Mageia was at FOSDEM 2016

FOSDEM 2016 was held in Brussels on the 30th and 31st of January. We also had our Annual General Assembly and managed to get out for a nice dinner and a few beers, putting some faces to new contributors and renewing friendships from years gone by.

The Fosdem organisation had decided to make the stands smaller, so that many more projects could get a stand. We were very happy to see many more projects and the growth in the opensource community.

There was a downside, it meant that our stand was too small to serve as natural meeting place for all Mageians who were around and not attending talks or busy communicating with upstream projects, so we were less of a group of Mageia contributors and users, but more individuals. However, the General Assembly and the dinner did help to have group bonding ūüėČ It was great to see many of our contributors again, and to see others for the first time, like Akien and hviaene, of course, we missed those who couldn’t come.

The stand was very popular, many interested visitors left with a flyer and/or one or more Mageia goodies ūüôā¬†There were stickers as usual, new pens with Mageia logo and the usual t-shirts in many sizes. The flyers were in English, French & Dutch. We also had pretty wooden USB sticks with Mageia 5 live images on them.

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As in other years, there were plenty of interesting lectures to attend. Of course many of us attended the talk given by Mageia contributor Bruno Cornec, about building Linux distribution packages with Docker. There was a dev room available for all who wanted to get away from the turmoil, it had plenty of power outlets to connect your laptop to and proved a great place to help people install Mageia.

During Fosdem, Hacker Public Radio did an interview with Mageia Contributor Chris Denice, or eatdirt, you can hear it here.

We also had our General Assembly, there was a review about the teams, which was incomplete because not all team leaders were able to attend. The most important thing that happened though, was that while reviewing sysadmin team, it was decided to have a sysadmin meeting immediately after the General Assembly. That meeting led to big improvements: a sysadmin trainee was accepted during that meeting and he started right after Fosdem (To that end, we would like to introduce danf, Dan Fandrich, an experienced sysadmin and existing Mageia packager, who only needs training to get familiar with how our sysadmin team and our infra work), and our infra is moving away from “full sysadmin access to everything or no access at all” to “some have access to everything, but other sysadmins only to e.g. forums, bugzilla, wiki or one or more other parts of Mageia”. This has already led to LpSolit (Fr√©d√©ric Buclin a Mageia user from upstream Bugzilla, who has helped with good advice on maintaining our Bugzilla since the beginning) now improving things in our Bugzilla directly himself and also to him committing needed changes to our git for the Bugzilla upgrade.

Apart from that, an announcement about ARM development was made during the General Assembly. The ARM build is getting closer, we have build nodes set up with Scaleway and can extend the number as required. Hopefully this will be usable soon. It was also discussed that new people come and have to be welcomed and introduced to our processes and discussions (via IRC / ML). Weekly meetings are not that easy to maintain when things do seem to be stuck, though discussions with people available are sometimes sufficient (more people is better: just come to watch/read afterwards at least, meetbot is still active) For the lack of contributors helping BugSquad, ovitters suggested to let contributors earn points when helping in Bugzilla, like in a game. He had seen great results when doing that for Gnome.

Firebird 3.0 for Centos 7, Mageia and Fedora

Firebird 3.0 is officially there and I packaged it for CentOS 7, Mageia and Fedora.

The packages for Mageia are in Mageia repositories for Mageia Cauldron (the version that will become soon Mageia 6). To not break Libre Office that still rely on Firebird 2.5 embeded, I made a separate package for libfbembed2.

The packages for CentOS 7 and Fedora 23 are in my Fedora Copr repository.

I will update it regulary so you could have Firebird 3.0 packages in CentOS 7.

Official Epel for CentOS 7 will stay with Firebird 2.5.

Unfortunately, Firebird 3.0 don't build yet with gcc 6, as you can see in CORE-5099, so no Firebird 3.0 yet for Fedora 24.

Workshop de Software Livre 2016 ‚Äď call for papers and tools

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The call for papers and call for tools for the WSL РWorkshop de Software Livre (Workshop on Free Software), the academic conference held together with FISL РFórum Internacional de Software Livre (International Free Software Forum) is open!

WSL publishes scientific papers on several topics of interest for free and open source software communities, like social dynamics, management, development processes, motivations of contributors communities, adoption and case studies, legal and economic aspects, social and historical studies, and more.

This edition of WSL has a specific call for tools to publish papers describing software. This specific call ensures the software described was peer-reviewed, is consistent with the principles of FLOSS, and the source code will be preserved and accessible for a long time period.

All accepted and presented papers will be published in WSL open access repository. This year we are working hard to provide ISSN and DOI to the publications.

The deadline is April 10. Papers can be submitted in Portuguese, English or Spanish.

See the official WSL page to get more information.

Good things come to those who wait… Mageia 6 dev1 is here.

After the delays caused by upgrading the major parts of the base system and switching to the Plasma 5 Desktop Environment, we are very happy to announce that the first development milestone of Mageia 6 has been released and is ready for testing by the community.

