Archive for April, 2013

Free Standards are what make IT progressing


Maybe I’m wrong. I generally don’t relay that much the movements (justified !) that are happening on Internet around Open Source and Open Data. I’m much more in a mood to promote stuff rather than to rant against what is not working (with exceptions as everybody :-))

Now having recently been elected at the board of the AFUL association for the defence of Open Source and Linux, I also need to become more vocal with regards to these subjects, and some areas are really frightening so need more voices to support them.

If you look back in our short IT history, you can see that each time standards have been promoted (for small fees such as the PC, Unix, or for free such as the Internet, the W3C) it has allowed our industry to flourish and develop itself in an incomparable way. And of course, FLOSS has been a clear accelerator of the Internet development.

DRM are by nature incompatible with an Open Internet, and Open Source. HTML5 shows great promises, especially its new agentless video conferencing system. So we should keep what is good in it, and stop bloating it with useless and jail-full features.

Lots of entities have now publish a letter in order to promote a DRM free Web. Forward and promote these information to your own networks. You can sign the petition available at if you agree with that vision.

For french speaking people, also read the latest article.

If you think that Internet can’t develop itself without open access to content, please act and sign this.

Distro Recipes 2013: Nice first !


Distro Recipes 2013
As indicated, I had the opportunity to talk during the first Distro Recipes event organized in Paris last week, at the invitation of Hupstream. As Yoann Sculo posted, this was a very interesting day for me, and I really regret I was busy to also attend the first day and the opening.

After a nice welcome breakfast, Aurélien Bompard started by presenting the Fedora distribution.
Aurélien Bompard presenting the Fedora distribution
He did a great job especially expalining how easy it was to become a Fedora maintainer, even if a comparison to Debian revealed that it’s much less different that what people may think (it also takes time to become a packager able to modify most distro packages) and I know by experience that the Fedora packagers are really picky (sometimes for not so good reasons) with new contributions.

After that I talked about HP and Linux distributions. I used in fact the standard HP marketing presentation of the company as a starter (modified of course to suit my needs and include more penguins !) in order to explain the span of our activities, our relationship with communities including distributions, announced that HP will even soon provide firmware for ProLiant servers under a package format (rpm and deb), the fact that HP doesn’t see Linux demand for desktop/laptop on the consumer market (no, it’s not just a price issue that would make Linux more appealing in that case as I justified) but that we do support Linux on some enterprise desktops/laptops. Hopefully this was useful and/or new to some of the audience.

Then Dodji Seketeli made the type of talk making you believe that you could contribute to gcc ! Of course, when he details how much time it took him to add some of the features of the next stable version, you know you can’t ! Well I at least 😉 Anyway lots of good news and features that make that future version 4.8 expected soon.
Dodji Seketeli on gcc

That conclude our morning sessions, and it was then time to eat !! Especially as we had a great buffet waiting for us as you can see:
Repas midi

In order to avoid a sleepy afternoon, we started right after by a round table with 7 people (!), that I had the pleasure to chair. With a representative of each distribution (Mageia, openSUSE, Fedora, Debian, Arch, Embedded) and a Microsoft representative, you could expect blood and swords fight ! Not at all, I was surprisingly happy that the elements were clearly exposed, each representative defending their own work rather than criticizing, and finding ways to propose more future joint work. Of course, some subjects such as LSB/FHS lead to more debate, but very constructive and I really enjoyed this time slot as a way to show that differences are an added value ! It was also the opportunity for me to meet with Colin Guthrie and Frédérc Crozat, which I had never met before. These distros should be happy to have such representatives defending them (and the others too of course ;-)) Finally if you have ideas to share to improve cross-distribution work , consider joining the mailing listdedicated to his topic and start sharing your ideas.

Then it was time again for the remaining presentations. The first was Lucas Nussbaum. Long time Debian Developer, (he is even running for the Debian Project Leader now, vote for him !) he made a convincing picture of the Debian ecosystem, the numerous Web sites that contributors can create to enhance the distribution with stats, infos, Ubuntu correlations, … As usual, Debian appears as a very mature distribution, with a strong Governance, being perl friendly… If I had to change I may well become a debianers. But isn’t it because of the pres, as the morning I was a fedorian 😉
Lucas Nussbaum pour Debian

The next speaker was a long time Linux enthousiast Pierre Ficheux. In fact back when it was Minitel time (not 2.0) I used his xtel program !! Pierre made a presentation (in english but with the accent ;-)) around embedded Linux distributions, presenting various way to tailor one for your device (he was using a Raspberry Pi) depending whether you use an Ubuntu, a Yocto generated one or a pure OpenEmbedded linux one. Definitely a good idea to explore for my Pi !
Pierre Ficheux sur Yocto (Open Wide)

And then we had the lightnings talks. Aurélien Bompard was there again for HyperKitty. Too bad it’s devoted to mailan, as I think Sympa would also benefit from such a work, as their archive management (at least on the latest versions I used) could be improved.
Aurélien Bompard pour HyperKitty

I came then again on stage for a presentation (building cross-distro packages for upstream projects) and made a short demo which I think is explaining much more than my slides, so I plan on using it more in the future !

After me, Eric Leblond explained how his upstream project (ulogd2) wasn’t picked up correclty by most distributions and asked for help to improce that.

And final speaker was Nicolas Vérité who made a panel on all mobile Linux distributions, recommending to follow closely Tizen for the future as the main force in this area.
Nicolas Vérité sur Distros Mobile

Too bad it was already over. Anne closed the session and I’d like to thank her for the invitation and the perfect organization of this first cross-distributions vent as a real success. Well done and see you next year hopefully !
Anne Nicolas (Hupstream)