Planet Fellowship (en)
Monday, 20 October 2014
bb's blog | 11:31, Monday, 20 October 2014In a series of articles we illustrate the user centered design process from scratch, based on a still missing application in the KDE world: KTracks, an endurance activity tracker. In part #2 we talk about requirements. Enjoy reading!
Sunday, 12 October 2014
Colors of Noise - Entries tagged planetfsfe | 11:55, Sunday, 12 October 2014
Testing the password dialog of a NetworkManager VPN plugin is as simple as:
echo -e 'DATA_KEY=foo\nDATA_VAL=bar\nDONE\nQUIT\n' | ./auth-dialog/nm-iodine-auth-dialog -n test -u $(uuid) -i
The above is for the iodine plugin when run from the built source tree. This allows one to test these dialogs although one didn't see them since ages since GNOME shell uses the external UI mode to query for the password.
This blog is flattr enabled.
Saturday, 11 October 2014
Computer Floss | 13:21, Saturday, 11 October 2014
Brown Dogs and Barbers, the computer science book for everyone, is now available to buy online. There’s even a new landing page where you can find free excerpts and links to online shops: browndogsandbarbers.com.
Right now you can get it from several distribution channels, including Amazon (find it your nearest Amazon outlet, like the US, Canada, UK or Germany) and Smashwords. Other retailers, like iTunes, are also currently preparing it for sale in their webstores. More news on those as I receive word.
Monday, 20 October 2014
bb's blog | 11:31, Monday, 20 October 2014As this is my first post on the planet, I wanted to quickly say: ‘Hi!’. I am a passionate advocate for Usability and User Experience in Free Software. In this blog I will mainly point to articles we originally publish on our User Prompt company website – of course only those that are related to Free [...]
Wednesday, 08 October 2014
Being Fellow #952 of FSFE » English | 09:44, Wednesday, 08 October 2014
FSFE Edu-Team activities
- As usual, more work on the edu pages on fsfe.org. A first draft is now online on the test instance. If you want to help, more infos on how to contribute to FSFE web pages are avaialble or just send us a note!
- Call for participation on codeweek.eu and reach out to some of the Young Advisors with quite some feed-back and discussion on the edu-eu mailinglist.
- As our sister organisation announced the Bring the FSF to your campus! campaign, we are considering to offer the same service.
- started preparations for our first meeting next year in Brussels around FOSDEM
- We gained a new edu-team member: Rok Papež
- answered a few inquiries on how to get active locally
- got word that the upcomming Document Freedom Day will have Sience and Education as a focus. So, we’ll be involved as well
- discussion on how to convey FS ideals to kids on the FSFE discussion mailinglist. Please join!
- Along Software Freedom Day, there were a bunch of education related activities, like
- CoderDojo in Richmond, UK
- The Python Conference in UK with a dedicated education track
- event in the Technological Educational Institute of West Macedonia, Greece
- conference about Free software in schools in Tallinn
- Also somewhat related to SFD, a Fellow started some FS activities at the university in Dresden. It is being considered to put leaflets and stickers for the “Ersti-Beutel” (a bag full of info material for first-year students). Great idea, right? By the way: anyone can request material from FSFE to spread the word like this!
- Aldebaran announced the NAO challenge again. The NAO Challenge this year is offered in 5 European countries:France, Denmark, Italy, Germany and the UK. All schools can participate in the challenge whether they have a NAO or not. Tests are prepared on a free simulated software and go from September 2014 to the finals in May 2015 in each country.
- Missed last time: Getting hooked on programming with YRS project ‘Hook’
- Post by Phil Shapiro on The personality of a Linux-loving teen
- Students power Penn Manor High School with Free Software (by Charlie Reisinger)
- How students get involved in FS development at Seneca college
- How teaching FS changed Steve Burge’s life when he stopped teaching to the tests. My favorite quote: “We’re now living in a world where our next job may not even have been invented yet.”
- Robert Pogson on Students As IT-techs
- and another post by him on Linus On GNU/Linux And Computers In Education
- How Emiel Brok lobbied for Free Software in Schools in Belgium and the Netherlands
- The education ministry in Peru celebrates 20.000 SUGAR users. Congratulations!
