Disabling comments in the blog

I’m getting more spam than the amount that I can stand in this blog. Comments are moderated, so the public is not suffering that, only me. From time to time I go to my dashboard and clean the spam. I’m afraid that I delete some legit comment in these spam-cleaning-fevers, or, more probably, that a legit comment waits in the queue for several days (weeks?), just because I’m lazy to deal with spam and let days pass by (until the fever comes).

I think I’m going to follow the wisdom of Bradley M. Kuhn and link to a pump.io note for comments on my blog posts (disabling them here in WordPress.com). I usually post a notice when I write something in my blog, so the only task is to update the blog post with the pump.io URL of the thread for comments.

While WordPress.com allows to write comments quickly, without need of an account (you write just a name and an email, and the comment), in pump you need to have an account and sign in to comment. That looks as a bad thing, a barrier for people to participate. But of course, it stops spam :)

After thinking about it a bit, pump.io it’s a federated network, you can choose the pump server that they want, you can create a fake account, you don’t need to provide personal information… and it’s another way to promote one of the social networks where I live. Other systems link to facebook, twitter, or other places, and nobody complains! Even when those services don’t have any of the advantages of being in a federated free-software powered social network :)

If anybody don’t want to use pump.io but wants to comment, other ways to reach me or the related blog post are:

  • Comment in the GNUSocial fediverse: the post announcing the thread for each blog post will be propagated to my quitter.se account too.
  • While I’m still using Twitter, they can comment on the corresponding tweet, but beware that I’m seriously thinking about closing my account there, since I rarely use it and don’t like the platform.
  • Drop me an email, I can post the comment on behalf of that person (if you want your comment to be “anonymous”, please state it in the email).

So now it’s decided, and this is the first post of this new experiment. This text is posted in pump.io too, and you can comment there :)

Posted in My experiences and opinion, Tools | Tagged , , , , ,

Upgrading my laptop to Debian Jessie

Some days ago I decided to upgrade my laptop from stable to testing.

I had tried Jessie since several months, in my husband’s laptop, but that was a fresh install, and a not-so-old laptop, and we have not much software installed there.

In my netbook (Compaq Mini 110c), with stable, I already had installed Pumpa, Dianara and how-can-i-help from testing, and since the freeze is coming, I thought that I could full-upgrade and use Jessie from now on, and report my issues and help to diagnose or fix them, if possible, before the freeze.

I keep Debian stable at work for my desktop and servers (well, some of them are still in oldstable, thanks LTS team!!), and I have testing in a laptop that I use as clonezilla/drbl server (but I had issues, next week I’ll put some time on them and I’ll write here my findings, and report bugs, if any).

So! let’s go. Here I write my experience and the issues that I found (very few! and not sure if they are bugs or configuration problems or what, I’ll keep an eye on them).

The upgrade

I pointed my /etc/apt/sources.list to jessie, then apt-get update, then apt-get dist-upgrade. (With the servers I am much more careful, read the release notes, upgrade guides and so, or directly I go for a fresh install, but with my laptop, I am too lazy).

I went to bed (wow, risky LArjona!) and when I got up for going to work, the laptop was waiting for me to accept to block root from ssh access, or restart some services, and so. Ok! the upgrade resumed… but I have to go to work and I wanted my laptop! Since all the packages were already downloaded, I closed the lid (double risky LArjona!) unplugged it, put everything in my bag, and catched the bus in time :)

At the bus, I opened again the lid of my laptop (crossing fingers!) and perfect, the laptop had suspended and returned back to life, and the upgrade just resumed with no problem. Wow! I love you Debian! After 15 minutes, I had to suspend again, since the bus arrived and I had to take the metro. In the metro, the upgrade resumed, and finished. I shutdown my laptop and arrive to work.

Testing testing :)

In a break for lunch, I opened my brand new laptop (the hardware is the same, but the software totally renewed, so it’s brand new for me). I have to say that use xfce, with some GNOME/GTK apps installed (gedit, cheese, evince, XChat…) and some others that use Qt or are part of the KDE project (Okular, Kile, QtLinguist, Pumpa, Dianara). I don’t know/care too much about desktops and tweaking my desktop: I just put the terminal and gedit in black background, Debian wallpaper is enough dark for me so ok, put the font size a bit smaller to better use my low-vertical-resolution, and that’s all, I only go to configure something else if there’s something that really annoys me.

My laptop booted correctly and a nice, more modern LightDM was greeting me. I logged in and everything worked ok, except some issues that follow.

Network Manager and WPA2-enterprise wireless connections

I had to reconfigure some wireless connections in Network Manager. At the University we use WPA2-enterprise, TTLS + PAP. I had stored my username and password in the connection, and network manager seemed to remember the username but not the password. No problem, I said, and I wrote it when it asked, but… the “Save” or “OK” button was greyed out. I could not click it.

Then I went to edit the connections, and more or less the same, it seems that I could edit, but not save the (new) configuration. Finally, I removed the wireless connection and created it again, and everything worked as a charm.

This, I had to do it with the two wireless in my University (both of them are WPA2-enterprise TTLS + PAP). At home, I have WPA2 personal, and I had no issues, everything worked ok.

This problem is not appearing in a fresh install, since there are no old configs to keep.

Adblock Plus not working any more

I opened Iceweasel and I began to see ads in the webpages that I visited. What? I checked and Adblock plus was installed and activated… I reinstalled the package xul-ext-adblock-plus and it worked again.

Strange display in programs based on Qt

When I opened Pumpa I noticed that the edges of the windows where too rough, as if it was not using a desktop theme. I asked to a friend that uses Plasma and he suggested to install qt4-qtconfig, and then, select a theme for my Qt apps. It worked like a charm, but I find strange that I didn’t need it before in stable. Maybe the default xfce configuration from stable is setting a theme, and the new one is not setting it, and so, the Qt apps are left “barefoot”.
With qtconfig I chose a GTK+ Style GUI for my Qt apps and then, they looked similar to what I had in stable (frankly, I cannot say if it was “similar” or “exactly the same”, but I didn’t find them strange as before, so I’m fine).

