openSUSE Weekly News, Issue 169 is out!

2. Apr 2011 | Sascha Manns | No License

We are pleased to announce our new Issue 169.


openSUSE Weekly News

### openSUSE Weekly News Team

169 Edition

Legal Notice

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Published: 2011-04-03

Table of Contents

Announcements Google Summer of Code Status Updates

Distribution SUSE Studio Team Report In the Community

Postings from the Community People of openSUSE Events & Meetings openSUSE for your Ears Communication Contributors New/Updated Applications @ openSUSE Security Updates Kernel Review Tips and Tricks

For Desktop Users For Commandline/Script Newbies For Developers and Programmers For System Administrators Planet SUSE On the Web

Announcements Call for participation Reports Reviews and Essays Credits Acknowledgements Copyrights

List of our Licenses Trademarks Feedback Translations

We are pleased to announce our 169th issue of the openSUSE Weekly News.

You can also read this issue in other formats. Just click here.

Enjoy the reading :-)

Header PictureAnnouncements

Andreas Jaeger: openSUSE Release versioning – Poll on last three options

The poll on SurveyMonkey on how to version the openSUSE distribution release is now closed, you can see the results here. The winner is the “old school” (like currently but only counting the right number until 3), followed by “Fedora style” (just integers) and “Ubuntu style” (2 digits year “.” 2 digits month).

The openSUSE members only poll is now live on until April 04, 2011. Please select your favorite option!

License: GFDL 1.2

Review – openSUSE 11.4 and the much improved XFCE 4.8

Just a few months ago, the XFCE project announcedýXFCE 4.8,ýthe result of over 2 years of hard work. This desktop, one of the four official desktops of openSUSE 11.4, brings many new features. If you’re not having fun in the desktops provided by KDE or GNOME you should have a close look at XFCE (or the lightweight LXDE). To show you how it’s done, I checked out XFCE and wrote about my experience.

Figure 1. The default XFCE desktop

The default XFCE desktop

Testing XFCE 4.8 on openSUSE 11.4

To test XFCE Figure 1, “The default XFCE desktop” I went into SUSE Studio and created an XFCE 4.8 image. After some clicking around (slimming a standard GNOME down to XFCE) I had built a hard disk image. If you do this yourself, notice that by default, SUSE Studio does not install ‘recommended’ packages from patterns. This can be enabled – and you surely should do that if you want a decent XFCE!

The ability to just write an image to an usb disk and have it resize itself to the size of the whole stick at first boot is awesome. You can just install software and in general won’t notice you work on an USB stick! That is truly a portable OS… (…)

License: GFDL 1.2

A year of Collaboration ahead

The openSUSE Project considers collaboration an important value for a Free Software community. After our successful openSUSE conference which had a strong focus on collaboration, several cool things have started. Now it is time for openSUSE bring collaboration to the Google Summer of Code and we invite students to join us in making Free Software stronger through working with others! For those who don’t know yet, Google Summer of Code is a project by Google to let students spend their summer time on coding instead of a waiting tables.

License: GFDL 1.2

Header PictureGoogle Summer of Code


Michal Hrusecky: GSoC 2011 Ideas – Karma plugin for openSUSE Connect

This post is about one idea for GSoC 2011 regarding openSUSE Connect. I already wrote about it some time ago, but now is time to elaborate a little bit more.

First of all, let me state, that I already found a qualified student, that wants to work on this idea and that has also some good suggestions. So I’m not searching for a student with this post, but I want to share with you the goals of this project and why I think it is important.

Let’s start again with what it is all about. We as a openSUSE Project have many contributors. People provide not only code, but they write documentation on our wiki, report bugs, organize release parties, organize booths at conferences and much more. Obviously we should make their effort recognized by public. Usual way how to do it is to assign so called karma points. Basically concept works like that for every contribution you receive some points. And then, anytime you appear somewhere, everybody can see how skilled you are. This works well on forums, but we have many different people and many different kinds of activities. And we want project wide karma somehow.

So basic idea of this project is to create different kinds of karma and collect as many information as possible automatically. So we will have wiki karma that will grow with every wiki page edit. We will have marketing karma growing bigger with every tweet and blog post. Packager karma getting bigger with every change submitted to the openSUSE. So this project will be not only about displaying and managing karma points but also about collecting statistics from various different services.

