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

Fosdem 2016 banner

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! :-)

The event takes place in Brussels on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st of January at the ULB Solbosch Campus (Université 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!

Come help mageia with us

it is with pleasure that I see that Mageia is increasingly used.

However, this implies more work. It is important that more contributors help the distribution and it can be done at different levels: Graphics, web, testing, packaging (KDE, Java Kernel, etc.).

If you are interested, please join us (http://ml.mageia.org or on irc freenode #mageia-dev or #mageia).

Mageia a besoin de vous

c’est avec plaisir que je vois que Mageia est de plus en plus utilisé.

cependant cela implique de plus en plus de travail. Il est important que plus de contributeurs aident la distribution et cela peut être fait à différents niveaux : Graphisme, web, tests, packaging ( KDE, Java, Kernel, etc.).

Si vous êtes intéressés, n’hésitez pas à venir nous rejoindre ( http://ml.mageia.org ou sur irc freenode #mageia-dev ou #mageia-fr ).

Our First Backport – HPLIP 3.15.11

Firstly, Happy Holidays to everyone, we all hope that you have a nice festive season and that the New Years brings good fortune. But back to the business at hand…

The backport repositories exist so that we can provide updates to software that are needed by some users, or provide significant feature improvements but which are potentially disruptive to installed stable systems.

This is the case with the latest version of the HP printer and scanner software (hplip), which adds support for some new devices, but which our QA testing found to be incompatible with some existing devices.

Further details of the devices that are supported by hplip-3.15.11 can be found in the hplip release notes.

A list of HP printers and the required minimum version of hplip can be seen here and the new printers that are supported by this backport are listed here.

The new version of the hplip packages are now available in the Core Backports repository.

If you have a new HP printer or scanner which does not function properly with Mageia 5, you may require these packages.

Installing backports in Mageia is quite simple:

In rpmdrake, “Install & Remove Software”, select backports from the first drop-down filter. If a previous version is installed the available packages will be marked in the status column with a down arrow with a line above it in a red circle. Select and install the packages appropriate for your architecture.

It is NOT necessary to enable the Backports repository.

Some news of what’s boiling in the Cauldron

For those of you who are most familiar with Mageia and its development, you are starting to know the drill: Cauldron is the place where we break stuff by upgrading everything that we tried to keep stable during the previous release cycle, and then we work on making it stable again. We are now in this stabilization phase and we were aiming internally for a first development snapshot of Mageia 6 as a set of ISO images, but there are still a number of factors that make it difficult right now.

The current state of Cauldron is still relatively unstable, with major updates to the key base system components and to the major desktops. This has led to both the generated classical and live ISOs not being of a quality that we are willing to release.

Therefore, we plan to release the first ISOs within the first weeks of 2016, and then continue with the regular schedule from there. The first testing done on an internal set of ISOs was not in vain though, as it helped us to better assess the current state of Cauldron and how it behaves with the installer, and our packagers are already hard at work fixing the identified issues.

With the development of Mageia 6, we are looking at restructuring what images we release, as we noticed that the purpose of the English-only 32-bit LiveCDs and the limited dual-arch DVD was often misunderstood (and therefore badly impacted on Mageia’s image for users of those ISOs). We want to create a set of media that fit better with the use cases to make Mageia even more accessible.  Furthermore, we are renaming the pre-release ISOs to development and stabilization snapshots, as we feel it gives a better indication of what can be expected from them.

If you would like to get involved now, information on testing and running Cauldron can be found here.

We will soon publish an indicative development roadmap so that you know more precisely when to expect the future releases.

Mageia was at the Paris Open Source Summit 2015

The Paris Open Source Summit is a great European event centered on the free & open source sector. It arose as a result of the merger of two French open source events: Linux Solutions (formerly in La Défense) and the Open World Forum. This year’s edition took place on November the 18th and 19th in “Les docks de Paris” (North suburbs).

