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Alan Pope: January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Four – Clock and Doc Viewer

Wed, 29/01/2014 - 11:35

See also Hack Day One – Reminders and Music, Day Two – Calendar and RSS Reader and Hack Day Three – File Manager and Calculator.

Day Four of the January 2014 Core Apps Hack Days brings focus to Clock and Doc Viewer but as I keep saying we welcome contributions to any app on any day of the week!

The Doc Viewer app is currently not in the image, so no screenshots there.

In order to get started we’ve come up with some suggestions for new developers.

First off get your development environment setup as documented at http://developer.ubuntu.com/apps/create/get-the-sdk/ which you can do either natively on Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04 or in a Virtual Machine if you prefer.
If you have a Nexus device, you could either replace the legacy OS with Ubuntu using either of these guides – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Install or https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/DualBootInstallation.

Next up take a look at some of these suggestions based on your area of interest and skill level.

We welcome translations for all our Core Apps. If that’s if interest you can find everything you need at https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-clock-app and https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-docviewer-app.

If you find bugs in the apps you can look for existing bugs to confirm or fix at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-clock-app/+bugs and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-docviewer-app/+bugs, or file new bugs at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-clock-app/+filebug and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-docviewer-app/+filebug

You may find some bugs which have yet to be confirmed or triaged, we’d love your help there too.

You’ll find out-standing merge proposals on launchpad at https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-clock-app/+activereviews and https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-docviewer-app/+activereviews.

If you’d like to take on a task then we have some work items in the blueprints which you can assign to yourself and get cracking on at https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-clock-dev and https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-docviewer-dev

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days at the links at the top, and you’ll find all of us hanging out on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Debian Bits: Debian.org enabled for SIP federation and WebRTC, XMPP/Jabber to follow

Tue, 28/01/2014 - 17:45

Debian System Administrators working in conjunction with pkg-voip team member Daniel Pocock have set up a SIP proxy and TURN server for debian.org.

Specifically, the SIP proxy provides a way for Debian Developers to use their Debian email ID as a SIP address for making calls to other project members and exchanging calls with any other domain that is enabled for SIP. The repro SIP proxy from reSIProcate has been chosen for this project.

The TURN server provides a mechanism for users of SIP or XMPP (Jabber) to relay audio and video streams through a public IP address when necessary, eliminating many of the quality issues that arise when NAT devices block the media streams in one or both directions.

The service allows the users to connect directly with the SIP device or softphone of their choosing, including many of those packaged in Debian such as Jitsi and Empathy or third party solutions like Lumicall or CSipSimple on Android. The SIP proxy also includes a WebRTC interface, allowing Debian Developers to immediately try WebRTC voice and video calls without installing or configuring any software of their own other than a web browser.

A second stage of the project involves providing an XMPP (Jabber) server with similar capabilities for federated communications between debian.org users and other domains. Further details will be announced in the weeks ahead.

It is a significant feature of the Debian Project philosophy that we can operate the entire project using free software, specifically, using software available in Debian packages running on our own infrastructure and without a dependency on third party cloud solutions.These new services for project members fulfill those expectations. It is particularly relevant for situations where real-time communication (voice or video) collaboration takes place with third parties such as applicants for Google Summer of Code, Outreach Program for Women, sponsors, media and other free software projects.

Project specific details and a user guide are available now on the Debian Wiki at http://wiki.debian.org/UnifiedCommunications/DebianDevelopers

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Alan Pope: January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Three – File Manager and Calculator

Tue, 28/01/2014 - 10:50

See also January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day One – Reminders and Music and January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Two – Calendar and RSS Reader

Day three of the January 2014 Core Apps Hack Days brings focus to File Manager and Calculator but as I keep saying we welcome contributions to any app on any day of the week!

In order to get started we’ve come up with some suggestions for new developers.

First off get your development environment setup as documented at http://developer.ubuntu.com/apps/create/get-the-sdk/ which you can do either natively on Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04 or in a Virtual Machine if you prefer.
If you have a Nexus device, you could either replace the legacy OS with Ubuntu using either of these guides – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Install or https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/DualBootInstallation.

Next up take a look at some of these suggestions based on your area of interest and skill level.