One thing that I wanted implemented was ability for group moderators to reward group members for extraordinary work a little bit extra. So for example if some KDE developer will fix really tough bug, KDE people can give him some extra points. But allocating these extra points will not be easy and will definitely need some more thoughts. Main trouble will be how to allocate points that group can redistribute.

Other feature I wanted to have was having means how individuals can reward others whose work they appreciate. My original idea was to let people send around their own Karma points. But I was pointed out, that this might not be a good idea. There are few reasons why. First trouble is that people will get karma points of different type than they should have. Ambassador will send some karma points to the great developer and shy developer could earn many marketing points this way even though he prefers to be locked down in the basement. Other problem is that people that didn’t contributed yet or thanked a lot might not have anything left to show how did they liked the work. So other idea proposed by Kartik was using some general thanks you button. While thinking about it, it makes some sense to create separate karma type for that as well.

And what to do with karma point once you have some? It should be certainly displayed in the river on the connect so others will know that you did something. But there should be possibility to also use them somehow. Obviously there need to be a banner displaying amount of them that you can put on your web. So your visitors can see how great contributor you are. Other thing that I was thinking about was to create some badges for your avatars that you can buy. Or even allow third party applications to use them somehow using API, so you could buy things, but that sounds like a distant future…

So there is a lot of work to do and student who applied has even some more ideas, so I think if this project will get selected, openSUSE Connect will be much more fun

License: CC-BY-NC-SA

Kai-Uwe Behrmann: Google Summer of Code 2011 Student Applications open

This years Google Summer of Code program is open for student proposals. OpenICC in collaboration with openPrinting and openSUSE provide mentored projects around colour management. Own ideas from female and male students all around the world are welcome.

Header PictureStatus Updates

Header PictureDistribution

Important Links

Header PictureSUSE Studio

    [Flavio Castelli: Introducing dister, a Heroku like solution for SUSE Studio](//

SUSE Studio is an awesome tool, with a couple of clicks you can create an openSUSE/SUSE based system and deploy to your hard drive, an usb flash, a live dvd, a VMware/VirtualBox/Xen server and even Amazon EC2 cloud.

Suppose you want to create a tailored SUSE Studio appliance to run a Ruby on Rails app, this is a list of things you have to take care of:

  • install all the gems required by the app (this can be a long list).

  • install and configure the database used by the app.

  • install and configure a webserver.

  • ensure all the required services are started at boot time.

You can save some time by cloning this appliance shared on SUSE Gallery, but this is still going to be boring. (…)

License: CC-BY-NC-SA

Team Report

Header PictureBuild Service Team

Build Service Statistics. Statistics can found at Buildservice

Header PictureopenFATE Team

Top voted Features

        [decouple download and installation (Score: 349)](

“Network installation could be improved by running package download and package installation in parallel.”

        [Look at plymouth for splash during boot (Score: 182)](

“I wanted to open a fate feature about this when I first heard of plymouth, but reading // really makes me think we should go this way.

Ray’s comment starting with “Every flicker and mode change in the boot process takes away from the whole experience.” is especially interesting. Is it okay to track the “don’t show grub by default” here?”

        [Replacement for Sax2 (Score: 122)](

“We need a replacement for sax2 in 11.3, as a safety measure for when auto configuration fails to detect certain monitors/keyboards/mice. (…)”

        [Update to GRUB v2 (Score: 109)](

“Every single bug or feature that anyone has developed for GRUB 0.97 has been rejected by the upstream project in favor of using GRUB 2. There has been resisitence in the distribution community to switching boot loaders, but this stalemate isn’t going to go away. The code itself isn’t well written or well maintained. Adding a new feature involves jumping through a lot of hoops that may or may not work even if you manage to work around all the runtime limitations. For example, a fs implementation has a static buffer it can use for memory management. It’s only 32k. For complex file systems, or even a simple journaled file system, we run into problems (like the reiserfs taking forever to load bug) because we don’t have enough memory to do block mapping for the journal so it needs to scan it for every metadata read. (Yeah, really.) (…)”

        [Popularity contest (Score: 93)](

“We need a feedback about packages that are preferred by users and actively used. Debian already has a tool named Popularity contest (popcon)

  • reusing popcon will give us results that are directly comparable with Debian and Ubuntu

  • packagers team can take care of the package

  • we need a configuration dialog in YaST that is visible enough

  • we need a server infrastructure on (There are certain privacy issues, see Debian FAQ for details) “

Recently requested features

Features newly requested last week. Please vote and/or comment if you get interested.

