Make Firefox Look Native in Fedora

Firefox has been criticized by users for not fitting well in Fedora Workstation. Although it improved with the new interface called Australis, it still doesn’t feel as native as GNOME Web (Epiphany). It’s not likely it will close the gap any time soon for two… Continue Reading →

Community Spotlight: Jibran Ijaz (Jibran)

Jibran Ijaz (jibran) is a Drupal developer, and is the only Drupal Core contributor in Pakistan. A member of since he began building websites in 2010, Jibran has become an important member of both his local community and the greater global Drupal community. The Drupal Association spoke with Jibran over email and asked him a few questions. We’re excited to share the conversation with you.

How did you get involved with Drupal and core contribution?

Back in December 2010, I started working as a freelancer on a Drupal 6 site with a friend. It took me a while to understand all the systems like nodes, cck, views, and themes, but I was finally able to find my way. At the time, Drupal 7 RC versions had only just begun being released, so when Drupal 7.0 came out I had to learn a lot of things all over again. For me, the new built-in Entity API and Field API were difficult concepts to understand. It took me a while to understand the changes in theme layer, learn about html.tpl.php, and understand the Render API. These things were so confusing to me that I wound up submitting my first core issue related to documentation.

After going through this learning curve twice, I thought I might as well start learning Drupal 8 now. So I started hanging out in the core issue queue, and began reading a lot of Drupal 8 blog posts on Drupal planet. One day, I read that they were moving all the Drupal Core files to the Core directory and they needed help in re-rolling a lot of trivial patches. I went and found a documentation novice issue in Drupal 8 and helped fix it both for Drupal 8 and for Drupal 7. After that, I was hooked.

What do you do with Drupal these days?

I’m a senior Drupal developer for PreviousNext, where I work remotely from Lahore, Pakistan. I mostly work on large Drupal 7 sites, but lately I have started working on a Drupal 8 site as well. It’s fun to work with such a great team of front-end developers, back-end developers, and project managers at PreviousNext.

In my free time, I contribute to Drupal. I do a lot of code reviews. Specifically, I love working on Views issues in Drupal 8. I have also been actively involved in a lot of contrib projects and have been helping with porting them to Drupal 8. During the weekends, I enjoy working on dynamic_entity_reference.

You’re involved with quite a variety of projects in the Drupal community and in your national Drupal community as well. Can you describe some of the things you do and why you like them?

Ever since my childhood, computers have fascinated me. Even though my bachelor’s degree is in Telecommunication Engineering, I always loved coding. This means my involvement with Drupal is almost always related to coding. I enjoy solving bugs, writing patches, and performing code reviews. I also like to get involved in technical discussions related to Drupal, and really enjoy helping others understand difficult Drupal concepts, so I mentor people as well.

In Pakistan, we have a very enthusiastic Drupal community. The Drupal Association has helped us with organizing numerous camps, workshops and training opportunities in different cities all over the country. I wasn’t actively involved with local community until about a year ago when I talked to Donna Benjamin (kattekrab), who was the director of community engagement at PreviousNext at the time. Donna encouraged me to participate a lot more in my local Drupal community, so I took part in my first Drupal Camp at Lahore on 3 May 2014. I was the only core developer there, and my fellow attendees were very appreciative and welcoming. At the camp, I talked about Drupal 8, and everybody loved it. So I’ve been attending ever the Drupal Camp I can get to ever since. I was even a keynote speaker at Drupal camp Islamabad back in April.

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on?

I have worked on a lot of Drupal projects with very complex architecture. It’s always fun whenever I get to use a big module like Domain Access, Services, Commerce, Ubercart, Google Maps, or Organic Groups to build features for our clients. It’s also fun when I get to build a complex architecture using Drupal API. I’d prefer not to name a specific project, though. It would feel like I’m pointing at my favorite kid.

What changes are you most looking forward to in Drupal 8?

Oh! The simple answer is everything. The change form Functional Programming to Object Oriented Programming is the most important thing for me. Personally, I also like the built-in plugins system of Drupal 8 because if you’re familiar with the plugin API, you can easily use it in Blocks, Entities, Fields, Menus, and Views. Even Drupal 8 contrib modules like Rules and Page Manager are doing a lot of amazing things with plugins.

What is your favorite thing about the Drupal community?

