It was back in 2009 that I got a Palm Pre, perhaps the first commercial demonstration of “HTML for (almost) everything”. The turbulent history of that device is well-known, but shouldn’t detract from the core idea of building the entire user experience and applications using web technologies.
So I’m excited about Firefox OS, but thus far I’ve been sceptical about the platform’s ability to get developer attention, to build an ecosystem, and to reach a scale that makes the platform viable in the long-term. It depends very much on Mozilla’s and Telefonica’s ability to execute, and to get other device manufacturers to actually ship hardware.
As a small nitpicking example of execution, there’s no nice semantic URL I can point you to for Firefox OS. The best I could find is http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/partners/ or possibly http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/partners/#os. For developers it’s a little better, with https://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Mozilla/Firefox_OS.
I could talk about my disappointment with Mozilla‘s engagement with LiMo Foundation, where they had the opportunity to become the de facto web runtime as well as to demonstrate to mobile operators how to effectively work in an open source and open development model. If that had worked, we could have seen a precursor of today’s Firefox OS in 2009, rather than waiting four more years. Maybe some version of Firefox OS would be ascendant, and not the Android hydra.
It’s churlish to criticise Mozilla alone, when the rest of the LiMo membership frittered away any opportunity for leadership in web runtimes because they couldn’t play nicely together, but I do think Mozilla missed a trick by not adopting a platform approach much sooner. Even as late as 2010 key people at Mozilla seemed to have their head in the clouds, when I had a heated discussion about the importance of web runtimes at GUADEC. I suspect that today’s Firefox OS is more the result of luck and external enthusiasm around B2G rather than any clearly-planned advance strategy.
Thankfully I think the team at Telefonica have a clear vision of what’s needed from Firefox OS, and with their experience of running “the thinking man’s developer engagement” (BlueVia), I suspect they also have a good idea of how to take it to the developer market.
One factor that’s changed my mind significantly about the likely success of Firefox OS was my trial of the Nokia Lumia. With a limited selection of apps in the Windows Phone app store, I was forced to rely rather more heavily on web apps for some core functionality and to fill the gaps, to get me through the day.
When the Palm Pre first launched, many websites were simply unusable from a mobile device. My time with the Lumia showed me how far along the mobile web has come (and how far it still lags behind), but one thing was clear: in the last few years, it’s now become possible to survive with web apps and a good mobile browser. Many companies need to address the desktop market with good websites even whilst building native apps. For those companies in particular, being Firefox OS-friendly is a simple step and a no-brainer.
What’s eye-catching about the geeksphone announcement is the pricing of the new devices: the Keon is €91, and the Peak is €149. That’s a great price for a smartphone. I was curious to see how the specifications stack up against similar phones, so I did a quick comparison using information from the encyclopaedic GSM Arena.
I compared published specifications against the last attempt at a “web runtime” mobile device, the HP Pre 3. I also compared against the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, the Samsung Galaxy SII / SIII / S4, and the Lumia 920.
The raw data is below in a spreadsheet, but from first glance these geeksphone handsets are not bad devices, with some obvious economic trade-offs – mostly around CPU and memory. When comparing prices you’ll probably want to factor in a good fast microSD card since the phones are light on storage. It will be interesting to see how well Firefox OS performs on those CPUs – but given announced future devices are even lower-spec, I would hope that lots of optimisation will make them sufficiently usable.
The Keon should be fine for development, but for normal use I’d most likely go for the Peak. Based on the specification, it seems like a realistic day-to-day device. At this price point, they are cheap enough to risk some money on for experimentation.
Of course the raw data doesn’t cover things like differences between chipsets in real life – see Why a Snapdragon S4 Galaxy SIII Is Awesome for an interesting discussion of this.
Finally – there’s a Firefox OS Hack Day coming up in the UK at the end of May – which should be a good opportunity to do some development with the devices.
The raw stats:
Note pricing data is approximate. If you notice any errors or can provide any more details, please let me know.
Dominic Cleal’s short introduction to the Augeas configuration API.
We use Augeas a lot in libguestfs and virt-v2v, and it’s been very effective for us.
I asked Dominic how he made this video.
He uses gtk-recordmydesktop, max 100/100 audio/video quality, 30fps, 2 channel audio at 48kHz.
