Resilience and trolls*

Recently, two separate people called something myself and other Fedora Design Team members worked on “crap” and “shit” (respectively) on devel list, the busiest and most populous mailing list in the project. 💩💩💩 via GIPHY Actually, I’ve been around the internet a long time, and I have to say that this is an improvement in terms of the rudeness being applied towards the work specifically, and not the people! Progress! Yeah ok, but, we clearly still have a lot of work to do on basic decency. It’s not Fedora, it’s not the free and open source community, it’s not the internet – it’s people. Maybe people at a communication scale for which we’ve not quite evolved yet. Let’s talk about one way we can think about approaching this issue moving forward. (* I realize I used the term “trolls” in the title of this post, and I wouldn’t consider this scenario an intentional instance of trolling. However, this post is about a framework and not this specific scenario, so I use “trolls” as a more generic term.) What about the Code of Conduct? Codes of conduct set a baseline for expectations, and we certainly have one in Fedora. Well… I’m …

The Fedora Design Team's Inkscape/Badges Workshop!

This past weekend, the Fedora Design Team held an Inkscape and Fedora Badges workshop at Red Hat’s office in Westford, Massachusetts. (You can see our public announcement here.) Why did the Fedora Design Team hold this event? At our January 2015 FAD, one of the major themes of things we wanted to do as a team was outreach, to both help teach Fedora and the FLOSS creative tools set as a platform for would-be future designers, as well as to bring more designers into our team. We planned to do a badges workshop at some future point to try to achieve that goal, and this workshop (which was part of a longer Design FAD event I’ll detail in another post) was it. We collectively feel that designing artwork for badges is a great “gateway contribution” for Fedora contributors because: The badges artwork standards and process is extremely well-documented. The artwork for a badge is a small, atomic unit of contribution that does not take up too much of a contributor’s time to create. Badges individually touch on varying areas of the Fedora project, so by making a single badge you could learn (in a rather gentle way) how a particular …

How to Produce Vector EPS with CMYK Color Using Free Software

This may not be the sexiest or even the most contemporaneous task to want to do in 2013, but recently I’ve had to deal with a vendor who requires vector EPS (PDF is not acceptable) and CMYK color for print items such as T-shirts and other swag. The problem with this deceivingly innocuous and charmingly antiquated specification is that it is was very difficult to do in FLOSS. I’ve tried what I thought was every permutation of exporting from every file format available in Inkscape and Scribus, and casting that output together with ghostscript tools in all the ways I could think of. The best results I could achieve was an EPS file with CMYK color that was rasterized, not vector. I was not the only one experiencing this issue. Some folks in the Libre Graphics community that I respect very much had the same problem. Ray suggested some things I could do to troubleshoot the issue that I hadn’t tried to try to coax the output I needed out of Inkscape and/or Scribus. Since I have 3 projects I’m dealing with that require interacting with this particular vendor, I’ve been more motivated than ever to find a libre way …

Are you a Fedora contributor newbie?

Population by netalloy on OpenClipArt, used under the Public Domain Kevin Carillo has been running an anonymous survey for folks who’ve joined the open source community as a contributor no earlier than January 2010. Kevin very kindly added Fedora to the list of projects that are part of the survey, so if you are a new-ish Fedora contributor and you’d like to help this important research, it would be very helpful if you were willing to take a few minutes and complete the survey. All of the data from the survey is going to be licensed under an open ‘share-alike’ license (Open Data Commons Open Database License), with any participant-identifying data scrubbed out before release. (Yes, you can be honest 😉 ) Kevin is also using Lime Survey to conduct the research, which is pretty cool since it’s also open source software. I’m pretty sure the survey will close this Friday, December 7. When I last spoke to Kevin, we had no respondents for Fedora; help us not be a big goose-egg (“0”) in the statistics, and help further research on contributions in open source communities! Click here to take the survey!

Gimp Cage Tool

I really love the cage transform tool in the GIMP. It was first developed by Google Summer of Code student Michael Muré in 2010 and finished by Gimp developer Alexia Death. It allows you to define an area within an image (in my case, the four corners of the whiteboard frame) and drag on those points to stretch the image out. For this whiteboard photo that was taken at an angle, this process resulted in a straightened-out image of the whiteboard. (I followed up with a Difference of Gaussians cleanup that Garrett taught me a while back 🙂 ) It’s a pretty magical tool. Give it a try!

