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November 22, 2014

Release party in Barcelona

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Another time, and there has been 16, ubuntaires celebrated the release party of the next Ubuntu version, in this case, 14.10 Utopic Unicorn.

This time, we went to Barcelona, at Raval, at the very centre, thanks to our friends of the TEB.

As always, we started with explaining what Ubuntu is and how our Catalan LoCo Team works and later Núria Alonso from the TEB explained the Ubuntu migration done at the Xarxa Òmnia.

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The installations room was plenty from the very first moment.

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There also was a very profitable auto-learning workshop on how to do an Ubuntu metadistribution.

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And in another room, there were two Arduino workshops.

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And, of course, ubuntaires love to eat well.

 

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Pictures by Martina Mayrhofer and Walter García, all rights reserved.

 
 

November 21, 2014

Google Summer of Code Wrap up: ns-3

Today’s Google Summer of Code wrap up comes to us from Tom Henderson at ns-3, a discrete-event network simulator developed for research and educational use.

The ns-3 network simulation project creates and maintains open source software for conducting performance evaluation of computer communications networks. Widely used in networking research and development activities, ns-3 is aimed towards the academic community involved in publishing original research, as well as towards educational use in undergraduate and graduate courses on computer networking. In 2014, the project mentored four students through Google Summer of Code (GSoC).


Piotr Gawłowicz: LTE Fractional Frequency Reuse algorithms

Piotr worked on algorithms for LTE Fractional Frequency Reuse. Mobile phone systems need to use radio spectrum very efficiently, particularly in managing interference. The ns-3 project has extensive LTE modeling capability which was initiated by a GSoC 2010 project. This year, Piotr extended the ns-3 LTE module to support a relatively new strategy for balancing interference mitigation and spectral efficiency known as Fractional Frequency Reuse (FFR). In addition to the FFR model code, Piotr delivered extensive corresponding test code, documentation and examples. He even fixed some LTE module bugs, developed several additional features (such as downlink and uplink power control and per-Resource Block Radio Environment Maps), refined the model for channel quality indicators, and refactored the power and interference calculation code. Piotr's code was merged to the mainline development tree in time for the September 2014 ns-3.21 release.

Rubén Martínez: Licklider Transport Protocol

Computer networks built for operation in outer space differ significantly from those found here on Earth. The propagation and networking delays for signals sent beyond the Earth may be as long as minutes or hours, confounding traditional systems accustomed to millisecond response times. Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) can be applied to these types of networks, and a specific protocol known as the Licklider Transmission Protocol (LTP), similar in purpose to the popular Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) used on the Internet, is designed to reliably deliver data across these types of links.

In his GSoC project, Rubén authored a model of LTP from scratch for inclusion in our future DTN module. This model includes about 5000 lines of new code and is being tested for interoperability against other implementations of LTP by using the ns-3 emulation mode which allows the simulator to exchange data with real protocol implementations. Rubén's model will soon help open up the use of ns-3 for space data networking research.

Truc Anh Nguyen: Understanding bufferbloat through simulations in ns-3

Bufferbloat refers to a phenomenon where network performance (latency, packet jitter, throughput) is diminished due to packet buffers at the ingress of a congested link becoming too deep. New "active queue management (AQM)" approaches help minimize packet transit times in congested queues. Anh’s project focused on addressing the known problems and testing the then-unreleased ns-3 CoDel queue model originally proposed by Andrew McGregor and Dave Taht. The revised CoDel model, test scripts, and example programs were included in the recent ns-3.21 release, and variations that build on this model are planned for future releases.

Krishna Teja: Multicast IPv6 traffic support

In his GSoC project, Krishna developed the Multicast Listener Discovery Version 2 (MLDv2) functionality for IPv6 in ns-3’s Internet module. The code is completely new, closely matches Internet RFC 3810, and (when merged) will be automatically enabled for any IPv6 node. Thanks to MLDv2, each router is made aware of the multicast groups that each attached host is interested in and can dynamically reconfigure its routing table. The protocol is part of an ongoing effort to enhance the multicast routing support in ns-3 for IPv6.


By Tom Henderson, ns-3 Organization Administrator

November 19, 2014

[Blog] FSFE comments at European Parliament's DG ITEC conference

At a meeting in the European Parliament, FSFE's president Karsten Gerloff highlighted several ways in which the Parliament could become more transparent, and make better use of Free Software and Open Standards. In a short intervention, he urged the Parliament to finally make its live streams accessible to Free Software users. He asked the Parliament's IT administration to enable IMAP access on its mail servers to allow Free Software users to connect through standard protocols, and warned the Parliament to avoid lock-in as it progresses towards greater digitisation.

Support FSFE, join the Fellowship
Make a one time donation

Coding Android TV games is easy as pie

(cross-posted with the Android Developers Blog)


We’re pleased to announce Pie Noon, a simple game created to demonstrate multi-player support on the Nexus Player, an Android TV device. Pie Noon is an open source, cross-platform game written in C++ which supports

  • up to 4 players using Bluetooth controllers.
  • touch controls.
  • Google Play Games Services sign-in and leaderboards.
  • other Android devices (you can play on your phone or tablet in single-player mode, or against human adversaries using Bluetooth controllers).


Pie Noon serves as a demonstration of how to use the SDL library in Android games as well as Google technologies like Flatbuffers, Mathfu, fplutil, and WebP.






You can download the game in the Play Store and the latest open source release from our GitHub page. We invite you to learn from the code to see how you can implement these libraries and utilities in your own Android games. Take advantage of our discussion list if you have any questions, and don’t forget to throw a few pies while you’re at it!


By Alex Ames, Fun Propulsion Labs at Google*



* Fun Propulsion Labs is a team within Google that's dedicated to advancing gaming on Android and other platforms.


November 17, 2014

Updated! - FreeBSD Foundation Announces Generous Donation and Fundraising Milestone

The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce it has received a $1,000,000 donation from Jan Koum, CEO and Co-Founder of WhatsApp. This marks the largest single donation to the Foundation since its inception almost 15 years ago, and serves as another example of someone using FreeBSD to great success and then giving back to the community. Find out more about Jan's reasons for donating below. We're now in the process of working together as a team to decide how best to use this gift to serve the FreeBSD community. That plan will combine financial investment, to ensure the effects of this donation are felt for many years to come, and an acceleration of the Foundation's growth into new capabilities and services. FreeBSD has a tremendous impact on our world. Our mission is to increase that impact through educational outreach, advocacy, community support, and technical investments. More information on how we serve each of these areas can be found on our website. With this donation, and the generosity of all those who have donated this year, we have shattered our 2014, million dollar fundraising goal! But this does not mean we can stop our fundraising efforts. Only by increasing the size and diversity of our donor pool can we ensure a stable and consistent funding stream to support the FreeBSD project. 

Please help us continue to grow FreeBSD's reach and impact on our world. Donate today!
=================================================

Update: The following contains the full text from Jan's Facebook post on 11/17/2014:

Last week, I donated one million dollars to the FreeBSD Foundation, which supports the open source operating system that has helped millions of programmers pursue their passions and bring their ideas to life.
I’m actually one of those people. I started using FreeBSD in the late 90s, when I didn’t have much money and was living in government housing. In a way, FreeBSD helped lift me out of poverty – one of the main reasons I got a job at Yahoo! is because they were using FreeBSD, and it was my operating system of choice. Years later, when Brian and I set out to build WhatsApp, we used FreeBSD to keep our servers running. We still do.
I’m announcing this donation to shine a light on the good work being done by the FreeBSD Foundation, with the hope that others will also help move this project forward. We’ll all benefit if FreeBSD can continue to give people the same opportunity it gave me – if it can lift more immigrant kids out of poverty, and help more startups build something successful, and even transformative.
 --Jan Koum

November 14, 2014

FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE Now Available

FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE Announcement

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE. This is the second release of the stable/10 branch, which improves on the stability of FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE and introduces some new features.

Some of the highlights:
  • The new console driver, vt(4), has been added.
  • Support for FreeBSD/i386 guests has been added to bhyve(4).
  • The bhyve(4) hypervisor now supports booting from a zfs(8) filesystem.
  • Support for SMP was added to the armv6 kernels and enabled by default in the configuration files for all platforms that contain multi-core CPUs.
  • Initial support for UEFI boot has been added for the FreeBSD/amd64 architecture.
  • Support has been added to cache geli(8) passphrases during system boot.
  • Support for the UDP-Lite protocol (RFC 3828) has been added to the IPv4 and IPv6 stacks.
  • The new filesystem automount facility, autofs(5), has been merged from FreeBSD-CURRENT.
  • The sshd(8) rc.d(8) startup script now generates ED25519 sshd(8) host keys if keys do not already exist when ssh_keygen_alg() is invoked.
  • OpenSSH has been updated to version 6.6p1.
  • The nc(1) utility has been updated to match the version in OpenBSD 5.5.
  • Sendmail has been updated to 8.14.9.
  • The unbound(8) caching resolver and ldns have been updated to version 1.4.22.
  • OpenPAM has been updated to Ourouparia (20140912).
  • OpenSSL has been updated to version 1.0.1j.
  • The pkg(8) package management utility has been updated to version 1.3.8.
For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the online release notes and errata list, available at:
For more information about FreeBSD release engineering activities, please see:

 

Availability

FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE is now available for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64, sparc64, and armv6 architectures.

FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE can be installed from bootable ISO images or over the network. Some architectures also support installing from a USB memory stick. The required files can be downloaded via FTP as described in the section below. While some of the smaller FTP mirrors may not carry all architectures, they will all generally contain the more common ones such as amd64 and i386.

SHA256 and MD5 hashes for the release ISO and memory stick images are included in the PGP-signed version of this announcement, available at:
Additional UEFI-capable images are available for the amd64 (x86_64) architecture.

The purpose of the images provided as part of the release are as follows:
dvd1
This contains everything necessary to install the base FreeBSD operating system, the documentation, and a small set of pre-built packages aimed at getting a graphical workstation up and running. It also supports booting into a "livefs" based rescue mode. This should be all you need if you can burn and use DVD-sized media.
disc1
This contains the base FreeBSD operating system. It also supports booting into a "livefs" based rescue mode. There are no pre-built packages.
bootonly
This supports booting a machine using the CDROM drive but does not contain the installation distribution sets for installing FreeBSD from the CD itself. You would need to perform a network based install (e.g., from an FTP server) after booting from the CD.
memstick
This can be written to an USB memory stick (flash drive) and used to do an install on machines capable of booting off USB drives. It also supports booting into a "livefs" based rescue mode. There are no pre-built packages.