        [Equivalent of nvidia-settings for Nouveau](

“The open source driver for Nvidia GPU, Nouveau, is more and more performant. It is already fully usable instead of the proprietary driver. However, there is no GUI to configure display. SaX2 module is not available anymore in YaST in openSUSE 11.4, and there is no way to make modifications such as defining the dpi.

Developping an equivalent of nvidia-settings for Nouveau would push even more users to switch to open source drivers.”

        [weak conflicts/softlocks/no-recommends for patterns](

“Installation of a pattern also draws in packages that are not in the pattern but only recommended by those listed in the pattern. For the “minimal” pattern this behavior is not desirable though as one really wants a minimal installation without the optional stuff. Current workaround is to add conflicts to the unwanted, recommended packages. That has the disadvantage that explicitly installing such blocked packages requires deinstallation of the pattern.

Therefore we need some mechanism to block recommended packages. I see several approaches:

  1. introduce a weak-conflicts/soft-locks tag in patterns. This tag must be stronger than the recommends tag of packages.

  2. add a no-recommends tag to the pattern which would cause the resolver to not honor recommends while installing the pattern

  3. add a workaround to yast and hardcode setting the no-recommends flag when the user selects the minimal pattern.”

        [make KDE's "kickoff" launcher menu recognizable in "Add widgets"](

“Nearly once a month, one of our users somehow manages to vanish his application launcher menu (aka kickoff), angry asking “Where’s my green start button gone?!”.

Even if he then manages to get to his panel options and find the “Add widgets” function, he’ll never discover “my greenish chameleon symbol” there. He’s usually completely lost at identifying the entry “Application Launcher Menu” as his missing widget, because that only bears that standard, feebly blue/white “K gear” symbol.

Even if he then manages to remember his missing bit was named like “kick” and types “kick” or “kickoff” in the search field of the “Add widgets” window - he’ll find nothing… Why is that?

So I’d like to suggest:

  • change the symbol of “Application Launcher Menu” in the “Add widgets” list to the green “SUSEgreeter” symbol everybody recognizes at once

  • give this entry the keyword “kickoff” so that searching for “kick*” would reveal exactly this entry

Since I’m a systems administrator and not a developer, PLEASE upstream this to KDE4 if it’d be rather their responsibility.”

        [Kpackagekit: Patches by default, other updates optional](

“Since 11.4, the official updater in KDE is now kpackagekit and not kupdateapplet anymore. It gives you by default the notification of patches but also the packages on all the repos enabled. For a power user it’s a nice feature but for a basic user or a user that wants to have choice in softwares but just wants the system to work, it’s anoying. Even with few additional repos, it’ll give you a huge amount of updates. (…)”

        [Run certain steps in wizard and Install together](

“About two months I tried LinuxMint and installed in VirtualBox. When you install it, it asks you the bare minimum installation questions like partitioning and license agreement then starts installing. It saves time because you set up things like User as you install. If we could have YaST ask you about the license agreement, then Partitioning, Boot Loader and Software then as the installation runs (as in installing RPMs and formatting partitions) you set up Users, Hardware, read the Release Notes (that part is already done) and the Root password. It would save time and be more efficient.”

Feature Statistics

Statistics for openSUSE distribution in openFATE

Header PictureOpenOffice/LibreOffice Team

      [Petr Mladek: LibreOffice 3.3.1 bugfix release available for openSUSE](//

I’m happy to announce LibreOffice 3.3.2 bugfix release for openSUSE. The packages are available in the Build Service LibreOffice:Stable project. They fix various crashers, usability and translation problems, see the libreoffice- release news for more details. See also some notes about openSUSE LibreOffice build.

The openSUSE LO team hopes that you will be happy with this release. Though, any software contains bugs and we kindly ask you to report bugs. It will help us to fix them in the future releases.

Other information and plans:

The 3.3.2 packages includes KDE3 support again. Thanks Lubos Lunak who fixed all known issues and Ilya Chernykh who helped with packaging.

