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oSC10 – Conference Update

August 12th, 2010 by

So Stage 1 of the next openSUSE Conference is complete (submission deadline), and we are moving forward with Stage 2 (scheduling talks). I personally wasn’t privvy to last year’s submissions, but we have well over 80 submissions covering a huge range of topics this year which is brilliant.

One of the nice things this year is we have submissions from other distributions and projects, which is great :-) The submissions from all parties cover a wide variety of topics from very technical to very fun, and it isn’t going to be easy to select which ones to accept.

Thank you to all who submitted a proposal and we will let you know on 20th August whether you are succesful or not.

openSUSE GNOME Team Meeting

May 16th, 2010 by

It has been far too long since the GNOME Team actually put their heads together and talked about what is going on in the garden. As such regular meetings are re-starting, but with a slight difference – it will be monthly on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 1400UTC, for localised times please see here.

That means the next meeting will be held this Tuesday, 18th May 2010, in the garden (otherwise known as #opensuse-gnome on Freenode). The Agenda is pretty simple and can be added to on the wiki. For those curious it will kind of follow the lines of:

1. openSUSE GNOME Status
1.1 Packaging
1.2 Bugs
1.3 Q & A
2. Upstream GNOME Status
2.1 What’s New
2.2 Bugs
2.3 Q & A
3. General Q & A

So please come buy the garden, pull up a chair and crack a cold one open. Join in the fun and add anything you need to the agenda.

Another outlet for openSUSE TV

April 24th, 2010 by

At one of the project meetings, it was highlighted that our selected video service provider isn’t the easiest to reach from some parts of the world. So I was assigned the task of finding an alternative/complimentary service that would be acceptable.

The decision I came to, and confirmed with others that they were happy, was to use YouTube as a complimentary service to BlipTV. So yes people we now have an Official YouTube channel. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Leslie Hawthorn for enabling this for us, and the fine folks over at Google & YoutTube. There is very little content on there at the moment, but that will change shortly as I will sync the content from BlipTV across.

The rationale for keeping BlipTV as our primary provider is:
* They allow people to download the original video file without having to login etc. This is great as it means we can keep providing video in open formats for all to consume.
* It provides us with the means of centralising distribution of all the videos. We upload to BlipTV and they take care of adding it to YouTube and anywhere else we want (should we upload to Facebook too?)
* They’re a great bunch of guys & gals who are very responsive to support requests and general queries – their customer service is superb!
* Oh and last but by no means least, they’re big OpenSourcers using Linux (granted it’s Gentoo but we like the Gentoo community don’t we? :-) ), and a wealth of open source software (ffmpeg, gstreamer etc).

This means that the likes of tube.o.o may well be removed in the near future, as all the content will be stored online and offered to the widest possible audience, without a strain on any resources on openSUSE’s end. If anyone has any issues with either service please let me know.

oSC09 videos

April 16th, 2010 by

Well it’s been almost seven months since our inaugural conference, and there were a load of videos taken. The problem was that our usual VT gurus have been unavailable to do any of the editing etc. So the raw video has languished on the servers waiting for some kind soul to help edit them.

After multiple calls for help and nudges from the marketing team, I decided to see if I could slot it in anywhere (yay me, I’m such a hero :-P) Thankfully I had some brilliant help from SankarP who refreshed my memory on how to edit video, thanks chief!

Currently only Day 1 of the conference is available, you can view online (flash) or download (ogg) the talks from the openSUSE TV channel on BlipTV. I am working on getting a channel on YouTube to enable a wider reach, as some people have bandwidth issues with Blip. You can also subscribe to the feeds in multiple formats – rss, miro, itunes.

If anyone has any openSUSE related video that they would like put on the channel, then please let me know :-)

openSUSE & Google Summer of Code 2010

March 1st, 2010 by

The wonderful Vincent has already sent the initial call for participation, so who’s up for it then?

OK I’ll take it that there are several hands raised in the audience (I reckon I’m being overly cautious, I’m sure there are loads of hands up but as I don’t have my glasses on I can only see the first two rows).  So what do we need from our lovely community to help make GSoC 2010 a success?

* We need some admins for openSUSE in GSoC 2010. This mainly involves making sure that we do everything we need to participate in GSoC; making sure students feel comfortable in the project, and push our contributors a bit to publish ideas and mentor students.  Basically the GoTo contact points.

* We need people to maintain the GSoC 2010 wiki page.  I have already started the GSoC 2010 page on the wiki, yes it is pretty much a  copy/paste of last years but it gets the ball rolling ;-)

* We need people to start thinking about ideas that students could work on.  If you have a good idea, why not put it in openFATE and put it on the wiki too (with a link to the openFate entry)?  That way we can utilise the voting feature of openFate and gauge how much the community would appreciate the student’s hard work.

