Death, taxes and free software at DebConf this year
byon August 14, 2018
In case you missed it, our most excellent Executive Director, Karen Sandler and FSF Campaigns Manager, Molly de Blanc presented together at DebConf in Taiwan earlier this month on what *really* constitutes a software freedom issue. Turns out that lots of things are affected by the absence or presence of software freedom including; many serious topics like depression treatments, automated devices in our homes, public transportation, domestic violence and government data. There were also some very funny moments, but I won't spoil the video for you.
This year is the first time this critical event has taken place in Asia. Over 300 free software enthusiasts attended talks, squashed bugs and discussed critical issues like reproducible builds, what contributing is like around the world and how to increase diversity in free software projects. Both Karen and Molly have been to DebConf multiple times and highly recommend this event.
You can catch Karen next in New York in early October where she'll be keynoting PyGotham.
Molly's next public appearance is at the end of the month in Vancouver where she'll be participating in a panel that will be discussing ways to use metrics to help create common understanding around diversity and inclusion goals.
Inkscape Developers Hacking in Kiel this September
byon August 9, 2018
As Inkscape gears up for its historic version 1.0 release, they've added a second hackfest to this year's calendar of events. Inkscape is an indispensable vector editing tool. In fact, we use it here at Conservancy for many of our promotional materials.
The community has been continually improving Inskcape for 14 years. Lots of exciting user facing improvements are planned for the next release including; smoother importing of fonts and other file types, support for pressured input tools, and cleaner, more international shortcut handling. You can take a look at the full list of planned changes on the release planning page.
"They are going to meet up in the Kieler Innovations- und Technologiezentrum startup center (Kitz) in Kiel, a town by the Baltic Sea in Germany. Core developers and community members are planning on five days of thorough testing, vigorous bug-squashing and improvement of documentation, translations, text features and the extension API, from September 9th to 13th, during Digitale Woche Kiel and right before Kieler Open Source und Linux Tage."
If you love Inkscape like we do, well... Conservancy makes it easy for you to financially support the Kiel hackfest. Your earmarked funds would help cover vital travel costs for Inkscape's volunteer developers. Of course, if rolling up your sleeves and getting involved is more your style, then you might want to head on over to Inkscape's Contribution page and see how you can help out.
Connect with the Conservancy in Portland during CLS/OSCON
byon July 11, 2018
First up, we've got folks presenting at the Community Leadership Summit on Saturday and Sunday before OSCON. The Community Leadership Summit is free so you can join us there, even if you're local and aren't planning to buy a ticket to OSCON.
Saturday, July 14th:Deb Nicholson, our recently joined Director of Community Outreach leads a conversation on,"Handling Big Changes" at 11:45am.
Sunday, July 15th:
Sage Sharp, a member of the Outreachy project leadership committee as well as a consultant to Outreachy and founder of Otter Tech which help companies with diversity, will be speaking. At 2pm Sage will tackle, "The Nth Pull Request: Encouraging Intermediate Contributors."
Our Distinguished Technologist, Bradley Kuhn will be talking about our fiscal sponsorship work at 3pm, "There’s No Place Like Home: How Do We Provide Organizational Homes to FLOSS Communities?"
Monday, July 16th:
Join us from 7pm -10pm at McMenamin's Broadway Pub! The address is 1504 NE Broadway St, and it's about a 20 minute walk (or an 11 minute bus ride) from the Oregon Convention Center. All four of our full-time employees will be in attendance. There is nothing we'd like more than to spend an evening talking about the future of free software and its toughest problems with supporters and friends. Light snacks will be provided.
Wednesday and Thursday, July 18 & 19:
Once OSCON starts, we'll be on the expo floor all day Wednesday (10am-7pm) and Thursday (10am - 4pm). Swing by for stickers or "flossip" (or both.) Please help us by volunteering to help us on the expo floor. In person conversations are the single best way to get new people excited about our work. Let us know if you can help out by committing to a few hours of booth time. We'd really appreciate it!
Deb will give a short talk on Wednesday in the Open Source Initiative's Anniversary track. Deb speaks at 4:15pm about the history of the free software movement, Free Software: Our Past and Our Future". Happy 20th Anniversary OSI!
Finally on the last day of OSCON, Deb will be talking about, "Blockchain: The Ethical Considerations" at 1:45pm in Portland 256. If you're in the area, we hope you'll find time to say hello, find out what's happening with your favorite Conservancy initiatives or tell us what you've been up to. Questions about our time in Portland? Feel free to email or swing by #conservancy on freenode.net
Highlights: Conservancy's Recent Free Software Development
byon June 26, 2018
Conservancy helps our projects in so many ways, but one of the most exciting and direct ways is that we directly fund software development and other work for our member projects. We look forward to keeping our community regularly updated on the work we fund, since it's a great way to learn about milestones in communities that you might not follow regularly.
We helped Clojars set up a grant program Clojurists Together to help the community identify and fund critical Clojars development including code, infrastructure fixes and documentation.
Lee Hinman worked on updating the API and other features for clj-http, a widely used base HTTP client. You can check out the code for yourself if you like!
In the GDNative world, Thomas Herzog made lots of progress on 3D rendering and environmental reflections, both of which are key for an immersive game world. Next up, he's planning some more work on sky texture and the C++ bindings for the Godot Engine.
Juan Linietsy implemented support for CSG ("Constructive Solid Geometry") in the Godot Engine. In games, 3D work can be extremely time-consuming and is often out-sourced. CSG allows game designers to build simple environments they can use to visualize game play on their own. Read Juan's whole post to see some sample shapes and learn more about how it all works under the hood.
Rémi Verschelde also spent time getting Godot (and it's code base) ready for this year's Google Summer of Code interns and promoting the project locally at a Danish gaming event. You can see here that he also made Godot's documentation ready for translation. He was even inspired by (fellow Conservancy member!) PHPmyAdmin to script a way to gather all the templates together into one monolithic file.
Michal Čihař has been spending time looking at how to make Docker work for PHPy Admin and tidying up the website. Meanwhile, Maurício Meneghini Fauth spent his time making way for the switch to PHP 7.1 b y removing some dependencies, doing lots of refactoring and pulling out PHP 5 code. phpMyAdmin has been around for nineteen years, so we're really glad to see them keeping pace with current tech in order to serve the next generation of web administrators!
If you saw something excting here, we encourage you to get involved in these projects. Nearly every free software project could use your help with translation, testing, documentation or something. You can also donate directly to our member projects or Conservancy, if that's more your style. Thanks for supporting free software!