FrOSCon 2009: Call for Papers About to Close

The Call for Papers for this years’ Free and Open Source Conference (FrOSCon) will close in three days. Hot topics are Cloud Computing, Open Hardware, Free Software and SaaS (Software as a Service) as well as mobile Gadgets (Netbooks, Phones, …).

Traditionally, FrOSCon has always hosted a sub conference. After hosting the Python and PHP community, this years programming language du jour is Java. Does anyone feel like giving a Jambi talk? 🙂

Btw: Qt Software supports FrOSCon as a Gold Sponsor and both Qt Software and the KDE team will of course be present during the conference. Visit us from 22.- 23. August 2009 in the premises of the University of Applied Technology in St. Augustin near Bonn!

KOVpn: A helpful little tool returns

Disclaimer: No KDE 4.1 hype here. This is for the real retro folks (aka KDE 3.x users).

KOVpn is a simple, yet helpful tool to connect to private networks using the OpenVPN software. It was nice, but needed some more improvements (indicated by its version number). Unfortunately, the last maintainer vanished along with the project page and the download files. However, I was able to get hold of the latest stable release via our University sysadmin (and KDE veteran!) Chris Neerfeld. Since OpenVPN is used in my uni to gain WiFi access, I moved the tool into a trac environment at our labs project hosting service.

With the help of another lab member, Jochen Wierum, I also managed to get out packages for OpenSUSE, Debian and Kubuntu via the (excellent!) OpenSUSE Build Service. Also, thanks to a fix Jochen contributed, the latest release also works on 64 bit distros.

So what now? This is a KDE 3 app, so its days are clearly counted. Yet it will hopefully help, since KDE 3.5 will probably be around for quite some time. Currently I am considering a Qt 4 port, if my time permits. But actually, it is really NetworkManager who should become smart enough to handle all kinds of OpenVPN setup, instead of the rather limited options it offers nowadays. Let’s see what the future brings. In the meanwhile, enjoy KOVpn!

PS: Be warned The setup currently involves manual setup of OpenVPN, but using it afterwards is a real joy, compared to using the commandline or weired custom scripts

PPS: Dear Lazyweb: Do you know how work on NetworkManager is progressing wrt OpenVPN integration?

Fixing the net

Greetings from Espoo, Finland, close to Helsinki (Hello Andreas!). We arrived yesterday evening and so far all things are nice. EVTEK welcomed us warmly, and we had a grat first day, including a sightseeing tour to downtown Helsinki. I also survived the lunch (thanks for the warning, #5 from my last entry).

The only situation that the wifi situation sucks pretty much. EVTEK only permits proxied HTTP and the hotel where we are located just switched off the router behind the wireless APs for some reason. Why is it that you always need to fix the network uplink to get proper internet?

PS: Yes I know it’s possible to tunnel, but I want to use the VoIP functionality of my E51, for which only few tunneling mechanisms exist.

Better RSS on the Dot, Travel

So my last rant basically made me the dot maintainer. Oh well. Now, as the first official act I added a description tag to the RSS feed of the dot. That means that everyone can now read stories with his RSS reader, and without being disturbed by the comments. It also means that the dot can now be aggregated on the planet (hello clee *hint,hint*!).

The second good news is that throughout this day, I finally got an understanding on how Squishdot stores its articles and it should be rather easy to import all stories and even all the comments into a new system, for which we currently prefer WordPress, although no final decision has been made.

From tomorrow on, I’ll be in Espoo, Finland to attend a european exchange programme at EVTEK university for two weeks. In case of emergencies, please refer to dhaumann for any techbase issues, while sebas is your main for technical issues with the dot. I should however be well in touch with the world during the next two weeks, but who knows.

2007 & New Years Resolutions

Due to some rather strange pains in my back (probably muscle-related, I hope the doc will find out tomorrow), I am somewhat chained to my bed. With my action radius being limited significantly, I am doing what seems popular: I decided to give an update about my personal situation. To sum up 2007, it was a fairly nice but also stressful year, with a lot of changes in my private life, both positive and rather sad (which don’t belong here, drop me a mail if you care).

It also saw the release of the english, slightly updated version of my book on Qt 4 and held an awesome study-related internship at the coolest toolkit-vendor ever. I hope this explains why I remained so silent on the blog and (even worse) on the KDE commit list. I kept active in the background however, keeping TechBase running along with Dominik and setting up other MediaWiki-based websites for KDE.

As for 2008, there is a lot of things I want to do. I won’t bother you with all of them, just the very basic ones:

  • Finish studies (finally :))
  • Get more involved in KDE development again
  • Enjoy real-life even more than last year*

So, to all my friends, readers and KDE-enthusiasts i wish

A happy new 2008!

*(well actually, that looks like bad resolution at first sight, since 1 and 2 conflict with 3, but after all it’s all about the right balance, right?)


Do you know the feeling? For some reason, you need to detach from something you were involved in, and suddenly, after a while of not being deeply involved with it, you realize its just workling perfectly — at an amazing pace. If you know that feeling, you can share what I feel when I think about this years FrOSCon.