“The Soft Robotics Toolkit is a collection of shared resources to support the design, fabrication, modeling, characterization, and control of soft robotic devices. The toolkit was developed as part of educational research being undertaken in the Harvard Biodesign Lab. The ultimate aim of the toolkit is to advance the field of soft robotics by allowing designers and researchers to build upon each other’s work. The toolkit includes an open source fluidic control board, detailed design documentation describing a wide range of soft robotic components (including actuators and sensors), and related files that can be downloaded and used in the design, manufacture, and operation of soft robots.”
Pretty cool stuff…
- The XPrize Foundation announced a competition that challenges teams from around the world to develop Free software scalable software solution that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic. They will spend 15 million US$ for it. Interested?
- Kano Ships Its First 18,000 Learn-To-Code Computer Kits, Fueled By $1.5M Kickstarter
- I saw at least seven Free Software projects listed on the Top 100 edu tools from an annual online survey: WordPress, Moodle, Wikipedia, Audacity, Mahara, OpenOffice and Firefox. I have to say that I don’t know most of the other items on the list and didn’t bother to check which of them might be Free Software as well.
- Oct 11 – 17, 2014: CodeWeek.eu Something like SFD or DFD for learning to code. An initiative by the Young Advisors and the EC,
- Oct 17, 2014: Richard Stallman will talk about Free Software and education in New York
- Oct 17 – 19, 2014: OLPC San Francisco Community Summit - online participation possible
- Oct 25, 2014: not really FS related, but still: OER Cologne
- Nov 8-9 , 2014: There will be more FrogLabs workshops at the OpenRheinRuhr, Germany
- Nov 17, 2014: Digital learning event by Wikimedia Germany. Registration required, attendance is free
- Dec 3-5, 2014: Online EDUCA Berlin, Germany
Saturday, 04 October 2014
Hook’s Humble Homepage | 11:20, Saturday, 04 October 2014
My name is Matija Šuklje 1, but geeks call me Hook 2. I have been lurking around KDE and using it since its 2.x (or 1.x) times and in the many years mostly contributed by submitting nasty bug reports 3, suggesting crazy ideas and here and there helping translate KDE software into my mother tongue – Slovenian.
As a (very soon to be) lawyer with very limited coding skills, that is as much as I could have done for the community so far.
But in the past years, I got lucky and got employed by the FSFE to lead the FSFE Legal team. Since the FLA that KDE e.V. uses was made in tight cooperation with FSFE, I finally
had an excuse to go to Akademy and hold a lightning talk on how the FLA works and why KDE gearheads should sign it (video).
My very first commit to KDE ☺
After helping with a recent local KDE translation sprint, Andrej Mernik suggested that I should ask for direct commit access to the KDE localisations SVN, so I do not bug him or Andrej Vernekar to commit translations for me.
So I did, and Andrej Vernekar later supported my application and shortly thereafter Víctor Blázquez welcomed me with a nice new developer package. It is great to see the KDE community so welcoming to newcomers! ☺
Just a few hiccups with my OpenPGP card setup, and the first ever commit to KDE repositories, signed with my name, was on-line. Ah, what a thrill!
Sign(ed) the FLA
you might think,
Now we have you! Have you signed the FLA that you tell us all is such a great idea?
… and you would have all the reasons to ask.
While I was filling it out, I did realise that the document needs to be a bit easier to read and understand. So I took notes of that and in the relatively near future am going to try to come up with a few suggestions how to make the FLA even better 5. This also means, I would very much welcome any feedback from the wider community on the text.
hook out → I wish I had time to go to Akademy 2014 as well …see you next year!
I know it not easy to pronounce. Matija is the Slovenian equivalent of Matthias (and is pronounced the same, just drop the S). As for Šuklje, it sounds a bit like “shoe kle” in “shoe kleptomaniac”, but has nothing to do with it. ↩
I have a knack for finding bugs – in digital as well as real life. One of the funnier occasions was at Akademy 2013, where I managed to find and coherently replicate a bug in one of the elevators in the place where most of participants were staying. Together with David E. “DMaggot” Narváez we also found a workaround and submitted the bug to the local person in charge. ↩
Full disclaimer: The FLA is part of my work for FSFE as well as the topic of my LLM thesis. ↩
Hook’s Humble Homepage | 10:15, Saturday, 04 October 2014
Around that time someone already asked why I do not use Oh My ZSH! and include my theme there. At that time that project was still relatively young1 and I did not see much benefit to start using its whole package. In addition to that I was still in early stages of getting to know Z-Shell and wanted to play around by myself for a bit.
