Mario Fux

Archive for December, 2010

KDE work day 7: NLP, conf files and success

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

The distance between two of my KDE work day reports each week get’s a bit bigger but I think it’s still quite regular and I’ll do my best to bring it back on track. Thanks to all the people who flattr me (the FSFE wordpress software got a flattr plugin now ;-) and thanks to all the people who "just" read my blog. An idea for next year is to provide other facilities to donate and probably even to vote on what you prefer me to work ;-) .

This week I’ve done some personal work on two of the KDE wikis. On techbase I inserted a first very (very) raw draft for a collection of KDE software configuration files and directories and data storage files and directories. I’ll start with the apps I use myself most often. Actually I don’t know if it’s possible to edit one other user’s personal page on the wikis but later I’d like to move this part of my personal page anyway to a better place. By the way underneath there you still find an attempt to collect the release dates (past and future) of different GNU/Linux distributions.

Some more work went into the personal page on the KDE community wiki: There I collect information about free (as in speech) NLP tools. NLP stands for natural language processing and programming and consists of almost everything that brings natural languages and computer together. This page is work in progress and thus will change a lot before it get’s excluded from the personal page area. But here fits the same as with the other page: If it’s possible to edit it and you’ve some good information to add do so, please! Additionally you find there some NLP stuff already in and around KDE.

And then there is something that happened last week which makes me quite proud and I’d like to share with you. There is even some connection to KDE ;-) . In one of my last blog post I wrote about a paper I had to hand in about the "KDE semantic clipboard". It got accepted and last week on Thursday I had an oral test about it (actually something similar to my last exam for my minor computer sciences). And you know what? Best mark! A 6.0 here in Switzerland and the professor and my advisor told me that this work and exam appears to be one of a major student. Great… I couldn’t resist to ask if there is a possibility to do a doctoral thesis when I’ve finished my studies and they once again said yes ;-) .

But I’m not yet sure if I want and will do a doctoral thesis afterwards. First I still need to write my diploma thesis in education which needs a lot of motivation as my major topic (education) isn’t that interesting for me anymore.

I try to keep the rest of this blog post as short as possible. The work on the morphological API for KDE (and thus Sonnet) goes on, if you’re interested in helping (or lurking) in the organization of the next Randa meeting subscribe to the kde-events mailing list till tomorrow or the day after and I joined the game as well.

And the last thing for this time the promised english language learning links:

Serious games, KDE and Co

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

The half vegatarian half carnivore pizza is in the oven and before the TV show about some Wikileaks background story starts I’ve some minutes to start writing my blog entry about "serious games", a very interesting presentation I visited yesterday, and some other KDE stuff.

As it’s part of my job to sometimes record guest presentations at or of our institute (of education) yesterday I had the possibility to visit a presentation about "serious games". The presenter was a former teacher of mine (now professor) who taught me a lot about education and media. "Serious games" is a concept about computer games with an educational and teaching background. The audience consisted almost exclusively of women (female human beings are the majority in the educational sciences and business in Switzerland). Unfortunately the prejudices about the anti-social character of gamers and a causal relation between players of violent games and violent acts are still alive. This even though there is no study which underpins these ideas and some studies exist that show even the opposite of the former.

The presentation was very interesting and entertaining and I hope to take some ideas for my diploma thesis. At the end the presenter showed some interesting free (probably not as in speech) browser games with a "serious" background. I hope to post some of them in the next days when I’m finished with cutting and uploading of the taken recording. And by the way: our institute provides a nice video portal about school lessons in different languages. Not all are free to watch and the website is still only in German but useful and interesting nonetheless (and finally works on Linux (with Flash ;-( as well).

On another thing today I got my svn-soon-git KDE developer account and a batch of KDE business cards was in B’s and my postbox.

Oh and yesterday I got my english grammar test back. A better mark than I expected. And if there is some intereste I would post the links I collected during this course to leverage my english. So are you interested in english grammar exercises and grammar rules?


Kookie work day 2: M & B specials

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Today B. and me had our second christmas cookie day of this year. Listening to some music. Towards evening we listened to Nokia Night of the Proms on Deluxe Television (I like this music TV and radio channel) which I hope to see one day live.

Last week we did two kinds of cookies (Mailänderli and Vanillegipfeli) and some Gittibänze (no idea how to translate this: some bread men ;-) . On the first picture you see the Mailänderli

Today we did three types more: Spitzbuben, Schoggichuggle and Mohngüetsli. You see all of them on the second picture.

The whole picture gallery is available on this link for some days. And now your question is probably: and where is the relation to KDE in this blog post? I’ve three answers:

  1. We’d like to wish all the KDE people happy family and holidays.
  2. I hope to release the recipes of these cookies as KRecipes data in the next days.
  3. And last but not least we’ve got a third picture below. And the first person who send us (my last name at KDE servers dot organisation) or comment the ingredient which is shown in this picture receive a package M & B cookies (not necessarily the same as shown above) at the next meeting (e.g. Randa 2011 or Berlin Desktop Summit 2011).

