FOSSASIA Summit 2022 Call for Speakers and Sign-Up

The FOSSASIA Summit 2022 will take place online from April 7-9.

While all of us are still learning to cope with the pandemic, it is very important that we get together, exchange ideas, collaborate on projects and together develop solutions that tackle our global issues.

2021 was a very challenging year for us as we lost our friend and core maintainer Areeb Jamal. Many of FOSSASIA members in the region were struggling to fight against Covid. Despite all the difficulties, we managed to continue our work in the area of open hardware with Pocket Science Lab, improving our collaborative event platform Eventyay and once again supporting more students to become open source contributors and developers via our CodeHeat program.

We would like to thank our contributors and 2022 sponsors Indeed and Linux Professional Institute for their support. If you would like to support FOSSASIA projects and our work, please consider making a donation here.

FOSSASIA Summit 2022 Call for Speakers

The current situation around the world shows us that open global collaboration is the way to solve the problems of our time. Now we would like you to share your hands-on examples at the FOSSASIA Summit Online of topics such as:

  • Open source tools advancing the software delivery process
  • Implement continuous delivery and observability in DevOps
  • Open source hardware and local production addressing global supply chain issues
  • Customize Linux and firmware software for lightweight hardware, robots and special use cases
  • Solve everyday problems with AI
  • Ensure digital sovereignty and independent data governance
  • Get security and privacy right
  • Open source solutions tackling global health issues and climate change
  • Open source and beyond: Citizen science and biohacking
  • Establishing a friendly, welcoming and collaborative project culture

Please find the complete list of tracks on the event site and submit your proposal. We are looking forward to your inspiring sessions.

Important Dates

Notification of acceptance: On an ongoing basis
Early submissions receive priority
Submission deadline: 22 January 2022
Event dates: 7 – 9 April 2022

Continue ReadingFOSSASIA Summit 2022 Call for Speakers and Sign-Up

Join Codeheat Contest 2021/22 in Memory of Areeb Jamal

Join the Codeheat Coding Contest 2021/22 in memory of Areeb Jamal and become a codehero. The contest runs until May 2022.

Contributors in the community know Areeb since he started as a FOSSASIA intern. Areeb had become the chief technologist in the organization where he has mentored hundreds of young developers in coding programs. Areeb passed away during the pandemic in India because of a lack of oxygen. He was a wonderful person. All he wanted was to share his knowledge and support others. He will be forever in our hearts and we will always remember him as a genius, kind and generous person. Please watch this video here to learn more about Areeb’s life.

During the contest mentors support contributors on gitter channels and in our monthly “Ask Me Anything” events you can talk to team members.

Codeheat Contest Details

In the contest we will announce winners every two months. All participants with a minimum of five merged PRs in the entire contest time can receive a digital certifcate of participation. Winners will also receive a prize of appreciation.

All issues with the label “codeheat” in any project of FOSSASIA can be taken up in the contest. There are many participating projects, but we have two lead projects. The Open Event Project and the Pocket Science Lab are our focus.

Codeheat Focus Projects

1. The first focus project this year is the Open Event project running the eventyay website. It enables users to run onsite and virtual events entirely with Open Source. Technologies used are Python and Javascript. Please check out the frontend and backend repositories.

2. The second focus project is the Pocket Science Lab project that is now coming with support for Circuitpython and a new hardware version. We are looking for developers who are interested in contributing to the desktop app using web technologies and Electron as well as Android and firmware developers.

