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In the end of May, ~20 gearheads from different countries of Latin America were together in Rio de Janeiro working in several fronts of the KDE. This is our ‘multiple projects sprint’ named LaKademy!
Like all previous editions of LaKademy, this year I worked hard in Cantor; unlike all previous editions, this year I did some work in new projects to be released in some point in the future. So, let’s see my report of LaKademy 2016.
LaKademy is very important to Cantor development because during the sprint I can to focus and work hard to implement great features to the software. In past editions I started the Python 2 backend development, ported Cantor to Qt5/KF5, drop kdelibs4support, and more.
This year is the first LaKademy after I got the maintainer status of Cantor and, more amazing, it is the first edition where I was not the only developer working in Cantor: we had a team working in different parts of the project.
My main work was to perform a heavy bug triage in Cantor, closing old bugs and confirming some of them. In addition I could to fix several bugs like the LaTeX rendering and the crash after close the window for Sage backend, or the fix for plot commands for Octave backend.
My second work was to help the others developers working in Cantor, I was very happy to work with different LaKademy attendees in the software. I helped Fernando Telles, my SoK 2015 student, to fix the support for Sage backend for Sage version > 7.2. Wagner Reck was working in a new backend for Root, the scientific programming framework developed by CERN. Rafael Gomes created a Docker image to Cantor in order to make easy the environment configuration, build, and code contribution for new developers. He wants to use it in other KDE software and I am really excited to see Cantor as the first software in this experiment.
Other relevant work was some discussions with other developers about the selection of an “official” technology to create backends for Cantor. Currently Cantor has backends developed in several ways: some of them use C/C++ APIs, others use Q/KProcess, others use DBus… you can think about how to maintain all these backends is a work for crazy humans.
I did not select the official technology yet. Both DBus and Q/KProcess has advantages and disadvantages (DBus is a more ‘elegant’ solution but bring Cantor to other OS can be more easy if we use Q/KProcess)… well, I will wait for the new DBus-based Julia backend, in development by our GSoC 2016 student, to make decision about which solution to use.
New projects: Sprat and Leibniz (non-official names)
This year I could to work in some new projects to be released in the future. Their provisional names are Sprat and Leibniz.
Sprat is a text editor to write drafts of scientific papers. The scientific text follows some patterns of sentences and communication figures. Think about “A approach based in genetic algorithm was applied to the travel salesman problem”: it is easy to identify the pattern in that text. Linguistics has worked in this theme and it is possible to classify sentences based in the communication objective to be reached for a sentence. Sprat will allow to the user to navigate in a set of sentences and select them to create drafts of scientific papers. I intent to release Sprat this year, so please wait for more news soon.
Leibniz is Cantor without worksheets. Sometimes you want just to run your mathematical method, your scientific script, and some related computer programs, without to put explanations, figures, or videos in the terminal. In KDE world we have amazing technologies to allow us to develop a “Matlab-like” interface (KonsolePart, KTextEditor, QWidgets, and plugins) to all kind of scientific programming languages like Octave, Python, Scilab, R… just running these programs in KonsolePart we have access to syntax highlighting, tab completion… I would like to have a software like this so I started the development. I decided to develop a new software and not a new view to Cantor because I think the source code of Leibniz will be small and more easy to maintain.
So, if you are excited with some of them, let me know in comments below and wait a few months for more news!
During LaKademy we had our promo meeting, an entire morning to discuss KDE promo actions in Latin America. KDE will have a day of activities at FISL and we are excited to make amazing KDE 20th birthday parties in the main free software events in Brazil. We also evaluated and discussed the continuation of some interesting activities like Engrenagem (our videocast series) and new projects like demo videos for KDE applications.
In that meeting we also decided the city to host LaKademy 2017: Belo Horizonte! We expect to have a incredible year with KDE activities in Latin America to be evaluated in our next promo meeting.
Conclusion: “O KDE na América Latina continua lindo“
This edition of LaKademy had strong and dedicated work by all attendees in several fronts of KDE, but we had some moments to stay together and consolidate our community and friendship. Unfortunately we did not have time to explore Rio de Janeiro (it was my first time in the city) but I had good impressions of the city and their people. I intent to go back to there, maybe this year yet.
