Halloween the curse or buggy software?

As explained in a previous post, lots of updates occured especially dealing with rpm. And here we go. We are facing at the moment some nasty issues in installer. The graphical part of the installer is just crashing due to a bug implying glibc and rpm. Both were recently updated.

Work is in progress and the issue was reported upstream. You can follow it here on the bug report. As soon as this bug is fixed, we will be able to release the Mageia 5 beta 1 isos. Stay tuned!

Official mageia docker images available

We now have official docker images for mageia !!

After some weeks working with the docker team we managed to get mageia as an official docker image (the ones that have the blue whale icon). You can find them at the docker hub, and if you want to contribute to them you can go to mageia's docker brew project.

There are three images available:

  • Mageia 3
  • Mageia 4 (latest)
  • cauldron

Currently the cauldron image is outdated (probably more than a month), but I plan to automate the docker image update process so we can have an updated version at least once a week.


How to use these images


You can pull them on the command line (as root):

          # docker pull mageia:latest
          Pulling repository mageia
          147b6e8a8cbd: Download complete 
          511136ea3c5a: Download complete 
          e65cc271e617: Download complete 
          
          # docker start -ti --name mymageia_4 mageia:latest


Or create a Dockerfile file to build your own custom mageia-based image:
FROM mageia:4
MAINTAINER  "Foo Bar" 
CMD [ "bash" ]
All mageia docker images install the following packages:
  • basesystem-minimal
  • urpmi
  • locales
  • locales-en

Please test these images, and if you find any issues or have suggestions don't forget to report them here. Also I'm thinking of adding some other custom images for specific applications and uses, like:

Ready to run server application-oriented containers


We could have several application oriented containers: mariaDB, nginx, wordpress, Apache+php/{cakephp,zend,codeigniter}, Apache+python/{django,codegears,flask}, tomcat preconfigured to use an apache container as front end, etc, the possibilities are endless. All these containers could be linked, packaged and orchestrated using fig for an easier application control and management.

Another example could be FPS game servers (Urban Terror,  OpenArena, Warsow, World of Padman, Smokin' Guns), with their server package, some license-redistributable maps, a web admin panel, mumblebigbrotherbot (already working on a package) and anything else needed to have a kinda of "one click" game server setup. This could be very useful for example, to quickly launch game servers at a LAN party, or to provision game servers at a game hosting company.

Docker for distribution development


At the very least I see a couple of uses for docker within mageia development. First, as a quick and easy way to use iurt for local package building. We could have a custom docker image for package development that comes with a preconfigured iurt binary, package build tools like bm, rpmbuild, rpmlint, mgarepo, etc, all preinstalled, this could be a build/packaging environment with one command:

          # docker pull mageia:devenv
          Pulling image...
          # docker run --rm -ti --name mageia_dev -v /home/juancho/iurt:/opt/iurt/ mageia:devenv iurt SRPMS/foo-1.0-1mga5.src.rpm

That command would launch a docker container using our custom development image, launch iurt to build a source package, leave the binary packages in /home/juancho/iurt/RPMS/{i586,x86_64,noarch} and delete it self when it finishes. This is a clean way to locally build packages in a fresh environment. Remove the --rm parameter if you want to use the container later, for example to work on package version updates:

          # docker run -ti --name mageia_dev -v /home/juancho/.ssh:/home/juancho/.ssh -v /home/juancho/iurt:/opt/iurt/ mageia:devenv bash
       
Also by mapping your .ssh directory to a docker volume, mgarepo can be used within the container.

The other important use for docker within mageia could be to help with QA testing. The reproducible nature of docker makes it very interesting from a QA point of view, the repeatability of tests could be of great help for application testing and bug triaging.

We could teach bug reporters how to create their own images or write their own Dockerfiles with the needed packages and configuration changes to reproduce a bug. The reporter would point QA back to an image that they can download and test (for example, from our own docker repository). The creation of those containers could ease and speed the testing process. As these custom images would be based on our official images, there wouldn't be the need for QA to setup the same test case to reproduce the bug in another environment, the reporter image should be enough for them to test and validate it. In some way, we could be making the bug reporters also contribute the test case.

Docker application containers


What about preconfigured docker containers for software development environments, like images that have Netbeans/Eclipse for python/java/php, git/mercurial/svn/bazaar, any development libs and tools needed depending on the platform, etc, all preinstalled and preconfigured. This could be a good idea as sometimes these tools are difficult to install and update, having these ready to use containers could be cool. Probably it also could be used to package nonfree applications or 32bits applications on x86_64.

I don't know, there are many ideas that come to my mind about stuff that can be done with docker in different areas, like these ones on linux distribution development and such.


Cantor: new features in KDE 4.14

KDE 4.14 was released in August 2014 but I did not have time to write about new features in Cantor for that release.

