Samsung OSG Intern Profile: Michaël Bouchaud

My name is Michaël Bouchaud, and over the years I’ve been a software developer with several companies; I’ve now become the most recent intern in the Samsung Open Source Group internship program. In this post, I’ll share my new activities, but first, I’ll introduce myself.

How I Got My Start

I’ve used Enlightenment since E16 was my desktop window manager while I was in high school. What attracted me to this environment the most is the fact that it’s lightweight and sits on the side of the interface, allowing it to be effective on both mobile and desktop. I was always a rather good math student, and I studied computer science, mathematics, physics and chemistry at university. At the end of my studies, I looked for work primarily in a Linux environment; the search was not easy, but I came across Substantiel, a little French company that works with Debian. It was exactly what I was looking for: creating graphical applications in a UNIX environment. This company develops Ordissimo, an operating system targeted at beginner computer users. When I arrived, a first version of this operating system already existed but it was aging; during my time with the company we undertook a major job to rewrite the entire operating system. My task was to make a window manager that was adapted to our needs; for this, I used Enlightenment. The applications also needed to be rewritten, resulting in us using EFL since I was already active in the community.

I enabled my developer team to utilize EFL while also acting as a point of communication to the open source community. Nearly all of the applications were made using Elementary, but one of the biggest problems we encountered was that Elementary was very young at the time so we ran into a lot of bugs as well as a general lack of widgets. With that said, it enabled us to strip the graphical interface of the product down to simplify its use, while remaining very close to a standard PC environment. While this didn’t provide access to all of the capabilities of Linux, it did provide easy access for our customers.

Here’s a quick video that demonstrates the resulting interface.

After leaving Substantiel I went to work for Thales where I introduced EFL to several of the company’s projects. I’ve also spent a considerable amount of my free time contributing to EFL; my first contribution was the progress bar widget in Elementary. Since then, I have written entrance: a login manager and libekbd: a virtual keyboard library. I hope to eventually integrate libekbd into EFL and use it in the weekeyboard module that’s present in Enlightenment today.

What I’ll be Contributing on Behalf of Samsung

Now, my role in Samsung is to write an API for managing application volume in Enlightenment; this is possible through PulseAudio. I will take advantage of this API to create controls in a handful of places in Enlightenment so users can enjoy it. We’ve also noticed that the keyboard layout setting for Enlightenment is painful and unintuitive. I will propose an alternative solution to simplify its interface and provide a more natural configuration.

Mike Blumenkrantz introduced the new Enlightenment Gadget API in E 21, as well as a new gadget container named Bryce. I will make a Bryce migration wizard that makes it easier for users to move from the old configuration. Finally, I will also make two new gadgets: A post-it to quickly create notes on the desktop, and a weather gadget.

I really enjoy the opportunity given to me to work with other open source enthusiasts, and I can’t wait to bring my experience and motivation to this project!

Author: Ben Lloyd Pearson

Ben is an open source technologist experienced in a wide array of modern IT tools. He's done a bit of everything, from web development, to systems administration, web publishing, and beyond.