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Status Update and PyCon SK report

Posted by Bjarni on March 16, 2016

Apologies for how quiet this blog has been lately; the last couple of months I have been very busy with fatherhood, preparing to move countries and making sure my other job gets done.

I do expect development on Mailpile to pick up again over the next few weeks and this blog will start getting regular updates again as well. There will be a lull again in the latter half of April, when my little family and I move back to Iceland.

Release Candidate Progress

During the first few weeks of 2016, quite a lot of progress was made on the release. My focus has been to first complete the tasks most likely to generate new text in the interface, so that our translation teams would have enough time to do their jobs.

  • We are now very close to having working Debian packages that comply with offcial Debian policies, thanks to the heroic efforts of Alexandre Viau. This means Mailpile 1.0 should be in Debian-testing almost from day one!
  • The most important privacy and security settings are now explained and can be configured by the user. This includes Tor support and expressing preferences on what is encrypted and whether external services like Gravatar are used or not.
  • Improvements were made to the Event Log and a network activity viewer was exposed to facilitate troubleshooting.
  • Jack Dodds contributed support for parsing stand-alone PGP encrypted and signed attachments.
  • Many bugs got fixed.

Some of this work may have slightly circumvented the feature-freeze, but these are important enough features that I'm not too fussed about it.

I think I am almost done with the strings work and aim to declare a string freeze this week or next. The next task will then be bug hunting, putting the last touches on our Debian package and set up a build-bot to autogenerate packages.

PyCon SK

Last weekend I was happy to attend Slovakia's first PyCon.

I had been invited to speak about some of the challenges involved in making Free Software development a full time job; one of the stories I told was of course the story of Mailpile so far. The talk was well received and I had many excellent conversations afterwards.

I was very impressed with how professional the conference was, considering it was their first ever PyCon. The organizers should be proud of themselves!

As usual, I made sure to perform some usability tests, answer questions, demonstrate Mailpile and help people set up the app. Our getting-started-on-linux wiki page now mentions Fedora! And of course I gave away lots of stickers.

Fixes suggested by the usability tests are already in Github.