Short talk on MariaDB at Linuxtag 2011

If you happen to be around at this years LinuxTag 2011 in Berlin/Germany, you are invited to attend my short talk on MariaDB as a drop-in replacement for MySQL. The talk focusses on differences between MySQL Community Edition and MariaDB (e.g. XtraDB, Aria, userstats), shows some features live and explains how to switch. I’ll probably post the slides here afterwards.

The talk will be held in German and is scheduled for Friday, the 13th of May, 16:30. The official announcement can be found here.

Ubuntu (Berlin) Global Jam at c-base and Daniel Holbach’s notebook

Members of „Ubuntu Berlin“ met yesterday at c-base within the Ubuntu Global Jam. While it was nice seeing new and international faces showing up and introducing newcomers to advanced Launchpad usage, my main attraction of the day was Daniel Holbach’s notebook. He asserted it runs Maverick and starts up within five seconds, which made me laugh at first as my netbook’s startup time tripled from Lucid to Maverick to round about 45 seconds (which will at least change back until release I assume).

Ubuntu Berlin at Ubuntu Global Jam (c-base) - August 2010

Ubuntu (Berlin) Global Jam at c-base

To make it short: Between bug triaging and patching Daniel showed the startup procedure two or three times on his X61s (with an solid state disk, one has to add) and as promised it started up in five seconds after Grub. Actually this isn’t more than a fast booting notebook, but it shows the results of focussed efforts from the last one and a half year. Remember the initial „10s“ posting and the bunch of changes it took.

So I am happy looking forward to improvements for Maverick on my netbook. And yes: I am happy with 10 seconds, too.


Daniel noted, that it’s a X61s, not a T61. Changed.

Desktop Summit 2011 in Berlin

I am happy to announce that Berlin has been chosen as location for the Desktop Summit 2011. If you don’t know so far: Desktop Summit is a 1000+ developer conference co-hosting KDE’s „Akademy“ and GNOME’s „GUADEC“ at the same time:

Read the press release: Desktop Summit 2011 Announced

As Ubuntu member and head member of c-base e.V. I am part of the Berlin team, together with Claudia Rauch from KDE e.V. and Mirko Boehm of KDE. Let me quote Mirko:

„We are honored and proud that our proposal was selected. What we look forward to the most is the inspiration our communities will draw from having the Desktop Summit together again, but also from visiting our bustling, welcoming city. We would like to thank all the supporters of the proposal, and will work hard to make the conference a big success.“

I am sure this event will become a success. And it’s a great opportunity to meet and greet across the letters before the „U“ in „Ubuntu“.

Ubuntu Berlin @ LinuxTag 2010 – pickings

Saturday evening this years LinuxTag, Europes largest open source fair, closed its doors. As LinuxTag is presented at Berlin, the „Ubuntu Berlin“ was happy to support it in different activities. Let me sum up some of them:

1) Ubuntu Community booth

The „ubuntu Deutschland e.V.“, Ubuntu and Kubuntu community presented their work at a community hosted booth. A bunch of Ubuntu Berlin members supported the booth, answered hundreds of questions and helped with the proceedings.

2) Talks

Saturday Featured a lot of Ubuntu focussed talks. For the first time „Ubuntu Berlin“ and its members hosted a remarkable amount of them, e.g.:

  • Anselm Helbig – Ubuntu Berlin Lightning Talks (tmux)
  • Benjamin Drung – Ubuntu in 50 minutes, Packaging for Debian and Ubuntu
  • Caspar Clemens Mierau – Ubuntu Berlin Lightning Talks (Vimperator), Gnome-Do, Ubuntu in 50 minutes
  • Daniel Holbach – Fixing Bugs in Ubuntu (see slides), Ubuntu in 50 minutes, Ubuntu Berlin Lightning Talks (liblaunchpad)
  • Marcel Eichner – Ubuntu Berlin Lightning Talks (Franklin)
  • Torsten Franz – Supporting Ubuntu

Ubuntu in 50 minutes talk at LinuxTag 2010
minutes before the „Ubuntu in 50 minutes“ talk

3) Interviews for Radio Tux

Several members of Ubuntu Berlin gave interviews to the well known German Podcast „Radio Tux„. Daniel’s talk on bugjamming has been released already. Be sure to check the archive for other releases within the next days.