Note that only the classical ISO images have been released, those being the i586 and x86_64 DVD images. The live ISO images are not quite ready. If the live images can be made functional soon, they may also be released, otherwise they will come with the next milestone release.

The extra time we have had has allowed for newer versions of Plasma, GNOME, and other major components. Also, it has allowed us to provide support for newer hardware thanks to an updated kernel.

Mageia 6 dev1 will ship with the following:

  • Kernel 4.4.5
  • Glibc 2.22
  • Plasma 5.5.95
  • GNOME 3.19.2
  • Mate 1.13.0
  • Cinnamon 2.8.6
  • LibreOffice 5.1.1.3
  • Firefox 45
  • Chromium 49
  • Updates to all of the other major applications and tools

Also note that at the time of release, our online repositories already provide updates to Plasma 5.6.0 and GNOME 3.20.0.

If you would like to test these ISO’s, you can find a link to download them from your preferred mirror¬†on the Mageia website. Please keep in mind that this is still an early development snapshot.¬† We would appreciate any feedback on how this release works for you. Reports can be made in the Mageia Bugzilla. As always, the ISO’s have been fully tested by our QA team to ensure that they are as usable as possible. If you would like to help with this task or any other parts of Mageia development, please have a look here to find out about ways to get involved. We always welcome new contributors.

In other development news, the ARM port is close to being ready for use, so watch out for an announcement about that soon. We have also hired a graphic designer to help refresh the look of the Mageia tools. Finally, work on DNF, mirrorbrain, other features and goodies continues.

The proposed features for Mageia 6 and the work that is happening on them can be seen here. If you would like to contribute to these, feel free to join the dev mailing list.

Mageia was at SCaLE 14x

Mageia made it to SCaLE 14x for the first time in sunny California, with one of our dedicated QA deputy leaders to man the booth.

Bill Kenney, or wilcal as he is known here, did an amazing job running the Mageia booth at SCaLE. This is an extract from his report on the event.

The Mageia booth was located right in the centre of the Pasadena Convention Center on January 22nd ‚Äď 24th. Friday saw the highest traffic, Saturday was quieter, but lots of families came down to see the exhibits, which is always nice to see.
Our booth was next to SUSE’s, and sharing the running of the booths was a great show of community and cooperation between Linux projects.

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We had Hewlett Packard Enterprise as neighbors; they were running an almost continuous magic and tricks show which always ensured a big crowd in front of the Mageia booth. I made the decision not to give away some kind of “swag” and that was a good decision as I would have needed thousands¬†of items. Also, I opted to put the Mageia literature (English and French) in displays rather then giving pieces of paper away. Again a good decision, as most people just took pictures of the literature if they wanted a copy.

The principal thrust here was to show the Mageia flag, sharing its history and talking about the present and future status. That was the right message. There were lots of people who simply already knew about the Mandrake → Mandriva → Mageia fork tree and most of the time was spent reminiscing about old times with Mandrake. Many indicated that Mandrake was their first Linux distro.

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The organizers of SCaLE 14x were appreciative of Mageia making a presence at SCaLE and are certainly open to us returning next year.

Here’s a picture of the Mageia stand with Bill there.scale2016_08

Here’s¬†an 8 min video that Bill shot of the show. Most of the “footage” was shot before show hours. At times this venue was packed with Linux geeks. Enjoy the show:

Chemnitz Linux Days 2016

CLT2016As it does every year in March, the German event¬†Chemnitz Linux Days¬†will take place during the coming week-end¬†(19th and¬†20th of March). And as almost every year we are pleased to attend the event and present our¬†distribution there. Please come around and discuss with us the current release¬†as well the upcoming version 6, which is in¬†preparation right now. We will also have nice USB sticks and other Mageia goodies to hand out ūüôā

Beside our booth, you will find many other interesting projects and companies from the open source community. Furthermore there will be interesting talks, workshops and even activities especially for the younger guests.

Please come along to have a nice and informative weekend with us in Chemnitz.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

News from the packaging front

In Mageia 5 I packaged Mopidy , so now that Mageia have a arm port, you can make a Mageia music box with a Raspberry Pi and Mopidys.

I use my self an old netbook for that with an U-Sabre Mini USB DAC .

For Mageia 6 I packaged a backup tool : BorgBackup . some friends use it with success, so I tried it and adopted it. I have my own local backport in Mageia 5, and now my main computer is backuped with BorgBackup.

Here you can read some slides about BorgBackup.

Call to Co-maintainers of Cantor

Cantor, the software to scientific programming in worksheet-style interface, had (and has!) several developers working in different parts of the code along the years. Thanks to the plugin-based architecture of Cantor, a developer can to create a new backend to communicate with some new programming language, an assistant, or some other piece of software, requiring just the knowledge of Cantor API.

Because it Cantor has 10 backends using different sets of technologies to provide communication between the software and some programming language. Citing some examples, Python 2 backend uses the Python/C API, R and Python 3 backends use D-Bus protocol, and Scilab backend uses KProcess. So, there are a mix of different technologies in the project.

