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Archive for February, 2010

A Green Rock

February 28th, 2010 by

Working as a manager sometimes has not so nice days, but tomorrow it will be a really great day. Novell HR has asked me to celebrate a team members ten years anniversary with Novell. That means fun and a present since ten years is a long time, yes, quite a long time for IT industry.

Henne Green RockThe guy who comes in to S.u.S.E, SuSE and Novell every day since exactly ten years now is Henne. You all know him. He is the guy who helps you with your multimedia problem, the man who finally dries your tears when your package does not build and the one who is first at breakfast after he kicked the last hackers to bed the night before. Of course looking fresh like a new born baby and with the energy of a power plant. Whenever there is work to be done in openSUSE, one can rely on Hennes advice and helping hand.

But that is not all. You might have realized that the openSUSE project is not really ten years old. But maybe it is? Might be that before it was officially set up a few years ago, it was already nested in Hennes heart? He is with openSUSE from day one and before, always following the idea of an open, community driven, vibrant and optimistic openSUSE project with space for opinions, ideas and argues. Over that he never looses focus on a practical compromise that works for all.

He gave very valueable direction in the Guiding Principle discussion as well as designing the devel project concept in the Build Service which makes external package maintainance possible. Today he gives important guidance as a member of the openSUSE Board and is of course one of the strong shoulders in the openSUSE Boosters Team.

I think Henne is one of the persons who make our community valueable and enjoyable. openSUSE is so much benefiting from people like him who take up responsibility and drive things forward.

Henne, in the name of Novell and I guess the whole openSUSE community I like to thank you for all your work so far. I am really looking forward to continuing to do crazy stuff with you. There is a lot more the openSUSE project can achieve over the next couple of decades, great that we have you on board as a green rock :-)

Kraft 0.40 Beta 1 for KDE 4 available

February 27th, 2010 by

The Kraft team is happy to announce the first beta version of Kraft version 0.40. This is the first version of Kraft based on the KDE 4 platform. It is the result of a very long porting effort but has now reached a state where we can, after a short beta cycle, release a stable version of Kraft for KDE 4. It will be nearly feature equal to version 0.32 for KDE 3.

One of the new features of Kraft 0.40 makes the setup of Kraft easier. The file based sqlite database was added in addition to the mysql backend, so for evaluation no database server setup work is required any more. Furthermore a setup wizard that guides new users through the setup process aims to make it easier for new and unexperienced users.

Please help us by testing the beta version and report bugs back to the Kraft user mailinglist. The sources can be downloaded from the Sourceforge project page. Binary packages for openSUSE 11.1, openSUSE 11.2 and (K)Ubuntu 9.10 are available from the Kraft Beta repository from the openSUSE Buildservice, see here how to add and use it.


February 27th, 2010 by

On this week the leading KDE developers met together again. This time it was held in Nürnberg, in the openSUSE premises and was kindly made possible by Novell and KDE e.V.
26 hackers, who make KDE better.

For me it was first time, where I met hackers not for drinking a cup of beer, but for working, for hacking, for learning… and I think in this time I got much more fun.

We started at 9-10 am and finished it at 1-2 am. Yes, these two days we hacked like crazy. I’m not so good in KDE, I mean – I’m just trainee in SUSE/Novell, but in these two days I took a lot of information about KDE (arhitecture), Solid, Plasma, methods of project’s buildings (cmake), etc.

I have uploaded photos. You can find these here.

I have worked before on KNetworkManager. It was just a couple of patches (Qt/KDE3 based), and KNM has another aspects of integration with hardware as we have now in KDE4. In KDE4 we have SOLID, and this makes more easy to asking for such things like, for example, wired connection or to find hidden SSID wi-fi…

Yes, my current project is Network Management plasma applet.

With Sebastian Kügler and Will Stephenson, we worked together on functionality to easily connect to wired, wireless and mobile broadband networks and also to VPNs. As I said, I don’t did so much, but I started working on support for connection. Maybe next month I will be able to show that I did.

I would like to thank everyone with whom I spent those 2 days. Especially Will, who always supports and helps me to become a KDE developer.

cd tokamak4; make uninstall && make clean

February 26th, 2010 by

It’s Friday again already and the longest week of my life is over. It’s certainly been one of the most inspiring. Seeing nearly thirty expert KDE developers hammering out reams of code, artwork and design all over the workspace and further down the stack at all hours has been thrilling and has kept me serving their needs better than any amount of caffeine.

