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openSUSE in Education, Spreading Continue

May 17th, 2012 by

What do you feel as an open source developer, user, or enthusiast if you see this beautiful piece of software is used by hundred of schools and thousand of students? Great isn’t it? And that’s what happened here in a small dot on this earth in Yogyakarta Indonesia.

This program was initiated by the Government of Indonesia with the objective to introduce the open source and e-learning method to student and teacher. So three years ago I was contacted to help them to realize their dream, and here I’m now reporting that there are around 7300 openSUSE installation in 350 elementary and junior-high schools. We also use SLES in servers to provide repositories and e-learning materials in SCORM using Moodle.  This is work in progress. We educate teachers to use openSUSE and also creating learning material so it is always in beta stage I think :D

I want to say thank you to all the good people, my friends and co-workers, they are unknown in openSUSE community, even many of them are not subscribing the mailing list, but they are the true openSUSE ambassadors in Indonesia. They come to schools and persuade the teachers to use openSUSE. Without them this dream will never come true. Picture below show some of them smiling holding the openSUSE 12.1 promo DVD that AJ sent to me. You all great! Also picture of teachers while following our session about openSUSE.

All the good people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers train using openSUSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally we welcome everyone in openSUSE community if you want to visit Indonesia don’t forget to pay a visit to one of this schools in Yogyakarta and you will see how student are happy using it :-D

Massive update on Ubuntu software…

January 20th, 2011 by

Screenshot using Radiance Light Theme and default Ubuntu indicator layout.

Some brief updates about the ongoing work towards bringing Ayatana Project software into openSUSE:

1. Software Updates

Canonical recently released a batch of updates which bring new functionality (Indicators seem to respond faster now) and very nice improvements, some of them contributed by down-streamers. From my humble experience I would risk to claim that Canonical is doing an excellent job as an upstreamer. I’ve updated all packages to the latest versions. This allowed to remove some patches.

2. Unity

Unity is now one step closer. For Unity I’ve started to package Compiz git snapshots from the correct branches pointed by Unity documentation. This brought something new to me, cmake. I’ve done this very slowly, reading some docs meanwhile about cmake. My packaging around Compiz is mainly based on OBS X11:Compiz repository, so pretty much all the credits should be for the original project Packagers which done an awesome job. Currently I’m missing only 3 packages to test Unity. Recently with kernel and mesa updates some issues around ATI hardware seem to have fixed for openSUSE Factory users, which enabled in my case FireGL, therefore I can test properly Unity now and check for the integration into openSUSE.

Unity by default uses the Ayatana’s Indicators, and if they are not present, it will fallback to GNOME’s applets. This is very nice and I’m thankful Canonical made it this way. This brings non-Ubuntu users the Unity experience at almost no trouble, since there isn’t actually much patching required to implement Unity.

3. GNOME:Ayatana Repository

GNOME:Ayatana Repository will be populated during the next two weeks with the latest changes and will provide for the time being the Ayatana’s Indicators and Unity. I am currently working around libappindicator stack and it’s Indicators. Currently I’m testing the patches required on the GTK+ stack and this is pretty much the last barrier before going into #STAGE2, polishing and populating GNOME:Ayatana.

It’s not decided yet what packages are going to present on Factory. My wish is to push only Unity into Factory and it’s dependencies, this might not happen for 11.4 as I’m not sure about the freeze schedules and it might be too late already, but since we’re depending on Compiz upstream, we’ll see what happens. Even if Unity isn’t going to be available on Factory, I’m sure we can use KIWI or SUSE Studio to release a small openSUSE Unity Spin.

I’ve also decided that I (typo: previously would) wouldn’t like to see Unity available by openSUSE before the official release from Ubuntu, for which I wish all the success.