In the meantime Oh My ZSH! has matured and gained in popularity to the extent that they currently do not accept new themes. If I could turn back time, I think I would rather try to get involved with that project sooner2.
For the moment I will continue to maintain my own Z-Shell settings in a separate repository, but base them on Oh My ZSH! as a git submodule. I also plan to upstream as much as possible.
hook out → just got back from (long overdue short) vacation and preparing for the last two exams before my LLM
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
the_unconventional's blog » English | 08:00, Tuesday, 30 September 2014As many of you will know, using PDF instead of ODF and OOXML is usually the only way to achieve an acceptable level of interoperability, and most often guarantees that your documents look identical on every device you want to … Continue reading
Monday, 29 September 2014
Being Fellow #952 of FSFE » English | 15:23, Monday, 29 September 2014
During the meeting in Essen, we had one work shop in which we discussed best practices for doing advocacy work on a local level. As local politics usually have different competences and regulations and vary a lot throughout Europe (they vary a lot inside Germany alone). It is impossible for FSFE staff to cover all this. A lot of work could be done by local groups like us though. The question we asked ourselves was: What do we need to help people getting active and promote Free Software in their neighborhood?
The condensed results of this workshop went into a wiki page where the thoughts and best practices will be available for everybody to learn and share their own experiences.
It includes topics like
- How to establish the first contact with politicians
- Who to contact first
- staying in touch
- What else you can do even if you are “in the middle of nowhere”
- And a few more topics of interest for the local activist
So, please have a look, use, share and improve the page! (Non-Fellows may simply request write access to the wiki here or send me an email with the proposed changes).
Sunday, 28 September 2014
Max's weblog » English | 10:40, Sunday, 28 September 2014
If you use Thunderbird and its contact functionality, you might already have stumbled over the “show on map” feature. If you add addresses to your contacts (no matter if directly in Thunderbird or via CalDAV) there appears a button which enabled you to open a map with the contact’s location.
The default search provider is Google Maps. If you don’t like this service and prefer free and open systems like me, you can also add openstreetmap.org as your default map service. You only have to change a value in the advanced configuration.
Open the Settings menu, select thepanel, select the tab, and click
You should now see the default value. It’s nothing more than an URL with variables defined by the street, the country or the postal code of the respective contact. If you want to use Openstreetmap, fill in this value:
Restart Thunderbird and test again with an existing contact. By clicking on the button you should now see OSM instead of Google Maps where you can select one of the results in the left sidebar. Congratulations!
For more information about Thunderbird’s config editor, see the official knowledgebase entry
If you want to set other variables in the map query, there’re some hints on Mozilla’s Hidden prefs guide
Friday, 26 September 2014
the_unconventional's blog » English | 17:00, Friday, 26 September 2014I’ve been using Aqualung to play back my music ever since I can remember. While it’s not the prettiest, most user friendly music player, it far surpasses any other player I’ve ever come across until this very day. The gapless … Continue reading
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
agger's Free Software blog | 15:50, Tuesday, 23 September 2014
I’m co-organizing this event, involving our hackerspace and the FSFE local group in Aarhus:
Frank Karlitschek, creator of ownCloud, will give a talk centering on ownCloud, free software in the enterprise and data protection in a post-Snowden world.
The talk will be followed by a discussion with the audience and a discussion panel consisting of:
- Frank Karlitschek, Debian developer and creator of ownCloud
- Christian Orellana, CEO of Cabo, a company that build enterprise clouds from free software
- Carsten Agger, local group coordinator in Free Software Foundation Europe and software developer in Magenta, a company that specializes in free software mainly for the Danish public sector.
The event will take place in Open Space Aarhus on
Wednesday, October 1 at 18:00 hours
Do bring a friend, this is going to be interesting!
Monday, 22 September 2014
André on Free Software » English | 18:51, Monday, 22 September 2014
Today NRC brought the news: Bol.com and CPNB are coming with an e-book reader for everyone. Anyone who registers for a LeesID-account can read and administer books from several webshops in a digital bookcase.
LeesID also has it’s disadvantages:
- LeesID is administering your books on it’s own computers;
- LeesID knows what you are reading;
- You have to log-in first;
- No support for free operating systems.