We welcome translations for all our Core Apps. If that’s if interest you can find everything you need at https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-filemanager-app and https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calculator-app.

If you find bugs in the apps you can look for existing bugs to confirm or fix at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-filemanager-app/+bugs and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calculator-app/+bugs, or file new bugs at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-filemanager-app/+filebug and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calculator-app/+filebug

You may find some bugs which have yet to be confirmed or triaged, we’d love your help there too.

You’ll find out-standing merge proposals on launchpad at https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-filemanager-app/+activereviews and https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calculator-app/+activereviews.

If you’d like to take on a task then we have some work items in the blueprints which you can assign to yourself and get cracking on at https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-filemanager-dev and https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-calculator-dev

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days at the links at the top, and you’ll find all of us hanging out on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Kemp: It is unfortunate that many companies need the same sysadmin jobs carried out

Tue, 28/01/2014 - 00:01

It is unfortunate that I've been exposed to several companies that all need the same kind of problems solving, again and again:

  • Imaging systems. Quickly.
  • Configuring MySQL & Postgres replication and fail-over.
  • Configuring local users.
  • Solving the problem of distributing usernames/passwords to 500+ client-systems within a team.

A lot of these are solved problems, yet they seem to keep cropping up. I guess the fact I've done some of these things more than once means I'm the local-expert, so that's why I get asked. But still..

There was a time when I thought my Debian Administration site would help solve these kind of problems; that writing documentation would encourage people to do things properly. Certainly it has helped me, and some other people are greatful, but it didn't do enough to help.

I'm not sure if the problem is that my documentation is a little ideosyncratic, isn't good enough, or isn't reaching the right kind of people. I suspect a combination of that and scale - You can't walk somebody though the idea of setting up a ten-node database-cluster, they need to suffer, they need to break things, they need to sweat on Christmas Day, at 5AM, as everything goes to hell. Then the next time they'll do it properly.

I'd love to take the time to write out recipes in Salt, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, CFengine, Slaughter, whatever, and support them.

Remote. Automated. System management.

Throw in monitoring of metrics, security fixes, and reporting and there's probably a valuable service there.

It probably can't happen though, for three main reasons:

  • The people that need it don't know they need it. They're fighting fires, they know it is important and they will fix things "soon", but other work takes priority.
  • The people that are tempted will baulk at the idea of unknown code from an external source running on their system(s).
  • Companies managed by one sysadmin will wonder why they need more help, because "everything is working, right?".

I did recently write some policies for setting up a two-node Master-Slave MySQL setup, with reporting, monitoring, and custom SMS-based alerts. I guess I'm wondering if I can be cheeky and sell the same work twice. ;)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Tony Whitmore: Helen Thompson

Mon, 27/01/2014 - 19:30

This isn’t my usual sort of blog post, so please bear with me.

Last summer I worked for Neil Thomas Douglas as second photographer at a wedding in Oxfordshire. James and Helen had put a lot of thought and effort into their day. From the outdoor ceremony where Helen’s pupils sang, through the meal cooked by family members and served to guests seated on hay bales, and onto the evening with live bands, swings and tug-of-war, the whole day was alive with their personalities. It was clear just how much Helen loved James. Her short, powerful speech sent shivers down my spine.

Helen died suddenly last month.

Even though I only knew her for a day, it was clear that Helen was a caring, lively and compassionate person. Someone who wanted to make the world a better place to live in. It was a privilege to be a part of Helen and James’ wedding day.

The fundraising campaign that Helen had set up to raise just £200 for voluntary aid workers in the Philippines has been flooded with donations and is currently at over 9000% of the target. This immense response shows just how loved and respected Helen was. If you can give anything in Helen’s memory, please do.

Thanks to James and Neil for letting me write this post.

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Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Alan Pope: January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Two – Calendar and RSS Reader

Mon, 27/01/2014 - 11:19

See also January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day One – Reminders and Music.

Day two of the January 2014 Core Apps Hack Days brings focus to Calendar and RSS Reader (a.k.a. ‘Shorts’), but as always we welcome contributions to any app on any day of the week!

In order to get started we’ve come up with some suggestions for new developers.