4) LinuxTag BBQ

Last but not least: The  „End of LinuxTag BBQ“ at c-base, sponsored by Canonical, has been a great success again. Three barbacues and about ten „Grillmeister“ (you cannot translate this) provided more than hundred visitors with tasty food. Members of various types of open source communities had interesting chats while relaxing at the banks of the Spree.

As Ubuntu Berlin’s support for the LinuxTag continuously increased within the last years, I am sure next year will even better. We’ll see.

Ubuntu Berlin LinuxTag BBQ today

For those of you currently staying in Berlin for the LinuxTag 2010: I know where you are going today evening after the fair closes. For the third time Ubuntu Berlin hosts a LinuxTag BBQ at c-base, the sunken starbase in the heart of Berlin. Be sure to grab free food there – friendly sponsored by Canonical (thank you!) and a refreshing botte of beer or the beloved Club Mate at the bar for reasonable prices.

The BBQ opens around 6pm. If you don’t know how to get to c-base from the LinuxTag area, a friendly team will guide you – just have a look at the official announcement. The last two your showed, the LinuxTag BBQ is a perfect ending as a large crowd of open source developers and community members of all free project types take the possibility to chat and relax directly at the riverside of the Spree. Don’t miss that :) See you there.

Ubuntu Karmic Koala and Ubuntu Berlin enter metro system again

Once again, „Berliner Fenster„, the company behind the Berlin inside metro tv advertising system was so kind to provide the Ubuntu Berlin Karmic Koala release party at c-base and the release of Ubuntu with it’s own spot. It  will be shown for three days from 29th to 31th this month every 15 minutes on hundreds of screens viewable by more than a million passengers:

If you cannot see the embedded spot, click on this link.

It’s really nice to have this great audience-appealing support once again, as it presents Ubuntu in a totally non-techie medium, reaching an audience that is hard to reach and that has time to consume  input – as the screens inside the metro trains are quite appealing.

I’ll see if I can post some real life pictures of the spot soon.

Global Jam Participation – Ubuntu Berlin is prepared – are you?

(Wow, I needed to type „Global Jam“ more than once as I’s used to write „Global Bug Jam“.)

I am happy looking forward to the third „Ubuntu Global Jam“ taking place from 2nd to 4th of October 2009. „We“, meaning „Ubuntu Berlin„, Daniel Holbach, Benjamin Drung and me, already managed to prepare the local Jam session as far as possible:

  1. We found a place with power supply and network uplink: the c-base, where Ubuntu Berlin became some kind of resident.
  2. We decided to schedule our Global Jam for Saturday, the 3rd of October, from 11 am to 7 pm, which should allow people with different personal schedules to join us at least for some hours.
  3. We added our Global Jam to the official team list.
  4. We set up a core team with responsibilities for different aspects of the Jam. Daniel Holbach and Benjamin Drung will care for bug triaging, bug squatting and packaging while I’ll work on and present translation and documentation.
  5. We announced our Global Jam participation and invited more people to join us on several mailing lists (from Ubuntu Berlin lists over local Berlin Linux lists to c-base lists).
  6. We started to announce our invitation on different twitter feeds, our facebook group, and some blogs. One of them you are currently reading :)
  7. Last but not least I dropped some lines on the Ikhaya-suggest-an-article box, one of the most read German Ubuntu ressources.
  8. We will continue inviting people on personal basis as there are a bunch of people able to support us and just need a small friendly push… :)

I admit I am curious about this years participation and impact. And you? What are your hints for setting up a Global Jam session? Or do you need any more advices? Let me know. I am curious. Really.

What do director Tom Tykwer and Ubuntu have in common?

What do director Tom Tykwer („The International„) and Ubuntu have in common? Well, they seem to share the same passion for commitment in developing countries by focusing on media. This similarity came up when I read the schedule for the one day conference „Jour Fixe – media and development„.

While the first talk, held by Andrea Goetzke und Geraldine de Bastion from newthinking communications, titled „Ubuntu and the free toaster„, deals with free software and digital culture in Africa, the second talk, held by director Tom Tykwer and titled „The Making of Soulboy. A movie production in the slums of Nairobi„, deals with a movie project in Nairobi (and Tom Tykwers engagement in artistic education for youngsters in Africa with the ngo „one fine day“).