So, let’s fix it now!

New backend: Lua

Cantor family of backends have a new member: Lua, using luajit implementation.

This backend have a lot of features: syntax highlighting, tab complete, figures in worksheet, script editor, and more.

Cantor + Lua in action

Lua backend was developed by Lucas Negri, a Brazilian guy, and this is a reason for me to be very happy. Welcome aboard Lucas!

You can read more about this backend in a text of Lucas blog.

Use utf8 on LaTeX entries

When you to export the worksheet to LaTeX, utf8 will be used as default. This improvement was developed by Lucas.

Support to packaging extension in Sage and Octave backends

Now these backends have an assistant to import packages/modules/libraries.

Support to auto run scripts

python2_autorun

Auto run scripts/commands in Python 2 backend

Now Python 2, Scilab, Octave, Sage, Maxima, Qalculate, and KAlgebra backends have support to auto run scripts. You can configure a set of scripts or commands and they will run automatically after the worksheet launch!

Add CTRL+Space as alternative default code completion to worksheet

Default code completion command in worksheet is TAB key, but now we have an alternative command too: CTRL + Space. It will maintain consistence between script editor (where the default code completion is CTRL + Space) and worksheet.

Initial support to linear algebra and plot assistants in Python 2

I developed the initial support to 2 amazing plugins in Python 2 backend: the linear algebra plugin and the plot plugin.

First, let’s see the linear algebra plugin. In menu bar go to Linear Algebra > Create Matrix. A window to matrix creation will be open, as below. You must to put the values in the cells.

python3_linearalgebraMatrix creation assistant

After push ‘Ok’ button, the matrix command from numpy  module will be loaded in the worksheet, automatically.

python2_linearalgebra_resultNew matrix created

For now this plugin have implemented just the matrix creation.

Let’s see the plot plugin now. You can use it to create 2D and 3D plot. Let’s to do x = numpy.arange(0.0, 2.0, 0.01) and, in menu bar, go to Graphics > Graphics 2D. The window below will be open.

python2_graphicPloting 2D assistant

You can set some expression to be the Y axis (in this case I am using numpy.sin) and a variable name to X axis (this case, 2 * x * numpy.pi). You could to put just x in variable name to do a plot with the values of x.

After push ‘Ok’ button, the command using pylab will be load in worksheet to make the graphic.

python2_graphic_result3D plotting assistant have a similar way to create the pictures.

How you can see, to use this assistants we need to have some python modules in the workspace, and they must to have the same name used in the plugins. There are a lot of ways to import modules in python environment (import foo; import foo as [anyname]; from foo import *; etc), so to do a generic way to use it is impossible (well, if you have some idea I would like to hear it).

My choice was to import numpy, scipy, matplotlib and pylab when Python 2 backend is loaded by Cantor. Well, I intent to change it because that modules will be mandatory to use Python 2 backend correctly, and pylab is not longer recommended in recent matplotlib version. So, wait for some changes in this plugin soon.

In any case, I would like to hear the opinions of scientific python community about this features.

Future

For now we are working in Cantor port to Qt5/KF5. You can follow the work in ‘frameworks‘ branch on Cantor repository.

Donations

If you use or appreciate my work in Cantor or another free software project, please consider to make a donation for me, then I can to continue my contributions to improve Cantor.

You can consider make a donation to KDE too, and help with the maintenance of this great free software community and their products.

Time time time, see what’s become of me?

As you may or may not know, we are scheduled to release the first beta for Mageia 5 on September 30th. Well… it looks like we’re not going to make it.

Here at Mageia HQ, we try to provide a balance between tried-and-tested software and cutting edge developments. That means that we try to ship Mageia releases with the newest software that we are comfortable using. We take into account all sorts of things, from stability to security and passing through usability on the way.

The practical upshot is that we are planning to release Mageia 5 with the new 4.12 version of RPM. RPM is Mageia’s package manager, that we share with other major distros such as Fedora and openSUSE. This new version brings in a lot of interesting features, so we decided to include it in Cauldron as soon as it was released, so that we can fine tune our usage of it before Mageia 5’s release. The new version was included just before the mass rebuild, an important phase of the release cycle where we rebuild all packages of Mageia 5 to make sure they compile properly against the new development stack.

Technobabble aside, the RPM version update is a good thing. It makes it easier for the packagers to find common errors and fix them, thus allowing for more reliability of our packages. That means that more time can be devoted to adding more packages for you, the user.

The problem is, well… the new RPM version broke some stuff. Not much, just a few packages needed to be rebuilt. Something like 7000 packages (now down to about 2000).
But have no fear! Our development and packagers teams are on it! They just need a little more time. So we are postponing the Mageia 5 Beta 1 release by two weeks. That means October 14th.