- You administer your e-books yourself;
- The developers do not know what you are reading;
- You do not need to log-in;
- Support for free operating systems;
- A collection of DRM-free e-books.
The choice is up to you.
Seravo | 12:00, Monday, 22 September 2014
Seravo & WordPress
As a Linux and open source specialist company, Seravo provides services to many companies that run Linux in a web server. Not surprisingly, in many of these cases, the top-level software running on the server is of course, the world’s most popular CMS, WordPress. We love it!
In the process of administering and developing a number of WordPress sites for quite some time now, we’ve discovered an arsenal of useful ways to optimise and automate WordPress, some of which we’ve published right here on our blog:
- Tips to optimise images
- Improving MySQL performance
- Optimising server performance with nginx
- HTML5 Quality Assurance Tools.
Throughout 2014, we’ve expanded our WordPress expertise and in the process, combined our practices into a full WordPress deployment platform. We’re confident our solution is the next step forward from traditional WordPress hosting services.
In the spirit of openness in the WordPress community, we’re happy to present the details of our deployment platform and which technologies lie under it in this series of blog posts.
1. LXC – A full OS for every WordPress installation
As one of the starting points to our platform, we wanted every individual WordPress installation to have its own full Linux environment. Instead of going the traditional route to virtualisation with VMs seen in most generic hosting solutions, we chose a more recent technology called Linux containers or LXC for short.
Each WordPress instance resides within its own, robust Linux container which provides a lightweight, flexible way to sandbox applications. By using LXC as a means of virtualisation, we’ve greatly reduced the overhead required for hosting websites in a clustered environment, thus increasing overall server performance.
As each WordPress container is also a completely standalone system in itself, it has been extremely easy to clone and transfer instances between hosts and even other WordPress platforms.
2. Nginx, HHVM and MariaDB for amazing performance
Instead of a more traditional LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) environment. We utilised the newest in technologies for running WordPress.
- Nginx, the fastest and most flexible HTTP server available
- HHVM, a new and improved PHP engine developed and used by Facebook
- MariaDB, a faster drop-in-replacement for MySQL server
The combination of these technologies enable us to offer WordPress performance unheard of when compared to LAMP environments. Additionally, all of these components are extremely configurable so that fine-tuning their performance could be a blog post all on its own.
3. Secure administration with TLS on SPDY/3.0
The drawbacks of building a HTTPS secured WordPress site have always been the inconvenience of acquiring an SSL certificate for each domain used and the increased server load from the additional computation required for secure protocols.
We didn’t want our users to throw away security for convenience, so we went in search for a solution.
First, we enabled the use of an open networking protocol called SPDY, which is the basis for the upcoming HTTP/2 protocol. SPDY/3 is already supported by all major browsers and offers a significant increase in server side performance in comparison to standard HTTPS. This allows us to effortlessly serve large amounts of secure HTTPS traffic with almost no performance penalty.
To avoid having to acquire separate SSL certificates for all our separate WordPress installations, we developed HTTPS Domain Alias – a WordPress plugin that allows the use of a separate domain name for wp-admin. All our clients now get their own subdomain for WordPress administration at *.seravo.fi, which can be securely accessed over HTTPS for a secure WordPress admin panel.
We’ll be releasing part 2 of this series in the coming days, in which we discuss the management aspects of multiple WordPress installations and useful tools for general WordPress development and security.
More information for Finnish-speaking readers available at wordpress-palvelu.fi.
Friday, 19 September 2014
the_unconventional's blog » English | 18:00, Friday, 19 September 2014After many years of being as anti-GNU/Linux as humanly possible, Netflix - whose CEO is on the Microsoft board - finally seems to care about us. “Native” Netflix support is coming to GNU/Linux, after the community had pretty much given … Continue reading
the_unconventional's blog » English | 12:00, Friday, 19 September 2014A lot of people seem to like my post about getting Debian to run on the Acer C720 Chromebook. I’m still using my C720 as a daily driver next to my PC, but I wanted to get rid of the … Continue reading
DanielPocock.com - fsfe | 06:47, Friday, 19 September 2014
With many people using the SIP stack in both open source and commercial projects, the migration was carefully planned and tested over an extended period of time. Hopefully some of the experience from this migration can help other projects too.
