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Archive for October, 2009

Kolab becomes available again for openSUSE

October 18th, 2009 by

Kolab on openSUSE made some very good progress since my last blog update on this topic. The most visible thing to the system administrator is that all Kolab required packages are available on the build service for openSUSE_Factory which will become openSUSE_11.2 very soon and its and predecessors.

In the past Kolab depended on the project c-client for imap annotations, but about a year ago this project became less open source than it used to be. For this reason I started to look for an alternative, which was found by just removing the c-client project as a dependency for Kolab. This forces Kolab to use the php-pear-net_imap annotation code. It is perhaps not as fast as the c-client code, but I assume that this gives no problem on openSUSE based Kolab installations.

Getting rid of the c-client project has another very big advantage as it now no longer required to rebuild the php module php5-imap. This was always very very problematic, especially for the x86_64 architecture. So the current setup is really nice.

As usual with building packages, getting rid of the c-client looks easier than it actually was, as a bug in the php-pear-net_imap project resulted in a non working setup. It took quite some time, before the solution was found and Kolab started to behave correctly again 🙂

For openSUSE_11.2 the php package php5-pear-log was removed from the base distribution, which prevented many Kolab required php5-pear modules to be build. Once the package was added to the server:php:applications build repository all the required Kolab required php5-pear modules started to build properly.

So for the brave at heart, give Kolab on openSUSE-11.2 a try. For the less brave ones try Kolab on openSUSE-11.1.

Oh and don’t forget to vote for Kolab in openSUSE’s feature tracking system openFATE!

Speeding up openSUSE Build Service

October 16th, 2009 by

The last two weeks saw two improvements on speeding up the building of packages in the openSUSE Build Service: An ultra-fast scheduler and a binary cache for the worker. Both changes on its own should speed up the server that allocates jobs to the client – and the binary cache improves also the clients since they don’t have to download every package for every build.

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Making technology Previews succeed – OSC 09 Unconference session notes

October 9th, 2009 by

I did an Unconference at openSUSE Conference 2009 titled: Roads Less Travelled – Making Technology Previews succeed“.  More number of people than I had expected participated in the unconference session. I wanted to make the discussion notes (rough) available to a wider audience so that we could act on some of those:

Often Technology Previews are not solving their purpose. The objective of this session was to discuss, find out how we could get better feedback on Technology Previews and make them better.

The discussion is focused primarily on these areas:

  • Advertise the feature through proper channels, places
  • Make it easy enough for users to try out and provide feedback
  • Make it less risk-prone
  • What stops users from trying out?
  • Provide better documentation?

Key discussion points, suggestions:

  • Announcement in opensuse.org main page/wiki could grab the attention of community members who could help test Technology Previews.
  • Reduce hassles in providing feedback. For e.g Perhaps facility without authentication/Single-signon?
  • Easy ways/methods to provide feedback/input
  • Bug/Issue reporting made easy, command line tools?
  • Text area to provide feedback (as opposed a authentication based system).
  • Create a dedicated page for preview for e.g. previews.opensuse.org
  • irc channel for previews? (Discussion on all TPs, User testing one TP might get interested in another)
  • Announcement in openSUSE Weekly news could help
  • More Blogs, Articles, Whitepapers etc.. (blog entries should have provision for giving comments)
  • Perhaps, try to get some help from documentation team?
  • Provide instructions, mechanisms to safely try out without breaking things.
  • Additional information about new technology while the community tries to use the old technology For e.g. while a user tries to do nfsv3 mount providing an informational message that NFSv4 is available and can be used
  • Suggest using a VM
  • Caution about what might break and what might not (Make community feel less riskier to try out).

Please feel free to comment on what might work and if you have any more suggestion.

The short presentation I used to introduce the topic can be found here: http://files.opensuse.org/opensuse/en/d/de/Roads_Less_Travelled.pdf

About Patterns versus Packages

October 7th, 2009 by

Just a quick note to everyone using factory and wonder what patterns-openSUSE-kde4_basis is all about: our patterns install packages now.

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openSUSE and Li-f-e DVDs shipped on order

October 3rd, 2009 by

“The best online Distro store” TuxDVDs in India has made available openSUSE and openSUSE-Edu Li-f-e: Linux for Education DVDs along with tons of other great distros.

If you are in India and would like your favorite distribution shipped at very low cost head here.

openSUSE Ambassadors…numbers?

October 2nd, 2009 by

Alright. Just out of curiosity, I felt like finding out what the numbers show for South America compared to other regions in the Ambassadors Program of openSUSE.

As a reminder, the goals of the Ambassador Program are:

  • Act as an evangelist for openSUSE to the public.
  • Mentor new users and contributors.
  • Support openSUSE at local events.
  • Promote use of openSUSE and contributions to the openSUSE Project.
  • Have a lot of fun!.

So, checking out the Ambassadors List, I got for South America:

  • Brazil = 6.
  • Chile = 3.
  • Peru = 3.
  • Argentina = 2.
  • Colombia = 2.

Brazil is doing great here, doubling any other country’s Ambassadors number in the region. No doubt it’s not just users who are pushing Open Source out there but also their government and enterprises (example:Fisl), and I am glad openSUSE is a real choice for them. Compared to Europe, I believe statistical numbers are still OK for us 🙂 since the truth is that openSUSE is just ranked in the top five of the most popular Linux flavours in Chile, maybe it’s the same in other South America countries. So, Ambassadors for Europe (some countries only):

  • Germany = 8.
  • Spain = 6.
  • Austria = 4.
  • Italy = 3.
  • France = 2.

As for North America, we have got:

  • USA = 15.
  • Canada = 3.
  • Mexico = 3.

I even did a “quick and dirt” chart with OpenOffice’s Calc so you can have a graphical idea of our numbers around the world:

ambassadorschart01
For more information, please, visit the openSUSE Ambassadors section.

Have a lot of fun!.

Updating in Place From openSUSE 11.1 to 11.2

October 1st, 2009 by

After running my laptop for some time already on openSUSE Factory, I decided to update my workstation now as well to openSUSE Factory – thus upgrading it to openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 8.

Instead of the “old” but still working way of burning a media, booting from it and upgrading my system, I did the “new” way of openSUSE 11.2: Updating in place with “zypper dup”.

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