Since the very early start that I’ve been using pkg-config as much as I can. According to some information that I collected previously, this would be great for cross-distribution build. Depending on the time and work done, I might make the necessary modifications and enable cross-distribution building on this project, thus, making it available for other RPM distributions supported by OBS. This will require a bit of testing before, so it will be work to be done after 11.4 is released and during it’s lifecycle. Maybe by the time of openSUSE 12 gets released, we will have this project also available for other RPM based distributions. I have no knowledge on Debian packaging, but Ubuntu ships this software and Debian probably has it also available so… that won’t be a problem.

4. Artwork

I am providing on GNOME:Ayatana Ubuntu’s Light Themes (Ambiance and Radiance) and offering a patched version of Metacity that renders those themes perfectly. I’m not changing the original colors from the themes or modifying them in any way. So they might be a bit more of orange and not green.

I’ve contacted some people to ask if they would be willing to donate some artwork to make a small package with Wallpapers, some have answered yes, so I will make a small package with a couple of wallpapers for the traditional resolutions and distribute it alongside with this software as optional as always.

5. GTK2, GTK3 and QT

Implementation of GTK3 will be done within the next days, as I am also considering enabling QT support for KDE users (Indicators only for now).

That’s pretty much the result of the last days of work… more news to come in the nearby future.

Verein Computerspende Hamburg and openSUSE

December 15th, 2010 by

This article of the German news magazine Der Spiegel made me aware of the Verein Computerspende Hamburg. A German verein is a non profit association, there are lots in Germany for sports, culture and these kind of stuff.

The Verein Computerspende Hamburg does something very useful: It takes used computer parts that other people do not longer need and refurbish them to working computers again. These computers are handed to people who happen to be in a difficult situation in life. They have to live from Hartz IV which is a kind German social security, following the unemployment benefit which ends after a short period. Hartz IV means very, very little money the people have to make their lives from, too little to buy a new computer.

On the other hand, an increasing amount of the job offerings are posted on the web, so people currently unemployed basically have to search the web, not speaking about preparing the resumes to apply for a job. So how would one do that without a computer?

Computing is not only hardware and well known operating systems and applications are far away from free, so it’s obvious that our great project is a perfect partner here: Not that we only offer a user friendly, easy to install, secure, feature rich and last but not least completely free Linux Distribution, we as a community are also able to help if problems come up, regardless if somebody has money or not and what kind of problem it might be. This is another very concrete example where free software and the FOSS communities help your neighbor, or you – as it is very easy to get into a difficult situation in life.

We sent 500 openSUSE 11.3 DVDs to Hamburg with our warm invitation and welcome to all new users to show up and join our community. So be aware of new kids on the block :-)

And if you are in Hamburg or around and want to help, I am sure Verein Computerspende can make use of the help of more Geekos, such as installation, first hand user support and probably much more. And if you know of a similar interested initiative, let me know, I am sure I will find more DVDs ;-)

Happy Birthday Scribus

December 9th, 2010 by

I rarely blog and even this one is merely  a link to another one, but: http://rants.scribus.net/2010/12/08/happy-birthday-scribus/ is worth a look. So, where is the connection to openSUSE ? Well, way back when, SuSE 9.0 was the first distro to really promote Scribus. :-)

You can have the latest Scribus rpms for many distros, thanks to the awesome Build Service.

Enjoy!

BugDay

November 22nd, 2010 by

At the last openSUSE project meeting and after the discussion about “zombie” bugs on the opensuse-project mailing list, a small team of volunteers agreed to organize a Bug Day on Saturday, November 27th. What is a Bug Day? This is a day when many people from the community help to triage bugs in Bugzilla. It is a good and easy way to get involved in the openSUSE project!

Here is what you need to participate:
– a recent version of openSUSE (11.3 or a milestone of 11.4). It’s okay to run openSUSE in a virtual machine.
– an IRC client to interact with the other participants
– good mood :-)

A small team will organize the event by providing lists of bugs, and will be available to guide new contributors if needed. So it will be easy to help!