As one example of how to use the memstick image, assuming the USB drive appears as /dev/da0 on your machine something like this should work:

 # dd if=FreeBSD-10.1-RELEASE-amd64-memstick.img \
of=/dev/da0 bs=10240 conv=sync
Be careful to make sure you get the target (of=) correct.
mini-memstick
This can be written to an USB memory stick (flash drive) and used to boot a machine, but does not contain the installation distribution sets on the medium itself, similar to the bootonly image. It also supports booting into a "livefs" based rescue mode. There are no pre-built packages.

As one example of how to use the mini-memstick image, assuming the USB drive appears as /dev/da0 on your machine something like this should work:

 # dd if=FreeBSD-10.1-RELEASE-amd64-mini-memstick.img \
of=/dev/da0 bs=10240 conv=sync
Be careful to make sure you get the target (of=) correct.
FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE can also be purchased on CD-ROM or DVD from several vendors. One of the vendors that will be offering FreeBSD 10.1-based products is:
Pre-installed virtual machine images are also available for the amd64 (x86_64) and i386 (x86_32) architectures in QCOW2, VHD, and VMDK disk image formats, as well as raw (unformatted) images.

 

 FTP

FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE may be downloaded via ftp from the following site:
However before trying this site, please check your regional mirror(s) first by going to:
Any additional mirror sites will be labeled ftp2, ftp3 and so on.

More information about FreeBSD mirror sites can be found at:
FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE virtual machine images may be downloaded via ftp from:
For instructions on installing FreeBSD or updating an existing machine to 10.1-RELEASE please see:

 

Support

FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE will be supported until January 1, 2017. The End-of-Life dates can be found at:

 

Other Projects Based on FreeBSD

There are many "third party" Projects based on FreeBSD. The Projects range from re-packaging FreeBSD into a more "novice friendly" distribution to making FreeBSD available on Amazon's EC2 infrastructure. For more information about these Third Party Projects see:

 

Acknowledgments

Many companies donated equipment, network access, or man-hours to support the release engineering activities for FreeBSD 10.1 including The FreeBSD Foundation, Yahoo!, NetApp, Internet Systems Consortium, ByteMark Hosting, Sentex Communications, New York Internet, Juniper Networks, NLNet Labs, iXsystems, and Yandex.

The release engineering team for 10.1-RELEASE includes:

Glen Barber < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering Lead, 10.1-RELEASE Release Engineer
Konstantin Belousov < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering
Joel Dahl < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering
Baptiste Daroussin < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Package Building
Bryan Drewery < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Package Building
Marc Fonvieille < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering, Documentation
Steven Kreuzer < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering
Xin Li < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering, Security Officer
Josh Paetzel < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering
Colin Percival < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Security Officer Emeritus
Craig Rodrigues < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering
Hiroki Sato < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering, Documentation
Gleb Smirnoff < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering
Ken Smith < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering
Dag-Erling Smørgrav < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Security Officer
Marius Strobl < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering
Robert Watson < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > Release Engineering, Security

 

 Trademark

FreeBSD is a registered trademark of The FreeBSD Foundation.

Love FreeBSD? Support this and future releases with a donation to The FreeBSD Foundation!

FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE Available

FreeBSD 10.1-RELEASE is now available. Please be sure to check the Release Notes and Release Errata before installation for any late-breaking news and/or issues with 10.1. More information about FreeBSD releases can be found on the Release Information page.

November 13, 2014

Angel O’ Death T-shirts

AngelODeathTSpring

 

Available until December 3 here! There’s a pull-down menu that lets you choose between men’s and women’s crew necks, v-necks, and unisex long sleeved shirts. Teespring worked great for the Passover Satyr shirts – I was pleased with the quality of both the screen printing and the shirt stock. This is a much easier way for me to produce shirts than trying to figure out demand in advance and paying for everything up front.

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November 10, 2014

FSFE Newsletter - November 2014

FSFE Newsletter – November 2014 Munich: facts harder than fiction

The city of Munich runs Free Software on more than 15.000 workplace computers and has saved over 11.000.000€ in return. During the migration to Free Software, they consolidated their heterogeneous IT in 51 places with 1000 IT employees and 22 IT departments. Despite these challenges most users are happy with the migration and say they do not want to switch back (in German). And all of this happened in the front-yard of Microsoft's German headquarters.

If you do not like the success of Free Software in Munich, what could you do? You could play on emotions and spread rumours that the Munich IT people are not taking the demands of regular users nor the executive into account. Of course, you have to stay vague, hoping to bring out a few of those voices that are always unhappy - but this is an easy way of discrediting the progress already made. This is what happened in the last months in Munich with remarks by the new mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD, Social Democrats) and his vice Josef Schmid (CSU, Christian Democrats). Some commentators have speculated about a connection to the fact that Microsoft is now moving its headquarter from Unterschleissheim to Munich, and Reiter claiming that he helped with this deal (in German). As Microsoft was the biggest tax payer in Unterschleissheim (in German), Munich will financially benefit by this move.

But they seem to have underestimated the success of Free Software in Munich. IT experts from their own political parties raised their voice to correct them and others have uncovered their misleading statements. Thus, the comments by the mayors represent only individual opinions. Munich's political support for GNU/Linux is strong, and the money the city saves and will continue to save by using GNU/Linux, LibreOffice/OpenOffice, and the Desktop from KDE counts profoundly. If Free Software can even survive a smear campaign by the mayors it shows that it is there to stay. Dear Free Software community: be proud and spread the word! But do not rest, the next attack will be more subtle.

EU wide Open Standards policy

But the answer to the inquiry includes another crucial point: the problem with document formats. The Munich IT managers noted that, at the beginning of their migration, the German federal states and the federal government highlighted the importance of Free Software and Open Standards, but afterwards never consequently went this path.

In Germany, the lack of a clear Open Standard Policy is a major blocker for public administrations to use Free Software. In recent years, other European Countries such as Great Britain, France, Italy, and Sweden have done more to promote Free Software and Open Standards.

On the European level, the former Munich mayor asked the European Commission to implement two measures to enable participation with Free Software in EU projects: First to have all document templates which are available in Microsoft Office formats, also in Open Document Text (ODT) format. Second that all presenter notebooks in the EU institutions also have a program installed which can handle Open Document Presentation (ODP) files. This was in 2011 and the European bodies have neglected implementing Open Standard policies for a long time.

Open Standard compliance checks

When institutions decide on Open Standards policies, this is just the first step. It is important to check this decision and to remind them about it. In 2010 as a Document Freedom Day activity our Fellows in Cologne and Bonn checked the German federal administrations after a decision that they have to be able to receive, edit, and send back ODF. The FSFE found out that only 2 of 87 departments are conforming to federal open document regulations. This highlights the importance of being persistent and monitoring the implementation of such policies. Check out this month's “Get active” item with a specific suggestion how you can help with that within a few minutes.

Something completely different We are currently looking for interns again, especially in preparation of Document Freedom Day but we also have general internship positions open from early January. When Max Mehl saw the news item he published a summary about his internship with FSFE. Together with the Italian consumer association ADUC, and the Italian group ILS, we asked regulators to take concrete steps to protect Italians from being forced to pay for software they do not want or need. Local activities: Our Vienna group had their most active and successful Autumn ever. Franz documented how they participated in the three big events Software Freedom Day, the biggest German speaking animal rights conference, and the Game City fair 2013. Christian Kalkhoff from our Munich group gave a presentation about the groups activities at the GNU Hackers Meeting 2014. The video is now online. If you want to help with the organisation of the LibreOffice conference 2015, Carsten Agger is still looking for assistance, as our Aarhus group will help at the event. Spoiler alert: The last edition of the education news also mentions the focus of the upcoming Document Freedom Day 2015. Public administrations: The German town of Gummersbach announced that this summer it has completed its switch to GNU/Linux PCs, England's Healthwatch switches to Free Software CiviCRM, and a Free Software solution developed for the government of South Tyrol (Italy) to automatically test government websites and services is now also being used to probe sites of the region's tourism sector. Our sister organisation invites Free Software enthusiasts to the libre planet conference 2015 in the US. Furthermore the nomination for the 17th annual Free Software Awards is open, and you can send your nominations before Sunday 16 November. Matthew Garret wrote a blog post on why he joined FSF's board. But some of the comments he received are really offensive, and your editor hopes that Matthew can just ignore them. Related to this, your editor recommends you reading the article “On the sickness of our community” by Jonathan Corbet. As always, if you have comments about it send them to our discussion lists. From the planet aggregation: Computers are entering the fashion field from multiple directions. Current FSFE intern Michele Marrali wrote about MeshCon 2014, a conference that connects fashion designer and technology experts. André Ockers reports that the Dutch public broadcaster NOS moves away from open standards Matija Šuklje made his first commit to KDE and writes about FSFE's Fiduciary Licence Agreement Daniel Pocock reports positive results from Outreach Program for Women Hugo Roy explains how he wrote a new defensive publication for ownCloud's file syncing encryption. Get active: Fix my document - ODF in EU bodies

The EU institutions still have a lot to do to remove barriers for Free Software users. Together with Open Forum Europe (OFE) your editor had a meeting with the IT responsible of the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament about that. We discussed our letter on video format and the campaign “FixMyDocuments.eu”. This campaign was started by OFE to help EU institutions to implement their decision to support Open Document Formats FSFE's volunteers already translated the website in more languages, but now it is time for all of you to act.

We would like you to find EU institutions who offer non-free formats on their website, without also publishing those documents in ODT, and then submit them.

Furthermore OFE encourages and will support anyone who wants to use the platform to cover other administrations.