Looking back at the past two months, Berlin has turned out to be a nice place to live, even though I hardly found time to explore the city yet. The downside is that I have to travel the republic, and that takes quite some time.

Thus the conference seems to be approaching at the speed of light: Only about 30 hours to go until the coolest Open Source and Free Software Conference under the sun (we expect great weather with sunshine in the afternoon at bearable 25°C on saturday) kicks off.

As previously announced KDE will be there, sharing a booth and a room with the Amarok and Kubuntu Germany guys.

In the room, we’ll have a broad program to offer on Sunday.

  • 13:00: Marble: more than a virtual Desktop Globe
  • 14:00: Amarok :: Forming the Core 2
  • 16:00: Kubuntu in Deutschland :: gestern, heute und morgen
  • In addition, we might add some BoFs, stay tuned! On Saturday, there is even a talk on KDE 4 by our beloveth board member and promo guy Sebastian Kügler, who will give you an update on the current status. Earlier the day, I’ll be talking about a Qt-related Wikipedia Offline Reader written by students of our University.

    An of course the present developers take their time to answer your question on the project and can help you to get inolved if you join us in our room!

    PS: Make sure to be there to receive a personal surprise. All you need to do in addition is to bring in a USB stick.

    Seltsames beim SSH-Portforwarding

    Zugriff auf den Fachbereichs-LDAP gibt es leider nur innerhalb des des FH-Netzes. Da ich im Moment für ein Projekt aber auch von ausserhalb Zugang benötige, wollte ich mir einen SSH-Portforward einrichten. Die Zeile

    ssh -Nf

    sollte es eigentlich leisten: auf Port 1389 sollte nun der Zugang zum LDAP liegen. Doch bei jedem connect: Fehlanzeige:

    bind: Address already in use

    Das Kuriose: Egal wie ich Ports und Rechner variierte, die Fehlermeldung blieb die Gleiche.Die Ausgabe von lsof -i : blieb ebenfalls leer. Hatte ich mir also ein Rootkit eingehandelt? Die Lösung lag diesmal nicht in panischem googlen, sondern im besonnen Review der Ausgabe von SSH im Verbose-Modus (-v). Dabei fiel mir folgende Zeile ins Auge:

    debug1: Local forwarding listening on port 1389.

    Moment mal: Auf alle Interfaces binden? Ich hatte die entsprechende Option doch gar nicht angegeben! Normalerweise bindet SSH den Forward nur auf das Loopback-Interface.

    Doch was war geschehen? Der Übeltäter ist der subtil platzierte Doppelpunkt direkt hinter -L. Für SSH liest sich das nun wie

    ssh -Nf

    wobei der Parameter vor dem Doppelpunkt die Adresse des Interfaces angibt, an die SSH sich binden soll. bedeutet unter Unix, sich an alle Interfaces zu binden. Somit entspricht dies dem Kommando

    ssh -gNf

    das übrigens ebenfalls fehlschlägt. Warum beides nicht funktioniert bleibt jedoch weiterhin ein Rätsel. Ich habe alle Interfaces bis auf Loopback und mein WLAN heruntergefahren und kann erfolgreich an beide einzelnd binden. Nur auf alle Interfaces zusammen zu binden klappt nicht. Hinweise willkommen…

    Übrigens: Wer sich über Parameter N und f wundert: Sie sorgen dafür dass ssh keine Shell startet (N) und sich nach dem Login in den Hintergrund verabschiedet (f). Die beiden Parameter hatten keine Auswirkungen auf meine Experimente.

    FrOSCon 2007: Call for Papers

    Doesn’t everyone love Open Source events? I do, and thus I am proud to announce the Call for Paper for FrOSCon, the best Open Source and Free Software event in the western Part of Germany.

    For those who don’t know: FrOSCon is a two-day conference on free software and open source, which takes place on the 25th and 26th of August at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, in St. Augustin near Bonn, Germany for the second time. Huge parts of the organisation are done by members of LUUSA and the FrOSCon e.V.

    For KDE, I aready secured a developers room and I hope that more people will be able to attend then last year, when it was largely unknown because it was conducted for the first time. Yet I dare to claim that everyone who attended last year called it a great show, especially because the organizers carefully analyzed other open source and free software events such as FOSDEM or Linuxtag.

    So I hope to welcome you in my home town St. Augustin in fall. Make sure to send a talk or subscribe for the KDE booth. St. Augustin is conviniently located rather close to the BeNeLux countries — a good enough excuse to come over and see some old (and new!) faces again :-).

    If you liked FrOSCon 2006, you will LOVE this one…

    FrOSCon 2007! The date has been published quite a while ago. Still I don’t want to miss the chance to remind everyone to return to Sankt Augustin (near Bonn, Germany) to enjoy the great community feeling a second time.

    Please mark those days in your calendar:

    August 25th/26th, 2007

    Note the new time slot. If you are in doubt, ask this years participants. And don’t miss the date 🙂 .

    PS: If you are an open source project (let’s say… a group of KDE hackers ;)) looking a good place to crank up your productivity with a face-to-face-meeting: FrOSCon will be glad to host it. The location makes it easy to get here from the BeNeLux countries, too. If you are interested, contact the FrOSCon staff.