Upcoming Codeheat Events

Codeheat “Ask Me Anything” on Wednesday, 24 November, 2021 8:00 PM (IST)

Codeheat “Ask Me Anything” on Wednesday 15 December 2021 8:00 PM (IST)

Codeheat “Ask Me Anything” on Wednesday 19 January 2022 8:00 PM (IST)

Codeheat “Ask Me Anything” on Wednesday 16 February 2022 8:00 PM (IST)

Codeheat “Ask Me Anything” on Wednesday 16 March 2022 8:00 PM (IST)

Codeheat “Ask Me Anything” on Wednesday 20 April 2022 8:00 PM (IST)

Codeheat “Ask Me Anything” on Wednesday 18 May 2022 8:00 PM (IST)

Links

Website: codeheat.org

Codeheat Twitter: twitter.com/codeheat_

FOSSASIA Twitter: twitter.com/fossasia

Codeheat Facebook: facebook.com/codeheat.org

Continue ReadingJoin Codeheat Contest 2021/22 in Memory of Areeb Jamal

Welcome the Visdom Project at FOSSASIA Now Fully Open Source

We are proud to announce that FOSSASIA is welcoming the Visdom project. The project is being transitioned from Facebook AI Research to the FOSSASIA Organization. As part of this transition it has been relicensed to the Apache License 2.0 as fully Open Source.

Visdom is a flexible tool for creating, organizing, and sharing visualizations of live, rich data. It aims to facilitate visualization of (remote) data with an emphasis on supporting scientific experimentation. It supports PyTorch and Numpy

Visdom was created in 2017 by Allan Jabri and Laurens van der Maaten of Facebook AI Research, and further developed under the leadership of Jack Urbanek. To date, 90 developers from around the world have contributed to the project with over 3000 projects depending on Visdom. It is now available on the FOSSASIA GitHub.

“I’m excited to see how Visdom continues to grow as a FOSSASIA project, as the community will set a new vision for what we all want out of it. While I’ll no longer be leading the project, I will remain engaged to provide clear context for transitions, code reviews, and direct code contributions.”

Jack Urbanek, Facebook Research Engineer and Visdom project lead

“My goal continues to be building amazing communities around state of the art AI rooted in open source collaboration. Bringing the Visdom project to FOSSASIA is a great example of this and I am extremely pleased to see the project continue this path with FOSSASIA as the new host of Visdom.”

Joe Spisak, Product Manager for Facebook’s open-source AI platform and PyTorch

FOSSASIA has been developing Open Source software applications and Open Hardware together with a global community from its base in Asia since 2009. FOSSASIA’s goal is to provide access to open technologies, science applications and knowledge that improve people’s lives stating in its mission: “We want to enable people to adapt and change technology according to their own ideas and needs and validate science and knowledge through an Open Access approach.” 

This mission perfectly aligns with the goals of Visdom as an Open Source tool that aims to:

  • Facilitate visualization of data with an emphasis on supporting scientific experimentation and 
  • Organize a visualization space programmatically or through the UI to create dashboards for live data, inspect results of experiments, or debug experimental code.

Hong Phuc Dang, OSI vice president and FOSSASIA founder says:

“We will continue the development of Visdom in cooperation with the developer and user community. We already discussed lots of ideas to move forward on an exciting roadmap with the core team and adding it to FOSSASIA’s Pocket Science Lab applications. We are looking forward to the input and involvement of the community to bring the project to the next level.”

Mario Behling, co-founder of FOSSASIA and CEO of OpnTec adds:

“We are thrilled that the Visdom project becomes fully Open Source as part of the project transition. It is fantastic to see how Facebook supports open technologies and takes an active role to foster International cooperation and development in the FOSS ecosystem by making this transition. I would like to thank Jack Urbanek who worked so hard on the project for years as well as the project creators Allan Jabri and Laurens van der Maaten, Joe Spisak whose role was essential in making this transition happen and the entire Facebook AI team.”

What are the plans for Visdom at FOSSASIA?

The short term plans are to establish all project channels to enable the developer community to actively participate in the project. On the technical side of things we are in the process of making the continuous integration work on the new deployment and adding tests and update checks. Visdom is also joining the Codeheat Coding Contest as a participating project. The contest runs until 30th June 2021.

Where is the list of issues?

The issue tracker is available on the code repository here: https://github.com/fossasia/visdom/ 

How can developers and users communicate?

Apart from adding issues in the issue tracker we invite you to join us on a dedicated chat channel here: https://gitter.im/fossasia/visdom. Login with GitHub, Gitlab or Twitter is required.

Where else is information about the next steps and the roadmap?