Let’s recap: we try to make the best Linux distribution that we can, and sometimes things don’t go according to plan. But we are flexible enough to handle it! So if you were counting down the days to Mageia 5 Beta 1, just move your clock back by 14 days.

And, as always, we welcome volunteers. So if you want to help, have a look here and start contributing today!

Month of KDE Contributor: From LaKademy …

In recent weeks I had an intense “Month of KDE Contributor” that began with LaKademy, the KDE Latin American Summit, and ended with Akademy, the KDE World Summit. It was a month somewhat tiring, hard work, but it was also filled with good stories, great meetings, new contacts, discoveries and, I can say, fun.

This post I will write about LaKademy and the next I will comment about Akademy.

logoazul_menor

The second edition of LaKademy took place in São Paulo, one of the biggest cities of Latin America, in FLOSS Competence Center of University of Sao Paulo, an entire building dedicated to studies and researches on various aspects of free software: licenses, software engineering, metrics extracted from repositories, social aspects of collaboration, and more.

This year I and Aracele were the conference organizers, and I believe that we could provide all the infrastructure necessary to LaKademy attendees had good days of work in a pleasant and comfortable places.

First day we had talks of collaborators, and one that most caught my attention was Rafael Gomes on KDE sysadmin. It’s amazing the size of the infrastructure behind the scenes, a solid base that allows developers to do their jobs. It would be interesting to promote more this type of collaboration to attract potential contributors who prefer this side of computing.

14923088670_415cfc44df_z

This day I presented a talk about Qt in Android, describing the development tools configuration in Linux, presenting a basic Hello World, and commenting on some softwares availables using this technology, specially the VoltAir and GCompris. The presentation is below (in portuguese).

.

Second day we had a short-course about Qt, presented by Sandro Andrade. Impressive his didactic and how he manages to hold our attention for a whole day without getting boring or tiring. This day I was helping the other participants, especially those who were having the first contact with Qt development.

The third and fourth days were devoted to application hacking and projects development. I joined in “task-force” to port Bovo to KF5, I started the development of a metapackage to install all KF5 packages in Mageia, and I started the port of Cantor to KF5. I also fixed some KDE Brazil bots on social networks.

15106702121_ff87d73880_z

Task force to port Bovo to KF5

Fourth day we had a meeting to discuss some initiatives to promote KDE in Latin America, and we started to use Kanboard of KDE TODO to organize the implementation of these projects.

Besides the work we had some moments of relaxation at the event, as when we went to Garoa Hacker Clube, the main hackerspace in São Paulo, an activity we call Konvescote; and also when we all went to Augusta Street, one of the famous bohemian streets in the city.

15086717746_ec5d444223_z

KDE + Garoa

However, as in all events of Free Software and KDE Brazil, the best thing is see old friends again and meet new ones that are coming to the boat. For the novices, welcome and let’s to do a great work! For the veterans, we still have a good road ahead on this idea of writing free software and give back to the world something of beautiful, high quality technical, that respect the user.

KDE Brazil team wrote an excelent post enumerating what the attendees produced during the event. I suggest to all who still want more information to read that text.

I leave my thanks to KDE e.V. for providing this meeting. I hope to see more contributors in next LaKademy!

Month of KDE Contributor: …to Akademy

In recent weeks I had an intense “Month of KDE Contributor” that began with LaKademy, the KDE Latin American Summit, and ended with Akademy, the KDE World Summit. It was a month somewhat tiring, hard work, but it was also filled with good stories, great meetings, new contacts, discoveries and, I can say, fun.

Previous post I wrote about LaKademy and now I will write about Akademy.

LaKademy had ended just one day before and there I was getting a bus to São Paulo again, preparing for a trip that would take about 35 hours to Brno, with an unusual connection in Dubai and a bus from Prague, the Czech Republic capital, to the city of the event.

Arriving at Brno my attention was piqued by the beautiful architecture of this old city of the Eastern Europe, something exotic for Brazilians. During the event I had some time to walking in the city, especially on some nights for dinner and during the Day Trip. I could calmly enjoy the details of several buildings, museums, the castle and the city cathedral.

It was the second Akademy I attended, if you count the Desktop Summit in 2011. This time I am a member of the KDE e.V., the organization behind KDE, so my first task was to attend to General Assembly.

I was fascinated how dozens of contributors from different parts of the world, from different cultures, were there discussing the future of KDE, planning important steps for the project, checking the accounts of the entity, in short, doing a typical task of any association. I was also impressed by the long applause for Cornelius Schumacher, a member of the KDE e.V. Board since 2002 and former president of the association. A way to show gratitude for all work he accomplished in those over 10 years in KDE e.V. Board.

