Quote

Sincerity

“We believe so strongly in sincerity and naturalness of expression in writing that we’re almost unable to see how false this belief is.

If you want the reader to feel sincerity, your sentences have to enact sincerity – verbally, syntactically, even rhythmically.

They have to reveal the signs of sincerity – a modesty and directness -

Just as you do when you’re talking sincerely.”

- Verlyn Klinkenborg, Several Short Sentences About Writing

Style

“Style is an expression of the interest you take in the making of every sentence. (…)

We assume that style is self-expression.
It can be, but only in this sense:
It’s the fusion of your command of language and your commitment to your own intent. (…)

Where ambiguity rules, there is no “style” – or anything else worth having.

Pursue clarity instead.
In the pursuit of clarity, style reveals itself.
Your clarity will differ from anyone else’s without your intending to make it differ.”

- Verlyn Klinkenborg, Several Short Sentences About Writing

Back from GUADEC

And I’m back to not-as-warm-as-Brno Rio de Janeiro, after attending this year’s GUADEC at Czech Republic. This was the second of many, many GUADEC’s I hope to attend in the future, and I have to say it was just as awesome as my first one. I first attended the conference last year, at La Coruña, as an Outreach Program for Women (OPW) intern. This year, I got the chance to come back to the event as an OPW mentor, and also as a speaker.

On August 1st, first day of GUADEC, I gave a talk called “How to not report your UX bug“, based on the research I did for my Master’s thesis. I was really nervous about standing in front of such a large, talented audience, but the experience was absolutely worth it. It was extremely rewarding to get so many positive, interesting comments on the things I discussed. Many, many thanks to Richard Hughes, who encouraged and supported me when I was freaking out.

As always, a lot went on during the eight days of the conference. The schedule was packed with great talks by even greater people. A number of times, it was really trick to choose which track to follow. Besides that, with some many talented people gathered in one place, interesting discussions and conversations kept popping in the corridors and bars. Here are some highlights from the past eight days:

  • Got the chance to meet my interns, Saumya and Saumya, with whom I’ve been working with for the last two months.
  • Got to meet the best friend of the GNOME Web team, Andrea Veri. Such a pleasure to thank him in person for all the help and great work he provides.
  • Interesting Q&A section with the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors.
  • The GNOME Foundation’s Annual Grand General Meeting (AGM). It’s always great to catch up with what all GNOME teams are working on. This year, I got the chance to talk on behalf of the Web team, together with Andreas Nilsson, and of the Membership Committee.
  • Lots of cool people attended the Marketing (now Engagement!) and Web BoF’s. Both events were productive and I hope to see everyone there hanging on #engagement and #webhackers!
  • The Women in Tech BoF was really interesting, but it was unfortunate that it was mostly a female-only event. We talked a lot not only about obstacles for women, but also for newcomers to the GNOME (and other FOSS) communities.

In general, GUADEC was a blast! It is always great to meet everyone. I am already looking forward to see you all in Strasbourg in 2014! Many thanks to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my trip and making it possible for me to attend GUADEC this year:

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GNOME Marketing Hackfest 2013

Earlier this month, the GNOME Marketing Team got the chance to work together for three days during this year’s Marketing Hackfest. For the last couple of months, I feel that the GNOME Marketing Team grew a lot in terms of coordination and organization, and I think that this hackfest was a great opportunity to materialize our recent efforts and to start building a more solid foundation for what is to come.

During the three days of the event, among other things, we discussed a lot about how to define GNOME’s mission and vision as both software and community. For the next months, our goal is to use the outcome of these discussions to translate our community’s aspirations to a solid message about our work, passions and ideals; a message we can all easily share to spread the word about what GNOME is, what we are doing, and why it matters.

Soon, some of this work will take a more concrete form. During the hackfest itself, we already started drafting ways to visually communicate our message, based on the discussions we had. On my end, I spent some time during the meeting working on possible redesigns of our GNOME.org website, exploring ways to make its contents, architecture, and appearance map well to our message’s key points.

Of course, this is all work in progress, and we need to hear your thoughts about what we’ve been doing in order to stay true to the community. Hopefully, we’ll be able to talk more about this during this year’s GUADEC, at Brno!

Once again, thanks to the GNOME Foundation for making it possible for me to attend this hackfest. Also, many thanks to Karen for organization, and to Cooper Union and Green Desk, for hosting the event.

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GNOME Shell at my university

Seems the Informatics Department of my university (the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, a.k.a. PUC-Rio) is now running GNOME Shell! The workstations in our graduate and undergraduate laboratories, before powered with Fedora 11/GNOME 2, were very recently updated to Fedora 17 with GNOME 3.4 (dual boot with Windows 7 Professional). PUC-Rio have one of the top Computer Science graduate programs in Brazil and, so, it feels good to have GNOME trusted as a tool for us, students, to work and keep the high standards of the department.

I’m not sure how many of my colleagues indeed use Fedora when working (actually, from what I’ve seen at the graduate lab so far, not many), but I’ll try my best to spot those guys in the future and ask them about their thoughts on GNOME. As a matter of fact, today I got the chance to give a quick Shell tour to a friend and to listen to some thoughts from him as a first-time user, such as:

  • Understanding the concepts around the Shell and discovering how to interact with it (without having me to explain) was sort of a problem for him.
  • He thought the interaction with the Shell to be very “keyboard-oriented”, which was kinda of bad for him as a strong mouse user – as opposed to keyboard interaction, he thought mouse interaction to take a lot of time/steps for performing actions he’d like to do quickly.
  • He was impressed by the message tray and the notifications (even though, unfortunately, I couldn’t show him integrated messaging, since we don’t have Empathy installed in the stations).

This was a very quick conversation, but, as promised, I’ll try to keep chasing colleagues to see how they feel about the Shell. Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to hear both from first-time users and from more experienced guys, like the ones that (almost literally) live in the lab. We’ll see :)