Strange display in programs from GNOME

Well, this is not a Jessie problem, it’s just that some programs adopted the new GNOME appearance, and since I’m on xfce, not on GNOME, they look a bit strange (no menus integration, and so). I am not sure that I can run GNOME (fallback, classic?) in my 1 GB RAM laptop, I have to investigate if I can tweak it to use less memory, or what.

I’m not very tied to xfce, and in fact it does not look so light (well, on top of it, I don’t run light programs, I run Iceweasel, Icedove, Libreoffice, and some others). At work I use GNOME in my desktop, but with GNOME shell, not the fallback or classic modes, so I’m thinking about giving a chance to MATE or second chance to LXDE. We’ll see.

Issues when opening the lid (waking up from suspend)

This is the most strange thing I found in the migration, and the most dangerous one, I think.

As I said before, I don’t tweak too much my desktop, if it works with the default configuration. I’m not sure that I know the differences between suspend, hibernate, hard disks disconnections and so. When I was in stable, and I closed the lid of my laptop, it just shutdown the screen, then I heard something like the system going to suspend or whatever, and after some seconds, the harddisk and fans stop, the wireless led turns off, and the power led begins to blink. Ok. When I open the lid, then it was waking up itself (the power led stayed on, the wireless led turns on, and when I tap the touchpad or type anything, the screen was coming, with the xscreensaver asking for my password). Just sometimes, when the screen was turning on, I could see my desktop for less than a second, before xscreensaver turns the background black and asks for the password.

Now since I migrated to Jessie, I’m experiencing a different behavior. When I close the lid, the laptop behaves the same. When I open the lid, the laptop behaves the same, but when I type or tap the touchpad and xscreensaver comes to ask the password, before than I can type it, the laptop just suspends again (or hibernates, I’m not sure), and I have to press the power button in order to bring it back to life (then I see the xscreensaver again asking for the password, I type it, and my desktop is there, the same as I left it when I closed the lid).

Strange, isn’t it?

I have tried to suspend my laptop directly from the menu, and it comes to the same state in which I have to press the power button in order to bring it back to life, but then, no xscreensaver password is required (which is double strange, IMHO).

Things I miss in Jessie

Well, until now, the only thing I miss in Jessie is the software center. I rarely use it (I love apt) but I think it makes a good job in easing the installation of programs in Debian for people coming from other operative systems (specially after smartphones and their copied software stores became popular).

I hope the maintainer can upload a new version before the freeze, and so, it enters in the release. I’ll try to contact him.

Update 2014/07/20: Julian Andres Klode, maintainer of software-center, just replied (see his comment below) and pointed to GNOME Software (gnome-packagekit) as alternative. I just installed and it looks neat and nice. I’m very happy!

TODO

I have a Debian stable laptop at work (this one with xfce + GNOME), I’ll try to upgrade it and see if I see the same problems that I notice in mine. Then, I’ll check the corresponding packages to see if there are open bugs about them, and if not, report them to their maintainers.

I have to review the wiki pages related to the Jessie Desktop theme selection, I think they wanted the wallpaper to be inside before the freeze. Maybe I can help in publicity about that, handle the votings and so. I like Joy, but it’s time to change a bit, new fresh air into the room!

Posted in My experiences and opinion | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

New GPG Key!

Achievement unlocked: I have a new GPG key:

0xF22674467E4AF4A3

pub   4096R/7E4AF4A3 2014-07-13 [caduca: 2016-07-12]
Fingerprint = 445E 3AD0 3690 3F47 E19B  37B2 F226 7446 7E4A F4A3
uid                  Laura Arjona Reina <laura.arjona@upm.es>
uid                  Laura Arjona Reina <larjona@fsfe.org>
uid                  Laura Arjona Reina <larjona99@gmail.com>
sub   3072R/CC706B74 2014-07-13 [expires: 2016-07-12]
sub   3072R/7E51465F 2014-07-13 [expires: 2016-07-12]
sub   4096R/74C23D6E 2014-07-13 [expires: 2016-07-12]

The master key is 4096 bit, stored in a safe place, and 2 subkeys 3072 bit, stored in an FSFE Smartcard (I cannot store 4096 keys there).

I have carefully used the FSFE SmartCard Howto and “Creating the perfect GPG keypair” by Alex Cabal for strenghtening hash preferences and creating revocation certificate.

It seems everything works as intended. Passphrase is strong and this time I will not forget it.

As first celebration, 1/2 lt icecream is waiting for me after dinner :)

People knowing me and around Madrid, please send me an encrypted mail as test or normal communication, and ping me to meet and sign keys :)

One more step towards involvement in Debian and free software, controlling my digital life and communications, and becoming familiar with these technologies so I can teach them to my son as ‘the natural way’.

Yay!

Posted in My experiences and opinion, Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some experiences, and TODO, about fonts

TL;DR

I don’t know much about fonts, I just use the stock ones that come with my system. From time to time I have issues with docs that others create, and use other fonts. This post is about my plans on learning a bit more and, at least, know how to solve those issues, if it’s possible, while staying in the bright side (the free-software / free font side).

Long version

The context

I use Debian, LibreOffice, sometimes Inkscape, and LaTeX. One of my favorite hashtags is #iloveplaintext, I don’t know much about design in general, and fonts and typography in particular. I didn’t change the fonts in my desktops (only reduced the size in the laptop, to be able to read a bit more in my low resolution screen), I rarely change the font in Writer (maybe from Liberation Serif to Liberation Sans), I never changed the font in a LaTeX document or LaTeX beamer presentation (I write boring documents, I know) and when I paste from the web, it’s usually because I want to read a long article so I paste as plain text in gedit and print it or save it.

So I’ve never felt to learn more about fonts, it just works, and covers my needs, (or not, but I mostly could live with the issues).

Then a friend in the Pump.io network, Adrián Perales, published a blog post about Typography (in Spanish) that I liked very much, and I began to think (and remember) some of the issues that I have from time to time with fonts.

