The Linux Setup – Meg Ford, GNOME Developer

Meg’s setup reminds me a lot of Dave Neary’s: simple and taking advantage of stock tools, rather than reinventing the desktop experience. Of course, given Meg’s GNOME work, she actually gets to reinvent the desktop experience professionally, so it’s probably a less compelling need for her when she’s not developing. Also, Meg mentions Documents in her interview. I didn’t realize it was the default GNOME document manager, which I don’t usually use, but which seems to be a great dashboard which integrates local documents with cloud-hosted ones. It’s something I might explore down the line. It’s kind of funny how, like many Linux users, I have all of this interesting software installed and at my fingertips, yet I haven’t fully explored what’s available to me. It’s a nice problem to have.

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  1. Who are you, and what do you do?

    I am a member of the GNOME foundation and an MS in Computer Science student. I contribute to GNOME’s Documents application, co-organize monthly Linux user group meetups and GNOME hackfests in Chicago, and help out with the Chicago Python Workshop. I’m working as a web developer while I complete my degree.

  2. What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?

    I’m running Fedora 18. I use the GNOME desktop environment.

  3. What software do you depend upon with this distribution?

    I run the current version of Documents from git master for managing and editing my Google and local docs and for developing and testing the software itself.

    I use Pidgin for communicating on IRC, Tomboy for note taking, and GIMP and Inkscape for svg and picture editing.

    I usually use Firefox (with HTTPS Everywhere, Ghostery, AdBlock, and GNOME 3 extensions) for browsing the web, and Google Chrome when I need smooth integration with Google services.

    When I program for GNOME I use gedit and the terminal. For web development I use Bluefish. In school my primary language is Java, so I use Eclipse and JGrasp. I just started learning C this semester, and I’m going to try using Emacs. There’s a steep learning curve with Emacs, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to invest the time to learn it.

  4. What kind of hardware do you run it on?

    I have a Thinkpad T61.

  5. What is your ideal Linux setup?

    I think I work on GNOME in order to help create the “ideal” Linux. It’s really exciting to me to try out new features as they are built, and contribute to the vision and development happening in our community.

  6. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?

Meg Ford's desktop

Interview conducted January 25, 2013

The Linux Setup is a feature where I interview people about their Linux setups. The concept is borrowed, if not outright stolen, from this site. If you’d like to participate, drop me a line.

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