Upcoming Conferences – NLUUG VJ11

The NLUUG, Dutch organization for Open Standards and Open Systems, has been organizing twice-a-year conferences for ages. This will be my last one as a member of the board of the association; it’s been an interesting three (five?) years, but I find I don’t have the time to be properly involved. My daily work is exactly one gazillion miles away from Free Software, perhaps a little closer to Open Systems; not close enough to be constructively engaged on a regular basis.

The conference programme itself is quite nice, though, and I’m looking forward to picking up a few talks. The theme is "Open is Efficient", which can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. Jos van den Oever will be presenting WebODF, there’s an open GSM network, and a replacing Exchange talk (by Zimbra or Zarafa, not Kolab). I’ll be at those migration talks; the boss at my place has clearly said "if you guys can replace Exchange, write up a plan and the hours are all paid for." Who knows then my daily work would be only one bazillion miles away from Free Software.

Anyway, registration is open until May 8th, dirt cheap for students and UKUUG members, and inexpensive otherwise as conferences go in the IT world.

A tiny licensing light

I read nu.nl — a Dutch news website which isn’t very good newswise, but whose layout loads quickly on my phone — fairly often. I was most surprised to find the following tag on a map in an article:

Map tagged (C) NordNordWest/Vardion/NU.nl/GNU FDL 1.2

(it’s a map of Libya, you can see it if you scroll down). I was surprised to see the map labeled with the GNU FDL. So that means that this particular map can be aggregated into other work (see the GNU FDL v.1.2, section 7). I’m just left wondering why the GNU FDL would be used here .. I hardly expect it to be out of the goodness of their (nu.nl) hearts. I would have guessed Open Street Map derived, but that’s CC-BY-SA.

KDE4 on OpenSolaris update

The KDE4 on OpenSolaris project carries on. The right adverb is probably "doggedly". We continue to follow KDE releases of the KDE Plasma Desktop, Applications and Frameworks. The TechBase page has been somewhat updated (although I’m not really clear on whether that kind of project belongs there or on community.kde.org). The 4.6 branch for specfiles is updated regularly and the package server is a fairly up-to-date 4.6.1 (even if it is called "4.6.0").

If you take a look at the specfiles, you will see that recently the Solaris 10 support has been revived. Ben is making great strides in getting first Qt and then the rest of the stack to compile on Solaris 10. That involves a lot more than the stack on OpenSolaris, OpenIndiana or Oracle Solaris 11 Express, because there’s so much very old software that needs updating or replacing on Solaris 10.

We do bump our head on the build system, even on the newer platforms. KDE does tend to want the latest in development tools, particularly CMake. There’s also a Virtuoso and a Boost update looming for us, which are also running into new and innovative compiler bugs.

We may branch out in the world and start equipping our specfiles with more compiler options — Sun Studio is becoming problematic. Once upon a time it was a free (as in beer) compiler with some hope, somewhere, of becoming Free (as in speech), but that hope is fading fast, and the compiler with patches is now hard-to-get. We’re actively considering bringing g++ on board — that would defeat one of the original goals of the project, which was to keep KDE written C++ (as opposed to whatever dialect the current version of g++ speaks). It should be noted, though, that g++ has gotten much much better: what we really need is to turn off gcc-isms through compiler flags. Anyway, that’s for future work.

For now, KDE 4.6.1 chugs along on Solaris variants — and also still on Sun Ray thin clients, although I can recommend you don’t try it on a Sun Ray 1.