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Wikis in Open Source Projects

Wikis are great to collect information and they work well, the more active users they actually have. With the growth of Wikipedia the number of people who understand how collaboration works in a Wiki increased dramatically (even though in fact many users of the Wikipedia still do not seem to know, that they can actually edit pages).

For smaller numbers of contributing users I found, that it is sometimes difficult to keep information up to date or delete spam, that appears even though Antispam modules and Captcha tools are set up.

For example in the English LXDE wiki, we have quite some hits on the wiki, but if we look closer, many pages have outdated information about releases and roadmaps. As the wiki is available in many languages, it gets even worse in other languages with less community members engaging. A reason why the LXDE wiki might not be so active is probably because the project is more a project of developers collaborating with other developers. Developers are already busy coding. My observation is, that they simply do not have time to keep Wikis up to date.

Another example is the lubuntu wiki. Over time different people contribute to the wiki. The wiki was originally modeled after wiki pages of other Ubuntu derivatives like Xubuntu.  We had the advantage to use a basic structure, that might have taken others years to achieve. A very important point was also that there is an established model to deal with different opinions in a wiki. The lubuntu wiki is set up within the Ubuntu wiki. When we started there were already a lot of people who we could cooperate with and there was a functioning administration and hosting model, that we did not have to take care of. The wiki developed into a good resource and brought in people who also took on the special help pages for lubuntu.

Freifunk Wiki

Finally the freifunk wiki of the free wireless community. The wiki is in German, but during recent years also other languages were included as people from across the world started to participate in freifunk. There have been steady contributions to the content from different kinds of people. While some local communities themselves have often more content, the wiki remains to be an important resource and basis especially for new communities. The wiki is managed and maintained completely by the community. As we have many capable developers and IT experts in this project, it should be easy to maintain the wiki system and perform upgrades. The fact is though, that the activity level of people, including my own engagement, ranges vastly. This makes it very difficult to administer a wiki. And for newbies it is difficult to support a group as well. The most difficult part is to get into the group of admins. You need to get access and often root access to infrastructure. It is difficult to establish a level of trust with newcomers. Longterm members start families, might not show up at offline meetings and might not always be available. In a community there is usually also a previous experience with newcomers that disappear after some time or people who could be perceived as trolls. So, the result is often an attitude of a wait and see approach. In return newcomers, who want to push ahead with new cool stuff, get frustrated with this attitude. I have not seen a perfect approach to resolve this issue, but I find that real world meet ups that bring contributors together can help to solve this. In Germany many local communities have local meet ups. There are also bigger community events like the Wireless Community Weekend and even International get togethers like the Battle of the Mesh.

So, whatever you do, try to meet some people face to face and you will see how it also becomes more fun to work in the project.

Kategorien: 

lubuntu first alpha releases

lynxis published the first lubuntu test iso based on the seeds by David Sugar and additional patches. The first release was 381 MB and a second one only 292 MB. Following test images are also around this size. After crashing the c-base server several times with the lubuntu images, the LXDE team kindly offers the download from its website: download.lxde.org/lubuntu-9.10

lubuntu
lubuntu logo suggestion by gusion

The lubuntu project was started in February after I met with Mark Shuttleworth in Berlin. We talked about how to cooperate between LXDE and Ubuntu. Mark agreed that a light Ubuntu distro would definitely be worthwile to proceed. I started the lubuntu project with the goal to create an Ubuntu derivative that is fast and lightweight just as the goals of the LXDE project.

LXDE, "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment", is an extremely fast, performing and energy saving desktop environment. It is maintained by an international community of developers and comes with a beautiful interface, multi-language support, standard keyboard short cuts and additional features like tabbed file browsing. LXDE uses less CPU and less RAM. It is especially designed for cloud computers with low hardware specifications like netbooks, mobile devices (e.g. MIDs) or older computers. LXDE can be installed with distributions like Ubuntu or Debian. It provides a fast desktop experience connecting easily with applications in the cloud. LXDE supports a wealth of programs, that can be installed with Linux systems locally. The source code of LXDE is licensed partly under the terms of the General Public License and partly under the LGPL.

The lubuntu team already had IRC meetings, face to face gatherings in Singapore, Berlin and other cities. And, I am excited to see the team getting together and releasing first results now. lynxis who is most of the time in the c-base just over the street from my appartment joined the team a few months ago. I am looking forward to more people joining up with us.

There are many ways you can support the project. Firstly download and test the current test releases. If you are a developer you can submit patches. If you are a tester, please leave info about bugs in the bug tracker. Secondly you can join us and create desktop backgrounds and logos for lubuntu. We have not decided yet, what the final logo will look like.Check out the lubuntu Artwork Forum and leave your ideas there. You can also help with translations, if you speak another language and translate the desktop of LXDE. Or you can help to improve or write Wikipedia articles about lubuntu and LXDE.

lubuntu logo idea by genelyk
lubuntu logo idea by genelyk

lubuntu design idea
lubuntu Design Idea by leo

Download lubuntu test iso: download.lxde.org/lubuntu-9.10

Links

* lubuntu on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubuntu
* Join up with the LXDE community http://join.lxde.org
* lubuntu Artwork Forum http://forum.lxde.org/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=437
* Bug reports: https://bugs.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop
* Seeds and Code of Lubuntu: https://code.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop
* Launchpad Project: https://bugs.launchpad.net/~lubuntu-desktop
* How to make a LiveCD: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCDCustomizationFromScratch

Debconf11: The Debian Conference and Camp Proposal for 2011 from Germany

On Tuesday, June 2 2009 sixteen members of the local Debian and FOSS community met in Berlin to discuss a possible bid from Germany for the Debconf11. We had some discussions at DebConf8 already and also our DPL promoted the idea. There is a strong desire in the local community to get the Debconf to Germany for the first time. The participation at the informally organized Berlin meeting was already overwhelming. There is a big and active group of very welcoming and friendly local supporters and there is an excellent and cost effective infrastructure available to host the event and contributors from all over the world. We had a follow up about a Berlin bid during the Linuxtag on June 26, 2009, where bidders from Rhein/Rhur and Munich also presented their ideas for bids. We decided to submit only one bid for Debconf11 from Germany and will have an internal German process to decide which bid will work out best. During the Debconf9 there was a presentation of the bids from Germany.

