OpenTech and Open Knowledge in the Mekong Delta and throughout Asia

The FOSSASIA organization has been very active and I would love to give you a few updates on our activities. One thing why we love to work in this community is because you get the chance to meet some of the most awesome and friendly tech people of the world. Jonas Smeedegaard from the Debian community is one of our guests who has been visiting us three times already and conducted workshops at our events and even stayed several weeks in Can Tho to train students using and developing Debian.

Jonas Smeedegaard at Workshop: Bringing Asian and International developers together

Meetups and Code Sprints

Of course we could not do all of this alone and we would like to thank some of the most outstanding folks we are working together with including HanoiLUG and Saigonlug in Vietnam, Singapore Hackerspace and the Beijinglug.

Coding Projects

We have recently involved and organized activities with the following projects and are glad to feature the following projects on this blog:

  • Wikipedia
  • OpenWrt
  • Crypto-Stick
  • LXDE
  • MoonOS
  • Android
  • GNOME
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • Gimp
  • Inkscape
  • Linux conversion libraries
  • OpenStreetMap
  • and many more

FOSSASIA Event in Ho Chi Minh City

Internships

In 2012 we welcomed interns in Can Tho. Fifteen students participated in the program as full time interns in the office of MBM International in the biggest city in the Mekong delta. The program took place for 2 months and a core part of it was to learn how to use collaborative tools liker issue trackers and contribute to OpenStreetMap. Our students also love the Wikipedia sprints and we got a lot of positive vibes as everyone was happy to learn how to set up the Mediawiki software, that empowers the encyclopedia, share their ideas and spread Open Knowledge and Open Data about the Mekong Delta.

Event activities

We also continued to organize the FOSSASIA OpenTechSummit in 2010 and 2011 in Raffles College and Van Lang University in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. Plus we had a Mini-Debconf in Saigon and organized the event series OpenDesign.Asia Weeks bringing together designers and Open Source developers. We have links to the LXDE project and GNOME community and we have sent developers to the GNOME.Asia Summit 2012 in Hong Kong and supported the TYPO3 conference 2012 in Phnom Penh.

Also globally FOSSASIA starts to receive more attention. We have received the opportunity to introduce Asian projects at the Libre Graphics Meeting in Montreal (2011) and Brussels (2011), at the Linuxtag in Berlin (2012) and many other community events.

Please Join us and Get in Touch

The FOSSASIA organization supports activities and Open Tech development and Open Knowledge projects of the community active in Asia. If you are interested to cooperate for a project, need support for a development sprint or an event, please contact us on the FOSSASIA mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/fossasia

 

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TYPO3 Conference in Phnom Penh

Thank you for joining the first ever TYPO3 conference in Asia and inspiring people to Share!

I could not agree more with this finishing statement at the first TYPO3 event in the region. It was truly inspiring. The T3Con took place in Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonders, from Friday, 17 August to Sunday, 19 August 2012.

The event was organized by Dominik Stankowski and Rebecca Stankowski from Web Essentials with the support of the international and local community. Great job! Well done!

T3Con Community Meet up in Phnom Penh

TYPO3, is one of the top Enterprise Content Management System. T3CON12 ASIA event provided the latest trends in Web and Mobile Development. It was a unique opportunity in South-East-Asia to connect with successful international and local technology companies, innovative tech start-ups, international web developers and mobile experts.

The conference was held at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (Royal University of Phnom Penh).

Conference Highlights included

  • Keynote speech by TYPO3 founder Kasper Skårhøj from Denmark
  • 2-day conference with sessions from speakers around the world
  • Special Student’ s day with TYPO3 tutorials and workshops
  • Training Week with expert web developers
  • Friday Social Event at Kingdom Breweries: Barbecue and Kingdom Beer by a German Master Brewer in a wonderfully restored factory
  • TYPO3 Certification Exam
  • Pre-conference meet-up at the famous FCC (Foreign Correspondence Club) with view over Mekong and Tonle Sap

T3CON12 ASIA has brought people together from around the world. Asian representatives from Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Vietnam and of course Cambodia joined, together with TYPO3 enthusiasts from Europe and North-America.

Mario Behling and Hon Nguyen at T3Con Phnom Penh (Photo by Fumiki Kanno)

Links:

https://t3con12-asia.typo3.org

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Pdfinator v0.1 – Convert Images to PDFs

There are number of ways to generate pdf’s from different file types. LibreOffice offers pdf generation from office documents for a long time and there is a simple terminal command to convert images to pdfs with ImageMagick.

