Mario Fux

About Fellow No 1's life

Registration for Randa 2011 is open

March 21st, 2011

First of all I’d like to thank again Emil Sedgh for his work on this tool. He fulfilled all our technical wishes in such a short period of time.

And here is to link where you can register for this years meeting: And yes, as the URL indicates, this tool is useful not just for the Randa meeting. This year in Randa there will be four groups which discuss and hack there for a week (beginning of June 2011):

So if you’re part of one of these groups it’s time to register for the sprint (and I’m sure (or hope 😉 it’s not the first time you hear about this meeting). To login you need your account.

And some special words about the Nepomuk part of the meeting. Sebastian Trueg will post some blog in the next hours or day about what he plans todo at the meeting and about what you could do with Nepomuk technologies and how you could integrate them in your application. Ivan Cucic will post a blog at the end of the week about KActivityManager and how you should and could integrate this in your application. If and when you’re interested about all this semantical and social stuff you could contact us on the Nepomuk mailinglist and perhaps it would be great to have you in Randa. In the coming weeks I plan to write some articles about the social semantic desktop for different user groups (normal users, application developers and hardcore hackers ;-).

Please fill in your information asap that we can send the e.V. board an estimated budget. Detailed information for the four groups will follow in the next hours and days on the corresponding mailinglists or other communication channels.

Update: You can relogin and thus add more information later.

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Randa 2011, KDE and young informatics trainees

March 18th, 2011

This morning at 8:30 I gave a presentation about KDE and design & graphics. The reason? It was quite spontaneous. Yesterday I got an email of a design and graphics teacher from the local (to the south of Switzerland and thus Randa) vocational school that he got an email of a colleague of mine that I need help in some "logos for Randa" stuff. After having a phone call I decided to visit the class this morning and present them about what KDE is and what the Randa meetings or sprints are and what kind of graphics I need for them. And since after the morning break they work on art for Randa 2011.

After the presentation I had some time to go through the class and saw some quite nice work. They worked on some business card ideas with Adobe Illustrator on Macs. But the nice thing was that they had Gimp and Firefox installed even though the teacher didn’t know Gimp. And I mentioned Inkscape as well (yes, I know, what about Krita and Karbon, will do better next time). And I couldn’t resist to mention that Safari is based on KDE technology. The pupils are actually first year informatic trainees but noone of them heard of KDE – till this morning ;-). I’m curious what they show or send me next week and who knows probably one of this guys (yes, unfortunately no girls) will one day commit some code or artwork directly to the KDE repositories…

On the way to my parents for lunch then I decided to visit a friend of mine in his shop where he sells second hand hardware. Nice stuff and working perfect. But before I wanted to go to his shop I phoned him. Good idea as he was in hospital after food poisoning (get well soon, Luki). But that wasn’t the reason I started to write about him and his shop (he btw sponsored some stuff for the Randa meeting last year and will hopefully do so this year again ;-). Beneath the "normal" PC and notebooks he’s some Android netbooks in his sortiment at the moment – for half of the normal price. But mention my name when you order one ;-).

Another thing that happened this week is the agreement of my professor (in education, not computer sciences) that he allows me to setup an Apple system as a KDE build server and host it at our institute. Will talk next week with the IT guy for what old hardware he has for me. And yet another thing is that we (thanks a lot Emil Sedgh for your work on this thing!) will launch the registration page (and thus a first version of a KDE sprint manager) for the Randa 2011 meeting in a few hours or days. And thus to the todo items of last week:

  • Finishing registration form: done.
  • Reading some Sonnet code: no.
  • Doing more QML: can’t remember.
  • Bringing Oxygen to the devel env: no
  • Finishing the German translation of the booklet: no. I’ll do it this weekend – for sure. But if you speak German and want to help. Send me an email and I tell you the pages which are still to be done.