The 3.3.2 release is in a very good shape, so we decided to slow down the bug fixes release cycle. You might expect the 3.3.3 bug fix release two months from now.

LO-3.4 feature freeze is pretty close and we will start producing test packages in the LibreOffice:Unstable project. Please, be patient because there are many interesting changes in the build framework. They are good for the future but I expect some problems with packaging. I hope that I will manage to provide something by the end of April.

License: GFDL 1.2

Header PictureTesting Team

      [Larry Finger: Weekly News for Weekly News for April 2](//

The Testing Core Team held an IRC meeting on March 28, 2011 at 17:00 UTC. We discussed our plans for the next “Open Bugs Day”, which will be from 00:00 to 23:59 UTC, Saturday April 2, 2011. As written before, the emphasis will be on identifying those bugs reported for 11.2 and older that are still present in 11.4. We will not attempt to squash these bugs, but to make sure that none have been forgotten. After the release of 11.5 M5, we will have a bug-squashing day.

As I write this, OBD has started. I’m not sure when this will be published, but if it is still April 2, then please join us at irc://

Further information is available at //

Header PictureTranslation Team

Header PictureIn the Community

Postings from the Community

Pavol Rusnak: openSUSE 11.4 Release Party – Prague

Last Friday we held an openSUSE 11.4 Release Party in Prague, more particularly in the first Czech hackerspace called brmlab. We decided to go with later date and not doing the party immediately after the release, so we could have promo materials available. This included openSUSE posters, DVD media, T-shirts but alsoýopenSUSE beer! Thanks Michal and Klaas for delivering them to Prague. In the beginning we had 100 promo DVDs and we ended with slightly more than 10, so I think the event was a huge success! (…)

License: CC-BY-NC-SA

People of openSUSE

This Week: Petr Mladek

Recently I had an interview with Petr Mladek, long standing Libre Office and openSUSE Packager who gave me a lot of insights about Libre Office and the ongoing development process along with the Libre Office’s collaboration with openSUSE (…)

Events & Meetings



You can find more informations on other events at: openSUSE News/Events. - Local Events

openSUSE for your Ears

The openSUSE Weekly News are available as livestream or podcast in German. You can hear it or download it on Radiotux.



Header PictureNew/Updated Applications @ openSUSE

Packman: LiVES 1.4.2

Video Editor and VJ Tool

Packman: youtube-dl 20110329-1

Download Videos from

Holger Hetterich: SMB Traffic Analyzer bug tracking moving from BNC to BSO

Hello reader, this article is about the SMB Traffic Analyzer project, more info is here.

Today, we are moving the full release- and bug tracking from to

Thanks to the bugzilla maintainers at the Samba Team, SMBTA gained excellent support in the Samba Bugzilla infrastructure:

  • Product

    • SMBTA

      • Components

        • vfs_smb_traffic_analyzer

        • smbtamonitor

        • smbtaquery

        • rrddriver

        • smbtatorture

        • smbtad

License: CC-BY

Packman: clementine 0.6

A cross-platform Music Player based on Amarok 1.4

Packman: DVDStyler

GUI frontend for dvdauthor and other related tools

Packman: kmediafactory 0.8.0

An easy to use template based dvd authoring tool

Header PictureSecurity Updates

To view the security announcements in full, or to receive them as soon as they’re released, refer to the openSUSE Security Announce mailing list.

Header PictureKernel Review

h-online/Thorsten Leemhuis: Kernel Log: First release candidate for Linux 2.6.39

Torvalds said that he considers 2.6.39 more of a solid version with a boring amount of progress – however, with ipset, the Xen network backend, as well as many new and improved drivers, the new kernel, which is expected to be released in late May or early June, does offer numerous improvements which matter to end users.

Fifteen days after releasing Linux 2.6.38, Linus Torvalds has closed the merge window of Linux 2.6.39, and completed the integration of this version’s major changes, by issuing 2.6.39-rc1. At the end of his release email, Torvalds said “But on the whole I think this should be one of those ‘solid, boring progress’ releases.”; however, his enthusiasm about the auto-grouping of processes and the VFS optimisations in 2.6.38 had been unusually strong.