Now Tokamak 4 is over.  The last few visitors are leaving and I’ve been calling taxis, tidying out the offices and dismantling networks.  I’m looking forward to seeing the results in improvements to KDE SC 4.5.  Yesterday we made a series of short videos explaining what we’ve been working on that will be published over the course of next week.

Observant readers of this blog’s title will notice that I haven’t deleted the build system.   I’ve learned a lot about organising a large developer sprint and as part of our openSUSE Boosters’ strategy we expect to be hosting more such developer meetings for upstream projects in order to make improvements directly to the software we distribute.  We strongly believe that using our facilities to allow upstream to do the great things they want to do creates benefits both for openSUSE, and in a snowball effect for the wider Free Software universe.  So I’m documenting what works and what doesn’t on the openSUSE wiki in order to make next sprint we host here come off even more successfully and smoothly.

As for me, I’m looking out the window at a Bavarian lake and taking it easy this weekend.  As always, Have A Lot Of Fun…

OpenOffice_org 3.2 bugfix release available for openSUSE

February 26th, 2010 by

I’m happy to announce updated OpenOffice.org 3.2 packages for openSUSE. They are available in the Build Service OpenOffice:org:STABLE project and provide some useful fixes, the most critical one was the broken date editing in some locales.  Please, check also the older announce for more details about OpenOffice.org 3.2 release.

The openSUSE OOo team hopes that you will appreciate this update. We kindly ask you to report any other bugs so that we could fixed them in the future releases.

Other information and plans:

I am going to submit 3.2.1-alpha1 packages  into the OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project. They  should appear there in the beginning of the followin week.


February 26th, 2010 by

For the last seven days we were hosting the KDE Plasma Team doing their developer meeting called Tokamak4 here in at the Nuremberg offices of Novell. It was great for SUSE to see the twentyfife KDE enthusiasts hacking on one of the most important parts of the KDE software compilation.

On monday we had the pleasure of a public event with four highly interesting talks given by the Plasmas in our allhands area in Maxtorhof. Will Stephenson was sheding some light on the old days where SuSE already was hosting a sprint for KDE. I guess in that days we still called it “developer meeting”, but it was basically the same concept. It happened in an office building called Schanz which was still SuSEs but not in use these days. Will had some cool photos of well known KDE developers, partly with more hair and less bally than nowadays, hacking on KDE3. I think the meeting was in 2003, so it is great to see how many people are still around in the community.For me that was the first KDE meeting I participated, working on my scan application called Kooka. Fun.

After that Aaron Seigo was talking about Plasma as a cross device and cross form factor concept, Marco Martin was presenting very interesting stuff about KDEs Netbook shell and finally Sebastian Kügler was introducing Silk, the project to free the web from the browser. It was a very inspiring evening which closed with good discussion over some drinks. I like to thank the KDE guys for giving the presentations and our guests for showing up.

The rest of the week was full of concentrated work for the Plasmas, watch out on planetkde for various posts.

From the openSUSE perspective it was a pleasure to host the meeting, it was very nice to meet you all again. Thank you all for being our guests. It was fun and as a result we really want to continue the idea.

openSUSE is upstreams friend and we are convinced that personal meetings are the most effective way to make progress. So if your community is watching out for a place to meet, innovate and hack, let us know, I am sure we can arrange something.

openGarrobito 0.1.9, openSUSE multimedia!

February 24th, 2010 by

OpenGarrobito, is the fruit of the philosophy of free software, because source code is shared, you can create fancy layouts at ease, and are applicable to our needs as I am passionate about the multimedia computer, and worked in a distribution based on my beloved openSUSE and resulted openGarrobito.

For the realization of this release, I am taking a very useful tool that works in the cloud, called susestudio, which compile multiple multimedia programs that are used in Linux, because in the ordinary distributions that are distributed on the Internet and groups that distribute Linux users, do not incorporate multimedia codecs and many multimedia programs, due to licensing issues, I gave myself the task of compiling them into a single distribution and make it public.

But that is exactly what we can do with openGarrobito:

1. Play our mp3 with amarok
2. See our movies with VLC
3. Shingles and DVDs with DeVeDe k9cpy
4. Convert Video devede
5. Edit images with gimp
6. Edit sound with audacity
7. Edit Video KDEN-live
8. Perform our jobs college or office with OpenOffice
9. Browse the Internet safely with Konqueror or Firefox and Google Chrome.
10. Organize our photos with Digikam or if you prefer using Picasa

And now, in this release you can play your favorite games like Nexuiz or openarena.