 

Presentation by: Berlin - Torsten Werner, Rhein/Ruhr - Rene Engelhard, München - Michael BanckLinks

* http://debconf.org 

* Debconf 11 Germany Wiki page: http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf11/Germany

* Mailing list: http://lists.debconf.net/mailman/listinfo/debconf11-germany

* Archive: http://lists.debconf.net/lurker-net/list/debconf11-germany.html

* IRC: #debconf11-germany on irc.debian.org AKA OFTC 

Harald Welte auf dem Linuxtag in Berlin

The Asian Free and Open Source Community

During my work as a FOSS business matchmaker in Asia for FOSS Bridge and other projects in the last two years I met many fantastic people doing amazing things with free and open source software. Yes, there is a vibrant free and open source community in Asia. I have done a few interviews and talks and will be publishing more of that step by step. I had a talk at the Berlin Webmontag a few days ago about business opportunities with free and open source technologies in Asia. The slides (in German) give some ideas about this.

Community First!

The current release of MySQL shows the problems free and open source software projects face that put business first and community second. Michael “Monty” Widenius critizes in his Blog the current developement model of MySQL and recommends not to use the current release 5.1 of the database system.

The reason I am asking you to be very cautious about MySQL 5.1 is that there are still many known and unknown fatal bugs in the new features that are still not addressed.

Monty points out problems stemming from having a company taking the lead in the development of a free software system - cause they need something to sell fast. In this article I am supporting the view of Monty and discuss his views in regards to Freifunk and LXDE. I believe communities must take the lead in order to make and keep a project on the bleeding edge, however, we should work together with companies (like FON.com for Freifunk or ASUS for LXDE) and exchange resources. Both can profit. In the end open and free community projects are all about cooperation.

In his blog entry Monty gives some reasons why the MySQL development department again got a quality problem with the release. Problems are ranging from the fact that MySQL 5.1 was declared a release candidate to early (because of commercial reasons), to focussing too much on new features rather than on quality (because of commercial reasons), to involving developers that are not experienced in developing database systems (Mario: Maybe because they do not come from the community?), to not keeping the development open for testing and participation of the community and more.

As I said in my talk at the MySQL users conference, I think it’s time to seriously review how the MySQL server is being developed and change the development model to be more like Drizzle and PostgreSQL where the community has a driving role in what gets done! (http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2008/11/oops-we-did-it-again-mysql-51-rel...)

What can we learn for the free software and other open source projects here? The consequences are clear. Projects that want to stay on the bleeding edge of technology with quality code and widespread support must put the community first.

In the projects I participate - e.g. freifunk, LXDE, FOSS Bridge - I always work hard to bring the community together, make the community grow and keep and foster it. And this is not always easy. There are different expectations of people involved, different goals and outside circumstances change and have positive and negative effects.

For example, even though the Freifunk community was in the spotlight many times in the last two years, it seemed somehow stagnating. We had put a lot of resources to rebuild the website and foster more exchange, but with the broader availability of broadband in some districts in Berlin for example the motivation of people to participate to get constant Internet access became less. Additionally new business models seemed to draw people away from freifunk to something that seemed easier to use and offer many things similar to Freifunk. However Freifunk is more than mere exchange of free Internet access. The idea of Freifunk is to build a local network - the public space in cyberspace, but we did not have the tools easy enough giving everyone the chance to build the local network with the limited resources, especially time!, that people have.. but we are getting there with simpler software and easier to use devices.

FON.com received different reactions in the core groups of the global Freifunk community when it started, ranging from refusing any connection with FON to trying to ignoring it. Some welcomed FON and their involvement. FON pays some of the core OpenWRT developers which is the base of the Freifunk Firmware and it offers new hardware, that can also be used by the Freifunk community. Personally I do not mind working together with FON. As I see it, we have to be pragmatic and everyone has to make a living and the Freifunk community could profit from the involvement of FON and other companies. I would like the decision if people from the community work for and with FON left to the person him/herself. At a recent meeting in Berlin, I have discussed this a bit with Martin Varsavsky. Martin actually asked me how FON could work together more with the Freifunk community.

We should be clear here though. FON and Freifunk are two very different things. FON is a company that labels its participants (actually its customers) community. Freifunk is a community with many different people - students, engineers, scientists, free and open source activists, people who want Internet, people who want a truly free network, people using it for their business, people working for development cooperation and so on. People have different motivations to participate in Freifunk - interest for technology and development, Internet access, interest in new ideas and projects, inspired by idea of freedom, a way to make a living. These people would not participate if Freifunk was a commercial operation. I remember the saying of some ¨Money destroys the community¨. It is formulated in this regard, I believe.