Issue #1: League Gothic: a free font that was not installed in my system

Today, again in the Pump.io network, I discover that the FSF published a poster “Privacy is impossible without free software”, in SVG format, but it didn’t look well when I opened it with GIMP, clearly due to some missing font.

Nice that SVG format is a plain text format (XML)! So I opened the file with gedit and searched for the text string whose font was missing. It was “League Gothic” font, of course a free software font, but not packaged in Debian, it seems.

No problem. I downloaded the font, copied the files in /usr/share/fonts and problem solved.

Issue #2: Book Antiqua: a non-free font (must find equivalent)

A document made with Microsoft Word that one friend sends to me so I review and resend (in PDF format) to other people. It’s a leaflet, and it has text in Arial, in Tahoma, and in Book Antiqua. When I open it with LibreOffice the aspect is wrong (the substitutes are not the same size so some breaking lines and so).

Book Antiqua is not free. I learned that it’s an imitation of the “Palatino” font, and that a similar font in the free software systems is “URW Palladio”. In Writer (LibreOffice), I went to Tools > Options > Fonts and declared the equivalence of the two fonts, so the program would use URW Palladio as a substitute of Book Antiqua. I opened again the document and it was quite better, very similar to the original aspect.

I didn’t bother in changing the text in Arial or Tahoma, since the substitutes that LibreOffice used were quite good. But I bookmarked this page: “A Web Designer Guide to Linux Fonts” for remembering the different fonts that I can try to emulate the Windows ones.

I also know that I can install the “Microsoft Core Fonts for the web” since they are packaged for Debian in the contrib archive. But I’ll try to survive without them for now (until now, I didn’t bother, why should I now that I have the substituting guide?). In other news, I got impressed that MS Core Fonts is #4 in “Most downloads all over the time” in SourceForge, with more than 450 million downloads \o/

Issue #3: Installing a new free font in Debian

So I decided to install one of the fonts that Adrián Perales recommended in his blog post, “Linux Libertine”. Since it is packaged for Debian, it’s super easy:

# apt-get install ttf-linux-libertine

(my LibreOffice was opened, so I closed it and opened again, and the font was there ready for use).

Issue #4: Use a different font in LaTeX

Well, as always, there is not one but many ways to do that in LaTeX. My intuition tells me that if there is a LaTeX package for the font that I want to use, it’s probably a nice idea to just use it.

So I searched about “Linux Libertine” in LaTeX and yes, there is a package (and you can find a very interesting font guide in “The LaTeX font catalogue”). I installed the package texlive-fonts-extra, and then, I added two lines in my LaTeX document:

\usepackage{libertine}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

Compiled, and the resultant PDF was using Libertine font instead of Computer Modern.

TODO (and/or wishlist)

When opening a document that uses a font not present in my system, I maybe wouldn’t notice that a font is missing and I see “a substitute” (and maybe not the best one)!. It would be nice that the program tells the user “This file uses the font X, and it seems it’s not in your system. I’ll use font Y as a substitute”.

I’m not sure if there is a standard way to know which package contains a certain font. I use a web search engine to try to find out, and the websites that I linked in the article.

I have to investigate and learn a bit more about free fonts equivalents to the ones that other people use, and fonts in general, so my documents are more beautiful and people gets interested to know about the tools that I use to produce them.

Well, I’ve written a long blog post (thanks if you read until here!), solved some issues, and try some things, but not even capturing a snapshot to show here! It seems that I’m still lazy, forgive me… I hope at least this #plaintext is useful for you :)

Posted in My experiences and opinion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I need a new GPG Key

TL;DR

This key is no longer usable:

pub  2048R/9C6C32C7 2014-02-16 Laura ARJONA REINA <larjona99@gmail.com>
                               Laura ARJONA REINA <larjona@fsfe.org>
                               Laura ARJONA REINA <laura.arjona@upm.es>
                               Old key 0xE20474C3 no longer valid: lost secret key. (Clave antigua 0xE20474C4 ya no es válida: clave secreta perdida.)
Fingerprint=F29B A6D8 D1DC A30F 3E34  53DF 5CD1 FDE5 9C6C 32C7

Please act as if it does not exist. The reason is that I cannot remember the passphrase of my master GPG key. This is why I didn’t signed any of the keys of people that I met in Barcelona MiniDebconf. My geek self steem is a bit undermined, but feeling sorry for myself accomplishes nothing, so I think I will not hide problems and move on.

I’ll post about my new key soon.

Long version

The bad news

The bad news are many.

I generated my key in February 2014 (I generated my very first GPG Key in 2010, as an exercise, but never used it again, and in 2014 I couldn’t remember the passphrase, and the paper where it was written, had got lost before). Anyway, February 2014, new GPG key. I followed the Howto in FSFE wiki in order to use my brand new FSFE SmartCard. I have to admit that I didn’t understand very well how all this works, and it seems that my main mistake was to miss-understand that since I was using a smartcard, with a PIN and an Admin PIN, remembering passphrases was no longer required (only remembering the PINs). I was WRONG! PINs are for daily use with the subkeys of your card (for encryption, decryption, and signing stuff different than GPG keys), you still have the master key that is not in the card (but in a separate medium in a safe place), and for the master key we still use passphrase, and the master key is the one that allows signing keys from other people, and changing, revoking, adding subkeys, etc.

So, it seems I used a random passphrase that I didn’t write down and I could not remember, due to this terrible missunderstanding.

Another bad news is that I didn’t generate a revocation certificate (well in fact, I was going to generate just before signing the first key of another person, and then I realize that it was asking the passphrase, hence the problem). First I thought that it should ask the PIN and my smartcard setup was wrong or anything, but after reading and interchanging emails with other people more experienced than me, I realized that I should remember that passphrase. And I couldn’t. So there are no revocation certificates :(

Another bad news is that some (awesome) people already signed my key, and it will be difficult to meet again so they sign my new key. I was thinking about applying to the Debian new member process this summer, and I have not many opportunities to meet Debian people in person, so I gathered quite a lot signs last March in MiniDebConf Barcelona. Now I’m again at the starting point (well, this is perfect excuse to try to join a Debian event soon :) I don’t know how I would manage to do it, but I’ll try!).

