Refugee Hope Box

I’m not sure that I’ve ever posted anything non-Fedora / Linux / tech in this blog since I started it over 10 years ago. My daughter’s school is running a refugee hope box drive. The boxes are packed full of toiletries and other supplies for refugee children. We will drop our box off at school and it will get shipped to the Operation Refugee Child program, where its contents will be packed into a backpack and delivered to a child in the refugee camps. We decided to pack a box for a teenage girl. It includes everything from personal toiletries, to non-perishable snacks, to some fun things like gel pens, markers, a journal, and Lip Smackers. We explained to our daughter that there are kids like her who got kicked out of their home by bad guys (“Like the Joker?” she asked. Yep, bad guys like him.) There’s one girl we are going to try to help – since she is far away from home and has almost nothing, we are going to help by sending some supplies for her. My daughter loved the idea and was really into it. We spent most of our Saturday this past weekend getting …

Helping new users get on IRC

Hubs and Chat Integration Basics Hubs uses Freenode IRC for its chat feature. I talked quite a bit about the basics of how we think this could work (see “Fedora Hubs and Meetbot: A Recursive Tale” for all of the details.) One case that we have to account for is users who are new Fedora contributors who don’t already have an IRC nick or even experience with IRC. A tricky thing is that we have to get them identified with NickServ, and continue to identify them with Nickserv seamlessly and automatically, after netsplits and other events that would cause them to lose their authentication to Nickserv, without their needing to be necessarily aware that the identification process was going on. Nickserv auth is kind of an implementation detail of IRC that I don’t think users, particularly those new to and unfamiliar with IRC, need to be concerned with. Nickserv? “Nickserv? What’s Nickserv?” you ask. Well. Different IRC networks have a nickserv or something similar to it. On IRC, people chat using the same nickname and come to be known by their nickname. For example, I’ve been mizmo on freenode IRC for well over a decade and am known by that …

Fedora Design Interns Update

I wanted to give you an update on the status of the Fedora Design team’s interns. We currently have two interns on our team: Mary Shakshober – (IRC: mshakshober) Mary started her internship full time this summer and amongst other things designed the beautiful, Polish folk art-inspired Flock 2016 logo. She’s currently working limited hours as the school year is back in swing at UNH, but she is still working on design team tickets, including new Fedora booth material designs and a template for Fedora’s logic model. Suzanne Hillman – (IRC: shillman) Suzanne just started her Outreachy internship with us two days ago. She has been working on UX design research for a new Fedora Hubs feature – Regional Hubs. She’s already had some interviews with Fedora folks who’ve been involved in organizing regional Fedora events, and we’ll be using an affinity mapping exercise along with Matthew Miller to analyze the data she’s collected. If you see Mary or Suzanne around, please say hi! 🙂

Fedora Hubs and Meetbot: A Recursive Tale

Hubs and Chat Integration Basics One of the planned features of Fedora Hubs that I am most excited about is chat integration with Fedora development chat rooms. As a mentor and onboarder of designers and other creatives into the Fedora project, I’ve witnessed IRC causing a lot of unnecessary pain and delay in the onboarding experience. The idea we have for Hubs is to integrate Fedora’s IRC channels into the Hubs web UI, requiring no IRC client installation and configuration on the part of users in order to be able to participate. The model is meant to be something like this: By default, any given hub won’t have an IRC chat window. And whether or not a chat window appears on the hub is configurable by the hub admin (they can choose to not display the chat widget.) However, the hub admin may map their hub to a specific channel – whatever is appropriate for their team / project / self – and the chat widget on their hub will give visitors the possibility to interact with that team via chat, right in the web interface. Early mockups depict this feature looking something like this, for inclusion on a team …

Design Team Fedora Activity Day (FAD) Event Report

Two weekends ago now, we had a 2-day Fedora Activity Day (heh, a 2-day day) for the Fedora Design Team. We had three main goals for this FAD, although one of them we didn’t cover (:-() : Hold a one-day badges hackfest – the full event report is available for this event – we have wanted to do an outreach activity for some time so this was a great start. Work out design team logistics – some of our members have changed location causing some meeting time issues despite a few different attempts to work around them. We had a few other issues to tackle too (list to come later in this post.) We were able to work through all points and come up with solutions except for one (we ran out of time.) Usability test / brainstorm on the Design Team Hub on Fedora Hubs – so the plan was that the Design Team Hub would be nearly ready for the Flock demo the next week, but this wasn’t exactly the case so we couldn’t test it. With all of the last-minute prep for the workshop event, we didn’t have any time to have much discussion on hubs, either. …

The Fedora Design Team's Inkscape/Badges Workshop!