Adventures in recruiting new free software ninjas video

Chris Macken totally rocks. He’s in the process of posting the videos he filmed at Boston Software Freedom Day 2011, with some really nice editing and titling. Above is the video of my keynote he put together. (the slides are here.) In case the embedding doesn’t work on planet, click the screenshot below for the link: Chris also has talks from A. Richard Miller and Walter Bender posted; keep checking in with his website for more as he posts them!

Interactive SVG Mockups with Inkscape & Javascript

Update: I have a much more efficient, awesome version of this almost ready to write up, thanks to the awesome help you gave me in the comments. Thanks so much! I’ll post it soon. Yes, it is clickable. Please click it! Can’t see the loveliness? Click here. The backstory So I’ve been working on non-Fedora projects for the past few weeks, and I just started digging back into the Anaconda mockups this morning. Coming back to UI design from a slight break seemed to magnify issues that I feel in 2011 there must exist a solution–like defining clickable areas within mockups and linking them together to make lightweight interactive prototypes. (Right? ….right?!) The Dark Side offers cookies After some failed attempts to embed JQuery into SVG (if you’ve achieved this or know it to be a nutty proposition, please school me!) I got really frustrated and signed up for a free-as-in-beer and proprietary site to see what was possible. I found a site that lets you upload flat PNG mockups and then drag out clickable areas. Per clickable area, you can define what mockup to load next via a dropdown of all uploaded mockups. It also lets you add people …

Interactive SVG Mockups with Inkscape & Javascript

Update: I have a much more efficient, awesome version of this almost ready to write up, thanks to the awesome help you gave me in the comments. Thanks so much! I’ll post it soon. Yes, it is clickable. Please click it! Can’t see the loveliness? Click here. The backstory So I’ve been working on non-Fedora projects for the past few weeks, and I just started digging back into the Anaconda mockups this morning. Coming back to UI design from a slight break seemed to magnify issues that I feel in 2011 there must exist a solution–like defining clickable areas within mockups and linking them together to make lightweight interactive prototypes. (Right? ….right?!) The Dark Side offers cookies After some failed attempts to embed JQuery into SVG (if you’ve achieved this or know it to be a nutty proposition, please school me!) I got really frustrated and signed up for a free-as-in-beer and proprietary site to see what was possible. I found a site that lets you upload flat PNG mockups and then drag out clickable areas. Per clickable area, you can define what mockup to load next via a dropdown of all uploaded mockups. It also lets you add people …

Version-controlled, automagical backup and file sharing system with Sparkleshare and Fedora

The Burden of files

Okay, there’s a lot of problems:

  • Backing up your files is a pain in the butt.
  • Every time you upgrade your system, either in-place or a fresh install, it is a royal hassle to restore your files.
  • That file looks great on your laptop, but how do you show it to a colleague not sitting next to you easily? Ughh.
  • You upload files to a random directory on some web server you have some space on, quickly to show an idea to someone. Fast-forward some time, and you’ve got disorganized, poorly-named files scattered across multiple shell / other accounts all over the web, and you’re not sure what you have a copy of where, or which ones are being referred to from other places, so you’re terrified to delete any of them.
  • Well, crap. You’ve made a mistake. You can’t go back, can you? No version control…

I think we all know these problems pretty well. I’ve built a solution using Fedora and Sparkleshare – completely free and open source software – that over the past week has addressed all of these issues and has substantially improved the quality of my computing life. It backs my work files up to an internal corporate server and it backs my Fedora files up to a Fedora-maintained public server. I’m planning to configure it to back up some personal files to my Dreamhost account and some to my NAS at home.

A Beefy, Miraculous Day at SXSW (Expo Day 3)

We knew it’d be a beefy day when this fellow dropped by our booth: Lunchtime! More booth shots….I think this guy must be a Mac fan: Robin and Ruth. Robin was the hero of our booth, he helped us out a ton: Tux made many friends: There was a lot of interest in our flyers and CDs! A film crew came by to check out our photo booth system, written by Luke Macken and designed by design team ninja Emily Dirsh: I also hear Tux visited with IBM’s Watson super computer. I hear Ruth has video 🙂