And here is the todo for the next week:

  • Send the translation to the layouter.
  • Do some code for my KDE morphology API work (and thus my colleague) and start the concepts.
  • Get in contact with more potential sponsors for Randa 2011.
  • And do a lot more work for Randa 2011. All the little details…

Btw you probably noticed that I deleted the "KDE work day xy" part of my blog posts title. At the moment I work much more then one day per week for KDE stuff even though I don’t find the time to blog that much. And thus the numeration is obsolete and incorrect anyway. And markey didn’t like it ;-). So see you next week and all a happy weekend.

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KDE work day 11: QML and ICT@school

March 5th, 2011

Morning dear readers. It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m sitting in the train from Valais, Switzerland to Bern back home. There is already some text written for this blog post but my (one of them 😉 plan for this one-hour-journey is it to clean it up and bring it in a publishable form and push the submit button when I’m at home. So what happened the last week?

On Wednesday I filmed another presentation of Prof. Petko at the university of Zurich (last time I filmed a presentation of him about "serious games"). The presentation was about ICT (information and communication technologies) in school and education and it was interesting to listen to him talking about Equador (right?) and Portugal where there is one PC per child which is not yet reached (or even targeted) in the oh-so-rich Switzerland. Somehow embarassing and somehow understandable if you know about the fear of technology in this area of the world. But you know which systems run on the PCs in Equador or Portugal? No? Ever heard about OLPC, Linux, KDE and Free Software?

But now to the four todo items I listed in my last blog post and thus to the first miss.

Instead of NLP and Sonnet code reading I did some QML and QtQuick learning and hacking. The screenshots below shows my playground to learn QML. It’s a prototype or rebuild of a bus stop information board. Not coincidentally it shows the train stops you pass when you arrive at the Zurich airport and want to go to Randa by train. I hope or try to extend this further to a plasma based information board for different stuff. We have a lot of great data sources ("dataengines" and "services" in Plasma speech) and for the public transportation stop display I’ll try to use the public transport dataengine by Friedrich Karl Tilman Pülz (if you read this is there any official release coming?). If it’s better to develop a new Plasma containment or if an applet or plasmoid is enough needs to be discussed with the Plasma professionals ;-).

Public transport stop information

My second todo item was it to further continue my KDE development enviroment and as a newer llibdbusmenu-qt-dev package arrived finally in Debian sid I succeeded here ;-). But now there is another new problem. The software doesn’t find the Oxygen icons. Another todo item was further work on the registration form for the Randa 2011 which I hope to finish tomorrow or the day after. Concerning Randa I’m in contact with two teachers of the local vocational school (both of them or participants of my Linux course) about a possible meeting of their pupils and the KDE guys in Randa. The two guys teach informatics and electro techniques at this school. And this btw wipes off my last todo items as yesterday I did another lecture (or three 😉 of my current Linux course.

And before I list my KDE work items for the next week here are some random thoughts of the last week:

  • KMyMoney is a really great financial tool with great documentation. Take a look if not yet done.
  • The Calligra Stage GSoC idea about a plasma presentation widget would be perfect for my planned Plasma Information Board (PIB?;-).

Todo for the coming week:

  • Read Sonnet code and write one or two concepts for my NLP and CL (computational linguistics) projects.
  • Finish the registration form for the Randa 2011 meeting.
  • Bring some Oxygen into my KDE development enviroment ;-).
  • Further working and playing with QML.
  • Finish the German translation of the KDE Booklet (if there is no more help I need to convince B. to help me as he has holidays ;-).

BTW I see your flattring as some mean of voting as well. The more one of my posts get flattred the more you seem to like it and the more I should work on this particular work.

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KDE work day 10: Registration and promotion

February 23rd, 2011

These are wild days in the Qt land. The big finnish home of the cute trolls decided to work closer with some other people from nanosoft land and the new Nessecitas brings our wisdom to the land of the droids. What will happen? We’ll probably see but Qt stays cute and thus to the main topic of this post. What was and what will be or what I’ve done in the last week (or two) and what I plan for the next days and week.