But nevertheless there are instances, where people would like to have a simple pdf converter with a graphical interface. Tom Lechner and I sat together and worked on this idea together with input from Mario Behling.

So, here it is: Pdfinator

Create a pdf from a number of images. It uses ImageMagick convert to make non-jpegs into jpegs for inclusion.

You find the code on github here: https://github.com/mariobehling/pdfinator

We will be offereing packages for different Linux distributions soon too.

Pdfinator v0.1 - convert images to pdfs

 

For your reference there is also this way, if you want to try to generate PDFs or images from command line. 

 

You simply follow the steps below:

1. Install ImageMagick e.g. in Ubuntu – https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ImageMagick


2. Open the terminal and go to the directory of the files, e.g. /home/fossasiauser/Documents

  • cd /home/hongphuc/Documents

3. To convert pdfs to images, use the terminal and type

  • convert hongphuc.pdf hongphuc.jpg

4. To convert images to pdfs use the following command

  • convert *.jpg hongphuc.pdf
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Tom Lechner Libre Graphics Artist and Developer in Vietnam

We invited Tom Lechner, Libre Graphics artist and developer of the desktop publishing software Laidout, to spend the summer vacation with us in Vietnam to work on some Libre Graphics projects together and to work on training materials.

Hong Phuc Dang and Tom Lechner

 

Many designers hesitate to switch to Libre Graphics tools as they have been mainly trained with proprietary tools.

We often hear from designers that for example Gimp does not offer the same features as Photoshop. Well, rather than thinking to exchange an application designers should also think about opening up the way they creatively work. In fact Open Source tools can offer even more possibilities to be creative, but you need to stop thinking in categories of programmes or applications. Open Source programmes can incorporate new features easily by including existing libraries.

In the Linuxworld there are many tools available that can be accessed by command line as well. You could write your own script and change an enourmeous amount of images. Well, those are the few things we are exploring together with Tom this summer.

 

Vietnam Impressions by Libre Graphics Artist Tom Lechner

Links:

* Tom Flickr Stream for Vietnam: flickr.com/photos/tomlechner/sets/72157630879789412/with/7865406572/

* Website: tomlechner.com

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How to create a Fedora spin – Developer Meet Up in Hong Kong

Hon Nguyen (Vietnam), Dicky (Hong Kong), Hong Phuc (Vietnam) (from right to left)

Dicky (Hong Kong) and Mathieu Bridon (France)

At our meet ups at GNOME.Asia in Hong Kong it was great to meet developers from different continents. One thing we were particularly interested in is, how to create a custom Linux based on Fedora Linux.

Well, we were lucky to meet Mathieu Bridon (Blog). There are some pictures below. Even though some pictures might look just like socializing in a pub, we actually took quite late until the eve to learn about using Kickstart files to create our own custom Linux. Thank you! So the how to of Mathieu below first.

== Building your downstream distro ==

From a Fedora system:
    # yum install spin-kickstarts pungi

See the kickstarts used to create the various Fedora spins in:
    /usr/share/spin-kickstarts/*

Use that as examples, the actual kickstart doc is at:
    http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/Kickstart

Then once you have your kickstart file:
    # pungi -c [your kickstart file]

(see pungi -h for all the options)

== Avoiding trademark issues ==

Replace fedora-logos by generic-logos to avoid the Fedora trademarks.

Clone the git repository for the package spec file:
$ fedpkg clone -a generic-logos
$ cd generic-logos

Fetch the source tarball:
$ fedpkg sources

Make your own tarball following the layout and file names.

Rename the spec file (and change the Name: tag):
Name:       xmario-logos
Version:    17.0.0
[… snip …]
Source0:    https://fedorahosted.org/released/%{name}/%{name}-%{version}.tar.bz2

See how the tarball is named like the spec file?

Rebuild:
$ fedpkg mockbuild

== Caching packages ==

1. Synchronize the whole repository:
$ yum install yum-utils
$ reposync -r fedora -r updates -p /path/to/repository_cache

2. Keep in cache the packages you install:
  1. set keepcache=1 in /etc/yum.conf
  2. install, update,…
  3. $ find /var/cache/yum -name ‘*.rpm’

3. Download packages:
$ yum install yum-utils
$ yumdowloader foo
$ yumdownloader –resolve foo

Some different approaches to repo caching:
http://yum.baseurl.org/wiki/YumMultipleMachineCaching

 

If you need to make an install media (not live), you’ll have to maintain
a trivial patch to anaconda.