Thanks to all the volunteers, Fellows and corporate donors who enable our work, Matthias Kirschner - FSFE

Support FSFE, join the Fellowship
Make a one time donation

November 08, 2014

OpenStack on a diet, redux

Subhu writes that OpenStack’s blossoming project list comes at a cost to quality. I’d like to follow up with an even leaner approach based on an outline drafted during the OpenStack Core discussions after ODS Hong Kong, a year ago.

The key ideas in that draft are:

Only call services “core” if the user can detect them.

How the cloud is deployed or operated makes no difference to a user. We want app developers to

Define both “core” and “common” services, but require only “core” services for a cloud that calls itself OpenStack compatible.

Separation of core and common lets us recognise common practice today, while also acknowledging that many ideas we’ve had in the past year or three are just 1.0 iterations, we don’t know which of them will stick any more than one could predict which services on any major public cloud will thrive and which will vanish over time. Signalling that something is “core” means it is something we commit to keeping around a long time. Signalling something is “common” means it’s widespread practice for it to be available in an OpenStack environment, but not a requirement.

Require that “common” services can be self-deployed.

Just as you can install a library or a binary in your home directory, you can run services for yourself in a cloud. Services do not have to be provided by the cloud infrastructure provider, they can usually be run by a user themselves, under their own account, as a series of VMs providing network services. Making it a requirement that users can self-provide a service before designating it common means that users can build on it; if a particular cloud doesn’t offer it, their users can self-provide it. All this means is that the common service itself builds on core services, though it might also depend on other common services which could be self-deployed in advance of it.

Require that “common” services have a public integration test suite that can be run by any user of a cloud to evaluate conformance of a particular implementation of the service.

For example, a user might point the test suite at HP Cloud to verify that the common service there actually conforms to the service test standard. Alternatively, the user who self-provides a common service in a cloud which does not provide it can verify that their self-deployed common service is functioning correctly. This also serves to expand the test suite for the core: we can self-deploy common services and run their test suites to exercise the core more thoroughly than Tempest could.

Keep the whole set as small as possible.

We know that small is beautiful; small is cleaner, leaner, more comprehensible, more secure, easier to test, likely to be more efficiently implemented, easier to attract developer participation. In general, if something can be cut from the core specification it should. “Common” should reflect common practice and can be arbitrarily large, and also arbitrarily changed.

In the light of those ideas, I would designate the following items from Subhu’s list as core OpenStack services:

  • Keystone (without identity, nothing)
  • Nova (the basis for any other service is the ability to run processes somewhere)
    • Glance (hard to use Nova without it)
  • Neutron (where those services run)
    • Designate (DNS is a core aspect of the network)
  • Cinder (where they persist data)

I would consider these to be common OpenStack services:

  • SWIFT (widely deployed, can be self-provisioned with Cinder block backends)
  • Ceph RADOS-GW object storage (widely deployed as an implementation choice, common because it could be self-provided on Cinder block)
  • Horizon (widely deployed, but we want to encourage innovation in the dashboard)

And these I would consider neither core nor common, though some of them are clearly on track there:

  • Barbican (not widely implemented)
  • Ceilometer (internal implementation detail, can’t be common because it requires access to other parts)
  • Juju (not widely implemented)
  • Kite (not widely implemented)
  • HEAT (on track to become common if it can be self-deployed, besides, I eat controversy for breakfast)
  • MAAS (who cares how the cloud was built?)
  • Manila (not widely implemented, possibly core once solid, otherwise common once, err, common)
  • Sahara (not widely implemented, weird that we would want to hardcode one way of doing this in the project)
  • Triple-O (user doesn’t care how the cloud was deployed)
  • Trove (not widely implemented, might make it to “common” if widely deployed)
  • Tuskar (see Ironic)
  • Zaqar (not widely implemented)

In the current DefCore discussions, the “layer” idea has been introduced. My concern is simple: how many layers make sense? End users don’t want to have to figure out what lots of layers mean. If we had “OpenStack HPC” and “OpenStack Scientific” and “OpenStack Genomics” layers, that would just be confusing. Let’s keep it simple – use “common” as a layer, but be explicit that it will change to reflect common practice (of course, anything in common is self-reinforcing in that new players will defer to norms and implement common services, thereby entrenching common unless new ideas make services obsolete).

November 07, 2014

Working in Macromedia Flash 8


Here’s a time-lapse screen-capture of me working in Macromedia Flash 8. This little bit of animation is unlikely to make it into the finished movie, as I later decided on a different approach here. This just shows one aspect of how I use Flash; other work videos to come. Thanks to the Blender Institute for posting this and thinking about maybe possibly developing FLOSS vector animation tools.

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Software Freedom Conservancy and Free Software Foundation announce copyleft.org

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Friday, November 7, 2014 -- Software Freedom Conservancy and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announce an ongoing public project that began in early 2014: Copyleft and the GNU General Public License: A Comprehensive Tutorial and Guide, and the publication of that project in its new home on the Internet at copyleft.org. This new site will not only provide a venue for those who constantly update and improve the Comprehensive Tutorial, but is also now home to a collaborative community to share and improve information about copyleft licenses, especially the GNU General Public License (GPL), and best compliance practices.

Bradley M. Kuhn, President and Distinguished Technologist of Software Freedom Conservancy and member of FSF's Board of Directors, currently serves as editor-in-chief of the project. The text has already grown to 100 pages discussing all aspects of copyleft -- including policy motivations, detailed study of the license texts, and compliance issues. This tutorial was initially constructed from materials that Kuhn developed on a semi-regular basis over the last eleven years. Kuhn merged this material, along with other material regarding the GPL published by the FSF, into a single, coherent volume, and released it publicly for the benefit of all users of free software.

Today, Conservancy announces a specific, new contribution: an additional chapter to the Case Studies in GPL Enforcement section of the tutorial. This new chapter, co-written by Kuhn and Conservancy's compliance engineer, Denver Gingerich, discusses in detail the analysis of a complete, corresponding source (CCS) release for a real-world electronics product, and describes the process that Conservancy and the FSF use to determine whether a CCS candidate complies with the requirements of the GPL. The CCS analyzed is for ThinkPenguin's TPE-NWIFIROUTER wireless router, which the FSF recently awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification.

The copyleft guide itself is distributed under the terms of a free copyleft license, the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Kuhn, who hopes the initial release and this subsequent announcement will inspire others to contribute to the text, said, "information about copyleft -- such as why it exists, how it works, and how to comply -- should be freely available and modifiable, just as all generally useful technical information should. I am delighted to impart my experience with copyleft freely. I hope, however, that other key thinkers in the field of copyleft will contribute to help produce the best reference documentation on copyleft available."

Particularly useful are the substantial contributions already made to the guide from the FSF itself. As the author, primary interpreter, and ultimate authority on the GPL, the FSF is in a unique position to provide insights into understanding free software licensing. While the guide as a living text will not automatically reflect official FSF positions, the FSF has already approved and published one version for use at its Seminar on GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics in March 2014. "Participants at our licensing seminar in March commented positively on the high quality of the teaching materials, including the comprehensive guide to GPL compliance. We look forward to collaborating with the copyleft.org community to continually improve this resource, and we will periodically review particular versions for FSF endorsement and publication," said FSF's executive director John Sullivan.

Enthusiastic new contributors can get immediately involved by visiting and editing the main wiki on copyleft.org, or by submitting merge requests on copyleft.org's gitorious site for the guide, or by joining the project mailing list and IRC channel.

copyleft.org welcomes all contributors. The editors have already incorporated other freely licensed documents about GPL and compliance with copyleft licenses -- thus providing a central location for all such works. Furthermore, the project continues to recruit contributors who have knowledge about other copyleft licenses besides the FSF's GPL family. In particular, Mike Linksvayer, member of Conservancy's board of directors, has agreed to lead the drafting on a section about Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licenses to mirror the ample text already available on GPL. "I'm glad to bring my knowledge about the Creative Commons copyleft licenses as a contribution to improve further this excellent tutorial text, and I hope that copyleft.org as a whole can more generally become a central location to collect interesting ideas about copyleft policy," said Linksvayer.

About copyleft.org

copyleft.org is a collaborative project to create and disseminate useful information, tutorial material, and new policy ideas regarding all forms of copyleft licensing. Its primary project is currently a comprehensive tutorial and guide, which describes the policy motivations of copyleft licensing, presents a detailed analysis of the text of various copyleft licenses, and gives examples and case studies of copyleft compliance situations.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

About Software Freedom Conservancy

Software Freedom Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization that promotes, improves, develops and defends Free, Libre and Open Source software projects. Conservancy is home to more than thirty software projects, each supported by a dedicated community of volunteers, developers and users. Conservancy's projects include some of the most widely used software systems in the world across many application areas, including educational software deployed in schools around the globe, embedded software systems deployed in most consumer electronic devices, distributed version control developer tools, integrated library services systems, and widely used graphics and art programs. A full list of Conservancy's member projects is available. Conservancy provides these projects with the necessary infrastructure and not-for-profit support services to enable each project's communities to focus on what they do best: creating innovative software and advancing computing for the public's benefit.

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Karen M. Sandler
Executive Director
Software Freedom Conservancy
+1 (212) 461-3245
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November 05, 2014

Debutsav 2014 Experiences – Day 2

This will be the last post in series on Debutsav 2014 held at Amrita University and consequently will be biggish. As shared in the last blog post as well, the day started with Anup making sure that all of us were awake and had our bed tea. As most (or almost all) of us had […]

November 03, 2014

osquery is neat

Facebook recently made opensource, osquery. It gives you operating system data via SQL queries! Its very neat, and you can test this even on MacOSX (it works on that platform & Linux). It is by far the project with the most advanced functionality, linked here in this post.

I noticed that rather quickly, there was a PostgreSQL project, called pgosquery, based on Foreign Data Wrappers with a similar idea. (apparently it was written in less than 15 minutes; so a much lower learning curve than the regular MySQL storage engine interface)

I immediately thought about an older MySQL project, by Chip Turner (then at Google, now at Facebook), called mysql-filesystem-engine. This idea was kicking around in 2008. I was intrigued by hearing about this at a talk (probably at the MySQL Conference & Expo); it’s a pity no one took this further.

On a similar tangent, did you also know that there is the option to use MySQL as storage via FUSE (see: mysqlfs)? An article by Ben Martin shows some practical examples.