In the end the day we had a reception for participants at Red Hat. I was impressed with the size of the company in the city (three large buildings). We drank some beers of the country and distribute Brazilian cachaça. =)

IMG_20140905_193708

The next day began the talk days. I highlight the keynote of Sascha (I believe he was invited to Akademy after Kévin Ottens have seen him lecture here in Brazil during FISL), and the talk on GCompris, software that I admire because it is a educational suite for children. Unfortunately, one of the lectures that I wanted to see not occurred, that was Cofunding KDE aplications. We were David Faure talking about software ports to KF5, and presentation of KDE groups of India and Taiwan in the end of day.

The second day of talks we had a curious keynote of Cornelius who presented some history of KDE using images of old contributors. The highlights of the day were also the presentations by VDG staff, the group that is doing a amazing design work in Plasma 5, and now they are extending their mouse pointer to KDE applications too. Great!

Another interesting presentation was on Next Generation of Desktop Applications, by Alex Fiestas. He argued that the new generation of software need to combine information from different web sources in order to provide a unique user experience. He used examples of such applications, and I’m very curious to try Jungle, video player that will have these characteristics.

Finally this day had a lecture by Paul Adams, very exciting. He shows that, after investigation in KDE repositories, the degree of contribution among developers decreased with the migration from SVN to GIT, the number of commits decreased too, and more. Paul has interesting work in this area, but for my part I think it is necessary to explain this conclusions using anothers concepts too, because we need to understand if this decreased is necessarily a bad thing. Maybe today are we developers more specialized than before? Maybe is the decrement of commits just a result of code base stabilization in that time? Something not yet concluded in KDE is that we came from a large unified project (including in repository level) to a large community of subprojects (today we are like Apache, maybe). In this scenario, is it worth doing comparisons between what we are today with what we were yesterday, based only on our repositories? Anyway, it is a good point to ponder.

In BoFs days, I participated in the first two parts of the software documentation  BoF – an important and necessary work, and we developers need to give a little more attention to it -; FOSS in Taiwan and KDE Edu in India. Unfortunately I could not attend to packagers BoF (well, I am a packager in Mageia), because it occurred in the same time of Taiwan BoF. Letś try again in next Akademy. =)

I like to see the experiences of users/developers groups in other countries; the management of these activities attracts me, mainly because we can apply either in Brazil. I left this Akademy with the desire to prepare something about Latin America community to the next event. I believe we have much to share with the community about what we’re doing here, our successes and failures, and the contribution of Latin American for the project.

Finally the other days I continued working on the Cantor port to KF5 or I was talking with different developers in the halls of university.

To me it’s very important to participate in Akademy because there I can see the power of free software and its contributors, and how this culture of collaboration brings together different people for development and evolution of free computer programs. Therefore, I would like to thank immensely to KDE e.V. for the opportunity to go to Akademy and I would like to say that I feel very good to be part of this great community that is KDE. =)

The best of all is to see old friends again and meet new people. When that e-mail address gets contours of human face is a very special moment for us who work “so close and so distant”. So it was amazing to be with all of you!

Akademy 2014 Group Photo – giant size here

And to finnish I desire a great job to the new KDE e.V. Board!

Those interested, most of the talks presented with video and slides are available in this link.

Systemd in GNOME 3.14 and beyond

Plan to get rid of ConsoleKit in GNOME 3.14

Before the start of the GNOME 3.14 cycle, Ryan Lortie announced his intention to make most GNOME modules depend on a logind-like API. The API would just implement the bits that are actually used. According to Ryan, most GNOME modules only use a selection of the logind functionality. He wanted to document exactly what we depend on and provide a minimal API. Then we could write a minimal stub implementation for e.g. FreeBSD as we’d know exactly what parts of the API we actually need. The stub would still be minimal; allow GNOME to run, but that’s it.

Not done for GNOME 3.14. Needs urgent help.

As didn’t see the changes being made, I asked Ryan about it during GUADEC. He mentioned he underestimated the complexity in doing this. Further, his interests changed. Result: still have support for ConsoleKit in 3.14, though functionality wise the experience without logind (and similar) is probably getting worse and worse.

Systemd user sessions

In future I see systemd user sessions more or less replacing gnome-session. The most recent discussions on desktop-devel-list indicated something like gnome-session would still stay around, but as those discussions are quite a while ago, this might have changed. We’re doing this as systemd in concept does what gnome-session does anyway, but then better. Further, we could theoretically have one implementation across desktop environments. I see this as the next generation of the various XDG specifications.