$ fedpkg clone -a anaconda
$ cd anaconda
$ fedpkg prep
$ cd anaconda-$version
$ git init
$ git add .
$ git commit -m prepped
$ cp pyanaconda/installclasses/{fedora.py,xmario.py}

Replace all occurences of “fedora” by “xmario” in the file you copied,
and give it a **higher** priority (bigger number) than all other install
classes so that yours is used.

Create a patch that adds your modifications. I like to use git for that,
but you can just use the diff command if you prefer:
$ git commit -a -m “Create our install class for X-Mario”
$ git format-patch HEAD~1
$ mv 0001-*.patch ..
$ cd ..

Add the patch to the spec file header:
    [… snip …]
    Patch1000000: 0001-blabla.patch
    [… snip …]

Apply at the end of %setup:
    %patch1000000 -p1

Bump the “Release:” tag and add a changelog message in %changelog.

Commit to git:
$ git add 0000*.patch anaconda.spec
$ git commit -m “Bla bla bla commit message”

Rebuild:
$ fedpkg mockbuild

More about fedpkg:
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Using_Fedora_GIT

Mathieu Bridon and Sammy Fung (HK)

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FOSSASIA community meetup at GNOME.Asia 2012

GNOME.Asia Hong Kong 2012

 

FOSSASIA members had a wonderful get together at GNOME.Asia 2012 in Hong Kong. 

About GNOME.Asia Summit. The event is Asia’s GNOME user and developer conference, spreading the knowledge of GNOME across Asia. The event focuses primarily on the GNOME desktop and other devices that use GNOME, and also covers GNOME-based applications and GNOME development platform tools.

It brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments and businesses to discuss both the present technologies and future developments.

The FOSSASIA team presented the two projects: crypto-stick and the x-mario gaming distribution.

A big thanks for this fantastic event goes to the local and global organization team and the GNOME Foundation, in particular to Max, Haggen So and Sammy Fung.

Hong Phuc Dang also received travel sponsorship from the GNOME Foundation and thus increased the participation numbers from Vietnam to three contributors.

 

GNOME.Asia Hong Kong 2012

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Crypto Stick project presented by Quan Nguyen at GNOME.Asia

We are a group of four people representing the FOSSASIA organization at GNOME.Asia. Hon Nguyen, one of the developer of Crypto Stick also gave a presentation at the event in Hong Kong.

Quan Nguyen at GNOME.Asia 2012 in Hong Kong

Hong Phuc DANG (left) and Hon Nguyen (right) taking photos during GNOME.Asia 2012

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Mekong Delta Map Sprint

When it comes to Free and Open Source Software there are a lot of useful tools out there to make use of maps. But how useful is it, if there is no map data?

This was the reason for focusing our attention on maps of the Mekong Delta. For two months we cooperated with companies and universities in the Mekong Delta and we welcomed 10 students to work with us to improve the maps in the area. We did with different tools including Open Source Android apps and satellite images.

Check out the OSM Beginner’s Guide to become a map contributor as well!

Everyone loves pics. So here are a few pictures of the hard-working students.

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FOSSASIA accepted as Google Summer of Code organization

FOSSASIA has been accepted as mentor organization for the Google Summer of Code 2012. It is fantastic to join the international free software community in the study program and we are looking forward to student applications.

Applications can be added through the GSoC website. Please also introduce your ideas on the mailing list and add them to the ideas page. If you are proposing an idea for a subproject like Cryptostick, people on the list will direct you to specific contact points if needed. 

FOSSASIA is acting as an umbrella organization for projects related to Asian users and the community in the region. We welcome applications from student projects around the world who work on software tools benefiting users in the region.

The FOSSASIA Google Summer of Code program is looking for applications including: 

  • software development for projects supporting social change; 
  • internationalization projects benefitting users in the region, e.g. support for Asian fonts in applications and enhancing user experience; 
  • software for secure communication and user security including support for international Asian users; 
  • decentral systems for new use cases in emerging regions; 
  • educational development projects; 
  • localized free software distributions (e.g. regional Linux distributions); 

If you are a student there are important links to follow:

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