For technical discussions the issue tracker is the best place. To stay up to date about general project developments please follow us on:

Continue ReadingWelcome the Visdom Project at FOSSASIA Now Fully Open Source

FOSSASIA Confirms Annual Summit Takes Place from March 19-21 + DevSprints on March 22 at Lifelong Learning Institute in Singapore

We are glad to announce that the annual FOSSASIA Summit will take place from 19-21 March and the DevSprints on March 22, 2020 at the Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) in Singapore after official meetings confirming that relevant measures are put in place to ensure the health and safety after the Covid-19 crisis.

Singapore has been widely praised in the International community for preventing the spread of the virus, a Harvard study hails the country as a gold standard for case detection. 

The FOSSASIA organization and LLI are following all recommendations of the Ministry of Health and taking necessary measures throughout the event. These include among others: Carrying out temperature screening for all attendees, providing health information on each day, adding prominent notices at entrances about hygiene measures, that are put in place throughout the venue, offering excellent bathroom and hand washing facilities, providing free disinfectants, increasing the frequency of cleaning of commonly used areas and more. 

Everyone can help to prevent the spread by following hygiene measures and regularly washing hands. The FAQ of the ministry of health is a good starting point to learn more about the virus and how Singapore is stopping its spreading.

The FOSSASIA Summit program will be online next week. We are happy that we are able to run the event with the help of the Lifelong Learning Institute and we cannot wait to see you in Singapore! 

Global issues, pollution, the threat of climate change, new illnesses, lack of education and poverty show more than ever that it is vital that we all work together to save the planet. Only through open collaboration and sharing can we solve the problems of the world. We need to meet and share our experiences. Events like the FOSSASIA Summit are an important platform. Rest assured we are taking all necessary steps to ensure the continued health and safety of all participants at the event.

More information on the FOSSASIA Summit 2020 is here.

Please check out a list of confirmed speakers and sessions.

Communities interested in running a DevSprint on Sunday, March 22 can still register here.

See you in Singapore!

Continue ReadingFOSSASIA Confirms Annual Summit Takes Place from March 19-21 + DevSprints on March 22 at Lifelong Learning Institute in Singapore

Join Codeheat Coding Contest 2019/20

Master Git, contribute to Open Source, and win a trip to the FOSSASIA Summit Singapore with Codeheat! Codeheat is the annual coding contest for developers to contribute to Free and Open Source software (FOSS) and open hardware projects of FOSSASIA. Join development of real world software applications and win awesome prizes, build up your developer profile, learn new coding skills, collaborate with the community and make new friends from around the world! Sign up now for the fourth edition of Codeheat on the website and follow Codeheat on Twitter.

Start date: September 15, 2019

End date: February 2, 2020

Which Projects Participate

Open Event – Eventyay / Code / Chat

SUSI AI – Website / Code / Chat

Pocket Science Lab (PSLab) – Website / Code / Chat

Phimpme Android – App / Code / Chat

Meilix Linux Distribution – Code / Chat

Voicerepublic – Website / Code / Chat

Badge Magic- App / Code / Chat

Neurolab – Code / Chat

Badgeyay – Website / Code / Chat

How to Join the Contest

  • The contest is open to everyone.
  • Participants can join at any time
  • Register on the site and check out the Frequently Asked Questions for more details.
  • Also join the FOSSASIA Gitter chat and communicate with mentors and follow developers on project specific channels. 

What are the Prizes

  • Winners (3 prizes): Listed on website, certificate, 600SGD travel voucher, 5-night accommodation in Singapore, Tshirt and FOSSASIA limited edition swags. 
  • Finalist (7 prizes): Listed on website, certificate, travel voucher of 100 SGD, Tshirt and FOSSASIA limited edition swags. 
  • Active Contributors (unlimited): Certificate, CodeHeat Tshirt and FOSSASIA limited edition of swags (with at least 10 merged pull requests)
  • Community Participants (unlimited): Digital Certificate of Participation (with at least 5 merged pull requests)