Mageia had three contributors glad to be there: dtux, magnux and lebarhon. Our booth was small but of professional quality with many interesting things:

  • to show, two laptops with Mageia 5 and the upcoming Mageia 6/Plasma 5,
  • for sale, beautiful wooden USB sticks, unfortunately a delivery problem prevented us to sell T-shirts,
  • to offer, stickers and fliers.

usb_key_mageia_2015_3

The first day began with a bomb alert (false alert fortunately), but the building has been evacuated and the event really started only at 10 a.m. We met lots of different kinds of people:

  • some regular visitors, who we already met last year and before. They came to say “hello”, to hear some news and share their opinions about Mageia and rare minor problems,
  • some unhappy people, complaining that Mageia 4 was much better. We were sad to hear that, reported their problems and hope they are going to be fixed,
  • some happy people thanking us because Mageia 5 is much better than was Mageia 4. At least there is a good solution for everyone :)
  • two people looking for business partners, yes Mageia is taken seriously as a professional solution!
  • almost nobody that did not know Mageia. From our experience on this event, this is new, last year (May 2014, i.e. 18 months ago) many visitors had never heard of Mageia,
  • and two other Mageia community members, tuxmips and baud.

It has been a very happy two-day show, not at all affected by the tragic events in Paris. Since it was the first year the event took place in this location, it is not easy to compare the crowd with that of last year, but it seemed more or less equivalent. What really changed in our opinion is that Mageia is now well-known, and that’s definitely encouraging!

SIVEO joins the Mageia community to boost the development of the PULSE software

We have a newcomer in the Mageia ecosystem: the young French company SIVEO has taken over the development of the open source server-related solutions of the former Mandriva, and they decided to base all their products on Mageia. Giving back to the community, they are now employing a long-time Mageia contributor and maintainer of the KDE stack, Nicolas Lécureuil (neoclust), to work on packaging their free software products in Mageia. The following is a joint press release by SIVEO and Mageia.org.


The project originally named LRS Linbox FAS PULSE then renamed by Mandriva in 2007, is now an opensource solution for asset management. It’s used as well by small or medium entreprise as by very big companies, and both private and public accounts.

Believing in the potential of PULSE, SIVEO is rising up to the challenge of making it a major open source solution for asset management. Key people who were already working on development of this project joined SIVEO. They now bring their skills, know-how and enthusiasm to the company.

In parallel to this and to fully anchor it into the open source world, SIVEO naturally approached the Mageia community by providing the PULSE project and its distribution allowing the enlargement of the Community basis.

“This way, we want to open the project and bring more resources while federating different players whether professionals, ordinary users or contributors,” recalled Yvan Manon, who has been involved in the PULSE project for a long time and is nowadays pre-sales engineer at SIVEO.

“To welcome new contributors is always a very positive thing for the Mageia community. The packaging of a professional solution of the quality of PULSE is an undeniable asset for the distribution, to further engage with the world of commerce and our business users – and hopefully encourage more to participate. The collaboration of a large company and the validity it gives to the quality of the Mageia distribution is also a large endorsment of the work done by the Mageia community,” says the Mageia Council.

PULSE is a complete solution to manage the life cycle of the workstation, which allows industrialization and automating heavy and time-consuming tasks on complex and remote networks. Its main features are:

  • create and deploy sysprep disk image
  • identify, deploy applications and patches
  • backup
  • make decision
  • remote access
  • overseeing the compliance and configurations of all assets

Finally, interoperability and agility facilitate its integration with the various components (LDAP, AD, GLPI, OCS Inventory Fusion, etc.) of an information system. SIVEO offers packaged version with support for distributions such as Debian, RedHat and CentOS, and any additional services (audit, installation, training) to ensure professional quality and serenity.

SIVEO is an infrastructure automation software company; it is a young company creates innovative in November 2008. First French company labelled in the INTEL CLOUD Builder initiative for its eVA solution, SIVEO works with publishers, SSII, public and private accounts.

Mageia.org is a French non-profit association with groups contributing together into a community. The Mageia community builds a GNU/Linux distribution with the goal of providing an easy to use and highly reliable operating system with the choice and scalability offered by the Linux infrastructure. Mageia has delivered 5 releases since 2011, with the next release, Mageia 6, already taking shape with a scheduled release date in 2016.

