Who doesn't enjoy taking sides in a megatheread?
PS: If you think I am not funny enough, just hit me with ideas in comments.
There are a lot of cool things about the new and simplified procedure to get added on Planet Fedora but what's the coolest one?
It is not that we avoid a human bottleneck, like Seth may gets abducted by aliens, brainwashed and decide to play a Jeff Waugh on us, we know and trust Seth.
It is not that Planet Fedora gets more open, empowering its contributors even more, lowering the barrier to entry and showing, once again, what an open community should be.
And it is not that this will filter out some people who got aggregated by chance, without being really Fedora contributors.
The coolest thing is that Planet Fedora just got meme enabled.
Do you remember a few years ago when all the rage on various Planet aggregators was to use South Park characters as hackergotchis (made with an online Flash tool)? Some planets still use them...
Of course the South Park meme is old, but we can be kittens, astronauts, ninjas, rock stars, robots or whatever else is the meme of the week just by changing one line in a .planet file. So start your memes...
Note: it would be cool if we had a tool to create characters, like a skinable web application or skins for a potato game (to bad KTuberling is KDE and not in the default desktop).
For those who do not want to play memes, just have a plain hackergotchi, just make your image fit visually the layout of Planet Fedora, that means an icon of about 96x96 pixels, we have currently a few which are a bit too large making the aggregator look kind of buggy. And do not forget we are running a service for those who can't do their own hackergotchi, do not hesitate to ask.
A bit of history
There are two years since the first mockup (no picture, the particular wiki page is dead) for what was going to become the Echo icon theme (at the time it was just "Bluecurve and Beyond") appeared. It was a rough preview (~20 icons) made by Diana.
Honestly, the icons sucked a lot - bloated SVG made with Illustrator, no standard size, no guidelines and so... but a lot of us, bored by the already old Bluecurve and not convinced by Tango, got excited and put some hope in it.
After a while, without a maintainer, with poor infrastructure (a wiki page), no guidelines and poor SVGs and few active contributors, the development slowed down.
Then Luya and Martin stepped in, took over the maintenance, worked hard on guidelines, a new hosting infrastructure and a number of cool looking icons which are used in various places around Fedora.
The plan is ambitious: to get the icon theme in a state so it can be considered as a default for Fedora 10. The plan is hard but not unattainable. In needs more contributors. It needs you.
Icon development is not my filed of expertise, I have contributed to Echo only a few remixes in the early days, but I like to learn. So here is my idea: show some basic tips to encourage others to put they own tips, generate a healthy exchange of information, learn from each other and encourage new blood.
One of the hard part about the Echo icon theme is that it uses an axonometric (not that is not isometeric) view for the large view, and the creation of such icons have a level of difficulty. So you need to use a kind of helper - the old way was to import a SVG showing a grid, draw on top of it and then delete it (the source is available in the guidelines page):
As disappointing as it may be, my countdown has ended and it was related to my webcomic... sorry if you had greater expectations :D
Anything that's put on the web is measurable and the measurements for my Fedora webcomic showed unsatisfactory results, so I had two options either to drop it or make it better. Being excessively stubborn, dropping was not an option so the only way remaining was trying to improve, and as I can't improve the humor (as it defines me as a person) I worked on the graphics. So here is today's edition:
As the title says, it is a screencast, which is narrated in Romanian, so it may not be that useful for my English readers, but if you find it useful, just ask for a transcript and one can easily do a voice over in another language.
At the recent Romanian Fedora release party one of the speaker was Alexandru, who talked about his web-based translation tool, Narro and how it can be used to translate Fedora and other FOSS applications.
Those reading my blog probably know that I like Narro, so as promised at the release party, I did a screencast for beginners (OGG Theora video):
This is the perfect example of a lame blog post: I was super busy today all day long, without the time to write a proper post (I had two subjects in my mind, one involving a screencast for translators and another a couple of tips for icon creation) but at the same time I wanted to test Seth's changes at Planet Fedora (more about coolness potential in it in a future post) and I had to update the countdown, as it is close to finish, so sorry for the noise.
The subject says all: Sunday 18 May we had a small Release Party for Fedora 9 in Bucharest. First I will scare you with a few ugly photos made with my phone (resized from GIMP so they are not that ugly):
One more webcomic created in April (the last one, cross my heart), but this time I have an excuse: it was made for the release week the release got delayed, so my webcomic too (but next week...)
You may remember when I talked is some older posts about how awesome Alexandru Szasz is, now here is the latest cool thing he is up to and which I think deserve recognition: he just added Fedora in his web-based translation tool, Narro, for translation into Romanian:
I am not a fan of their music, but when when I learned about the second album released by NIN under a CreativeCommons license, I fired up by BitTorrent client to download and see what's about it.
But starting the client activated the seeding for my previous uploads, with an interesting surprise:
There is and on-going meme on the Romaian "blogosphere" and I am going with it: Marius Tuca is an onanist. That is very clear from his recent article.
For my English readers: the guy is a well known Romanian journalist (written press and TV) who recently published a piece where he calls the Romanian bloggers "onanists", here is my translation of a quote from the above-mentioned article: "...Romanian bloggers are nothing else than worms who got to the surface without having something to say, ready to flood the space with banalities and originalities known and told by everyone, in a common masturbation..."
Is not hard to imagine cool stuff we can do with photos of people, see gregdek's idea about hackergotchi stickers, the old call for photos by Mo to promote spins, or a couple of ideas from me (Anaconda slides or fp.o front page banners), you know, things which could "emphasize the human nature of Fedora and the people behind the project" (he, he).
But we have a big blocker: lack of such photos... photos of Fedora contributors and enthusiasts which we allow us to use their photos (the approval part is very important).
So here is an idea: next week Fedora 9 release parties will gather all around the world a lot of right people in the right mood, so get your cameras, get approval from the subjects and let the photos flood. I am sure we can find crafty way to put them to good use.
Powering robots since 2005. 'Nuff said. Now bow to your robotic overlords.
Before going to the meat of this post, here is a new instance of my mysterious countdown (the bets are still open):
I was so carried away with the idea of the Fedora 9 release countdown that I couldn't stop myself from creating a counter for a "personal" project (the counter is plain and boring: static images, without any scripting or autoupdate):
Sorry for the delay, this happens when the feedback is happening elsewhere , clashing with May Day and a weekend. (note: I expected a bit of controversy after the Desktop piece in my webcomic and was wondering about the silence).
As usual, Radu is strong and direct, he says "let's be honest: this is what a fanboy does when he doesn't want to admit the betrayal" (linking to the already famous official position from the Red Hat Desktop Team) but he also ask a question which I think deserves an answer:
"By the way, can you explain why should you fight for "Linux on the desktop", when Red Hat Inc. has stopped doing it?"
Do you remember the Fedora stickers kit I talked a about a few days ago? Here is an usage suggestion:
xml2po -a -o the_desktop.en-US.po the_desktop.svg
xml2po -a -o the_desktop.ro-RO.po the_desktop.svg
xml2po -a -p the_desktop.ro-RO.po the_desktop.svg > the_desktop.ro.svg