What are the Judging Criteria

Our jury will review the work of the 10 developers who have the highest number of quality contributions during the contest. Contributions include pull requests/code commits, scrum reports, articles, screencasts, community engagement and outreach activities. The mentors will look at the:  

Sustainability, which means that we specifically value contributions that make the project sustainable by building a community where developers collaborate with each other in a friendly way and support the project development through peer reviews, on-boarding new members, and helping fellow contributors. It also means that, while code is the most important success criteria for winning the contest, furthermore we are looking for contributions in other areas to make projects easy to join, to deploy and to use. This includes:

  • creating and enhancing documentation
  • developing how-tos
  • writing technical blog posts
  • sharing work in regular scrum updates to enhance communication
  • organizing local meetups, workshops, presentations 

Quality vs. Quantity: The sheer number of pull requests is not the only criteria for choosing the winners. Quality work is appreciated – some issues are more challenging than others just by their nature (for example, heavy coding versus solving a text typo bug). It is entirely possible that someone who completed 53 issues could be chosen as a winner over someone who completed 88 issues.

How Are the Winners Decided

  • Grand Prize Winners: Three developers will be selected by mentors from the top 10 contributors according to code quality, relevance of commits and contributions that help to bring the project forward.  
  • Finalist Winners: After the grand prize winners are selected, the remaining seven contributors of top the 10 will receive finalist winner prizes.
  • Other contributors who have more than 10 merged pull requests during the contest will receive a Thank you package. Anyone who has 5 pull requests merged will receive a digital certificate.

Links

Website: codeheat.org

Codeheat Twitter: twitter.com/codeheat_

FOSSASIA Twitter: twitter.com/fossasia

Codeheat Facebook: facebook.com/codeheat.org

Continue ReadingJoin Codeheat Coding Contest 2019/20

Open is Becoming the New Common Foundation across Business, Government, Science, and Industry

Interview with Shanker V Selvadurai, Vice President & Chief Technology Officer of Cloud and Cognitive Software for IBM Asia Pacific

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I am Shanker Selvadurai and currently the Vice President & Chief Technology Officer of Cloud and Cognitive Software for IBM Asia Pacific. I am based in Singapore and lead the technical organization that helps clients across Asia Pacific to explore and co-create cloud-based solutions that leverage data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to deliver better decisions and outcomes.

I joined IBM in 2006.  Prior to IBM, I held key leadership positions in areas of research, development, consulting, sales and marketing with technology companies like AT&T, NCR and Fujitsu as well as start-up BlueGill Technologies. During this period I lead teams varying in size from 6 to over 1,000 while being based in North America, Europe and Asia.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration. I am also an Open Group Certified Distinguished Architect. Besides having published international patents/papers, I have actively contributed to international technology standards committees that include the IFX Forum, OFX Consortium and the Microsoft Advisory Council. I was also an adjunct lecturer at the Singapore Management University, teaching courses related to Services Science and Advanced Business Technology.

Tell us about your session at the FOSSASIA Summit, what will you cover?

At the FOSSASIA Summit, I am participating in a panel on “Business, Government, Science – What Opportunities Does “Open” Bring to Society”.  I hope to share IBM’s involvement in the open source movement, how businesses like IBM benefit from open source, as well as share thoughts about approaching open contribution and open governance in the future.

Shanker V Selvadurai handing over IBM Cloud Prize for Hackathon Winners

Business, Government, Science – What Opportunities Does “Open” Bring to Society from your point of view?

Open is becoming the new common foundation across business, government, science, and industry today.  For example, companies that still compete head-to-head in the marketplace are coming together to collaborate in open source communities.  They contribute to open source software and use it in their own IT systems and applications. They gain a competitive advantage — even though they may be helping their competitors in the short run.  The data demonstrates that companies with open source programs see more benefits from open source code and community participation.

IBM Connecting with Open Source Community at FOSSASIA Summit
International IBM Team Participating in FOSSASIA Summit

What is the role of Free Open Source Software in cloud and AI solutions in IBM?