At its heyday, MySQL had many storage engines (maybe around 50). Wikipedia has an incomplete list. I see some engines on that list, and think that some of these folk are also creating MongoDB backends — competition. At MariaDB we are probably shipping the most storage engines of any MySQL-based distribution, however I think we could be doing an even better job at working with upstream vendors, and figuring out how to support & augment business around it.

November 02, 2014

FreeBSD turns 21 today!

FreeBSD 1.0, the first official production-ready release of FreeBSD was announced 21 years ago today, on November 2nd, 1993. See the original announcement here.

October 31, 2014

Software Freedom Day 2014 Phnom Penh

The Digital Freedom Foundation is organizing our Software Freedom Day event in Phnom Penh together with the National Institute of Posts Telecommunications and ICT and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on November 1st at the NIPTICT Building. There will be 14 talks (9 in Khmer and 5 in English) with topics covering free and open source software ranging from operating system, learning platforms, website development, resource map, servers, to security. Here is the detailed schedule and speakers profiles.

We expect to have more than a hundred people to attend and aim to target both the university audience and the young workforce, on top of presentations and workshops, we (assisted by various communities) will be holding booths (e.g. Moodle, Mozilla, RouterOS, Ubuntu and Blender) to allow for more individuals discussions. All in all it’s been a joy preparing for this event, allowing us to talk and plan resources with people from different local communities such as OpenSourceCambodia and Smallworld Cambodia.

The event will start at 1:30pm tomorrow, if you happen to be in Phnom Penh please do drop by!

web-banner-chat-we-re-organizing-h

October 27, 2014

Debutsav 2014 Experiences – Day 1

This again will be a tell-all from a perspective of an organizer of Debutsav 2014 with some left-over notes of Day 0 as well. Before, we start, couple of things which I should have shared at the beginning. During the journey back and forth, I completed ‘Inheritance’ Book 4 by Christopher Paolini. It’s the culmination […]

October 23, 2014

Ten years of Ubuntu

Today marks 10 years of Ubuntu and the release of the 21st version. That is an incredible milestone and one which is worthy of reflection and celebration. I am fortunate enough to be spending the day at our devices sprint with 200+ of the folks that have helped make this possible. There are of course hundreds of others in Canonical and thousands in the community who have helped as well. The atmosphere here includes a lot of reminiscing about the early days and re-telling of the funny stories, and there is a palpable excitement in the air about the future. That same excitement was present at a Canonical Cloud Summit in Brussels last week.

The team here is closing in on shipping our first phone, marking a new era in Ubuntu’s history. There has been excellent work recently to close bugs and improve quality, and our partner BQ is as pleased with the results as we are. We are on the home stretch to this milestone, and are still on track to have Ubuntu phones in the market this year. Further, there is an impressive array of further announcements and phones lined up for 2015.

But of course that’s not all we do – the Ubuntu team and community continue to put out rock solid, high quality Ubuntu desktop releases like clockwork – the 21st of which will be released today. And with the same precision, our PC OEM team continues to make that great work available on a pre-installed basis on millions of PCs across hundreds of machine configurations. That’s an unparalleled achievement, and we really have changed the landscape of Linux and open source over the last decade. The impact of Ubuntu can be seen in countless ways – from the individuals, schools, and enterprises who now use Ubuntu; to proliferation of Codes of Conduct in open source communities; to the acceptance of faster (and near continuous) release cycles for operating systems; to the unique company/community collaboration that makes Ubuntu possible; to the vast number of developers who have now grown up with Ubuntu and in an open source world; to the many, many, many technical innovations to come out of Ubuntu, from single-CD installation in years past to the more recent work on image-based updates.

Ubuntu Server also sprang from our early desktop roots, and has now grown into the leading solution for scale out computing. Ubuntu and our suite of cloud products and services is the premier choice for any customer or partner looking to operate at scale, and it is indeed a “scale-out” world. From easy to consume Ubuntu images on public clouds; to managed cloud infrastructure via BootStack; to standard on-premise, self-managed clouds via Ubuntu OpenStack; to instant solutions delivered on any substrate via Juju, we are the leaders in a highly competitive, dynamic space. The agility, reliability and superior execution that have brought us to today’s milestone remains a critical competency for our cloud team. And as we release Ubuntu 14.10 today, which includes the latest OpenStack, new versions of our tooling such as MaaS and Juju, and initial versions of scale-out solutions for big data and Cloud Foundry, we build on a ten year history of “firsts”.

All Ubuntu releases seem to have their own personality, and Utopic is a fitting way to commemorate the realisation of a decade of vision, hard work and collaboration. We are poised on the edge of a very different decade in Canonical’s history, one in which we’ll carry forward the applicable successes and patterns, but will also forge a new path in the twin worlds of converged devices and scale-out computing. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the journey thus far. Now, on to Vivid and the next ten years!

Fedora Day @ DevConf.cz 2015

DevConf.cz is the largest developer conference devoted to Red Hat related technologies (Linux, JBoss, OpenShift, OpenStack,…). This year, there were around 1000 attendees which is a sizable number for a deeply technical conference. Because we were hitting the capacity limits of the venue, we decided to move the event to a different university campus which offers more rooms – FIT BUT. For those who attended GUADEC 2013: it’s the same venue.

The next DevConf.cz will span three days again – February 6-8th. And like this year we’d like to make the last day a Fedora Day. I think the Fedora Day was a success this year. Matthew Miller delivered his FPL’s keynote on Fedora.Next, representatives of working groups spoke about their progress, and there was overall an interesting discussion about the direction Fedora was taking. Not counting Flock, DevConf.cz is a conference with the largest number of Fedora contributors, so why not to use it for discussions, planning, and hacking?

I’m also in talks with the CentOS guys whether they want to join us for the Fedora Day and make it a Fedora & CentOS Day. I think there are quite a few topics the two projects can discuss.

DevConf.cz’s CfP has been on for some time and will be open till Dec 1st. If you have an interesting topic for a talk, workshop, or hackfest, submit it. And even if you don’t, consider attending. I assure you that you will enjoy the conference. You will have a chance to attend a lot of Fedora-related talks and meet many interesting people from the project.

devconf-logo


October 22, 2014

Fedora @ LinuxCon Europe 2014

The 4th edition of LinuxCon Europe took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, last week and Fedora was there again like at the first three editions. It was the first time the Linux Foundation asked us to pay a fee. In the past, we got a booth and 4 passes for free. This time, we had to pay $750 for the booth and 3 tickets (we could get 4, but only 3 people signed up for the booth duty) which I think is still a good deal because the standard ticket to get to the event is $600. And I also think it’s an amount that is worth paying to have Fedora at the event.

LinuxCon Europe differs from other Linux and open source conferences. The audience is very different. It’s mostly (upstream) developers, devops, an consultants. So you’re not “selling” Fedora to average users who have little or zero experience with Linux. At LinuxCon, you’re selling it to very experienced users. One would say you don’t have to introduce Fedora to such users. But the opposite is true. Not many people can keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry and know about everything that is going on in the world of Linux. And if we want more corporate users of Fedora, and perhaps corporate contributors eventually, we need to promote Fedora to them.

People were more interested in Fedora Server which is different from most events where people are mostly interested in Workstation, but it’s not surprising considering the audience. It really helps to advertise a specialized product because you can clearly say: if you’re interested in server OSes, this is what we have for you and it has these interesting features. That’s why I’m glad we have Fedora Server. From the marketing point of view, it’s much more appealing to have a solution (server product) than just a lego to build it. Quite a few people were interested in Fedora as a future of enterprise Linux because what they work with and care about is Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

We had two demo computers at the booth. One was showcasing Fedora Workstation with GNOME on Wayland and the other one had Fedora Server running with Cockpit, so that people could check out one of the main features of Fedora 21 Server. We also had a plenty of swag (stickers, case badges, badges, DVDs, fliers,…). A lot of Fedora users stopped by to grab a sticker for their computer. Some of them use Fedora on servers or cloud in production, some use it on developer machines.

LinuxCon is also great for networking. You can meet people from all kind of open source projects, from companies where they use Linux heavily, you can learn how they use it, what their needs and expectations are etc. We were lucky that our booth was on a very visible place and Fedora was the only community distribution which had a booth there. So we were getting quite a lot of people at the booth and I brought a handful of business cards of interesting contacts.

I would like to thank the Fedora Project for paying the booth fee and covering lodging for me. I’d also like to thank Christoph Wickert for doing the booth duty with me and Felix Kaechele for not only doing the booth duty, but also for being a local organizer (accommodation, driving, contact for shipping, evening program,…).

Hope to see you at LinuxCon Europe 2015. Where? It hasn’t been announced yet AFAIK.

Our booth (©Linux Foundation)


October 17, 2014

The Free Software Foundation opens nominations for the 17th annual Free Software Awards

Award for the Advancement of Free Software

The Free Software Foundation Award for the Advancement of Free Software is presented annually by FSF president Richard Stallman to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.

Individuals who describe their projects as "open" instead of "free" are eligible nonetheless, provided the software is in fact free/libre.

Last year, Matthew Garrett was recognized with the Award for the Advancement of Free Software for his work to keep "Secure Boot" free software compatible, as well as his other work to make sure that so-called security measures do not come at the expense of user freedom. Garrett joined a prestigious list of previous winners including Dr. Fernando Perez, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Rob Savoye, John Gilmore, Wietse Venema, Harald Welte, Ted Ts'o, Andrew Tridgell, Theo de Raadt, Alan Cox, Larry Lessig, Guido van Rossum, Brian Paul, Miguel de Icaza, and Larry Wall.

Award for Projects of Social Benefit

Nominations are also open for the 2014 Award for Projects of Social Benefit.

The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to the project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life.

We look to recognize projects or teams that encourage people to cooperate in freedom to accomplish social tasks. A long-term commitment to one's project (or the potential for a long-term commitment) is crucial to this end.

This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity. We have deliberately chosen this broad criterion so that many different areas of activity can be considered. However, one area that is not included is that of free software itself. Projects with a primary goal of promoting or advancing free software are not eligible for this award (we honor individuals working on those projects with our annual Award for the Advancement of Free Software).

