Granite Developer Adrien Plazas: Interviewby Imported Article

In the past, we've highlighted contributors to elementary with an interview and overview of their work. Today I'm picking that up again; I was able to chat with Adrien Plazas (a.k.a. Kekun) about his involvement in elementary. Follow along to get an insight into the work of Kekun.

Hi Kekun! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Adrien Plazas, nearly 24, and I leave near Montpellier (in the south of France).

How are you involved with elementary?

Actually, I feel like a free electron gravitating around more serious desktop developers. I am developing my own elementary comic book reader, Strip, and sometimes I hack Granite a little; for example, I am working on a new "About" dialog for Granite. Shown below.

I also started to code a terminal emulator for Pantheon (inspired by a mockup by Daniel Fore, shown below), but it ended being a task too complicated for me right now, as I am still a beginning hacker.

What sort of things do you do besides elementary development?

I recently started to work with a local association who promotes free culture (software, etc) and helps beginners who are curious to discover and use this software.

I also stopped working and went back to university to learn IT, with the goal of working in the FLOSS movement.

How did you get involved with development in general?

In January, 2010, I had absolutely no programming skills but wanted to help the elementary project by creating more apps. The next month I learned Python and GTK2; it was quick and I started to train myself by coding a replacement to the awesome but dead project "Comix" (shown below). Strip was born.

More recently I learned Vala, GTK3 and SDL.

So you're still pretty new to development! It's awesome to have you on board with elementary. How did you get involved with elementary?

It was first via the forum of the project. When it disappeared, I moved to the IRC channel and more precisely the development channel.

If there was someone out there who wanted to also get involved with elementary development, what would you think their skillset should look like?

As a begginner and FLOSS enthousiast, I'm really open minded about that. If this person knows less than me, that's not a problem and I can teach him/her what I know. If he/she knows more than me, it would be an honor to learn from him/her. Both have already happened.

If someone does, in fact, want to get involved with development, how would you suggest they do so?

If they want to help me to develop Strip or whatever I am working on, this person can send me an email or look for me on the elementary developer IRC channel (#elemenetary-dev on This place is also a good starting point to understand how its developers are working, and to get involved in the whole project.

By the way if someone want to work on Pantheon Terminal, do it! It deserves a better hacker than what I am at the moment.

What are some of your upcoming plans or projects for development?

Once I'm done with the new "About" dialog, I plan to improve Strip a lot. More precisely, it needs a lot of debugging, removal of useless buttons and functions (like the lens and the library), reduction of the display modes available to make it more automagic, and coding of other programs and/or functions like an ebook reader and a library manager to make a complete elementary book management suite. And also packaging, that's very important!

Anything else you want to add?

I hate to read trolls saying elementary OS is "just a Mac OS X rip off," and I encourage them to look more deeply and see the differences. As the time is going, I see elementary developing its own touch, making it different from its so called "source." It's these little touches that I love the most in the project.

That's awesome, and very true. Thanks so much for your time!

You're welcome

There you go, ladies and gentlemen, Adrien Plazas, a.k.a. Kekun. It's great to get to know some of the devoted contributors that make elementary what it is. It's also important to remember that everyone starts somewhere; in Adrien's case he started a short time ago and is already a huge help to the project. Also keep in mind that no matter your skill level, you're welcome to be a part of the community.

Published October 2nd, 2011
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