Coming across as forcing vs “legacy”

From what I understood, KDE will also make use of user sessions, logind, etc. However, they seem to do this by calling the existing software “legacy” and putting everything into something with a new name. Then eventually things will be broken of course. Within GNOME we often try to make things really clear for everyone. E.g. by using wording usch as “fallback”. It makes clear our focus is elsewhere and what likely will happen. I guess KDE is more positive. It might still work, provided someone spends the effort to make it work. In any case, the messaging done by KDE seems to be very good. I don’t see any backlash, though mostly similar things is occurring between GNOME and KDE. There are a few exceptions, e.g. KWin maintainer explicitly tries to make the logind dependency as avoidable as possible. I find the KDE situation pretty confusing though; it feels uncoordinated.

Edit: At least the user session bit in KDE is undecided. It was talked about and seemingly agreed between two well known KDE people, see here, but still undecided. Same person clarifying this requested that I clarify that I’m not from KDE. I am not from KDE.

Appearance that things work fine “as-is”

In a lot of distributions there is still a lot of hacks to make Display Managers, Window Managers and Desktop Environments work with the various specifications and software written loads of years ago. Various software still does not understand XDG sessions. They also do NOT handle ConsoleKit. Distributions add hacks to make this work, doing the ConsoleKit handling in a wrapper.

This is then often used in discussions around logind and similar software.

“My DM/WM/DE is simple and just works. There is no problem needing to be solved.”

There are various distributions which have as goal to make everything work, no regressions are allowed. If you use such a distribution and given enough manpower, enough hacks will be added which on short term ensures things work. However, those temporary hacks are hacks. E.g. if some software should support XDG sessions and it does not, eventually the problem is with that software.

Looking at various distributions, I see that those temporary hacks are still in place. Especially funny one is Mageia, where XDG session support is second class. The XDG session files are generated from different configuration files. This results in fun times when a XDG session file changes. Each time this happened, the blame is quickly with the upstream software. “Why are they changing their session files, it should just never change”. While the actual problem is that the upstream files are thrown away!

The support for unmaintained software has at various points resulted in preventable bugs in maintained software. While at the same time the maintained software is considered faulty. I find this tendency to blame utterly ridiculous.

Aggressive anti-advocacy

There are many people who have some sort of dislike for systemd. In the QA session Linus had at Debconf, he mentioned he appreciates systemd, but the does NOT like the bughandling. In various other forums I see people really liking systemd, but still having their doubts about the scope of systemd.

When either liking or disliking systemd, it is important to express the reason clearly and in a non-agressive way. Unfortunately there are a few people who limit their dislike in ways that’ll result in them being ignored completely. Examples are:

  • Failure to understand that a blank “you cannot rely on it” statement is not helpful

    If a project sees functionality within systemd that is useful, it is you’ll not get very far with stating that the project is bad for having used that. Or suggesting that there is some conspiracy going on, or that the project maintainer is an idiot. That’s unfortunately often the type of “anti-systemd advocacy” which I see.

  • Failure to provide any realistic alternatives

    Suggesting that systemd-shim is an alternative for logind. It’s a fork and it took 6 months or so to be aligned with latest systemd changes. Further, it’s a fork with as purpose to stay compatible. It’s headed by Ubuntu (Canonical) who are going to use systemd anyway.
    The suggestions are often so strange that I have real difficulty summarizing them.

  • Continuous repeat of non-issues

    E.g. focussing on journald. Disliking e.g. udev or dbus, confusing the personal dislike as a reason everyone should not use systemd.

  • Outright false statements

    E.g. stuff “systemd is made only for desktops”, “all server admins hate it”. If you believe this to be true, suggest to do your homework. That, or staying out of discussions.

  • Suggesting doom and gloom

    According to some of the anti-advocacy, there’s a lot of really bad things in systemd. A few examples: my machine should continuously corrupt the journal files, my machine often doesn’t boot up, etc. As it’s not the case, such a claim pretty much destroys any credibility they might have had with me.

    Anyone trying systemd for the first time will also notice that it’ll just work. Consorting to this type of anti advocacy will just backfire because although systemd is NOT perfect, it does work just fine.

  • Lack of understanding that systemd is providing things which are wanted

    Projects have depended on systemd because it does things which are useful. As a person you might not need it. The other one believes he does need the functionality. Saying “I don’t” is not communication. At least ask why the other believes the functionality is useful!

  • Lack of understanding that systemd is focussed to adding additional wanted functionality

    Systemd often adds new functionality. A large part of that functionality might have been available before in a different way. It’s something which most people seem to worry about. It’s usually added as a response to some demand/need. Having a project listen to everyones needs is awesome!

  • Personal insults

    This I find interesting. The insults are not just limited to e.g. Lennart, the insults are to anyone who switched to systemd. A strategy to of having people use something other than systemd by insulting them is a very bad strategy to have. Especially if you lack any credibility with the very people you need and whom you are insulting.