Still, we should not be absolute here - meaning - we should acquire resources and money for the community -> for conferences, events, hardware for developers, funding for projects etc.. Based on my experience of the last years, communities need resources. We should study successful models of communities that have achieved to channel resources to the people really working on it. Associations, Foundations and similar organisations are very helpful here as they keep things transparent and offer newcomers entry points. Also companies that would like to support projects have it easier to talk to someone from the community if there is a working organisation set up.

During recent months I have seen more activity in the Freifunk community again. With the new OpenWRT Firmware Freifunk will have many features which we want for years. I am always talking about the fantastic things we can do in local networks - new usage cases and sharing of content in your local environment, community radio in schools, universities or simply your backyard. Local networks are different to the Internet as cinema to TV. Felix Fietkau and John have presented a development version of OpenWRT to a group in Berlin recently. The new OpenWRT will offer plugins that will let us store content directly on the nodes. With router devices offering USB connections now everyone can have their small webserver at home. We can have a local Web 2.0. With devices connected to sensors like thermometers we can have live feeds from all over the city, the country and worldwide. I do not want this local Web 2.0 called after a company, a device or anything else. We call this FREIFUNK. A global local = glocal network open to everyone - to the public and to companies.

Companies are always welcome to join development and focus on their business models. However, Open Source, Open Infrastructure and Free Software Projects like Freifunk and LXDE or Open Content projects like Wikipedia have a roadmap that is following long term goals instead of short term profitability. And people are engaging here not just for monetary reasons, they have much broader motivations and they are inspired by the freedom the communities offer. This is why communities are more powerful. Companies simply cannot compete with this in terms of human resources and motivation. In order to grow and sustain free and open projects and the communities though we need to work together in our different fields and we need companies that engage and support the communities.

Open Hardware: Marek Lindner über die Idee und das Potential offener Hardware

Frank Lachmann spricht mit Marek Lindner über Open Hardware beim Wireless Community Weekend 2008 in Berlin. Themen sind die Idee hinter offener Hardware und das Potential hinter der Idee, der OpenTechSummit 2008 und der Austausch mit Hardwareproduzenten aus Taiwan. Marek ist der Organisator des OpenTechSummit in Taiwan und vielen unter anderem in der Freifunkszene bekannt als ein Hauptmaintainer des Routingprotokolls B.A.T.M.A.N., Contributor bei OpenWRT und Developer bei OpenMoko.


Marek Lindner über Open Hardware auf dem Freifunk Wireless Community Weekend in Berlin 2008 from Mario Behling on Vimeo.

Frank: Was ist Open Hardware?

Marek: Wir haben uns Gedanken gemacht, wie können wir das Open-Source-Konzept, also freie Software, auf Hardware übertragen. Kann das Vorteile bringen? Kann das Nachteile bringen? Können wir Hersteller davon überzeugen? Das heißt im Prinzip, wir haben ein Stück Hardware, wo wir genau wissen, wie es funktioniert, was wir auch modifizieren können, verbessern können und dann anderen zur Verfügung stellen können mit diesen Verbesserungen.

Frank: Es geht dabei um Hardware aus welchem Bereich? Es ist ein zehr spezielles Stück, wie ein Router oder ist das ein Skateboard?

Marek: Das kann prinzipiell alles sein, wo Mikrochips enthalten sind. Skateboards sind meistens schon Open Hardware. Da gibt es offene Standards nach denen diese zusammen gebaut werden und das wollen wir einfach auf die Computerwelt übertragen. Das können Router sein, Schallplattenspieler oder Computer im Großen und Ganzen. Das hat keine Begrenzung.

Frank: Also steht der Begriff für eine Idee der Oeffnung von Geräten. Also dass keine proprietären Techniken verwendet werden, keine Patente, sondern, dass Geräte zusemmen gesetzt werden sollen aus offenen Bauteilen und insgesamt auch offen sein sollen und offen programmierbar.

Marek: Genau, das ist der Sinn der Sache. Es geht darum, dass nicht ein Hersteller nur weiß, wie dieses Gerät funktioniert und das möglicherweise verbessern kann und verkaufen kann, sondern dass das Gerät aus offenen Komponenten besteht und damit ein Wettbewerb möglich ist und dass auch einsehbar ist, was dort passiert und wie es passiert.

Frank: Wettbewerb möglich, heißt aber dann doch innerhalb der verschiedenen Geräte, die es für die Zwecke gibt. ... dass ein breiterer Markt zustande kommt.

Marek: Jetzt ist es so: Wenn ein Hersteller etwas entwickelt, dann patentiert er das, dann versteckt er das alles gut und macht eine schöne Schachtel außen herum. Und das kauft man dann und das tut dann, was auch immer es tut, aber niemand weiß genau, wieso es das tut, wie es das tut und niemand ist in der Lage dort anzuschließen und weiterzumachen, sondern nur allein diese Firma hat alles Wissen und alle Rechte darüber.

Frank: Warum ist ein offenes Gerät, eine offene Hardware, besser als eine Geschlossene?

Marek: Wir können ein ganz einfaches Beispiel nehmen. Gucken wir uns den eeepc an, der ein ganz prominentes Beispiel ist, offene Hardware ist. Dieses Gerät wird hergestellt in Taiwan von Asus. Auf dem Gerät befindet sich Open-Source-Software. Viele Programmierer, Entwickler, Leute um den Globus herum, verbessern die Software, verbessern das Gerät, die Möglichkeiten, die man damit hat und machen es sozusagen zu einem besseren Produkt. Nun wäre es auch schön, wenn man auch die Hardware besser machen könnte, zum Beispiel hat der eeepc einen sehr hohen Stromverbrauch. Man kann damit 2-3 Stunden ohne Netzteil durch die Gegend laufen, was für so ein kleines mobiles Gerät nicht optimal ist. Wenn es offen liegen würde, könnten Leute, die damit ein Problem haben, die der Meinung sind, dass sie Ideen haben, wie man das besser machen könnte, das direkt dort einarbeiten und das Gerät verbessern.

