Binge-watching GUADEC 21

I binge-watched the Guadec 21 (21-25 July 2021) videos this week.

Here are the presentations I found interesting and relevant to Ubuntu. Gnome is the default desktop environment for Ubuntu, so it’s sensible for our communities to pay attention to each other.

Your interests may differ from mine – If you found a gem among the videos, mention it!

The State of Gnome Shell

The technical details that make Gnome 40 so different from previous versions. Includes a discussion of the upcoming Headless Gnome for servers.

If You Write It, They Will Come

The current state of Gnome developer documentation, and ideas for the future. There are a few strong parallels to the current state of Ubuntu user documentation.

How to Join Fedora

Great example of a good orientation for new users: Well-organized, just the right amount of detail, a good taste of the culture, and friendly. The Q&A at the end is also excellent, including a discussion of ways to encourage diversity. I’m not saying we should parrot this – I’m saying that some of our discussion needs to step up to a comparable level.

BOSS - Welcoming Newcomers to FOSS

An onboarding and mentoring program. Includes an excellent summation of the lack of diversity in our projects, followed by a smart analysis of the multiple ways that lack of diversity hurts our projects. Bonus: Also includes an outstanding set of lessons learned from the mentoring program, and suggests the resources needed to overcome the discovered hurdles.

Moving Towards A Sustainable Open Source Project

An overview of “sustainability”, and how that term applies to projects like Gnome. A healthy, sustainable community is critical to a successful long-term project. Offers realistic ways to increase resources to community-led projects.

Contributing Beyond Code In GNOME

The perspective of a contributor who chooses to participate in other ways, their experienced-based recommendations for non-code tasks for volunteers, and suggestions for methods of recognition.

Whoops! Responding Thoughtfully To A Crisis

A terrific overview of basic crisis prevention, and first-impression crisis management to prevent making your problem worse. Also defines the various forms of criticism and the right ways to respond to each.

How To Make Your Apps Easy To Use: Usability Testing The Simple Way

A well-organized, well-presented, fast-paced, HowTo on Usability Testing. Includes dozens of practical tips and ways to avoid common stumbles.

Discovery Docs

An overview of GNOME’s documentation systems, migrations, and woes that has led to a new content strategy: Documentation is actually outreach. Also, several ideas for how to implement the strategy.

Ubuntu Office Hour: Q&A

An overview of Canonical contributions to Gnome, and a great Q&A session. Kudos to a couple of friendly faces for handling a couple slanted questions with aplomb.


A belated but energetic thanks for highlighting the highlights from this year’s GUADEC! It would be great to see a panel similar to the Fedora one (but for Ubuntu!) for GUADEC 2022!

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