We will consider any project or team that uses free software or its philosophy to address a goal important to society. To qualify, a project must use free software, produce free documentation, or use the idea of free software as defined in the Free Software Definition. Projects that promote or depend on the use of non-free software are not eligible for this award. Commercial projects are not excluded, but commercial success is not our scale for judging projects.

Last year, the GNOME Foundation's Outreach Program for Women (OPW) received the award, in recognition of its work to involve women (cis and trans) and genderqueer people in free software development. OPW's work benefits society more broadly, addressing gender discrimination by empowering women to develop leadership and development skills in a society which runs on technology. OPW does this critical work using the ideals and collaborative culture of the free software movement.

Other previous winners have included OpenMRS, GNU Health, Tor, the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Groklaw, the Sahana project, and Wikipedia.

Eligibility

In the case of both awards, previous winners are not eligible for nomination, but renomination of other previous nominees is encouraged. Only individuals are eligible for nomination for the Advancement of Free Software Award (not projects), and only projects can be nominated for the Social Benefit Award (not individuals). For a list of previous winners, please visit https://www.fsf.org/awards.

Current FSF staff and board members, as well as award committee members, are not eligible.

The tentative award committee members are: Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Matthew Garrett, Rob Savoye, Wietse Venema, Richard Stallman, Suresh Ramasubramanian, Vernor Vinge, Hong Feng, Fernanda G. Weiden, Harald Welte, Vernor Vinge, Jonas Oberg, and Yukihiro Matsumoto.

Instructions

After reviewing the eligibility rules above, please send your nominations to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , on or before Sunday, November 16th, 2014 at 23:59 UTC. Please submit nominations in the following format:

  • In the email message subject line, either put the name of the person you are nominating for the Award for Advancement of Free Software, or put the name of the project for the Award for Projects of Social Benefit.

  • Please include, in the body of your message, an explanation (forty lines or less) of the work done and why you think it is especially important to the advancement of software freedom or how it benefits society, respectively.

  • Please state, in the body of your message, where to find the materials (e.g., software, manuals, or writing) which your nomination is based on.

Information about the previous awards can be found at https://www.fsf.org/awards. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the LibrePlanet conference, March 21-22 2015, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

Libby Reinish
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

October 16, 2014

Ubuntu Security Update on Poodle (CVE-2014-3566) and SSLv3 Downgrade Attack

The following is an update on Ubuntu’s response to the latest Internet emergency security issue, POODLE (CVE-2014-3566), in combination with an
SSLv3 downgrade vulnerability.

Vulnerability Summary

“SSL 3.0 is an obsolete and insecure protocol. While for most practical purposes it has been replaced by its successors TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1, and TLS 1.2, many TLS implementations remain backwards­ compatible with SSL 3.0 to interoperate with legacy systems in the interest of a smooth user experience. The protocol handshake provides for authenticated version negotiation, so normally the latest protocol version common to the client and the server will be used.” -https://www.openssl.org/~bodo/ssl-poodle.pdf

A vulnerability was discovered that affects the protocol negotiation between browsers and HTTP servers, where a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacker is able trigger a protocol downgrade (ie, force downgrade to SSLv3, CVE to be assigned).  Additionally, a new attack was discovered against the CBC block cipher used in SSLv3 (POODLE, CVE-2014-3566).  Because of this new weakness in the CBC block cipher and the known weaknesses in the RC4 stream cipher (both used with SSLv3), attackers who successfully downgrade the victim’s connection to SSLv3 can now exploit the weaknesses of these ciphers to ascertain the plaintext of portions of the connection through brute force attacks.  For example, an attacker who is able to manipulate the encrypted connection is able to steal HTTP cookies.  Note, the protocol downgrade vulnerability exists in web browsers and is not implemented in the ssl libraries.  Therefore, the downgrade attack is currently known to exist only for HTTP.

OpenSSL will be updated to guard against illegal protocol negotiation downgrades (TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV).  When the server and client are updated to use TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV, the protocol cannot be downgraded to below the highest protocol that is supported between the two (so if the client and the server both support TLS 1.2, SSLv3 cannot be used even if the server offers SSLv3).

The recommended course of action is ultimately for sites to disable SSLv3 on their servers, and for browsers to disable SSLv3 by default since the SSLv3 protocol is known to be broken.  However, it will take time for sites to disable SSLv3, and some sites will choose not to, in order to support legacy browsers (eg, IE6).  As a result, immediately disabling SSLv3 in Ubuntu in the openssl libraries, in servers or in browsers, will break sites that still rely on SSLv3.

Ubuntu’s Response:

Unfortunately, this issue cannot be addressed in a single USN because this is a vulnerability in a protocol, and the Internet must respond accordingly (ie SSLv3 must be disabled everywhere).  Ubuntu’s response provides a path forward to transition users towards safe defaults:

  • Add TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV to openssl in a USN:  In progress, upstream openssl is bundling this patch with other fixes that we will incorporate
  • Follow Google’s lead regarding chromium and chromium content api (as used in oxide):
    • Add TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV support to chromium and oxide:  Done – Added by Google months ago.
    • Disable fallback to SSLv3 in next major version:  In Progress
    • Disable SSLv3 in future version:  In Progress
  • Follow Mozilla’s lead regarding Mozilla products:
    • Disable SSLv3 by default in Firefox 34:  In Progress – due Nov 25
    • Add TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV support in Firefox 35:  In Progress

Ubuntu currently will not:

  • Disable SSLv3 in the OpenSSL libraries at this time, so as not to break compatibility where it is needed
  • Disable SSLv3 in Apache, nginx, etc, so as not to break compatibility where it is needed
  • Preempt Google’s and Mozilla’s plans.  The timing of their response is critical to giving sites an opportunity to migrate away from SSLv3 to minimize regressions

For more information on Ubuntu security notices that affect the current supported releases of Ubuntu, or to report a security vulnerability in an Ubuntu package, please visit http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/.

 

October 15, 2014

POODLE SSL 3.0 Vulnerability

Yesterday, Google published the discovery of an SSL 3.0 vulnerability named “POODLE.” This vulnerability allows an attacker to decrypt transferred data and successfully read plain text. While many browsers support newer, more secure protocols, an attacker can create connectivity issues, causing the browser to fall-back to the vulnerable SSL 3.0 protocol.

Is Linode Infrastructure Vulnerable?

We have disabled SSL 3.0 on our web servers, NodeBalancers, and the rest of our infrastructure. Quick execution from our Security Team has protected our infrastructure from this vulnerability.

Am I Vulnerable?

If your Internet-facing Linode allows for encrypted connections you will need to make sure that SSL 3.0 is completely disabled. This doesn’t mean that a stronger protocol such as TLS is offered first but rather that SSL 3.0 should not be an option at all. You can check if you’re vulnerable and how to disable SSL 3.0 using our guide: Disabling SSLv3 for POODLE.

October 13, 2014

CloudOpen 2014 – Mixing Your Open Source Cloud Cocktail

Here’s the presentation I gave at the Linux Foundation’s CloudOpen in Dusseldorf on October 13, 2014 titled Mixing Your Open Source Cloud Cocktail

Add two parts virtualization, one part orchestration add a little networking shake and pour. Unfortunately cloud computing isn’t that easy but then again not all clouds are the same and tastes may vary. This talk will discuss how the varying open source technologies like OpenStack, Docker, LXC and others can be mixed together to make something that appeals to the needs of a wide variety of users. There’s also no problem in abstaining from building your own cloud but still benefiting from the open source tooling to maximize the benefits of the public cloud.

 

September 30, 2014

Oracle Linux ships MariaDB

I can’t remember why I was installing Oracle Enterprise Linux 7 on Oracle VirtualBox a while back, but I did notice something interesting. It ships, just like CentOS 7, MariaDB Server 5.5. Presumably, this means that MariaDB is now supported by Oracle, too ;-) [jokes aside, It’s likely because OEL7 is meant to be 100% compatible to RHEL7]

OEL7__Running_

The only reason I mention this now is Vadim Tkachenko, probably got his most retweeted tweet recently, stating just that. If you want to upgrade to MariaDB 10, don’t forget that the repository download tool provides CentOS 7 binaries, which should “just work”.

If you want to switch to MySQL, there is a Public Yum repository that MySQL provides (and also don’t forget to check the Extras directory of the full installation – from OEL7 docs sub-titled: MySQL Community and MariaDB Packages). Be sure to read the MySQL docs about using the Yum repository. I also just noticed that the docs now have information on replacing a third-party distribution of MySQL using the MySQL yum repository.

Linode Managed is even better than before!

Linode Managed is getting even better. With 24/7/365 incident response, backups, Longview Pro, application tuning and architecture advice, it’s already a great value. Now, three more upgrades, exclusive to Linode Managed customers, make it a better value than before:

  1. Linode Managed now includes free cPanel & WHM.
  2. Linode Managed now includes free site migrations.
  3. Linode Managed now includes a discounted rate on Professional Services.

Free cPanel

cPanel & WHM, the world’s most popular control panel for managing websites, is now free to Linode Managed customers. Our team of experts will even install it for you.

Free Site Migrations

As a Linode Managed customer, you are entitled to free site migrations by Linode’s expert team.

Discounted Rate on Professional Services

This past August, we launched Professional Services: a team of experts that can handle installations, configurations, architectures, deployments, one-off sysadmin jobs, and site migrations — literally dozens of technologies to solve almost any infrastructure problem you may encounter. As a Linode Managed customer, you can engage this team of experts at 20% off the normal rate – should you need such assistance.

For more information, give us a call, send us an email or open a ticket.

As always… Enjoy!

September 20, 2014

Happy Software Freedom Day 2014

Another year and another celebration! It has been eleven years now that we are celebrating Software Freedom worldwide and thanks to the many teams around the world (which not all appear on the map, check the wiki to be sure), our sponsors and partners of which Google, Canonical, Linode, the Free Software Foundation have been supporting us for many years and hopefully many years to come, as well as Lulzbot, our newest supporter.

For those of you not familiar with, or doubtful about Free and Open Source Software, this is the day to go and check at any event nearby what are the latest developments and if your problem could not simply be resolved by using Free and Open Source Software. It is also the day to understand better what Free and Open Source Software is about, and why it has been created. Because beyond solving computational problems Free and Open Source Software is here to put you back in control of your computer, and let you understand what your machine is really doing! So wait no more and head toward a celebration nearby!