Frank: Wo du Asus und den eeepc nennst. Da hat in Taiwan eine Konferenz statt gefunden names OpenTechSummit. Worum ging es da?

Marek: Die Konferenz hat in Taiwan statt gefunden, weil es dort unheimlich viele Hardware-Hersteller gibt. ... Wir haben uns dort getroffen, um Hardwareherstellern zu erläutern, wie das Open-Source-Konzept funktioniert, wie man das auf Open Hardware adaptieren kann und um einfach Fragen zu Communities, zu Lizenzen, zu rechtlichen Problemen zu behandeln. Es war ein ganz breites Spektrum, was wir dort abgehandelt haben.

The main idea behind this summit is to create a community feeling for our cause and then use the synergy created to spread the idea of open source (free software) development here in Taiwan. The summit will span 5 days (25th - 29th of April) and will be hosted at 4 different places. ... ????? community ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????? Community???????? Open Source (Free Software) ?????????????????????25????29??(http://wiki.openpattern.org/index.php/OpenTechSummitTaiwan2008)

Frank: Das hat bei Asus statt gefunden oder mit Unterstützung von Asus? Was war die Rolle von Asus in dem Fall?

Marek: Asus war dieses Jahr unser Hauptsponsor. Hat dort Räume zur Verfügung gestellt und uns mit Tickets unterstützt, um Leute einzuladen, auch mit Werbung. Es gab eine Reihe von anderen Sponsoren. Intel und die Universitäten haben sich beteiligt. Es war ein ganz breites Spektrum. Es gab unterschiedliche Interessenlagen, warum man sich daran beteiligen möchte und was man sich davon verspricht und die haben wir einfach an einen Tisch gebracht und haben wir miteinander diskutieren lassen.

OpenTechSummit2008
Frank: Wenn jetzt die Idee der Open Hardware promoted wurde. Wie war insgesamt die Resonanz, das Feedback? Waren die Leute überzeugt davon?

Marek: Die Resonanz der Veranstaltung war ausgesprochen positiv. Die Atmosphäre insgesamt war sehr gut. Eine Aufbruchsstimmung war sehr gut spürbar. Was konkret dabei herauskommt wird sich erst in den nächsten Monaten zeigen. Es ist unheimlich wichtig kontinuierlich weiter Gespräche zu führen und die Leute weiterhin zu begleiten und das auszuweiten auf mehr Leute.

Frank: Wenn du sagst, ausweiten auf mehr Leute. Wie offen seid ihr gegenüber neün Leuten? Wenn jetzt jemand denkt, das ist ein Thema, das mich interessiert. Wie kann er sich da einbringen? An wen wendet er sich da? Am einfachsten ist es sich auf unserer Mailingliste zu melden oder auf unserem Wiki sich einzutragen. Wir haben bereits die nächste Veranstaltung im nächsten Jahr geplant. Die wird im März statt finden auch wieder in Taipei, noch grösser, noch besser. Wir haben viel gelernt in dem Prozess diese Veranstaltung vorzubereiten und es gibt viele Leute, die das enthusiastisch vorbereiten wollen. Einfach bei uns melden, mitmachen – es gibt viele Möglichkeiten sich zu beteiligen.

Frank: Vielen Dank.

Marek: Gern geschehen. Danke.

Links:

- Marek Lindner, http://wiki.openpattern.org/index.php/OpenTechSummitTaiwan2008_People#Ma...
- OpenTechSummit, http://wiki.openpattern.org/index.php/OpenTechSummitTaiwan2008
- OpenPattern.org, http://openpattern.org
- OpenPattern Wiki, http://wiki.openpattern.org
- OpenPattern Mailingliste, https://lists.openpattern.org/mailman/listinfo/open-hw
- Freifunk, http://freifunk.net
- B.A.T.M.A.N., http://open-mesh.net/batman
- OpenMoko, http://www.openmoko.com
- OpenWRT, http://openwrt.org
- Asus, http://asus.com
- eeepc, http://eeepc.asus.com
- eeepc Pressemitteilung zum OpenTechSummit: http://eeepc.asus.com/global/news04212008.htm

OpenMoko in a nutshell: Platform architect Mickey about new approaches in the Neophone design and OM as an open source rolemodel

Michael 'Mickey' Lauer, platform architect of OpenMoko, is talking to Robert Schuster about the ideas behind the project, new approaches in the Neo Freerunner phone's software and hardware design and about OpenMoko being an open source role model in Taiwan.


Produced by Mario Behling // Interview Robert Schuster
Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=355664534802394465

 

Robert: Mickey, what is OpenMoko?

Mickey: In a nutshell OpenMoko is the first real open source mobile communications platform. It is as simple as that. So what does that mean? It is a communication of open software and open hardware. Open software means we have a full mobile communication stack beginning from bootloader, over sysinit. We have a GSM phone server. We have applications.This is one crucial part, everyone can tinker with that, can change parts with that or everything, if he or she wants. But that is not everything. The other side is Open Hardware. Even if you have a full stack, where is the hardware, where you can actually flash that stack and run it. Most manufacturers just give out closed hardware. That means you can at maximum install a Java applet or something like that. But that is it. On OpenMoko you can install everything you want. It is open. We actually encourage to replace our software stack if you want to. This is experimentation at its best. We are trying to give power to the developer people.