The good news (Always look at the bright side of life…)

The main good news is that I didn’t used the GPG key for signing/encrypting important stuff: I just interchanged some encrypted mail as test with friends, and signed some mails sent to public mailing lists (for signing mails I was using the smartcard PIN so I didn’t notiece the problem).

The other main good news is that my key is not compromised (well, you can never be sure, but I think so). I cannot revoke it but I’m quite sure nothing important depends on that key.

Other good news is that I have read a lot about how GPG works and how the smartcard works, keys and subkeys and all this stuff, and I think now I understand everything quite better. I have learned (and also tried) tools as nasty, John The Ripper and rephrase to try to recover the passphrase. I didn’t recover it, but at least I know that all those (free software) tools exist and how to use them :)

And I have learned the lesson: to be extremely careful, test that everything works (not just try one or two things, test everything) and to not leave work for later (and for example, generate the revocation certificates just right after the keys).

Next steps

I’ll send a message to all the friends that signed or downloaded my old GPG key apologysing and pointing to this blog post so they learn the details about why I create a new key.

I’ll take this opportunity to download and use the Tails (The Agnostic Incognito System, a Debian derivative which is a “live system” and is focused in protecting privacy and anonymity of the user). Tails will be my safe, network disconnected environment to generate the new keys and do the sensible tasks with them. I think this time I will create my main key 4096-bit long (since now I understand that the main key is not stored in the card) and the subkeys can be 2048-bit or 3072 to fit in the smarcard.

Well, hands on! I’ll write another blog post when my new GPG keys are ready. I hope third time’s the charm!

Note: Thank you to all the people that gave me advice and support (knowledge, links, moral support) about this issue. You know who you are!

Posted in My experiences and opinion, Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

MiniDebConf Barcelona 2014

Wow, I cannot believe it has already been 2 weeks from MiniDebConf Barcelona.
It has been the first Debian event (and free software conference) that I have attended in person, and I took the opportunity to get more involved, giving a talk about translations together with Francesca Ciceri, and two lightning talks about two free software projects that I use and love and I’d like to see them packaged for Debian: Pump.io and GNU MediaGoblin (videos coming soon). I also somehow-promoted Keysigning during the conference (well, in fact, I just sent some two emails to the mailing list before, and printed stickers with “May I sign your key?” slogan so we could keysign easily in the freetime between talks).

The people

I’ve met some people in person, who I was following in the Debian mailing lists and identi.ca for long time (years, in some cases \o/). It has been amazing to meet Francesca Ciceri and Enrico Zini, since their blogposts and vision about Debian diversity skills have influenced very much in my involvement in Debian.

It has been very important to me to be able to say THANK YOU to Tiago from the Debian video team (sorry Holger, I couldn’t manage to meet you face to face), because I have learned so many things watching videos from Debconfs! Videos helped me to feel that I’m part of the community, even when I cannot attend to the events, by following the streaming and being able to recognize the faces of the people and the work they do in Debian.

I’ve met many Debian Women, of course. I’m so fan of all of them! I’m enjoying a welcoming and diverse community thanks to many of them that worked since many years ago to make Debian what it is now, and faced bitter moments too. I cannot say that I engaged in many deep conversations (well, maybe some 2 or 3, and me mostly listening), but the most important thing that I keep from them was simply “being there”, watching and listening, enjoying the voices of the experience like Ana and Miriam, and the freshness and joy of Tassia, Solveig and Elena, for example.

I’ve tried to be welcoming too, I’m not a newbie anymore… as new people come to the group :)

New projects (and renewing forces for other)

Debian contributors

I wanted to get more involved in the “Debian contributors” project and it has been a perfect opportunity to understand better all what I had read and watched about it before going to Barcelona.

My plan is, apart of doing promotion as with all the projects that I use and love, to try to get translator work credited via Debian Contributors. That means to hack the l10n bot that now gathers info from the mailing lists to build the coordination pages for translators. It shouldn’t be difficult to make it send that info to contributors.debian.org site, but I’ll try to understand how it works and propose an elegant patch. No idea about Perl, btw, but anyway, it’s a good excuse to start learning.

Mediagoblin and pump.io packaging

I’m not sure I can help on this, but I’ll keep an eye in the evolution of the Debian packaging of GNU MediaGoblin and the Pumpiverse software. I’ll give moral support, at least, to the people actually working on that :)

Website and Publicity team

After Solveig’s talk about bug triaging I’ve been thinking about some bugs that I reviewed in the Website and Publicity team, and I think I should make a new round on the pending bugs to close them if they don’t apply anymore, or to try to push a bit more towards a solution, if I can.

Tails website translation

Tails is a Debian derivative preconfigured to work out-of-the-box with privacy and anonymity features, since uses the Tor network for all the outgoing and ingoing connections.
Solveig proposed me to join the Spanish translators team at Tails. I just joined the translators mailing list, in order to help translating the Tails website into Spanish (the software is already translated, under the Tor Project). This is a new challenge from the translation point of view, since they work with PO files.

And now, what?

Well, first, I’ll try to clean a bit my TODO list, mainly about translations, and other things not related to Debian.

From now on until summer, I’ll keep an eye and a hand on all the projects in which I am involved, and also I’ll try to keep on engaging with the community via pump.io, the mailing lists, and IRC channels.

Next summer, if I can put in order my GPG keys (long story), I’ll try to join the Debian New Member process. If not, I’ll try to get new keys and some signs, and then I’ll apply.

OTOH, thanks to the end of Windows XP support, it seems that some people are willing to migrate to ‘any’ GNU/Linux distribution, and of course I’m recommending Debian. Expect some blog posts about these migrations (wow, I should migrate some servers that still run Squeeze too…) and my new role of Debian help desk at job, if finally some people decide to migrate. I have gathered Debian stickers to proudly give to anyone that installs Debian in their computer!

Posted in Events, My experiences and opinion, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hello, world! I’m a Debian contributor

My blog is included now in Planet Debian, so this post is to say hello :)

And what can be better to explain who I am, that saying that I am a Debian Contributor?

