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Mingle Today!

March 15th, 2011 by

Connect. Mingle Today!It all started out with a simple question Pavol Rusnak asked on the openSUSE Conference ’09

What are we really doing when we develop a new tool to handle openSUSE users and groups?

The answer was simple: Connecting people to projects, groups and with each other. Connecting faces to names, nicknames and to email addresses. In the end connecting all our other tools to this one so we can share the data. These are the fundamental ideas behind our newest openSUSE tool: connect. In the following months the openSUSE Boosters and friends started to work on this tool based on Elgg. An open source social networking engine, that delivers the building blocks that enable us to create our own fully-featured social network. And today we release it to you, the openSUSE Community.

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openSUSE Connect Beta

September 3rd, 2010 by

As a result of the openSUSE Boosters’ ‘HackMeck‘ two weeks ago at FrOSCoN we are proud to present you with a new beta of openSUSE Connect.

Connect is supposed to become the central user database for the openSUSE project. Sounds bland, don”t it? But you know the Boosters, everything we do comes with a grain of spice and Connect is no different. The spice here are a lot of nifty social network features like user profiles, friending, groups, an event calendar and possibly more. Thats possible because on top of the user database we use a Free Software social network framework called Elgg. Elgg will help us to go a step further in one of the most important areas of the openSUSE project: Connecting our community. We do a very good job connecting code at the moment but there is no central place for openSUSE users to mingle, form relationships and meet collaborators.

Try it!

Did we whet your appetite? Want to try it? No problem, just head over to our beta instance http://connect.opensuse.org and login as user geeko with the password opensuse to try it out. Make some friends, create a group or run a poll. This instance is regularly deployed with the newest code from our git repository so you will always get the latest and greatest. But please don’t forget that this is a beta :-) If you encounter any problems, guess what, make a bugreport in our bugzilla!

Help out!

Or how about you get your hands dirty? So far our experience with Elgg is wonderful. It’s a tidy, extensible and well designed piece of software. The community is very helpful and there is a lot (if not to say a butt-load) of functionality available. And if something is not there already we have found that we can easily add it. You could too you know? Elgg runs on a combination of Apache, MySQL and the PHP scripting language and as this is the most popular web server environment in the world we hope we can attract more people to help to fit Elgg to openSUSE’s needs. And on top of that it’s really easy to hack on it! The changes we did so far at the HackMeck and the last couple of weeks are self-contained in plugins that extend the basic functionality. The powerful data model and view system of Elgg make it possible to change it to openSUSE’s needs without ever touching the core functions. So if you are interested in helping, get to know Elgg and then get in contact with the openSUSE Boosters.

We hope you will enjoy this new openSUSE tool. And remember: Have a lot of fun…

openSUSE Connect hacking session at FrOSCon 2010

August 9th, 2010 by

Join the HackMeck!

HackMeck is the weekend hack retreat of the openSUSE Boosters team in the openSUSE development room @ FrosCON. The aim of HackMeck is to advance Connect, the social networking framework the project is using to connect its users with each other. This is a great opportunity for new contributors to participate together with experienced members on some specific objective.

Connect is built on top of the Elgg plattform and most of the features we want are already available as Elgg plugins. We will evaluate and enhance those in order to match our expectations. However, some additional features will also require the creation of new plugins. Connect runs on a combination of a web server and the MySQL database and is written in the PHP scripting language. If you already posses knowledge about this very popular web server environment we encourage you to join HackMeck! But even if you don’t there are plenty of cool things to do and this weekend will give you the opportunity to learn and further yourself.

The features that will be worked on during HackMeck include:

  • OAuth and OpenID support for the login procedure
  • An Event Calendaring System with CalDAV support
  • Support for location based services like geotagging of people/events
  • Enhance the ”play factor” by engaging the users with badges and awards
  • Support for generation of business cards and other representative supplies

If you are interested in social networking, hacking and shaping the future of this project and want to discover the inner workings of openSUSE make sure to come to HackMeck @ FrosCON 2010, August 21st and 22nd at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. Don’t forget to register using the following form so it will be easier for us to plan the event.

We’re a happy family – The Boosters are hiring!

August 5th, 2010 by

The openSUSE Boosters are a team of people helping developers of the openSUSE project to take off. It consists of people with skills ranging from low level C hackery over Ruby on Rails mastering to graphical design or project management. The team picks milestones and works on them in a agile fashion. They always follow their mantra: Grow community by enabling community

The openSUSE Boosters team is looking for an experienced software engineer to join their efforts.

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openSUSE 11.3 Launch Party in Nürnberg (15.7.)

June 24th, 2010 by

On July 15th you are invited to celebrate with us the latest release of our distribution: openSUSE 11.3!

Launch Party Poster

Who? All people interested in openSUSE. Please spread the word!

Where? openSUSE headquarters in the Novell building, Maxfeldstr.5, 90409 Nuremberg

When? July 15th, 19:00 – 22:00

What? We plan to have a presentation of 11.3 and it’s improvements, some demo systems, and lot’s of people that care about openSUSE to talk with. You could just bring your notebook to get the latest openSUSE version installed and have a beer with the developers and other users! We will have a big barbecue and franconian beer for all :-)

For the small and big children we will have the openSUSE balloon clown visiting us, creating geekos and other animals like on Linuxtag. If you are not from Nuremberg, have a look at the party locations in the wiki, or make your own party!
Join this event on facebook.

If you cannot wait until 15.7. to get the new openSUSE 11.3, you can already download the release candidate on software.opensuse.org now.

Get Boostered at LinuxTag 2010

June 8th, 2010 by
Get boostered at the LinuxTag

LinuxTag is starting tomorrow. Swing by Berlin and get a lift from the openSUSE Boosters.

Boosters: Umbrella Sprint Summary

May 31st, 2010 by

For the last few months some of the Boosters were working on “Umbrella” infrastructure concept for openSUSE. Various web tools grew over time and unfortunately they became almost independant and disconnected from each other. We decided to improve the situation by making openSUSE websites more integrated and easier accesible in order to help people to find the stuff they are looking for.

During the openSUSE Conference 2009 Klaas gave a talk about the current state of tools and our improvement plans. Robert created a brand new Bento theme which allowed Pavol to create a simple global menu to put on top of each website. These menus group all links to other websites into four categories: Downloads, Support, Community and Development. These more-or-less correspond to groups of users openSUSE has, which makes navigation easy and fun!

The Bento theme was later ported to MediaWiki engine by Michal, so we could use it in our new wiki instance, which is being filled in with content at the moment by other Boosters in cooperation with Wiki team.

We were more than happy to accept help from Pascal Bleser who completely remixed Planet openSUSE to visually match the rest of the sites, while delivering lots of other improvements (like keyboard navigation for example).

One of the things that also witnessed the design change was software.opensuse.org, our portal for downloading the last stable and development releases also containing a package search. It now contains a link to openSUSE Derivatives.

Coolo and Tom continued their Build Service efforts from their previous “Factory Page” sprint, which lead to massive web user interface overhaul. You can read about it in the previous separate post by Andreas.

Here are the screenshots of described applications, but remember that it is better to see the pages in action by yourself! :-)

What was left out of the sprint were the WordPress theme and vBulletin forums theme. The first one is more-or-less ready but is not yet tested. You welcome to help us with these to make the theme transition complete. Robert also created a style guide which is available from our wiki and should help you with using and applying the Bento theme. While it is quite short at the moment, it will be enhanced with nice “How To” documents soon.

This concludes our long but important “Umbrella” sprint and Boosters are already looking forward to other exciting challenges.