First off get your development environment setup as documented at http://developer.ubuntu.com/apps/create/get-the-sdk/ which you can do either natively on Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04 or in a Virtual Machine if you prefer.
If you have a Nexus device, you could either replace the legacy OS with Ubuntu using either of these guides – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Install or https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/DualBootInstallation.

Next up take a look at some of these suggestions based on your area of interest and skill level.

We welcome translations for all our Core Apps. If that’s if interest you can find everything you need at https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calendar-app and https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-rssreader-app.

If you find bugs in the apps you can look for existing bugs to confirm or fix at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calendar-app/+bugs and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-rssreader-app/+bugs, or file new bugs at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calendar-app/+filebug and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-rssreader-app/+filebug

You may find some bugs which have yet to be confirmed or triaged, we’d love your help there too.

You’ll find out-standing merge proposals on launchpad at https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calendar-app/+activereviews and https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-rssreader-app/+activereviews.

If you’d like to take on a task then we have some work items in the blueprints which you can assign to yourself and get cracking on at https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-calendar-dev and https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-rssreader-dev

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days at the links at the top, and you’ll find all of us hanging out on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Alan Pope: January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day One – Reminders and Music

Fri, 24/01/2014 - 11:58

As David blogged yesterday, we’re having another round of Core Apps Hack Days for our Ubuntu Phone Core Apps

Each day we’re focussing on two apps, today that’s Reminders and Music, but as always we welcome contributions to any app on any day of the week!

In order to get started we’ve come up with some suggestions for new developers.

First off get your development environment setup as documented at http://developer.ubuntu.com/apps/create/get-the-sdk/ which you can do either natively on Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04 or in a Virtual Machine if you prefer.
If you have a Nexus device, you could either replace the legacy OS with Ubuntu using either of these guides – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Install or https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/DualBootInstallation.

Next up take a look at some of these suggestions based on your area of interest and skill level.

We welcome translations for all our Core Apps. If that’s if interest you can find everything you need at https://translations.launchpad.net/reminders-app and https://translations.launchpad.net/music-app.

If you find bugs in the apps you can look for existing bugs to confirm or fix at https://bugs.launchpad.net/reminders-app/+bugs and https://bugs.launchpad.net/music-app/+bugs, or file new bugs at https://bugs.launchpad.net/reminders-app/+filebug and https://bugs.launchpad.net/reminders-app/+filebug

You may find some bugs which have yet to be confirmed or triaged, we’d love your help there too.

You’ll find out-standing merge proposals on launchpad at https://code.launchpad.net/reminders-app/+activereviews and https://code.launchpad.net/music-app/+activereviews.

If you’d like to take on a task then we have some work items in the blueprints which you can assign to yourself and get cracking on at https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/reminders-app-development and https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-music-dev

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days at the links at the top, and you’ll find all of us hanging out on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Anton Piatek: So Make It has a new location

Wed, 22/01/2014 - 09:57

(originally posted at http://blog.somakeit.org.uk/2014/01/20/a-place-of-our-own/)

It’s our very sincere pleasure to announce that we will be holding the Grand Opening of our first dedicated space:

On
1st February 2014 at 2pm
(please arrive from 1pm)

At
Southampton Makerspace,
Unit K6, Liners’ Industrial Estate,
Freemantle,
Southampton SO15 3FQ

It’s been a very long road but we’re very excited to finally have a place of our own, allowing us a lot more flexibility and freedom (not to mention warmth!). If you’re not familiar with Southampton Makerspace (or even if you are) you may be interested to read on.

What is Southampton Makerspace?

Wikipedia states:

hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklabmakerspace, or hackspace) is a community-operated workspace where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialize and/or collaborate.

But we like to think of Southampton Makerspace as a friendly and inclusive community of people who like making things (be they physical, digital or otherwise) and sharing knowledge, experience and tools. Currently the interests of the current membership seem to focus on subjects of technology (3D printing, microcontrollers (Arduino, etc), robotics, home automation, computers (Raspberry Pi, etc) and programming), wood- and metal-work and more arty disciplines such as costume design. We have a significant number of tools available to facilitate these activities and our members are often willing to lend their own personal tools too.

We are keen to attract new members to expand our horizons and build upon other forms of making such as costume design and props, pottery, photography, fine art, glass blowing, baking, games design and anything else that tickles your creative fancy!

Looking back (or: a brief history of Southampton Makerspace)

Activity interest according to the 2012 SoutHACKton survey

It all started as a call to Southampton hackers in 2009, followed by a tentative first meeting at the Crown Inn to gauge interest. Then there were some further meetups including a visit and workshop from Mitch Altman and Jimmie P Rodgers of Noisebridge, San Francisco. We started joint meetings with a Dorkbot group at the Arthouse, where we effectively merged and continued to meet monthly for the next few years (except one meeting at ASpace). Finally by September 2012 our community had grown sufficiently that getting a space of our own seemed feasible, so we ran a survey, the results of which were very promising. In the mean time we started meeting at DHaus/Etch; a venue that enabled us to hack easily without having to worry about the safety of other patrons.

At the beginning of 2013 we attempted to set up a makerspace as a charity, but this was quickly quashed by the Charity Commission who insisted that we were an educational outfit and thus must register with Ofsted to qualify. Not being fans of bereaucracy but not giving in easily we decided to go ahead the next best way – as a non-profit company limited by guarantee (CLG) – So Make It Ltd. Whilst we were sorting out the paperwork to register with Companies House one of our members had located someone who could help us out with somewhere to meet and keep our stuff – Tim from rideride Cycle Workshop was very supportive of our venture. He very generous allowed us to use a 500sqft area in the corner of their warehouse at just the cost of the electricity we used until we were big enough to afford a space of our own. We continued to grow and met much more frequently at the rideride warehouse; until finally at the end of 2013 we realised we were big enough to set out on our own and we crowdfunded some capital and started looking for places to go.

Having ruled out a large number of places; at the very end of 2013 we finally found a suitable and affordable place – Unit K6. We signed the contract early in January and spent the rest of the month moving in and improving the space. There’s still plenty to do but we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved – and it’s much easier to heat than our previous space!

Looking Forward

The Makerspace has run a number of events covering quadcopter dronesbuild your own mini-Arduino and use it to power your Christmas Lightslearn to program Node.JS and a behind the scenes of rendering in 3DS Max; not to mention our regular 3D printing meetups and of course our thrice-weekly regular openings. But now we have a place of our own with a dedicated workshop room we hope to run many more events in 2014!

Having a space of our own also gives us a lot more freedom – we intend to expand our number of keyholders significantly. Any member can become a keyholder by passing a short list of sensible pre-requisites. We’ll be “hacking” our front door such that any keyholder can get in to the space by scanning an wireless card or similar (like opening the gates at the London Underground using your Oyster card) which gets past the issues of potentially having to revoke all copies of traditional keys. By having more keyholders we should have the space open considerably more than we’ve been able to commit to in the past, and this also relieves the pressure on the trustees freeing them up to work on growing the space in other ways.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Tony Whitmore: Big Finish Day 4

Mon, 20/01/2014 - 23:27

I had a great time at the weekend, taking photographs at Big Finish Day 4. The event is for fans of the audio production company, who make audio plays of Doctor Who, The Avengers, Dark Shadows, Blake’s 7 and much more. I’ve listened to Big Finish audio plays for years, mostly their Doctor Who range (of course!). The production standards are superb and one of their recent releases is up for a BBC audio drama award. I’ve been lucky enough to do some work for them over the last few months, and was asked to go along to capture some of the event.

In the morning I was wandering around taking candid shots of people enjoying the convention and the panels. It was rather like taking wedding photographs although slightly more relaxed. There are so many different moments to capture in a short time during a wedding ceremony, but a convention panel is a little more static and a good deal longer. Fortunately the urbane Nick Briggs kept the crowd laughing through the morning, and there was a really great atmosphere through the whole event.

https://twitter.com/DudleyIan/status/424504877109510144

In the afternoon I set up a portable studio to take some photos of various Big Finish actors. I was rather pleased with this set up, especially as it all managed it fit in my car! Apart from the background roll.

I really enjoyed working at Big Finish Day, catching up with some of the very nice people I’ve met at recording sessions, and hope to be asked back again!

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Categories: LUG Community Blogs