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Free Software Summer

On recent years I've only been in one or two free software related conferences per year, usually because I've been invited to go for a day or two and give a talk.

The truth is that my day to day activities don't leave me enough time to contribute or participate a little bit more in free software projects, but this year I decided (and negotiated) that I had to go to Debconf, as it is the best opportunity to go to a Debian conference that I'm going to have in the near future.

So this summer it is going to be a free software summer, the 3rd of July I'll be giving a talk at the Jornades de Programari Lliure in Barcelona and from the 23th to the 30th or 31th I'll be at Debconf 9 in Cáceres.

In Barcelona I will talk about building IT infrastructures using free software, explaining which programs I use, why I've choosen them and how I configure things depending on my needs and in Cáceres I will be just listening and exchanging gpg keys.

Posted Wed 17 Jun 2009 07:59:19 CEST
My first nginx module

Yesterday I sent a message to the Nginx list to announce the availability of my first module for that web server.

The module is used to do HTTP Basic Authentication agains PAM instead of using an htpasswd file; I wrote it because I wanted to authenticate against OpenLDAP and PostgreSQL and PAM already has support for that ;)

The code is available here and on the readme there are instructions on how to build a patched debian package with the module included.

Posted Thu 18 Sep 2008 10:58:11 CEST
2nd gvSIG Conference

I have not written anything on this blog for a long time and after someone told me about it I decided that I could do it today; the long delay between posts comes from the fact that I'm quite busy with my current jobs and they don't leave me free time to work on Debian or Free Software related projects in general.

Today I've been on the 2nd gvSIG Conference, a two day conference related to the gvSIG project, a GPL'ed Java based GIS (Geographical Information System) promoted by Regional Council for Infrastructures and Transportation (CIT) of the Valencian Government.

I know about this project since it was made public, but I never tried it because I have a very poor GIS knowledge and I always try to avoid Java based software if possible (luckily one of the main reasons for that will change soon).

Some months ago I tried the tool, but I left it soon because I found its interface quite weird and had no data to play with. Today I've seen a presentation about the raster capabilities that will be included on the next version of gvSIG and I have to admit that I've been quite impressed by them.

I don't think I will use the tool much, but it is good to see free software projects like this one succeed; having local GNU/Linux distributions is not bad, but IMHO projects like this one are a much better way of using public money and promote the use and development of Free Software.

My only complaint about the project is that the project development is not as open as I would like it to be (there is no public revision control system, no bug-tracker, ...), probably because almost all of the work is done by local software development companies that don't like to share their work until it is finished and don't have a free software development culture...

... but hey, nobody is perfect... ;)

Posted Fri 24 Nov 2006 00:54:03 CET
La MaratOO'o 2.0.1

I've been all this weekend on the Computer Science Department Labs as the owner of the keys. We have celebrated for the second time this year a MaratOO'o, a work meeting to fix and review the Catalan translations of Last February we had other meeting that was devoted to translation, but this time it has been more a review thing.

The meeting has been organized by Softcatalà, a non-profit organization devoted to promote the use of Catalan on the IT world. They do a lot of l10n work for a lot of Free Software projects and had developed a set of tools for translators, including a style guide, something I believe is really important and I miss from other l10n teams for other languages like Spanish.

While I don't translate (I'm very bad at it), I belong to the organization because of jordim and jcorrius, as they convinced me to help them organize the previous MaratOO'o (for this one it was jordi the one that convinced me).

I believe this second session was good, I have not seen a single .po file, but I've helped with the migration of services from the old Softcatalà to a new one. They have a lot of things configured in weird ways and the migration has not been really planned (I don't understand why some services were moved this weekend when there were 30 people using them), but probably is not strange as it seems that none of the people with admin rights on the machines has worked as sysadmin and they don't care much a about it, so things seem to be done and left alone once they work, but for a migration like the one they are doing, with a lot of program upgrades, the configuration of each service has to be reviewed or things break easily.

On the L10N front it seems that things went well, we had near 30 people translating during two days and that means that all the program localization has been reviewed and some of the help files have been translated also, so we will probably have a better Catalan langpack for soon and maybe the help files also will be available.

I was going to include a photo on this post, but jordim told me he was going to use it on his blog, so use his bandwidth if you want to see the people that was on the lab before we left (I'm not there, as I'm the one that took the photo).

Posted Mon 28 Nov 2005 10:39:16 CET
IV Jornades de Programari Lliure

I'm back home after the IV Jornades de Programari Lliure, the fourth edition of a Conference I already visited last year.

I went to Vilanova on Thursday afternoon, as I was invited to join an open table about technologies to build LiveCD systems. I'm not an expert on this subject, mainly because I have not had the time to look deeply into the latest systems and technologies, but as I've tried knoppix, morphix and metadistros in the past I had things to tell.