Sound and video are recorded at the same time, with a Sennheiser headset.
Editing is done in kdenlive.
The cabin has a double wall which will contain insulation. Shown here is the ring main for the four sets of sockets around the room.
This trench will take 1 armoured mains cable and 2 cat 7 network cables.
With the annoying brute force wordpress hack going round, one way to protect your site(s) would be to use fail2ban, with a configuration something like (which I’ve shamelessly lifted from http://blog.somsip.com/2011/12/protecting-apache-webservers-from-wordpress-admin-login-dictionary-attacks/ ).
The below seems to be working, and given it’s relative simplicity it’s obvious how you’d go about changing to protect other POST based scripts from brute force attacks. Obviously it’s not going to work if the attacker changes IP often (but from scanning the logs so far, it doesn’t seem to be the case that they are).
Obvious caveats :
In /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf :[apache-wp-login] enabled = true port = http,https filter = apache-wp-login logpath = /var/www/vhosts/*/statistics/logs/access_log maxretry = 5 findtime = 120
And In /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/apache-wp-login.conf :[Definition] failregex = <HOST>.*] "POST /wp-login.php ignoreregex =
Also (not shown) they dug a trench down the side of the garden for electrics and network cables. We’re going to run some hefty armoured cable, plus two or three cat 7 network cables, covered with bricks and warning tape, at a depth of 18″ (mandated by building regulations).
I just wanted to talk about a busy week of community management and leadership related content I will be involved in in July 2013 in Portland, Oregon.Community Leadership Summit 2013
The Community Leadership Summit is the primary annual event that brings together community leaders, organizers and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community. The event pulls together the leading minds in community management, relations and online collaboration to discuss, debate and continue to refine the art of building an effective and capable community.
The Community Leadership Summit 2013 takes place at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon on 20th – 21st July 2013, which is rather conveniently the weekend before OSCON.
At the heart of Community Leadership Summit 2013 is an open unconference-style event in which everyone who attends is welcome to lead and contribute sessions on any topic that is relevant. These sessions are very much discussion sessions: the participants can interact directly, offer thoughts and experience, and share ideas and questions. These unconference sessions are also augmented with a series of presentations from leaders in the field, panel debates and networking opportunities.
I can’t quite believe that this is the fifth anniversary of the Community Leadership Summit, and I am determined to make this the very best year yet! We already have an awesome list of pre-registered attendees, and this is shaping up to be yet another fantastic example of the primary place for community managers and leaders to get together to discuss, share, and learn best practice.
The event is completely free to attend, you just need to register first. I hope to see you there!Community Management Training at OSCON
Speaking of OSCON, which takes place the week after the Community Leadership Summit 2013, I am also delighted to announce that I will be running my very first community management training class.
As some of you will know, I wrote The Art of Community published by O’Reilly (now in its second edition), which has rather fortunately become the best-selling book on community management and leadership.
For some time now I have wanted to deliver a training class that takes many of the concepts of the book, but extends them with detailed problem solving discussions, workshops, Q+A sessions, and more to provide an intense, detail-rich class about how to manage and lead communities, be them small and local or large and global.
On Monday 22nd July 2013, the day after the Community Management Summit 2013, I will be delivering this one day community management training class.
Topics in the class will include:
Find out more about and book your seat in the class by clicking here. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your seat as soon as possible!Burnout and Bickering: a Community Manager’s Guide to Conflict
I am also pleased to announce that I will be presenting a brand new presentation at OSCON on Wednesday 24th July 2013 at 2.30pm in D137.
The talk is entitled Burnout and Bickering: a Community Manager’s Guide to Conflict, and here is the description from the talk page
One of the most challenging aspects of growing community is managing conflict and burnout. While we often see the effects of conflict, getting to the heart of the issue is often more challenging.
In this new presentation from Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager and author of The Art of Community, he presents a comprehensive guide to conflict and its many different causes.
The presentation explores how to identify these different causes (such as stress, personality differences, language/age/cultural barriers, and more), how to identify when problems are happening in a scalable manner, and how to resolve conflict in a progressive and repeatable way.
Bacon will also cover preventative measures to reduce the potential for both conflict, stress, and burnout, and wrap the content in a set of practical tools you can use in your own community.
