Take a trip to Solomon’s General Store today and pick up the wealth evaluator, a brand new tool that shows you how much your total assets are worth!
Uncover forgotten lore in the Mahjarrat Memories, and enjoy a big-top-sized batch of improvements to the much-loved Circus D&D.
The hiscores get a new addition with the inclusion of lists of players with the highest weekly and monthly XP gain.
In this week’s KDE Commit-Digest:
Here comes the 3.11.92 release candidate, last stop before 3.12.
Since joining Drupal.org in 2007, Lee Rowlands (larowlan) has been an important contributor to the Drupal project. A major core contributor and Drupal 8 advocate, Rowlands has become a well-recognized and celebrated member of the Drupal community.
Rowlands is an important Drupal figure in Australia, and has spoken at DrupalCamp Brisbane 2010, Drupal Downunder Melbourne 2012, DrupalCon Sydney 2013 and Drupal South Wellington 2014. An occasional mentor during Drupal Office Hours in the Australian timezone (GMT+10), Rowlands is also a well-recognized figure in the international Drupal community for his involvement with core and his contributions to a huge variety of projects on Drupal.org.
How did you get involved with Drupal?
Jim Morrison and a naked native american came to me in a dream and told me it was my destiny. Just kidding. I started up my own IT consulting business and I’d built a couple of Drupal 5 sites.
The third site I built needed some tricky mapping functionality. This was in Drupal 5 and the site was for a locally owned fishing tackle franchise. Their point of difference with the big national chain-store was local knowledge. So they had this great idea to create a series of online fishing maps for local regions, each featuring points of interest for that region. Each point of interest had a marker icon based on its type, eg there were boat ramps, fishing spots etc. Each marker had a popup with an image and some text. The kind of thing you can build on your own with Google Maps now, but back then – it was a fairly new concept.
At the time gmap module was the go-to mapping option (Drupal 5) but it didn’t support the image/marker/description functionality. So I wrote a patch to allow wiring up a content-type with gmap functionality to do so. And in order to post the patch, I had to sign up for a Drupal.org account. So that was my first comment on Drupal.org, a sizeable patch!
Not long after that I pitched the idea of a website to a local motel that had just had a renovation. At this stage Drupal 6 was out and the go-to ecommerce solution was Ubercart. My pitch included online-reservations so I worked with Will Vincent to round out a hotel-booking solution for Ubercart. That’s how I got my CVS access on Drupal.org.
Contributing my code back to Drupal.org opened my consulting business up to the world. Up until that point most of my work had been for local businesses. Once I had a project on Drupal.org I started receiving work offers via my Drupal.org project page, mostly for adding new pieces of functionality.
I continued building sites and I always ensured that I had contract provisions to open-source any generic modules that the project needed. Over time I ended up with more than 30 contrib projects on Drupal.org, all with varying degrees of maintenance. Each of these kept resulting in work referrals and I kept expanding my skillset and client-base.
Then Drupal 7 came out and it felt like I had to start learning all over again. I had a long car-trip coming up so I downloaded the mega ‘Upgrading 6.x modules to 7.x’ thread from Drupal.org and spent about three hours taking in all the changes. As soon as I had net access, I subscribed to the Drupal core issues RSS feed. At this stage my motivation was just to keep across changes happening in core, but after a while I started seeing issues posted that I realised I could fix/work on. So I started commenting and posting the odd patch.
Not long after an epic thread was posted by @sun in the issue queue titled ‘Make core maintainable’ (https://drupal.org/node/1255674), basically it was proposing that if we didn’t get more hands on deck in core, the only way forward was to start dropping unmaintained modules. I jumped into irc and put my hand up to maintain forum, one of the modules on the chopping block. I had a conversation with @chx who later remarked ‘yesterday I saw a guy on IRC who was contemplating on taking the forum module maintainer hat’ (http://www.drupal4hu.com/node/303).
So from there I took a more active role in core contribution. Those threads are a great read, even today, as they indicates the level of frustration that core developers were experiencing in the first six months of Drupal 7′s release.
What do you do with Drupal these days?
I build sites for some of Australia’s largest government, education, media and non-profit organisations with one of Australia’s most respected Drupal Agencies, PreviousNext. It’s a great team and I get to work on interesting projects.
After all this time I still enjoy working with Drupal. Sometimes people lament Drupal’s ease of site-building, likening it to ‘golden handcuffs’, but that’s where contributing to core and contrib help. If you find yourself stuck in a ‘click-monkey’ rut, contributing code lets you flex your ‘code-monkey’ muscles.
You’re involved with quite a variety of projects in the Drupal community – can you describe some of the things you do and why you like them?
I particularly like working on Drupal core because it helps me keep abreast of upcoming changes. I don’t have a CS education, I have degrees in mathematics and engineering, and I’ve been quoted before saying I got my CS education in the Drupal issue queues. As a contributor you are incredibly lucky to have your work constructively reviewed by some of the world’s best programmers. Every time someone makes a suggestion on your patch, you learn a little more. I’ve learnt so many programming concepts from reviewing other’s code and having my code reviewed by others. Particularly during the Drupal 8 cycle, where we’ve effectively rewritten Drupal in a new language – PHP 5.3.