For this specific Bug Day, we will focus on the “zombie” bug reports: those are reports against old versions of openSUSE (openSUSE 10.x and 11.0). As some reports might still be valid, we don’t want to close all of them automatically. We will therefore check all those reports to see if they are still valid in the latest version of openSUSE (11.3 or a milestone of 11.4). The goal is to close those bug reports if possible, or, if they are still valid, to move them to a current version of openSUSE so that they’re not lost in limbo. So during a full day, people come on irc and help each other triage bugs.

Please note that this is only for openSUSE bugs (living in bugzilla.novell.com), but a solution for some bugs might be to forward them upstream.

Come on #opensuse-bug (freenode) on a Saturday 27.11.2010, we’ll be glad to have you join the fun! ;)

openSUSE Conference

October 23rd, 2010 by

I am home from the openSUSE Conference 2010 and finally landed on the sofa. I don’t know why conferences are so exhausting, but they are for me. My brain slowly becomes sorted again and starts to reflect what happened on the conference. Wow, I can say that I didn’t expect it to become such a great event. There were so many interesting and enthusiastic discussions about topics concerning the openSUSE distribution or about things you can do under the openSUSE umbrella.

The fun side of community and technology was inspiring people all over, in opposite to some situations I remember on the last years conference where we had to deal with unpleasant topics. This seemed to have completely went away, instead people were aiming to solve problems together in a constructive way or, even more fun, worked on new things without so called stop-energy.

It seems to me that a kind of openSUSE core-community stabilizes. People know each other, it has sorted who finally really is interested in openSUSE and continously contributes. That builds trust, and to that adds the self confidence which results out of the good quality of the recent distros we as a community were able to release. This nicely turned out for me in the strategy discussion lead by Jos. People were supportive, sorted out issues here and there, but moved ahead and came to decisions together on a topic which had endless and partly unpleasant discussions on mailinglists before. The power of meeting face to face on the one hand, but also signs that we learned from the last years and grew up.

From the talk quality the conference for me personally was one of the best FOSS conferences I have attended until now. All keynotes were done with great passion, uniquely and addressed specifically on current topics in our community. Hennes on the first day painted a good frame for the whole conference in his unique style. Cornelius and Vincent on day two were also great, they did not play friends just to let the sun shine on the conference, but for me they proofed that the openSUSE community has built a fundament were we not only accept each other but can work together werever it makes sense to tackle the higher challenges. Gerald speaking on Friday was repeating facts of the relationship between Novell and openSUSE. It was good hear it again that Novell wholeheartly supports the openess of the openSUSE project and what that means from a corporate point of view. Today Frank was introducing the project Brezen which will increase the ease of use of openSUSE a lot for the user and free software developers. Great that there is already code, I am really looking forward to see stuff coming into our distro.

You see, quite a lot happened on osc10. I will continue writing but I am too tired now…

It’s good to visit Conferences

October 8th, 2010 by

This post is about why one should visit a conference at all and hopefully is a good read for people who haven’t been on a FOSS conference yet. For oldtimers this might be unbelieveable, but I remember perfectly how I thought “This conference sounds interesting, but its probably only for checkers, long term contributors, not for me”. Thanks god I had somebody convincing me that that’s wrong and pulled me to my first Akademy which was a great experience as well as all the other conferences I have been later.

The main thing that happens on conferences is learning. While sitting in workshops and presentations you can learn so much about technologies, and since you take the time to really listen to it, it sticks very good in your mind. If questions remain open, you can be sure to immediately find people who can help to clearify.

Learning often results in motivation because if you learned something you want to try it out. Since you again have time after the conference presentations and you are surrounded by others who are interested in the similar topics, the motivation grows to really put the hands on the keyboard and try things out.

Another motivational factor can be that people adjust your opinion about your own contribution, if you already did some. You might think your contribution is only small, not comparable and not so important. After having three people met who were thanking you for your work and telling you how important it was for them, you will feel the motivation boost. But attention – that sometimes works the other way round as well ;-)

But that guides us to the most important thing: Meeting people in person, get to know each other, make friends. I know so many people from visiting conferences, and the quality of “knowing” is so much higher if a face, a smile, a good presentation or other things like funny clothes can be put to a name. Even people I do not know know me because I visited a conference once.