  • Failure to properly articulate the dislikes

    There are too many blank statements which apparently has to be taken as truths. Saying that something is just bad (udev, dbus, etc) will be ignored if the other person doesn’t see it as a problem. “That systemd uses this greatly used component is one of the reasons not to use it”. Such a statement is not logical.

  • The huge issues aren’t

    Binary logging by journald. Anti-advocacy turns this into one of the biggest problems. The immediate answer by anyone is going to be that you can still have syslog and log it as you do now. If you advocated this as a huge issue, then anyone trying to decide on systemd will quickly see that this huge issue is not an issue at all.
    The attempt is to make people not use systemd. In practice, if the huge issues aren’t an issue, then the anti advocacy is actually helpful to the adoption. The biggest so called problems are easy, so anyone quickly gains confidence in systemd. Not what was intended!

  • Outright trolling

    For this I usually just troll back :-P

What I suggest to anyone disliking systemd is to not make entire lists of easily dismissed arguments. Keep it simple (one is enough IMO), understandable but also in line with the people you’re talking to. Understand whom you’re talking to. Anything technical can often be sorted out or fixed, suggest not to focus on that.

Once the reason against is clearly explained, focus upon what can be done to change things. Here the focus should be on gaining trust and give an idea on what can be done (in a positive way).

Don’t ignore people who dislike systemd

Due to having seen the same arguments for at least 100 times, it’s easy to quickly start ignoring anyone who doesn’t like systemd. I’ve noticed someone saying on Google+ that the systemd should not be used because Lennart is a brat. Eventually enough is enough and it is time to tell these people to STFU. But that’s not according to one part of the GNOME Code of Conduct, “assume people mean well”. Not believing in people meaning well and ignoring it has bitten me various times.

Turns out, this person is concerned that his autofs mounted home directories won’t be supported some time in the future. So this person does follow what Lennart writes. While it appeared to me he’s just someone repeating the anti-advocacy bit, he has a valid concern. I still think it is unacceptable to call people names and said so, but it
is equally important to ensure things are still possible.

Can a “not supported” still be made to work?

Systemd developers are quick to point out that something is not supported. E.g. a kernel other than Linux. A libc other than glibc. Some use cases are not. But there’s a important thing to know: would the usecase be impossible, or would it take way more effort?

The type of effort is also important. For a different kernel/libc, you’d need a developer with good insight into these things. For others, it might be possible by customizing things. I assume the autofs homedirs will always be possible, just not always taken into account.

If it is not supported but can be used anyway if you’re an “ok” sysadmin, that’ll mean for most people it’ll be possible. A “not supported by systemd” does therefore not 1 on 1 relate to impossible. If you want a different libc but you’re are a sysadmin and not a developer that’s quickly seen as impossible. While another “not supported” is actually perfectly possible.

IMO it is good that not everything is supported. Ensure that whatever is supported works really well. But at the same time, I think more focus should be on ensuring people do understand that a “not supported” does not mean “cannot work”.

My opinion on systemd as a release team member

I like *BSD. I like avoiding unneeded differences, this easies portability.

There are some interesting tidbits I’ve learned. Apparently OpenBSD has a GSoC student working on providing alternative implementations for hostnamed, timedated, localed and logind. I don’t think it’s enough, because it needs to be maintained fully. I further think that a logind alternative cannot be written together with the other bits during just a summer. Whatever it is, I think this will make it even easier to use systemd. This is not what some of the anti-advocacy is intending to happen. Oh well.

There seems to be another round of (temporary) increase of people disliking systemd. I’m pretty sure it’ll quiet down to normal levels again once Debian has systemd in a stable release for a few months.

Eventually they’ll notice that although systemd is not perfect, it just works. Unfortunately, this all doesn’t help in with the concerns I still have.

What to do with ConsoleKit?

Summer has come and passed…

…the lazy will never last.

September 19th! That’s the last day when we will accept artwork submissions!

We’re looking for a new default background that will be shipped with Mageia 5. We might also pick one or two runners up that will be bundled as alternative backgrounds. Ideas for screensavers and other artwork that you think we could use will also be appreciated.

Please make sure that you read and understand the rules.
You can submit your artwork to the Flickr page or send it by email to artwork@group.mageia.org.

If you want to win the background contest, here’s a few points to keep in mind:

  • Historically speaking, the images chosen for the default background were simple abstract artworks that used the Mageia color palette.
  • Photos of real life objects/people/plants/animals will not even be considered.
  • Your image must be an original piece, and you must be able to provide source files (xcf or svg). If you can’t comply for a technical reason, please get in touch with us on the Atelier mailing list.
  • Your image must have a sufficient resolution.

My TODO List for LaKademy 2014

logoazul_menor

Next week São Paulo, one of the biggest cities in this planet, will host the second KDE Latin America Summit – or, how we call, LaKademy!

