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Books App Is Coming on GNOME 3.14 By Marta Milaković!

Books-App is one of the 32 projects that was accepted in GSoC (Google Summer of Code) for GNOME, and I picked Books to spend some more time, for 2 and a half reasons.

  • 1. Books is the only new “application” out of the 32 projects
  • 2.  Marta Milaković is a new contributor
  • 2.5. Marta is the second girl (apologies if I am wrong on this!) that will be the main maintainer of a GNOME App. First was Meg Ford with Sound-Recorder that made its debut on 3.12. I am not making any separation between boys and girls here. It was just a short info!

Books will hopefully come on 3.14, and if not ready, it will be there at least as a tech preview.

Project Description

Short Description: Implementation of an eBook application for listing, searching and reading eBooks, called Books. The idea is to integrate Books with an existing online eBook store. The store is not been chosen yet. GNOME-Books will be implemented upon the application GNOME-Documents, and it is going to live in the same git repository.

Mentor: Cossimo Cecchi

Award: $5.200 (If completed)

Full Description on Marta’s Blog-post

While Books will share the same repository as Documents, it is actually a separate application.

Books is going to be a separate application

Books is a separate application, but it will be implemented upon the application Documents, cause it is going to live in the same git repository. This will be a great solution regarding code duplication, because it will be possible to reuse relevant code blocks from Documents and add extra features related to eBooks.

We don’t have any mockups yet :( The project is very fresh, but hopefully we are going to make them soon.


Marta Milaković, 24


University: Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Computer Engineering (10th semester), Zagreb, Croatia.

Skills: Experience in object-oriented modeling and design. I have good knowledge and experience of the following programming languages: C, C++, C#, and I’m familiar with: Java, Matlab, Assembly, Bash scripting, Perl. I have some experience with web development (HTML5, CSS, JS).

Previously: This is my first bigger contribution for FOSS. Besides that I worked on some small project with Arduino and RaspberryPi.

Marta On Google+


I thought to shoot some questions, not regarding the project (that’s fully explained on her blog) but in more general things.

1. Different people have different reasons for involving with FOSS. What was your motivation?
The idea of Free and Open Source Software has always intrigued me. Once I installed GNOME I never left it. I found myself writing down some features that could be added in GNOME to improve the usability. I was looking a lot into GNOME extensions, and I wanted to make new ones. Later on I found out about Google Summer of Code. I thought that would be a great way to start contributing and to work on something I love.
2. Do you believe that financial sponsoring (like GSoC), is the only way that someone will spend serious time for developing open applications for desktop?
I think that financial sponsoring doesn’t have to be the only way that someone will spend serious time to work on open applications. It would be great if Universities could support FOSS projects much more. Professors should try to expand student’s horizons in Open Source world and together they would come up with some great ideas to improve Free and Open Source Software.
3. You picked to make an application from scratch, instead of improving something that was already there. I guess, that means that you are going to continue contributing on GNOME after GSoC.
‘GNOME Books’ will be implemented upon the application GNOME Documents. While I was looking at the proposed ideas for GSoC I thought this was a great project and that users need a simplified and user-friendly eBook desktop application. I want GNOME to have a great future, so I’m willing to help and I’m hoping to stuck around after GSoC is finished.
4. Did you feel that GNOME/users were in a need of such an App? There was demand?
The popularity of eBooks is growing. Therefore, supporting out-of-the-box eBook file formats in GNOME would be a big plus. The main focus of ‘GNOME Books’ is the user and his desire for reading, so the application is going to be build upon the main goal which is user friendliness. It will offer the features that every reader wants to have and won’t distract him with too broad functionality.
5. GNOME is a desktop with millions of users, but with strong competition as well. A bad or good GNOME-App will impact the whole GNOME Desktop. Does this add an extra pressure on you?
I’m a fresh developer in GNOME community, so everything is a great challenge for me. I’m not disturbed much by the idea that this won’t be a great application, because GNOME is a big community, with the people that care, so that will most probably lead to a great and successful project.
6. Do you think this extra responsibility and group-work (working on a big organization) helps contributors to create better apps, rather working individually (their own apps)?
I’m sure that group of people can be a great motivator, a good help and support, which should lead to a better applications. In this case, there is many decisions which have to be made, so it is better to discuss and evaluate them in a group work. And as we use to say: ‘Two brains are smarter than one’.
7. Anything more? ..& Good luck!
I’m very happy to see that many people are supporting the idea of ‘GNOME Books’. I’ll consider every suggestion and together with the GNOME team we are going to design and build a great app.
Thank you!


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