Rares Aioanei: kernel weekly news – 02.04.2011

Rares published the Kernel Review for this Week. Thanks for working on it :-)

Header PictureTips and Tricks

For Desktop Users

    [Unixmen: Howto upgrade Opensuse to 11.4](//

How to upgrade Opensuse 11.x to 11.4 ? Unixmen gives the answer… (…)

    [Tejas Guruswamy: openSUSE 11.4 - first steps](//

Finally term is over and I’m on my Easter break, which means I can step up my contributions again. First step was to install the new release on my desktop - openSUSE 11.4 looks really, really good! No hassles during installation at all, took about 20mins from DVD. (…)

For Commandline/Script Newbies

    [Unixmen/M. Zinoune (Zinovsky): Watch Al Jazeera Live in Linux with one command](//

If you are a fun of Aljazeera News channel, this is a nice command that allow you to watch Al Jazeera live in your Linux desktop. I tested the command and is working like a charm.

First check if you have rtmpdump installed, if not install it using the command :

sudo apt-get install rtmpdump

Now to start watching Aljazeera live, open terminal and enter the following command

To use Mplayer :

$ rtmpdump -v -r rtmp:// -y
“aljazeera_en_veryhigh” -a “aljazeeraflashlive-live” -o -| mplayer -

To use VLC player:

$** rtmpdump -v -r rtmp://
-y “aljazeera_en_veryhigh” -a “aljazeeraflashlive-live” -o -| vlc -**

Enjoy :)

Editors Note: For openSUSE you should install via: zypper in rtmpdump instead of sudo apt-get

For Developers and Programmers

    [Dominique Leuenberger: how to fix brp and rpmlint warnings – today:I: Program causes undefined operation(likely same variable used twice and post/pre incremented in the same expression)](//

It seems the planned series sort of finds an audience, which in turn of course is motivational to keep on writing it. Today, we’ll have a look at this Informational message in BRP checks:

I: Program causes undefined operation (likely same variable used twice and post/pre incremented in the same expression). e.g. x = x++; Split it in two operations.

This is currently informational only and is not failing the build, but you might want to address them together with upstream.

I assume you do know what “a++” means in C (otherwise, you should start reading C-books), so we just try to reproduce this error in a simple c test case:


int main() { int i=5; i = i++ * ++i; printf(“The current value of i is %d\n”, i); return 0; }

When building this using gcc -Wall test.c, we get this compiler warning (which in turn is what brp translates to the information we’re discussing here)

gcc -Wall test2.c test.c: In function ‘main’: test.c:5:5: warning: operation on ‘i’ may be undefined

So, let’s first see for ourselves what we would expect this to be? Hmm.. already for us, this looks not logic (and I surely hope nobody would write this code). Let’s just see what starting this executable gives shall we?

The current value of i is 37

Now, is this surprising? We multiplied, assigned it to i and as a result we get a prime number? By closely analyzing the line you will likely understand what the compiler did. But was this expected? If this is actually what the programmer intended, the code should just be rewritten to be more logical, like:

i = (i+1) ^2 + 1;

This is understandable for all of us and does not yield the surprise of what is going on.

And that is actually all this warning is about: it requests the programmer to write code that can be understood and does not depend on what the compiler interprets. It might even very well be that the different optimization levels or the usage of different compilers might end up in different results.

If you want to read some more about this topic, I suggest to have a look at:

For System Administrators

    [Serverwatch/Juliet Kemp: Use Linux and WebDAV to Facilitate Online Collaboration](//

The WebDAV protocol enables users to store and share files via HTTP. This is particularly valuable in cases where HTTP is usually read-only, as WebDAV allows writing as well. In addition to accessing documents, users can (with suitable permissions) edit and re-upload them. Think of it as a networked file-system run over HTTP; or as a way of supporting long-distance collaboration on files. The protocol supports locking and versioning information, so once you’ve accessed the WebDAV folder, you can edit files without risking overwriting other people’s edits. These days, there are more and more ways available to undertake online collaboration, but WebDAV remains a useful and straightforward way to share files, especially as it’s supported by plenty of software at both server and client end. (…)

    [HowtoForge/Falko Timme: The Perfect Server - OpenSUSE 11.4 x86_64 [ISPConfig 2]](//

This is a detailed description about how to set up an OpenSUSE 11.4 server (x86_64) that offers all services needed by ISPs and hosters: Apache web server (SSL-capable), Postfix mail server with SMTP-AUTH and TLS, BIND DNS server, Proftpd FTP server, MySQL server, Dovecot POP3/IMAP, Quota, Firewall, etc. In the end you should have a system that works reliably, and if you like you can install the free webhosting control panel ISPConfig 2 (i.e., ISPConfig runs on it out of the box).

