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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.



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


openSUSE Ambassador Panama at FIEC, UP

openSUSE, Ambassador, Panama, FIEC, UP

openSUSE Ambassador Panama Talk at FIEC, UP

openSUSE, Ambassador, Univ. Panama, FIEC

FLISoL 2010 in Panama City

May 7th, 2010 by

FLISoL 2010 at Ciudad del Saber looked good with several Linux Distributions and different open source applications. It was a small building with a lot people in transit. With three people and only two months to organize this event it was a successful achievement because our goal was accomplished: be on the eyes of governmental organizations, ONG, business, academics, students, users, professionals. Some media communications groups give some interviews. After this event we are receiving more invitations to give a talks for education and participate on some projects than ever before.  Click on link below to watch the photos


A Blog on Sourceforge

May 6th, 2010 by

A little more than two weeks ago we released Kraft version 0.40, the first version of Kraft based on KDE 4 software platform. The release went fine as far as I can tell, no terrible bugs were reported yet. Some work went into the new website since then, but in general I need a few weeks break from Kraft and spend my evenings outside enjoying spring time.

Today, Sourceforge posted a blog about Kraft after they kind of mail-interviewed me. It’s nice, it really focuses on the things also important to me. This might be another step towards a broader user base for Kraft. I say that because one could have the impression that the number of people actually really using Kraft could be larger. A high number of users is one of the fundamental criteria for a successful free software project and thus I am constantly trying to understand whats the reason for the impression or the fact.

The first idea is that the Kraft project simply does something wrong in the way a project should be driven. But there are releases, there is a so far ok website, there are communication channels with information on it and people answering questions. Of course, it always could be done better, but I hope and believe we are not doing too bad. Marketing could be more, that’s granted.

The next thing could be that nobody needs this kind of software. But there are quite some companies doing this kind of software in the commercial space. So there must be a market. Actually I think the market is huge. People are writing invoices all over the world and I bet many of them are not really satisfied with the way they do it usually which makes Kraft at least an option to try for them.

And this might lead to better path: Probably these people do not know that the option exists. They simply haven’t heard about Kraft yet and if they would there is a good chance that they would not believe that it is free etc pp. And this is probably not specific to Kraft but also applies, of course much more weaker, to larger projects like openSUSE or KDE: A lot of people from the ‘real world’ don’t know about free software communities, the ideas behind and the benefits for users of the software. That sounds strange to us, as this is our daily reality, but start with asking your parents or non computer related friends if they really understand what it is about. Imagine what people know who have no computer job nor -hobby nor know you!

What consequences can that have for us? Well, we could decide to skip this group of people. That would mean, beside some other effects, that Kraft would not make sense any more and I don’t like that. It probably should influence the way we see the ‘product management’ aspect of our projects. For me, ‘product management’ is often equivalent to “take care that the result is especially useful to non computer scientists” (which is probably not what PM really is about) and the focus on that is very important and the precondition for the next point.

We might have to take our projects even more out of the geek niche and go to places where the ‘real world’ happens. That is difficult for various reasons. First, it means that we have to start to explain again from start, and maybe also get questions where the answer is not obvious. Furthermore it might have practical issues, because for example fairs for handcrafter utilities charge seriously for software boothes which is not the case if we present projects on FOSS events.
On the other hand its easy because we all just have to spread the word even more and tell everybody about free software, our projects and free culture. And try to think as if we weren’t free software people. I know, most of us do already what they can and that’s great 🙂

Weekly Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor: 15th Week

April 16th, 2010 by

Guest Blog from:  Rares Aioanei <suse.listen@gmail.com>

Hi everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of the kernel news – OpenSUSE style! The news are as follows :
-Ryusuke Konishi pushed some trivial fixes to the NILFS2 tree (mostly fixing of typos)
-Masami Hiramatsu posted a patch regarding perf-probe. In his own words, “This series improves data structure accessing.
In this version, I added ‘removing x*()’patches.”
-Chris Mason posted some improvements in the btrfs-unstable tree, among others fixing an oops and other impovements.
-Linus Torvalds announced the release of the 2.6.34-rc4 kernel : “It’s been two weeks rather than the usual one, because we’ve been hunting
a really annoying VM regression that not a lot of people seem to have
seen, but I didn’t want to release an -rc4 with it. So we had the choice
of either reverting all the anon-vma scalability improvements, or finding
out exactly what caused the regression and fixing it.”
This rc also contains various bugfixes and changes regarding drivers – a new network driver (cxbg4) and updates to radeon and nouveau.
Kerneltrap : http://kerneltrap.org/Linux/2.6.34-rc4_Hunting_A_Really_Annoying_VM_Regression
H-Online : http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Kernel-Log-Coming-in-2-6-34-Part-1-Network-Support-975937.html
and lwn.net : http://lwn.net/Articles/383199/rss
-Also, Luis R. Rodriguez announced an updated wireless tree in regard of the release of 2.6.34-rc4 (backported).
See it here : http://www.orbit-lab.org/kernel/compat-wireless-2.6-stable/v2.6.34/compat-wireless-2.6.34-rc4.tar.bz2
-David Miller posted various fixes in the networking- and sparc trees.
-Michal Simek wrote to celebrate one year of Linux on the Microblaze (Tuesday, the 13th of April 2010)
-And some news from the opensuse-kernel team :
Jiri Kosina noticed that commit 5246824c7ea3313c8e4f42f9b19d9e6f0b51861a introduced CONFIG_DEBUG_BLOCK_EXT_DEVT as set on master kernels
(non-{debug,trace} kernels). The problem has been solved and now this option is disabled on master kernels.
This has a related fix upstream introduced by Rafael J. Wysocki.
-Steven Rostedt announced the release of trace-cmd version 1.0
-Trond Myklebust announced fixes for the nfs tree.
-Jean Delvare posted fixes for the hwmon (hardware monitoring) tree for the upcoming 2.6.34 kernel
-Ingo Molnar posted fixes for the perf tree including build fixes on Debian and others.
-Douglas Gilbert announced sdparm 1.05 as of 15.04.
-Stephen Rothwell announced that Thursday’s linux-next (next-20100415) will be the last until the 27th of April, when he’ll return from his vacation.
-Dmitry Torokhov posted updates for the input tree for -rc4.
-Also Thomas Gleixner mailed some updates for x86-fixes.
-Fixes to the Firewire tree, along with documentation updates, were pushed by Stefan Richter.
-John W. Linville posted a pull request for the wireless tree intended for
2.6.34 .
-Also, patches of mmotm have been released against 2.6.34-rc4 .
-Guilt v0.33 is available as of 16.04.2010 .
-Patches for bkl/ioctl, sound (for -rc5), watchdog have been released .

That’s it for this week, see ya!