Previous SVN committers were tracked down using my script for matching emails to Github accounts. This also allowed us to see their recent commits on other projects and see how they want their name and email address represented when their previous commits in SVN were mapped to Git commits.
For about a year, the sync2git script had been run hourly from cron to maintain an official mirror of the project in Github. This allowed people to test it and it also allowed us to start using some Github features like travis-CI.org before officially moving to Git.
At the cut-over, the SVN directories were made read-only, sync2git was run one last time and then people were advised they could commit in Git.
Documentation has also been created to help people get started quickly sharing patches as Github pull requests if they haven't used this facility before.
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Being Fellow #952 of FSFE » English | 09:18, Thursday, 18 September 2014
This is going to be a condensed version of the German posting about the last Fellowship meeting in the Rhine/Main area. For the second time, we met in Aschaffenburg and we talked about the following topics:
- Networking with other user groups in the area
- Software Freedom Day (by the way, there is the FSFE website hackathon on that day)
- planned talks for future meetings
- how to advertise our meetings more with less work (trac issue #451)
- adopt the Fellowship leaflet templates to Rhine/Main
- order more leaflets for the upcoming demonstration and cryptoparty
- Mutterware party again
- discussed the possibility to make a similar tour like this group in Norway.
- exchanged some stories how proprietary “solutions” (e.g. MS Sharepoint) don’t work well and most people just accept this as given without complaining which brought us to the subject that the same people would whine instantly if the tiniest little thing won’t work after a migration to FS. Why?
- And a more motivating subject was that it usually pays off to articulate your concerns to government entities (if delivered politely). I’ve experienced it several times and so have many more activists during the pdfreaders campaign. Just take the two minutes and tell them what bothers you!
Next time we’ll meet on Oct 1st in Frankfurt. See you there!
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Max's weblog » English | 22:56, Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Not a big issue in this blog post but an important one. Maybe I can save you some valuable time if you ever look for such a function.
As you know I’m a heavy user of ownCloud and you also might know that synchronisation is a big topic for me. And the third thing you should know that forgetting a good friend’s birthday really su… well, it’s no good style. This almost happened to me some days ago because I couldn’t check it on my Notebook with Thunderbird. My setup looks like this: All contacts (with birthday tags) in ownCloud, and these CardDAV address books are synced with my Android phone and Thunderbird/SOGo-Connector on my notebook, as well as the CalDAV calendars with Lightning.
For Android there are several free software apps which enable the inclusion of birthdays from your contacts into any calendar app. Some calendar apps even can do it theirselves. But for Thunderbird there are only some outdated add-ons. All of them don’t work with TB31 anymore and if you modify the install.rdf-file to make them run anyhow, they’re very buggy or just nonfunctional. And if you look in your ownCloud instance (where contacts’ birthdays are visible in the calendar tab) for a downloadable/syncable calendar you’ll reach the same conclusion like me: There is none.
But there is!
And I only detected it while digging in some github issue threads. This post contains the rescuing link to a CalDAV/ICS calendar in any ownCloud version (I tested it in 7.0.2). Just modify and use following address in any application which supports CalDAV sync:
And you know what? It works like a charm! No need for external add-ons or apps, no need for manual creation of birthday reminders, no need for apologising for (almost) missed birthdays. I just wonder why ownCloud hasn’t included this in either the webpanel or the documentation. It’s a well-working feature since at least one year, so why not including it officially? And if it’s a calendar technically, then it should also be possible to disable displaying the contacts’ birthdays in the webpanel calendar app – a still non-existent “feature”.
So next time you have no excuse for forgetting a birthday – except for your ownCloud server’s outage ;)
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Henri Bergius | 00:00, Tuesday, 16 September 2014
It is now a year since our NoFlo Development Environment Kickstarter got funded. Since then our team together with several open source contributors has been busy building the best possible user interface for Flow-Based Programming.
Here is how the runtime registration screen looks with the latest release:
This hopefully highlights a bit of the possibilities of what can be done with Flowhub right now. I know there are several other runtimes that are not yet listed there. We should have something interesting to announce in that space soon!
The Flowhub release made today includes several interesting features apart from giving private repository access to our Kickstarter backers. One I'm especially happy about is what we call live mode.