The weekend before the last we (the people of the LUGO – Linux User Group Oberwallis) had a hack-weekend in Randa. We worked on a new homepage for our LUG, enjoyed the fellowship and talked about some registration form for the Randa 2011 meeting. And last but not least Randa at this weekend held one of the two official Swiss KDE 4.6 release parties. Etienne Rebetez from Kalzium fame was there as well and we concluded the weekend with the visit of the great Swiss computer museum (If you’re ever in Switzerland or more precise in Solothurn go and visit it. They even have a working Apple I and the new building for the museum will show even more of the history of computers.)

Even before this hack-weekend I started together with some people from the LUGO to translate the new great KDE promo booklet to German. Felix Michel, the layouter of this booklet, agreed to newly layout the text when we’re ready which I hope to be the case in the two coming weeks. Other things that I worked on are more email communication about the Randa 2011 meeting and possible sponsors, I joined the game and got some business cards from KDE e.V. for the further searching of sponsors (another good opportunity for the translated KDE booklet ;-).

Join the KDE game

And today I had a short meeting with Prof. Bernstein from the university of Zurich. He gave me the (Java) source code for some of their NLP projects. I hope to find some inspiration or ideas for a possible NLP (natural language processing/programming) interface for Dolphin and/or Co.

And these are the things I plan to do in the next days or week:

  • Finish the setup of my KDE development enviroment. I had some problems with a missing dependency on my Debian system. The dbusmenu-qt is not available in an current version.
  • Sonnet and other NLP stuff: I plan to take some hours to read through the Sonnet code in KDE. Probably some new API docu commits will follow but this time without embarassing typos in the commit message ;-).
  • Randa 2011: More emails and letters to potential sponsors, more communication with the owners of the building in Randa, some contact with the municipality of Randa, finishing the registration form and presentation to the four groups about what’s missing.
  • And on Friday I do my second of five evening in a Linux course. Last week we started with some history, philosophy and free software and Linux basic stuff and this Friday we’ll look into package management, installation and virtual machines.

So all a good week and I’m sure I forgot to write about something important…

Oh yes. I loke (ok, I can’t decide if I love or just like it 😉 RSIbreak. Since some month now I’ve problems with my wrist and some weeks ago I decided to install RSIbreak which forces me now for a 20 seconds break every 15 minutes or so. Great. Thx Tom!

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KDE work day 9: Howto set up a KDE development environment (by Joel Bodenmann)

February 7th, 2011

As I wrote yesterday today I’d like to share my blog with Joel and post his short article about how to setup a KDE development environment. This is partly based on several techbase pages but as KDE is currently in the process of migrating its version control infrastructure from Subversion to Git there are some new commands and URLs. Next week I’d like to write about my university projects and thus about more Sonnet and linguistics stuff.

But here goes Joel:

A few days ago, Mario and me set up our own KDE-Development-Environment. This guide shows, how you can setup your own KDE-Development-Enviroment, using the new git repositories.

Mario used the following commands under Debian, I used them under Kubuntu 10.10.

Step 1 – create user:

First of all, we need to setup a new development user called kde-devel. We do that, because this is easier with an extra user, and with this way, we can’t destroy our existing user.

  • $ sudo useradd -m kde-devel -s /bin/bash
  • $ sudo passwd kde-devel

Once we created the kde-devel user, we have to add the user in the sudoers file.

  • $ sudo visudo

Under the “User privilege specification” comment, we add the kde-devel user under the root entry:

# User privilege specification

root ALL=(ALL) ALL

kde-devel ALL=(ALL) ALL

This gives the kde-devel user all root privileges.

Now we have to copy the .bashrc from our existing user to the kde-devel user:

  • $ sudo cp ~/.bashrc /home/kde-devel/

We have to enhance the .bashrc from the kde-devel user with the bashrc from this link:

  • $ sudo kate /home/kde-devel/.bashrc // please choose your favorite editor (e.g. gedit, vi, nano…)

Step 2 – login:

We created a user and gave him root privileges. Now we can try to login with the kde-devel user to our local machine.

There are two different ways to do this. The first variante didn’t work for me.

