We’re Back from Libre Application Summit 2018

Sharing Knowledge and Wisdom in Denver, Colorado

This past week elementary contributors Daniel Foré, Felipe Escoto, Blake Kostner, and I met up in Denver, Colorado for the Libre Application Summit. We joined a few dozen people from GNOME, KDE, and other projects with a mission to share knowledge and experiences, plus collaborate on common technologies for app ecosystems built on open source technologies.

The event was three days of talks and impromptu hacking, plus one day of BoFs (birds-of-a-feather meetings, based around a common interest) and hacking. And then after the official event there was another impromptu day of exploring the mountains of Colorado.

Talks

Talks in the large common area

Talks in the large common area

Some of the talks were expanded or iterated versions of talks we attended at GUADEC, which wasn’t a bad thing. It was nice to check up on the progress of technologies like Flatpak (including a much deeper dive into the technical side) and FreeDesktop-SDK. There was also a strong focus on design and UX, helped in large part by the presence of and talks by Robin Tafel from Endless and Ryan Gorley from FreeHive.

We also gave two talks. I presented It’s Not Always Technical: Solving Social Problems (an expanded version of the lightning talk I gave at GUADEC).

Later, Daniel and I presented elementary AppCenter: Native, Open Source, Pay-What-You-Want.

Both were very well received and spurred on great questions and discussions immediately following and in the following days. It was exciting to help share our experiences and findings from building both elementary OS and AppCenter with other free software contributors. Hopefully what we’ve learned and shared will help improve approaches across the board.

BoFs & Hacking

BoFs and hacking in the swanky venue

BoFs and hacking in the swanky venue

The BoFs at LAS were very informal. There were sessions about Flatpak, CI, GTK, Vala, and more. Across a few evenings and the BoF day, we also worked on tackling saving AppCenter payment methods so it’s easier to one-click purchase apps in the future. We made great progress on the design and UI prototypes. We also identified the changes that need to happen on the API side to support reusing payment methods without us having to store raw payment card data on the client or our servers.

Prototype UI for reusing payment methods

Prototype UI for reusing payment methods

This work is ongoing and doesn’t have a set completion date, but we’re excited about the progress that was made by having a group of people in a room working on a common problem from all angles.

Social

It wouldn’t be an open source conference without the social events! We joined fellow LASers around Denver at Vine Street Pub, Slice Works, The 1UP barcade, the System76 factory, and some of us even took a day trip up to Mount Evans. It was great to both meet back up with familiar faces and make new friends as we got away from the computers and bonded over food, drinks, games, and nature.

Thanks

Thanks to GNOME for organizing and hosting the event, and thanks to sponsors Private Internet Access, openSUSE, System76, Purism, Codethink, and LulzBot for funding the event.

And as always, a huge thank you to all of the app developers building for elementary OS, everyone who’s bought an app on AppCenter, our supporters on Bountysource and Patreon, and those who’ve purchased a copy of elementary OS or merch from our store. Each of these contributions helps make this all possible, and we wouldn’t be here without you.

If you’d like to help improve elementary OS and AppCenter, don’t hesitate to Get Involved!

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