The live mode, initially built by Lionel Landwerlin, enables Flowhub to discover and connect to running pieces of Flow-Based software running in different environments. With it you can monitor, debug, and modify applications without having to restart them!
We made a short demo video of this in action with Flowhub, Raspberry Pi and an NFC tag.<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EdgeSDFd9p0" width="560"></iframe>
Our backers should receive an email today with instructions on how to activate their Flowhub plans. For those who missed the Kickstarter, there should be another batch of Flowhub pre-orders available soon.
If you have any questions about Flow-Based Programming or how to use Flowhub, please check out the various ways to get in touch on the NoFlo support page.
Saturday, 13 September 2014
emergency exit | 15:07, Saturday, 13 September 2014
With a minor delay, here is the photo of the month for September. It was taken this February in Zermatt, Switzerland.
It is a Panorama consisting of eight individual Portrait-orientated shots, stitched together with Hugin. Unfortunately (again) the size limitations of this blog prevent me from giving you a better resolution / quality. The original is 8512×4634 and roughly 200MB big.
Developing and editing was tricky on this one, and used the opportunity to learn about regional masks in Darktable. Before all editing, the stitch looked like this:
After the usual corrections (basecurve, lighting, local contrast), the picture looked like this:
As you can see, the snow on the Matterhorn itself was a little darker/greyer then the other snow which results in poor contrast with the surroundings, likely a result of different contrast in the original individual pictures. By creating a manually drawn mask around the Matterhorn and applying another brightness increase of about 0,10 EV just to the region the final photo is attained.
I love darktable, have I mentioned that?
the_unconventional's blog » English | 14:00, Saturday, 13 September 2014Yesterday, I wrote about how my friend received an unworkable macro-enabled OOXML file that failed to render accurately in LibreOffice. After a further analysis of the docm file, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the fact that LibreOffice’s rendering really … Continue reading
Friday, 12 September 2014
the_unconventional's blog » English | 13:00, Friday, 12 September 2014As a Free Software user, I obviously frown upon Microsoft Office file formats. Primarily because they claim to be open standards, when in practice Microsoft doesn’t implement their own specification appropriately. There is not a single piece of software in … Continue reading
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Creative Destruction & Me » FLOSS | 15:05, Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Akademy 2014 is still in full swing in Brno in the Czech Republic with the traditional hack week that started on Monday. At about 200 participants it was well attended and organized. This years conference will very likely mark a milestone of change for KDE – a new board was elected, and a strategy discussion was started that will affect the direction and development of the KDE community for a decent amount of time. When I traveled home from Akademy 2014 on the train from Brno to Berlin, I personally felt a sense of satisfaction, because the community has managed to steer clear of the dangers of bike shedding about the board succession, and is accepting the change imposed by a shifting environment as a positive force.
Of the five positions of the KDE e.V. board, three were up for re-election. Lydia Pintscher’s first term on the board lapsed, and she ran for re-election. Marta Rybczyńska took over mid-term when Agustin Benito Bethencourt stepped down from the board, and stood for election for a regular board seat. Because of their proven commitment and steady hand, both won their seats with ease. Together with Albert Astal Cid and Pradeepto Bhattacharya they will provide the experience and continuity needed for the board to perform it’s function. The remaining board seat was contested between Jos Poortvliet and Aleix Pol, both long-standing and committed KDE community members. It was won in a tight race by Aleix Pol. He will bring his experience from building KDE Spain to the mothership of KDE e.V. Good luck to him and the whole new board, and many thanks to Jos for standing up for election.
The new board is facing a number of challenges. Some are simply of operational nature, like finding a new office manager and other permanent staff. More significantly, there are some long-term shifts that need managing. In a time when Free Software contributions in an industrial setting are becoming more and more institutionalized, a volunteer driven, decentralized community like KDE has to adapt its ways of fundraising and attracting and retaining contributors. This is of course not the reponsibility of the board alone, but the board does set the tone and priorities as stewards. It is great and promising to see fresh and driven people joining the board, adding new attitudes and ways to get things done. I would like to extend ginormous amounts of gratefulness, thanks and hugging to Cornelius Schumacher, who stepped down from the board after serving on it for nine (9, sic!) years. For a long time, he has with his particular calm and well-reflected opinions been solid as a rock as the president of KDE e.V. He leaves pretty big shoes to fill for the new president.
