GSoC 2023: Introductory Post

Akshay Warrier
3 min readMay 10, 2023



I’m Akshay Warrier, a second-year student from the Indian Institute of Information Technology Kottayam, India studying Electronics and Communication Engineering. This summer I’ll be working on Workbench with my mentors Sonny Piers and Andy Holmes.

Me, Linux, and GNOME

It was about two years ago, I decided to give Linux a try on a whim. I installed Ubuntu and played around with it for a bit and it wasn’t long before I had completely switched over. Everything was new and different to me but I remember really liking the unified look and feel of the UI. There were still things I wasn’t accustomed to, such as using the terminal.

I would later on learn about desktop environments and realize that the apps and software I have been using that I know and love are from GNOME. A few months later and I had gone down the rabbit hole of distro-hopping. I installed and tried out various different Linux distros and in the process learned a lot about the Linux community, following all sorts of forums and subreddits. I eventually stumbled across Arch Linux. I had my apprehensions about installing it but my curiosity took over and I gave it a shot anyway. It has stuck with me since then.

Workbench and Library Demos

I knew very early on that I wanted to be part of the GNOME community as a contributor but I found it very difficult to find a project that was the right fit for me. This was mainly because I had no prior experience working with GTK and most of my exposure before this was working on small projects involving Python or JavaScript. But I remember coming across Workbench and seeing that it didn’t have GTK as a pre-requisite and also used JavaScript which worked well in my favor. I started making contributions to Workbench and after several contributions I got myself familiarized with GJS and Blueprint, the UI markup language used by Workbench.

Workbench has a feature called the “Library” which is a collection of demos that show the various widgets, APIs, and design patterns of GTK. This is really useful for people who just want to quickly look up the basic usage of a widget or an API but don’t have the time to go through piles of documentation. Currently, the Library already includes around 23 demos, and our goal is to cover most, if not all, commonly used widgets and APIs by the end of the internship.

In the end…

I believe I owe a lot to the open-source community for all the software and applications I use daily and therefore being able to contribute and give back to the community through GSoC means a lot to me. I hope to learn a lot on this new and exciting journey of mine.
Thank you for reading!