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Archive for January, 2009

openFATE

January 21st, 2009 by

openFATE is now up and running for a few days. openFATE is, in case you missed the announcement, the community accessible feature- and requirements tracking for the openSUSE distribution. We developed and used the FATE system (which has some more components than just openFATE) before internally, but since we want to really open up development it was a logical decision to find a good way to let the community participate.

openFATE is not a stand alone system. The openSUSE distribution is as you know the base for our enterprise products. That means that discussions we do around openSUSE features sometimes have impact on what happens in the enterprise products later on, or vice versa. If features become important for SLE that also might have importance for openSUSE.

That is implemented in openFATE. It is connected to a common database which holds all information about features for all products. A chain of tools filters out information that can not go public.

It is basically about the SUSE Linux product family, where the openSUSE distribution and the SLE products are part of. If a community member gives input on a feature which has a product context for the SLE product, the input
is seen by the SLE product- and project manager as well as the involved developers. I think it is important to realise that this is part of our understanding of open development. openSUSE is not cut off the things we’re doing for SLE, but can have a direct influence.

So far we nearly had 300 changes to existing features and a whole bunch of new feature requests from the community. That is a very good result for the first few days I think. Please keep on giving your input. We are happy to see people involved in product planing, eg. for openSUSE 11.2 .

Graph of Storage Devices

January 19th, 2009 by

With openSUSE 11.1 on the road we developers can use some time for new ideas. One idea on my mind for month was to show the dependencies of storage devices in a graph. Using graphviz and QGraphicsScene a first version was running within few days.

It’s far from finished. Some items still missing are:

  • Use different shapes and colors for different devices types.
  • Some basic user-interaction.

Will be available in Factory within the next weeks. Further improvements are welcome.

OpenOffice_org 3.0.1 rc1 available

January 19th, 2009 by

I’m happy to announce that OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 rc1 packages are available in the Build Service OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project.

The packages are release candidates but they might still include even serious bugs. Therefore they are not intended for data-critical usage. A good practice is to archive any important data before an use, …

We kindly ask any interested beta testers to try the package and report bugs.

Plans:

I’ll put these packages to the OpenOffice:org:STABLE project if no blocker bug is reported if they pass the internal testing and the upstream sources are marked as final. I hope that they will be ready there within one week.

I would like to put OOo-3.1-alpha version into the to the OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project by the end on January.

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Modding the openSUSE flashlight

January 19th, 2009 by

The openSUSE flashlight

The boxed version of openSUSE 11.1 comes bundled with a LED-flashlight. Nice black and sturdy aluminum, Modern design with 9 white LEDs, no old-fashioned bulb that would produce more heat than illumination. Not flimsy, not heavy, just practical and quite bright. Batteries included. Exactly what I like.

But alas, this high-tech-toy is not perfect. The LEDs produce a strange unnatural light, which makes people look really sick. It gives a bluish-greenish tint to everything. This I don’t like. Okay, it is state of the art with regard to white LEDs, so this is no real reason to complain. Still, it leaves room for improvement.

Let us adjust the color of the light, so that objects look more natural. This posting explains you how to do it in 3 easy (or 4 not so easy) steps.
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The Value of (Good) Documentation

January 16th, 2009 by

Maybe you know this situation: You find an interesting software that is worth to play. After you’ve installed it there are two possibilities: either the software is (a) very easy and self-explanatory, or (b) it is very complex.

As most software fall into category (b), one way to get used to it is you can play around and discover it by yourself. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. In case you need help, you can either ask a programmer, or write a post to a mailinglist or forum. But when you need an answer for your question now what else remains? Right! You need documentation!
And with documentation, I mean good documentation. Not something with “Documentation? Use the source!”

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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 🙂

openSUSE forums has reached 20K members

January 15th, 2009 by

The openSUSE forums has reached another key milestone. After hitting the 10K members in September 2008, we now did it again – Member 20.000 registered yesterday at 20:37 UTC.

Congratulations to the openSUSE forums team!

If you haven’t signed up for the forums yet, please do so. Sharing your knowledge with other openSUSE users at the openSUSE forums is a great way to contribute to the openSUSE community in a non-developing capacity.

Using Ruby for system scripts

January 14th, 2009 by

So here we are, the second installment of my openSUSE+Ruby mini-series.  See this link for the first article covering installation and configuration.  In this post, I’ll give you a fast introduction to Ruby and a sample system script on openSUSE.

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What’s green, red, and awesome all over?

January 10th, 2009 by

openSUSE/SLES and Ruby!

Considering that my blog no-longer exists and I’ve got a couple of topics floating around in my head, I thought I’d make use of my Lizards account and contribute something useful for once.

openSUSE has quickly become my favorite development platform and Ruby is my language of choice these days.  The two together make an excellent combination and it couldn’t be easier to get started.  In the next few posts, I’ll cover how I use the Ruby scripting language with SUSE on a daily basis.

That being said, lets start with installation…

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Webpin search in YaST for openSUSE 11.1

January 9th, 2009 by

This is just a short reminder that in openSUSE 11.1, it is possible to search online for packages in YaST as described in this blog (thanks to Lukas and Bubli for making this reality!).

In short, just type on command line:

/sbin/yast2 webpin_package_search

and you will get this UI for an online search and install of packages:

Webpin Search in YaST

Enjoy!