Our offering portfolio, especially for our growth initiatives such as cloud and AI, is based on a solid foundation of open technologies.  Most of our strategic initiatives are founded on open source projects or communities, and we work across a wide variety of internal stakeholders to ensure that that the contributions we make to the community also provide greater value to our clients.

IBM Training on Open Source Cloud and AI Technologies at FOSSASIA OpenTechSummit
Many Open Source Developers Connect with IBM At the Booth

What was your motivation to work for IBM and to participate in the FOSSASIA Summit?

IBM has a long history as a leader in, and supporter of open source communities, most notably in the Apache, Linux, and Eclipse Foundations.  I joined IBM to help continue this tradition and I am looking forward to discussing new ideas to help build the future of open source at FOSSASIA Summit.

Which FOSS projects in the area of cloud and AI can interested developers contribute in IBM? In which domains could you use some help?

IBM believes that communities with open governance and an inclusive philosophy will attract the largest ecosystems and markets.  For a listing of some of the top open source projects that IBM believes represent significant opportunity areas, I would like to share with information how IBM supports high-impact open source projects here.

Participants from Around the World Following IBM Keynote on FOSS Collaboration

Which new features can we expect in IBM cloud and AI this year? Do you plan to release any new projects as FOSS?

Most of our strategic initiatives today are founded on open source projects or communities (Cloud Native Computing, Hyperledger, CD Foundation, etc.), and we work across a wide variety of internal stakeholders to ensure that that the contributions we make to the community also provide greater value to our clients. For a specific example of open source innovation from IBM, please check out the Egeria Project, which was founded in part by IBM.

Shanker V Selvadurai with Panelists and FOSSASIA Founder Ms. Hong Phuc Dang at the Singapore Summit 2019

As well, at the FOSSASIA Summit in Singapore, IBM shares the “Call for Code Global Challenge, which IBM is the Founding Partner.  

This multi-year global initiative rallies developers to create practical, effective, and high-quality applications based on cloud, data, and artificial intelligence that can have an immediate and lasting impact on humanitarian issues.  Call for Code brings startup, academic, and enterprise developers together and inspires them to solve the most pressing societal issues of our time. Building on the success of the 2018 competition, the 2019 Call for Code Global Challenge again asks developers to create solutions that significantly improve preparedness for natural disasters and accelerate relief when they hit. This year’s challenge introduces an emphasis on individual health and community wellbeing. This includes solutions that can reduce the risk of disease, improve access to data and the availability of resources, and address the mental health needs of those impacted before, during, and after disasters.

Hands-on Training with IBM Cloud and AI Experts at FOSSASIA Summit
Hands-on Training with IBM Cloud and AI Experts at FOSSASIA Summit
Continue ReadingOpen is Becoming the New Common Foundation across Business, Government, Science, and Industry

UNESCO Hackathon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Join UNESCO Hackathon in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct 13 -14, 2018 to learn about climate change and environmental challenges in Vietnam, meet regional sustainable development experts and listen to their successful startup stories by doing sustainable and green businesses.

There is no restriction of age or backgrounds of participants. Students, NGOs reps, journalists, bloggers, developers and all open source contributors are invited to join! The hackathon is open for all and awesome prizes are waiting for you!

Each winner of the three top teams will receive these prizes.

The objective of the hackathon is to propose innovative solutions that help journalists to monitor and report on climate change and sustainable development issues in Asia and the Pacific.

The participants will be introduced to UNESCO’s Guidebook for Journalists Reporting on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific which includes information and knowledge on climate science, related international and regional treaties and policy frameworks including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development, and tips for journalists for finding and telling stories.

Time and Location

Time: Saturday October 13 – Sunday October 14, 2018
Location: Officience Vietnam, 16A Le Hong Phong, Ward 12, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City

Why should I participate?

  • Learn how to create a chatbot within an hour with SUSI.AI
  • Carry out experiment with electronic devices PSlab.io
  • Update yourselves with knowledge of technology and sustainable development in Vietnam
  • Meet special guest speakers from the UNESCO, Embassy of Sweden and many more.
  • Improve your language skills, presentation skills and build up your leadership abilities
  • Receive certificates from UNESCO, T-shirts, swags, and special prizes from the sponsors

How do I know if I am qualified to join?