We had some points of disagreement, for example I'd love to have two names for distribution, at least for a lot of the Debian based LiveCD Distributions out there.

I don't have anything against LiveCD systems, I feel they are good for things like demonstration systems (great for free software advocacy), rescue systems, or as a quick system to clone installations, but they are not the same thing as the product of a project like Debian.

The Debian distribution is driven by a big developer and user community, has a well defined policy and a full development infrastructure behind it (package archive, auto builders, bts, qa, mailing lists, security updates, ...), while the Debian based LiveCD distributions are simply snapshots of an installation of Debian, generally based on unstable or testing, with packages taken from repositories that don't have to follow the Debian policies nor be compatible with it in the long term.

Anyway, all of us agreed on other things, for example everybody feels that the way to go on the LiveCD systems the near future will be related to technologies that let you mount the file system image as read-write, something that avoids the need of dirty hacks to be able to write files on a read-only file system and making the live system run almost as an installed one.

The air conditioning on the room we were having the meeting was not working right, so we moved the discussion to a pub near the University, in front of a some beers. After that I went to have dinner and to the residence we were sleeping to finish the slides I was going to use for my morning talk.

On Friday I had a complete day, at 10 I had to give a half an hour talk representing the company I work for, T-Systems.

The talk was titled Free software development from the IT Industry and I decided to write it after being at a round table with a lot of people from companies from Catalonia some months ago.

Unluckily I have not had all the time I would have liked to have to work on the talk (i.e., I would have loved to review the Mako article), but everybody told me that the talk was good and in fact some of them also asked for the talk slides.

After the talk I went to the residence to finish the slides of my evening tutorial, called Building Custom Debian Distributions with the CDDTk (tutorial slides). I ended up reusing most of my last year's talk and adding some slides about the cddtk.

At 14:00 we went back to the University to meet other people from the Congress and have lunch, I met Martin there and also was introduced to Markus Gamenius, from Skolelinux. While we were starting to eat I got a call from Toni Hermoso, a member of Softcatala, that joined us at the Restaurant.

After lunch Neli went to the residence and I went to listen to the Toni's talk about l10n of mozilla. The talk was good, as the people on the room participated a lot on it, but I have the feeling that I spoke too much, as I usually do... ;)

Once that talk ended I went to the auditorim when I was going to give my tutorial, as I wanted to use my PowerBook with the cannon, and I was unsure if it was going to work. Fortunately it did, and I was able to do all the presentation with it, half of it using an presentation and the other half using a full screen terminal with white over a black background.

My tutorial was supposed to be one and a half hours long and that was the time I spent with the slides. After the explanation I told them that I could show them some examples of the cddtk system using the current LliureX packages after the questions, if they were interested on it.

The questions and my demo ended up being one houre more, as the people in the public asked me to keep going. This kind of thing make me feel good, as I got the feeling that my work is not only interesting for me.

After the tutorial we went to the Congress dinner, we were on three tables on a restaurant near the beach and we had a very good time; once we finished we went to drink something on a place on the beach, but we were so cold that we ended up going back to the residence to rest a little bit.

This morning we woke up late and when we went to the Conference to say goodbye, there were some interesting conferences going on, but as we wanted to come back early, we saw none of them. It's funny that Neli was afraid of not going to a talk this morning, as she does not know anything about CS, but after listening to me and the others during two days she is more interested on Free Software, although mainly on the social part of it.

Ah, btw, have a good time at the Debconf, maybe next year I'll try to go, this year I have too many things to do.

Posted Sun 10 Jul 2005 00:22:09 CEST

List of all entries

Free Software Summer
Posted Wed 17 Jun 2009 07:59:19 CEST

My first nginx module
Posted Thu 18 Sep 2008 10:58:11 CEST

2nd gvSIG Conference
Posted Fri 24 Nov 2006 00:54:03 CET

La MaratOO'o 2.0.1
Posted Mon 28 Nov 2005 10:39:16 CET

IV Jornades de Programari Lliure
Posted Sun 10 Jul 2005 00:22:09 CEST

LliureX and the II Free Software Congress, Valencian Community
Posted Tue 10 May 2005 00:46:49 CEST

Who's the man?
Posted Tue 03 May 2005 00:07:09 CEST

No Banana Union, No Software Patents - Suppory Denmark!
Posted Mon 07 Mar 2005 17:43:22 CET

My Master Thesis and the 2nd OCS Online Congress
Posted Fri 23 Jul 2004 20:16:58 CEST

CIA Open Source Notification System
Posted Fri 18 Jun 2004 00:48:32 CEST