So there’s nothing stopping you from joining in, so get to it! Oh and if you’re looking for a way to contribute to openSUSE but aren’t a coder this is a great way to get your feet wet with the community :-)

Socialising With Developers And Communnities

January 26th, 2010 by

Yes, i may have said it to a few people already but I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

For those new to FOSDEM, all I can say is it is a blast! Seriously, there are people from all over the world there talking about all sorts of things – personally I’m not overly bothered about most of the talks. For me the biggest win from FOSDEM is the social aspect. The pre-event drinks on Friday night are great, and yes I have to admit there is one thing that those adorable little blue Belgians do right – Beer!!! I have met many a great person, some of whom I had never heard of before but many whom I had. The atmosphere just rules.

As for the main event, like I said there are loads of talks (have a look at the schedule) and there are lots of stands with some giving away some nifty swag. I will be lurking around the openSUSE stand (hopefully helping out & not getting in the way) and also going to speak to some of the other distros/projects. I’m hoping to be able to speak to some of the lovely Intel folk (and others) about Moblin, as well as speaking to some of the e-mail/messaging projects to see what the Bongo Project can learn. One key item is that of synchronising of data.

So if you are in the vicinity of, or can be in the area, head on over to FOSDEM. You’ll be able to meet face to face with many luminaries – not just from openSUSE but from the FOSS world in general. By the way for the uninitiated our very own yaloki is also one of the organisers so be good to him as he and the others have been working their little socks off!

The Desktop DingDong

August 5th, 2009 by

Just incase you’ve been living under a rock on Mars there is a certain feature request in openFate. Both Michael and Zonker have posted on the matter but as they are both Internal (as in they get paid by the Big N) I thought I’d throw my external views (these views are not solicited by anyone other than me, yadayadayada) into the pot.  Now I know I was asked to put my thoughts down and send them into the mailing list, but to be honest the whole discussion has turned into a childish “My dad’s got bigger knuckles than your dad” style flamewar and there are multiple threads on the one topic.  Personally I have now switched off of the discussion on the lists as it’s hard to follow and frankly going nowhere.

Firstly I’d like to think that Frank had no malice in filing the feature and only had the best intentions for KDE and openSUSE at heart.  The problem is there doesn’t seem to have been enough background checks and verification of facts prior to unleashing this handgrenade of annoying pointlessness.  If you default on a loan/mortgage/credit card you are in jeopardy of loosing assets.  The same can be carried over to this discussion.

(more…)

A Week of Geeko Love

April 8th, 2009 by
openSUSE Week Counter

openSUSE Week Counter

UPDATE: New Dates. You now have more time to plan!

As you can see the week of the 11th to the 17th of May is openSUSE Week.  What’s so special about this week?  Well in a nutshell, the aim is to get all corners of the community together to focus on specific topics.  These topics range from wiki cleanup to packaging; testing certain features/functions to translation work; discussion with the openSUSE Board and almost anything inbetween.

I’d like to suggest a couple of other items to the list (yes I know I need to add them to the wiki).  Both items are marketing related:

  1. Create good screencasts, ideally of each major component but I’m open to ideas.
  2. As requested by certain a11y users & proponents, close caption the video that we have (and the interviews I still need to upload).
  3. I know I said a couple but maths was never my strong point ;-) Try and do some video interviews that we can group under the “People Of openSUSE” banner.  I’ve already started this but mainly with Novell employees.  If community members are willing to help out, please let me know (it could even be you filming yourself without any need for video conferencing).

So please make sure you come and join the fun, remember the openSUSE community wont succeed unless you join in.  We may even have the opportunity to have a soap box where you can voice your complaints and issues.  The important thing is the openSUSE Week is about you the community for you the community, to get something out of it you need to put something into it.  Lastly it’s all about having good old fashioned geeko fun!  So come along and join the fun :-D

Community Content Required

January 15th, 2009 by

At the launch of 11.0 there were several little projects started by the community these projects were actually really helpful and we would like to think contributed to the uptake and success of the 11.0 release. Now I will admit that I can’t substantiate this with any hard (or soft) facts, but none the less that’s our gut feeling :)

So what are the projects in question? Well they are: Helping Hands, openSUSE-Tutiorials and openSUSE TV. Funny I can hear some people moaning and groaning that these are GNOME Team projects, WRONG!! These projects have indeed been started by members of the GNOME Team, but they are for the whole distribution and project. I know suseROCKs has tried in the past to try and get some contributions from other teams, so don’t blame the GNOME Team for the content blame yourselves.