The hackathon is open for everyone, especially for those:

  • Curious and willing to learn new things
  • Interested in technology and sustainable development
  • Like to make new friends and expand their networks
  • Able to communicate in English
  • No prior coding skill is required

How do I sign up?

  1. Get your ticket to the Event on eventyay.com
  2. Sign up on Devpost as you will need to submit your final hack there.
  3. Join the Gitter channel at https://gitter.im/fossasia/hackathon (requires login with Github).
  4. Find team members and form a team with at least 2 members and maximum 4 contributors. You are also welcome to sign up and then wait until the Presentation of Ideas on Saturday before deciding to join a team, however we’d encourage you to form/join a team in advance if you already have an idea that you’d like to work on.
  5. Join the event at the Officience Vietnam on Saturday, Oct 13 at the opening at 8.30am until 9.00pm and on Sunday, Oct 14 from 8.00am until 5.00pm.

Visit the website at unesco.sciencehack.asia and stay connected, join the event on Facebook and follow FOSSASIA on Twitter.

Prizes

All participants will receive a gift bag (Tshirt, sticker, wristband and lanyard) and a certificate from UNESCO for participating in the hacking.

Each winner of the three top teams will be awarded special gift package including:

  • A Pocket Science Lab – hardware device by FOSSASIA
  • Special Developer Helmet by FOSSASIA
  • Winner Medal
  • Team Building Buffet Dinner Voucher
  • Team Hack-Away Mekong Delta Tour (floating Market, hackerspace, hotel)
  • Tiki Techie Gift Voucher
  • 6-month coworking space membership

Links

UNESCO Hackathon: https://unesco.sciencehack.asia

Tickets: https://eventyay.com/e/dbd7567d

Project Signup: https://unesco-hackathon.devpost.com

Communication Channel: https://gitter.im/fossasia/hackathon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1713085622073681

FOSSASIA: https://twitter.com/fossasia

Continue ReadingUNESCO Hackathon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Building SUSI.AI Android App with FDroid

Fdroid is an app store for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Building and hosting an app on Fdroid is not an easy process compared to when we host one on Google Play. A certain set of build checks are required to be done prior to making a merge request (which is similar to a pull request in GitHub) in the fdroid-data GitLab repository. SUSI.AI Android app has undergone through all these checks and tests and is now ready for the merge request to be made.

Setting up the fdroid-server and fdroid-data repositories is a separate thing and is fairly easy. Building the app using the tools provided by fdroid is another thing and is the one that causes the most problems. It will involve quite a few steps to get started. Fdroid requires all the apps need to be built using:

$ fdroid build -v -l ai.susi

This will output a set of logs which tell us what went wrong in the builds. The usual one in a first time app is obviously the build is not taking place at all. The reason is our metadata file needs to be changed to initiate a build.

The metadata file is used for the build process and contains all the information about the app. The metadata file for a.susi package was a .yaml file.

Builds:

 – versionName: 1.0.10

   versionCode: 11

   commit: 1ad2fd0e858b1256617e652c6c8ce1b8372473e6

   subdir: app

   gradle:

     – fdroid

This is the metadata reference file’s build section that is used for the build process using the command that was mentioned above.The versionName a nd versionCode is found in the build.gradle file in the app and commit denotes the commit-id of the latest commit that will be checked out and built, subdir shows the subdirectory of the app, here the subdirectory is the app file.

Next is the interesting stuff, since we are using flavors in the app, we have to mention in the gradle the flavor which we are using, in our case we are using the flavor by the name of “fdroid” and by mentioning this we can build only the “fdroid” flavor in the app.