I will use the following software:

  • Web Server: Apache 2.2.17 with PHP 5.3.5, Ruby, and Python

  • Database Server: MySQL 5.1.53

  • Mail Server: Postfix

  • DNS Server: BIND9

  • FTP Server: proftpd

  • POP3/IMAP: I will use Maildir format and therefore install Courier-POP3/Courier-IMAP.

  • Webalizer for web site statistics

Please note that this setup does not work for ISPConfig 3! It is valid for ISPConfig 2 only! (…)

Header PicturePlanet SUSE

Kohei Yoshida: mdds 0.5.2 released

I’m happy to announce that version 0.5.2 of Multi-Dimensional Data Structure (mdds) is available for download from the link below.


This is a bug fix release. I would like to thank David Tardon for fixing several important bugs as well as implementing some new API’s for flat_segment_tree. In fact, the majority of changes between 0.5.1 and 0.5.2 are from David.

Here is the run-down of the major changes since 0.5.1:

  • flat_segment_tree

    • fixed a crash on assignment by properly implementing assignment operator().

    • fixed several bugs in shift_right():

    • shifting of all existing nodes was not handled properly.

    • leaf nodes were not properly linked under certain conditions.

    • shifting with skip node option was not properly skipping the node at insertion position when the insertion position was at the leftmost node.

    • implemented min_key(), max_key(), default_value(), clear() and swap().

    • fixed a bug in operator==() where two different containers were incorrectly evaluated to be equal.

    • added quickcheck test code.

There is no API-incompatible changes since 0.5.1, so if you are currently using mdds 0.5.1, your code should compile with 0.5.2 without any modifications.

Kai-Uwe Behrmann: Libre Graphics Meeting 2011 Montreal

LGM will this year happen in Canada. It is one of the great chances to meet so many of the graphics people out there from the major graphics projects. As more and more artists use libre graphics software the focus shifts from almost a mainly developer event in early years to a mix of artists, users, documentation writers, standardisation people and surely more roles. This gives a unique atmosphere to the event. (…)

Nelson Marques: GNOME:Ayatana – being populated

GNOME:Ayatana repository is currently being populated. I’ve asked Dimstar who is reviewing the packages to enable ‘strictest mode’ as it’s a very nice opportunity to learn something more about openSUSE packaging guidelines.

As Canonical polishes their software for the release of Ubuntu Natty, their indicator stack will be at best shape also for openSUSE 11.4. More to come in next days.

I’ve also enabled openSUSE Tumbleweed builds on my test repository, not really sure if Tumbleweed as some usage for this work, if so, ping me… I don’t mind sharing with them!

License: GFDL 1.2

Introducing snapper: A tool for managing btrfs snapshots

Today we want to present the current development of snapper, a tool for managing btrfs snapshots.

For years we had the request to provide rollbacks for YaST and zypper but things never got far due to various technical problems. With the rise of btrfs snapshots we finally saw the possibility for a usable solution. The basic idea is to create a snapshot before and after running YaST or zypper, compare the two snapshots and finally provide a tool to revert the differences between the two snapshots. That was the birth of snapper. Soon the idea was extended to create hourly snapshots as a backup system against general user mistakes.

The tool is now in a state where you can play with it. On the other hand there is still room and time for modifications and new features.

Header PictureOn the Web


Opensociety: ODF 1.2 approved as Committee Specification

The OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) TC has officially and unanimously approved ODF 1.2 as a Committee Specification. The new version of the standard has taken four years to complete and has been adopted by many applications already. Next stage is the official vote within OASIS to adopt this specification as an OASIS standard. OASIS is the designated maintenance body for ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34 IS26300.

ODF describes an XML-based application-independent and platform-independent digital document file format, as well as the characteristics of software applications which read, write and process such documents. The ODF standard is applicable to document authoring, editing, viewing, exchange and archiving, including text documents, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, drawings, charts and similar documents commonly used by personal productivity software applications. A significant number of governments worldwide have chosen ODF as the standard for exchanging documents within government and with external contacts such citizens and companies.