This past weekend, the Fedora Design Team held an Inkscape and Fedora Badges workshop at Red Hat’s office in Westford, Massachusetts. (You can see our public announcement here.) Why did the Fedora Design Team hold this event? At our January 2015 FAD, one of the major themes of things we wanted to do as a team was outreach, to both help teach Fedora and the FLOSS creative tools set as a platform for would-be future designers, as well as to bring more designers into our team. We planned to do a badges workshop at some future point to try to achieve that goal, and this workshop (which was part of a longer Design FAD event I’ll detail in another post) was it. We collectively feel that designing artwork for badges is a great “gateway contribution” for Fedora contributors because: The badges artwork standards and process is extremely well-documented. The artwork for a badge is a small, atomic unit of contribution that does not take up too much of a contributor’s time to create. Badges individually touch on varying areas of the Fedora project, so by making a single badge you could learn (in a rather gentle way) how a particular …

Sources for Openly-Licensed Content

This morning I got an email from my colleague Tyler Golden who was seeking advice on good places to get openly-licensed content so I put together a list. It seems the list would be generally useful (especially for my new design interns, who will be blogging on Planet Fedora soon 🙂 ) so here you are, a blog post. 🙂 There’s a lot more content types I could go through but I’m going to stick to icons/graphics and photography for now. If you know of any other good sources in these categories (or desperately need another category of content covered,) please let me know and I’ll update this list. Also of note – please note any licenses for materials you’re evaluating for use, and if they require attribution please give it! It doesn’t have to be a major deal. (I covered this quite a bit in a workshop I’ve given a few times on Gimp & Inkscape so you might want to check out that preso if you need more info on that.) Icons / Graphics The Noun Project Ryan Lerch clued me in to this one. All of the graphics are Creative Commons (yo uhave to provide attribution) or …

Plan to level up contributors with Fedora Hubs!

What’s going on with Hubs? So a little update for those not following closely to get you up to date: We have a big milestone we’re working towards – a working version of Fedora Hubs in time for Flock. It won’t have all of the bells and whistles of the mockups that we’ve presented, but it will be usable and hopefully demonstrate the potential of the app as well and enable more development. We have a number of fantastic interns coming on board (including Devyani) who will be helping us work on Fedora Hubs this summer. pingou is going to be leading development on fedora-hubs. I’m clearly back from an extended leave this past winter and cranking back on mockups again. 🙂 ryanlerch has upgraded hubs to fedora-bootstrap so it has a fresh look and feel (which you’ll see reflected in mockups moving forward.) Overall, we’ve gotten more momentum than ever before with a clear goal and timeline, so you’ll hopefully be seeing a lot more of these juicy updates more frequently! (“Wait, what is Fedora Hubs?” you ask. This older blog post has a good summary.) Okay, so let’s move on and talk about Hubs and Badges, particularly in …

A logo design process

Designing a logo can be intimidating and the process full of alternating between hope and despair. I recently designed a logo for the team of a friend I work with, and for whatever reason (perhaps mindfulness practice) I decided to try to track the process visually and note my general thinking in choosing a forward direction. This was just one piece (albeit a major one) of a longer process. This part was just me by myself coming up with an initial proposal for discussion. I think brainstorming as a team effort produces the best results – here I took some initial direction from the team in terms of what they wanted, the look they were going for, the symbols they wanted embedded in the logo. The initial concept in the first frame reflects that opening conversation – they wanted the logo to relate to carbon, they wanted something clean (the Ansible logo was brought up as an example of a style they liked), and they wanted it to somehow depict interoperability. The process below shows how I came up with an initial proposal from that starting point, and then we worked together back and forth to come up with the …

A New Logo for Hyperkitty

I was working on Fedora Hubs and I needed a nice icon for Hyperkitty for some feed widget mockups I was working on. I really love the updated Pagure logo Ryan Lerch made for pagure.io: Pagure and Hyperkitty, you know, they are kind of cousins, so they should look like they are part of the same family, no? 🙂 So here’s what I came up with, what do you think? (SVG available here.)