aLANtejo 2005, 20-22 October, Évora, Portugal

aLANtejo 2005 is a technological event directed to students, graduated and curious about information technologies and computer science, as well all people that like conviviality and diversion of a Lan-Party. The organization has the main objective to promote the conviviality, the exchange of knowledge and experiences between the participants.

I will be participating in a round table about “Gnome vs. KDE” during the third day of the event. The idea is to give a short talk on the Gnome project and then, after a similar talk by the KDE developer, discuss a bit the state, the similarities, and the differences between both projects with the people attending.

It is going to be really nice to be there. Will blog more about this during the next couple of weeks.

How to become a hacker

Liked a lot Nat Friedman’s answer to the question “How can I become a hacker?” that he and Miguel de Icaza get all the time during his talks and travels: just get the code, open it, improve something and send the patch to the mailing list.

In the answer, I just miss the social part of being a hacker, including the Hacker Ethic and the Hacker Culture. I don’t see a hacker as someone that changes code, but as someone seing changing code as a way of changing the world.

I guess this is another distinction between Free Software and Open Source supporters.

Gnome in the Uncyclopedia

According to their own definition: […] Uncyclopedia is an encyclopedia full of misinformation and utter lies. It’s sort of like Congress or Parliament. Unlike Congress or Parliament, however, we do have a sense of humor […]

This is the definition of the Gnome project: Gnome is a user interface for Linux created by the Young Mexican Miguel de Icaza when he was only 4 years old. At this time, Linux didn’t exist yet so it was pretty useless. The poor boy Miguel is suffering from a disease called Mono and before he dies it is his wish to get into the Guinness World Book of Records by collecting the most business cards. Time passes and, with the growing popularity of Linux, Gnome was developed again, against his rival KDE

They also give information on Acronym and Logo: Gnome stands for “Gtk Networking Object Model Environment” where Gtk stands for “Gimp Tool Kit” where Gimp stands for “GNU Image Manipulation Program” where GNU stands for “GNU’s Not Unix.” Therefore GNOME could be said to stand for “GNU is Not Unix GNU is Not Unix GNU is Not Unix Image Manipulation Program Tool Kit Networking Object Model Environment,” or “GnuGnuGnuimptknome,” and so on. Yes, the name is rather stupid, but what you would expect from a 4 years old kid eating tapas and tacos? They use the Gimp Tool Kit because gimp is another word for lame cripple and Gnome is lame and crippled. Gnome’s logo is a huge footprint, but it is not clearly established whether it is a huge memory footprint or a huge disk footprint.

It is pretty amazing the amount of free time people have 🙂

More infocenters with Gnome in Bahia, Brasil

In October and November, 200 infocenters more are going to be deployed in about 20 cities of the state of Bahia, expecting about 200,000 users. Each infocenter has 10 diskless computers using Debian-BR-CDD (a customization of Debian Stable) and LTSP, with Gnome as the desktop environment.

Some pics of the infocenters can be found here.

Related to this topic, it is really interesting to have a look into the talk that Marcos Mazoni, member of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers Party), CEO of CELEPAR (the Telecomunications company of the Paraná State), and Paraná State Strategic Issues Advisor, gave during the last edition of the Guadec Hispana (ogg audio, slides and summary of the talk are in Spanish). In the talk, he presented the impressive project for moving progressively to Free Software both in the public and the private sector of the Paraná State, and also talked about the problems of making this a permanent effort independent from the party in the government. As a terrible and quite unknown example, he talked about the famous Telecentros of Rio Grande do Sul, one of the first and most famous huge deployments of Gnome and Free Software, that are now being replaced by centers with proprietary software, after a change in the party in the government of that Brazilian state.

A compilation of the main Gnome deployments can be found in the Gnome Live wiki.

Packages of the Fisterra project

The Fisterra project had before two branches:

  • The Fisterra 2 branch: fresh technology, with some generic modules, and some vertical implementations
  • The Fisterra 1 branch: old technology, with only one vertical implementation for vehicle repairs

The Fisterra 1 branch is going to disappear soon (by the end of the year). The only vertical implementation that is still using old technology, devoted to vehicle repairs business is being ported to Fisterra 2 technology. So soon we are going to stop talking about different technologies and Fisterra2 is going to be just Fisterra.

The current structure and names of the project is the following ones:

  • fisterra-base: new technology, stable version, all the common libraries an, framework technical features
  • fisterra-bmodules: new technology, beta version, allows code reusability, framework technical features
  • fisterra-distribution: new technology, stable version, POS functionality and soon warehouse functionality
  • fisterra-garage: old technology, stable version, ad hoc development for managing an automotive glass repair company
  • new fisterra-garage: new technology, under development

Fisterra: GNOME development framework for business software

If you need or want to develop business software, like Gnome technology and desktop, and don’t want to reinvent the wheel, you should have a look to this project developed by us at Igalia:

Fisterra logo

From the project webpage: Fisterra is an open source GNOME development framework. It is indicated for the implementation of whole business management applications, ad hoc ERPs or modules of other management systems.

The main features of the project can be found here.

All the code is under GPL license. In the webpage there is a lot of information on how to collaborate in the project.

Back from Guadec 2005

The past week we went to Stuttgart for a week to attend Guadec and also do some turism in Germany. We spent the first four days visitting Stuttgart and Ulm, and the last four in the conference.

Guadec 2005 - Ulm

It was a pretty impressive edition of the conference, with more than 300 people attending, and very interesting talks. As a summary of what was discussed, I would recommend the Glynn Foster’s “101 Things to Know about GNOME” and Jeff Waugh’s “10×10“.
I also liked a lot the talks of Miguel de Icaza, Mark Shuttleworth and Robert Love.

Guadec 2005 - Esslingen

Guadec 2005 - Stuttgart

During the conference, the Maemo development platform to create applications for the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet, was announced. It seems that Nokia is committed now to support the Gnome project.