You can think the maintenance of Cantor can be a headache if the work is done by just one person. Since I received the maintainer status, I am trying to improve the coordination of the project, including the distribution of responsibilities among developers.

In this way, I requested to KDE sysadmin and that amazing team created in KDE Bugzilla different components to each backend in Cantor. For now I asked to some developers to take the responsibility and manage the bugs reported to backends developed by them, but some components are missing maintainers yet, specially the backends of Maxima, Qualculate, R, and Sage.

So, if you were a developer of some of those backends and you would like to continue developing Cantor, please comment in this post or send an e-mail to me in filipe at kde.org and I will put you as the maintainer of the component.

Of course, all developers can to contribute for Cantor and solve his bugs, but the work as maintainer of some component will help us in the task of manage and improve the project.

Cantor migrating to Phabricator: which tools our contributors must to use

Projects and software developed by KDE community are going to migrate for a new tool to manage our code, commits, reviews, tasks, and more. This tool is Phabricator and you can visit the instance for KDE projects in this address.

Since November 2015 we are migrating Cantor to Phabricator. After our first successful review code some days ago, I decided to write a post about which tools our contributors must to use while the migration process is not finished.

Project

Phabricator has an app to project management where we can to put some useful information and make coordination of tasks. The page for Cantor project is online and configured.

Other interesting feature is the possibility to join in a project or watch the activities of a project. If you have a KDE Identity, login in KDE Phabricator and follow us!

Workboard

KDE provides an application to manage tasks using a kanban board, the KDE TODO. Despite it is a nice tool, we never used that.

Projects app in Phabricator has an application to this same objective, Workboard. We are using it currently to track tasks of SoK student Fernando Telles. I intent to use it to manage the development of Cantor for each new release.

Tasks, bugs, wishes

The Phabricator app named Maniphest is the tool to create and track bugs, tasks and wishes (feature requests).

But in KDE we have a heavily customized Bugzilla, so for the moment there is not a decision about how to migrate our bugs reports tool.

Therefore, KDE Bugzilla is our bugs reports tool yet. However, I invite the contributors to use Maniphest to submit wishes of new features. We never used Bugzilla for this last objective, so there is no problem if we begin to use the new tool for it.

Repository

Like the most of KDE Projects, Cantor has their source code managed by git. Phabricator has an application named Diffusion to navigate and see a lot of data about a source code repository.

This application is configured for Cantor and it is available in this link.

Code review

The Phabricator app to code review is called Differential and it is available to Cantor as well.

However, there is not a decision about the migration and the shutdown of the current code review tool used by KDE, Reviewboard. Therefore our contributors can to use one or other tool (please, not both together!), but I strongly recommend to use Differential.

Wiki

Yes, Phabricator has an own application to wiki pages, named Phriction. Currently Cantor has a wiki page just in Userbase. We are not using wiki pages at the moment, so we will decide if Phriction will be our tool for wikis just at some point in the future.

Communication

Ok, Phabricator also has a tool for communication, Conpherence. However, Cantor contributors can continue to use our current communication tools provide by KDE Edu, the #kde-edu IRC channel at Freenode network and the KDE Edu mail list.

Despite I have some criticism about Phabricator (for instance, I don’t like the Application -> Project architecture; I prefer Project -> Application), it is a very nice tool for projects management and it has a lot of applications for specific tasks. In this text I listed several of them, but there are many others to be explored and evaluated.

I hope this post can help Cantor contributors about which tool must to be utilized for some task of the project. Maybe the text can to present some news to future Phabricator users and help KDE developers in the path of the migration.

The impact of Phabricator in KDE community is something to be analyzed in the future. This tool has a lot of applications and it can change the way how the KDE subprojects are organized. Let’s see what the future will say for us.

Come and meet us at FOSDEM 2016 in Brussels

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The 2016 edition of the FOSDEM is approaching, and as usual Mageia will hold a booth there with many contributors and community members. It’s probably the biggest free software event in Europe, and also the event where Mageia has the biggest presence. It’s also our yearly occasion for the General Assembly of the Mageia.Org association which supports your favourite distro, plus the legendary Mageia dinner on Saturday evening where you are of course all very welcome! ūüôā

The event takes place in Brussels on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st of January at the ULB Solbosch Campus (Universit√© libre de Bruxelles), and our booth will be as usual at the 1st level of Building K. You will of course find some nice goodies like stickers, flyers, pens, USB sticks and T-shirts, but also have the possibility to discuss with many contributors, get Mageia 5 installed or see a preview of what’s currently boiling in the Cauldron!

If you plan to join us there, don’t forget to put your name in the event preparation wiki page. Even if you’re not planning to help man the booth or register for the dinner, it’s still nice to know who to expect for the event attendants. For those interested in attending to the General Assembly (you are all very welcome!), we will soon post the details about the room and time schedule.

Looking forward to meeting many community members in Brussels!