Actually on second thought, drop the whole blame game thing. A better solution is to start a fresh and keep up the momentum. I am basically asking members of the openSUSE Community (that means ALL of you!) to step up and take the wild Geeko by the reigns and help teach all those non-believers that it really is easy to use, has some brilliant features (easily found and hidden), and generally a great distro and project to use and be involved in.

So if we take each item in turn:

1) Helping Hands: HH (as we affectionately call it) is aimed at giving an insight into certain aspects of the distro that a user may come across or wish to use. In the past we have had sessions on Inkscape, Evolution, Banshee, general GNOME usage and other applications. We are hoping to have one on packaging RPMs and using the Build Service in the not so distant future. We would love to see members of the KDE community enlighten us (yes some of the GNOME users are scared of things that begin with K) about things that are going on in there, I know there are loads of great things I’m just really knowledgeable in them or even know 25% of them. We would also like members of XFCE and any other desktop environment that’s out there to do the same. You can focus on a specific application, a suite of applications or anything that will be helpful to users. If possible get someone from upstream join in, it makes things much more interesting and actually opens eyes on both sides of the fence as to what is going on. If you are interested (why wouldn’t you be?) and are willing to help out (you know you want to) then please let wither myself (FunkyPenguin) or suseROCKs know on IRC, we hang out in most of the openSUSE channels.

2) openSUSE-Tutiorials: oS-T is aimed at being a repository of insights, tips & tricks etc on applications and other things with the distro. Why not just use the Wiki? Well in a nutshell there are times when the Wiki just isn’t suited, and this way topics can be easily grouped so are ultimately easily searchable. Not only by the big search engines, but also by any user who visits the site. Content is moderated prior to being published, and before you start screaming of a conspiracy to silence the truth it is actually to try and ensure that those items published are actually of good quality and will genuinely be of use. For more info on publishing something for oS-T then please ask either decriptor or suseROCKs on IRC (again they loiter in most channels).

3) openSUSE TV: oS TV is aimed at providing a medium to show all the wonderous videos that we have on and about openSUSE. These don’t have to be any of the official videos that are done at conferences but can also include screencasts, interviews and almost any other form of video that we have about openSUSE (both distro and project). The channel is part of the blip.tv service and as such is aimed at all platforms, not just Linux. We want to try and grow our user base and community which means looking at the competing Operating Systems. I am hoping to do a series of interviews at the upcoming FOSDEM show similar to those that I did in Nurenberg for Hack Week III; I have pencilled in the title of “Face to Face @ FOSDEM’09”. So if you’re going to be at the event (try and make it if you can because it is really a great event), and you have a specific topic you’d like to speak about then let me know. I would love to get more content on there, screencast would be great as would videos from LUG meetings where openSUSE is used/showcased etc. Remember oS TV is about the community, for the community, by the community. So your input is needed!

There is no reason why you can’t do an item on all three of the above and have them linked. For an example you could do a HH item on the KDE desktop (general first look etc), you could also do a screencast of that item and have the screencast posted to oS TV and to finish it up you could have an oS-T article on tuning your desktop to get the best out of it. If you feel that any of these are wrong/bad/need improving/$COMMENT then please keep those comments to yourself!! In all seriousness, they can only improve with your help so please let us know all and any feedback that you may have. Most importantly, please join in :)

GNOME backports on openSUSE

November 27th, 2008 by

After several requests to get GNOME 2.24 built and made available the GNOME Team (well Magnus Boman really), took on the challenge of making it so.  Unfortunately we were a bit focused on the 11.1 release and didn’t actually think about doing any backports.  This has kind of bitten us squarely on the behind, yes we must bow to the KDE Team‘s backporting powers – make the most of it chaps :-)

Unfortunately there are too many dependencies for the backport, and will involve a heck of a lot of maintenece – more so than normal.  After several attempts to coax things to work we must bow our heads in admission to being beaten :-( This doesn’t mean that we won’t be doing any backports in the future, the championship isn’t over just this match.  It does mean that there wont be a GNOME 2.24 for openSUSE 11.0 however, sorry to disappoint.

We have learnt our lesson and with the aim of not disapointing you again we have already instigated measures to ensure that your backporting needs are met.  We are already starting to build GNOME 2.25 against the current Factory and will continue to ensure that each release has the latest and greatest from the Enchanted Wood.  There may well be occaisons where things just won’t work, but we will do our utmost to minimise them and give you plenty of notice.

One thing we do need is your help.  Funny I always seem to be asking for help, but this time there is a really good reason (actually more than one ;-) ).  We need more people to run Factory to test things and ensure that bugs and issues/comments are reported back.  This doesn’t just apply to GNOME but openSUSE in general, please please test our latest releases and give us your feedback.  There are several ways you can do this – Bugzilla, IRC and Mailing Lists, oh and at events like the upcoming FOSDEM.