Yes, almost forgot it. We still miss a KDE or Konqi cookie form…

Update: Fixed the link and the email address (not the first name but the last name which is btw “Fux”). So if you already tried to send in the correct answer please try it again and if you think you’ve won if the address was correct in the first run just email me.


KDE work day 6: KMail2 needs your help

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

In the last days I was reading that the KDE pim group asked on the release-team mailing list for a 2 weeks delay of the release schedule. One then got more information about the problems on the kdepim mailing list. There it got apparent that the main problem is the current lack of developers for KMail2 (the more or less new KMail based on Akonadi). And it looks as a 2 weeks delay is not really enough for a stable and releasable KMail2.

At this point I don’t want to discuss or guess about the reasons for the developer lack but to ask for interested people to get a try with KMail2 (and the rest of the Akonadi based KDE PIM applications) and to fix some of the bugs. There are already quite many bugs about the PIM software but atm not a lot of people who try to fix them. And I’m certain that the KDE pim gurus are going to help and advise were to search and find in the code realm.

Although I’m two days late this week to write and publish my weekly KDE work report I’ve done some stuff in the last week. Concerning the next year’s KDE sprint and meeting in Randa, Switzerland I’ve done some further thinking and preparing for the organization start. After a final project and test next week I’m going to have more free time to spent on this.

Yesterday at the bimonthly LUGO meeting we had a great presenation about Kdenlive. To my surprise it was in a much better state than I dared to wish. To my humble opinion it provides more than the necessary features for a normal user who wants to cut his or her hobby movies and provide them with some titles here and some nice effects there. A really nice piece of software I hope to try out in the next weeks as well.

During the last week I did not really find time to work on the morphological API for KDE. For the coming days and week I’d like to work on a wiki page (community or techbase) where I’ll collect some information about free linguistic software and what they provide. On another wiki page I’d like to collect information about the configuration files/directories and data files/directories of KDE application which could be useful for some backup framework (see for more information about this idea in my last blog post). And as a last thing I’d like to work on in the next week is a community wiki page about the Randa meetings and to start organizing the next year’s one (most of the communication about this will be done on the KDE mailing list kde-events so subscribe if you’re interested and not yet subscribed).

BTW: The house is already reserved: from the 1st to the 7th of June 2011. So if you work on some KDE multimedia related code or want to integrate Nepomuk functionality in your application mark this dates in your agenda (or Korganizer ;-) .


KDE work day 5: Papers, presentations and sprints

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Morning. Right now I’m in my bed after a busy day and crossing half of Switzerland. I’m in the south in the middle of the Alpes (with almost no snow down here in the valley) as I need to do some civil defence service tomorrow (some kind of substitute for the mandatory military service we (men) need to do in Switzerland). Anyway, that’s not really interesting (I hope the rest of the blog is more interesting for some of you ;-) .

This morning at the university me and my collegue did a presentation about our project about a morphological API for KDE. The presentation went ok but I’m not really satisfied. And there is some code which I hope to publish in the next weeks and months. Not really sophisticated stuff but probably some nice ideas for inspiration. Finally it should become part of the Sonnet framework of KDE (there is some quite interesting stuff in playground as well).

Another KDE and university project of me ended yesterday when I handed in my paper about the KDE semantic clipboard and some proposals for solutions (I don’t want to publish it here right now but if you’re interested I can send it to you privately. Just send me an email to fux at the KDE server dot the shortcut of organisation). The project did not really end with this paper but with an oral test on the 16th of December. But that should work quite well. The project included no programming but I still hope to do some development on this thing in the new year.

And another thing of the next year is yet another meeting or sprint in Randa. After Tokamak 3 and the KDE multimedia meeting 2010 this will be the third spreenting (;-) I organize in Randa. The main topic or group which is going to work there at the beginning of June 2011 consists of KDE-Nepomuk people. I’m in contact with Sebastian Trueg and some other people and we hope to make KDE SC 4.8 the semantic desktop/Nepomuk release! Another group which could have a sprint there is the KDevelop/Kate team (you didn’t know, right?;-). And then there is another team or group. Mark Kretschmann of Amarok asked me to help organizing another multimedia meeting in Randa and as I don’t want to organize two of them in one year … There is enough space and we don’t yet fill the house ;-) .

Lastly Aaron Seigo blogged about a KDE sprint manager. If you’re one of this guys or gals working on this thing, please include some name tag printer, financial integration (with e.g. Kraft or KMyMoney), reinbursement form support, accommodation night support and so on ;-) .

Oh and right after my last blog (no connection) entry Vishesh Handa wrote about a nepomuk backup and syncing solution. BTW: Vishesh: Hope you’ll be in Randa next year!

Before I finish with an outlook to next week’s blog I’ve some ethical or moral problem for you to solve: as I estimate to invest one month of work time to organize this meeting I thought this year to put some allowance expense for me in the budget for the sprint (and some amount for the cook and helper!). If and when I find enough sponsors. Is this ok?

Next week I’ll write probably some more about the morphological API, about the progress of the sprint organization (this year I want to have a more formal registration system as it’s easier to organize with facts than with uncertainties and it was a wish in this year’s sprint evaluation) and what else next week? You’ll see. Good night, dear reader!