Also when building the app there were many blockers that were faced, the reason for the usual build fails were :

1 actionable task: 1 executed
INFO: Scanning source for common problems…
ERROR: Found usual suspect ‘youtube.*android.*player.*api’ at app/libs/YouTubeAndroidPlayerApi.jar
WARNING: Found JAR file at app/libs/YouTubeAndroidPlayerApi.jar
WARNING: Found possible binary at app/src/main/assets/snowboy/alexa_02092017.umdl
WARNING: Found possible binary at app/src/main/assets/snowboy/common.res
ERROR: Found shared library at app/src/main/jniLibs/arm64-v8a/libsnowboy-detect-android.so
ERROR: Found shared library at app/src/main/jniLibs/armeabi-v7a/libsnowboy-detect-android.so
INFO: Removing gradle-wrapper.jar at gradle/wrapper/gradle-wrapper.jar
ERROR: Could not build app ai.susi: Can‘t build due to 3 errors while scanning
INFO: Finished
INFO: 1 build failed

The reason for these build fails were that fdroid does not allow us to use prebuilt files and any proprietary software if present, the above log indicates the two prebuilt files which should be removed and also the YouTubeAndroidPlayerApi.jar which is proprietary software and hence needs to removed. So, to remove the files that are not used in the fdroid flavor and exclude them in the build process, we have to include the following statements in the build section of the metadata reference file :

   rm:
     – app/src/main/jniLibs/arm64-v8a/libsnowboy-detect-android.so
     – app/src/main/jniLibs/armeabi-v7a/libsnowboy-detect-android.so
     – app/libs/YouTubeAndroidPlayerApi.jar

Once the metadata file is complete we are ready to run the build command once again. If you have properly set the environment in your local PC, build will end successfully assuming there were no Java or any other language syntax errors.

It is worth to mention few other facts which are common to Android software projects. Usually the source code is packed in a folder named “app” inside the repository and this is the common scenario if Android Studio builds up the project from scratch. If this “app” folder is one level below the root, that is “android/app”, the build instructions shown above will throw an error as it cannot find the project files.

The reason for this is as it is mentioned “subdir=app” in the metadata file. Change this to “subdir=android/app” and run the build again. The idea is to direct the build to find where the project files are.

Reference:

  1. Metadata : https://f-droid.org/docs/Build_Metadata_Reference/#Build
  2. Publish an app on fdroid: https://blog.fossasia.org/publish-an-open-source-app-on-fdroid/
Continue ReadingBuilding SUSI.AI Android App with FDroid

Building PSLab Android app with Fdroid

Fdroid is a place for open source enthusiasts and developers to host their Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for free and get more people onboard into their community. Hosting an app in Fdroid is not a fairly easy process just like hosting one in Google Play. We need to perform a set of build checks prior to making a merge request (which is similar to pull request in GitHub) in the fdroid-data GitLab repository. PSLab Android app by FOSSASIA has undergone through all these checks and tests and now ready to be published.

Setting up the fdroid-server and fdroid-data repositories is one thing. Building our app using the tools provided by fdroid is another thing. It will involve quite a few steps to get started. Fdroid requires all the apps need to be built using:

$ fdroid build -v -l org.fossasia.pslab

 

This will output a set of logs which tell us what went wrong in the builds. The usual one in a first time app is obviously the build is not taking place at all. The reason is our metadata file needs to be changed to initiate a build.

Build:<versioncode>,<versionname>
    commit=<commit which has the build mentioned in versioncode>
    subdir=app
    gradle=yes

 

When a metadata file is initially created, this build is disabled by default and commit is set to “?”. We need to fill in those blanks. Once completed, it will look like the snippet above. There can be many blocks of “Build” can be added to the end of metadata file as we are advancing and upgrading through the app. As an example, the latest PSLab Android app has the following metadata “Build” block:

Build:1.1.5,7
    commit=0a50834ccf9264615d275a26feaf555db42eb4eb
    subdir=app
    gradle=yes

 

In case of an update, add another “Build” block and mention the version you want to appear on the Fdroid repository as follows:

Auto Update Mode:Version v%v
Update Check Mode:Tags
Current Version:1.1.5
Current Version Code:7

 

Once it is all filled, run the build command once again. If you have properly set the environment in your local PC, build will end successfully assuming there were no Java or any other language syntax errors.