Robert: What are the benefits for the user with this approach?

Mikey: Well, for the user, typically if you want to have newer software, you need to buy a new phone. Usually you can't update a phone and expect to have additional features. But with the Neophone it is completely different. You can install additional packages, you can install complete new operating systems, if you want that. So, the idea is, that ones we give power to the developers, they come up with really exciting applications. They can do nowhere else. Then typical users start to say: “Oh, this is a nice application. I want to have that device, because it does not run anywhere else.” So, this is how we think, we can sell a lot of devices eventually, even to end users.

OpenMoko Logo

Openmoko is a project which encompasses two related sub-projects, with the combined aim of creating a family of open source mobile phones. The project was founded by FIC. The first sub-project is Openmoko Linux, an open source Linux based operating system designed for mobile phones, built using free software. The second sub-project is the development of hardware devices on which Openmoko Linux runs. The first device released was the inconsistently-named Neo 1973 or Neo1973, which was followed up by the Neo Freerunner on the 25th of June 2008. Unlike most other mobile phone platforms, these phones are designed to provide end users with the ability to modify the operating system and software stack. Other Openmoko supported phones are listed here. (Version 4 July 2008, at 16:52, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Openmoko)

Robert: And how are you involved in the OpenMoko project? What is your role in this project?

Mickey: I'm the platform architect. My current task is to work on the OpenMoko framework which is a set of middleware services, that allow our developers to use telephony, to use preferences, to use the pimp storage, things like that. So, I am trying to extract platform services out of our product specs and come up with a durable platform where developers have an idea what they can rely on – which services. And then we try to factor these platform things back into the actual products.

Robert: What are your plans for the future? Do you want to have the OpenMoko software on more telephones, on more mobile phones or just your devices?

Mickey: Actually, OpenMoko as a software is kind of designed in a generic way. We would really love to have OpenMoko running on – say the EZX devices of Motorola, say the HTC devices, where some guys came up with a Linux port. I think it is really good for the platform if it spreads out well. This is really good for us that people know, OpenMoko runs on a lot of platforms. However, at the end of the day OpenMoko as a company wants to sell devices. So, of course OpenMoko is optimized to run on a Neo platform.

OpenMoko Neo Freerunner Phone Robert: At the beginning of the project, there were some problems. You were not able to make phone calls and such things. Let's show us, what you can do today.

Mickey: Yeah, I have to admit, we had a lot of problems getting the bread and butter features right. Actually placing a phone call was really, really hard. It was harder than we estimated. This is a framework testing image and I use it to just concentrate on basic features. Now we can place calls, we can dial a number. It is completely reliable nowadays. The modem no longer hangs up. We can send sms. We have contacts, we have GPS location and this is what people really expect. It is just the barebones features, however, these are reliable now. And from now on, there we can go like implementing a guitar tuner, implementing a web server in your hand, implementing all kinds of strange things people want to do that they just cant do on a closed source system. And the beauty of that is, you have full VGA resolution. It is 285 ppy. It is the highest resolution you can buy at this point of time. It is very slick. It has a nice touchscreen. We have embedded two LEDs behind the buttons, one red color LED and one multi color LED behind the power button. It is a nice design.

Robert: I have not seen any connector for a charger. How do we charge the phone?

Mickey: Usually people supply wall chargers and everyone is incompatible with another one. We said no. We don't want that. There is a standard nowadays. It is called USB and USB provides power. So this USB plug we have here is a standard mini USB plug. It is used for both data transfer as well as charging. You always have your charger with you, if you have a laptop with you or we of course supply a wall charger with a USB plug.

Robert: This is very handy. You do not need an extra plug.

Mickey: Exactly.

Robert: We now come to a completely different topic. How is it work at OpenMoko? Where is it located? How many people are you?

Mickey: Well, OpenMoko is different to what I am being used to. Being a Taiwanese based company you have a completely different culture. Usually I am like two or three times in Taiwan every year and they have a lot of really smart people there. OpenMoko Inc. is like 60 or 70 people – 30 hardware people, 30 software people and 10 for administrative tasks. It's great. It's different, they are all very shy and they are very modest and you need to encourage them to come all by themselves to say: “No, I don't like that.” or “I have a better idea.” It is really challenging when you are used to work with European guys, who are more self-esteemed. But it is an interesting environment. OpenMoko is actually trying to be a kind of a role model in Taiwan, because usually you don't have any open source companies in Taiwan. OpenMoko tries to establish a kind of an open source culture in Taiwan and it is exciting to be a part of that.

Robert: Thank you for your answers Mickey and good luck for your project.

Mickey: Thank you.

Links:
- Michael 'Mickey' Lauer http://www.vanille-media.de , Wiki profile http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/User:Mickey
- Robert Schuster http://www.fsfe.org/en/fellows/robertschuster/weblog
- OpenMoko www.openmoko.com
- OpenMoko Wiki http://wiki.openmoko.org
- OpenMoko Blogs http://planet.openmoko.org

Daniel Molkentin über neue Features in KDE 4.1, Spass in der internationalen KDE-Community und seine Zukunftspläne

KDE LogoDaniel Molkentin von der KDE Community spricht mit mir ueber die aktuelle Entwicklung der Desktop-Oberfläche auf dem Linuxtag 2008 in Berlin. Themen sind
- die Plasmaoberfläche von KDE 4.1
- Moeglichkeiten fuer kommerzielle Distributoren den Desktop zu branden
- die Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Communities, wie Wikipedia und der Idee von Offlineclients
- die Zusammenarbeit mit dem OpenStreetmap-Projekt beim KDE Desktop Globus Marble
- die weltweiten Parties zum Release von KDE 4.0
- das geplante Camp KDE in Amerika
- das Potential der wachsenden Community in Asien
- Moeglichkeiten bei KDE mitzumachen