I love the Drupal community as whole, and am inspired by the fact that we all share the same enthusiasm towards Drupal. It doesn’t matter who you are or what the scope of your technical knowledge is — anyone and everyone can make a difference in the community. I spend a lot of time with Drupal developers on IRC, at local and international Drupal events, and I haven’t found a single person who isn’t kind and helpful. No matter how many times you ask the same question or a stupid question, everyone always responds very kindly. No one has ever treated me differently because of my religion or region. Every person I have met in the Drupal community has inspired me on some level, irrespective of their contribution in Drupal. That is my favorite thing about the Drupal community.

What is your most meaningful Drupal moment?

Drupal has given me a lot of beautiful moments. It’s very hard to pick one, so I’ve listed several below.

1. First time I attended DrupalCon. Picture by @lsheydrupal
DrupalCon Amsterdam entryway

2. First time I met with webchick
Angie and Jibran at DrupalCon

3. First time I got a shout-out from webchick on my Drupal contributions at DrupalSouth
Webchick at DrupalSouth

And there are countless other moments, like my keynote at Drupal Camp Islamabad, hanging out with VDC team at DrupalCon code sprint, meeting with the whole PreviousNext team for the first time, and dynamic_entity_reference hacking with Lee Rowlands after the DrupalSouth code sprint.

Tell us a little about your background or things that interest you outside Drupal.

Before computers, my first love was math. I like to read, but lately I haven’t been able to read many books. I can speak and understand a bit of Arabic, French, and German. I love to learn new stuff and experiences new things in life. I like watching football and Formula1, and I also watch a lot of English TV series and movies. Now I know why I don’t have time to read anymore. 😀

Treasure Hunter – Bonus Chests

Charge up bonus chests for double loot | 00:00 UTC 6th August – 23:59 UTC 10th August

Randa – Bring Touch to KDE

About a year ago, we talked with several people who were going to work together in Randa, Switzerland. These people were united by a love of KDE and had common motives—to make KDE technology better and have tons of fun while doing it!

The 5th edition of the Randa Meetings high in the Swiss Alps in August 2014 was a huge success, with many new features and major new additions to KDE technology, through the dedicated efforts of about 50 KDE developers taking a week out of their busy lives to bring great software to users.

Among the attendees last year was Călin Cruceru, an enthusiastic Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2014 student working on Marble, the virtual globe and world atlas. He was one of the youngest members of KDE, and worked ardently in Randa along with his mentors and fellow GSoC students during the week. The 2014 Randa Meetings were productive for the Marble project, and quite an experience for Călin who was in his first KDE sprint.

All of this was possible because of your donations to the fundraiser for the Randa Meetings. We are asking you to continue with your financial support this year; we are excited about the Randa Meetings in 2015 with the theme Bring Touch to KDE.

This year the campaign has been expanded to raise funds for all KDE sprints. The Randa Meetings are big, but they are only one of the sprints that KDE sponsors throughout the year. The KDE Community is centered around development, and sprints allow for in-person coding that is much more effective than working online and communicating by email. Sprints involve hard work and long days, but it’s exhilarating, not tiring. During sprints, developers accomplish more in a few days than they thought possible. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by committed, top KDE developers. So while the focus of this fundraising campaign is on the Randa Meetings, all money raised will go towards the high quality, innovative KDE technology that sprints produce.

In this interview, we go back in time for a glimpse into Călin’s excitement and eagerness before he attended Randa Meetings 2014 and his anticipation for it. With your support and donations, you can help other newcomers have their first Randa experience this year!

We look forward to bringing you the stories and results from the Randa Meetings 2015.

Călin Cruceru – Marble Developer

Hi Călin, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Călin Cruceru and I’m in my second year studying Computer Science and Engineering at Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania. I am passionate about technology and I love contributing to open-source projects and surrounding myself with optimistic people.

You’ve just started being involved with open source. Why did you pick KDE? What were your expectations and have they been fulfilled?
Indeed, I just started contributing seriously to open-source projects about 6 months ago. In fact, ‘just’ is not the best word here, because it certainly does not feel like a short period of time. It all began with a thought that it might be a good experience for me to work on an application which is useful to many people. I had been using KDE as my desktop environment for a year by then and so I thought that the best choice would be something I use often, something I’d been a ‘user’ of.

To me it was fondly named ‘Marble’. And here I am; helping Marble be a better product since February 2014. I’m considering contributing to other KDE projects, but due to limited time this summer I haven’t been able to do so.

Regarding my expectations, I think that everything went even better than I could have possibly imagined. At the beginning I was a bit skeptical about my chances of getting involved because I thought I wasn’t technically prepared. But my doubt turned out to be an illusion; especially when I received so much help from such a friendly community.

