23 February 2010

The evil troll strikes again... and he should make some business cards for himself

For various reasons I moved most of my photography blogging in a separate place (easily discoverable), but as the evil troll I am, I couldn't resist doing what I like the best: tormenting my friends from the community. I know that posting this I would make a guy photographer cry for not having such an opportunity, a designer girl run away scared by the image of the white stuff and a lot of other people (statistically, geek guys are a large majority around here) jealous learning I befriended with all those models.


Now let me tell a story about how the community helped me with this photo set: I met at the show my friend Adrian and when the girls asked for my contact to get the photos, the stupid me didn't have any business card on him, so Adrian gave me a few of his Fedora Ambassador cards and I wrote my email address on the back. The icing on the cake: one of the girls even asked what is that Fedora thing on the face of the cards... I was not bold enough to try to talk her into FLOSS :(

22 February 2010

10by10by10: Support LGM2010!

I am in a hurry, working on some cool (for myself!) stuff which I will probably write about in a couple of days, so I will reproduce the announcement verbatim:

The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is the annual working conference for free software graphics application users and developers. The fifth edition takes place 27-30 May 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. Teams from GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, Krita, Scribus, Hugin, Open Font Library and many other graphics projects gather to improve their software and discuss new ideas for interoperability and shared standards.

LGM2010 has launched a fundraising campaign called 10by10by10 to raise $10,000 USD from grants, $10K from corporations and $10K from the community. The funds raised from granting organizations, public, and corporate partners will allow participants who have no other means of sponsoring their travel to Brussels to attend the event.

Please contribute to the community campaign at: http://pledgie.com/campaigns/8926

All donations are tax deductible for US taxpayers. For larger donations from corporations and individuals, you can contact us directly at lgm AT gnome DOT org

This year we may have a healthy Fedora presence at the event... I should look into details and see if I can call that a FAD.

18 February 2010

Cutting etge/really blunt edge

I, for one, feel an itching seeing Inkscape 0.48 in "chill" - this means just before "freeze" and on the way to "release" and start thinking about a jump to Rawhide as soon as it's version will be upgraded but on the other hand I see people in a different situation: big company with "RHEL4 on thousands of workstations" crying about being stuck with (self built) 0.46 and preparing a migration to RHEL5 now, in the spring of 2010, and crying their old building script won't work with 0.47 (EPEL has 0.44 for RHEL4 and 0.46 for RHEL5).

Definitely, I couldn't live with a desktop/workstation like that: no rush for the latest version, not getting hit by early bugs, no fun (even if I, for example, never used for real anything in the "Filters" menu introduced in 0.47).


You have an old addiction and somehow manage to get cured of it but then you cave to peer pressure and regress once... Then the addiction is all over again, you try to abstain as hard as you can and only draw a trilogy of "special editions" to go along with milestones in a nearby event/release/happening.

After drawing them, the normal thing to you is to upload them in the target web space, waiting the right time for publishing and have use the minimal effort when publishing. But all the fun is sharing them, so you are itching for sharing them with the world, having to wait a couple of weeks for the first, one month and a half for the second and beginning of May for the finale is a pain.

So I devised a riddle for those really interested in the topic: the files are in the usual place, with very obvious names. If you can guess the names, you can see the files. Here are the hints for guessing the names:

  • the first one is titled just like a name
  • the second one is about trekish cannon-fodder
  • the third one is about jumping to light-speed
I hope I didn't destroy the surprise, ruin the punch lines or give away too much of the stories with this riddle. And still thinking (suggestions welcome) for a prize to the first one solving the riddle.

17 February 2010

Why I won't abandon Firefox

I think MrTom's testimony about why he's not abandoning Firefox is interesting so I should provide my own take on that: I think the alternatives are inferior.

- Chrome/Chromium: (forget for the moment about the part where I won't use Chrome because it has the sources closed, there is his Free brother Chromium) I won't use it because its weird user interface. Give me an app following the GNOME HiG, something that will fit my desktop, a browser with a normal titlebar and tab label below the URL bar and then we may talk. I stopped using themes in the Mozilla Suite ages ago and never looked back.

- Epiphany: is nice to have but it is quite low on features. Probably I could live with that, but the pain of moving my current data from Firefox is just too big. However, I have it always installed and use it from time to time.