Linuxtag 2008, Interview mit Daniel Molkentin von KDE from Mario Behling/Kamera: Stefan Koehler
Die K Desktop Environment (KDE; auf Deutsch K-Arbeitsumgebung; früher: Kool Desktop Environment) ist eine frei verfügbare Arbeitsumgebung, das heißt eine grafische Benutzeroberfläche mit vielen Zusatzprogrammen für den täglichen Gebrauch. Diese ist vorrangig für Computer gedacht, auf denen ein Unix-ähnliches Betriebssystem läuft, wie z. B. BSD, Linux oder Solaris. Die Version 3 kann mit Cygwin auch unter Windows und mit Fink auch unter Mac OS X betrieben werden. Seit Version 4 kann KDE-Software prinzipiell auch nativ unter Windows und Mac OS X genutzt werden, die Entwickler planen eine lauffähige Version von KDE für Windows und für Mac OS X für KDE 4.1. Version 15. Juni 2008 um 22:56, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kde)

KDE 4.1 Desktop Image Small
Daniel Molkentin: "Wo es im Moment interessant wird. ... Wir haben einen Desktop-Globus namens Marble und dort arbeiten die Autoren aktiv mit OpenStreetMap zusammen. Wir koennen jetzt bereits OpenStreetMap-Karten anzeigen, noch als "Tiles" und wir hoffen diese "Tiles" bis Ende des Jahres durch wirkliche Vektordaten erzetzen zu koennen, die wir dann ueber die Landkarte legen koennen. Da sind sehr viele Leute aus dem KDE-Projekt aktiv geworden. Torsten Rahn ist da zu nennen, der Autor und andere."

OpenStreetMap ist ein freies Software-Projekt mit dem Ziel, für jeden frei verfügbares weltweites Kartenmaterial in elektronischer Form zu schaffen. Es handelt sich bei dem Projekt um ein Wiki mit geographischen Daten, die (im Gegensatz zu proprietärem Material) unter einer freien Lizenz (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0) verwendbar sind.

Netways erfolgreich mit freiem Monitoringtool Nagios durch Erfahrung, Knowhow und Engagement für die Community

Peter Putz berichtet wie Netways mit dem Monitoringtool Nagios, selbst entwickelten Plugins, einem Geschäftsmodell das auf Knowhow beruht und durch Engagement für die Community erfolgreich ist.

Producer: Mario Behling // Kamera: Stefan Koehler
Google Video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3099840650191575320

Netways Logo Peter Putz: Netways beschäftigt sich mit Open Source...Wir beschäftigen uns mit Nagios, einem Open Source Monitoring Tool... in dem Bereich haben wir uns recht stark etabliert. Wir machen auch viel für die Community und haben schon eine zwei Mal Konferenz veranstaltet, letztes Jahr und vorletztes Jahr, die auch sehr gut angenommen wurden von den Teilnehmnern. Nagios ist freie Software und Open Source. Kann von jedem benutzt werden und wir versuchen auch nur das Freie wirklich weiterzuverwenden.... Wir machen das auch so, dass wir alle Entwicklungen, die wir für Kunden durchführen auch wieder Open Source Community zur Verfügung stellen, die somit jeder dann nutzen kann.

Durch die Software Nagios (Network + Hagios) ... ist es möglich, komplexe IT-Strukturen zu überwachen.Nagios bietet dazu eine Sammlung von Modulen zur Netzwerk-, Host- und speziell Serviceüberwachung sowie einem Webinterface zum Abfragen der gesammelten Daten. Nagios steht unter der GPL, ist also Freie Software, und läuft unter zahlreichen Unix-ähnlichen Betriebssystemen. (Version 18. Mai 2008, 11:27, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagios)

Mario: Wie funktioniert das Geschäftsmodell? Ihr stellt das zur Verfügung, aber bietet den Service um die Software an?

Peter Putz: Das Hauptgeschäft ist bei uns das Consulting. Wir implementieren, beraten und begleiten die Projekte von Kunden und wir bieten natürlich auch Support an in form von Supportverträgen. Darüber generieren wir unser Einkommen.

Mario: Kannst du da ein paar Kunden nennen oder ein typisches Projekt, dass ihr macht?

Peter Putz: Kunden sind natürlich in allen Bereichen zu finden, da die Systemumgebung unabhängig von der Branche ist. Wir haben schon viel für öffentliche Dienstleister gemacht, zum Beispiel für das Bundesverwaltungsamt. Wir haben aber auch Kunden in anderen Bereichen - Banken, Versicherungen, Automobilzulieferer. Wir haben ein ganz gutes Portfolio und die Referenzen kann man auf unserer Webseite anschauen. Das ist www.netways.de.

Mario: Euer Hauptprodukt ist Nagios. Das ist ein Monitoringsystem mit dem man sehen kann, ob ein Webserver gut läuft...

Peter Putz: Genau, ja. Damit kann man alle Services, alle Plattformen überwachen. Das ist plattformunabhängig. Man kann auch Umweltmonitoring machen über spezielle Hardware dann natürlich. Man kann Applikationen überwachen, auch von Außen zum Beispiel - läuft eine Website überhaupt. Man kann aber nicht nur sehen, ob sie erreichbar ist, sondern kann eben auch abprüfen, ob der Inhalt in Ordnung ist. Man kann Applikationen prüfen. Da kann man spezielle Plugins entwickeln, die ein Userverhalten nachbilden, um dann zu sehen, ob entsprechende Responsezeiten da sind. Es gibt Schnittstellen zu SAP zum Beispiel und auch zu herstellergebundener Hardware, zu Dell-Server oder HP-Server, die mit Herstellertools überwacht werden. Da kann man Schnittstellen zu Nagios herstellen.