Getting selected for Google Summer of Code to work on a Marble project as well as the feeling of really doing something useful for the application is how I know that all my expectations have been fulfilled.

How difficult is it for you to manage your school work and involvement with KDE?
It is not easy for sure and I usually do not have a lot of spare time; but I’m trying to get the best of both. And I think I am managing it pretty well.

How has your experience been with real world programming, especially contributing to software used by millions of people around the world?
There is an enormous difference between writing code for school/personal projects and real world applications. Like many other students, I’ve done a lot of coding for academic projects but getting involved with the development of a real application used by millions of people is a completely different experience. You get to know what it feels like to be a part of a big community, which you can’t normally do while working on school projects. You learn how to write code responsibly, knowing that every single line will have an impact on users. Also, you discover ‘best practices’ when writing real world applications, which improves your skills as a programmer.

­Many students are introduced to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) through mentoring programs, and remain associated with it only during the mentoring project. What message do you have for students who want to contribute to FOSS, but who are waiting for acceptance into a mentoring program?
I think this happens mostly because a lot of students want to improve their resumes and they think that this can be done only by participating in well-known programs. I use the words ‘they think’ because this is certainly not true, since companies tend to appreciate any open-source contributions (even if they are not part of mentoring programs). I think it is more impressive to see a long-term pattern of contributions without getting any accreditation other than the credits for patches.

What I mention here is just a consequence of an essential ingredient: the sheer passion for FOSS, for the feeling that you too can write code which eases people’s lives in some way. So my advice for those students is to take some time and think of what they would prefer to do when their favorite application crashes: wait for the developers to first consider their bug report and then repair it (the only option in closed-source projects), or to get the application’s sources and try to fix the problem on their own. Which one describes the qualities of a ‘true programmer’?

When did you hear about the Randa Meetings and why do you want to be there?
I heard about the Randa Meetings after the registrations had closed, but Mario (the main Randa Meetings organizer) noticed me on IRC congratulating a Marble colleague for participating in Randa and mentioning my regret over not knowing of the event earlier. Mario contacted me and said he might still be able to find a place for me at Randa. After just a day, everything was a certainty.

I’m very enthusiastic about this meeting because I will finally get to meet in person a lot of great people with whom I’ve been in contact daily for a couple of months now, but only virtually. I am also eager to get involved in the discussions about the future plans for improving KDE. I obviously expect to write a lot of code too!

Have you got anything in particular planned for Randa?
Yes, I do. I want to work on the User Interface of the plugin I have been working on since the beginning of GSoC. I plan to do this in Randa because I can work alongside my GSOC mentors, Torsten Rahn and Dennis Nienhüser. This is one of the most challenging parts of my project; face to face discussions about the UI will lead to a better looking and functioning solution.

What are you looking forward to in the Randa Meetings?
I am really looking forward to meeting the people behind these great applications, used by millions of people, including myself. To me they are superstars. I want to make new connections within this community that I want to be a part of for quite a long time. I am particularly interested in collaborating with the main people involved with KDE Edu (which Marble is a part of) and contributing to it.

As far as the targets of completion are concerned, I want to make sure that by the 9th of August, the first day at Randa, all the features I added during the summer are fully functional and polished.

What important things have you learned from the KDE Community?
I’ve learned that being able to work in a team is a great virtue. I’ve also discovered many tricks and ‘best practices’ applied in the design of applications. One more important thing is that I’ve developed an ability to ‘feel’ when a piece of code is, say, error prone or is a victim of bad design.

Why do you think meetings such as Randa are important for KDE?
Such meetings are very important for open-source communities such as KDE mostly because they are the only times when developers gather under the same roof to plan and design new features and to hack on them. A face to face conversation is usually much more productive than any form of virtual communication.

Why is it important for people to support these meetings? How has the support helped you?
I think that people should support free and open-source software development so that they can enjoy the software they love without paying for the software. Donations are a small price to pay for the value people receive; even small donations help. FOSS gives developers the opportunity to customize existing software without having to start from scratch. In my case, people’s support has really helped; if it were not for their donations, Mario could not have organized my participation in this years’ Randa Meeting.

How do you imagine your typical day in Randa?
Wake up; have breakfast; socialize until everybody is up; discuss what is of utmost importance to be improved/added; have lunch; continue these discussions; write some code; continue discussions, focusing on specific projects; breathe fresh air from the Alps to get refreshed; work more; have dinner; socialize more; sleep. That’s just the first day.