Happy Software Freedom Day!

September 18, 2014

TL;DW for Clojure Data Science

Edmund Jackson talked at the 2012 Clojure/Conj, and you can see his talk here.

I took these notes as I watched it:
  1. What is "data science"?
    1. "That realm of endeavor that requires, simultaneously, advanced computational and statistical methods."
    2. Some people aren't sure whether "data science" is a thing, or just data analysis dressed up with a fancy name. That question amuses me.
  2. What's new, such that everybody suddenly cares about data science?
    1. widely available computing resources, open source tools such as R, and large amounts of data available in private companies and in public
    2. Compares to early days of Linux, when there was a bunch of new stuff that everybody could hack on
  3. Interactive tools aren't enough; you're not taking some data, analyzing it, and coming back with the answer. You need platform features like native language speed, data structures, language constructs, connectivity, and QC in order to embed your analysis in business processes.
  4. The tools with better analysis features (e.g., R, Mathematica) lack the platform features, and the tools with better platform features (he focuses primarily on C++ as his example here) lack the analysis features.
  5. Python is in the sweet spot, with platform features and (via numpy, scipy, and pandas) analysis features. But:
    1. It's full of mutable data!
    2. The mode of expression in imperative languages poorly matches the content of expression when you're dealing with maths.
  6. F#, Scala, and Clojure are all functional, and therefore (immutable data, more natural expression of maths) better alternatives than Python.
  7. Clojure yay! points:
    1. Native: Incanter, Storm, Cascalog, Datomic
    2. JVM: Mahout (ML on Hadoop), jBLAS, Weka (Java lib with many ML algorithms)
    3. Interop: Rincanter (call out to R), JNI
  8. From here he goes into calculating the entropy of a distribution, and the relative entropy of different distributions.
  9. Demonstrates using relative entropy fns in Datomic queries

September 11, 2014

Mozilla Webmaker at Olivarez College Tagaytay a success

2014-09-05 09.48.21

The Mozilla webmaker party at Olivarez College Tagaytay is a success last September 5, 2014. Which was attended by different department from Olivarez College Tagaytay at Computer Laboratory 2.  Since they only have 20 system units on their laboratory they created a two batches of participants, one in the morning and the other is in the afternoon. The event discussion is about Introduction Mozilla which was discuss by Me, The second lecturer discussed and demo “Thimble” by Mr. Ian Mark Martin and lastly Mr. Leo Caisip which  discussed  about “Popcorn Maker“, Both  attended the Mozilla PH orientation for web maker mentor last August 16, 2014  at Mozilla Community Space Manila. The event ended at exactly 4:00pm as mostly in afternoon participated by the nursing department.

DSC_2881

2014-09-11 12.59.54

We also distributed some Mozilla Swag (Bollard, Mozilla Sticker, Mozilla Tatoos and Mozilla Pins) for participants after the event. As part of the successfull event, based on their survey they are requesting for another event semilar to this.  but internet on the school is not that stable during that day but still we managed to make the event successfull.

 

DSC_2859

Pictures can be found here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/83515207@N04/sets/72157646987948838/

September 04, 2014

TL;DW for "How To Design A Good API and Why it Matters"

Josh Bloch's Google Tech Talk video How To Design A Good API and Why it Matters is about an hour long, and well worth your time. It's focused on OOP, but has lots of good principles that can be followed elsewhere.

In case you don't have an hour right now, here's a summary/index kind of thing that points out the bits I thought were most important.
  1. 6:27: Characteristics of a good API:
    1. Easy to learn
    2. Easy to use, even without documentation
    3. Hard to misuse
    4. Easy to read and maintain code that uses it
    5. Sufficiently powerful to satisfy requirements
    6. Easy to evolve
    7. Appropriate to audience
  2. 7:52: Gather requirements, but differentiate between true requirements (which should take the form of use cases) and proposed solutions.
  3. 10:02: Start with a short spec; one page is ideal.
    1. Agility trumps completeness at this point.
    2. Get as many spec reviews from as many audiences as possible, modify according to feedback.
    3. Flesh the spec out as you gain confidence.
  4. 15:10: Write to your API early and often
    1. Start writing to your API before you've implemented it, or even specified it properly.
    2. Continue writing to your API as you flesh it out.
    3. Your code will live on in examples and unit tests.
  5. 17:32: Write to SPI [Service Provider Interface]
    1. Write at least three plugins before your release.
    2. Application in Clojure-land: Not sure...
  6. 19:35: Maintain realistic expectations.
    1. You won't please everyone.
    2. Aim to displease everyone equally.
    3. Expect to make mistakes and evolve the API in the future.
  7. 22:01: API should do one thing and do it well.
    1. Functionality should be easy to explain.
    2. If it's hard to name, that's a bad sign.
      1. Example of bad name that I can't leave out of this summary: OMGVMCID
  8. 24:32: API should be as small as possible but no smaller
    1. "When in doubt, leave it out." You can always add stuff, but you can't ever remove anything you've included. (The speaker calls this out as his most important point.)
  9. 26:27: Implementation should not impact API.
    1. Do not over-specify. For example, nobody needs to know how your hash function works, unless the hashes are persistent.
    2. Don't leak implementation details such as SQL exceptions!
  10. 29:36: Minimize accessibility of everything.
    1. Don't let API callers see stuff you don't want to be public, and that includes anything you might want to change in the future.
  11. 30:39: Names matter: API is a little language.
    1. Make names self-explanatory.
    2. Be consistent.
    3. Strive for symmetry. (If you can GET a monkey-uncle, make sure you can PUT a monkey-uncle, too.)
  12. 32:32: Documentation matters.
    1. Document parameter units! ("Length of banana in centimeters")
  13. 35:41: Consider performance consequences of API design decisions.
    1. Bad decisions can limit performance -- and this is permanent.
    2. Do not warp your API to gain performance -- the slow thing you avoided can be fixed and get faster, but your warped API will be permanent.
    3. Good design usually coincides with good performance.
  14. 40:00: Minimize mutability
    1. Make everything immutable unless there's a reason to do otherwise.
  15. 45:31: Don't make the caller do anything your code should do.
    1. If there are common use cases that require stringing a bunch of your stuff together in a boilerplate way, that's a bad sign.
  16. 48:36: Don't violate the principle of least astonishment
    1. Make sure your API callers are never surprised by what the API does.
  17. 50:03: Report errors as soon as possible after they occur.
  18. 52:00: Provide programmatic access to all data that is available in string form.
    1. Rich Hickey makes a similar point here.
  19. 56:15: Use consistent parameter ordering across methods.
    1. Here's a bad example:
      1. char *strncpy (char *dst, char *src, size_t n);
      2. void bcopy (void *src, void *dst, size_t n);
  20. 57:15: Avoid long parameter lists.
  21. 58:21: Avoid return values that demand exceptional processing.
    1. Example: return an empty list instead of nil/null.

September 03, 2014

Celebrate Software Freedom Day on September 20

200teamsI am very glad to share with you that registration of the eleventh edition of Software Freedom Day has been opened since early August and you can see from our SFD event map, we already have 129 events from more than 50 countries shown in our map. As usual registration happens after you have created your event page on the wiki. We have a detail guide here for newcomers and for the others who need help, the SFD-Discuss mailing would be the best place to get prompt support.

Don’t forget to tell people about SFD! Simply use one of the banners we’ve made if you are organizing, participating, attending or speaking at a SFD event by placing it on your webpages and link it back to your SFD event page or http://www.softwarefreedomday.org. You can also help us to promote SFD by placing our SFD counter with your own language as well!

So get ready to celebrate and happy preparations to all!
Celebrate SFD with us on September 20, 2014!

August 27, 2014

Preso: Things I Learned about Open Source…The Hard Way

My presentation at the Bay Area Open Source Meet-Up – OS in Big Organizations: Failures, Success Stories & Best Practices on August 13, 2014.

Mark Hinkle runs the Citrix Open Source Business Office and has spent 20 years working with open source communities and delivering open source software. Topics covered in this presentation will include the benefit of his mistakes and successes both in evaluating open source ad an end-user and in delivering enterprise solutions based on open source software.

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August 22, 2014

GNU hackers unmask massive HACIENDA surveillance program and design a countermeasure

After making key discoveries about the details of HACIENDA, Julian Kirsch, Dr. Christian Grothoff, Jacob Appelbaum, and Dr. Holger Kenn designed the TCP Stealth system to protect unadvertised servers from port scanning.

According to Heise Online, the intelligence agencies of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are involved in HACIENDA. The agencies share the data they collect. The HACIENDA system also hijacks civilian computers, allowing it to leach computing resources and cover its tracks.

Some of the creators of TCP Stealth are also prominent contributors to the GNU Project, a major facet of the free software community and a hub for political and technological action against bulk surveillance. Free software is safer because it is very hard to hide malicious code in a program anyone can read. In proprietary software, there is no way to guarantee that programs don't hide backdoors and other vulnerabilities. The team revealed their work on August 15, 2014 at the annual GNU Hackers' Meeting in Germany, and Julian Kirsch published about it in his master's degree thesis.

Maintainers of Parabola, an FSF-endorsed GNU/Linux distribution, have already implemented TCP Stealth, making Parabola users safer from surveillance. The FSF encourages other operating systems to follow Parabola's lead.

The Free Software Foundation supports and sponsors the GNU Project. FSF campaigns manager Zak Rogoff said, "Every time you use a free software program, you benefit from the work of free software developers inspired by the values of transparency and bottom-up collaboration. But on occassions like these, when our civil liberties are threatened with technological tools, the deep importance of these values becomes obvious. The FSF is proud to support the free software community in its contributions to the resistance against bulk surveillance."

The Free Software Foundation works politically for an end to mass surveillance. Simultaneously, the Foundation advocates for individuals of all technical skill levels to take a variety of actions against bulk surveillance.

About Julian Kirsch, Christian Grothoff, Jacob Appelbaum, and Holger Kenn

Julian Kirsch is the author of "Improved Kernel-Based Port-Knocking in Linux", his Master's Thesis in Informatics at Technische Universitat Munchen.

