GNOME + automerge hackfest for local-first applications

Hi folks,

Following on from the strategic focus of the Foundation to work on supporting the creation of decentralised / local-first software into the GNOME ecosystem, I’d like to propose a hackfest to develop the ideas.

The Foundation can support potentially with development resources, applying for grant funding etc, but before that, we need to get the interested parties around a whiteboard and do some high-level discussions about what might be possible and desirable to add into the desktop, and how we’d approach it from both a user/design and a technology/implementation perspective.

I’ve been speaking to the automerge team about potentially setting up an in-person with them to spend 2-3 days exploring jointly how we can take advantage of their CRDT implementation to offer new functionality in the GNOME desktop.

The agenda would be roughly:

  • Introduce GNOME and automerge team
  • Overview of automerge and how it can support local-first use-cases for GNOME
  • Investigate technical requirements and approaches for integrating automerge-rs into the GNOME stack
  • Examine design interactions around pairing devices, sharing with collaborators and adding trusted cloud services
  • Identify candidate use-cases for integrating local-first functionality into the GNOME desktop, either through existing or new applications
  • Understand planned/missing functionality in automerge and how the roadmap interacts with GNOME ideas

My hope is we’d leave the event with some shared roadmap of ideas that the GNOME and automerge teams could pursue and collaborate on, and the Foundation can support by trying to secure funding and development, design, etc resources as seems appropriate.

My rough idea is this might be somewhere in North West Europe, as I believe many prospective participants are in Germany or relatively nearby such as France or UK, and it would be nice if we could pull something together before the end of the year (eg October or November).

Let me know if interested!



This sounds amazing and I’m very interested. As long as it’s in Europe somewhere I should be able to join.

I hope that others in the community will see what a great opportunity this is to shape a post-cloud future and join as well!

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