What does “Debian Contributor” mean?

There are lots of tasks that people accomplish to make Debian better, and Debian Contributor is a new hat to credit any participation in the Debian Project, of any kind (even if the contributor is not a full-member of Debian).

The idea was started and promoted by Enrico Zini. In less than one year, a website with a list of Debian Contributors, data source schemes and much more pieces have been designed. The site is working, and evolving, according to a roadmap.

There are some working data sources already, some other “proof of concept”, pending to adopt or refine. There are much more kind of contributions that still have no data source created. Everybody can help on that!

An example: my contributions

I’m listed now as wiki editor (at least, I edit once a month when doing my spam fighting tasks), website committer (I upload translations to the Spanish part of the website), and publicity (I’ve sent some news to Debian Project News from time to time).

Having your name in a list may seem a small thing, but happiness is made of small things!!

The website committers data source is one of the “proof of concepts” and it’s not being updated recently. I hope that somebody in the www team takes care of that… oh wait, I’m part of the www team…

I’m part of the Spam Fighting Force too, but the data source tracks the spam reports reviewers, and I don’t do that, I only report spam. That’s why I’m not there (yet).

I’m also a translator, member of the Spanish team. Translators are already credited in the translation coordination pages (for example this one), but we want to include them in the main list of Debian Contributors too. That means modifying the bot that tracks the mailing lists. I have joined the i18n team and I hope I can understand how it works and try to propose the required changes. If in the meanwhile, other person comes with the solution, the better!

I have given a talk (and two lightning talks) in the last MiniDebConf Barcelona 2014. Most of the speakers in Debian events are available via the Debconf website, for example: http://penta.debconf.org/dc13_schedule/speakers.en.html I’m sure a data source can be created somehow!

More examples of data sources

As I said, these are only examples (it’s not about crediting “my” contributions, but everybody’s). So if you explore the already managed data sources, you can find the Debian Sysadmin and Security teams, package maintainers, package uploaders to FTP sites, committers to several source code repositories of Debian-related software, people helping mentoring other people in Debian, people helping in the New Member process, people subtitling talks…

But we need more!! Please have a look at DcSiteDevel  where you can learn how to create a data source and the tools for extracting information in an easy way. If each Debian Team cares of their own data source (which allows to credit their members) it is a sustainable way and also improves those Team’s visibility (and new contributions, probably!).

Identity management

The last updates to Debian Contributors project are about identity management. Right now the site only shows data of contributors having a @debian.org account or an account in Alioth (the Debian software forge, used for many subprojects). It also uses the email field to merge contributions made in areas where you login with other kind of user (e.g. the wiki). This is a great step towards crediting people that are not full Debian members (yet), if they want their names to appear in the Debian Contributors list (they can opt-out too, or show/hide each contribution separately).

So, what next?

There is a Roadmap and a TODO list. But nobody as individual can know all the roles and actual work in the Debian project. It’s better that each team cares about how to send their contribution info to the site. There are some mining tools available to extract for example names of committers in source code repositories, or senders in mailing lists. Not much code is required. Please think about it and join the wave of making Debian diversity skills more visible!

Posted in Interesting sites, My experiences and opinion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Feliz de ser parte de la Fuerza Goblin

GNU Mediagoblin ha lanzado una campaña de financiación colectiva, para sufragar el trabajo de uno o más desarrolladores que se puedan dedicar a tiempo completo para hacer avanzar el proyecto.

Página web de la campaña de financiación de MediaGoblin. ¡Con un vídeo genial!

Página web de la campaña de financiación de MediaGoblin. ¡Con un vídeo genial!

MediaGoblin es un sistema de publicación en la web que puede alojar contenidos de todo tipo (como un YouTube + Flickr + SoundCloud + otros). Es software libre, así que está disponible para personas, comunidades, organizaciones y empresas que quieran utilizarlo, desplegarlo en su propia infraestructura, o adaptarlo.

Mediagoblin es uno de los proyectos en los que participo, traduciendo la interfaz al español, y junto con Debian, ocupa una parte especial de mi corazón (y mi tiempo libre). Me gusta el estilo de su comunidad, muy inclusiva, y Chris Webber, el desarrollador principal del proyecto, anima mucho esa inclusividad y buen rollo que se respira. Sólo estando un rato en el canal IRC de FreeNode (#mediagoblin) uno se da cuenta de la capacidad resolutiva de muchos de sus miembros, a la par que siempre intentan trabajar a gusto para ser feliz y viceversa.

El software en sí es muy prometedor. Sólo el hecho de tener una interfaz limpia, traducida a varios idiomas, y la capacidad para alojar y visualizar muchos tipos de archivo usando siempre estándares abiertos y hace que me guste.

El que me conoce, sabe que amo la simplicidad de por ejemplo el archivo multimedia de Debian o el de la conferencia FOSDEM: un árbol de carpetas y archivos. Navegas hasta donde está lo que te interesa, te lo descargas, y ya está, lo ves en tu equipo. Pero cuando vi el archivo multimedia de LibrePlanet 2013 (que usa MediaGoblin), con miniaturas de todas las charlas allí mismo, la interfaz en español (por la detección de idioma de mi navegador), la etiqueta de licencia en cada charla, poderla descargar en varios formatos o verla dentro del navegador, entendí que mucha gente prefiere algo así, visualmente más atractivo, y eso no tiene por qué suponer una gran carga adicional en el lado del que despliega la infraestructura (MediaGoblin es más ligero respecto a recursos y administración que un gestor de contenidos estándar, por ejemplo, y está pensado para escalar bien tanto hacia arriba como hacia abajo).

LibrePlanet multimedia archive

Archivo multimedia de la conferencia LibrePlanet

 

Sé que tanto Debian como FOSDEM funcionan con el trabajo voluntario de personas (a veces poquitas) en su tiempo libre, y con un presupuesto muy ajustado, soy feliz con sus elecciones respecto a repositorios de vídeo. Pero si algún día deciden animarse o encuentran los recursos necesarios para desplegar y mantener un MediaGoblin, ¡serán aún más geniales!