Dr. Christian Grothoff is the Emmy-Noether research group leader in Computer Science at Technische Universitat Munchen.

Jacob Appelbaum is an American independent computer security researcher and hacker. He was employed by the University of Washington, and is a core member of the Tor project, a free software network designed to provide online anonymity.

Dr. Holger Kenn is a computer scientist specializing in wearable computing, especially software architectures, context sensor systems, human machine interfaces, and wearable-mediated human robot cooperation.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

About the GNU Operating System and Linux

Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom. See https://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.

In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.

Media Contacts

Zak Rogoff
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1-617-542-5942
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

"Knocking down the HACIENDA" by Julian Kirsch, produced by GNU, the GNUnet team, and edited on short notice by Carlo von Lynx from #youbroketheinternet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License.

August 13, 2014

SFD Tagaytay 2014 at Olivarez College

I am now again an official organizer for SFD 2014, but this time I will organized the event in Tagaytay City which will be hosted by Olivarez College in Tagaytay. The said event is scheduled on September 27, 2014.

SFD2014

The venue is on their “AMPITHEATER” where it can hold more than 500 participants. Here are some pictures of the exact venue.

cpdc-20140804131542221  cpdc-20140804131124356We also launch the online registration feel free to register using the this URL : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/software-freedom-day-2014-at-olivarez-college-tagaytay-tickets-12455543867

August 12, 2014

websites on this server

SFD 2014 Registration is on!

With a bit of delay, the Digital Freedom Foundation is very happy to announce that registration of the eleventh edition of Software Freedom Day opened early August. This year we are unfortunately unable to ship any goodies for the pre-registered teams: as we have mentioned before, our involvment with the Cambodian system of education required us to relocate. Being happy owners of a few special animals (CITES-II listed species) we would not have moved without them. This took us about 3-4 months to make it happen and we arrived in Phnom Penh end of May. We then had to look for a place to live, get our furnitures out of the customs and a member of our team got hospitalized for ten days in July. With all this, identifying new suppliers for the schwag just could not happen. Nevertheless, SFD teams have been very patient and nice with us and hopefully SFD 2014 will not be too much impacted by this.

So as usual registration happens after you have created your event page on the wiki. We have an exhaustive guide here for newcomers and for the others who need help, the SFD-Discuss mailing is probably the best place to get prompt support. We will come back with more details regarding sponsors, things to do or worth mentioning to bring inspiration and motivation to the celebration.

So get ready to celebrate and happy preparations to all!

July 18, 2014

An invisible part of the Free Software Foundation Europe

In all organisations you have people, who do crucial work which is invisible to the public. But without them, the organisation would not function. In the FSFE, one of this people who takes care of a lot of invisible tasks is Reinhard Müller. After maintaining FSFE’s website, coordinating FSFE’s translation team, and taking care of our Fellowship database for many years, in 2007 he volunteered to be FSFE’s Financial Officer. With this post I want to offer you an insight into the invisible tasks performed by Reinhard.

Karsten and Reinhard working together Karsten, with FSCONS shirt, and Reinhard, with Mach Dich Frei shirt, working Matthias Kirschner CC BY-SA

July 11, 2014

FSFE’s German speaking team meeting 2014

From 13 – 15 June 2014 FSFE had its German speaking team meeting in the Linuxhotel in Essen. The participants had some problems to travel there because of the chaos resulting from a heavy thunderstorm in the region. A lot of train lines where not functional, and the situation on the streets was also chaotic. But just because no ICE trains stop in Essen does not mean we will not continue our work for Free Software. In the end we were able to bring all volunteers to the Linuxhotel.

The two buildings from Linuxhotel linuxhotel_landschaft Linuxhotel CC BY-SA

June 30, 2014

Scancation - Scanning the Standing Stones of the Outer Hebrides

I just came back from a vacation where Kio and I went and visited most of the megalithic monuments on the islands of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. Stone circles are all over the place on these islands and the biggest one is the Callanish Stone Circle. One of the cool things about these places is that there is very little history known about them and so all you can know about them is from your experience of being around them. Most of them all taller than me and you get the sense that these places were the sacred spaces of 5000 years ago.

One of the things I say a lot at MakerBot is that they really make the most sense when you connect your MakerBot to your passion. Since I'm into rocks. I scanned a few of my favorite stones and ran them through 123D Catch which makes a 3D model from up to 70 photos of the object. It’s pretty cool to think that yesterday I was walking among these stones and today I’m printing them out on the MakerBots in my office. 

It’s interesting to note that this feels a lot like the old days of vacation film photography. The process of processing the photos into a 3D model feels a lot like when I used to develop celluloid film after a vacation.

Someday, printing 3D models will be normal for everyone, for now, it’s just normal for all the MakerBot operators in the world.

If you decide to go on your own scanning vacation, aka scancation, here’s my process and tips for acquiring models. I use a Canon S110 camera and then upload my photos later to the 123D Catch site and then upload all the models and a zip file of all the photos to Thingiverse because the photogrammetry software will get better someday and I want to have an archive of the photos so I can make better models later.

 

  • Lighting conditions matter. A cloudy sky is much better than a sunny one so that you can get all the details of your subject. 
  • Fill the frame, but make sure to leave some area around the object in the picture. 123D Catch uses reference points in the object to make everything fit together. 
  • Use all 70 pictures allowed by the software. The more pictures, the better the scan. 
  • Scan weird things. Sometimes the most iconic stuff of a location isn’t the most obvious. Some friends of mine scanned all of Canal St. in NYC and said the interesting parts were the giant piles of trash bags which are one of the local overlooked pieces of landscape art.
  • Don’t forget the top view. If you are capturing a subject that is tall, do your best to get above it and take a picture. A quadcopter could be handy for that
  • Fix it up with Netfabb. After I upload the photos into the 123D Catch online portal, then I use Netfabb basic to slice off all the weird parts and cut a flat bottom onto the object.
  • Make sure to upload your scans to Thingiverse. We can all make models of your SCANCATION. 

 

Do you have any other scanning tips for those that would like to experiment with vacation scanning? Leave them in the comments!

June 23, 2014

A country list - good for all

If you are a web developer, pc software programmer, app developer, Linux distro packager you have probably heard many complaints from your users about you list of countries and country codes. Most of the complaints come from people not finding their country on the list. For example, Europe has changed a lot in the last two decades. Countries have dissolved and new ones were created. There are changes in Asia, Africa and in South America. The sad fact is that many web sites still list Yugoslavia in their list of countries.

June 22, 2014

the meaning of a word

i learned the word "feminist" at my first job. I was 15 and a trainee engineer in a hydro power scheme. I recall one young man I worked with asking me urgently if i was a feminist. I asked what that was. he said, "women who hate men". oh.. i'm not one of them....

why would i get a job as the only woman deep in a power station if i hated men? It was a long long time before i heard any other definition of feminist.

June 20, 2014

Launceston June Meeting

G'day all

For this month's Launceston meeting, Phil will be giving us an introduction to NAS4Free, a BSD licenced fork/continuation of FreeNAS.

2:00pm
Saturday 28th June
Royal Oak
Launceston


As usual, some of us will be meeting for lunch beforehand at 1:00pm.

Hope to see you there!

Google Maps Link

NAS4Free Website
-----
Gov Hack 2014: June 11-13th (Hobart venue)
OpenStack 4th Birthday: June 17th (RSVP here: http://taslug-openstack.eventbrite.com.au/ )
Next Launceston meeting: 2:00pm July 26th (Topic TBC)

June 11, 2014

Hobart meeting - June 19th - (The aptosid fullstory)

Welcome to June. Yep. short days... stout beers. And source. LOTS OF SOURCE! I'm in the
middle of my exam session at uni so won't have time to prepare the usual slides and news
this month.

When: Thursday, June 19th, 18:00 for an 18:30 start
Where: Upstairs, Hotel Soho, 124 Davey St, Hobart.

Agenda:

18:00 - early mingle, chin wagging, discussion and install issues etc

19:00 - Trevor Walkley - aptosid fullstory


    This months talk will be given by Trevor Walkley, an aptosid
    dev,(bluewater on IRC), on building an iso using aptosid fullstory
    scripts which are currently held on github (and the 'how to do it' is
    not well known).

    A live build will take place (hopefully debian sid will cooperate on the
    night) followed by a live installation of the build to the famous milk
    crate computer belonging Scott, (faulteh on IRC).

20:00 - Meeting end. Dinner and drinks are available at the venue during the meeting.

We will probably get to a discussion on the Hobart LCA 2017 bid, ideas for upcoming
Software Freedom Day in September, Committee nomination and voting,
so our pre-talk discussion should be packed full of jam.

Also in June:
28th - Launceston meeting
July:
11-13th - Gov Hack 2014 - There's at least a Hobart venue for this event.
17th - OpenStack 4th Birthday - RSVP here: http://taslug-openstack.eventbrite.com.au/
September:
20th - Software Freedom Day - events in Hobart and Launceston

June 10, 2014

Integrate ToDo.txt into Claws Mail

I use Claws Mail for many years now. I like to call it “the mutt mail client for people who prefer a graphical user interface”. Like Mutt, Claws is really powerful and allows you to adjust it exactly to your needs. During the last year I began to enjoy managing my open tasks with ToDo.txt. A powerful but still simple way to manage your tasks based on text files. This allows me not only to manage my tasks on my computer but also to keep it in sync with my mobile devices. But there is one thing I always missed. Often a task starts with an email conversation and I always wanted to be able to transfer a mail easily to as task in a way, that the task links back to the original mail conversation. Finally I found some time to make it happen and this is the result:

To integrate ToDo.txt into Claws-Mail I wrote the Python program mail2todotxt.py. You need to pass the path to the mail you want to add as parameter. By default the program will create a ToDo.txt task which looks like this:


<task_creation_date> <subject_of_the_mail> <link_to_the_mail>

Additionally you can call the program with the parameter “-i” to switch to the interactive mode. Now the program will ask you for a task description and will use the provided description instead of the mail subject. If you don’t enter a subscription the program will fall back to the mail subject as task description. To use the interactive mode you need to install the Gtk3 Python bindings.

