A few days ago Michal blogged about a public virtual machine by our dear friend Jaromir Cervenka. Time flew by, Jaromir installed the latest Milestone 3 to the machine and the project is now available from the new and easy to remember domain (thanks darix for driving this). The new frontpage also contains the instructions in English how to access it via VNC and SSH client or directly inside the browser.
We felt that openSUSE is missing something similar than Ubuntu Launchpad or Fedora Community. The discussion happened two months after Canonical released their Launchpad sources to the public, so I had time to investigate both these solutions before the Conference (Fedora stuff was of course open-sourced from the start). Unfortunately, it turned out that none of these existing solutions were good for us. :-(
My next step was to investigate social networking frameworks built on Ruby on Rails platform, because most of our web infrastructure uses this framework and Ruby development stack is in a perfect shape in openSUSE. I played a lot with Community Engine, Insoshi and Lovd By Less, but finally I decided to go for Tog. This was the only solution that was modular (not monolithic) and seemed pretty well hackable.
I created a Tog application, ported all anonymously visible pages to our Bento theme and finally deployed it on connect.opensuse.org address, so you can look at it. In the end we would like to replace the old users.opensuse.org application with Connect and make it a new central place for users. We also plan to add extra features like for example:
ribbons/buttons to put on your site, wordpress/facebook plugins
business cards printing
public API for retrieving all user information
There are plenty of ideas and I’m sure you can come up with even more! I’m announcing this in a VERY early stage of the development so you can jump in and take part in a discussion and development from the beginning. The full sources are available on gitorious and if you are interested in helping us (that does not necessarily mean coding!) don’t hesitate and contact me using my work email.
For the comparison I added screenshots how my profile looks in applications I mentioned in this post:
Last weekend I attended FOSDEM 2010 and it was a blast! I’ve never seen such a high number of tracks on a conference. Kudos to the organization team! During these two days I was sending a short messages via identica and twitter, because as @amedee said “the crew provided a fiber optic network, so people can compress their thoughts in char blurbs”. :-) I still decided to write a short report, because not everything could fit into these blurbs and not everyone uses these microblogging services. So here we go!
The first keynote I attended was the “Evil on the Internet” by Richard Clayton. The Janson room totally crowded as can be seen on the photo below. I expect there were around 1200 people in the audience. Richard spoke about various tricks how to identify scammers and one of the interesting points was that you can use Google Street View to check scammers’ (often fake) addresses.
After the keynote I went to see KDE SC 4.4 demo by Jos Poortvliet. It turned out to be a good choice, because I finally learned why the “Rotate widget” feature is useful. :-) Imagine a multitouch-table with 8 people around, each working with his/hers own set of widgets. Pretty cool idea!
I was interested how Maemo and Fedora manage their communities, so I attended the respective talks in the Distributions track. Maemo uses karma to measure the activity of its community members. They have 6 masters who take care of their field related issues and 5 members of community council (see Maemo.org team page). Max Spevack of Fedora surprised me that he had no prepared slides, but he is a good speaker so the talk was still very good. He spoke about Fedora governance “mountain” which is: Individual, Regional, SIG, Project, Board, Project Leader. One good thing about SIGs is that they can miserably without bad impact on the distribution as a whole (but they tend to be wildly successful). In the end Max recommended us reading The Starfish and the Spider book.
Then I went to see the Ruby+Rails devroom. More than 70% of people had MacBooks there, but this could be expected. :-) Nicolas Jacobeus gave us 25 tips for Ruby and Rails development and Francois Stephany told us about how Ruby is still being inspired by Smalltalk even today and used pretty funny examples to demonstrate it:
I wanted to see the last 2 XMPP talks, but their devroom was desperately full, so I went back to our stand to meet the rest of the openSUSE gang and have dinner with them.
Second day had even more visitors and most of the smaller rooms were full. I couldn’t get to Miguel’s talk about Mono Edge, so I went to see NixOS talk. They use very interesting package management and configuration storage. See bottom of this page for more info.
After that it was my turn to give a talk on RPM packaging collaboration. It went quite well although the battery in my microphone died, so the recording will be probably fubared. I got valuable feedback from Fedora and Mandriva folks, even from Jeff Johnson. Let’s see if it raises the level of discussions on rpm.org wiki, mailinglists and IRC.
I was finally able to make it into the Mono room where Miguel shortly presented the Pinta paint editor and Alp showed us Moonlight player which used fully-managed Theora codec to play the movie. These demos were followed by series of in-browser and desktop Moonlight demonstrations by Andrea Gaita.
Then I rushed to see Evan presenting his StatusNet project (you might know it under ther former name laconi.ca), but I was able to catch only Q&A at the end. Shortly after GregKH appeared on stage and gave very funny (as usual) guide how to contribute to Linux kernel. He also talked about the coding style and gave a perfect explanation why to care about it (of course, not only in kernel, but generally): If you have a coding style, code patterns will start to emerge and you are able to see the “metadata”.
This was the last FOSDEM talk and all I had in front of me was a looooong travel home, but definitively worth it! :-)
Today I had a very nice surprise laying on my office desk. It was a postcard from my dear friends from Brno (so called #fedora-cs mafia :-D) depicting a 3D image of a geeko on sand. Luckily I was able to find two shops (here and here) which offer this jewel. The latter one also had the 3D picture so I can share this viewing pleasure with you: