July 01, 2015

FUDCon APAC 2015 – Summary

I was last week in Pune for FUDCon, so its time to write about the experiences.

Day -2

I had to start my travel 2 days before the event from airport Leipzig flying to Munich, well the travel to Leipzig and also the checkin and flight was without something to mention. Just one hour ride to Leipzig and 40 minutes flight to Munich. I had a long layover in Munich so I checked before the situation with WIFI and electricity, well Munich has free wifi and they even proudly anounced that the equipped the gate areas with power supply, well they was there but simple not working. With a little searching I found one which was working but there was nothing to sit there so I spent the time in EMEA Ambassadors meeting standing :D

Day -1

Also for that day there was no action, boarding the plane in the morning and leaving it in Mumbai in the night. The immigration process with the TVOA visa worked well, except to find the counter for them was difficult. So if you travel to India and eligible to get it, thats the easiest way.
Outside the airport Prima Yogi Loviniltra and a volunteer did already wait for me, just Ryan Lerch was missing but he joined as a few minutes later. So the fetch on the airport was well organized. The cab ride took some time but interesting conversations made that not feelable. So we arrived in the morning in Pune just enough for 3 hours sleep.

Day 0

I had not really time for a good breakfast but I needed one as I had not a dinner either, but Kushal was already standing there telling me I was to late. But I managed to grab something to eat even the waiter always removed my tools when I grabbed something. Also here the transport was well organized and the bus for bringing us to MIT was already waiting.
On the first day I joined a few sessions but I will write only something about the most important for me. We had a BoF session for the next APAC FUDCon. What I am worried about is the style which is coming up there, just finding some point why a thing not might be good instead of trying to find out how problems can be solved!

Day 1

I started the day with Jiri Eischmanns presentation about the Fedora workstation and his presence and future. I joined several other talks to, where I just want to mention the Achieving Community Goals With Fedora one from Tenzin Chokden, awesome job of Joerg Simon and Fabian Affolter and their l10n hackfest for the tibetian language, good work. Besides that I had many organizational conversations for organzing stuff in the APAC region.

Day 2

This was actually the most busy day for me as I had in the morning my own workshop about using Inkscape. Well there are some negative things, the room was not the best choice, its hard to work on a small table attached to the chair. But more worst was that the picture from projector was looped to an camera, but the camera was missing so we had to find that out first, so I lost some time for the workshop. But we still managed to draw with the participants what I wanted to achieve and they have a good foundation to use Inkscape in their work and learn it more. I already prepared a screencast, which you can find here.

Ryan switched more to a presentation style, which I only do on events to impress people what with our free software tools can be done and how easy it can be. But as I expect people on a FOSS event like FUDCon are already open to using our tools and just need some help starting to work with them and the best way to learn it is by doing.

After the lunch we had another Ambassadors BoF for APAC, time to speak more Ambassador stuff. We made during this year some progress in APAC and on FUDCon it was visible a lot of asians in a Fedora Ambassador shirts, but we still have not all equipped with them.

We also made progress in producing F21 media centralized but still there are some problems to solve as the process didnt work well, we had no central production in APAC for F22 but we talked how we shall do it in the future and think found the best solution for it. We also had time to discuss if it would possible to replace the DVD media at least partly with USB sticks. We agreed on doing a research on prices until next FAD APAC end of the year and look there if we do it or not. And yes we found an place where we want to do the next FAD – Singapore so we will work on it during the next months to organize it. So we moved again forward.

Day 3

Some went out really in the morning to spent some time in Mumbai, but I am to old for touristic pressure even I would like to have seen more from that city, I was in India for FUDCon and not for an touristic tour. So I went out of the hotel at noon and the cab brought me to the airport, where I enjoyed the sun outside and later I spent some time with Danishka Naven and Izhar Firdaus in the airport.

Day 4

This day I entered a plane in Mumbai short after the day had begun and woke up landing in Zurich. Well I found easily an AC port in this airport and free wifi was also available so I could do some work during the time I had to wait for the next flight, wich was this time just 5 hours later. After this flight I just had a short trip with the train and I arrived right in time for the Design Team meeting.


It was an interesting trip to India seeing how people live there and make new friends, meeting people I worked already with and meeting old friends. I think we moved for the Ambassadors in the APAC region and that means Fedora makes progress in the future in Asia.

WLE 2015 in... Brazil
Lajedo de Pai Mateus - Pedra do Capacete
By Ruy Carvalho (Own work) CC BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons

This year I was invited once more to be a jury member for the Brazilian Wiki Loves Earth photo competition (thanks Rodrigo!) and it was a pleasure to witness so many wonderful images (yes, I am a bit jealous for my recent inactivity in travel/landscape photography).

Taking a look at their top 10 winners anyone would probably agree this is quality stuff, which will rightfully enrich Wikipedia. Myself, after seeing the larger (around 600 images) selection for the jury, I dare to conclusion a significant increase in quality over the previous year. And I understand the increase was also in quantity, so it looks like a win-win.

Congratulations to the organizers and all the participants!

PS: take a few more moments to admire the winners from the other countries, they are added to the page gradually, as each local jury get its work done. I still ting the Brazilian pictures are among the best so far :)

Cacimba do Padre - Fernando de Noronha
By Dante Laurini Jr (Own work) CC BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons
Fedora Hubs Update!!!


The dream is real – we are cranking away, actively building this very cool, open source, socially-oriented collaboration platform for Fedora.

Myself and Meghan Richardson, the Fedora Engineering Team’s UX intern for this summer, have been cranking out UI mockups over the past month or so (Meghan way more than me at this point. :) )

Screenshot from 2015-06-23 09-24-44

We also had another brainstorming session. We ran the Fedora Hubs Hackfest, a prequel to the Fedora Release Engineering FAD a couple of weeks ago.

After a lot of issues with the video, full video of the hackfest is now finally available (the reason for the delay in my posting this :) ).

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Let’s talk about what went down during this hackfest and where we are today with Fedora Hubs:

What is Fedora Hubs, Exactly?

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We talked about two elevator pitches for explaining it:

  • It’s an ‘intranet’ page for the Fedora Project. You work on all these different projects in Fedora, and it’s a single place you can get information on all of them as a contributor.
  • It’s a social network for Fedora contributors. One place to go to keep up with everything across the project in ways that aren’t currently possible. We have a lot of places where teams do things differently, and it’s a way to provide a consistent contributor experience across projects / teams.

Who are we building it for?

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  • New Fedora Contributors – A big goal of this project is to enable more contributors and make bootstrapping yourself as a Fedora contributor less of a daunting task.
  • Existing Fedora Contributors – They already have a workflow, and already know what they’re doing. We need to accommodate them and not break their workflows.

The main philosophy here is to provide a compelling user experience for new users that can potentially enhance the experience for existing contributors but at the very least will never disrupt the current workflow of those existing contributors. Let’s look at this through the example of IRC, which Meghan has mocked up in the form of a web client built into Fedora Hubs aimed at new contributor use:

If you’re an experienced contributor, you’ve probably got an IRC client, and you’re probalby used to using IRC and wouldn’t want to use a web client. IRC, though, is a barrier to new contributors. It’s more technical than the types of chat systems they’re accustomed to. It becomes another hurdle on top of 20 or so other hurdles they have to clear in the process of joining as a contributor – completely unrelated to the actual work they want to do (whatever it is – design, marketing, docs, ambassadors, etc.)

New contributors should be able to interact with the hubs IRC client without having to install anything else or really learn a whole lot about IRC. Existing contributors can opt into using it if they want, or they can simply disable the functionality in the hubs web interface and continue using their IRC clients as they have been.

Hackfest Attendee Introductions

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Next, Paul suggested we go around the room and introduce ourselves for anybody interested in the project (and watching the video.)

  • Máirín Duffy (mizmo) – Fedora Engineering UX designer working on the UX design for the hubs project
  • Meghan Richardson (mrichard) – Fedora Engineering UX intern from MSU also working on the UX design for the hubs project
  • Remy Decausemaker (decause) – Fedora Community lead, Fedora Council member
  • Luke Macken (lmacken) – Works on Fedora Infrastructure, release engineering, tools, QA
  • Adam Miller (maxamillion) – Works on Release engineering for Fedora, working on build tooling and automation for composes and other things
  • Ralph Bean (threebean) – Software engineer on Fedora Engineering team, will be spending a lot of time working on hubs in the next year
  • Stephen Gallagher (sgallagh) – Architect at Red Hat working on the Server platform, on Fedora’s Server working group, interested in helping onboard as many people as possible
  • Aurélien Bompard (abompard) – Software developer, lead developer of Hyperkitty
  • David Gay (oddshocks) – Works on Fedora infrastructure team and cloud teams, hoping to work on Fedora Hubs in the next year
  • Paul Frields (sticksteR) – Fedora Engineering team manager
  • Pierre-Yves Chibon (pingou) – Fedora Infrastructure team member working mostly on web development
  • Patrick Uiterwijk (puiterwijk) – Member of Fedora’s system administration team
  • Xavier Lamien (SmootherFrOgZ) – Fedora Infrastructure team member working on Fedora cloud SIG
  • Atanas Beloborodov (nask0) – A very new contributor to Fedora, he is a web developer based in Bulgaria.
  • (Matthew Miller and Langdon White joined us after the intros)

Game to Explore Fedora Hub’s Target Users

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We played a game called ‘Pain Gain’ to explore both of the types of users we are targeting: new contributors and experienced Fedora contributors. We started talking about Experienced Contributors. I opened up a shared Inkscape window and made two columns: “pain” and “gain:”

  • For the pain column, we came up with things that are a pain for experienced contributors the way our systems / processes currently work.
  • For the gain column, we listed out ways that Fedora Hubs could provide benefits for experienced contributors.

Then we rinsed and repeated for new contributors:


While we discussed the pains/gains, we also came up with a lot of sidebar ideas that we documented in an “Idea Bucket” area in the file:


I was worried that this wouldn’t work well in a video chat context, but I screen-shared my Inkscape window and wrote down suggestions as they were brought up and I think we came out with a useful list of ideas. I was actually surprised at the number of pains and gains on the experienced contributor side: I had assumed new contributors would have way more pains and gains and that the experienced contributors wouldn’t have that many.

Prototype Demo

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Screenshot from 2015-06-23 12-57-27

Ralph gave us a demo of his Fedora Hubs prototype – first he walked us through how it’s built, then gave the demo.


In the README there is full explanation of how the prototype works so I won’t reiterate everything there. Some points that came up during this part of the meeting:

  • Would we support hubs running without Javascript? The current prototype completely relies on JS. Without JS, it would be hard to do widgets like the IRC widget. Some of the JS frameworks come with built-in fail modes. There are some accessibility issues with ways of doing things with JS, but a good design can ensure that won’t happen. For the most part, we are going to try to support what a default Fedora workstation install could support.
  • vi hotkeys for Hubs would be awesome. :) Fedora Tagger does this!
  • The way the widgets work now, each widget has to define a data function that gets called with a session object, and it has to return JSON-ifiable python code. That gets stored in memcached and is how the wsgi app and backend communicate. If you can write a data function to return JSON and write a template the data gets plugged into – that’s mainly what’s needed. Take a look at the stats widget – it’s pretty simple!
  • All widgets also need a ‘should_invalidate()’ function that lets the system know what kinds of information apply to which widgets. Every fedmsg has to go through every widget to see if it invalidates a given widget’s data – we were worried that this would result in a terrible performance issue, but by the end of the hackfest we had that figured out.
  • Right now the templates are ginja2, but Ralph thinks we should move to client-side (javascript) templates. The reason is that when updated data gets pushed over websockets from the bus, it can involve garbage communication any time new changes in data come across – it’s simpler that the widget doesn’t have to request the templates and instead the templates are already there in the client.
  • Angular could be a nice client-side way of doing the templates, but Ralph had heard some rumors that AngularJS 2 was going to support only Chrome, and AngularJS 1.3 and 2 aren’t compatible. nask0 has a lot of experience with Angular though and does not think v2 is going to be Chrome-only.
  • TODO: Smoother transitions for when widgets pop into view as they load on an initial load.
  • Langdon wondered if there would be a way to consider individual widgets being able to function as stand-alones on desktops or mobile. The raw zeromq pipes could be hooked up to do this, but the current design uses EventSource which is web-specific and wouldn’t translate to say a desktop widget. Fedora Hubs will emit its own fedmsgs too, so you could build a desktop widget using that as well.
  • Cache invalidation issues was the main driver of the slowness in Fedora Packages, but now we have a cache that updates very quickly so we get constant time access to delivering those pages.

Mockup Review

Screenshot from 2015-06-23 13-48-56

Next, Meghan walked us through the latest (at the time :) we have more now!) mockups for Fedora Hubs, many based on suggestions and ideas from our May meetup (the 2nd hubs video chat.)

Creating / Editing Hubs

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First, she walked us through her mockups for creating/editing hubs – how a hub admin would be able to modify / set up their hub. (Mockup (download from ‘Raw’ and view in Inkscape to see all screens.)) Things you can modify are the welcome message, colors, what widgets get displayed, the configuration for widgets (e.g. what IRC channel is associated with the hub?), and how to add widgets, among many other things.

Meghan also put together a blog post detailing these mockups.

One point that came up here – a difference is that when users edit their own hubs, they can’t associate an IRC channel with it, but a nick and a network, to enable their profile viewers to pm them.

We talked about hub admins vs FAS group admins. Should they be different or exactly the same? We could make a new role in FAS – “hub admin” – and store it there if it’s another one. Ralph recommended keeping it simple by having FAS group admins and hub admins one and the same. Some groups are more strict about group admins in FAS, some are not. Would there be scenarios where we’d want people to be able to admin the FAS group for a team but not be able to modify the hub layout (or vice-versa?) Maybe nesting the roles – if you’re a FAS admin you can be FAS admin + hub admin, if you’re a hub admin you can just admin the hub but not the FAS group.

Another thing we talked about is theming hubs. Luke mentioned that Reddit allows admins to have free reign in terms of modifying the CSS. Matthew mentioned having a set of backgrounds to choose from, like former Fedora wallpapers. David cautioned that we want to maintain some uniformity across the hubs to help enable new contributors – he gave the example of Facebook, where key navigational elements are not configurable. I suggested maybe they could only tweak certain CSS classes. Any customizations could be stored in the database.

Another point: members vs subscribers on a hub. Subscribers ‘subscribe’ to a hub, members ‘join’ a hub. Subscribing to a hub adds it to your bookmarks in the main horizontal nav bar, and enables certain notifications for that hub to appear in your feed. We talked about different vocabulary for ‘subscribe’ vs ‘join’ – instead of ‘subscribe’ we talking about ‘following’ or ‘starring’ (as in Github) vs joining. (Breaking News :) Since then Meghan has mocked up the different modes for these buttons and added the “star” concept! See below.)


We had a bit of an extended discussion about a lot of the different ways someone could be affiliated with a team/project that has a hub. Is following/subscribing too non-committal? Should we have a rank system so you could move your way up ranks, or is it a redundant gameification given the badge system we have in place? (Maybe we can assign ranks based on badges earned?) Part of the issue here is for others to identify the authority of the other people they’re interacting with, but another part is for helping people feel more a part of the community and feel like valued members. Subscribing is more like following a news feed, being a member is more being part of the team.

Joining Hubs

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The next set of mockups Meghan went through showed us the workflow of how a user requests membership in a given hub and how the admin receives the membership request and handles it.

We also tangented^Wtalked about the welcome message on hubs and how to dismiss or minimize them. I think we concluded that we would let people collapse them and remove them, and if they remove them we’ll give them a notification that if they want to view them at any time they can click on “Community Rules and Guidelines.”

Similarly, the notification to let the admin know that a user has requested access to something and they dismiss it and want to tend to it later – it will appear in the admin’s personal stream as well for later retrieval.

We talked about how to make action items in a user’s notification feed appear differently than informational notifications; some kind of different visual design for them. One idea that came up was having tabs at the top to filter between types of notifications (action, informational, etc.) I explained how we were thinking about having a contextual filter system in the top right of each ‘card’ or notification to let users show or hide content too. Meghan is working on mockups for this currently.

David had the idea of having action items assigned to people appear as actions within their personal stream… since then I have mocked this up:


Personal Profiles

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Next Meghan walked us through the mockups she worked on for personal profiles / personal streams. One widget she mocked up is for personal library widgets. Other widgets included a personal badges earned display, hubs you’re a member of, IRC private message, a personal profile.

Meghan also talked about privacy with respect to profiles and we had a bit of a discussion about that. Maybe, for example, by default your library could be private, maybe your stream only shows your five most recent notifications and if someone is approved (using a handshake) as a follower of yours they can see the whole stream. Part of this is sort of a bike lock thing…. everything in a user’s profile is broadcast on fedmsg, but having it easily accessible in one place in a nice interface makes it a lot easier (like not having a lock on your bike.) One thing Langdon brought up is that we don’t want to give people a false sense of privacy. So we have to be careful about the messaging we do around it. We thought about whether or not we wanted to offer this intermediate ‘preview’ state for people’s profiles for those viewing them without the handshake. An alternative would be to let the user know who is following them when they first start following them and to maintain a roster of followers so it is clear who is reading their information.

Here’s the blog post Meghan wrote up on the joining hubs and personal profile mockups with each of the mockups and more details.

Bookmarks / main nav

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The main horizontal navbar in Fedora Hubs is basically a bookmarks bar of the hubs you’re most interested in. Meghan walked us through the bookmarks mockups – she also covered these mockups in detail on her bookmarks blog post.


Yes. Yes, it is.

So you may be wondering when this is going to be available. Well, we’re working on it. We could always use more help….


Where’s stuff happening?

How does one help? Well, let me walk you through where things are taking place, so you can follow along more closely than my lazy blog posts if you so desire:

  • Chat with us: #fedora-hubs on irc.freenode.net is where most of the folks working on Fedora Hubs hang out, day in and day out. threebean’s hooked up a bot in there too that pushes notifications when folks check in code or mockup updates.
  • Mockups repo: Meghan and I have our mockups repo at https://github.com/fedoradesign/fedora-hubs, which we both have hooked up via Sparkleshare. (You are free to check it out without Sparkleshare and poke around as you like, of course.)
  • Code repo: The code is kept in a Pagure repo at https://pagure.io/fedora-hubs. You’ll want to check out the ‘develop’ branch and follow the README instructions to get all setup. (If I can do it, you can. :) )
  • Feature planning / Bug reporting: We are using Pagure’s issue tracker at https://pagure.io/fedora-hubs/issues to plan out features and track bugs. One way we are using this which I think is kind of interesting – it’s the first time I’ve used a ticketing system in exactly this way – is that for every widget in the mockups, we’ve opened up a ticket that serves as the design spec with mockups from our mockup repo embedded in the ticket.
  • Project tracking: This one is a bit experimental. But the Fedora infra and webdev guys set up http://taiga.fedoraproject.org – an open source kanban board – that Meghan and I started using to keep track of our todo list since we had been passing post-it notes back and forth and that gets a bit unwieldy. It’s just us designers using it so far, but you are more than welcome to join if you’d like. Log in with your Fedora staging password (you can reset it if it’s not working and it’ll only affect stg) and ping us in #fedora-hubs to have your account added to the kanban board.
  • Notification Inventory: This is an inventory that Meghan started of the notifications we’ve come up with for hubs in the mockups.
  • Nomenclature Diagram for Fedora Hubs: We’ve got a lot of neat little features and widgets and bits and bobs in Fedora Hubs, but it can be confusing talking about them without a consistent naming scheme. Meghan created this diagram to help sort out what things are called.

How can I help?

Well, I’m sure glad you asked. :) There’s a few ways you can easily dive in and help right now, from development to design to coming up with cool ideas for features / notifications:

  1. Come up with ideas for notifications you would find useful in Fedora Hubs! Add your ideas to our notification inventory and hit us up in #fedora-hubs to discuss!
  2. Look through our mockups and come up with ideas for new widgets and/or features in Fedora Hubs! The easiest way to do this is probably to peruse the mini specs we have in the pagure issue tracker for the project. But you’re free to look around our mockups repo as well! You can file your widget ideas in Pagure (start the issue name with “Idea:” and we’ll review them and discuss!
  3. Help us develop the widgets we’ve planned! We’ve got little mini design specs for the widgets in the Fedora Hubs pagure issue tracker. If a widget ticket is unassigned (and most are!), it’s open and free for you to start hacking on! Ask Meghan and I any questions in IRC about the spec / design as needed. Take a look at the stats widget that Ralph reviewed in explaining the architecture during the hackfest, and watch Ralph’s demo and explanation of how Hubs is built to see how the widgets are put together.
  4. There are many other ways to help (ask around in #fedora-hubs to learn more,) but I think these have a pretty low barrier for starting up depending on your skillset and I think they are pretty clearly documented so you can be confident you’re working on tasks that need to get done and aren’t duplicating efforts!

    Hope to see you in #fedora-hubs! :)

June 22, 2015

Solving networked scanner issue on HP all-in-one printers
Looking and talking at Ask Fedora, it will be nice to share suggestion for proper networked scanner support on HP all-in-one printers. One of solution is to install hplip-gui via terminal.
sudo dnf install hplip-gui
su -c "dnf install hplip-gui
Unfortunately, the frontend is not listed on Gnome Software due to appdata missing.

Another solution is to directly edit /etc/cups/printers.conf and change the device URI. To find the correct URI with HP protocol  of your networked HP all-in-one printer, use hp-setup -i or hp-setup hostname. The URI should be listed like
Where hp:/net/ is the protocol replacing dnssd://, zc=hostname is the name of hostmane for the all-in-one printer sometime subsituted by ip=ipaddress

For example, the uri of Photosmart eStation C510 is 
Save the change and restart either the system or simply type sudo systemctl restart cups.

You should be able to run a networked scanner with your favourite scanner application like simple-scan. The reason of the process is due to a bug from hplip that failed to assign the hp:/net protocol to their own printer. Hopefull HP will fix the problem in the incoming future.

June 12, 2015

Fondo blanco en 1 minuto – Gimp

Sé que últimamente no he tenido tiempo de publicar en mi blog debido a que estoy super ocupada con el trabajo y la casa (nada de que preocuparse, son buenas noticias), así que mientras trabajaba, decidí simplemente grabar como hago las cosas; creo que a veces hay que dejar de complicarse y solo mostrar las ediciones tal y como son.

En este video podrán ver como se edita una foto de producto si lo único que tienen son hojas blancas y un par de luces. En mi caso, el problema fue que cuando lavé mi fondo blanco para softbox sinplemente murio, se peló (gamuza) y quedó inservible; por lo que tuve que recurrir al plan B y utilizar simples hojas blancas carta.

Espero el tutorial les sea de utilidad, está a velocidad normal y creo que eso les mostrará que es fácil editar. Hay varias formas de hacer lo mismo, sin embargo, es bueno mostrar al menos una de las fáciles. Espero les guste y volver a publicar con mas frecuencia los podcast de tatica!

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June 06, 2015

Trying Gnome Boxes 3.16.2 on Fedora 22
Fedora 23 on Gnome Boxes screenshot
Fedora 23 Rawhide within Gnome Boxes

Gnome Boxes is an application similar to VirtualBox that allows installing a operating systems via virtualization or use it remotely. The main focus is the simplicity to casual users wanting to try their system.  One of new features is the ability to do an express installation with minimal interaction which is convenient for a quick setup for say Microsoft Windows system up to 8.1.

One of weakness is the lack of transferring data within the virtualizer as done on VirtualBox useful to do the work on format not supported by applications on Linux distribution notable Fedora which is my main system. On some occasion, Boxes will not detect the existing virtualized system I installed on the main session until the restart. It can be annoying but not enough to detract the experience.

Overall, Gnome Boxes is a very useful tool for developers and also designers wanting to run their operating system without dual boot. The test was done on ASUS X550ZE laptop.

June 02, 2015

Fedora Design Team Update (Two for One!)

Fedora Design Team Logo

I have been very occupied in recent weeks with piggies of various shapes, sizes, and missions in life [1], so I missed posting the last design team meeting update. This is going to be a quick two-for-one with mostly links and not any summary at all. I’ve been trying hard to run the meetings so the auto-generated summaries are more usable, but I am always happy for tips on doing this even better from meetbot pros (like you? :) ?)


Fedora Design Team Meeting 19 May 2015

Fedora Design Team Meeting 2 June 2015

See you next time?

Our meetings are every 2 weeks; we send reminders to the design-team mailing list and you can also find out if there is a meeting by checking out the design team category on FedoCal.


[1] Expect some explanation in a few weeks, or look for me or Dan Walsh at the Red Hat Summit later this month. :)

May 26, 2015

Status of ASUS X550ZE laptop
I updated a status report for aiming a full out of box experience for ASUS X550 family laptop. It is a AMD Kaveri powered laptop featuring Dual Radeon GPU. Known issues are missing functional hotkeys (Fn), broken webcam support and lack of optimized power management.
Fedora 22 Design Suite ready
For artists and designers (i.e. graphics and web), Fedora 22 Design Suite is now available and received a new website located on https://labs.fedoraproject.org/en/design-suite/ . Listed features from the wiki:

  • Now based on Fedora Workstation media.
  • Addition of Sparkleshares, PDF Mod and Shutter applications.
  • Inclusion of plugins for Blender (Lux Render and YaFaRay) and Inkscape (Sozi and Table).
  • Latest versions of Entangle (0.7.0) and Inkscape (0.91)
  • Gimp gained a new G'Mic plugin replacing Greycstation as default.
  • Two shortcut icons for documentation of both Design Suite and Design Team
  • Updated the list of tutorials related to design
Users preferring installing  Fedora Workstation from network can add Design Suite category from the installer.

May 15, 2015

Debatiendo el sistema evaluativo Universitario Venezolano

Como dicen por ahí, “Soñar no cuesta nada”; pero a veces parece que por la misma desidia y desinterés general de la población ya ni eso queremos hacer. No soy graduada universitaria, aunque poco me faltó (razones personales), sin embargo, debido a la profesión que decidí seguir siempre me he encontrado inmersa en el mundo académico. En mis primeros años la gente siempre cuestionaba el hecho de que una Bachiller fuera a decirle a un TSU o Ing. como hacer las cosas; sin embargo, con el pasar de los años la gente comprendió que en el mundo tecnológico no todo se aprende en la Universidad, es más, ya es poco lo que se aprende para afrontar el mundo actual.

En mi vida he podido discutir con alumnos como les gustaría ser evaluados, y también he contado con la oportunidad de tener conversatorios con grupos de profesores Universitarios sobre el mismo tema. Uno de mis favoritos sucedió en la Universidad de Yacambú, donde durante casi 12 horas conversamos sobre las nuevas herramientas en el mundo del Diseño Gráfico y como ya este debía ser llamado “Diseño Integral” para que se pudiera formar a un artista más completo.

En estos días realicé el siguiente comentario en Twitter: “Si en vez de hacer tesis/pasantías se mandara a contribuir en proyectos; y se evaluara en base a los commits…”


Este simple comentario genero un interesante debate entre conocidos (y no) que me hizo escribir este artículo para que, quizás entre mis lectores, se genere un debate más amplio y profundo sobre como se esta evaluando el conocimiento en una era donde el conocimiento está en cualquier rincón.

Reinventar el concepto actual de academia

Tal como comentó Juan, habría que crear conceptos y metodologías nuevas donde los estudiantes comprendieran que el Software actual es más que sentarse en una oficina de 8-5 y que trata más sobre las interacciones que podemos tener con personas de todo el mundo, mientras desarrollamos en un ambiente de comunicación instantánea con nuestros colegas. También se tendría que cambiar el concepto erróneo de los círculos académicos actuales donde el profesionalismo es calificado en una escala de Pasantía a Tesis, sin términos medios.

Una de las cosas que me decepcionó durante mi época Universitaria era ir a visitar la biblioteca de la universidad y mirar con decepción como el 80% de las tesis ahí contenidas eran “desarrollos” de páginas web… y digo “desarrollos” porque era solo instalar un Joomla a algún familiar y pasarlo por tesis. ¿Es que ya no nos interesa ser profesionales y lo único que importa es tener un papel que nos enaltezca el ego?.

Autonomía Utópica

Miguel es profesor Universitario, muy joven, pero con más experiencia que la mayoría de sus colegas sesentones. Es un joven que, a pesar de tener un trabajo estable en un Start-Up de “puta madre” gasta tiempo y energía en educar a jóvenes como el para que aprendan de su experiencia y se conviertan en profesionales de verdad y no de papel. Miguel comenta que “muchas de las certificaciones y cursos en el área académica no están dirigidos al manejo de herramientas, sino a teorías o conceptos”, lo cual no se ajusta a nuestra era actual donde desarrollamos sin siquiera saberlo.

El principal problema que expone Miguel es que “elaborar una materia no es algo de la noche a la mañana porque se debe desarrollar el programa analítico, buscar los temas, pasar por la burocracia interna de la Universidad, para luego pasar por la burocracia del Ministerio de Educación Superior, eso sin tomar en cuenta que el método de evaluación puede afectar la normativa existente y sería necesario hacer un ajuste de la norma primero”. De cierta forma, pareciese que el sistema Universitario Venezolano no quiere mejorar, ya que eso podría significar mas horas de trabajo, esfuerzo y dedicación. Pero seamos honestos, ¿Quien quiere dedicarse a -entrenar competencia- por un sueldo mínimo?

Luego de preguntar mucho (ya que dicho documento no se encuentra en la web del Ministerio) me facilitaron el documento donde dicta las pautas del Contrato Colectivo del 2013-2014 (el del 2015 aún está en discusión y ya estamos a Mayo).En el tabulador, el mayor sueldo pagado es a los profesores de Dedicación Exclusiva (Entiéndase, no puede trabajar en otro lugar de forma oficial) y fue fijado a partir del 01-01-2014 en 15.297Bs. Recordemos que no se han ajustado los sueldos de los profesores desde dicha fecha. Lo triste del caso es que la gran mayoría de los Profesores no son de dedicación exclusiva, sino Asistentes, Asociados o Auxiliares. Para poner un ejemplo de una persona profesional que conozco, esta es una foto de la constancia de trabajo de el Padre de una amiga que, además de ser un excelente profesional, es un gran catedrático. Me pregunto, ¿Estaría Ud. dispuesto a trabajar durante uno o dos años para desarrollar un nuevo pensum universitario por un sueldo de 5.118Bs?

Me parece que criticar este salario sin que se tenga conocimiento de cuanto gana un Profesor fuera de nuestras fronteras es injusto, por lo que también investigué estas cifras. Un profesor gana en promedio entre 30.000USD y 130.000USD al año; esto nos indica que el salario mínimo mensual de un Educador está en 2.500USD. El profesor mejor pagado de nuestro país gana lo siguiente:

  • Profesor de Tiempo Completo y Dedicación Exclusiva: 15.297Bsf a la tasa SICAD (12Bs) = 1.274USD
  • Profesor de Tiempo Completo y Dedicación Exclusiva: 15.297Bsf a la tasa SIMADI (171Bs) = 89USD
  • Profesor de Tiempo Completo y Dedicación Exclusiva: 15.297Bsf a la tasa de Mercado Negro (300Bs) = 50USD

Incluso calculando el salario más alto del tabulador Venezolano a tasa preferencial, no llega ni a la mitad del salario mínimo de un profesor fuera de nuestras fronteras. Con esto, varias preguntas surgen. ¿A que tasa -real- debemos calcular el salario Venezolano? ¿Ud. Profesor Universitario, gana 15.297Bs o está en un escalafón diferente? ¿Luego de conocer estas cifras aún le parece mal que los profesores se rebusquen fuera del ambiente académico?

Soluciones reales en momentos de crisis

Es muy fácil decir “Suban los sueldos” o “Trabajen para construir la patria”, pero la verdad (como decimos los de IT cuando nos piden favores -grandes-) es que “nosotros no comemos cables” y los profesores dudo que coman libros. Desde mi punto de vista, las 4 profesiones que deberían estar en el tope del escalafón de sueldos deberían ser los Profesores, los Médicos, los Ing. Agrícolas y los Policías; de esa forma se asegura educación, salud, alimentación y seguridad de alta calidad; sin embargo, no creo que el Gobierno deba asumir absolutamente todo. Si el gobierno no puede pagar un sueldo digno a un profesional, entonces la privatización de servicios (completa o parcial) tiene que ser la solución. Al no ofrecerse sueldos de calidad vemos dos problemáticas, la primera es que los Profesionales que trabajan actualmente en el entorno educativo no se exigen ya que no tienen una motivación salarial (y quien diga que la motivación es mejorar a la patria claramente no tiene familia que mantener), y la segunda problemática es que los graduandos que salen a la calle a buscar trabajo prefieren ser taxistas o ejercer una profesión diferente (o emigrar) en busca de un salario digno que le permita vivir bien. Entonces, ¿Como podemos motivar al profesional para que trabaje -por la patria-?

Otra posible solución es que, ya que los pensum son desarrollados completamente bajo la tutela del Ministerio de Educación, se escoja un grupo de Educadores, se desarrolle un Simposio (Pago, no necesariamente costoso, para ayudar con los costos y generar conciencia de que el conocimiento cuesta) donde durante una semana se debatan estos temas y se hagan propuestas realistas que puedan terminar en un enriquecimiento del compendio de temas que componen las carreras actuales. Ojo, a este Simposio deberían ser invitados no solo los Profesores con larga trayectoria, sino aquellos profesionales que conocen el campo laboral actual y puedan ajustar las viejas enseñanzas a los nuevos requerimientos del entorno productivo Venezolano.


En fin, este artículo es más que todo una reflexión, un análisis y un texto que busca quizás crear un poco de conciencia sobre el tema de la educación Universitaria. Recordemos que en el mundo actual, el mayor cúmulo de conocimiento viene de la información digital que (queramos o no) está ahí. En vez de verla como el enemigo, veamosla como la mejor herramienta que tenemos para mejorar como profesionales y personas.

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May 13, 2015

FREE Firefox?

Let's assume one is a "normal" Firefox user, so based on Windows and with no knowledge about using directly the mirrors (or without intimate knowledge of obscure acronyms). And let's assume the same person wants a FREE web browser, one with no binary blobs, with source available and not blocking the content from its user.

The challenge is, going from the Firefox start page, find a way to download the FREE version, without using external websites (so no Google search).

free firefox 38

Answer: Expand the menu thingy at the top, then go to the About page, then to the blog and find there an apologising post with a deep-buried link inside.

May 11, 2015

15th Anniversary Linuxwochen Vienna

As all the last year in May the event row called Linuxwochen makes it stop in Vienna and I represented Fedora there. This year it was an special event as the Linuxwochen could celebrate their 15th anniversary. And this years event was indeed special, normally this event is compared to others a smaller one as it is from Thursday to Saturday. But this year it was on Thursday already crowded and it looked some more Germans have found their way to Vienna. Also both of the workshop I gave in Vienna was an success and as always filled with people.
Personally I think the exhibition area was this year a nice one to, as Axiom Apertus Beta was presented there, first that this open source camera was presented in public and also Mozilla did show an TV running Firefox (an TV that you can buy, greetings to Ubuntu).
The social event was this year also a nice one, with an special delicious cake. So it was all in all a win to been there personally as for Fedora.

May 07, 2015

Time to kick the tires on the new Fedora websites in staging!

So a couple of weeks ago I mentioned the work robyduck and the Fedora websites team have been putting in on the new websites for Fedora, primarily, spins.fedoraproject.org and labs.fedoraproject.org. Here’s the handy little diagram I put together back then to explain:

diagram showing four different fedora sites

This week, robyduck got the new site designs into staging, which means you can try out the new work-in-progress sites right now and provide us your helpful feedback, suggestions (and dare I suggest it) content contributions to make the sites even better. :)


Click below to visit the staging site:
Screenshot from 2015-05-07 17:02:39


Click below to visit the staging site:
Screenshot from 2015-05-07 17:02:29

You may notice as you peruse through the Fedora Labs staging site and the Fedora Spins staging site you’re going to see some bogus stuff. For example, the Robotics Suite page highlights Gimp and Inkscape as included applications. :) This is because a lot of the content is filler content and we need help from the users of these spins and experts in the individual technologies of what we should be featuring and how we should be describing these spins.

So this is sort of a continuation of our earlier call for help, but this one is really mostly focused on content – we really need your help.


With the staging sites for spins.fedoraproject.org and labs.fedoraproject.org up and running, we are hoping this will make it easier for folks to understand where we are lacking content and could use some help figuring out what to say about each spin. It helps to see it all in context for every spin.

This is a good way to contribute to an open source project if you enjoy writing or documentation – we will handle all the details of getting the content into the pages, you would simply need to email us or blog comment (or whatever is easiest for you) the content you are contributing.

If you are interested in helping us out or even have a particular interest in one of the following spins that is in most need of help, can you get in touch with us and we’ll help you get started?

  • Robotics Suite – needs list of featured applications with short descriptions.
  • Fedora Jam – needs list of featured applications with short descriptions. Could use an updated top-level description (the 2 paragraphs up top) as well.
  • Security Lab – needs list of featured applications with short descriptions.
  • Sugar on a Stick – needs list of featured applications with short descriptions.

We’d appreciate any help you can provide. Get in touch in the comments to this post!

May 05, 2015

Fedora Design Team Update

Fedora Design Team Logo

Fedora Design Team Meeting 5 May 2015

This is a very, very quick summary post:


  • We had three tickets that opened up today – ticket 371 for a sticker design that mleonova picked up, ticket 369 for the flock 2015 t-shirt which riecatnor picked up, and 210 for an updated map graphics which bronwynmowens grabbed.
  • We had some nice “Going to FUDcon” artwork designed by jurankdankkal and gnokki in ticket 359 – good work!!
  • Bronwyn finished her the artwork for her first ticket, ticket 347 which is a series of banners to advertise Fedora on stackexchange.
  • We gave threebean some advice on fedmenu (ticket 374) and I think we came up with some interesting ideas. I am going to copy/pasta the discussion into ticket 374 and we may end up having another discussion about it.
  • kirkB has been making progress on ticket 364 (to update the Design team wiki page) and posted his draft asking for comments / feedback. If you are a design team member please take a look and let him know what you think in the ticket! :)

See you next time?

Our meetings are every 2 weeks; we send reminders to the design-team mailing list and you can also find out if there is a meeting by checking out the design team category on FedoCal.

April 30, 2015

Do you know robotics?

Hi :)

Plea for help here :)


The websites team and I would like to feature a photo of some real robots that have been programmed and/or built using Fedora as the main banner image for the Fedora Robotics spin – but we don’t know of any specific Fedora robots. We’d even be happy with a picture of a non-Fedora robot at this point.

If you know someone who is knowledgable about robotics and/or Fedora robotics, and who may have a picture they’d be willing to let us use, can you please get in touch?

Thanks :)

April 29, 2015

Darktable 1.6.6 necesita más Fedora Testers!!!

Screenshot from 2014-04-26 19:23:16Saludos Usuarios Fedora, tal como Kasun indicó en su correo a la lista de la Comunidad Darktable, se necesitan más betatesters para que la versión 1.6.6 esté disponible para todos.

Darktable 1.6.6 está actualmente en los repos de testing. Luego de que 3 usuarios confirmen que funciona, será automáticamente enviado al repo de updates y estará disponible en todo el mundo. Si quieres ser un tester, esto es lo que debes hacer:

Paso 1: Instala darktable 1.6.6 desde el repo de testing de la siguiente forma.

su -c “yum –enablerepo=updates-testing update darktable”

Paso 2: Revisa la aplicación y verifica como funciona.

Paso 3: Ve a la dirección que corresponde a tu versión de Fedora y registrate (Debes crear una cuenta Fedora si no tienes una).

https://admin.fedoraproject.<wbr></wbr>org/updates/FEDORA-2015-6991/<wbr></wbr>darktable-1.6.6-1.fc21  para Fedora 21

https://admin.fedoraproject.<wbr></wbr>org/updates/FEDORA-2015-6981/<wbr></wbr>darktable-1.6.6-1.fc20  para Fedora 20

https://admin.fedoraproject.<wbr></wbr>org/updates/FEDORA-2015-6976/<wbr></wbr>darktable-1.6.6-1.fc22  para Fedora 22

Paso 4: Agrega “Funciona para mi / Works for me” en los comentarios (agregalo en inglés, solo copia y pega el texto ;) )

Y eso es todo! Darktable 1.6.6 será público!

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Vienna Calling

Next week there will be the austrian road show called Linuxwochen make its station in Vienna and Fedora will be present. We will have of course an booth there and I will deliver also 2 workshops, one for Inkscape and one for Blender. You find the full schedule with all talks and workshops here.

April 23, 2015

Redesign of spins.fedoraproject.org; Help make your spin rock!

Robyduck and I have been working on a total revamp of spins.fedoraproject.org. Behold, what spins.fpo looks like today:

spins.fedoraproject.org front page screenshot

spins.fedoraproject.org front page screenshot

Design Suite spin details page screenshot from the current spins.fedoraproject.org.

Design Suite spin details page screenshot from the current spins.fedoraproject.org.

Different kinds of spins

So one issue we have with spins is that there are different *kinds* of spins:

  • Desktop Spins There are desktop spins that each feature a different desktop environment on top of Fedora. While you can install multiple desktop environments by default, most people stick to one most of the time, and you certainly can’t use more than one in a given session. These spins are much more about the environment you use Fedora in rather than applications layered on top.
  • Functional Spins There are functional spins that consist of application bundles and configuration that you could honestly package-group install on any desktop and be able to use productively – Games, Design Suite, Robotics, etc. They are more purpose-directed than the desktop spins, which are more for general computing environments.
  • ARM builds (These aren’t actually spins but fell into the fray as they needed a home too!) Now that ARM is a top-level / supported architecture, we have ARM builds for many versions of Fedora. These images are solely architecture-based and cater to a very specific community and very specific use cases / hardware beyond traditional servers, workstations, and laptops.

We made a decision to split the desktop spins away from the functional spins. Functional spins will be housed at a new site catered specifically for them: labs.fedoraproject.org. ARM builds will also have their own one-page site with references to important documentation and the Fedora ARM community as well.

Here’s a rough diagram to illustrate:

diagram showing four different fedora sites

Desktop Spins (spins.fpo)

(These mockups are huge by the way. Sorry :) )

For the front page of the spins.fedoraproject.org site – since they are all desktops, we thought a full-width, large-size screenshot of what the desktop looks like in that spin would help folks figure out which ones they wanted to explore. (Note this mockup does not include Sugar but Sugar will be included in the final design:)

spins.fpo mockup

spins.fpo mockup

Rather than the tabbed approach we use today, we decided to consolidate all of the information on each spin’s individual details page to a one-pager. Spin SIGs can provide as much or as little data about the spin as they like. There are section they can use to highlight specific apps or features of their desktop, or they can opt to not use that display and instead just focus on the description and support content.

Desktop spin details page

Desktop spin details page

Functional Spins (labs.fpo)

The functional spins are more domain / goal-oriented than the desktop spins, so the previews on the front page are smaller and don’t necessarily feature desktop screenshots.

labs.fpo front page mockup

labs.fpo front page mockup

Similar to how the desktop spins’ details pages work, the lab spins details pages are one-pagers as compared to their current multi-tab incarnations. Again, the SIGs in charge can get as detailed or as brief as they’d like. Here’s the Design Suite’s details page:

labs.fpo details page mockup

labs.fpo details page mockup


So I’m still sorting out some issues with the usage of the ARM trademark here, so none of this is super-final in terms of the graphic design / lack of trademark notices / disclaimers / etc. This is strictly an incomplete work-in-progress. That being said, I’ve been picking the #fedora-arm folks’ brains a lot lately to understand our ARM offerings, their use cases, and ideal ways to represent them for the target audience. My thinking here is a simple one-pager that lists out all of the options by the major usage categories – headless and desktop computing – and just making it really easy to find the version you need across all of the many available options. The other thing here that the #fedora-devel and #fedora-arm folks suggested are links to the ARM wiki documentation for installing these images as well as references to the Fedora ARM mailing list and IRC channels to provide some support for folks using the page.

Anyway here’s where that mockup is at now:

Fedora builds for ARM mockup

Fedora builds for ARM mockup

Whoah cool. You guys have it all under control then?



We need your help. There are so many spins and versions of Fedora we’re juggling here, and neither of us is an expert in all or even most of them. We’re trying to adapt / convert the existing content / assets for these spins/versions of Fedora, but we really need help from the folks who maintain / use these spins to fully develop the content we need for their pages to come out looking great.

Robyduck sent out a bunch of messages to the various SIGs involved but we haven’t gotten a great response yet. Time is short to get these pages built in time for F22, so we really need all the help we can get. If you are an owner or even interested user in any of the spins featured in these mockups (or ARM,) can you get in touch and help us perfect the content for your spin / ARM build of interest?

Thanks :)

By the way, you can follow the process of the mockups here in the git repo for them. Robyduck is coding them up about as fast as I can crank designs out but I am sure he would appreciate some coding assistance too!!

April 22, 2015

Fedora Design Team Update

Fedora Design Team Logo

Fedora Design Team Meeting 21 April 2015



  • Libre Graphics Meeting: decause asked if any team members are planning to go to Libre Graphics Meeting 2015 next week. He and riecatnor were thinking about going. Nobody else in the meeting had plans to go.
  • Flock talk proposal deadline extension: The deadline for Flock talk proposals has been extended to May 2, so we reminded folks to get their design team talk proposals in.
  • Fedora websites update: Mo noted that she and robyduck have made a lot of progress on the spins.fedoraproject.org redesign and the new labs.fpo website. If you are interested in the work it’s in github: https://github.com/fedoradesign/fedora-spins.

Tickets Needing Feedback

Tickets Needing Updates

Tickets Needing Triage

  • Update Design Team Wiki – Kirk and Yogi decided to take this one on as a team and have already made some progress!

Completed Tickets

LinuxFest NorthWest Ad


Maria did a beautiful job on this design. We closed the ticket since it’s all complete!

Tickets Open For You to Take!

We triaged this ticket in the meeting and it’s all ready for a designer to pick it up and work on it! Could that be you? :)

See you next time?

Our meetings are every 2 weeks; we send reminders to the design-team mailing list and you can also find out if there is a meeting by checking out the design team category on FedoCal.

April 07, 2015

Fedora Design Team Update

Fedora Design Team Logo

Fedora Design Team Meeting 7 April 2015


I don’t actually have time today to post a full summary, so just a few bullet points:

  • Bronwyn, my new intern, started today so we welcomed her at the meeting and she took on her first ticket, which she’s working on right now.
  • We walked through tickets needing attention and tickets needing triage.
  • We talked about the F22 Beta readiness meeting – I will attend to represent the team this Thursday.
  • We talked about Flock and discussed more details about the topics we’d like to propose.

March 28, 2015

Testing Design Suite on Asus X550ZE
I recently bought an ASUS X550ZE to replace the venerable Sony VAIO N250E laptop. The reason of choosing an AMD powered laptop is for long term support i.e. the use of Vulkan API in future AMD GPU driver. In summary, here is the ASUS X550ZE specification taken from ASUS website:
  • Processor
    AMD® APU A10-7400P /A8-7200P/FX-7600P Processor
  • Chipset
    AMD A76M FCH
  • Memory
    DDR3L 1600 MHz SDRAM, 8 GB
  • Display
    15.6" 16:9 /Full HD (1920x1080)
  • Graphic
    AMD Radeon® R5 M230 + Radeon® R7 M265 DX Dual Graphics with 2GB DDR3 VRAM Built-in A10-7400P
  • Storage
    2.5" 9.5mm SATA
    1TB 5400/7200 RPM
  • Optical Drive
    Super-Multi DVD
  • Card Reader
    2 -in-1 card reader ( SD/ SDHC/ MMC)
  • Camera
    VGA Web Camera
  • Networking
    Integrated 802.11 b/g/n
    Built-in Bluetooth™ V4.0 (Optional)
    10/100/1000/Gigabits Base T
  • Interface
    1 x COMBO audio jack
    1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor
    2 x USB 3.0 port(s)
    1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
    1 x HDMI

  • Audio
    Built-in Speakers And Microphone
  • Battery
    4Cells 44 Whrs
  • Power Adapter
    Output :
    19 V DC, 4.74 A, 90 W
    Input :
    100 -240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
Booting Fedora Design Suite 22 Beta TC5 went well except a bug on Radeon driver prompting to set "nomodeset" on boot configuration. Once at the desktop session, ithe following issues are:
  • Fn buttons from backlight to volume not functional
  • Touchpad not functional. Not sure if it is related on the xorg-x11-drv-libinput or xorg-x11-drv-synaptics and possible the laptop is new.
  • High power consumption. With only the generic graphical driver (llvmpipe), the battery longevity is only two hours without proper power management
  • Because of use of generic graphical driver , neither Cheese nor Video works without crashing. Attempting to use Wayland will cause fallback to login screen.

On the positive side:
  • Bluetooth is functional
  • Display is set at high setting i.e. Full HD (1920x1080)
  • Applications like Gimp, Inkscape takes advantage of the quad-core feature.
Despite the shortcoming due to driver issues, the laptop is still useful for work usage. Perhaps a kernel update will address the problem.

After removing "nomodeset" from boot parameter, the login screen displayed under Wayland. The default Gnome session crashed but the Gnome on Wayland runs smoothly aside some known issues.

March 25, 2015

Winner Wallpaper for Fedora 22

The 5 days the Fedora contributors had to choose there favorites amongst the submissions for Fedora 22 Supplemental Wallpaper are over and here is the result:

Congratulation to all winners, and for the not chosen one, there will be definitely a Fedora 23 contest. Where your picture ended up and also some statistics you can find at nuancier.

Summary of Enabling New Contributors Brainstorm Session

Photo of Video Chat

So today we had a pretty successful brainstorm about enabling new contributors in Fedora! Thank you to everyone who responded my call for volunteers yesterday – we were at max capacity within an hour or two of the post! :) It just goes to show this is a topic a lot of folks are passionate about!

Here is a quick run-down of how it went down:

Video Conference Dance

We tried to use OpenTokRTC but had some technical issues (we were hitting an upper limit and people were getting booted, and some folks could see/hear some but not others. So we moved onto the backup plan – BlueJeans – and that worked decently.

Roleplay Exercise: Pretend You’re A Newbie!

Watch this part of the session starting here!

For about the first 30 minutes, we brainstormed using a technique called Understanding Chain to roleplay as if we were new contributors trying to get started in Fedora and noting all of the issues we would run into. We started thinking about how would we even begin to contribute, and then we started thinking about what barriers we might run up against as we continued on. Each idea / thought / concept got its own “sticky note” (thanks to Ryan Lerch for grabbing some paper and making some large scale stickies,) I would write the note out, Ryan would tack it up, and Stephen would transcribe it into the meeting piratepad.

Photo of the whiteboard with all of the sticky notes taped to it.

Walkthrough of the Design Hubs Concept Thus Far

Watch this part of the session starting here!

Next, I walked everyone through the design hubs concept and full set of mockups. You can read up more on the idea at the original blog post explaining the idea from last year. (Or poke through the mockups on your own.)

Screenshot of video chat: Mo explaining the Design Hubs Concept

Comparing Newbie Issues to Fedora Hubs Offering

Watch this part of the session starting here!

We spent the remainder of our time wakling through the list of newbie issues we’d generated during the first exercise and comparing them to the Fedora Hubs concept. For each issue, we asked these sorts of questions:

  • Is this issue addressed by the Fedora Hubs design? How?
  • Are there enhancements / new features / modifications we could make to the Fedora Hubs design to better address this issue?
  • Does Fedora Hubs relate to this issue at all?

We came up with so many awesome ideas during this part of the discussion. We had ideas inline with the issues that we’d come up with during the first exercise, and we also had random ideas come up that we put in their own little section on the piratepad (the “Idea Parking Lot.”)

Here’s a little sampling of ideas we had:

  • Fedorans with the most cookies are widely helpful figures within Fedora, so maybe their profiles in hubs could be marked with some special thing (a “cookie monster” emblem???) so that new users can find folks with a track record of being helpful more easily. (A problem we’d discussed was new contributors having a hard time tracking down folks to help them.)
  • User hub profiles can serve as the centralized, canonical user profile for them across Fedora. No more outdated info on wiki user pages. No more having to log into FAS to look up information on someone. (A problem we’d discussed was multiple sources for the same info and sometimes irrelvant / outdated information.)
  • The web IRC client we could build into hubs could have a neat affordance of letting you map an IRC nick to a real life name / email address with a hover tool tip thingy. (A problem we’d discussed was difficulty in finding people / meeting people.)
  • Posts to a particular hub on Fedora hubs are really just content aggregated from many different data sources / feeds. If a piece of data goes by that proves to be particularly helpful, the hub admins can “pin” it to a special “Resources” area attached to the hub. So if there’s great tutorials or howtos or general information that is good for group members to know, they can access it on the team resource page. (A problem we’d discussed was bootstrapping newbies and giving them helpful and curated content to get started.)
  • Static information posted to the hub (e.g. basic team metadata, etc.) could have a set “best by” date and some kind of automation could email the hub admins every so often (every 6 months?) and ask them to re-read the info and verify if it’s still good or update it if not. (The problem we’d discussed here was out-of-date wiki pages.)
  • Having a brief ‘intake questionnaire’ for folks creating a new FAS account to get an idea of their interests and to be able to suggest / recommend hubs they might want to follow. (Problem-to-solve: a lot of new contributors join ambassadors and aren’t aware of what other teams exist that could be a good place for them.)

There’s a lot more – you can read through the full piratepad log to see everything we came up with.

Screenshot of video chat discussion

Next Steps

Watch this part of the session starting here!

Here’s the next steps we talked about at the end of the meeting. If you have ideas for others or would like to claim some of these items to work on, please let me know in the comments!

  1. We’re going to have an in-person meetup / hackfest in early June in the Red Hat Westford office. (mizmo will plan agenda, could use help)
  2. We need a prioritized requirements list of all of the features. (mizmo will work on this, but could use help if anybody is interested!)
  3. The Fedora apps team will go through the prioritized requirements list when it’s ready and give items an implementation difficult rating.
  4. We should do some resarch on the OpenSuSE Connect system and how it works, and Elgg, the system they are using for the site. (needs a volunteer!)
  5. We should take a look at the profile design updates to StackExchange and see if there’s any lessons to be learned there for hubs. (mizmo will do this but would love other opinions on it.)
  6. We talked about potentially doing another video chat like this in late April or early May, before the hackfest in June.
  7. MOAR mockups! (mizmo will do, but would love help :))

How to Get Involved / Resources

So we have a few todos listed above that could use a volunteer or that I could use help with. Here’s the places to hang out / the things to read to learn more about this project and to get involved:

Please let us know what you think in the comments! :)

March 24, 2015

Fedora Design Team Update

Fedora Design Team Logo

Fedora Design Team Meeting 24 March 2015

Completed Tickets

Ticket 361: Fedora Reflective Bracelet

This ticket involved a simple design for a reflective bracelet for bike riders to help them be more visible at night. The imprint area was quite small and the ink only one color, so this was fairly simple.

Tickets Open For You to Take!

One of the things we required to join the design team is that you take and complete a ticket. We have one ticket currently open and awaiting you to claim it and contribute some design work for Fedora :):


Fedora 22 Supplemental Wallpapers Vote Closes Tomorrow!

Tomorrow (Wednesday, March 25) is the last day to get in your votes for Fedora 22’s supplemental wallpapers! Vote now! (All Fedora contributors are eligible to vote.)

(Oh yeah, don’t forget – You’ll get a special Fedora badge just for voting!)

Fedora 22 Default Wallpaper Plan

A question came up what our plan was with the Fedora 22 wallpaper – Ryan Lerch created the mockups that we shipped / will ship in the alpha and beta and the feedback we’ve got on these is positive thus far so we’ll likely not change direction for Fedora 22’s default wallpaper. The pattern is based on the pattern Ryan designed for the Fedora.next product artwork featured on getfedora.org.

However, it is never too early to think about F23 wallpaper. If you have some ideas to share, please share them on the design team list!

2015 Flock Call for Papers is Open!

Flock is going to be at the Hyatt Regency in Rochester, New York. The dates are August 12 to August 15.

Gnokii proposed that we figure out which design team members are intending to go, and perhaps we could plan out different sessions for a design track. Some of the sessions we talked about:

  • Design Clinic – bring your UI or artwork or unfiled design team ticket to an open “office hours” session with design team members and get feedback / critique / help.
  • Wallpaper Hunt – design team members with cameras could plan a group photoshoot to get nice pictures that could make good wallpapers for F23 (rietcatnor suggested Highland Park as a good potential place to go.
  • Badge Design Workshop – riecatnor is going to propose this talk!

I started a basic wiki page to track the Design Team Flock 2015 presence – add your name if you’re intending to go and your ideas for talk proposals so we can coordinate!

(I will message the design-team list with this idea too!)

See you next time?

Our meetings are every 2 weeks; we send reminders to the design-team mailing list and you can also find out if there is a meeting by checking out the design team category on FedoCal.

Enabling New Contributors Brainstorm Session

You (probably don’t, but) may remember an idea I posted about a while back when we were just starting to plan out how to reconfigure Fedora’s websites for Fedora.next. I called the idea “Fedora Hubs.”

Some Backstory

The point behind the idea was to provide a space specifically for Fedora contributors that was separate from the user space, and to make it easier for folks who are non-packager contributors to Fedora to collaborate by providing them explicit tools to do that. Tools for folks working in docs, marketing, design, ambassadors, etc., to help enable those teams and also make it easier for them to bring new contributors on-board. (I’ve onboarded 3 or 4 people in the past 3 months and it still ain’t easy! It’s easy for contributors to forget how convoluted it can be since we all did it once and likely a long time ago.)

Well, anyway, that hubs idea blog post was actually almost a year ago, and while we have a new Fedora project website, we still don’t have a super-solid plan for building out the Fedora hub site, which is meant to be a central place for Fedora contributors to work together:

The elevator pitch is that it’s kind of like a cross between Reddit and Facebook/G+ for Fedora contributors to keep on top of the various projects and teams they’re involved with in Fedora.

There are some initial mockups that you can look through here, and a design team repo with the mockups and sources, but that’s about it, and there hasn’t been a wide or significant amount of discussion about the idea or mockups thus far. Some of the thinking behind what would drive the site is that we could pull in a lot of the data from fedmsg, and for the account-specific stuff we’d make API calls to FAS.

Let’s make it happen?

"Unicorn - 1551"  by j4p4n on openclipart.org. Public Domain.

“Unicorn – 1551″ by j4p4n on openclipart.org. Public Domain.

Soooo…. Hubs isn’t going to magically happen like unicorns, so we probably need to figure out if this is a good approach for enabling new contributors and if so how is it going to work, who is going to work on it, what kind of timeline are we looking at – etc. etc. So I’m thinking we could do a bit of a design thinking / brainstorm session to figure this out. I want to bring together representatives of different teams within Fedora – particularly those teams who could really use a tool like this to collaboate and bring new contributors on board – and have them in this session.

For various reasons, logistically I think Wednesday, March 25 is the best day to do this, so I’m going to send out invites to the following Fedora teams and ask them to send someone to participate. (I realize this is tomorrow – ugh – let’s try anyway.) Let me know if I forgot your team or if you want to participate:

  • Each of the three working groups (for development representation)
  • Infrastructure
  • Websites
  • Marketing
  • Ambassadors
  • Docs
  • Design

I would like to use OpenTokRTC for the meeting, as it’s a FLOSS video chat tool that I’ve used to chat with other Fedorans in the past and it worked pretty well. I think we should have an etherpad too to track the discussion. I’m going to pick a couple of structured brainstorming games (likely from gamestorming.com) to help guide the discussion. It should be fun!

The driving question for this brainstorm session is going to be:

How can we lower the bar for new Fedora contributors to get up and running?

Let me know if this question haunts you too. :)

This is the time we’re going to do this:

  • Wednesday March 25 (tomorrow!) from 14:00-16:00 GMT (10-12 AM US Eastern.)

Since this is short-notice, I am going to run around today and try to personally invite folks to join and try to build a team for this event. If you are interested let me know ASAP!

(‘Wait, what’s the rush?’ you might ask. I’m trying to have a session while Ryan Lerch is still in the US Eastern timezone. We may well end up trying another session for after he’s in the Australian timezone.)


I think we’re just about at the limit of folks we can handle from both the video conferencing pov and the effectiveness of the brainstorm games I have planned. I have one or two open invites I’m hoping to hear back from but otherwise we have full representation here including the Join SIG so we are in good shape :) Thanks Fedora friends for your quick responses!

March 20, 2015

Fedora 22 wallpaper – voting open!

The submission phase for Fedora 22 Supplemenal Wallpaper is now over and the voting is open. You can vote, if yu have an Fedora account cla +1 until 25th of March. Dont forget to claim the badge, the link for the claim will be showed after the voting. But nw is als time to say something to the submissions, we received this time not a lot, that might be because of the shortage of the submission phase. We got 69 submissions thats half of the last one. Unfortunately I had to deny a lot of them because persons or trademarks on them or wrong format. The quality of the submissions is this time als not that good, a lot of our good photographers did nt submit something. Personally I find it hard to find 16 amngst the submissions, tht would be worthy to gt packaged. But this are my personally favorites:

But now go and look for yourself and vote.

March 10, 2015

Fedora Design Team Update

Fedora Design Team Logo

One of the things the Fedora Design Team decided to do following the Design Team Fedora Activity Day(s) we had back in January was to meet more regularly. We’ve started fortnightly meetings; we just had our second one.

During the FAD, we figured out a basic process for handling incoming design team tickets and Chris Roberts and Paul Frields wrote the SQL we needed to generate ticket reports for us to be able to triage and monitor our tickets more efficiently. From our whiteboard:


Anyhow, with those ticket reports in place and some new policies (if a ticket is older than 4 weeks with no response from the reporter, we’ll close it; if a ticket hasn’t had any updates in 2 weeks and the designer who took the ticket is unresponsive, we open it up for others) we went through a massive ticket cleanout during the FAD. We’ve been maintaining that cleanliness at our fortnightly meetings: we have only 16 open tickets now!

Were you to join one of our meetings, you’ll note we spend a lot of time triaging tickets together and getting updates on ticket progress; we also have an open floor for announcements and for designers to get critique on things they are working on.

Here’s a report from our latest meeting. I don’t know if I’ll have time to do this style of summary after every meeting, but I’ll try to do them after particularly interesting or full meetings. When I don’t post one of these posts, I will post the meetbot links to the design-team mailing list, so that is the best place to follow along.

Fedora Design Team Meeting 10 March 2015

Completed Tickets

FUDCon APAC 2015 Call for Proposals Poster

Shatadru designed a poster for FUDCon APAC in ticket 353; we closed the ticket since the CFP was closed.


LiveUSB Creator Icons

Gnokii took on a new ticket to design some icons for the new LiveUSB creator UI.

FUDCon Pune Logo design

logo date

Suchakra and Yogi together created the logo for FUDCon Pune, and we closed the ticket as the work was all done and accepted.

Standee Banner Design for Events


Gnokii gave us a print-ready CMYK tiff for this banner design ticket; we updated it with a link to the file and asked for feedback from the reporter (siddesh.)

Fedora Magazine favicon

Ryan Lerch created a favicon for Fedora Magazine, so we closed the ticket seeing as it was done. :)

Tickets In Progress

Tickets Open For You to Take!

One of the things we required to join the design team is that you take and complete a ticket. We opened up 3 tickets for folks to be able to take – this could be you! Let me know if you want to work on any of these!


Fedora 22 Supplemental Wallpapers Submission Window Closing Soon!

Gnokii pointed out that we really need more submissions for Fedora 22 supplemental wallpapers; the deadline is March 19. If you have some nice photography you’d like to submit or have a friend who has openly licensed photography you think would be a good match for Fedora, please submit it! All of the details are on gnokii’s blog post, and you can submit them directly in Nauncier, our wallpaper submission & voting app.

1/4 Page Ad for LinuxFest Northwest

One of our newest members, mleonova, put together some mockups for an ad for Fedora to go in the LinuxFest Northwest program. We gave her some critiques on her work and she is going to work on a final draft now.

New look for Fedora Magazine

Screenshot from 2015-03-10 14:38:11

Ryan Lerch put together a new design for Fedora Magazine on a test server and shared it with us for feedback; overall the feedback was overwhelmingly positive and we only had a couple of suggestions/ideas to add.

Ask.fedoraproject.org Redesign

Suchakra, Banas, and Sadin worked on a redesign of ask.fedoraproject.org during the Design Team FAD for ticket 199 and Suchakra showed us some things he’d been working on for that ticket. So far the work looks great, and it’s now listed as a possible summer project for a Fedora intern in GSoc.

See you next time?

Our meetings are every 2 weeks; we send reminders to the design-team mailing list and you can also find out if there is a meeting by checking out the design team category on FedoCal.

Fedora Design Suite 22 Alpha
Design Suite Alpha 22 is available for downloading along the Workstation edition of Fedora 22 Alpha which is based.
The spins includes plugins for both Gimp (Gmic), Inkscape (support of making tables) and Blender (LuxRender). Shutter, a screenshot tool for desktop, is  added at the request of Design Team.

More documentations related to Design Suite and Design Team are added for informing users, however known issue is swapped names of the correct url address which is fixed for beta release.

In addition, the installer received similar updates for users looking to use Design related group of packages via either Server  edition or other spin variants.

February 24, 2015

New GIMP 2.9.1 master builds available for Fedora

After a 6-month hiatus, I have finally gotten the GIMP 2.9.1 development builds working again for Fedora 21. These development builds are built from the upstream git master branch of what will be GIMP 2.10 when it is released.

Check out the COPR page for these builds for futher details on enabling and installing from this repo, but also note that this is an experimental repo of unstable software, so tread cautiously.

The one major feature that is of most interest is the ability to do image manipulations with 32bit float precision; which is possible in version 2.9.1 of GIMP via the power of GEGL.


February 23, 2015

Make Fedora 22 Beautiful !

Time is flying, Fedora 21 is there just 2 months and Fedora 22 alpha is before the door. So it is time to open the Supplemental Wallpaper Contest. We will use again Nuancier Fedoras application fr the submission and the voting. There are also this time some changes, there is now a team of mentors, who look over the submissions and make suggestions how it can be improved. The submission phase is this time much much shorter, you have only until 19th of March to make your submission.

There are some rules of technical nature:

  • Submitted wallpapers must use a format that can be read by software available in Fedora Package Collection. Preferred image formats include SVG and PNG.
  • Master files, which may be further edited, should be maintained in non-lossy formats. Preserving vector graphics, raster layers, and channels is important for such materials.
  • Originals for landscape formats must be a minimum of 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high. The larger the better. Photographic submissions should be made at the highest resolution the camera is capable of.
  • Submitted wallpapers should be provided in a 16 x 9 aspect ratio when possible.
  • No watermarks, signatures, photographer/creator names, or messages may be included in any part of the work. However if the license allows, and the photo is compelling enough, we could remove watermarks.

and some of organizational nature:

  • Submissions must not contain material that violates or infringes anothers rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement. If your submissions include or derive from artwork created by other people, please make sure the license of the original work you incorporate is compatible with Fedora and that you are not violating any of the provisions of its license. Just because a work is licensed with a Creative Commons license does not mean it is free to use (make sure you provide attribution to artists that license their work with a CC Attribution clause.)
  • Submission should have the consent and approval of the author or creator
  • Submissions re thereby licensed to the public for reuse under CC-BY-SA unless specifically identified as being licensed by another approved liberal open source license. See a list of approved licenses for Fedora. Note that we can not accept NC or ND submissions.

To get inspiration, you can always look on former submissions, that are my personal favorites from the last contest:

The deadline until you can submit your artwork is the March 19 2015 at 23:59 UTC. The voting will open automatically after this deadline and as many said the period for the voting shall be longer it will be this time open until 25th of March

For the badges hunters, yes there will be badges for it. There will be a badge for submissions, it will be awarded after the examination of the picture if it fits the rules, which you can see above. Another one will be awarded if your submission is chosen and also for the voting process there will be one. So successful submission makes 2 badges ;) For further questions, you can send me a mail and don’t hesitate to ask me for assistance just write me a mail gnokii@fedoraproject.org.

February 11, 2015

Kdenlive video formats export

A few years ago I used to regularly publish videos, so back then I started with an evaluation of FOSS video editors available for Fedora. At the time I decided the "winner" to be Kdenlive (at the time PiTiVi was useless, OpenShot unavailable and Blender unknown for its video editing capabilities), despite all the drawbacks of its KDE interface and sudden crashes.

Fast-forward, about a year ago, I needed again some video editing, this time for a home project. Not wanting to deal with KDE again (I don't want to flame KDE, I just find a GTK2 interface more friendly to use and GTK apps integrate better in my desktop), I tried OpenShot and it worked good enough.

Fast-forward again to current times, after upgrading my desktop to Fedora 21 (from F18, no less!) I needed again a video editing task, I fired-up OpenShot but it refused to cooperate (something related to creating a video clip from a sequence of images, something I used it for before), so back to the old friend Kdenlive again.

Yes, Kdenlive can do the work just fine, it just had an unintuitive UI annoyance that had me searching the web to learn where to find a simple option (I was not seeing a tree for the forest). You open the render window and there are not many formats to pick from besides MP4, MPEG-2 and Matroska. Where are the others? Not gone, but hidden behind a "Destination" drop-down.

kdenlive video formats export

I can see why they decided to split the list in smaller sections, it can be quite long, however 1: I didn't see the drop-down and surely many others don't and 2: categories are totally arbitrary: MKV is a file, AVI a media player and WebM a website? Why? Fortunately, you can add them as Favorites or learn their place quite fast (unfortunately,after you close the app and open it again, it will default again to File rendering instead of Favorites)

kdenlive video formats export

Some other issue that made me lose a lot of time is related to video quality. At first I created a video with the default format, which is MP4 with H.264, which from what I tried later is the thest regarding file size / image quality (didn't try WebM, it isn't useful for my client here, who is the type of person using Internet Explorer on Windows 8, so it has to work OOTB). Then I tried to find a set of settings for MPEG2 or AVI/XVid close to it. No luck! By trial and error (which means rendering the video again and again) I settled for one while the file size is not that large (only ~2.5X time larger) and image quality not absolutely horrible (note: my personal projects always default to WebM).

kdenlive video formats export

February 10, 2015

Back 2 work

It’s some time now that I was in Westford for the Design Team FAD, it was great and we achieved a lot during this weekend. We came down to 17 open  tickets for the Design Team and discussed how we will work in the future.  The only thing what wasnt that nice is the flying time, I was really jetlagged after the return and additionally I fetched a nice cold which brought me down for more then a week. So I was a little bit down for nearly 3 weeks, but now I am back but I have so many mails to read and answer that it will be my work for the next 3 days.

Next station will be the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage, where I will have together with Robert Scheck an talk. Next to that I have to arrange the Linuxwochen in Vienna, which have also started their CfP. So if somebody wants to help me on the booth…. and there is also some work to do for Fossography in November. So a lot of work waits for me.

February 06, 2015

Corebird 0.9 Now available in Fedora 21

Corebird 0.9 was released a few months ago, and it is now finally available in the official Fedora repos. Check out my previous post for details on some of the new features in this update.

Update via the Software application in Fedora, or on the command line with yum or dnf.



February 03, 2015

Inkscape Development builds for Fedora have moved

Now that Inkscape 0.91 is now released, I have done a bit of housecleaning and moved the Inkscape Development builds for Fedora into a new COPR called inkscape-devel.

The version numbers for these builds are a little different from what I have done in the past, and now are more in line with the upstream way of naming these builds. The development versions now have a version number of 0.91+devel. This may mean that you have to remove older versions of devel builds from the older repos I did before using these repos.


January 30, 2015

New version of Inkscape available

So excited that the new version of Inkscape is now finally out! I have been using development versions of Inkscape 0.91 for over a year now, and it is packed full of useful new features and improvements.

The updated package for Fedora should be hitting the repos soon, but the builds are available in koji if you can’t wait and want to install directly from there. I also did a writeup about the release for Fedora Magazine outlining some of the features that I use on a daily basis in Inkscape 0.91.



GNOME Builder Robot

This is a little render I recently did of the GNOME Builder robot by Jimmac using the Blender Freestyle renderer.

Inkscape 0.91 built and ready for testing in Fedora 21

Earlier this week, the Inkscape upstream made the final tarballs available for the long-awaited new 0.91 version of Inkscape. This version has not been announced by upstream yet, but thanks to the awesome Fedora Inkscape package maintainer Limb, this version is now available for testing on Fedora 21. Please try it out, and give karma to the package in Bodhi.

This updated package is the next major release of Inkscape after the 0.49 version of Inkscape that was released several years ago.

This major update provides many additional features and enhancements as well as hundreds of bug fixes and stability improvements. A detailed list of the new features in this version of Inkscape is available in the upstream release notes

Some of the notable new features in Inscape 0.91 include:

  • A new measurement tool that allows the artist to measure distances and angles in their drawing in realtime.
  • Updates to the text tool including the ability to customise the unit of measurement for text size, and support for choosing font style variants in the text toolbar.
  • The align and distribute dialog now features a new set of features that allow the user to exchange position of selected objects.
  • A new “Select Same” that allows an artist to select objects that have the same properties as the currently selected object. For example, you could select an object that has a fill of blue. Then, using the new feature select all other objects in the drawing with a fill set to that same shade of blue.
  • A new path effect, Power Stroke that allows you to easily create variable width strokes.
  • The Gradient view in the fill and stroke dialog now displays a list of all the gradients in the document. The list displays the gradient, the gradient name, and number of uses of that gradient in the document.
  • The new greyscale display mode that shows a preview of your drawing in greyscale.
  • Improved rendering performance with the new Cairo-based renderer, and the addition of multi-threaded rendering of SVG filters
  • A new feature in the node tool (targeted at type designers) that allows you to insert new nodes at the selected segments extreme values.
Corebird 0.9 now in Fedora for testing

Version 0.9 of Corebird is now in the updates-testing repo for Fedora 21 and Rawhide.

Please check it out, test and give karma!

This update makes this already awesome twitter client much better, with a bunch of updates, including:

  • Mentions, hashtags and links now get highlighted directly in the dialog where tweets are composed.
  • The avatar icon in the top left of the main Corebird window is now clickable. When clicked, every account configured in Corebird is displayed in a list, allowing a quicker way of switching accounts.
  • The dark theme setting in the Corebird user preferences is now removed. If you previously set the dark theme, it will continue to work, but is not really a supported feature of corebird, so the theme may render strangely. It is also still possible to turn the dark theme on or off using the GNOME dconf editor.
  • The arrow keys on the keyboard can now be used to navigate between images if a tweet has multiple images or videos attached.
  • Avatars in tweets and profiles now show if the user is a Twitter verified account.
  • Corebird now has a back button in the main window to easily navigate between panes.
  • Many tweaks to the user interface, including better spacing of elements in the user interface, and updated icons.

January 29, 2015

Event report: Design FAD, Westford

We had a fantastic Design team FAD between 16-18 January at Red Hat’s Westford office. For me, it turned out to be an opportunity to (finally!) meet in person with my mentor Emily, and Mo, two people I’ve been in touch with over IRC/email like forever. Among others physically present were Marie, Sirko, Suchakra, Chris, Prima, Zach, Samuel, Langdon, Paul, Luya and Ryan. Kushal showed up remotely albeit the odd hours in India.

Mo on the whiteboard

Mo did a great job outlining topics we needed to discuss on the whiteboard the first day. At first it looked like a lot to me and honestly I felt like we’d never get to half of them. At the end of the day, to my (pleasant) surprise, we had covered most, if not all of the planned topics. We spent quality time evaluating what the team’s goals are and prioritizing them. We revised our ticket flow into a more structured and well-defined one. We discussed newbie management and how to deal with design assets.

Random discussions

Suchakra, Zach and I worked on redesigning askfedora. What was supposed to be a low-fidelity mockup winded up being pretty hi-fi, since I wanted to take Inkscape lessons from Suchakra and we dug into the details. Suchakra has blogged twice about it, so if you’d like to learn more, find the first one here and the second here.

Askfedora mockup - photo courtesy Suchakra's blog

If we manage to squeeze in time, we’d like to work on the redesign in the weekends. Another group focused on cleaning tickets, so as you’d imagine, lots of trac emails getting tossed around. When I had a look at the design trac after they were done, it seemed like another trac altogether!

Ticket discussions

GlitterGallery was also brought up. What I took back for the GG team from the FAD was that our main priorities are improving the file history view and SparkleShare integration. On my return, I’ve already started work on a new branch.

Quick GG status demo

Emily and I intended to do a GG hackfest once everyone leaves on the final day, but we had transportation issues and couldn’t continue. To make up for that, we held an IRC meeting yesterday to assign tasks to Paul, Emily, Shubham (new kid on the block), and I. I’m excited about how the repo is active again!

Productive FAD for everyone :) Thanks to the local organizers and Gnokii, super worthwhile.

(Gnokii, sorry I sucked at gaming!)

Gnokii playing Champions of Regnum

(Photos courtesy Prima).

January 26, 2015

gimp-paint-studio addon soon on Gnome Software Center
Image speaks itself. gimp-paint-studio package just got an metainfo needed for Gnome Software Center as add-on for Gimp based on related Richard Hughes' blog. The updated package will be shortly available in Rawhide and also in Fedora 21 updates-testing repository. It will not be included for Fedora 20 due  to the preview release of Gnome Software lacking addons support. Next step will be contacting upstream adding that metainfo.  Hopefully other add-ons maintainers for applications such as Inkscape and Blender will do the same to bring a richful experiences to users.

January 25, 2015

Event report: IIT Madras Hackfest & Release Party

This year started for me with a 3 nights Hackfest workshop at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. While the workshop strayed completely off my goals, the post event commentary seems to indicate that attendees had a good time.

Students were screened for attending based on a general-FOSS questionnaire, followed by their submissions to a set of programming tests set by the mentors. I mentored on behalf of the Fedora Project. Other mentors included Anoop & Kunal (Drupal), Kunal (Wikimedia Foundation) and Nalin (iBus Sharda Project).

Mentors group photo

I began to worry because almost everyone showed up with Windows machines initially, and I had planned intensive exercises with no time allocated for setting up a Linux distribution. However, it wouldn’t have made a lot of sense to dive into programming activity when students were new to the idea of a distribution, command line and installing packages. Which is why I decided to dedicate a whole lot of time explaining all of those things with patience; from my experience, I’ve always had folks quit eventually once they get back home because they couldn’t set up their development environment. At least I got to distribute some fresh Fedora 21 DVDs that way ;)

Kids happy with their DVDs

Half of first night was spent explaining software philosophy, what it means for a project to be FOSS, what it means to be part of a community - that kind of thing, after which I had students install packages required for the rest of the event. I followed it up by an extensive workshop on Git. Most of them picked it up rather well. I would have gone ahead further with explaining colloboration over GitHub and the general workflow, but they seemed too sleepy for another hour of devspeak. 5am!

By this time, I realized that goals I had set weren’t going to be met, so I made a change in plan. Originally, I had thought I’d introduce them to Python and Flask while I pick it up myself (since that’s the stack used in most of Fedora’s infra projects), but this was a complete newbie crowd. I stuck with what I’m comfortable with. After spending time collaborating over GitHub on some projects we started, I had the students pick up Ruby the second night. I explained the concept of programming libraries, how they’re organized and shared, and how they’re hackable. A ruby library I once wrote would solve one of their screening process problems, I showed them how. The second day got me wondering what it’d have been like to have had a mentor help me when I got started, because I remember installing and understanding RVM/Ruby the first time took me two weeks (these kids had it set in minutes). It wasn’t until for GlitterGallery that I tried it again!

Whiteboard Musings

On the way from the airport to the Uni, I thought I’d showcase Shonku, but for the same reasons as I stuck with Ruby, I chose Jekyll. I was a little furious when I learned I’d even have to explain what a blog is, but given that everyone had a Jekyll blog running in a couple of hours, complete with some theme-hacks, I’d guess it was worthwhile.

Happy about the productive second night, I spent the following afternoon arranging cake for the release party. I was dissapointed at most of the major Chennai cake shops not having colors other than pink and green, I definitely didn’t want a Fedora Cake with the wrong colors! As a result, I had to overshoot the requested budget few dollars but I landed a nice one from Cakewalk, complete with a photoprint. Samosas and juice was courtesy IITM.


Last night was Release Party and final night. All of us mentors got together in the larger lab to talk about things that were common across any community. I explained students what IRC is, had them lurk around our channels for a bit (and make a complete mess!), and showed them what it means to write proper emails to a mailing list (no top posting, etc). I did a brief introduction to Fedora.next and what it means to the community.

Speaking about Fedora.next

We had an exchange of thoughts, people shared their experiences getting to know about Free Software projects, and the overall atmosphere was pleasant. Our Fedora group left to our meeting room, where I had everyone create a FAS account, showed them around some of our wikipages, and provided them with tips on getting involved better. Finally, in a hope to get them started with Rails, I started talking about designing databases, how APIs talk to each other, and how web apps are structured in general. Well, we did end up cloning GG and setting it up, but I can’t tell how much of that they really understood ;)

All, in all, good fun.

Students: friendly group photo

(Thanks to Abhishek Ahuja for the great photos).

January 19, 2015

Mist wallpapers reloaded
A while ago, a set of misty wallpapers proved to be quite appreciated. Fast forward a year and some more, after another misty morning, here's a new set of free pictures ready to be used as walllpapers.
mist wallpaper
mist wallpaper
mist wallpaper
mist wallpaper
mist wallpaper
mist wallpaper
mist wallpaper

January 17, 2015

Fedora Activity Day Design Team - Day 1
A quick summary of the events. I met some Mofamiliar and new faces behind their IRC nickname including gnokii which is strong sense of humour and pro-active. The process was about reorganizing the Design Team by priority of the project. Mo covered the brainstorming where the rough task is pictured on https://luya.fedorapeople.org/fad-2015/
The complete edited version will follow soon.

January 14, 2015

Fedora Design Team FAD this weekend!

Design Team FAD Logo

Starting this Friday through the weekend, we’re having the very first Fedora Design Team FAD here at Red Hat’s Boston-area office. A number of design team members are going to come together for two and a half days and plan the basic roadmap for the design team over the next year or two, as well as more hands-on tasks that could involve cleaning out our ticket queue and maybe even working on wallpaper ideas for Fedora 22. :)

Join Us Virtually!

We want to allow remote participants (yes, even you :) ) to join us, so we will have an OpenTokRTC video stream as well as a Google On Air Hangout for each day of the event. We will also be in #fedora-design on irc.freenode.net, and we’ll have a shared notepad on piratepad.

Video Stream Links


OpenTokRTC is an open source project for webrtc video conferencing; opentokrtc.com is the demo site set up by TokBox, the project’s sponsor. If you have issues with this feed, please jump to the appropriate Google Hangout.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts are unfortunately not open source, but we have set these up as “On Air” hangouts so you do not need to be logged into Google to view them nor should you need to install Google’s plugin to view them.

Other Resources

Chat + Notes
  • #fedora-design on irc.freenode.net – this is the official chat channel for the event.
  • Design FAD piratepad – we’ll take notes as the event progresses here; for example, as we make decisions we’ll track them here.

What are We Working on, When?

We’ll flesh out the fine details of the schedule during the first hour or so of the event; I will try to update the session titles on FedoCal to reflect that as we hash it out. (Likely, it will be documented on the piratepad first.)

  • Schedule on FedoCal (note that FedoCal has built-in timezone conversion so you can view in your local timezone :) )


See you there! :)

November 24, 2014

OpenMovieNight Phnom Penh

On friday evening I had another OpenMovieNight, this time in Phnom Penh again at Development Innovations. It turned out as a good event we had around 40 participants and after an short talk about copyright, creative commons licenses, open source and free software, we had a lot of fun with the 33 movies I had chosen for the show.

As some already asked in IRC here is the complete list of movies I presented:

November 21, 2014

Inkscape Workshop Phnom Penh

I had yesterday the opportunity to give an Inkscape workshop at Development Innovations Cambodia in Phnom Penh. The participatns was only from several NGO’s, so called multiplicators and it turned out great. One day isnt that much time, to learn enough about Inkscape to use it in a professional way, but you can get at least the foundations to use it and learn more by yourself. But we had a lot of fun together and there was really some talented people amongst the 23 participants and the best two of them had already Fedora stickers on their laptop, so Open Source community in Cambodia begins to grow.

November 20, 2014

Workshop at Smallworld

I am still in Cambodia and after FAD I had on monday and tuesday an workshop about open source graphic tools at Smallworld Cambodia. It was great as always I like being there, its a nice place and its really nice to see how this young people organize to get an better education. The workshop was really good and there was really talented people amongst the particiants. I even managed to help one to install an Fedora on his laptop. The only thing bad was, that my tuesday morning started not so nice with being fetched in the elevator but I was still on time at the place.

So Fedora found again more friends in Cambodia, it might need time to get them to contributors but I have hope for it. At least they start using more and more free software and thats a good thing.

Shooting yourself in the foot, part 53326: Mozilla
Step 1: with bad design decisions one after another (Australis is a shining example of that) slide yourself into irrelevance;
Step 2: when market share goes below some threshold, the main sponsor diminishes (or suspend?) payments;
Step 3: in retaliation, hurt the users by forcing om them a sub-par alternative as a default;
Step 4: profit bleed even more angry users and go even faster into irrelevance.

Brilliant strategy Mozilla!

Myself, I am still using Firefox for the time being, but that's exclusively due to Gecko.

November 17, 2014

Fedora comes to University - Coimbatore Contribution Camp Report

At my University in Coimbatore, we run a tech{know}logy club, where we try to talk about interesting things in technology that normally isn’t covered in the classroom. We had a set of freshers join our club in August through the induction program. On Software Freedom Day in September, they were introduced to the idea of FOSS, open source communities and how it’s possible to contribute to them. When I went to Hanoi for our Ambassadors meeting, I decided to host a contribution camp in Uni sometime this year. Here’s the wikipage which has all the essential bits.

Background week

My friend Manjush and awesome (fresher) junior Sachin did a great job gathering a bunch of interested freshers and other students in our digital library for a half week before the camp took place. On the first day, they helped with installing Fedora (and other distributions of choice) onto the participants’ computers. They spent another day explaining what packages are and helping install the important ones. I showed up for the last two days and helped with Git and Jekyll.

Day One - Thursday

All of us agreed that the best way to motivate folks towards the camp was to screen a movie at our Auditorium. We were expecting 70, but were delighted to be able to host 180 students for Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz .

Movie Screening Poster, courtesy Anirudh Menon

For those initiated to the world of Free Software, the Startup Community, and DRM oriented arguments, the movie was a reminder of Swartz and the role he played in shaping part of our world. For the rest, they got to hear about terminologies, ideas and people they could later go and Google. Overall, the silence in the hall towards the end of the movie touched me. We invited everyone to join us for Day Two, and many did.

Day Two - Friday

We wanted to be less theoretic, so we structured our sessions that way. We expected 40 people, 45 showed up. I think if not for Google Club’s mindless discussion about landing jobs by marketing Google products, we would have had a larger attendance. Abhishek Ahuja started the day, speaking about FOSS in general - what it is, why bother, how it affects him. He followed it up with FOSS alternatives to popular software.

Ahuja talking about an interesting GIMP plugin he once discovered Sachin went next, he provided a rather neat introduction to the popular GNU/Linux distributions and the history/community behind them. One interesting thing he did was talk about desktop environments - something people get to hear about often but don’t really understand. From what I could understand, the audience was confusing distributions and desktop environments.

Sachin presenting various desktop environments

I’m actually quite proud of those who attended - the sessions were held after class because we didn’t have much choice, and it’s tiring for freshers who have to wake up early for Yoga classes and walk all the way to our session hall. I didn’t want them to sit and listen to us in hunger, so I arranged for snacks with the money I had asked Tuan to allocate for this event. Anyway, after a quick break, we were back to the sessions.

I’ve seen Manjush try the most distributions, so we had him speak about his timeline of the various GNU/Linux distributions he tried. At least to me who’s spent enough time doing tech support for my peers with respect to installing distributions, it was an entertaining talk. He spoke about problems with installation, problems with lack of language support, problems with community, problems with bundled software, problems with licenses and every other kind of problem one can think of. I was proud when he said he eventually settled on Fedora since it gave him everything he wanted.

Manjush talking about his difficulties with distributions he previously used

I did the last session: Fedora A-Z Guide (partially due to time constraints). Now our University provides us with some hurdles: fresher’s don’t get to use laptops, lab usage is fairly restricted, and girls can’t hang out past 7.30pm (after which anything we want to do happens). So I tried to pick up the non-technical bunch of areas, or areas with less technical intensity, while making sure they have the opportunity to participate over their smartphone. I explained how Wikipedia is everyone’s encyclopaedia, and how they can host their own. Through this, I tried to excite them about the power of a collaborative community, and how they can start contributing with whatever existing skill they have. Some students seem to have gone back home and edited few Wikipedia pages as well :)

Yours truly running through the A-Z guide

Day Three - Monday

Come final day and we had a new set of faces. The attendance was 40. The demand seemed to be the Fedora A-Z guide, so I went over it once more, this time talking about fewer topics, but with more depth. For example, I showed them the badges project, traced a badge to the trac and showed them how the badges are designed and how they evolve. That seems to have gotten them pretty amused, because I met at least 3 people who said they’d like to contribute to badges.

Next up, I went over the hands-on bits from my FOSS 101 workshop at FOSSASIA Phnom Penh and SFD Hanoi. We had a brief look at Fedora and Mozilla’s contribute pages, OpenHatch and CodeTriage. I explained how we communicate - mailing lists, blogs, issue pages, IRC. I explained ettiquettes to follow when one is interacting with a community. It looked like a lot of people related with the usage of SMS lingo and hyper-exclamations (sigh, teens) - I got to see a lot of giggling and smiling around.

Good Procrastination and Bad Procrastination

After the usual snack break, it was time for my final presentation. When I asked a faculty for feedback on Day Two, he felt we were getting a little too technical for the freshers, and that we should do a funny/inspiring session. So I did one called “Good Nervous and Bad Nervous”, and it pretty much rocked :) I brought up lots of experiences from my personal life, what I learned from little things my friends in the Fedora and FOSS community taught me through their words and actions. I look forward to polish it and do the talk again sometime, or maybe even blog it.

So.. that’s the most of our camp, and we’re meeting again this evening to help people with any problems they have in getting started. I’ll be running a survey for the attendees later this week, and if the results seem interesting, I’ll share it.

Closing Notes & Thanks

  1. Although I’m excited about the enthusiasm everyone displayed, I wish the overall technical aptitude of the attendees was higher. I have another semester left here, I’ll try my best to fix that.
  2. I’ve started a reimbursement request on the apac trac (#161) for the food - I’ll upload bills and supply reports today.
  3. I’ve run out of swag now, so I need to figure out something before my Fedora Project workshops at IIT Madras in early Jan
  4. Thanks to: Manjush who kickstarted the sessions, the week prior to the camp. Sachin, our wizard first year who helped out pretty much everywhere. Proud of you! The University, for not making the permission process too much of a hassle to me. Everyone who attended, spoke or blogged.