- Seamonkey: that's a reliable browser I always keep handy as a secondary option, having fond memories of the old times when I kept using the suite and resisted to move to Firefox. After its development was re-started and synced with Firefox, it has become more usable but is still visibly one or two steps behind.

- I also tried Kazehakase, which looks interesting but seems to have the same downsides as Epiphany.

However... what I see from the design mockups for Firefox 4 make me think harder.

16 February 2010

Videos from RLUG Meet February: OpenStreetMap

The February edition of the RLUG meets was a bit unusual: the formal part started late and the guys with the projector got stuck in traffic, the main presentation was extra long, in the end we didn't have time for the lightning talks, which were postponed for the next edition.

So our guest was Eddy Petrișor, with a talk about OpenStreetMap, which I captured on video, but having forgot the charger at home, I was able to record only about an hour and 31 minutes (I believe it was at least 15 minutes more). Then for a sane upload and watch, I split the video in 3 parts and put it on blip.tv, which failed me again converting to FLV, so only the Ogg Theora version is available (not that this is a bad thing), so you can watch (in Romanian):

The plan for the next edition (March) so far is to be again unusual, only with lightning talks (8 of them or more) so come to see a more varied programme. Also, register for a talk, we need that too.

Braking for Alpha

Just before selecting a candidate for F13 Alpha (we were supposed to do this yesterday), those are the concepts submitted for Fedora 13 artwork, enjoy:

f13 artwork

As you can easily see, the inspiration source was the code name Goddard, going the way to rocketry, deep space, exploration. I expect we will go with one of Mo's rocket trails and also like Mola's cartoonish style, which I could see used for additional graphics (banners).

10 February 2010

video: Partying at FOSDEM 2010

It is said a picture is worth 1000 words, then a video must also worth more than a few pictures (not as much as the sum of all its frames, but I digress) so probably the best illustration of people having fun around FOSDEM is using video. Technically I could have embedded the .OGVs using the VIDEO tag, but I am not sure blip.tv guys like that (embedding the flash version will carry advertising, theora not) so I am just linking. Follow the links and select "Source - Ogg Theora/vorbis (.ogv)" from the dropdown.

First, there is the FOSDEM Beer Event taking place at Delirium Café. A lot of Fedora people appear here, since they were around me (and a lot of us were there) and the place was quite crowded, making hard to move around (but still not yet at its peak). My highlights: Hercule Stout, the "only" Belgian stout, Delirium Nocturnum, the dark version of Delirium Tremens and a cherry beer for which name I am not sure of.

Then a short clip from the Mozilla bowling which followed the dinner. Unfortunately the footage from Laser Tag were too dark and unusable and I turned off the camera quickly, so I pretty sure this was not the cause my team (blue) got its collective ass kicked so badly.

Sunday evening a part of the Fedora gang returned at Delirium for more beers, fun time and playing with our cameras. If you manage to freeze this video at the right time you can get a very compromising picture of the Dutch and the Greek... I guess it's the time for me to run and hide :D

Maybe I should have started the list of video link with the traditional FOSDEM dance, but it was the last uploaded and I am lazy. Watch the moves and try to repeat them. And don't break anything around you!

09 February 2010

Some FOSDEM 2010 photos

Now that I can see beyond the snow is time to follow the Day -1 with more photos showing what happened during the event.

fosdem 2010

Travelling with a sponsorship from Mozilla (thank you guys a lot!) and being a rabid Fedora fanboy I shared my time between the Mozilla room and the Fedora booth:
fosdem 2010

fosdem 2010

And hanged with people from both communities:
fosdem 2010

fosdem 2010

Also, had the opportunity to take part in a planning for the upcoming Libre Graphics Meeting, where it looks like the Fedora Design Team will have a good presence:
fosdem 2010

It was impressive how many people have attended, many presentations had the rooms jam-packed, with more people in the audience than seats available:
fosdem 2010

Being there with two groups, one night I partied with the Mozilla people (food, drinks, bowling and laser tag):
fosdem 2010

fosdem 2010

And the other with my Fedora friends (food, drinks, jokes, photography)
fosdem 2010

fosdem 2010

I don't know from which project they were, but some people seems they had partier even harder than us:
fosdem 2010