The event will be held in the FLOSS Competence Center of University of São Paulo, an interesting center where academia, enterprises, and community works together to create, to improve, and to research free and open source software.

In this event, Latin America community will try a new thing: we will have presentations about KDE stuffs. In specific KDE events of this part of the world it is more common to have only hacking sessions, and KDE presentations and short courses are given only in more general free software events. This time we organized an “open” event to non-KDE contributors too – maybe in the end of event they will be new gearheads.

The event program have a lot of topics: artwork, porting software from GTK to Qt (potential flamewar detected =D), KDE Connect, and more. I will present an introductory tutorial about C++ + Qt + KDE on Android. The main study case to be presented will be GCompris, and it will be interesting to show a software with a same source code compiling and running on Linux and Android. I will to show another software too: liquidfun, a C++ library to liquid simulation (it have an amazing demo in Android); VoltAir, a QML-based game developed by Google to Android (and open source!); and maybe KAlgebra, but I need to compile it yet.

Yes, it is C++ and QML on Android!

For hacking session I will reserve a time to study the Qt5/KF5 port of Cantor; it is time to begin this work. Other thing in this topic, I would like to talk with my KDE colleagues about a software to help scientific writing… well, wait for it until next year. =) I will work in KDE Brazil bots on social networks to fix some bugs too.

For meetings, I expect to discuss about communications tools (my propose is to use KDE todo to help with promo actions management), and to contribute with evaluation of KDE Brazil actions in the country. Since last LaKademy (2012, Porto Alegre), we continues to spread KDE in free software events, and we can to bring several KDE contributors to Brazil too. Now we must to think in more and news activities to do.

But LaKademy is not only about work. We will have some cultural activities too, for example the Konvescote at Garoa Hacker Club, a hackerspace in São Paulo, and some beers  to drink in Vila Madalena district. More important, I am very happy to see my KDE colleagues again (Brazil, why so big?).

So, let’s to do an amazing LaKademy this year! Look at Planet KDE and Planet KDE Portuguese to see more news directly from the event!

I see you at LaKademy!

(or in Akademy, but it is story to other post :) )

imgoingtoLakademytamanhopequeno

First day at LinuxCon NA 2014

Porec

Interesting to pass from vacation with family in Croatia to France after 10 hours of drive and then the day after being in a plane, flying to Chicago to attend my 3rd LinuxCon, held this time in the mythic Chicago city.

Chicago

While I arrived Monday evening, I had time to catch up some mail, make some conf calls on Tuesday before attending the first part of the event, which was the VIP dinner. An opportunity to talk to HP colleagues I met for the first time physically, even if we already interacted electronically previously.

VIP dinner

A view on the VIP Dinner

Wednesday the 20th was the first day of the event which started as usual with Jim Zemlin’s Keynote. This time he chose to talk about what the Linux Foundation rules disallow: The Linux Foundation itself ! And more largely about the roles of foundations to support open source development, their key cleaning facility role.

Jim Zemlin

Jim had a quite funny slide exaplining how everybody is seeing him, while what he is really doing is cleaning stuff so Linus, Greg and thouands of others could code and manage Linux.

He also announced the new LF certification program (Certified sysadmin and Engineers). While I understand the need of having more recognized Open Source ad Linux Professionals, unlinked to a company (such as the RHCE one) I wonder whether we were needing a new certification wile we do have LPI. I hope the 2 will cooperate to avoid again proliferation. Not that proliferation is bad per se. But why dedicate multiple times efforts to create training supports, manage registrations, … when someone already works on that, maybe in a different way, but maybe patchable to be adopted by the LF. Hopefully this will be solved somehow.

LF certifications

After that we had the also traditional Linux Kernel panel moderated by Greg Kroah-Hartmann with Andy, S, Andrew Morton and Linus Torvalds of course. Nothing really new came out. Anyway, it’s always refreshing to see our heros on stage full of confidence and hope for what they do.

Kernel Round Table

Linus insisted once more on the fact he wants Linux to be more dominant on the desktop market. As a 21 years linux desktop user myself, I can only be in agreement with that. Where is however the docker of the desktop, that will make everybody want to change and move to it ? When people see my Mageia distro they’re always surprised how many stuff you can do out of the box with a Linux Desktop. Phones have helped people go away from the monopoly interface but Macs do not help bringing back people to Linux. If at least all people attending LinuxCon and developing FLOSS would run Linux, that would be great !

