So This Is What I'm Up To

Jul 1 2010

Today was my first day at Red Hat. I spent most of it behind the steering wheel though.

This isn’t the most radical job switch you can think of. Big corporation with strong focus on open source with red and grey dominating its visual identity. Most of the 3rd party rpms I download work just as well on Fedora 13 as they do on opensuse 11.2 :) So why the switch?

The amount of upstream work I’ve been able to do has been in steady decline in the past few years and I am hoping to reverse that trend. As a graphics designer I’m hoping to give GNOME 3 the attention it deserves, so I’m planning to get back to hitting some afterburners maintaining the gnome-icon-theme and focus on visual design of gnome-shell.

Part of that is tying the loose ends of the symbolic style. Write some basic use guidelines and provide full naming spec coverage for gnome-icon-theme-symbolic.

Do the same for widget and WM themes what we did for icons – create a basic set of usable defaults that distributions can build on top of rather than reinvent the wheel. Asset reuse and building on top of other people’s work is what differs us from the proprietary world. Branding doesn’t have to throw that benefit away. Why run the whole marathon when you can just sprint the last mile?

I obviously do plan to join the Fedora design team to help shape the Fedora brand. But I am most interested in working on upstream GNOME projects, creating the building bricks both Fedora and other Linux distributions can benefit from.

I am a strong believer in competition. Free software has matured. We need projects/apps that have specific vision rather than try to do everything for everybody. It is necessary there are competing free software projects as there is no one right way to solve a particular problem. But there is a ton that can be shared. I personally like to focus on those bits that we can share and build cross-company, cross-distribution communities. I hope the geekos don’t feel like this is a farewell, even if I may now be seen wearing an eccentric hat.