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Elena Petrevska about new GnomeWeb | Interview

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Tell us some things about you

My name is Elena Petrevska. At this point I just finish high-school in Macedonia, and prepare to move to Germany for Bachelor Degree – Automation Technology. I am mostly interested in calculus, programming languages, physics, computer science as well as doing sports, helping to NGOs, and traveling.

How did you get involved with open source and Gnome? What are you currently working on?

As a GNU/Linux user, I constantly use GNOME3 environment. After attending a presentation in the faculty of electrical engineering in Skopje I was immediately amazed by the possibilities that GNOME offers and felt that GWOP will be the right way for me to contribute to this community. I am currently working on implementation of the new design to all GNOME-websites.

What are your responsibilities and how many people the Web Team consist of? As Gnome Sites are huge, do you feel that Web Teams counts enough people for this work?

My responsibilities are to design and develop the website in a particular manner. Basically I am doing a mockup at first and discuss with the rest of the Web and Marketing teams, so we all decide if that’s the right way that a particular website should look after redesigning it according to the new gnome design. There are around 30 people in the Web and Marketing Teams. I believe that that is sufficient number of people, as long as every each of us contributes.

Elena in some conference

So you (webteam) ended up re-designing the Gnome pages. Which pages are going to change, and when are you planning to finish? Also, what are your priorities?

I already changed git.gnome.org and mail.gnome.org. Live.gnome.org was the first one when I started, but after I encountered the Python files that I have to change there, I decided to switch to other pages that had HTML and CSS only. Now I finished with it, and am ready to start with live.gnome.org. I installed bugzilla as well, so bugzilla.gnome.org is immediately after live.gnome.org. After that, I have only build.gnome.org left, so I will talk with my mentors Christy Eller and Andreas Nilsson about what’s next. I plan to finish with all the websites for one month and then leave the rest of my GWOP internship for something else.

What are the design requirements? Are you moving forward to big changes like re-designing the way that users interact and search for information in Gnome pages?

For some of the pages, we are looking towards big changes (ex. live.gnome.org). However, for some of them, we are trying to identify with and follow the design of gnome.org, so that everything looks in accordance at the end.

Many people just quit Gnome Development because it is impossible to look for docs on gnome.org, and while documentation exists, it is hard to be found. Are there any plans to deal with it ?

That’s actually one of the most important reasons we are changing the design and the structure of the sites. We want to be easier for people to use and refer to the gnome pages as beneficial resource for finding the docs they need.

The new Gnome Mail Page

A Mac/Win user that hasn’t seen Gnome before, looks in Gnome.org but he actually can’t get much more information here, as Gnome.org seems to redirect him in Distros. Do you think that a ”commercial” Gnome.org platform would introduce Gnome in more people, or is it fine the way it is?

In my opinion, if one want’s, one may find a lot of information about GNOME on gnome.org. About a “commercial” platform, I believe that there is, as much as there is not a need for creating it. Gnome.org at this point is sufficient, and for more commercialized website, we may discuss after redesigning all gnome websites first.

Thousands of pages, dozens of broken links, outdated data and lots of different frameworks/technologies in Gnome.org. Sounds like a lot of work pressure, isn’t it?

It is, indeed. There are many bugs that have to be resolved, and I plan to contribute a lot to it. The IRC channels, especially the marketing channel, are the places where I get the support and the encouragement for working more. There are amiable people who are already long enough in this community and help me get easier and faster in the whole process. Andrea Veri helped me especially helped me acclimatize in much of what is happening around. Because of this support, I believe it will be much easier for me to work constantly on improving more.

What are the goals, you are trying to reach?

At this point, I am trying to improve the design of all the websites, while in the mean time I learn some new languages like Python, Perl and C. Python and Perl are needed for live.gnome.org and bugzilla.gnome.org respectively. My goal is to learn as much as I can during this internship while in the same time I help to the GNOME community.

Any future plans for you inside and outside Gnome?

I plan to continue contributing to GNOME when my project will end. It will be my pleasure to solve bugs and work on the websites if there is still a need. Also, I plan to help mentoring someone else if that’s possible, as Christy Eller – my mentor, did. In addition, I plan to apply to GSoC 2013, and work with GNOME again, but then the project would be something with programming, something more advance, which I will be studying and planning through the year.

Thank you Elena and good luck with the rest of your work and your future plans!

Why don’t you give a try?

Leaving this interview I am wondering.. Gnome Programs or any other Open Source program is a good opportunity to start and build your future career.  You do not need super-natural knowledge to involve in Gnome and you end up with a CV, “I worked with one of the best software teams in the world”.  If you’re in schools or Universities and you like hacking, why don’t you give it a try?

And the best part is that you’re doing your hobby ;)

*GWOP is the Gnome Women Outreach Program


 
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  • ScionicSpectre

    As a programming student, I’m sure there are many ways you could get involved with a project like GNOME as part of your cirriculum. Of course, code needs to be maintained, and drive-by contributions aren’t always the most helpful way to contribute to a community. I’m sure everyone with the passion has a skill that could be put to good use in GNOME.

  • Andre Klapper

    Hmm, personally I haven’t faced “dozens of broken links”. If there are it would be really helpful to know where in a bug report in bugzilla.gnome.org.

    • alex285

      Hello Klapper,
      There are plenty of them in old Gnome when I was looking recently for some info. And some links in new Gnome that leads you in info 2-3 years old. But never thought to bugzill-ed them. Next time I will.
      Cheers!