More about Pulse: siveo.net/solutions/pulse
Source code (GPL): https://github.com/pulse-project/

Cantor: new upcoming release scheduled to December

cantor-backendselection

Backend selection dialog in Cantor

Cantor, the scientific programming environment inspired in notebook view concept, is going to have a new release together with KDE Applications 15.12 in December.

The most important thing in this future release is the removal of KDELibs4Support dependence. Cantor had an initial Qt5/KF5 port released with KDE Applications 15.04 in April, but that version was using KDELibs4Support yet. But that is a past story right now. Currently, the source code in master branch of Cantor repository can be compiled without the KDELibs4Support. I expect it can be a very important step to the port of the software to others operational systems.

In following weeks I am going to make a triage in bugs reports to verify which bugs are present in the current version. Let’s to do a hard work and invest a lot of energy to have a great release!

If you can help in the development, feel free to work together with me this work.

If you appreciate my work with Cantor, you can support me directly making a donation. Or you can to consider make a donation to KDE community – this way you support the improvements in the desktop, applications, libraries, and in the infrastructure provided by KDE to several free software projects. There is a crowdfunding campaign running until September 30, and the donation page always available.

Happy Software Freedom Day!

Made in Mageia: ISOdumper

Two events are competing for your attention in the Mageia world today: the international Software Freedom Day, and Mageia 4’s EOL, effective immediately.

For the former, we want to wish you all a merry Software Freedom Day and hope that had the opportunity to attend one of the numerous related events.

For the latter, we can only encourage you again to upgrade to Mageia 5 as soon as possible so that you can benefit from further security fixes and bugfix updates. The full blog post about this can be read here. At this occasion, we would like to present to you a home-brewed tool that facilitates dumping ISO images to USB sticks; particularly handy if you’d like to upgrade to Mageia 5 using the classical installer DVD.

ISOdumper, image dumping made easy

Several programs are available for dumping ISO boot images to USB sticks – for installing the operating system. Doing this by hand is hazardous: a mistake can overwrite a disc partition. Mageia has its own package, ISOdumper, which does a lot more than the basic task. It is available from normal repositories, you can install it through the Mageia Control Center or Add/Remove software. The latest release is 0.42.

Isodumper10

 

It is a GUI program which requires, and solicits, root privileges. In every case you must choose in the ‘Device’ list the USB stick you wish to use.

  • ‘Write image’ is the basic task, for which you select the ISO image (*.iso) to write to the USB stick. But ISOdumper has a plus: it calculates the MD5 and SHA1 checksums – displayed in the ‘Details’ panel – enabling confirmation of the written ISO image if you have its original checksums to compare with.
  • ‘Backup in’ is a very handy facility for backing up the current USB stick formating & contents to an image file on your disk (*.img); from which it can be subsequently restored by the ‘Write image’ function. This enables you, for example, to use temporarily a USB stick for ISO booting without sacrificing its previous content.
  • ‘Format device’ not only offers a frequently sought but often hard-to-find facility for formatting USB sticks, with the plus of offering several filesystem types: FAT, NTFS, ext.

ISOdumper has its own wiki page with detailed usage instructions. Its code is hosted at Mageia’s git repositories, and you can also download the 0.42 release source tarball directly.

Development history

We had a tool named usb-imagewriter in our repositories to dump ISO images on USB sticks, but it was limited to deal with .img files, and the progress bar wasn’t working. A Mageia user and contributor, Papoteur, thus started to hack it, and as it was not maintained upstream anymore, had to fork the project.

He then added a feature for backup which creates a snapshot of the USB stick content before writing the ISO image. Some users complained that it was difficult to recover the device when the installation was done, thus Papoteur also added a simple feature to format the stick.

On the technical side, the tool is written in Python and uses GTK+/Glade UI library. The traditional dd command is replaced with customized writing functions and USB detection uses Udisks2 tools. The formatting feature is a tool from Clément Lefebvre (Mint).

We all thank Papoteur for his work on this handy tool! Have fun with ISOdumper and Mageia 5! And farewell Mageia 4, you were a great release! :)