Linus Torvalds

Then it was time for elective sessions. I chose first to know more about devstack.
Sean Dague from HP presented OpenStack in 10 Minutes with devstack
devstack pulls everything from git. As it heavily modifies your system so do rather that in a VM/Container. devstack launches tempest (the OpenStack test suite) at the end for the install. Sean insisted on the flow of requests generated inside OpenStack and demonstrated how you can easily modify the devstack environment and re-run it to test easily your modification.

devstack provides an easy way to support modifications through a conf file. Example given if you add
API_RATE_LIMIT=False
you’ll avoid waiting for an answers from the server in case of devstack exceeding the standard rate of queries.
You can also use localrc.conf to pass specific variables up to the right component.

In order to use it, you’d need 4GB RAM (recommended). It can run in a VM (cirros will work nested). Sean warned that it does not reclone git trees by default and clean.sh should put everything back in order (but cleans stuff !)

Sean Dague

Good presentation, easy to follow and having a quick demo part which confirms that devstack is easy to use :-)

Then I attended Joe Brockmeier’s (Red Hat) presentation around Solving the package issue

Joe explained the notion of SW collections (living under /opt). It’s Available for RHEL, CentOS and Fedora. It brings a new scl command. If you type for example
scl enable php54 “app –option”
that app uses now php 5.4 while the rest of the system ignores it.
For that you’ll need new packages: scl-utils and scl-utils-build
There is a tool spec2scl to convert spec files to generate scl compatible packages.
For more info you can look at http://softwarecollections.org

A remark I made to myself and which was later explicitely said during the presentation is that scl is useful for RHEL to provide newer versions of SW onto the enterprise distributions, while it can also help provide older versions of SW into Fedora (which is moving so fast that not all SW can adapt !).
It’s a sort of Debian backports for RHEL.
Joe also presented rpm-ostree (derived from ostree, git-like for system binaries providing an immutable tree). Under development for now, so not completely usable and probably the least interesting solution.
He moved on with docker, but was pretty generic (on purpose) and seeing it as complementary to package management, whether I think docker is another way of deploying software, which is not caring of packages by providing a layered deployment approach. While I have packaged docker for Mageia, I’m not yet familiar eough with it to be sure of that, and I’m currently working on combining it with project-builder.org. So will comment later on on that.

Joe Brockmeier

Then it was time to animate the FLOSS Governance roundtable for which I was attending LinuxCon. I had what I think is probably the best panel to cover the vast topic with Eileen Evans from HP, Tom Callaway from Red Hat, Gary O’Neall from Source Auditor Inc., Bradley Kuhn from Software Freedom Conservancy (and of course 45 minutes wasn’t sufficient to talk about all the subjects part of this), but I think the interactions were very interesting and lively and hope the audience enjoyed them and learned new aspects of this capital topic for our ecosystem. Of course we talked about licenses, SPDX and its future new 2.0 version, but also of foundations (echoing Jim Zemlin’s keynote), contribution agreements or tax usage (Thanks Bradley !).

FLOSS Governance Roundtable

And this is just the first of a series of such round tables I’ll lead in future events, but more on that later on.

After that, I discussed with Bradley Kuhn and Jilayne Lovejoy about licenses, AGPL, and various related topics, and their feedback were as usual very rich.

Was then time to go back to the latest keynote sessions. The first one I followed was from a new company (for me) CEO, Jay Rogers from Local Motors who tries to make open hardware in the automotive sector.Worth looking at and following whether they will be successful.

Jay Rogers

Then, our own Eileen Evans was on stage to explain her view on the new FLOSS Professional. And I think at her place I’d have been even more impressed as she had a full room so probably some pressure to talk to all these devs and devops. And I think her voice showed that at the begining. But when she entered in the details of the presentation, she did as usual a great job and was particularly convincing. She showed how the FLOSS professional was more than others issued from diverse backgrounds, as she illustrated with her own one. She also showed the variety of activities that each of these people have to cope with everyday, again with an illustration of one of her day of work passing from a contract management or OSRB meeting to an OpenStack foundation board conf call.

Eileen Evans keynote

And that approach of the new FLOSS professional was a convincing echo to Jim Zemlin’s call for more professionals and the focus on people that many speakers have underlined. The FLOSS ecosystem indeed needs so many various competencies in addition to developers and FLOSS is so ubiquituous that the lack of resources is delaying some projects. And Eileen explained why this notion of FLOSS Professional is arising now. Which is in short because FLOSS usage has moved from hobbist developing for themselves to professional developing during work hours. And she also covered the impact on companies where the work in network/communities, between peers is the rule compared to the siloed classical approach. And so companies need people understanding this way of working to evolve.

Eileen Evans

It was then time to catch a bus and enjoy discussing with peers at the Museum of Science and Industry during the evening event where we could also explore the museum.

Museum of Science and Industry of Chicago


Filed under: Event, FLOSS Tagged: Event, Gouvernance, HP, HPLinux, Linux, LinuxCon, Mageia, Open Source, project-builder.org