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on?
Its not live anymore unfortunately but I worked on sendmypostcards.com which was a Drupal 6 site with Ubercart where you could create your own postcards and pay to have them printed. You could use your Facebook photo-galleries, Flickr account or upload your own files. The designer/editor was built with jQuery and the site used batch-jobs to generate 300dpi print-ready PDFs. It was a challenging project but it did end up spawning a number of contrib modules including Image Cache External which allows you to generate derivatives of remote images. Unfortunately the site didn’t last, but I did get a couple of Christmas cards printed and sent to my office. It was great to have something tangible, I still have them mounted on my office wall.
What changes do you hope will come in Drupal 8?
I’m disappointed we didn’t get a layout builder in core but I’m excited by the opportunities for it to develop and mature in the contrib ecosystem. Some of the work done as part of the Scotch Initiative by @sdboyer and @eclipsegc was pretty awesome. @sdboyer stepped me through the ‘Princess’ branch (the name was a dare) at the stage when it was fairly functional and the possibilities it opened up were pretty awesome. Hopefully that work will be leveraged for what becomes of panels/page manager in Drupal 8.
What is your favorite part about the Drupal community?
Getting to work with insanely intelligent and brilliant people. There are so many awesome people working with and on Drupal every day who are always willing to share their experiences and knowledge.
Tell us a little about your background or things that interest you outside Drupal?
I live in Central Queensland at the Southern tip of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. We have three World Heritage listed destinations all within our reach – the reef, Fraser Island and Mon Repos Turtle Rookery, where you can watch Marine turtles lay their eggs or the hatchlings make their way into the world. The climate is great, the cost of living is low and the people are some of the friendliest in the world. I get to work out of an office with two great Drupal devs who also work for PreviousNext, @nick_schuch and @grom385. Its a great lifestyle, our office is right on the beach.
Outside Drupal I’m passionate about family, with two school aged children and I’ve been married for 15 years. I’m lucky that Drupal gave me an income while my children were pre-school aged and when they went off to school I was able to turn this into a career.
The Travel Committee have traditionally had a policy that local travel
WWN Issue 365 was released today.
Google Summer of Code 2014
Zaros is back! Find out more with our latest Behind the Scenes video.
The KDE community today released the second beta of Applications and Development Platform 4.13. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. We kindly request your assistance with finding a…
This weekend on Treasure Hunter, collect and assemble the components of the silverhawk boots to gain Agility XP in new and wonderful ways!
An Android developer’s disclosure that it’s possible to hack into the WhatsApp database and read the text of the chats from another application could be a big headache for Facebook, which has agreed to purchase the app for $19 billion. “This is not a bug, but a design decision of WhatsApp,” said Bas Bosschert, chief technology officer of Double Think.
Today, Epic Games and Mozilla are demonstrating how the Web is continuing to evolve as a powerful platform for gaming by providing a sneak peek of Epic’s Soul and Swing Ninja demos, running in Firefox at near-native speeds. This video … Continue reading
With the summer coming closer, the GNOME Foundation are excited to announce applications are open for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and Outreach Program for Women.
Outreach Program for Women
Outreach Program for Women offers a $5500 stipend for a four months internship working with a Free/Open Source organization. The program accepts proposals not only for coding projects, but also for documentation, design, and marketing projects. Every organization has mentors to guide and work with accepted participants during the course of the internship and application process.
As part of the application process, applicants must contribute to the project they indents to work on during the internship.
The GNOME community encourages anyone interested to visit the Outreach Program for Women website, and to check our wiki where project ideas are listed. The application deadline for this round of the program is March 19.
Google Summer of Code
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an internship program sponsored by Google. Just like the Outreach Program for Women, GSoC offers a $5500 scholarship for students to work on Free/Open Source projects along with a mentor from the community.
2014 marks the 10th year of the program, and the GNOME project has participated every year. The program presents a great opportunity for students to get involved with our community, and to use their developments skill to contribute to the project. Many project ideas are available, and as usual students are also welcome to discuss their own ideas with prospective mentors!
Applications for this year’s round of GSoC are open until March 21.
We are looking forward to welcome this year’s interns for Google Summer of Code and Outreach Program for Women!
If you’re interest in applying to work with GNOME, get in touch with us! The sooner you start your application, the better your chances to be accepted for both programs.
Last week, the first beta of Applications and Platform 4.13 was released. This week, beta 2 is coming. The openSUSE team has already asked its users to start the testing engines and that request extends to the entire community of KDE users!
What’s to be tested?
Let’s go over a list of major and minor changes in this release, and areas where developers have explicitly asked us for help.
A major new improvement is the introduction of KDE’s next generation Semantic Search. This makes search faster, saves memory, improves stability, and generates more reliable search results. And it could use a good testing.
Various applications use the search abilities, most notably Dolphin and KDE PIM (see the next section). Also tagging (Gwenview!) and KRunner (Alt-F2 run command dialog) can use some attention.
Some of your existing data will need to be migrated from the current Nepomuk backend to the new ‘Baloo’ backend. Running the nepomukbaloomigrator should take care of that. The old Nepomuk support is considered “legacy” (but it is still provided). The programs that have not yet been ported to the new architecture have Nepomuk integration disabled. One significant regression is file-activity linking, which will not work until KDE Applications and Platform 4.14. If you rely on this feature, we recommend not upgrading at this time. For the final release, distributions might choose to optionally have the old search (Nepomuk) available.
The Kontact Suite (email, calendaring, contacts and more) benefits from the improvements in search; there is also a new quick filter bar and search. IMAP will be more reliable, and performance should be massively improved. There is also a brand new sieve editor and integration with cloud storage functions, where Kontact can automatically put big attachments on Box/DropBox/Hubic/Kolab/ownCloud/UbuntuOne/WebDav/YousendIt and link to them.
Okular, Kate and Umbrello
Document viewer Okular has a lot of new features like tabs, media handling and a magnifier, improved Find and Undo/Redo.
Text editor Kate has gotten a lot of attention, so there are many new features in the areas of further VIM style support, bracket matching, highlighting and more. You can read the blogs on the Kate site and test some of that awesome.
The UML modeling application Umbrello received some improvements and bugfixes. If you use it, now is a good time to help out a little and see if it works better! There is new duplication of diagrams and improvements to the context menus (which only shows relevant actions).
Education and Games
We received a special request from developer Ian Wadham:
And how does that work?
Testing follows these steps:
You’re not alone!
In KDE, testing is not only an individual action by our users but it’s also coordinated through the KDE Quality team. That does not mean you must work or coordinate with them, but it sure helps! You can reach them on IRC, as well as on their mailing list.
The testing of this beta is also coordinated on this forum page for those more comfortable on forums.
Get the beta and prepare
To get testing, you can either build the source of the Beta or RC, or grab packages for your distribution. If your distro is not on that list but you know there are packages, you can add them there!
The second step is to create a testing user account. We recommend this to prevent destroying data on your current account. Many users also use a separate installation of KDE software on a separate partition.
On most flavors of Linux, creating a new user is easy. On the command line, it goes a bit like this (as root):
And now you’ve created a user kde-test and given the account a password. Just switch user accounts (menu – leave – switch user or Alt-F2 – switch) and have fun testing!
The real testing
Testing is a matter of trying out some scenarios you decide to test, for example, pairing your Android phone to your computer with KDE Connect. If it works – awesome, move on. If it doesn’t, find out as much as you can about why it doesn’t and use that for a bug report.
This is the stage where you should see if your issue is already reported by checking on the forum, IRC channel or mailing list. It might even be fixed, sometimes! It can also be fruitful to contact the developers on the relevant mailing list.
Finally, if the issue you bump into is a clear bug and the developers are not aware of it, file it on bugs.kde.org.
How else can I help?
Another useful contribution is triaging bugs:
If you can’t reproduce a bug, the bug might have to be marked as “WORKSFORME” or “NEEDINFO” if you can’t reproduce it due to a lack of information. And in some cases, the bug report is plain wrong (“Plasma doesn’t make coffee“) and must be closed as “INVALID”. You can find more information in the Ultimate Bug Triaging Guide. As long as you can’t close bugs on bugzilla, you can just add your information as comments and they will be picked up by a maintainer – it is just as useful!
It is a big help!
We’re very grateful for your help in this. Not all areas of our many applications receive the same amount of care and attention, and there may not always be an immediate reply to bug reports. However, developers greatly appreciate the attention given to their applications by users and testers.
After initially launching to an iOS-only audience late last year, Jawbone’s UP24 wireless fitness tracker on Tuesday finally arrived for Android. With the UP24 wristband and accompanying app, users can wirelessly sync sleep, movement and diet data to the app via Bluetooth Smart. “Our entire community can enjoy the benefits in real time,” said Jawbone VP Travis Bogard.
Tune into our latest pollcast as Mods Jane and Osborne discuss the latest Power to the Player poll, and check into RuneRadio for JMod DJ BohoJoJo’s radio show!
The release of PrestaShop 1.6 is just around the corner! We want to make sure that you’re prepared to upgrade and start taking advantage of all the brilliant new features of this amazing new version. Our developers have addressed your … Read more
I’m excited to announce that the first beta of WordPress 3.9 is now available for testing. WordPress 3.9 is due out next month — but in order to hit that goal, we need your help testing all of the goodies we’ve added: We updated TinyMCE, the software powering the visual editor, to the latest version. […]
GNOME.Asia Summit 2014 will be held in Beijing, China in May 24-25, 2014. We are looking for YOUR help to design t-shirts for this year’s Summit. We need two new shirt designs, one for participants and another for volunteers.
The contest is open from now until March 31st, 2014. Voting will begin April 1st and run through April 3, 2014.
Everyone is encouraged to log in and vote at this page:
No contest should be called a contest without some prizes! This year we have the following up for grab:
Note: The final decision will be made by GNOME.Asia Summit Committee. Please understand that the highest vote score of the design may not be designated the final winner due to cost or other production considerations.