usage is for the everyday user that  wants to check which application is eating their resources, and System Monitor is for the expert that knows a bit of operating system internals and wants more technical information being displayed. Besides, Usage has a bit of Baobab too. It contains a Storage panel that allows for a quick analysis of disk space.

The Storage panel has been recently rewritten both in the backend and user interface. It is much faster at listing the filesystem tree and much nicer to interact with.

The screenshot above shows how it looks like in my Videos folder. Selecting a file in the sidebar makes the slice in the pie chart pop. The filesystem tree is presented in a DzlStackList, so getting back to the parent folder is smooth and pleasant.

Each file type gets a different color, and these are consistent. Directories are indicated by a bigger ball in the list. Clicking an item opens the corresponding file. Selecting its checkbox allows for batch deletion. Very intuitive!

GNOME Usage is available in the Fedora repositories. Before you ask, there isn’t a Flatpak because libgtop needs access to the processes running in the host. I plan to work on introducing a Usage daemon that will enable Usage to be Flatpaked AND would allow us to provide historical performance data instead of just real time.

All in all, there’s more coming to Usage soon. Peter is now moving into other opportunities and continuing his studies, so I will continue his work in Usage. If you are interested in contributing to the project, you can reach me out on IRC #usage. Stay tuned!

Joining Red Hat

September the 1st will be my Day 1 at Red Hat. After being around the GNOME community for 6 years, participating in projects such as Google Summer of Code, and working at Parafernalia on gtk apps for the amazing Endless’ operating system, I’m embarking on my most challenging and exciting position to date.

Red Hat is a great company, leader in providing open source solutions for server, desktop, virtualization and so on. It’s the top corporate contributor to dozens of projects we love, and it has been recently ranked among Forbes’ top 10 best software companies to work for. Cool, isn’t it?

I have moved to the amazing Brno, Czech Republic. I’m super excited! I will be working on the desktop team, so keep locked for my blog reports.