Which leaves the question of what the structure of the new board is. It was announced to the KDE Community mailing list by Albert Astal Cid:
- Pradeepto Bhattacharya – board member
- Albert Astals Cid – board member
- Aleix Pol – vice president
- Marta Rybczynska – treasurer and vice president
- Lydia Pintscher – president
Good luck again to all of them. Quite impressively, our board is 40% female, 60% male. With five board members an exact 50/50 ration is hard to achieve, so in my opinion, anything between forty and sixty percent should count as properly balanced, gender-wise. This again serves to illustrate the composition of contributors that makes KDE great.
The new board will need all the support from the KDE contributors that it can get. It may be worth to point out that all board members are volunteers and do not receive any remuneration for their work. If you want to pitch in and help, consider joining the email@example.com mailing list. If you are already a KDE contributor, you may want to ask to be a member of KDE e.V. And if you are a member, many thanks for your contributions, and keep going!
Filed under: Coding, CreativeDestruction, English, FLOSS, KDE, OSS, Qt Tagged: Akademy, Creative Destruction, FLOSS, free software communities, KDE, kde community, Open by Default, technology
Mario Fux | 09:53, Wednesday, 10 September 2014
As some of you probably already noticed I was much less active in KDE in the last weeks after the Randa Meetings (which were a big success and great: thanks all for this!) and I will disappear even more for the coming months.
Yesterday I had a discussion about my diploma thesis and what shall I say: it was ripped apart . So I need to collect all my remaining energy and try to focus and try to safe my thesis. And if I should be able to get it accepted at the end of October the learning will start for the final exam phase from January to March 2015.
I’d have so many thoughts about KDE at the moment, so many ideas I’d like to write about and tell you and so many things I’d like to work on for and in KDE (you should see the pile of notes I made during the last months…) but this needs to wait now.
But expect me back, the earliest somewhen around the beginning of 2015. Good bye ;-(…
Tuesday, 09 September 2014
DanielPocock.com - fsfe | 18:51, Tuesday, 09 September 2014
As mentioned in my earlier blog, I'm visiting several events in the US and Canada in October and November. The first of these, the talk about WebRTC in CRM at xTupleCon, has moved from the previously advertised timeslot to Wednesday, 15 October at 14:15.
WebRTC meeting, Norfolk, VA
This will be a hands on event for developers and other IT professionals, especially those in web development, network administration and IP telephony. Please bring laptops and mobile devices with the latest versions of both Firefox and Chrome to experience WebRTC.
Free software developers at xTupleCon
If you do want to attend xTupleCon itself, please contact xTuple directly through this form for details about the promotional tickets for free software developers.
the_unconventional's blog » English | 15:00, Tuesday, 09 September 2014Because I rarely use my printer/scanner any more, it didn’t make much sense to keep having it take up space on my desk while I have a Raspberry Pi fileserver in the attic. I could easily move my HP Photosmart … Continue reading
Monday, 08 September 2014
Being Fellow #952 of FSFE » English | 23:42, Monday, 08 September 2014
FSFE Edu-Team activities
As in the previous months, we continued the work on the education pages on fsfe.org. One task on this was to get permission from all contributors to the education leaflets to have them relicensed under cc-by-sa 4.0.
We decided that we will have our first meeting next year in Brussels around FOSDEM \o/
And as reported earlier in this blog, I participated in this years Froglabs at FrOSCon.
- Londonderry, North Ireland: Inkscape workshop
- Raspberry Pi robotics challenge competition rules announced
- VALS Semester of Code open for project idea submissions
- Bryan Behrenshausen on how Professors embed students directly into Free Software communities
- post by Larry Cuban how some edu reforms last and others don’t by example of the Logo programming language: Tissue Paper Reforms: Coding for Kindergartners
- As the registration for a Rails Girls “Organizers and Coaches Weekend” in Helsinki opened (see future events), there was also a nice blog post how such a workshop looked like in Auckland
- Kids Are Learning to Code With a Slice of Raspberry Pi
- another Azúcar update (Spanish)
- and yet another here and one more
- At the last Randa meeting, KDE developers worked on educational software as well as Mircos post tells us.
- Libre Music Production is looking for contributors as they are working on educational material for the production of audio files: “By providing hands-on material submitted by the community, such as guides, tutorials, articles and news updates, Libre Music Production shows you that there is great FLOSS audio software out there, and also how to practically use that software to make music.”
