06. February 2018


Salutations Noisyweb. It’s been a while…

I recently attended FOSDEM in Brussels 🇧🇪 and I thought it would be fun to share my experiences of the trip.

As per usual, I couldn’t attend everything I hoped to see. What I’ve learned in my few years visiting is that it’s best to focus on one or two tracks that appeal to you and stay there. Also, you should try not to develop an unsustainable amount of interests! Jumping between rooms rarely works out, especially when those rooms seem miles apart.

Here are the talks I received the most value from this year:

I would’ve liked to attend the talks on Tor and I2P, since I only have a surface knowledge of what they’re all about. I would’ve liked to see “Game development for the…SEGA 8-bit systems” too since that topic scratches an itch. Videos are available for these sessions though, so I’ll catch up with each of them at some point.

This year’s FOSDEM came at a time of introspection for me. So it was nice to once again be among like-minded friends in an environment which is close to my values.

Other highlights for me included the final night out at a Japanese sushi bar close to where I was staying. The following day we visited the Atomium and later the Brussels Design Museum. I particularly enjoyed the René Magritte surrealist art expo and the plasticatarium.

I’ll definitely be at FOSDEM’19. If time permits, then I’d like to visit the René Magritte Museum. Kat recommended that I see the Comics Art Museum too. So I have plenty of reasons to go back 👍.

24. August 2017

Tales of GUADEC 2017 Part 6

Welcome to the sixth part in my GUADEC 2017 series. Here I’ll be writing about some of my activities since and share some final GUADEC thoughts. The previous parts can be accessed here. Props to you if you’ve read them all up to this point 😉.

It’s been a few weeks now since GUADEC, but it’s impact continues to be felt. I’ve experienced a lot of change since, but now that things have settled down, I’ve found some time to begin exploring.


I’ve shared my first patch to Epiphany on Bugzilla. It’s a trivial change, but investigating the issue enabled me to explore some of the code base, learn Gtk Inspector and familiarise myself once again with crafting a patch. It was an opinionated change, so it invited a healthy debate with a few GNOME designers. It seems I have more work to do 😉.

I’ve been making notes along the way too. There are features I would like to see in Gtk Inspector for example which I believe would make writing and testing GTK CSS a lot easier. I feel I can add a lot of value here, since as a web person I basically live in tools like this.

Games Hackfest

It’s still early days, but we’ve made contact with a friend who’s helping us to secure a university venue. One of the conditions will be to encourage staff and student involvement. This means that while the event will have a strong GNOME focus, we must do our best to facilitate everyone’s interests 👍.

We’ll soon be needing documentation that covers how to take games exported from a framework like Godot or Unity and integrate them nicely with GNOME. I’ll be researching these details soon, as I have experience with a few engines.


I need to learn GJS, Glade and a whole other bunch of GNOME app development tools quick! As such, I’ve started laying the groundwork for my new pet project: yet another Markdown editor!

The idea it is that I want to think in Markdown and be able to export documents in the formats that we all value: HTML, Mallard, MoinMoin, ePUB to name a few.

It’s mostly just an idea and sketches at this point, but I’m curious to know what you think?

Final GUADEC Thoughts

My advice to anybody attending GUADEC for the first time would be to do exactly what I was advised to do: offer your time, give talks about the things you’re super passionate about and make friends. Folks will get to know you, and in return you’ll feel a great sense of belonging and empowerment.

I want to thank so many of you. Too many to list really, but if you interacted with me in any way over the course of the conference or in the weeks since, then you know who you are. You all rock 🤘

Thanks everyone️. If I don’t catch you at the Hackfest or FOSDEM early next year, then I hope to see you again in Almería for GUADEC 2018.

12. August 2017

Tales of GUADEC 2017 Part 5

Welcome to the fifth part of my GUADEC 2017 series. If you’ve not seen the other posts, then I suggest you visit the archive.


The un-conference days would take place at The Shed. A venue which felt very much like a hackerspace and as such would be the perfect environment for us to get things done 🔨😋

I first spent time with the gjs team. There, I shared my experiences developing a quick game with the platform. It was valuable for them to hear my experiences as a front-end web developer working on GNOME apps for the first time. I expressed my desire for DevTools-like debugging, view inspection, making live style changes and so on. I was pleased to learn that much of this tooling already exists. I was also shown some environment variable tricks to enable particular GTK debugging features which I hadn’t yet discovered.

I was told a few times over the course of the conference that gjs was undervalued within the community, and I had a few ideas on how to improve that. I proposed that we form a kind-of “working group” around the technology. We would hold regular meetings, share minutes and communicate the value of the project with case studies and so on. The idea was well received.

The docs team were just next door, so I headed on over to begin learning the wiki. Once I created my account (thanks Patrick!) and received editing rights (thanks Shawn!), Kat kindly helped me create my own page and soon after we collaborated on the Games Hackfest.

Several of us then headed to Oishi-Q for what would be my favourite meal of the conference. I had a Chicken Katsu main with tea. おいしい! Thanks to Kat, Alexandre, Shawn and Petr for the experience. Given my love for Japanese culture, it felt like a parting gift of sorts - a fitting end to an absolutely stellar conference.

Once we returned, I made a few more tweaks to the wiki then said my goodbyes.