Countless numbers of applications we can give to this distribution, which is constantly evolving, is currently running under the latest version of openSUSE’s 11.2, and default desktop is KDE SC 4.4.

You openGarrobito has the latest security updates, and all the software on this date until 11 February. I hope you will enjoy it this distribution

Link for download: http://sourceforge.net/projects/opengarrobito/

Link of my blog: http://decks.260mb.com/

Kraft Document Templating System

February 21st, 2010 by

One of the most important objectives for Kraft is to create business documents of perfect quality. The docs are an important face to the customer and represent the business, so best is just good enough. The old times where invoices got printed on a 24 needle printer in ascii mode should finally be gone ;-)

Documents should represent the ‘coorperate identity’, which in small size firms probably comes down to printed stationary with a company logo and some other information on it. Kraft has to print  nicely on it. For that it is important that the layout can be configured at all and without compiling Kraft if the customer address should be printed fife millimeters higher for example.

Currently Kraft uses a document template written in RML for the layout. RML is a XML format which can be converted to PDF utilizing a python based command line tool which is called by Kraft. RML is a open source toolkit, quite powerful and mature. However, it does not solve all problems with flexible document creation and sometimes comes a bit unhandy. As a result our eyes are always open for alternatives.

Here are some requirements a template system must provide:

  • There is a document template in the file system. It can be changed by the user without recompiling Kraft. Kraft picks it up, fills the document values in and processes it to PDF. Other output formats are optional.
  • Layout: Areas where parts of the document are printed can be freely specified, ie. where the address, the date etc. is printed.
  • Graphical elements like lines, fixed text, boxes, colors and images can be placed everywhere.
  • The system knows at least different layouts for the first page, middle pages and the last page.
  • All pages have page header and footer.
  • Loops: Since an invoice for example has an unknown amount of items the system must be able to handle that, including clever space management with  pagebreaks. Nested loops are possible.
  • Maintain areas which must not be split, i.e. an invoice item should be printed completely on one page and not be split by a pagebreak.
  • Text faces, paragraph alignment, width, spacing and these kind of things must be configurable in the template.
  • Some variables are available such as a page counter.
  • Really great would be if the system provides carryover of calculations, like  on the top and bottom of each page the so far accumulated sum is printed.

Which free layouting and PDF generating system is able to provide that, preferably Qt/KDE based? Kugar was striving to solve it but when I tested it it did not work out.

Another idea is to use the ability of KWord to work with templates. If Kraft could read KWord templates, fill them and automatically generate a KWord doc from it, that would be a great solution, because in addition to automatic PDF generation documents could easily be exported as KWord docs and changed manually if needed. A great ‘template editor’ also would be available. This would in the direction of office suit integration that commercial Kraft competitors nowadays have.

I am not sure how far we are away from that. Something to investigate.

FOSDEM 2010: One week later

February 16th, 2010 by

It is almost one week after the 10th edition FOSDEM (Free Software Developers European Meeting) (http://fosdem.org/2010/) took place in the city of Brussels. As is usual, lots of Free Software developers, promotors and fans attended to the event. Different from other years, this time I had the chance to live on my own the FOSDEM spirit and had the chance to meet some FLOSS supporters from different projects, seeing the almighty improved KDE 4.4 being successfully presented under 640×480 adverse projecting conditions. In addition to this, lots of openSUSE people at the openSUSE booth

For those of you who couldn’t attend to FOSDEM or for those who attended and want to see it again, here some of the videos of the talks are available for download. Additionally, you can visit the official FOSDEM youtube channel, enjoy… and don’t forget: Have a lot of fun

KDE icons for Apache

February 15th, 2010 by


I have been working on making Apache’s directory listings a bit more beautiful by creating a collection of KDE icons (Oxygen and Crystal). Apache’s default icons are a bit old and not that vivid. In fact, they were originally made for Mosaic. So, what I’ve done is handpicking some Crystal and Oxygen icons, making a few by combining two icons, modifying some Apache’s config files, writing the instructions and, finally, putting everything together. So, now we have apache2-icons-oxygen and apache2-icons-crystal.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Adrian Schröter and Peter Pöml for the help and feedback.

The rpm packages are available on my OBS home project:

Comments and suggestions are welcome!