Mis cosas están en una cuenta gobblin.se, de Joar Wandborg, otro desarrollador de MediaGoblin, que amablemente ofrece cuentas gratuitas en el servidor que mantiene. Ahí sólo tengo cositas públicas. En mi familia hemos comentado varias veces el tema de alojar y compartir fotos y vídeos nuestros: yo vivo en una ciudad distinta, y por ahora, cada uno mantiene su archivo multimedia en su ordenador, enviando por correo, de vez en cuando, una selección de las fotos y vídeos más interesantes, o pasándonoslo en un pincho USB cuando nos vemos. De cuando en cuando hablamos por videoconferencia, pero por ejemplo, yo no las grabo, porque serían archivos grandes difíciles de compartir por correo.

Así que a menudo me planteo la posibilidad de montarme un servidor MediaGoblin con control de acceso, para que todos podamos subir y ver la historia digital de la familia, y espero hacerlo a lo largo del año, cuando compre un equipo fijo que pueda tener encendido permanentemente.

Entretanto, acabo de donar por segunda vez (lo hice también en la primera campaña en 2012). Me parece muy importante que los proyectos comunitarios también salgan adelante y mantengan su independencia, con una planificación guiada por las prioridades de la propia comunidad. La financiación colectiva puede hacer esto posible, y MediaGoblin ya ha demostrado que sabe materializar las expectativas de los que le apoyan, y con creces (y si no, echa un vistazo al vídeo, donde muestran todo lo hecho el pasado año. Puedes poner subtítulos en español pulsando en el iconito “CC” que hay junto al volumen). ¿Te animas a unirte a la Fuerza Goblin? No te arrepentirás.

(Si tienes dificultad para donar porque la página de la campaña y la de la donación están en inglés, puedes echar un vistazo a este artículo de GNU/Linux Vagos  donde explican (en español) casi todo lo que pone en la página de la campaña, y también, contactar conmigo, y te aclararé todas las dudas que pueda).

Posted in My experiences and opinion, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Participating in the FLOSS Survey 2013, and collateral benefits

I’m participating in the organization of the FLOSS Survey 2013.

I hope many people fill in the survey and we get a nice picture of how free, libre, open source developers and contributors are (demographics, motivations, etc). I hope we can provide nice data to the people that are still citing the 2002 FLOSS survey and report, and I hope I can write some articles about my particular interests on the data: women in libre software, and non-coding contributors.

We have near 1000 complete answers and we have extended the survey until December 6th midnight GMT. So, are you a developer or contributor to a free softwar project? Take the survey!

I’m learning a lot in this project. In many different areas: research, promotion, libre software, deal with complains, communication in teams…

Thanks to the survey, I have been able to get in touch with some software pieces that I didn’t know or I knew but I didn’t use so intensively until now:

  • LimeSurvey: I contribute translations to Spanish, since we use it at work (other colleagues, I just maintain the LAMP stack that is below it), but this time I am able to work with the tool as user/admin, so I learned a lot by using the program, reading the manual and searching the forums and the issue tracker, and I reported a problem too.
  • TitanPad: KISS principle. I love it. A place to post things related to the organization, so my mails become from extremely large to only large. Will install it at home when I have my server.
  • LibreJS: I didn’t look at it (heard about it though) until some people complained about this Firefox add-on alerting about non-free software in our survey. How can this be? Then I re-discovered that there’s not a standard way to make explicit that some software is free software, but the LibreJS people are proposing a way to fix that. That’s the problem that I reported to LimeSurvey project, and I hope I can get advice from LibreJS devs and try to provide some patches to other upstream libraries that cause false negatives too.
  • XChat: We put in the contact page of the survey website that people could find us via IRC, so I took the opportunity to be more present in my favorite IRC channels too (#fdroid, #mediagoblin, #pump.io and #social in Freenode, and #debian-es, #debian-www, #debian-publicity and #debian-women at OFTC). It’s not that I’m specially enjoying the software itself, but reading and participating in the conversation in IRC is being fun and I’m learning a lot from others too.

I would like to say thank you to all the people that are helping us to promote the survey. And of course, thank you to the rest of the FLOSS Survey 2013 team, Gregorio Robles and Santiago Dueñas, that gave me this opportunity and guide me in this new research experience.

Posted in My experiences and opinion, Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cómo veo pump.io ahora

(Read this post in English)

Resumiendo

  • Usable, gran potencial, necesita usuarios y amor
  • ¡Esto es sólo mi opinión!

Versión larga (demasiado larga…)

He estado usando Pump.io desde marzo de 2013 para pruebas, y más intensamente desde la migración de Identi.ca en julio de 2013.
He escrito varios artículos sobre Identi.ca, mi red social favorita, y también sobre la migración.

Después de varios meses y desarrollo activo no sólo en el software núcleo, sino en muchos servicios de terceros, y después de muchas discusiones, informes de error, conocimiento compartido y ‘vida en el pumpiverso’, ¿cómo veo la red pump.io ahora?

Nota: esto es sólo mi opinión como, digamos, usuaria implicada de pump.io. Digo “implicada” porque lo uso mucho, he probado varios clientes, he abierto varios informes de error y ayudado a resolver otros, hago clasificación de fallos en el sistema de seguimiento de errores e intento ayudar a los usuarios principiantes. Pero no soy parte del equipo de desarrollo de pump.io y no estoy más en contacto con el líder del proyecto, Evan Prodromou, que lo que pueda estar cualquier otro usuario o fan. Así que advertencia: esta es mi humilde opinión particular, y no refleja la visión oficial del proyecto pump.io.

Usable

La red Pump

El software es usable. Está instalado no sólo en los servidores de E14N, otras personas lo han desplegado en sus máquinas y lo están usando. Algunas personas lo han instalado en una Raspberri Pi, otras en un servidor privado virtual (VPS), otras en su PC personal. Algunas personas alojan sólo a un usuario (ellos mismos), otras tienen más usuarios (registro abierto, o bajo invitación).