The best part of to be a member of a community like KDE is to make friends for the life, people with you like to share beers and food while chat about anything. This is amazing for me and I found it in KDE. <3
Thank you KDE and see you soon in next LaKademy!
Rio de Janeiro, the “Cidade Maravilhosa”, land of the eternal Summer. The sunlight here is always clear and hot, the sea is refreshing, the sand is comfortable. The people is happy, Rio de Janeiro has good music, food, the craziest parties of the world, and beautiful bodies having fun with beach games (do you know futevolei?).
But while Rio de Janeiro is boiling, some Gearheads based in Latin America will be working together in a cold and dark room in the city, attending to our “multi-area” sprint named Latin America Akademy – LaKademy 2016.
In my plans I have a lot of work to do in Cantor, including a strong triage in bugs and several tests with some IPC technologies. I would like to choose one to be the “official” technology to implement backends for Cantor. Cantor needs a IPC technology with good multiplatform support for the main desktop operating systems. I am think about DBus… do you have other suggestions or tips?
Other contributors also want to work in Cantor. Wagner wants to build and test the application in Windows and begin an implementation of a backend for a new programming language. Fernando, my SoK 2015 student, wants to fix the R backend. I will be very happy seeing these developers dirtying their hands in Cantor source code, so I will help them in those tasks.
During LaKademy I intent to present for the attendees some ideas and prototypes of two new software I am working. I expect to get some feedback and I will think about the next steps for them. Maybe I can submit them for new KDE projects… Well, let’s see.
Wait for more news from the cold and dark room of our LaKademy event in Rio de Janeiro.
We have decided to extend the contest by a week as there are still lots of contributions coming in and with the work coming from people’s donated time, we wanted to give a larger chance to others that might have been busy with other things.
The contest will now close on the 30th of May; as before, all work should be submitted to the Artwork Drop.
For more information about the contest, please have a look at the initial announcement blog post.
We look forward to seeing what you come up with for Mageia 6!
Once again, Mageia needs your help with artwork, it’s time to start the process of getting Mageia 6 looking ready for release. As in previous years we’re looking for your contributions and ideas.
We’d like to see your backgrounds, screensavers, icons, colour schemes and any other ideas that you can dream up.
We will normally choose a digital abstract piece using the colours of the Mageia logo for the signature background, it should be easily cropped to different aspect ratios without losing the feel of the image and have a resolution of at least 3,200 by 2,400px, in order to accommodate a wide variety of monitors.
Alternative background and screensavers have less restrictive guidelines, so if you feel like flexing your creativity, we’d love to see what you come up with.
The contest begin the 07 May 2016 and will be close the 23 May 2016.
Mageia will provide 1 official background, 10 additional backgrounds and all the other bits we do to make Mageia look great. If you’d like to participate, it’s easy:
The Atelier team will choose 10 backgrounds from different contributors to be included in the “additional backgrounds”
- minimal size: 3,200×2,400 px for images, preferably svg for icons
- no borders
- no text inside, the Mageia logo may be placed for show, but will need to be removable
- scalable or croppable for all possible aspect ratios: 4:3, 16:9, 16:10 etc.
- License: CC By SA 3.0 or later
Please also have a look here for more information about things you have to watch out for, or to see previous Mageia wallpapers, some screensavers and the Mageia 5 background are uploaded on the artwork drop for reference.
Photos will be considered for screensavers and additional backgrounds provided no recognizable people are visible. Please avoid copyrighted artwork, or, you must own the copyright and agree to the CC By SA 3.0 license.
All the work needs to be original with the source files (svg, xcf, etc) available and within Mageia’s artwork guidelines.PLease upload a png or similar as they are much easier for previewing. We hope that these guidelines will make everything clear and help you to make something that will make Mageia look great. The guidelines cover the Official Mageia Logo, colour scheme, website motif, fonts, wallpaper and other elements. The Mageia official logo is also covered by our Trademark Policy.
Take a moment to learn the rules, then, jump in and create with us!
The final winners will be chosen by the Mageia council and announced on the Mageia blog.
We’ll also try and put together some goodies for the winners, maybe a T-shirt, USB keys and pens or something along those lines
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 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 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.
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 (Frédéric 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.