To call this program directly from Claws Mail you need to go to Configuration->Actions and create a action to execute following command:


/path_to_mail2todotxt/mail2todotxt.py -i %f &

Just skip the -i parameter if you always want to use the subject as task description. Now you can execute the program for the selected mail by calling Tools->Actions-><The_name_you_chose_for_the_action>. Additional you can add a short-cut if you wish, e.g. I use “Ctrl-t” to create a new task.

Now that I’m able to transfer a mail to a ToDo.txt item I also want to go back to the mail while looking at my open tasks. Therefore I use the “open” action from Sebastian Heinlein which I extended with an handler to open claws mail links. After you added this action to your ~/.todo.action.d you can start Claws-Mail and jump directly to the referred mail by typing:


t open <task_number_which_referes_to_a_mail>

The original version of the “open” action can be found at Gitorious. The modified version you need to open the Claws-Mail links can be found here.

June 06, 2014

Bodhi 2 FAD

I just came back from the Bodhi 2 FAD in Denver.

I flew from Paris on Saturday 31st morning. Luke, Kevin, Ricky and I started hacking on Sunday morning, the other participants arriving during the day.

The first two days, I started with many small things, as a warm up: packaging in Fedora some of the Bodhi 2 dependencies, escaping raw HTML in forms, adding license headers to all files, fixing some small issues in the update management,...

On Tuesday I implemented the whole release management. This area is particularly lacking in Bodhi 1, but Bodhi 2 should be a big improvement:

  • releng can't create a new release in Bodhi 1 when branching it (i.e when creating it in Git, Koji, PkgDB,...) because we don't use Bodhi right away (we start using it only at Alpha freeze). With Bodhi 2, a release can be created but kept disabled, which fixes this annoyance
  • when a Fedora release reaches end-of-life, we delete it from the Bodhi 1 database, which makes us lose all metrics, and breaks all the URLs to the updates pushed for these old releases. With Bodhi 2, we can now « archive » an old release, so that it doesn't appear in the web UI any more, we can't push updates for it any more, but URLs of old updates will still work.
  • the Release Engineers regularly need to resort to a TurboGears 1 shell to enter some Python code in order to create / modify a release in Bodhi 1. Bodhi 2 now exposes a web API to manage releases, and a command-line tool which uses this API.

Before dinner, I then quickly implemented the file-based creation of updates as needed by « fedpkg update ».

On Wednesday, I started implementing the management of buildroot overrides, tagging the build appropriately in Koji, ... That's not all done though, so I'll try to finish it in the next few days. :-)

We also had some discussions about the mashing process. We haven't decided whether we'd use the koji-mash plugin I wrote, or the more generic « run any command as root » plugin, but now that we have a working staging instance of Koji we should be able to test them and take the decision.

Overall, it was a great event. We made lots of progress, and had tons of fun.

Finally, I'd like to thank Ralph for organizing the event, Kevin for picking me up at the airport on Saturday, Tim for bringing me to the airport on Thursday (at 7am!), and Red Hat for funding my trip.

It was my first FAD, and I loved it. Looking forward to the next one. :-)

May 23, 2014

European Elections: get out and vote!

The European Elections are happening this weekend. In Portugal, they're on Sunday, but my first message goes to all Europeans: go out and vote. You think we're heading in the right direction? Go out and say it. You think we're heading in the wrong direction? Go out and say it. You're not planning to go out and vote because you're fed up with politics and politicians? Well, if you're fed up with the ones you have, go out and vote for others - if you don't, others will choose for yourself, and you'll still be fed up. In summary: there's no reason not to vote.

Vote!

My second message goes towards the Portuguese people. I am not going to tell you how to vote: that's really up to you. You have a life, and your life is deeply impacted by European politics. The countries finances, the money you have on your pocket, even the currency you use, the taxes you pay, the choices you're able to make, the laws you have, the things you do. So, even if you think you're not, you're fully capable of choosing for yourself, and to choose who will better defend your interests. So, with that in mind, I urge you pay attention to the choices that are laid out in front of you. You have sixteen (16!) parties to choose from. Pick one, go out, vote.

These are your options next Sunday:


Aliança Portugal (AP: PSD + CDS-PP)
Bloco de Esquerda (BE)
Coligação Democrática Unitária (CDU: PCP + PEV)
Livre
Movimento Alternativa Socialista (MAS)
Nova Democracia (PND)
Partido Comunista dos Trabalhadores Portugueses (PCTP/MRPP)
Partido da Terra (MPT)
Partido Democrático do Atlântico (PDA)
Partido Nacional Renovador (PNR)
Partido Operário de Unidade Socialista (POUS)
Partido pelos Animais e pela Natureza (PAN)
Partido Popular Monárquico (PPM)
Partido Socialista (PS)
Partido Trabalhista Português (PTP)
Portugal pro Vida (PPV)

I've also made a small summary and comparison text about the position of these parties, if you're interested. I'm sorry it isn't as complete as I wished it to be, but it might be helpful all the same. If you're interested, read it here.

Sunday is a great day: one of those days you can make a difference, where you can speak up and say what do you want in your life, your future. Don't let others decide for you. Vote!

May 07, 2014

gom in Fedora

I've been experimenting with gom, the GObject data mapper recently.

With a lot of help from Bastien Nocera, I eventually managed to get started using it as an experiment for one of my projects.

I have to say I'm quite impressed. Sure, writing GObject code is super verbose, but then managing objects and properties is so much nicer than managing strings full of SQL queries. And I hear the verbosity might be greatly reduced in the near future! :-D

Long story short, I've started building gom packages from Git snapshots in a Copr.

I'll eventually push it to Fedora proper, but I'd rather wait for an actual release. Maybe in time for GNOME 3.14?

In the meantime, if you want to try it out, go grab the packages from the Copr. Gom is under quick development, and now is a great time to test it and ensure it has the features your application needs. For example, I needed boolean properties and columns with a UNIQUE constraint, and both are now possible in master. :-)

Now to play some more with it...

April 23, 2014

U talking to me?

This upstirring undertaking Ubuntu is, as my colleague MPT explains, performance art. Not only must it be art, it must also perform, and that on a deadline. So many thanks and much credit to the teams and individuals who made our most recent release, the Trusty Tahr, into the gem of 14.04 LTS. And after the uproarious ululation and post-release respite, it’s time to open the floodgates to umpteen pent-up changes and begin shaping our next show.

The discipline of an LTS constrains our creativity – our users appreciate the results of a focused effort on performance and stability and maintainability, and we appreciate the spring cleaning that comes with a focus on technical debt. But the point of spring cleaning is to make room for fresh ideas and new art, and our next release has to raise the roof in that regard. And what a spectacular time to be unleashing creativity in Ubuntu. We have the foundations of convergence so beautifully demonstrated by our core apps teams – with examples that shine on phone and tablet and PC. And we have equally interesting innovation landed in the foundational LXC 1.0, the fastest, lightest virtual machines on the planet, born and raised on Ubuntu. With an LTS hot off the press, now is the time to refresh the foundations of the next generation of Linux: faster, smaller, better scaled and better maintained. We’re in a unique position to bring useful change to the ubiquitary Ubuntu developer, that hardy and precise pioneer of frontiers new and potent.

That future Ubuntu developer wants to deliver app updates instantly to users everywhere; we can make that possible. They want to deploy distributed brilliance instantly on all the clouds and all the hardware. We’ll make that possible. They want PAAS and SAAS and an Internet of Things that Don’t Bite, let’s make that possible. If free software is to fulfil its true promise it needs to be useful for people putting precious parts into production, and we’ll stand by our commitment that Ubuntu be the most useful platform for free software developers who carry the responsibilities of Dev and Ops.

It’s a good time to shine a light on umbrageous if understandably imminent undulations in the landscape we love – time to bring systemd to the centre of Ubuntu, time to untwist ourselves from Python 2.x and time to walk a little uphill and, thereby, upstream. Time to purge the ugsome and prune the unusable. We’ve all got our ucky code, and now’s a good time to stand united in favour of the useful over the uncolike and the utile over the uncous. It’s not a time to become unhinged or ultrafidian, just a time for careful review and consideration of business as usual.

So bring your upstanding best to the table – or the forum – or the mailing list – and let’s make something amazing. Something unified and upright, something about which we can be universally proud. And since we’re getting that once-every-two-years chance to make fresh starts and dream unconstrained dreams about what the future should look like, we may as well go all out and give it a dreamlike name. Let’s get going on the utopic unicorn. Give it stick. See you at vUDS.

April 06, 2014

Books and Music in 2013

Another year gone. Just like in years before, here's a recommendation of music and books, from what has been released during the year (in the case of music), and what I've read in 2013 (for books). Note that there are other, great 2013 music releases, that I only got my hands on in 2014, and those aren't on this list. Without further ado:

Books:


* Neal Stephenson - The Mongoliad (Books 2 and 3)
* Iain M. Banks - The Hydrogen Sonata
* Cory Doctorow's fiction - The Rapture of Nerds and Pirate Cinema
* Music - Looking For Europe
* Tech - Videojogos em Portugal

Music:


* Kokori - Release Candid Hate (Vinyl)
* Gvar - Vraii (Cass)
* Charanga - Borda Tu! (CD)
* Dismal - Giostra Di Vapori (CD)
* Mindless Self Indulgence - How I Learned To Stop Giving A Shit And Love Mindless Self Indulgence (CD)

March 28, 2014

Promote OpenClipart on Culture Freedom Day!

As Culture Freedom Day preparation is ongoing we got the chance to meet up with Jon Philips from the Open Clipart Library, a good friend of ours and a strong supporter of our events. Jon kindly authored a video to support us and encourage participants to take a closer look at the Open Clipart Library new website design and functionalities. So without further ado we will let Jon do the presentation and thank him and the Open Clipart team for their support!

So don't forget to use and showcase the Open Clipart Library at your event!

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Digital Freedom International (Aka SFI) is the non-profit organization at the origin of SFD and CFD. DFI handles sponsorship contracts, official team registrations, sending out schwags to teams, the annual Best Event Competition and many other things. Hundreds of teams around the world manage the local celebration and help to send out a global message. So do drop by and attend an SFD and CFD event nearby!

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