It was not all fun, jokes and trying to impress girls:
fosdem 2010 fosdem 2010

I even managed to get some work done (if you can call that work):
fosdem 2010

Back in the trenches

The expression "back in the trenches" is usually used as a metaphor for going back to work on something... this time I use it literally, just like the digging ditches:


Returning from FOSDEM (more posting about FOSDEM is in the queue), where the weather in Brussels was not bad at all, I found Bucharest waiting me with a big surprise, when arriving home the snow was so big, it was impossible for me to open the gate, I had to take it out from its joints:

My house is positioned in such a way that it provide shelter against Crivăț, the mighty wind from the Nort-East (from Russia, Siberia, from where most of the nasties come), so during a snowstorm like that, the blizzard will blow the snow from the open areas and pile it where its sheltered (like in front of my house):

The snow had formed a crest with the peak at about 80cm exactly in front of the door and where I have to dig trails, I used a ruler to measure it:

My dog was the happiest to see me back, she was alone for those few days (with a big reserve of food) but she didn't like at all to be isolated by snow like that. I was a liberator!

Now in Bucharest is -5°C and snowing slowly...

06 February 2010

Fedora Webcomic, FOSDEM Special: The Lame Sellout

So my soul is sold for a couple of beers, I have no shame. And because people waited so long. this one is bigger, has more panels and more people.

feedora webcomic: sellout

Now back to the planning for today's beers...

FOSDEM -1: FAD and beer

I am in a hurry, preparing a surprise, struggling with bad connectivity, so won't talk a lot abut the photos from the FOSDEM -1 day (didn't made even a good selection before publishing). but it was good: first I joined the gang for a good talk about ambassadors (and of course some beer)

fad fosdem

Then we got somewhere to eat and had some nice crêpes (and some of us had some beers)

After which we moved to the traditional beer event
fosdem beer

Where obviously everybody had plenty of beer:
fosdem beer

03 February 2010

The Public Domain Manifesto

I learned about the Public Domain Manifesto from Bogdan's blog and as soon as I read it I found it awesome and signed.

As skeptical as I am about such a document being ever officially accepted (there are so many interests and such powerful lobbyists...) I couldn't stop promoting it further. The Open Clip Art Library is an excellent use case for PD, the manifesto is all about we are doing there. I' also trying to talk one of the ambassadors (I am not one of them) into signing it on behalf of our Romanian Fedora community.

Here is the preamble of the manifesto:

"Our markets, our democracy, our science, our traditions of free speech, and our art all depend more heavily on a Public Domain of freely available material than they do on the informational material that is covered by property rights. The Public Domain is not some gummy residue left behind when all the good stuff has been covered by property law. The Public Domain is the place we quarry the building blocks of our culture. It is, in fact, the majority of our culture."(James Boyle, The Public Domain, p.40f, 2008)

Its general principles:
  1. The Public Domain is the rule, copyright protection is the exception.
  2. Copyright protection should last only as long as necessary to achieve a reasonable compromise between protecting and rewarding the author for his intellectual labour and safeguarding the public interest in the dissemination of culture and knowledge.
  3. What is in the Public Domain must remain in the Public Domain.
  4. The lawful user of a digital copy of a Public Domain work should be free to (re-)use, copy and modify such work.
  5. Contracts or technical protection measures that restrict access to and re-use of Public Domain works must not be enforced.
And general recommendations:
  1. The term of copyright protection should be reduced.
  2. Any change to the scope of copyright protection (including any new definition of protectable subject-matter or expansion of exclusive rights) needs to take into account the effects on the Public Domain.
  3. When material is deemed to fall in the structural Public Domain in its country of origin, the material should be recognized as part of the structural Public Domain in all other countries of the world.
  4. Any false or misleading attempt to misappropriate Public Domain material must be legally punished.
  5. No other intellectual property right must be used to reconstitute exclusivity over Public Domain material.
  6. There must be a practical and effective path to make available 'orphan works' and published works that are no longer commercially available (such as out-of-print works) for re-use by society.
  7. Cultural heritage institutions should take upon themselves a special role in the effective labeling and preserving of Public Domain works.
  8. There must be no legal obstacles that prevent the voluntary sharing of works or the dedication of works to the Public Domain.
  9. Personal non-commercial uses of protected works must generally be made possible, for which alternative modes of remuneration for the author must be explored.