It is worth to mention few other facts which are common to Android software projects. Usually the source code is packed in a folder named “app” inside the repository and this is the common scenario if Android Studio builds up the project from scratch. If this “app” folder is one level below the root, that is “android/app”, the build instructions shown above will throw an error as it cannot find the project files.

The reason behind this is we have mentioned “subdir=app” in the metadata file. Change this to “subdir=android/app” and run the build again. The idea is to direct the build to find where the project files are.

Apart from that, the commit can be represented by a tag instead of a long commit hash. As an example, if we had merge commits in PSLab labeled as “v.<versioncode>”, we can simply use “commit=v.1.1.5” instead of the hash code. It is just a matter of readability.

Happy Coding!

Reference:

  1. Metadata : https://f-droid.org/docs/Build_Metadata_Reference/#Build
  2. PSLab Android app Fdroid : https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroiddata/merge_requests/3271/diffs
Continue ReadingBuilding PSLab Android app with Fdroid

Publish an Open Source app on Fdroid

Fdroid is a famous software repository hosted with numerous free and open source Android apps. They have a main repository where they allow developers hosting free and ad free software after a thorough check up on the app. This blog will tell you how to get your project hosted in their repository using steps I followed to publish the PSLab Android app.

Before you get started, make sure you have the consent from your developer community to publish their app on Fdroid. Fdroid requires your app to use all kind of open resources to implement features. If there is any closed source libraries in your app and you still want to publish it on Fdroid, you may have to reimplement that feature by any other mean without using closed source resources. They will also not allow to have Google’s proprietary “play-services” in your app along with proprietary ad services. You can find the complete inclusion policy document from their official page.

When your app is fully ready, you can get started with the inclusion procedure. Unlike how we are publishing apps on Google Play, publishing an app on Fdroid is as simple as sending a pull request to their main repository. That’s exactly what we have to do. In simple terms all we have to do is:

  1. Fork the Fdroid main data repository
  2. Make changes to their files to include our app
  3. Do a pull request

First of all you need a GitLab account as the Fdroid repository is hosted in GitLab. Once you are ready with a GitLab account, fork and clone the f-droid-data repository. The next step is to install the fdroid-server. This can be simply done using apt:

$ sudo apt install fdroidserver

Once that is done, go into the directory where you cloned the repository and run the following command to read current meta data where it saves all the information related to existing apps on Fdroid;

$ fdroid readmeta

This will list out various details about the current meta files. Next step is to add our app details into this meta file. This can be done easily using following command or you can manually create folders and files. But the following is safer;

$ fdroid import --url https://github.com/fossasia/pslab-android --subdir app

Replace the link to repository from the –url tag in the above command. For instance the following will be the link for fossasia-phimpme android;

$ fdroid import --url https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android --subdir app

This will create a file named as “org.fossasia.pslab” in the metadata directory. Open up this text file and we have to fill in our details.

  1. Categories
  2. License
  3. Web Site
  4. Summary
  5. Description

Description needs to be terminated with a newline and a dot to avoid build failures.

Once the file is filled up, run the following command to make sure that the metadata file is complete.

$ fdroid readmeta

Then run the following command to clean up the file

$ fdroid rewritemeta org.fossasia.pslab

We can automatically add version details using the following command:

$ fdroid checkupdates org.fossasia.pslab

Now run the lint test to see if the app is building correctly.

$ fdroid lint org.fossasia.pslab

If there are any errors thrown, fix them to get to the next step where we actually build the app:

$ fdroid build -v -l org.fossasia.pslab

Now you are ready to make the pull request which will then get reviewed by developers in Fdroid community to get it merged into their main branch. Make a commit and then push to your fork. From there it is pretty straightforward to make a pull request to the main repository. Once that is done, they will test the app for any insecurities. If all of them are passed, the app will be available in Fdroid!

Reference:

  1. Quick Start: https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroiddata/blob/master/README.md#quickstart
  2. Making merge requests: https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroiddata/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md#merge-requests
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