Any other thoughts?
I want to send a big thank you to Mario Fux. Without his help I would not have been able to be a part of the trip to Randa. I also want to send the heartiest thanks to my GSoC mentors, Torsten Rahn and Dennis Nienhüser, as well as to my Marble GSoC fellows, Sanjiban and Abhinav, who encouraged me to participate in this meeting.

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WordPress 4.2.4 Security and Maintenance Release

WordPress 4.2.4 is now available. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately. This release addresses six issues, including three cross-site scripting vulnerabilities and a potential SQL injection that could be used to compromise a site, which were discovered by Marc-Alexandre Montpas of Sucuri, Helen Hou-Sandí […]

Double XP Weekend | 25th September

Top up your vials, stock up on seeds or tool up for a slayathon – Double XP Weekend’s coming next month!

Joomla Community Magazine | August 2015

The August 2015 issue of the Joomla! Community Magazine is here! Our stories this month:
Editors Introduction
A Decade of Joomla!, by Alice Grevet
The Joomla project is turning 10 in the coming days and weeks. It is the conviction, hard work, lov…

FCM#100-1 is OUT!

Full Circle – the independent magazine for the Ubuntu Linux community are proud to announce the release of our ninety-ninth issue. This month: * Command & Conquer * How-To : LaTeX, LibreOffice, and Programming JavaScript * Graphics : Inkscape. * Chrome Cult * Linux Labs: Customizing GRUB * Ubuntu Phones * Review: Meizu MX4 and BQ Aquaris

Akademy 2015 coming to an end

For an overview of what happened in the BoFs, meetings and hacking sessions during the second half of the week, you can watch the wrap-up session video

Friday marks the end of Akademy as friends old and new return home, enthused and inspired.

What is KDE?

During the BoF days from Monday to Thursday, a great many tiny videos were shot of many of the attendees by Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen. These have been edited and cut up and turned into a video explaining, very shortly, what KDE really is. Being a community of people contributing to the development of software, the conclusion is straight forward. See the unsurprising conclusion in the video entitled What is KDE? (webm, mp4, vimeo), created as a tribute to the KDE community and all the amazing people in it.

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities. For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

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World Wine News Issue 396

WWN Issue 396 was released today.

Weekly AppDB/Bugzilla Status Changes

Behind the Scenes – August 2015

Grandmaster quests are good for your elf, but look out for FOG!

OpenDaylight Project Picks Up Steam

The OpenDaylight Project this week announced that AT&T, ClearPath Networks and Nokia Networks have joined, bringing its membership total to 359. OpenDaylight is a collaborative open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation. Its goal is twofold: accelerate the adoption of software-defined networking; and create a solid foundation for network functions virtualization.

Safeguarding Choice and Control Online

We are calling on Microsoft to “undo” its aggressive move to override user choice on Windows 10 Mozilla exists to bring choice, control and opportunity to everyone on the Web. We build Firefox and our other products for this reason. … Continue reading

An Open Letter to Microsoft’s CEO: Don’t Roll Back the Clock on Choice and Control

Satya, I am writing to you about a very disturbing aspect of Windows 10. Specifically, that the update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and … Continue reading

The road to LibreOffice 5.0

LibreOffice 5.0 will be announced next Wednesday – August 5, 2015 – at noon UTC. It is our tenth major release, and the first of the third stage of LibreOffice development. To show the impressive amount of new features added to LibreOffice since version 3.3, released in January 2011, we have compiled a summary of […]

KDE at FISL 16

Many of you already know that FISL (The International Free Software Forum) is one of the biggest FLOSS conferences in the world. From 8 to 11 July 2015, 5281 free software passionate people met in Porto Alegre (South Brazil) for the 16th FISL edition, enjoying activities such as talks, panels, hackathons, workshops, and community meetings. All kinds of FLOSS-related topics were in place: development, translation, artwork, education, robotics, entrepreneurship, audio-visual, women and gender, politics, academia and research … Phew! that’s tiring :) KDE has a long and memorable history at FISL and it wasn’t different this year.

An inspiring keynote talk by Cornelius

The International Free Software Workshop (WSL) is a FISL co-located meeting devoted to the publishing, presentation, and discussion of peer-reviewed scientific work regarding FLOSS. This year, WSL had the honor of having Cornelius Schumacher (previous KDE e.V. President) as the keynote speaker. In his inspiring talk entitled “Learning to Grow”, Cornelius enumerated eleven powers of free software communities that provide the fundamental substratum that allows FLOSS newcomers to exercise and leverage their technical, administrative, and social skills.

Cornelius’s talk at the XVI International Free Software Workshop (WSL)

KDE’s impressive exhibit

This year, the KDE Community members were comfortably installed in a nice 6m2 booth in the exhibitors’ area. There we could install our newly printed out Konqi poster (many thanks to the KDE Visual Design Group for some nice tips), show off KDE technologies to visitors, and sell our merchandise. We were glad to have six different KDE t-shirts models, some Konqi pins, and some mugs for people who want to demonstrate their love for KDE :).

The KDE booth at FISL 16

When newcomers approached the exhibit with diverse questions about Linux, distros, and KDE, it was clear how rich and sometimes tricky the FLOSS world can be. Getting used to the roles played by the diverse actors and understanding how communities interweave each other can be confusing. A couple of times we had visitors joining us for an explanation about the Linux/Qt/KDE ecosystem, the motivations for contributing in KDE, and the basic steps for doing so.

Filipe showing off the KDE technologies in our booth

Attracting new contributors

It’s widely known that making one’s first contributions to FLOSS projects means overcoming various barriers, particularly in regions that lack the culture, incentives, and proper support for getting involved. Communicating how easy the KDE Community is and having inspiring and informal chats with notorious veterans may significantly lower these barriers and give a boost in young people’s motivations. In the third day of FISL, there was a Q&A session with Cornelius and a group of CS students from the Federal Institute of Education, Science, and Technology of Bahia (IFBA) – a public university in northeastern Brazil. It was nice to see many interesting questions being raised and have the students being gifted with all Cornelius’ experience.

Q&A session with Cornelius and some CS students from IFBA

Women in technology with Aracele

A particular topic which has been relentlessly discussed in FLOSS conferences in Brazil is the participation of women in technology. FISL 16 had four panels devoted to that subject–one each conference day. The goals are to help in identifying barriers and harassment situations, to characterize women’s involvement in FLOSS communities, and to share experiences as a means to stimulate new contributors. Aracele presented a nice testimony about her Master’s dissertation about the GNU Project, how she got involved in KDE and what keeps her dedicating some time to FLOSS projects.

FISL’s “Women in Technology” panel

KDE Community meeting

We have a tradition of running a KDE community meeting at FISL. It’s a moment to better understand our users, get some feedback, and present the amazing things we build. Although building local FLOSS communities isn’t that easy, it was quite rewarding to see four generations of Brazilian KDE contributors sharing the same room and telling about their experiences, troubles, and motivations.

KDE community meeting at FISL 16

Thanks – até a próxima

That’s all! KDE had a great time at FISL 16. We look forward to the next edition, but until then we still need to plan our presence at the Latin-American Free Software Conference – Latinoware, another great FLOSS meeting in Brazil. Many thanks to KDE e.V., FISL’s organizing team, and all members of Latin-American KDE community for all inestimable support.

But, wait! :) Help us promote the 2nd episode of Engrenagem – the Portuguese language video series about all sorts of KDE related things. The episode was aired on 18 July, 10:30 a.m. GMT-3, and was about the role of Qt in KDE community (but could easily be named the role of KDE in the Qt Community :)).

Check out KDE at FISL 16 photos!
More FISL 16 photos!

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Treasure Hunter – Slayer Masks 4

New masks for trolls, dagannoths, ganodermics, automatons, airut, black demons and aquanites.

Akademy Day 4

Today continued the BoFs, meetings and hacking sessions. For an overview of what happened today you can watch the wrap-up session video

About Akademy 2015, A Coruña, Spain

For most of the year, KDE—one of the largest free and open software communities in the world—works online by email, IRC, forums and mailing lists. Akademy provides all KDE contributors the opportunity to meet in person to foster social bonds, work on concrete technology issues, consider new ideas, and reinforce the innovative, dynamic culture of KDE. Akademy brings together artists, designers, developers, translators, users, writers, sponsors and many other types of KDE contributors to celebrate the achievements of the past year and help determine the direction for the next year. Hands-on sessions offer the opportunity for intense work bringing those plans to reality. The KDE Community welcomes companies building on KDE technology, and those that are looking for opportunities.

For more information, please contact The Akademy Team.

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Akademy 2015 videos available

Video recordings of the Akademy talks are now available in a low quality version to enable them to be released quickly. Higher quality version will be available later.
You can find these linked from the talks schedule or look through the video files di…

Wine 1.7.48 Released

The Wine development release 1.7.48 is now available.
What’s new in this release:

Fleshed out OpenMP implementation.
I/O stream support in the MSVCIRT C++ runtime.
Support for pixel snapping in D…