State of the Budgie: April 2022

As a mini "State of the Budgie" for April 2022, here is what has been done so far and what is coming up in the near future!

State of the Budgie: April 2022

Buddies of Budgie was founded to provide a home for the Budgie Desktop, an open source modern desktop environment built to provide you immediate access to the things you need, and keep out of the way when you need it to most.

When I founded Buddies of Budgie after my departure from the Solus team, I made it my immediate goals to:

  1. Perform outreach and change the relationship of "downstreams" like Ubuntu Budgie into equal partners in the development and planning of the Budgie Desktop.
  2. Re-ignite Budgie 10 development and start more active discussions on Budgie 11.
  3. Establish clear processes for providing feedback, engaging in discussions, fostering a healthy community, and more.
  4. Ensure transparency into the organization and Budgie itself, allowing individuals to get more easily involved in its development as well as understand where we are as a project in pursuing goals.

As a mini "State of the Budgie" for April 2022, here is what has been done so far and what is coming up in the near future!

Outreach and Engagement with Consumers of Budgie

My first priority was reaching out to individuals and "downstreams" of Budgie (henceforth "consumers") about getting involved in the new development efforts, given there may have been previously some reluctance with it having been under the Solus umbrella. This outreach was through multiple means, such as email, social networks, and forum posts:

Here are some public examples:

To facilitate this engagement with these consumers as well as just your average Budgie user, I created a Matrix Space to have off-topic, support, and development discussions. This has proven useful in our active collaboration efforts.

Financially Supporting Budgie Development: OpenCollective and Swag

In the past, there was no direct way to financially support the development of Budgie Desktop and the infrastructure that enables its continued development. We are quite fortunate to have the Open Source Collective offer its fiscal hosting and non-profit functions for open source projects and that includes Buddies of Budgie, via our OpenCollective.

Thanks to the support of backers on our OpenCollective, we have already been able to reimburse 250 USD for various development items, such as fixing a long-standing issue with icon scaling in the IconTasklist applet, as well as a massive re-architecture and numerous improvements to Budgie Menu. If you would like to help support our development of Budgie Desktop financially, the opportunity is available and we would greatly appreciate the support.

If you are interested in getting some nice Budgie swag, the margins go directly to our OpenCollective on a monthly basis. We have t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, hoodies, polos, stickers, and more! You can check it out on our European Spreadshirt and North American Spreadshirt shops!

Reignite Budgie 10 Development and Discussions on Budgie 11

Budgie development takes place on our dedicated GitHub organization, with hard forks of Budgie Desktop, Budgie Desktop View, and budgie-screensaver. We have a discussion forum on the Budgie Desktop repository to gather feedback and ideas, which previously were in the forums of individual operating systems. I kick-started discussion around Budgie 10 development through the Moving Forward and Making Budgie 10 Fly Again posts, as well as numerous issues that served as focal points on identified problems with Budgie 10.x.

Translations are done through our Transifex rather than requiring the infrastructure of a specific operating system. Work has also been underway on a Buddies of Budgie site.

In terms of releases, we have already had two releases of Budgie Desktop, 10.6 and 10.6.1. 🎉🎉🎉 10.6 incorporated a considerable rewrite of both our IconTasklist and application tracking, as well as a new notification server. 10.6.1 featured numerous bug fixes. When it comes to Budgie 10.7, we are already well underway in introducing a new Budgie Menu with even more re-architecture, as well as a new internal theme. So we are pretty happy with the current situation in the development of Budgie 10.x.

David Mohammed a.k.a fossfreedom from the Ubuntu Budgie project has been doing an absolutely stellar job in our fork of GNOME Control Center, which is Budgie Control Center. This new control center will serve Budgie 10.x users and provide us more separation from GNOME.

All of this put together goes to show our commitment as a community in the development of Budgie 10 until Budgie 11 is ready for general availability.

Discussions around Budgie 11 are still in their early days, however as we have looked more at the re-architecture of Budgie 10.x this has also been done with the mindset of serving as a playground for new ideas to pursue for 11, and these discussions have occurred while we work on these re-architectures. We have a stronger sense of the identity of Budgie 11 and our goals will be further expanded in greater detail in our upcoming workshops.

Upcoming Workshops

This brings us to goals 3 and 4. To re-iterate those goals:

  1. Establish clear processes for providing feedback, engaging in discussions, fostering a healthy community, and more.
  2. Ensure transparency into the organization and Budgie itself, allowing individuals to get more easily involved in its development as well as understand where we are as a project in pursuing goals.

We firmly believe in the idea of continuous improvement, whether that is in the ways we work, the ways we communicate, or the ways we address issues. I want to apply the lessons I have learned from my past involvement in Solus and its community to ensure from the start we have clear processes for engagement in our community (such as the adoption of the Code of Conduct I had originally wrote for Solus), transparency whenever possible, and a well-defined identity as an organization.

In the spirit of transparency and community engagement, these discussions are not happening behind closed doors with a small group of individuals. Instead, I will be hosting two public workshops (details below) that will not only delve into a wide-range of non-technical and technical topics, but allow direct involvement from everyone: active contributors to normal Budgie users. These will be livestreamed on my Twitch and uploaded to both my personal YouTube channel as well as the new Buddies of Budgie channel. Materials from our collaboration, such as our Miro board, will also be accessible.

Day 1 Workshop will take place on April 30th 1500 UTC - 1800 UTC and cover the topics of: Core Values of Buddies of Budgie, Community Development and Engagement:

  1. Identifying and Documenting Core Values of the Buddies of Budgie organization.
  2. Community Development and Engagement: Consensus creation & org structure. CoC proposal. How do we facilitate discussion and what avenues should be considered?
  3. Brainstorming resource access and sharing (examples: existing Google Workspace and adding users, Bitwarden Teams Organization for password sharing + Google SSO as SAML, Buffer for social media, DigitalOcean Team). Policies around that.
  4. Brainstorming on how we organize and communicate the above-mentioned information, including on the site.

Day 2 Workshop will take place on May 1st 1500 UTC - 1800 UTC and cover the topics of: Purpose Description around development of Budgie 10. High-level objectives for Budgie 11. Transparency in development.

  1. Describing the purpose of the current continued development of Budgie 10 series
  2. High-level objectives we wish to accomplish with Budgie 11.
  3. Brainstorming on how we organize and communicate the above-mentioned information, including on the site. GitHub Project Boards, Trello, etc.? Meta repo for tracking? Public roadmap is personally important, even if it is high-level, has no ETAs, or evolves over time (good!).

I intend on having further workshops, such as a Day 3 on May 7th 1500 UTC - 1800 UTC, though the topic for that is TBD.

These workshops will be summarized in a dedicated blog post as well as through any other agreed-on mediums.

Getting Involved

We will be using Google Meet to facilitate these discussions. The link to the workshop meets and Miro boards are shared directly with participants through our Matrix Server and will also be published in the general channel as well before the workshops start.

Summary

To summarize the current state of the organization and Budgie Desktop: It is more lively and healthier than ever. We are actively working on ways to build a healthy and well-structured community (the workshops are a result of our intentions in this regard). Budgie 10 series is looking great and we are optimistic about development going into Budgie 11.

From a personal perspective, working on Buddies of Budgie and Budgie Desktop through the new organization has been a breath of fresh air, and I look forward to seeing where we go in the future.

Did you know that you can support the Buddies of Budgie project on OpenCollective? Buddies of Budgie was founded to provide a home for the Budgie Desktop and your financial contribution can go a long way to supporting our goals for development, providing opportunities for financial compensation, leveraging no-compromise Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery systems for streamlining Budgie 10 and 11 development, and more!