Mario: Wie ist die Situation mit den Mitbewerbern? Gibt es proprietäre Mitbewerber oder andere Open Source Systeme?

Peter Putz: Proprietäre Mitbewerber gibt es schon, aber auch Open Source. Ich denke die Proprietären sind weitgehend bekannt, Open Source natürlich auch, wobei Nagios sich mittlerweile als das führende System etabliert hat. Da sind sehr viele Erfahrungen da und viele Implementationen, sodass man auf einen gewissen Erfahrungsschatz aufbauen kann.

Mario: Man sagt immer, da das frei erhätlich ist, kann es auch eine andere Firma geben, die das Geschäftsmodell übernehmen kann. Gibt es das bei euch auch?

Peter Putz: Das System an sich ist frei verfügbar. Das kann jeder installieren. Wo der Clou drin steckt, ist das Wissen, wie man es installiert. Obwohl, das kann wahrscheinlich auch noch jeder, aber wie man es dann konfiguriert, wie man dann das ganze Netzwerk abbildet und wie man auch sinnvoll Überwachung gestaltet. Da gehört sehr viel Erfahrung und Knowhow dazu und das bieten wir halt. Natürlich gibt es auch da Mitbewerber, aber wir haben einen ganz guten Stand mittlerweile, dadurch, dass wir uns auch mit der Konferenz etabliert haben. Wir bieten auch Nagios Exchange. Das ist ein Portal zum Austausch und zum zur Verfügung stellen von Plugins. Das wird auch von uns betrieben. Wir haben daher einen ganz guten Bekanntheitsgrad erreicht.

Nagios Screenshot

NagiosGrapher ist eine, als Open-Source Software veröffentliche Erweiterung zur Monitoring Software Nagios, die aus Nagios Performancedaten automatisch Performance-Graphen erstellt und diese automatisiert in die Nagios Weboberfläche einbindet... Entwickler: NETWAYS GmbH (Version 5. Mai 2008, 12:14, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/NagiosGrapher)

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Liferay: CEO Bryan Cheung provides some insights to current developments

Liferays CEO Bryan Cheung offers insights into its business. Liferay has hit 1 Millions downloads in the forth quarter of 2007 and currently employs 55 people worldwide.

Google Video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8314322112100513065

Mario: What can I do with Liferay?

Bryan: You can do blogs, wikis, message boards, document library, web publishing, more traditional things like having an intranet or extranet . You can do e-commerce. I think the key difference from just having standard litte blog or message board is, it is community based. So you have different groups of people that have a message board.

Mario: About your business case. How do earn money?

Bryan: Some of the major revenue sources are professional services, professional support, sort of providing insurance for large enterprises, that want someone to call if something goes wrong and then things like training. We also do performance tuning as well as partnerships with other businesses...

....

Mario: Why did you actually start as an open source company? Why did you take that decision?

Bryan: ... Looking back, we do agree very much with the philosophy and we do think that software development in the future an increasing percentage of it will be done in open source fashion. The way we started the business and the project was very grassroot and so having an open source development philosophy meant getting a lot of development and systems from the community. It has worked out very well for us.

Liferay LogoLiferay, Inc. is a professional open-source company that provides free documentation and paid professional service to users of its software. Mainly focused on enterprise portal technology, the company was founded in 2000 by Brian Chan and currently has its headquarters in Los Angeles, CA. Liferay was created in 2000 by Chief Software Architect Brian Chan to provide a enterprise portal solution for non-profit organizations. In 2006, the company was incorporated under the name Liferay, Inc., formalized its Germany subsidiary Liferay GmbH and named as its new CEO Bryan Cheung, the company's former Director of Business Development. In 2007, the company opened a new Asian headquarters in Dalian, China. ... In July 2007, they announced a partnership with ICEsoft Technologies for developing AJAX technology for their enterprise portal software. In January 2008, the company hired the lead engineer for jQuery UI, Paul Bakaus, to exclusively work full-time on the JavaScript library. (Version 2 April 2008, 18:33, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liferay)

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Open Hardware: Jürgen Neumann of Freifunk.net and Marek Lindner from the Openmoko project about Open Source and Hardware

LiMux: Interview mit Florian Schießl über das Linuxprojekt der Stadt München

Ein Vorzeigeprojekt der Freien Software-Gemeinschaft ist das Projekt LiMux der Stadt München. Bei dem Projekt werden die Computerarbeitsplätze und Server der Stadt München nach und nach auf freie Software-Alternativen umgestellt, weg von einer Microsoft-abhängigen Monopolstruktur. Auf der Open Source Meets Business hatte ich die Chance mit Florian Schießl über das Projekt zu sprechen.

