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Interviews

20 Years FSFE: Interview with Nico Rikken on country teams' activities

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Interviews

I do remember most of my 'firsts' I had with the FSFE. Strictly my first contact was reading the FSFE website and becoming a Fellow (the construct at that time). But after this quite formal arrangement I was looking for more informal contact and a feeling of community. So I still have good memories how Felix Stegerman, then Deputy Coordinator Netherlands, invited me to the Linux Nijmegen User Group to get to know each other and learn more about the FSFE. Up until that evening my efforts in Free Software were a solo effort and that changed in that evening. I became part of a larger community of like-minded people, thanks to Felix.

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Cassidy on GNOME, Themes, and More

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Interviews
GNOME

Recently there’s been a lot of discussion within the open source desktop space about GNOME, LibAdwaita, and the future of “theming” on GTK-based platforms like GNOME and elementary OS. To help distill this information, Nick from The Linux Experiment interviewed elementary co-founder and CXO Cassidy James Blaede for his recent The FACTS about GNOME’s plans for THEMES video.

Below are the questions provided by Nick and Cassidy’s answers, lightly edited for spelling, grammar, and formatting. We hope they help share a bit of perspective on this topic!

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Community Member Monday: Nige Verity

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LibO
Interviews

I’ve been working in IT since the mid 1980s, spread across the aerospace, defence, science and financial services sectors. In the beginning I was mostly coding and testing, but as time went by I found myself working on requirements, designing systems and documenting them as much as doing any actual coding.

I first learned to program using Fortran on a VAX computer running the VMS operating system. Since then I’ve used all sorts of hardware and programming languages, even including a brief spell updating an ancient legacy system written in Algol running on an Elliott computer of late 1960’s vintage, for which the program was loaded from paper tape. This was an experience that gave me enormous respect for the programmers of the past for whom that was hi-tech.

Having worked on some extremely complex systems over the years I have come to value simplicity. When I am developing software for my own use my tool of choice these days is Gambas – an amazing but surprisingly little-known IDE, best described as “Visual Basic for Linux”, only Gambas is far superior to VB and leaves Python for dead in terms of productivity and performance.

Away from IT I am a musician – playing flamenco and blues guitar, and also the piano. In parallel with IT I’ve worked on the fringes of the art world, helping to organise four large-scale public art shows in recent years.

Although originally from London, I am blessed to live in rural South Shropshire, surrounded by farmland and arguably the most beautiful scenery the UK has to offer.

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Also: LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: October 2021

People of WordPress: Ronald Gijsel

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Interviews

For WordPress contributor Ronald Gijsel, open source is a lifeline and a perfect place for people with creative minds. It led him on a transformational journey from chef to WordPress e-commerce specialist. Originally from the Netherlands, where he trained in hospitality, he was to find a restorative and energizing power within the WordPress local and global community.

Ten years ago, life took a sad turn for Ronald and his wife Nihan when their baby daughter passed away only a few days after she was born. At that time, Ronald was a restaurant owner in the UK, working hard in a challenging economic environment. Discovering open source was in many ways his lifeline and helped him and his wife through their considerable heartache. Through this community, a journey to understand the opportunities of the web and new career paths began.

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Also: OpenVDB 9.0 Released With NanoVDB GPU Support - Phoronix

Looking back on 30 years of Linux history with Red Hat's Ethan Dicks

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I first encountered Linux through the Usenet post because I was a very avid Usenet reader and contributor—starting in about ‘85 or so. I saw the Andrew Tanenbaum post about the release of Minix and newsgroups were created for that, so that was an exciting chance to have [something like] Unix on desktop-grade hardware.

I’d been running Unix at work since ‘84, ‘85 and had tried (on a number of occasions) to gather enough hardware to be able to run it at home and just really couldn't ever afford to put it together because disks were expensive. I remember when that famous first message came out from Linus [Torvalds]. I was not a PC guy at the time.

By April of 1992, which was five months after that announcement, I was at a computer show at a fairgrounds and felt that things had gotten cheap enough. So, I went and bought a 386 motherboard and four megabytes of RAM (in April of 1992, it was $35 per megabyte!) specifically to run Linux, popped on a drive, brought it home and put together a PC.

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Developing VR on Fedora Workstation

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Interviews

One area of computing that is rapidly evolving and becoming more and more popular is that of Virtual Reality and Augmented reality. Thanks to Valve there is full support for the HTC headsets under Linux, and thanks to community developers there is also work happening to support the Oculus headsets under Linux. In this interview Christian Schaller speaks with Jan Schmidt who is working on reverse engineering a driver for the Oculus Rift VR headset. They talk about the general state of VR under Linux, Jan’s use of Fedora Workstation, and his specific work on his driver.

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Interview of Nicolas Lécureuil, chair of the Mageia Board, on Linuxfr.org

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Interviews
MDV

Nicolas Lécureuil, alias NeoClust, is a long time user of LinuxFr.org. He has an account on the website dedicated to Linux since 2005. Nicolas became the president of the Board of Mageia early in 2021. Nicolas has been, and still is, very active everywhere in the Mageia forums, discussion lists and the cauldron development, where new versions of the distribution are being cooked. In this interview, we will see that he is an early Mageian. Also, we will discover his ambitions and projects for this distribution, which is one of the most accessible to the general public.

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Global communication in open source projects

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Interviews

I'm really glad that we have some very active people in FreeDOS who are working on translating messages in all these programs. There are a few folks who contribute to FreeDOS by translating messages from one language to another and sharing those message files so we can use them in the FreeDOS distribution.

FreeDOS is a small operating system with low memory constraints, so actually our biggest challenge has been technical.

In a more modern system like Linux, you can provide message translation through a service like catgets or gettext. Both are programming libraries where the program says, "I need this string [text] in the user's preferred language," and the library gives the program that string. This is an example of internationalization, by providing translations in different languages.

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Why my public library chooses Linux and open source

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Linux
Interviews
OSS

The Crawford County Federated Library System has been using Linux and open source software in its IT operations since 1999. They realized early on the potential of open source and integrated it into their enterprise. They were a part of my own Linux journey as I built a content filtering system for our school district. Twenty years ago, there were few models for the use of open source in libraries and education. Meadville Public Library and the Crawford County Federated Library System were the leaders then and now. Recently I had some questions about how to help libraries in our own library system, and I called Meadville. They referred me to Cindy Murdock Ames, their IT Director. I asked her what they were using for patron desktop computers. Cindy sent a brief email that piqued my interest, and I asked her if she would agree to an email interview. She graciously accepted.

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A conversation about open source design and ethical funding

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Interviews
OSS

Penpot does exist because at some point—six or seven years ago—Kaleidos was a very developer-centric company and didn't have UX or UI in-house. We saw the potential for multi-functional teams where you would have design—UX/UI design, in general—and code working together, but we needed to use open source because that's our ethos. Kaleidos would use open source as an end in itself but also as a means to an end.

We started by creating Taiga, which is a project management platform. We're all about processes and how to do stuff, not just what, but how we achieve things and team management and all that. We were happy to have that agile mindset built in a tool for teams like ourselves. But as you can imagine, at some point, designers at Kaleidos, being open source proponents, said: Look, we are not first-class citizens in open source. We are happy with Inkscape, GIMP, and some tools, but you developers have everything to choose from. You can choose the best of the best. You live in this paradise world where you don't know how privileged you are. We agree with you. We are all about open source, absolutely, but you have to understand that we are frustrated with the professional quality of some tools. We want to achieve parity with you developers.

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