E14N, la empresa que ofrece el software pump.io, ofrece identi.ca para los usuarios que ya tenía, y algunas instancias públicas donde puedes registrar una cuenta de manera gratuita: fmrl.me , pumprock.net , urmf.net , pumpbuddy.us , hotpump.net , pumpdog.me , pumpit.info , 1realtime.net , microca.st , pumpity.net.

El servidor e14n.com también es un servidor pump.io, pero no permite registro de cuentas.

El número de instancias/usuarios conocidos por OFirehose (la manguera, un nodo donde puedes registrar tu servidor pump.io, para ofrecer una línea temporal pública que abarque toda la red) es en pumplive.com. Probablemente hay más instancias en redes privadas o no registrados allí.

Jeremy Pope mantiene el sitio pumpstatus.jpope.org donde puedes ver el tiempo de actividad sin cortes (uptime) y comprobaciones para muchos servidores.

Por lo que he visto en este tiempo, los cortes o caídas, cuando los hay, se deben en la mayor parte de los casos a fallos de hardware, problemas relacionados con la configuración o administración del sistema. En muchos casos, el tiempo de actividad sin cortes (uptime) es corto debido a reinicios del servidor para actualizar el código, y así obtener alguna característica nueva o arreglar problemas. El que no haya informes de error relacionados con rendimiento o errores de operación abiertos durante largo tiempo muestra que se arreglan rápido, por lo que puedo contar.

Desde la perspectiva de administración de sistemas: desplegar/mantener un servidor pump.io

Sobre la instalación, no puedo decir que sea difícil o fácil. Considero que soy una usuaria avanzada, aprendiz de administradora de sistemas (conocimientos suficientes para instalar una distro GNU/Linux, o una pila LAMP, o descargar y compilar código fuente si ese software no está empaquetado para mi distribución y las dependencias están listadas en algún sitio).

He intentado instalar pump.io en mi portátil (solo por saber si soy capaz de hacerlo, y probar algunos cambios en el código, no para uso diario). En ese momento, node.js no estaba empaquetado para Debian, pero conseguí descargarlo, compilarlo, instalarlo, y repetir el proceso para el servidor pump.io. Sin embargo, no instalé/configuré una base de datos etc, porque como digo sólo quería probar la interfaz de usuario. Ahora que node.js está empaquetado para Debian, supongo que la instalación es más fácil.

Hay documentación sobre la instalación de pump.io en varias plataformas en la wiki.

El “ecosistema” Pump

Además de pump.io, E14N desarrolla algunas otras piezas de software para determinadas características o tareas en la red Pump. Entre ellas, tenemos:

  • OpenFarmGame (el juego de la granja abierta) es un juego de red social para mostrar las posibilidades de la red Pump
  • Spamicity.info es un servidor que filtra spam (mensajes comerciales no solicitados) en la red Pump
  • OFireHose (la manguera) proporciona una línea temporal pública de la red Pump en formato ActivityStreams (JSON)
  • pump2rss proporciona una línea temporal pública de un determinado usuario en formato RSS
  • pump2status.net (en desarrollo) permitirá conectar una cuenta de pump.io con una de StatusNet, actuando como un puente
  • ragtag.io (en desarrollo) permitirá ver todos los objetos públicos de la red Pump que están etiquetados con un determinado ‘hashtag’ (#).

Otras personas han desarrollado librerías, clientes y herramientas para usarlos en la red pump. La mayoría de ellos están enlazados en la pump.io wiki. Los que subrayo yo:

  • PyPump es una librería Python para interactuar con un servidor pump.io
  • Bashscriptville es un conjunto de guiones o scripts bash que permiten publicaro iformación de determinadas fuentes en la red pump, como “The Word of the Day” (la palabra del día, en inglés), los cómics XKCD, insultos Shakespeareanos, la imagen astronómica del día, y otros.
  • El bot conversacional XR115 se ha unido a pump.io y ahí está aprendiendo.

Necesita usuarios

Principalmente por el efecto red. El éxito de una red social es altamente dependiente del número de personas usándola (también depende de que sea flexible, poderosa, brillante y todo eso, pero podríamos discutir qué va primero).

Otra razón es que ahora, la mayoría de los usuarios de pump.io tienen una visión del lado de StatusNet. Me gusta StatusNet, es un gran software, pero quizá estamos atascados intentando hacer que pump.io sea como StatusNet y nueva gente pueda traer nuevas, mejores ideas.

Pero de dónde pueden venir usuarios a pump.io? Veo tres tipos de usuarios:

  • Gente que no usa ninguna red social: si eres nueva en las redes sociales, por favor, usa una basada en software libre. Puede ser Pump.io, Friendica, Diaspora*… la que sea. Yo conozco Pump.io, y por eso la recomiendo. Llegué a pump.io por accidente, ya que usaba Identi.ca para microblogueo, y sabiendo que iba a haber una migración de StatusNet a pump.io, empecé a curiosear en la plataforma. Es nueva, así que muchas cosas aún están en desarrollo, pero es nueva, flexible y moderna, ha aprendido de los fallos de otras plataformas. ¿Por qué no? Y lo más importante: ¡hay gente guay en pump.io! No hay una actividad abrumadora, sin publi, sin spam (pero si lo quieres, puedes ir a la manguera :)
  • Gente que usa otras redes sociales: Pump.io puede ser una más, o un sustituto de Facebook, o Google+, por ejemplo. Si eres una empresa o todos tus amigos están en otras redes sociales, y “no puedes no estar allí”, quizá quieras esperar hasta que tengamos puentes para publicar simultáneamente en todos los sitios (en cualquier caso, mira los que ya tenemos, quizá son suficientes para tus necesidades, o puedes usar Friendica para publicar simultáneamente en todos los sitios con un esfuerzo mínimo). Si tienes un cierto interés en el mundo del software libre (quizá contribuyes a un proyecto, o eres una empresa basada en software libre, o simplemente te gusta cacharrear), estaría bien que tuvieras presencia en una red social de software libre como ésta.
  • Gente buscando redes sociales para uso privado: en mi opinión, pump.io parece perfecta para montar una red privada familiar o una red social institucional dentro de una intranet. Recuerda, está pensada para ser escalable hacia arriba y hacia abajo, y federada desde el principio. Puedes configurar una interfaz web común pero también dar libertad a los usuarios para usar el cliente que les guste. Estamos trabajando en la internacionalización y localización, pero si no puedes esperar, simplemente traduce las cadenas que hay en el código y las plantillas utml y a correr. Es software libre, ¡puedes hacerlo! E14N está trabajando para proporcionar cajas con pump.io listas para enchufar. Posee tus datos, disfruta tu comunicación.

