Software Freedom Day Boston / Ninja Recruitment

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Deb Nicholson, Asheesh Laroia, and the OpenHatch project organized this year’s Software Freedom Day Boston.
I gave a keynote presentation on how design bounties have worked for the Fedora Design team, and the steps to create your own bounty. You may have noticed our newest bounty was posted the morning of Software Freedom Day, and we’ve already got a ninja recruit working on it!
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    There were a lot of great talks by Boston-area community leaders. I was surprised to learn, for example, that the local python meetup in Boston is 1200+ members strong. I’m hoping to be able to make some time to get involved in the Boston python community in particular soon.

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 …

Delicious Inkscape mockup export script

Thanks to Ray’s bash scripting prowess and help, I am now in possession of a delicious script that makes exporting multiple PNGs from one master mockup Inkscape SVG file easy.
Further development might involve automagical wiki uploading, perhaps based on a wikipage name you input into the script..? 🙂 ?
I documented it pretty well so I it speaks for itself. I guess the only thing I’d add, is to give the frames in your Inkscape SVG an id, you need to right-click the object you’re using as a frame, and select ‘Object Properties’ for the menu. You don’t need to right-click and select the ‘Object Properties’ item for each and every frame—you may simply keep the ‘Object Properties’ dialog open and click on each frame object as you go.

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.

Flyers About Free & Open Source Software for SXSW Creatives!

Emily and I are here in Austin, ready for our first day at SXSW. We have been very, very busy preparing materials for our free & open source software outreach to all of the awesome creative folks we can’t wait to meet here. Emily has put together some beautiful use case-centered tri-fold brochures she’s going to blog about for you soon. I spent some time earlier this week putting together the lovelies below which will be available as handouts at our expo booth, #344, starting on Monday. We were really excited to hear from Chrissie Brodigan of Mozilla today, who is giving a talk tomorrow at 2 PM, “How to Not Design Like a Developer.” She’ll also be beating the drum for getting more designers involved in free & open source software. Go Chrissie! 🙂 Free & Open Source Assets This flyer reviews some of the best sites out there to get freely-licensed assets, such as Open Clip Art Library, Open Font Library, CCMixter, and Blend Swap, among other great sites. This flyer also talks a bit about asset licensing, pointing out that just because something is free that doesn’t mean you can use it commercially, modify it, or redistribute …

Flyers About Free & Open Source Software for SXSW Creatives!

Emily and I are here in Austin, ready for our first day at SXSW. We have been very, very busy preparing materials for our free & open source software outreach to all of the awesome creative folks we can’t wait to meet here. Emily has put together some beautiful use case-centered tri-fold brochures she’s going to blog about for you soon. I spent some time earlier this week putting together the lovelies below which will be available as handouts at our expo booth, #344, starting on Monday. We were really excited to hear from Chrissie Brodigan of Mozilla today, who is giving a talk tomorrow at 2 PM, “How to Not Design Like a Developer.” She’ll also be beating the drum for getting more designers involved in free & open source software. Go Chrissie! 🙂 Free & Open Source Assets This flyer reviews some of the best sites out there to get freely-licensed assets, such as Open Clip Art Library, Open Font Library, CCMixter, and Blend Swap, among other great sites. This flyer also talks a bit about asset licensing, pointing out that just because something is free that doesn’t mean you can use it commercially, modify it, or redistribute …

You must be this tall to ride: __

I believe that Fedora and Linux in general need to reach and inspire a wider set of users. Free software affords us so many benefits we should strive to share, but there’s still a formidable bar in technical skill required to realize those benefits. What can we do to help expand the reach of free software? One way is to teach! I’ve taught free software to kids and it was an amazing experience (and I have another Red Hat-sponsored project involving teaching kids how to use free software in the works that I’m excited to talk about in detail soon!) Although interacting with a group of kids or adults in person and teaching them about what free software can do is vitally important, I am afraid it’s not entirely scalable. It’s also entirely bending the user to the software itself, without at all bending the software towards the user. “Yeah, it works a little weird there, here’s a clunky workflow for getting around that” is the sort of phrase I end up using a lot of times while teaching others how to use free software. I am concerned that bending users to the software, and not bending the software to …

Talking about Inkscape, in Leeds UK, from Boston USA, via Empathy.

Last Thursday, at the invitation of Rob Martin from the North East Leeds City Learning Centre in Leeds UK, I gave a talk about the Inkscape class I worked on as part of a Red Hat outreach program earlier this year. The occasion was the National City Learning Centres Conference 2010, which very excitingly had an open source track.The National City Learning Centers are organizations that help the area schools around them make use of technological innovations: providing training programs and workshops and supporting and developing solutions for technology use in the schools. Our Inkscape class seemed quite appropriate a topic! Here’s the thing, though: The conference took place in Leeds, UK. I gave my talk from Boston, Massachusetts. Take that, Atlantic Ocean! After numerous failed yet valiant attempts with Skype (no video, only audio and screensharing worked), Rob and his colleague Paul Bellwood gave empathy a shot – and it worked! Now, let me give you some caveats here: The call dropped two times during my talk. While Paul was very quick to reconnect the call, it was a little disorienting. We’re not sure why it happened.Screen sharing would not work in empathy. Sometimes it would be greyed out …