Producer: Mario Behling // Kamera: Stefan Koehler
Direkter Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1615580599839632999

LiMux – Die IT-Evolution ist ein Linuxprojekt der Stadtverwaltung München, das freie Software auf den derzeit ca. 14.000 Arbeitsplatzrechnern der städtischen Mitarbeiter etablieren wird; aufgrund der für die öffentliche Hand in punkto Software-Beschaffung neuartigen Ausrichtung auf Open Source ist LiMux weltweit in den Medien präsent und wird von der proprietären Softwareindustrie und den Befürwortern freier Software gleichermaßen beobachtet. Das Kofferwort LiMux setzt sich aus Linux und München zusammen. Der Zusatz „Die IT-Evolution“ steht im Gegensatz zur „Revolution“, die versucht, durch einen scharfen Schnitt die aktuelle Situation zu ändern. „LiMux – Die IT-Evolution” wird eine langsame, aber kontinuierliche Entwicklung sein, die als Ziel eine modernere, den Anforderungen auf dem Arbeitsplatzrechner besser angepasste IT-Landschaft hat. (Version 23. März 2008, 16:30 Uhr, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiMux)

Hintergrund zu Florian Schießl, der das Limux-Projekt von der Seite der Stadt München betreut und Stefan Koehler, der von Seiten von Gonicus an dem Projekt arbeitet:

Biographie: Florian Schießl
Florian Schießl (29) ist seit 2003 bei der LiMux-Projektleitung und stellt als stellvertretender Leiter des Linux Client Teams die Ablauffähigkeit des Basisclients und die Koordinierung der Officeumstellung sicher. Linux ist sein ständiger Begleiter seit 1998.

Biographie: Stefan Koehler
Stefan Koehler wurde 1971 geboren. Nach einem Musikstudium wandte er sich der Informatik zu und vertritt aus Überzeugung den Einsatz von Freier Software in Unternehmen und Behörden. Derzeit begleitet er als Berater der GONICUS GmbH die Linuxmigration der Landeshauptstadt München.
(http://www.heise.de/fastbin/eventmanager/event_js/2/?event_id=124)

Jean Gondé, CTO of Lagardère Active about the Reorganisation of its Media Business with Open Source Software

Interview with Jean Gondé CTO of Lagadère at Open Source Meets Business 2008 about the introduction of Open Source Software at Lagadère Active and the chances the switch created.

Producer: Mario Behling // Camera: Stefan Koehler

Direct Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1730416742196198243

Self Description of Lagadère at Open Source Meets Business:

The french conglomerate Lagardère is active in media (Paris Match, Elle, Virgin Megastore, Sportfive etc.) and high tech (EADS). The CTO of the Lagardère Active arm describes why and how the content of multiple Lagardère websites worldwide is being managed with an Open Source System (by EZ Systems).

Jean Gondé: "Jean Gondé joined Lagardère Group on January 2007 as Lagardère Active Chief Technology Officer for France and International; Lagardère Active is the Lagardère group division dedicated to all Media activities (TV, Radio, Press and Digital). He had previously accumulated considerable expertise as a consultant in organization and integration of information systems around Enterprise Resource Planning, customer relationship and business intelligence for US companies, and later as head of Bull Consulting, a subsidiary of the Bull group and then, spent several years in the Telecom and Internet industries within the Vivendi Universal Group, lately as Deputy General Manager at 118 218, the US owned multimedia directory services company which he set up and is No. 1 today in France. (http://www.heise.de/fastbin/eventmanager/event_js/2/?event_id=62)

Lagardère Active Media Logo

German Wikipedia:

Lagardère SCA ist eine große französische Unternehmensgruppe, die im Verlagswesen und in der Flugzeug- und Raumfahrtbranche engagiert ist. Sie war früher unter dem Namen des Rüstungs- und Flugzeugkonzerns Matra bekannt. (Version, 19. März 2008, 07:40 Uhr, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupe_Lagardère)

English Wikipedia:

Lagardère SCA is a French conglomerate formerly known as Matra, with holdings in publishing, retail, media, and aerospace. (Version, 14 March 2008, 18:29, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagardère_Group)

eZ Publish (pronounced "easy publish")

... is an open source enterprise content management system developed by the Norwegian company eZ Systems. eZ Publish is available for free download under the GPL licence, as well as under proprietary licences with commercial support. (Version 4 April 2008, 07:47, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EZ_publish)

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Manel Sarasa CEO of Openbravo, Interview at Open Source Meets Business

I conducted an interview with the CEO of Openbravo, Manel Sarasa. Openbravo is a free and open source software for enterprise resource planning.

We are talking about the story of Openbravo, localization of the software and the business model of the company. Openbravo has currently more that 1500 downloads a day and all together more than 500.000 downloads up to know. 70 partners are acting in more than 20 countries. The download of the software is completely free of charge. Customers can also customize the software and distribute it. The company earns an income by providing services and consulting. It received 5 million Euros funding from investors in the first round.

Our clients are organisations that have chosen to be the owners of their ERP solution and to only pay for the professional support they really need, when they need it. (May 15, 2008, www.openbravo.com)

60 people are steadily employed by the company. One third in the engeneering team, one third in the operations team and one third is employed in other parts, like in corporate services and in the internal consulting unit. "About the community, we estimate that there are thousands of people contributing to the project." Emerging markets and Asia, especially India and China, is a hot topic for Openbravo. "We start to have some good contacts there." The next step in increasing userfriendlyness of Openbravo systems is the one click install with an easy option to keep clients up to date.


Interview: Mario Behling // Camera: Stefan Koehler
Direct Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3941448881089759658
Openbravo is an open source web-based ERP business solution for small and medium sized companies that is released under the Openbravo Public License, based on the Mozilla Public License. The model for the program was originally based on the Compiere ERP program that is also open source, released under the GNU General Public License version 2. The company is also a member of the Open Solutions Alliance, a non-profit organization working for open-source standardization. The program is among the top ten most active projects of Sourceforge as of January 2008. Development decisions are made by Openbravo, S.L., located in Pamplona, Spain. (Version 22 March 2008, 18:31, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Openbravo)

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