  • $ su – kde-devel // didn’t work for me
  • $ ssh -X kde-devel@localhost // worked for me

Step 3 – Install packages:

When you are logged in successfully with the kde-devel user, we need to install a few developer packages. Visit the following page and install the packages under KDE 4.x and KDE 4.6 with aptitude or apt-get [or the package management tool on your system]: [Paragraph “Required packages from your distribution”]

I just linked this page, because the packages in the wiki may change.

Step 4 – Clone and build repositories

When you installed the packages, we can install qt-kde, soprano and kdelibs. For that, we clone the packages via git and compile them. This part may take some time. I did this on an i5 with 4GB of RAM and this step tooked me over one hour.

Install qt-kde:

  • $ cs // change to the src directory
  • $ git clone git://
  • $ cd qt-kde
  • $ ./configure – -prefix=$HOME/qt-copy // (remove the space between the two dashes
  • $ sudo make -j 2; if [ “$QTDIR” = “`pwd`” ]; then find . -name ‘*.o’ -delete; else make install; fi; // this takes a little while

Install soprano:

  • $ cs // change to the src directory
  • $ git clone git://
  • $ cd soprano
  • $ cmakekde

[You’ll probably need further software from the kdesupport module like Phonon, Strigi, etc.]

Install kdelibs:

  • $ cs
  • $ git clone git://
  • $ cd kdelibs
  • $ cmakekde

Install kde-baseapps:

  • $ cs // change to the src directory
  • $ git clone git://
  • $ cd kde-baseapps
  • $ cmakekde

Install kde-workspace:

  • $ cs // change to the src directory
  • $ git clone git://
  • $ cd kde-workspace
  • $ cmakekde

Install kdelibs-runtime:

  • $ cs // change to the src directory
  • $ git clone git://
  • $ cd kde-runtime
  • $ cmakekde

[If you need Kate or Konsole, these are now in separate repositories.]

Step 5 – Enjoy:

Now your done. You setted up your basic development environment. Now you can start cloning existing projects and hack’em.

I hope that this guide was a bit helpfull for you.

Greetings Joel Bodenmann & Mario Fux

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KDE work day 8: Randa and Randa

February 6th, 2011

Morning dear reader. It’s some time since I last blogged but my christmas and new years blog holiday is now over. From now on you’ll find here again regular post about my KDE work days. And there is good news: I’ll do another KDE university project in the linguistic area. And although I did not blog for more than a month I did not stop working for KDE (and working for KDE is fun and not really work ;-).

In the last weeks I did some organizational work for the Randa meeting this year. I’m even in some good contacts with sponsors. But here the most important information about the Randa meeting:

  • Where: HausRanda, Randa, Valais, Switzerland, Europe, Earth, Milkyway
  • When: Wednesday, 1st (arrival) to Tuesday, 7th (departure) of June 2011
  • Why: Why not? 😉 But seriously: because it’s fun and we get done a loooot (very productive!)

And here are the participating groups:

If and when you’re part of one of these groups or want to work in this area and want to meet or people face-to-face just wait for the official registration possibility in one of the next weeks.

And thus Randa for the second. This weekend our local Linux user group – the LUGO – is going to have a hack weekend in Randa at the same place as Tokamak 3 of Plasma happened. Beneath a new homepage for the LUGO we’ll work on the registration infrastructure for Randa2011.

And three last things:

  1. Dinesh was the winner of the kookie blog contest ;-). He is going to get a box of cookie from B. and me in Berlin at the Desktop Summit.
  2. B. "volunteered" to be the receptionist in the registration office of this year’s Randa meeting ;-). So expect a nice and friendly face when you’ll enter the building.
  3. In the next days, Joel B. (a talented, young guy of our local LUG) will guest post a short introduction about setting up a KDE Development Environment (KDE, pun intended 😉 with the new git repositories here.

Read U (RU 😉 and don’t forget to flattr me if you like this blog and my work…

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KDE work day 7: NLP, conf files and success

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

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

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

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 ;-).