The „Jour Fixe“ is scheduled for this Friday, the 24th of April, and takes place at „Hamburger Bahnhof“ in Berlin/Germany. As I’m going to attend the conference, I’ll try to report back a short resume. Please note that there are more interesting talks besides Ubuntu/Tykwer – I just wanted to point out the interesting coincidence.

possibly scrambled qt4 apps in Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope while using VRGB and LCD

In less than 48 hours Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope will be released officially! While using Jaunty for more than a month I am pleased to see this great new release getting it’s way to a huge usership. While preparing my small „new features in Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope“ talk for the „Ubuntu Berlin“ release party at c-base, I’d like to point out one open bug, that will make it into the release and might get some users into strange trouble:

When you have – for whatever reason (either by chance, clicking around or due to having a rotated display) – changed the display mode of Ubuntu to VRGB or VBGR (you can easily do this in the „System>Preferences>Appearance>Fonts“ menu) and additionaly turned on the lcd/subpixel mode, probably all of your qt4 applications – even qtconfig – will be totatlly scrambled and unreadable. The bug might hit you under Ubuntu (without a blue „K“ in the beginning) as you probably run something like VirtualBox, Skype or even Amarok in your Gnome environment. It will probably look like this:

Screenshot showing the scrambled qt application
Screenshot showing the scrambled qt application

But: Don’t panic! This bug only occurs when you changed some defaults in the Appearance/Fonts settings to rather uncommon or often maybe useless settings and switching back is fairly easy. But as I ran into this and put some effort into the corresponding bug on launchpad Subpixel/Lcd mode with VRGB/VBGR makes qt4 applications on Jaunty unreadable, I noticed, that a remarkable bunch of users posted duplicate bug reports or commented the report.

So if you are running into this error, all you have to do, is:

  1. exit all qt applications,
  2. go into „System>Preferences>Appearance>Fonts“,
  3. change VRGB/BGR to RGB/BGR.

That’s all. If you want to examine the bug, do the following (don’t do this at home):

  1. exit all qt applications,
  2. go into „System>Preferences>Appearance>Fonts“,
  3. change RGB/BGR to VRGB/BGR,
  4. switch to lcd/subpixel mode.

Afterwards your qt applications will look scrambled. If you don’t know, which one to run for a test, you probably have „qtconfig“ installed.

(I had a little chat with some developers about the severity of this bug. Though I think it’d would be definitely better not having it in a release, I understand the point, that the environment must be set up in a rather special way to run into this and it popped up quite late. Therefore it did not make it into the release critical bugs, but I am quite sure, it will be fixed soon.)

That’s all about this. I wish you a smooth upgrade to Jaunty – see you there :)

[update 2009-04-03]

As you can read on, a patch has been committed to the Ubuntu repositories, that has been found here:

So the fix as an update is coming closer…

And your favorite new feature in Jaunty Jackalope is … ?

Again I’ll present a short new features from the next Ubuntu release (this time „Jaunty Jackalope“) to an audience of about 150 to 200 visitors at the upcoming traditional „Ubuntu release party“ at c-base organized by „Ubuntu Berlin“. While it’s worth noting that this event will happen on Saturday, the 25th of April, so when the release is still a hot topic, and the very friendly guys from „Berliner Fenster„, the local metro television system, are going to support release and release party by sponsoring spots, I am curious about the new features in Jaunty Jackalope that you like emphazise – be it a litte eye candy or, a command line tool or a major innovation.

After using Jaunty for about a month now I think the graphical changes really please my eyes. I like the new notification scheme (though it feels still young and there is a lot to do like implementing it to common applications like Thunderbird), introduced by Mark Shuttleworth some months ago. Moreover while not currently using Evolution myself I am impressed about reading about „evolution-mapi„, enabling Evolution to access Exchange 2000, 2003 and 2007 servers by talking the native Exchange mapi protocol and and not using the neat but slow owa (web) wrapper. Yes, that seems to be a techie feature but it might improve acceptance of Ubuntu/Gnome/Evolution in enterprise setups dramatically.

Your turn now. What is your new killer feature or just tiny improvement you like most? Let me know, and I promise, I’ll try to include it into my presentation.