OpenDoc Society congratulates the members of the ODF TC on their work. “This is an important step for the entire ecosystem”, states Michiel Leenaars, board member of OpenDoc Society, “There is significant demand for this new version of the standard, as it enables new exiting and unique features such as RDF metadata, advanced digital signatures and enhances key areas of ODF such as formula’s. That means the next stage of interoperability for office applications is finally there”. With already very strong vendor support for the new version of the standard and the formal adoption as an OASIS standard likely to occur in a matter of several weeks (i.e. a 30 day ballot period), OpenDoc Society encourages customers to evaluate and start planning the adoption of ODF 1.2.

Computerworld/Katherine Noyes: 10 ways that Linux is making life better

Linux has long played a leading role in the world of servers, due in large part to its stability, security and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). What many don’t realize, however, is just how ubiquitous it’s becoming in other parts of life as well.

Not only are distributions like Ubuntu helping Linux make great strides on the desktop, but the open-source operating system is now quietly powering myriad innovations that many of us take for granted.

Where can Linux be found today? Let’s count just a few of the many places it’s making life better. (…)

Call for participation

Mario Fux: We need you for Nepomuk (integration)!

First I’d like to thank David Vignoni for his work on the logo for the Randa meeting. It’s the basis for the work of the young informatic trainees. But the results are still secret (as even I haven’t seen anything myself but get the first results at the end of this week .

And now to the ideas and proposals (btw this has nothing in common with the GSoC ideas of KDE!). As you probably or hopefully already know the KDE Nepomuk team will have a meeting in Randa this June (from the 1st to the 7th of this month) and we still want application developers to integrate this technology in their application or to work on some interesting and great new ideas. And there will be really good help as Sebastian Trýg will be in Randa and he is going to do one or the other workshop of Nepomuk basics. And here are some ideas and thoughts of mine to start your imagination engines:

  • The KDE semantic clipboard. There is some code in the old subversion playground of KDE and in December 2010 I wrote a paper about this topic. In short, this clipboard enhances to normal one with the capability of knowing what (in the context of meaning) it copy-and-pastes. This clipboard does not just copy numbers and formatting but addresses, geographic coordinates or blbliographic references. Take a look and bring it to a releasable state. There are even some solution proposals in the above mentioned paper.

  • All of the new KDE PIM application use Nepomuk technology through their Akonadi interactions.

  • Digikam had (or has?) some capabilities to exchange its information and metadata with the Nepomuk storage. What about tagging your pictures with the contacts (and PIMO::Persons) of the new Kaddressbook and projects which are then usable system wide.

  • And Amarok had (or again has?) some functions to share it’s music database with Nepomuk and thus make it system wide and not just enclosed in one applicatition.

  • But there are as well good examples for existing Nepomuk integration: Bangarang. A multimedia player which remembers what you like, what music and videos you have on your system and where is more information about this media data (in the web).

  • Another idea could be a (scientific) paper or article collector which understands the connections (or quotations) between the articles and that the strings at the top (authors) are actually persons and the references at the end of the articles are actually links and thus relations to other papers and articles. Take a look at the SWRC ontology.

  • Yet another project which extensively uses Nepomuk is the new KDE Telepathy framework. They don’t just invent yet another represenation of a person and its contacts but use PIMO::Person and thus make connections to them system wide comprehensible and reusable.

  • And let’s not forget the Plasma framework and its activities. But there is more and better information about this on the site of ivan Cukic.

  • Or something completely new. An ontology for TV series, recordings and shows… (Update: Sebastian told me that there is already one: NMM. And Bangarang and some other applications use it.)

  • And there is Zeitgeist and QtZeitgeist… (…)


h-online: openSUSE 11.4 Edu Li-f-e released

Just over two weeks after the release of openSUSE 11.4, the openSUSE Education development team has announced the availability of openSUSE 11.4 Edu: Linux for Education (Li-f-e). The Edu Li-f-e edition is a customised variant of the openSUSE aimed at education. It includes selected applications and resources for students and educators, including parents, and attempts to offer a system which can be productively used at home or in an educational establishment. (…)

Unixmen/M. Zinoune (Zinovsky): OpenSUSE Edu Li-f-e 11.4 for education is released!

OpenSUSE Edu Li-f-e 11.4 for education is released. Based on openSUSE 11.4,“this release includes the latest carefully selected software for students, educators, as well as parents. The software selection encompasses everything required to make a productive computing experience for either home or educational use without having to install anything additional. Right out of the box, educators and parents will be pleased to see over 150 applications to fit their student’s needs. A wide range including mental exercise tools like Brain Workshop and GBrainy, science applications like Chemtool, mathematical programs like Euler, artistic development software like TuxPaint and GIMP”.

YouTube Video: openSUSE Li-f-e Overview

More information can be found on the release announcement.

If you are using a previous release of Opensuse Edu and you want to upgrade to this new release, please check out previous post.

openSUSE Edu: Li-f-e applications (Video)

Editors Note: Screenshots available in the Original Article.

Frederik Schwarzer: German subforum on opens its gates

A few minutes ago, a subforum was created on for all the German-speaking users out there (and yes, developers are users as well :)). So please come and make yourself at home, so it will grow and become the best and nicest German-speaking place to get help for those little itches KDE users sometimes have to scratch.

On your mouse, get ready, Go!

h-online: Linux distributions to include /run/ directory

On the Fedora project’s developer list, systemd developer Lennart Poettering has announced the introduction of a /run directory in the root directory and provided detailed background explanations. Similar to the existing /var/run/ directory, the new directory is designed to allow applications to store the data they require in order to operate. This includes process IDs, socket information, lock files and other data which is required at run-time but can’t be stored in /tmp/ because programs such as tmpwatch could potentially delete it from there.

However, /var/run/ isn’t a readily available choice for tools such as systemd, udev or mdadm that are required early in the boot process, because /var can be implemented as a separate file system to be mounted at a later stage in the start-up process. As a result, these programs have had to resort to such trickery as using the /dev/.udev, /dev/.mdadm, /dev/.systemd or /dev/.mount directories, even though the device directory isn’t intended for such data. (…)

FOSDEM 2011: LibreOffice Online Help (Wikihelp)

I realized I did not post my FOSDEM slides online; this blog post is to fix that ;-) So if you want to learn more about our approach to the on-line help, please have a look here:

LibreOffice Online Help (Wikihelp)

It talks briefly about what we have done to bring the LibreOffice help online, and about the future steps. Talking of the future steps, in 3.4, the .xhp files are still the source of the help (check the presentation if you want to know what are the .xhp files), because we did not manage to do the 2nd step - converting the wiki markup back to the native help files.

Actually - I would like to mentor a GSoC task for that:

Convert LibreOffice Help to Platform Specific Help Files

If you are a student interested in Free Software, with free summer, and Python or Perl knowledge (to bind to existing MediaWiki markup parsers), this might be a nice task for you!

Reviews and Essays Willis: Weekend Project: Create a Paperless Linux Office

The paperless office: whether to combat clutter or save the forests, it has been the dream of many a computer user ever since the first electronic record of, well, probably anything. But it remains elusive, in no small part because whatever your personal intentions, you just cannot control the actions of other people, and many businesses today still insist on sending you printed bills and receipts. You can at least dispense with the filing cabinets, however, by scanning in the documents you need as searchable, full-text PDFs. Fire up the scanner and the weekend.

Clearly, you could just scan everything and save your documents as TIFF or JPEG files. Linux has solid support for USB desktop scanners (even all-in-one printer/fax/scan devices and those with sheet-feeders or other attachments) thanks to the SANE project. There is also no shortage of quality scan applications, like Kooka, XSane, or Simple Scan. But with images alone you lose the ability to search the text content of your documents — and remember, you can not only search within a particular document, but use GNU utilities to search your entire document collection. (…)

    [Jeff Hoogland: Dialog with the Girlfriend](//

About a year ago I made a post about installing Linux on my girlfriend’s laptop. Just recently I was quoted on Linux Insider about how successful the installation had been a year later. I said that I believed it to have been a successful conversion of a Windows user to Linux. My descriptions were from my observations only, not my girlfriend’s. I had not thought at that time to ask my girlfriend what she thought about the change of operating system on her computer.

Last night I sat down with her and we talked a bit about what she thought of her penguin powered laptop. With her permission I am going to post some of her responses. (…)

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