Working for and with people you know in person is much more pleasant as if you only know their email addresses. And we’re not talking about conflict situations which are so much easier to solve if you have met before.

openSUSE Conference 2010

Last but not least the possibility of influencing things must not be forgotten. Often on conferences things move forward, because the right people are on the same spot and discuss things and come to decisions. Believe it or not, it happens quickly that you end up in the circle of people if you want.

Ah yes, there is another reason why people like to come to conferences: It’s called ‘having fun’. I am not sure what is that about, but it must be cool ;-)

Very soon the second international openSUSE Conference takes place in Nürnberg, Germany. If you are interested in the openSUSE project, the distribution or upstream projects, I really like to encourage you to conferencing give FOSS conferencing a try if you had never done it before. If you had, you will be there anyway ;-)

Please do not hesitate and register now.

Free BEER for free people

September 17th, 2010 by

When we call beer “free”, we mean that it respects the users’ essential freedoms: the freedom to drink it, to study and change it, and to return empties with or without some changes. This is a matter of freedom, not price, so think of “free speech”… but in this case also “free beer” too.

Why man have to choose a free beer? Because it’s open and free to use. Everybody can give some feedback on the freebeer’s twitter page.

The project was started by Wädi Bräu in Switzerland like “open source beer” project. On the home page you can get more information about this project, for example, news and last updates.

License: creative commons.
Alcogol vol: 4.8 %
Size: 0.33 L

Be free… drink free beer ;)

p.s. Who know, maybe Novell will be sponsored this great open source project (?) ;)

openSUSE Conference 2010

July 12th, 2010 by

This is a friendly reminder for all who haven’t send their talk proposals for the openSUSE Conference 2010 yet. The Call for Papers closes end of july and there are still slots available.

The second openSUSE conference takes place in Nuremberg, Germany from october, 20th to 23rd. After its great start last year, we will continue the concept of a user and developer conference around the openSUSE Project including talks, workshops and BOFs. Expect everything between technical workshops about bleeding edge linux distro technology over user presentations about software to inspiring discussions with other projects, especially since the motto for the conference is Collaboration across Borders.

The first conference has also shown how important the openSUSE Conference is for the steering of the openSUSE project. Lots of ideas could be discussed and implemented quickly but also difficult or controversal community internal topics came up in a very contructive way and are worked on since then, some until today.

That brings me to the core message of this post: You should be on the conference if you are interested in the openSUSE project in any way. If you want to help moving the project forward and influence where the journey is going, there is no better place to go.

Now is the time to shape the conference – be it with a talk proposal, a proposal for a workshop, some hack session or interact with other projects to make you project a half day track or so. Everything is possible, please approach the programm committee with your ideas!

openSUSE at Universidad de Panama, FIEC

May 7th, 2010 by

Universidad de Panamá, Facultad de Informática, Electrónica y Comunicación. Conmemoración del X aniversario de la Facultad. On May 3, 2010 the openSUSE Ambassador was invited to talk about “Introducción a las características y ventajas de openSUSE, su relación con NOVELL y la comunidad de usuarios” (“An Introduction to New Features and Advantages on openSUSE 11.2, the openSUSE Project Community and the relationship with NOVELL”). When I did talk about openSUSE. People came from a few persons in the room to suddenly filling the whole space available for that room. Surprisingly, I had the opportunity to watch several girls between the audience so I thought there is a chance to organize a chix open source community or users group. Click on the link to watch photos

http://picasaweb.google.com/RICARDO.A.CHUNG/CaracteristicasYVentajasOpenSUSESuRelacionConNOVELLYLaComunidad#

openSUSE Ambassador Panama at FIEC, UP

openSUSE, Ambassador, Panama, FIEC, UP

openSUSE Ambassador Panama Talk at FIEC, UP

openSUSE, Ambassador, Univ. Panama, FIEC