All of this will be delivered in Bacon’s amusing anecdote and story filled style, delivering practical recommendations and techniques in a fun and contextual presentation.
I am excited about this presentation. As some of you will know, I have talked before about burnout and managing stress and conflict in communities, and this presentation provides extensive coverage of the topic. I am looking forward to presenting this at OSCON.
See more about the talk by clicking here.
As you can see, quite a week for community management and leadership! I hope to see you there!
This may be useful, may become useful, or may not:
As some readers might know, I work from home, and have worked from home for about 12 years. However I’ve never had a proper dedicated office, just a corner of a second bedroom or a bit of space on a sofa. That’s about to change.
Tomorrow, work starts on constructing a real office in my garden.
Work already started (for me) about a month ago, when I took down a shed and jack-hammered a patio to bits:
Shifting the whole lot into two skips:
Resulting in this empty, mostly flat space (about 20′ wide and 16′ deep, damn you council for chopping that tree down at the back …):
To be continued …
For this example I’ll use SSH because it needs no setup, although this requires absolutely the latest qemu and libguestfs (both from git).
I can use a ssh:// URI to add disks with guestfish, guestmount and most of the virt tools. For example:$ virt-rescue -a ssh://localhost/tmp/f17x64.img [... lots of boot messages ...] Welcome to virt-rescue, the libguestfs rescue shell. Note: The contents of / are the rescue appliance. You have to mount the guest's partitions under /sysroot before you can examine them. ><rescue> mount /dev/vg_f17x64/lv_root /sysroot ><rescue> cat /sysroot/etc/redhat-release Fedora release 17 (Beefy Miracle)
Apart from being a tiny bit slower, it just works as if the disk was local:$ virt-df -a ssh://localhost/tmp/f17x64.img Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% f17x64.img:/dev/sda1 487652 63738 398314 14% f17x64.img:/dev/vg_f17x64/lv_root 28316680 4285576 22586036 16% $ guestmount -a ssh://localhost/tmp/f17x64.img -i /tmp/mnt $ ls /tmp/mnt bin dev home lib64 media opt root sbin sys usr boot etc lib lost+found mnt proc run srv tmp var $ cat /tmp/mnt/etc/redhat-release Fedora release 17 (Beefy Miracle) $ guestunmount /tmp/mnt
Eat, Drink and talk LinuxEvent Date and Time: Wed, 17/04/2013 - 19:30 - 23:00
I've been getting into snorkelling a bit recently. I've always enjoyed it but recently I bought some good quality gear, replacing the toy shop crap I've been using. It's another world with good equipment! It's not easy to get time, but so far I've snorkelled Jervis Bay, Bushrangers Bay, Clovelly and The Haven in Terrigal.My son has been asking what it's like, so I bought the Kogan waterproof camera case for $19. Took it out last weekend for a spin at The Haven but the visibility was terrible. The camera case works a treat though, and I'm looking forward to using it some more. Need to work out a strap to attach it to my arm or something though.
In March I went off to the Photography Farm, an intensive three day residential workshop run by Lisa Devlin and her impressive creative team. Set on a massive farm, we were very well looked after, fed well and kept snug in the 16th century farmhouse. When I was looking at training and development activities I could do this year, the farm was the most popular suggestion and with good reason. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other photographers, share ideas and talk into the small hours about power ballads.
The photos accompanying this post are from the farm’s styled shoot, an opportunity to photograph a couple in a way that there’s not always time to do on a wedding day. This shoot was inspired by the story of Jemima Puddleduck by Beatrix Potter, and featured a fantastic dress layered with feathers, some amazing eyelashes and a painstakingly detailed leafy bower. The models for the shoot were fellow photographer Hannah Millard and her husband Iwan, who both did a great job and got really into the shoot despite the cluster of photographers gathered around them. It’s interesting watching other photographers at work, the way they shoot and how they interact with their subjects: There’s always something to learn.
There were some very challenging sessions over the three days, but they were also the things I found most valuable. The farm was a great experience and I would thoroughly recommend it. Everyone was warm and friendly, the atmosphere relaxed, and the group size just right. I’m really rather jealous that there’s going to be another one in May!
Set Styling and Flowers by The Tea Set
Hair and Make Up by Elbie Van Eeden
Fashion Styling by Noir Creative
Dress by Oh My HoneyPin It