- An update on Pi2go robotic kits
- August, 2014: A group of Free Software enthusiasts visit schools in the cities of Bratislava, Košice, Poprad and Žilina again
- Sep 5-7, 2014: workshop Fab4Teachers: 3D-printers in schools in Oldenburg, Germany
- Sep 12-13, 2014: OERDE14 – The Future of Free Education Materials, Berlin
- Sep 13-14, 2014: Rails Girls “Organizers and Coaches Weekend” in Helsinki (registration is already open!)
- Sep 20, 2014: Software Freedom Day Maybe it is not too late to start a little event in a schoold nearby!
- Oct 11 – 17, 2014: CodeWeek.eu Something like SFD or DFD for learning to code. An initiative by the Young Advisors and the EC,
- Oct 17 – 19, 2014: OLPC San Francisco Community Summit – online participation possible Oct 25, 2014: not really FS related, but still: OER Cologne
Thanks to all contributors!
Friday, 05 September 2014
Hugo - FSFE planet | 07:33, Friday, 05 September 2014
Last month, I introduced what defensive publications are: documents describing something (a new feature, a new algorithm, a new system) in order to prevent further patents.
Defensive publications are needed because on the one hand, even when the source code is available to the public, it is not necessarily accessible to the patent office examiner who’s reviewing patent applications. This is why we submit defensive publications to their databases: it makes the review process more aware of what free software projects develop.
On the other hand, while pushing code to a public repository is easy for a project contributor, writing and submitting a defensive publication is not as straightforward.
On of my goals is to help fix this, so that producing defensive publications gets as easy as possible for Free Software projects. So, during this month, amongst other patent-related activities, I published a first version the a defensive publication template on Github. Hopefully, I will be able to improve on this version and push other useful things for the whole Linux Defenders programme. Your feedback would be very appreciated!
A prior observation before explaining how the template works: obviously, writing defensive publications is not a developer’s top priority. But writing a defensive publication is not something that can be left entirely to lawyers (although we can help). Writing a defensive publication requires insights on:
- how the code works, how the system is designed
- how other solutions, especially prior solutions and current trends develop
For this reason, developers are in a privileged position to write defensive publications. The situation is not entirely unlike that of writing documentation. Writing documentation is probably not a developer’s favourite task (and indeed the state of some documentation is evidence of this). However, we know that a good documentation is also a sign of a project’s health and so we make process and tools to facilitate this task. Fortunately, writing a defensive publication is not much different from writing documentation, and so we should be able to kill two birds with one stone.
How does it work?
Once you have identified some part of your software that you want to write a defensive publication about:
READMEshould guide you. Especially, you can find examples of things to use to start your own publication, such as figures, flowcharts, etc.
Update variables like:
TITLE PROJECT URL DESCRIPTION TAGS
(I’ll probably write a script to automate that…)
src/(you can one from the
example/directory) and also update the
tags. You can edit the abstract itself, later at the end.
This will later appear on the list of http://defensivepublications.org.
You can start writing your document in
src/- You can write in any format provided that you are able to produce a PDF at the end so we can submit it to the patent office. Right now the template is very much focused around pandoc which is able to convert a lot of different kinds of texts, like Markdown to LaTeX. You can follow the
As you see, it’s a bit rudimentary now, but the idea behind with this template is that you should be able to take relevant bits of your documentation and integrate them directly into your defensive publication’s source files. Then you can use
pandoc to combine all the files together in the relevant order.
That way you don’t have to duplicate content, but rather you reuse relevant parts of your documentation that describe your software for the defensive publication.
Once you’ve done that, you need to write the abstract and probably write an introduction if you need to give more details. Another part to introduce your publication can be a description of the current state of the art relevant to your software: basically, what’s the problem your software solves and how other solutions try to address this problem in your field.
The template comes with a file
example/template.pdf that should guide you through the different parts that make a defensive publication.
Get involved with us
If you are interested in writing a defensive publication or have more questions, don’t hesitate to join #linuxdefenders on the IRC freenode server.
Also, I’m very much interested in your feedback. What’s your opinion? What do you need to write a defensive publication as easily as possible?
Next month, I should be able to show an example from defensive publications, with additional explanation and comments!
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