Necesita amor

Sólo soy una usuaria de pump.io, curioseo en el canal IRC, en el gestor de informes de fallos (bueno, hago algo de clasificación y 1ª línea), y sigo a Evan y a los hackers de pump.io. Para nada soy voz oficial de las necesidades o planificación de pump.io, pero aquí están mis ideas personales sobre cómo pump.io podría mejorarse y cómo podemos ayudar.

Planificación

Estoy segura de que Evan tiene una planificación clara para nuevas características de pump.io y corrección de fallos. Podemos oler parte de ella en el gestor de informes de fallos, ya que algunos casos están etiquetados con un hito de versión, y otros han sido cerrados con el mensaje de que terceras partes deberían encargarse de mejorar esos aspectos. Pero una planificación clara podría ayudar a los usuarios a saber qué esperar, y a los contribuidores a ayudar de manera más efectiva.

Quizá es simplemente cuestión de clasificar los casos abiertos por hito temporal, y escribir una página wiki. Mmm preguntaré a Evan sobre ello.

En el lado del usuario, creo que es útil revisar la wiki de cuando en cuando para ver las características más importantes que ya están implementadas (en pump.io en sí o por terceras partes), y buscar en el gestor de informes de fallos antes de enviar un problema supuestamente nuevo. O quizá preguntar en el canal IRC.

Página de ‘estado’ de E14N, página de contacto, y ayudantes sysadmin

No voy a decir cómo Evan tiene que dirigir sus máquinas o su negocio. Así que por favor toma este párrafo sólo como una humilde opinión que se puede tirar a la papelera si no es útil.

Los servidores de E14N (especialmente identi.ca, pero no sólo) son la imagen pública del software pump.io y su red. Y muchas personas puede que no sepan distinguir entre un problema en el software y un problema puntual en la red o el sistema. Muchas personas no saben dónde informar de problemas o solicitudes que no están ligadas al desarrollo de software, o saben que es por correo electrónico a admin [at] e14n.com pero no saben si ya alguien informó del problema.

Por ahora, pumpstatus.jpope.org está siendo de gran ayuda y algunas personas comentan en el canal IRC cuando tienen problemas, antes de enviar un correo. Pero tener una página web de “estado” donde mirar si estamos experimentando problemas podría ayudar. Y quizá dar permisos de escritura en esa página a algunas personas en el rol de “ayudantes sysadmin” ayudaría también.

Funcionalidad que da el control al usuario

Pump.io es software libre, esto significa que el usuario puede controlar lo que el programa hace. Pero no todo el mundo sabe cómo cacharrear en node.js para modificar el programa y que haga lo que ellos quieren, y no están en condiciones de instalar su propia instancia. Algunas funcionalidades que, en mi opinión, atraerían usuarios y mantendrían a los usuarios existentes felices e implicados serían:

  • Activar la recuperación por correo electrónico y notificaciones en el resto de los servidores de E14N que no son identi.ca
  • Posibilidad de hacer copia de seguridad de una cuenta, borrarla, cambiar la dirección de correo electrónico, configurar las notificaciones por correo electrónico.
  • Buscar publicaciones y usuarios.
  • Internacionalización / localización de la interfaz web a distintos idiomas.
  • Mostrar contextos en la interfaz web.
  • Una línea temporal pública (como la manguera), accesible con un navegador web, sin spam (o quizá una vista de “temas candentes”, con las publicaciones públicas que se comparten o se marcan como “me gusta” en cada momento). Una ventana donde el posible nuevo usuario pueda mirar.

¡Contribuidores!

Enrico Zini dijo una vez: “No te preguntes qué puedes hacer por Debian. Pregúntate qué puede hacer Debian por tí. Y machácalo hasta que lo haga”. Creo que este pensamiento va bien también con Pump.io. Hay muchas piezas del código que ya están escritas y que puedes copiar y toquetear, y hay otros muchos proyectos (no sólo el núcleo, recuerda los clientes, las librerías, proyectos hermanos…) donde tu ayuda es de gran valor.

Hey, y no digas que “no sé JavaScript ni node.js”. Yo tampoco… pero el código es código, puedes abstraer la sintaxis y aprender y entender (o más o menos) cómo funciona. Otras piezas del ecosistema pump.io están escritas en otros lenguajes. O puedes ayudar en el gestor de informes de fallo intentando reproducir errores o encontrar duplicados, o leer/escribir documentación o preguntas frecuentes, sugerir ideas, probar características/clientes/plataformas…

Y si eres programador(a), por favor échale un vistazo al gestor de informes de fallos y las solicitudes “pull” de cuando en cuando. Probablemente habrá algunas propuestas para arreglar fallos que puedes mejorar o apoyar para que se incorporen más rápido, o rechazarlas para que el remitente pueda repensar su propuesta o simplemente ir a ayudar a otra parte del código o del sistema.

Promoción

Finalmente, creo que estaría bien tener una presentación en vídeo sobre pump.io (digamos 5 minutos, quizá menos) que pueda ser traducida a diferentes idiomas y compartida en todos los sitios para correr la voz sobre esta red social. Quizá ya está hecha (si sí, ¡por favor enviadme un enlace!). Quizá algunos usuarios pueden intentar hacerla. Pero creo que yo no soy la persona adecuada para esta tarea. Mira este artículo, ¡es demasiado largo! Escribir algo para sólo 5 minutos es una tortura para mí :)

Posted in My experiences and opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments