There is some really awesome work going on right now in Ubuntu, and much of it is fixing and resolving issues and bottlenecks that have been an issue in Ubuntu for many years. Not only are we building an awesome convergence platform and cloud orchestration story, but we are re-building much of the core foundations to make these efforts more successful.
One of the challenges we have with all this great work is that even though everything is out in the open, some folks don’t have a crisp summary of the different pieces. So, I am kicking off a blog series that will summarize many of these different efforts as they stand.
My goal is to provide a overall summary of the work (not a huge wall of text) and when we expect it to be completed. I will regularly update this first post with a link to all the articles as I write them, so folks can point people to this post which will link to them all.
Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #330 for the week August 12 – 18, 2013, and the full version is available here.
In this issue we cover:
- Ubuntu Edge breaks crowd-sourcing record
- Ubuntu Stats
- Fosscon 2013 – all done til 2014
- Juju Ecosystem Status for 14 August
- Matt Fischer: Hacking the initrd in Ubuntu Touch
- Ubuntu Women: The First Ubuntu Women Survey
- Didier Roche: Release early, release often, release every 4h!
- Kubuntu: KDE Plasma, Applications 4.11 & Amarok 2.8
- Jorge O. Castro: Official Ubuntu Server Book 3rd Edition Now Available
- Benjamin Kerensa: Firefox To Remain Default…. Very Nice!
- Jono Bacon: Mir Update and Testing Mir in Ubuntu 13.10
- Canonical Design Team: Usability testing: how do we design effective tasks
- Nicholas Skaggs: Feature freeze coming? Let’s test!
- Sunsetting Ubuntu Friendly
- Why Ubuntu’s creator still invests his fortune in an unprofitable company
- Canonical On Why They Chose Indiegogo Over Kickstarter For The Ubuntu Edge
- In The Blogosphere
- Featured Audio and Video
- Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
- Monthly Team Reports: July 2013
- Upcoming Meetings and Events
- Updates and Security for 10.04, 12.04, 12.10 and 13.04
- And much more!
The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:
- Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph
- Paul White
- Jim Connett
- And many others
Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License
NB: Cross-posted from LISNews.org for the educational benefit of Ubuntu Ohio
This special edition deals with the Groklaw shutdown announced on Tuesday, August 20, 2013. Groklaw is hosted at ibiblio similarly to LISNews and librarian.net. History of the growth of the National Security Agency under both Republican and Democratic Presidents is also discussed.
- PC PRO: Microsoft, Google – now Amazon joins list of big-name outages
- Groklaw: Forced Exposure ~pj
- Legal Insurrection: Forced Exposure: Online Privacy Concerns Prompt Shutdown of Groklaw
- Andy Ihnatko: Groklaw closes up shop, editor blames the surveillance culture: "for me, the Internet is over." http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130818120421175 …
- Glyn Moody: The Canary in the Coal Mine -- Groklaw Shuts Down
- Ars Technica: Groklaw shuts down rather than risk feds snooping through e-mail
- The Verge: Legal blog Groklaw shuts down citing NSA surveillance concerns
- PC World: Tech legal news site Groklaw shuts down because email privacy 'is impossible'
- The Guardian: Groklaw legal site shuts over fears of NSA email snooping
Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec) (Speex), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We also encourage the use of a service like gpodder.net. Throwing a paperback or two in the Stephen's direction off his Amazon wishlist remains possible as he tries to get out of unemployment.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.
Technology is expensive. It is easy today to download an operating system and supporting software that is free (as in price and liberties) if you have the means to connect to the internet, as well as the hardware on which the OS will eventually be used.
I was fortunate enough to be able to back the recent Ubuntu Edge crowd funding campaign (which at the time of writing has already broken just about all crowd funding records, but will still not meet the required amount to get funding). Yes, I would much appreciate it if you are reading this and somehow missed what this campaign is to go check it out and perhaps make a pledge but before you rush off to do so, there is another cause I would like to make you aware off (one that is also coming to a close in a few days), one to not put the latest or greatest smartphone in the world ever (period) in your pocked, but give someone in the world the ability to do things on a computer and the internet that most of us take for granted; Reglue – Helping those on the wrong side of the Digital Divide.
From the Indiegogo page:
My name is Ken Starks and I am the Executive Director of Reglue. We refurbish donated computers and place them in the homes of financially disadvantaged kids in Central Texas. With funding running out, we need your help.
For those unfamiliar with Ken Start I would suggest you check out the Blog of Helios. I became aware of this campaign from a challenge posted by Larry the Free Software Guy to the backers of the Ubuntu Edge campaign to make a donation to Reglue, a challenge I accepted and I hope that some of you reading this blog will now also except before it is too late…
So far they have gotten just over $5000 of the target of $32 000 with just about 3 days to go… surely this is an achievable target for the awesome Ubuntu community?!
Before I joined 10gen I’d not heard of the MongoDB Masters, the Masters are a group of MongoDB core contributors and community drivers that are dedicated to sharing their passion and technical expertise with the MongoDB community around the world. The MongoDB Masters play a vital role in the adoption, education and advancement of MongoDB. We have over 40 Masters located world wide who work on various drivers from C to Python to Scala, Java and many more.
I had an opportunity to meet them this year at the Master summit in NYC during my first week. All of the masters are non 10gen employees so face time with the engineers in the office is invaluable. On day two of the event there was a barcamp style of a brain storming session where we came up with topics and broke up into sessions to discuss them. For me this was an opportunity to meet community members who were leading their projects, discussing features and planning for the coming months ahead. It was great!
During the time I thought I’d come up with a way to get to know the Masters better, again as a person who is new to the community you do have to jump two feet in first asking questions as you go along and that’s what I’m doing. I’ve come up with a set of questions to ask the masters and get to know them.
First up is Nicola Larocci
Me: Who are you, what do you do and where are you based?
Me: How did you get involved in open source?
Nicola: I’ve been an avid developer delivering desktop applications in the .NET/MSSQL closed source ecosystem for so many years that open source wasn’t even on my radar. Then a few years ago, like everybody else, we found that we needed to get involved with the mobile world. That’s when I thought that it was time to finally to get out of my comfort zone and start looking out of my walled garden. In fact, while historically there always have been little alternative to the Microsoft/.NET/SQL ecosystem for building business Windows applications, now we were about to address a completely different beast. First step in any mobile strategy is building a proper web infrastructure, like one or more web APIs, remote servers, etc. While .NET was well suited for the task, I knew that there were other valid, robust and mature alternatives out there and that I had to learn more about them before picking any choice. My involvement with open source, the whole Python language, MongoDB and the NoSQL movement is the direct consequence of that learning process.
Me: How did you get involved in MongoDB?
Nicola: When I started looking for a database for our web API I was immediately attracted by MongoDB native JSON (BSON) storage: it really looked like the perfect match for a JSON-based REST API. I thought maybe, just maybe, that this time we can stay clear from all kind of object serialization/ORM/schema conversion issues. Of course the lack of a fixed schema was also of great interest to me, as our API and mobile apps were planned to go live as very simple utilities and then quickly grow, feature after feature and field after field, over time. So I started digging deeper into MongoDB and as I was studying it I not only realized that, indeed, it was the tool that we would adopt, but I also enjoyed its design and, as a relatively new technology, huge growth potential.
Me: What do you do as a MongoDB Master?
Nicola: I think it all started with the release of the Italian translation of The Little MongoDB Book by Karl Seguin. It was nice to find that the book was allowing many developers to introduce themselves with the technology. Still to this day I receive many emails from fellow Italian developers who are looking for help and guidance on MongoDB.
Then I went at EuroPython 2012 where my talk Developing RESTful Web API with Python, Flask and MongoDB draw a lot of attention, more than anticipated, so much that I ended up releasing a set of related open source tools, one of them being Eve, a MongoDB-based RESTful Web API Framework for the Python language.
To this day I still work on Eve and related tools, talk about MongoDB at conferences and other events when I get a chance, and love to help fellows who want to wet their hands with MongoDB. I’m also planning to release a couple of new MongoDB-related open source tools in the future.
Me: How did you become a Master?
Nicola: My first involvement with the Masters program was a actually in the form of a tweet from Francesca Krihely, Community Manager for MongoDB at 10Gen. Apparently she was in the room during my EuroPython talk! Then I just kept doing my own thing, which of course involved a lot of MongoDB activity. A few months later I was invited to join the program, something I’m still very surprised and honoured about. So my advice to anybody wanting to join the program is simple: make the best stuff you can, and then make sure to let the world know about it. People will take notice.
Me: What one thing would you like to promote in MongoDB that nobody knows about but you think is beneficial to people!
Nicola: Native JSON storage! Hardly something nobody knows about but really, this was very instrumental to my involvement with MongoDB. Also, I think most people from the SQL world are underestimating the importance of this feature, especially if they are (and everybody will, soon or later) going to deal with web-related storage.
This past weekend myself and reps from across North America spent the weekend working from Mozilla’s San Francisco office to collaborate on a plan for North America. During these two days, we built a plan that will help us grow the contributor community in North America and focus on areas we feel are priorities.“Since the inception of the Mozilla Reps program, there have numerous events that brought Reps together to foster community and collaboration. Among them were the MozCamps in Europe and Asia, local regional meetups, and country-level meetings. The North America Reps meetup aims to follow what the previous events have started and tailor a plan of action that is relevant to North American communities.” Our Goals:
- Strengthen the communities and working relationships of the 22 Mozilla Reps based in the US and Canada
- Increase collaboration among Mozilla Reps who are volunteers and paid staff
- Identify areas for improvement and of concern in the local level
- Create a plan of action for 2013-2014 to support Mozilla initiatives (Firefox OS, Webmaker, Firefox) that is relevant and sustainable in the North American context
- Support mentorship potential of current Reps
- Improve community morale
I think we accomplished almost everything we set out to do and more but additionally we will be planning on having meetings along the way to health check these plans and also to have another physical meetup in Portland, Oregon which happens to be one of our priority cities.
I think this weekend brought a lot of value to everyone who participated as it allowed for cohesion (which virtual meetings often cannot provide) and allowed us to get a lot more work done than what is normally done in smaller blocks of time.
No new update this week.
Release Metrics and Incoming Bugs
Release metrics and incoming bug data can be reviewed at the following link:
Milestone Targeted Work Items
2 work items
1 work item
2 work items
1 work item
Status: Saucy Development Kernel
We have uploaded a new Saucy kerel based on the v3.11-rc6 upstream kernel.
We’ll continue tracking the v3.11 kernel for the remainder of the Saucy
The 12.04.3 point release is set to release this Thurs, Aug 22. I am
hearing rumors there may be a small slip, ie 1 day slip, but it should
be going out this week. We are not aware of any critical issues at this
time that would warrant any respins.
Lastly, Virtual UDS is next week, Tues-Thurs Aug 27-29. I’ve gone ahead
and opened a generic kernel catch-all blueprint. Feel free to add any
topics which you would like to discuss.
Important upcoming dates:
Thurs Aug 22 – 12.04.3 (~2 days away)
Thurs Aug 29 – Beta 1 freeze (~1 week away)
Thurs Sep 05 – Beta 1 (~2 weeks away)
== 2013-08-20 ==
The current CVE status can be reviewed at the following link:
Status: Stable, Security, and Bugfix Kernel Updates – Raring/Quantal/Precise/Lucid
Status for the main kernels, until today (July 23):
- Lucid – Prep’ing
- Precise – Prep’ing
- Quantal – Prep’ing
Raring – Prep’ing
Current opened tracking bugs details:
For SRUs, SRU report is a good source of information:
Open Discussion or Questions? Raise your hand to be recognized
No open discussion.
Music apps that allow users to switch between player and queue mode can be quite complex. Some challenges of music apps in general:
- Deep navigation through the music library:
Home › Artists › Artist › Album › Play queue
- Switching between play queue and library
And a challenge unique for the Ubuntu phone:
- Keeping play controls easily accessible, while focusing on the content.
The Ubuntu Music app is all about your music collection. The home screen shows a list of recently played items and the musical genres in your collection. It is easy to find your way around with the tab navigation.
Let’s open one of the albums.Player
Tap on a song to start playing it and enter the player view. This view combines full album art of the item that is currently playing, and a queue of all previous and next items. There are play controls in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.Queue
For the next example of what you can do with the queue, let’s imagine that we have already queued up a lot more songs from various albums.
Scroll down the list to see what’s coming up in the queue. When our focus changes from the current song to the rest of the queue, the toolbar with play controls contracts. A hint of a progress bar stays on the screen; not to interact with, but as a visual hint to show something is playing and as a reference to where the play controls are.
Users can remove songs from the queue by swiping, and move songs to a different position in the queue with drag and drop.
Bring up the toolbar with play controls to refocus on what is playing now. As the toolbar is swiped up, the queue moves back to the current item.Back to the library
The user can go back to their library to find more songs to queue. Patterns for back and overflow in the toolbar are still in development so check the App design guides to find out how exactly this will work.
Back in the library view, we again see a hint of the progress bar to show that items are in the play queue. We bring up the toolbar and see the condensed play controls. The toolbar lets users tap play or pause on the current song, tap on the album art or song title to return to the player view, and open up the overflow actions.
We navigate to another album.Item options
To keep our focus on play controls in the toolbar and keep the toolbar as light as possible, item actions are grouped with the item and accessible via the expansion pattern. This goes for library albums and songs and queued songs. We can queue another song of the album we are looking at with the song options.What’s next
This is the basic UX concept for the music app. Visual design will play a big part in deciding what exactly goes where, and we will need to test if the controls are easy enough to access. Coming soon are some exciting visuals to connect the dots.
The meeting focus was centered around how the blueprints and bugs were looking coming up on Saucy Feature freeze. The meeting took some time to review outstanding bugs, and blueprint progress. vUDS is also coming up and will be a good opportunity to check on Blueprint status for Saucy. Robie announced that we have highbank builds improving bild speeds for armhf. zul will also sync with smb on testing Xen 4.3 on Nova. Additional information and action items are below.Minutes Review ACTION points from previous meeting
The discussion about “Review ACTION points from previous meeting” started at 16:03.
- LINK: http://reqorts.qa.ubuntu.com/reports/ubuntu-server/merges.html
- ACTION: arosales to update Juju blueprints
The discussion about “Saucy Development” started at 16:05.
- LINK: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SaucySalamander/ReleaseSchedule
- LINK: https://jenkins.qa.ubuntu.com/view/DKMS/view/Precise%20Proposed%20-generic-lts-raring/
- ACTION: jamespage to clean-up openvswitch packaging for 12.04.3
- ACTION: roaksoax to clean-up iscsitarget packaging for 12.04.3
- ACTION: hallyn_ to confirm iscsitarget packaging done
- ACTION: Daviey to review ‘dlm’ in new queue for Saucy
- ACTION: zul to follow up on mariadb/percona making it into Saucy
- Release Bugs (16:18)
- LINK: http://reqorts.qa.ubuntu.com/reports/rls-mgr/rls-s-tracking-bug-tasks.html#server
- LINK: http://launchpad.net/bugs/1175028
- LINK: http://launchpad.net/bugs/1084028 in progress
- LINK: http://launchpad.net/bugs/1156932
- LINK: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nova/+bug/1199791
- LINK: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/samba/+bug/1206872
- LINK: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1208455
- LINK: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/python-quantumclient/+bug/1170849
- LINK: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/openvswitch/+bug/1189408
- LINK: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/mysql-5.5/+bug/1203828
- Blueprints (16:33)
- LINK: http://status.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-s/group/topic-s-servercloud-overview.html
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-juju-charmhelper2 needs some attention with marco returns
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-openstack-charms-ha-v2
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-openstack-hypervisor
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-openstack-hypervisor
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-ceph
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-webscale ok too?
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-openstack-qa
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-mongodb
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-juju-contributor-onramp needs an update by jcastro
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-juju-charm-testing needs an update by marco when he returns
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-openstack-charms
- LINK: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/servercloud-s-cloud-archive has progress too
Ubuntu Server Team Events
The discussion about “Ubuntu Server Team Events” started at 16:47.
- LINK: http://uds.ubuntu.com/
The discussion about “Weekly Updates & Questions for the QA Team (plars)” started at 16:47.Weekly Updates & Questions for the Kernel Team (smb)
The discussion about “Weekly Updates & Questions for the Kernel Team (smb)” started at 16:48.
- ACTION: hallyn_ to coordinate with zul and smb on testing xen 4.3 on nova
The discussion about “Weekly Updates & Questions regarding Ubuntu ARM Server (rbasak)” started at 16:53.
- LINK: https://launchpad.net/builders if you’d like to gaze at the small army of them.
- LINK: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2013-August/037564.html for Colin’s announcement.
The discussion about “Open Discussion” started at 16:57.Announce next meeting date and time
The discussion about “Announce next meeting date and time” started at 16:57.
- NEXT MEETING: Tuesday 2013-08-20 at 1600 UTC – #ubuntu-meeting
Meeting ended at 16:57:46 UTC (full logs at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MeetingLogs/Server/20130813)
I have to say, I cannot believe how fast the time has gone in two months since leaving Canonical and joining 10gen the folks behind MongoDB. It has been an amazing journey. Starting off in NYC and meeting the team, MongoDB Masters Summit, Open House, Office hours and MongoDB NYC all in one week was a lot to take it. I came back not exhausted as you may have thought but excited and full of energy and wanting to get stuck into meeting the community.
I spent my first week in the London Office where I got to meet some of the developers, Solution Architects and sales folks who operate out of the office. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and also curious to find out what I had in store for EMEA and how we can work together. I’m usually found in the office on a Wednesday as I work from home usually but on these days 10gen nicely buys its employees Lunch, it’s not necessary but it’s welcomed and it’s nice to catch up with people from other areas in the company so you hear about what cool things are happening.
Europython was next on my visiting list, I’d never been to Europython which was being held in Florence for its final year. I have to say it was possibly one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to, it was so well organised, a great attention to detail, an abundance of talks to chose from and also alternative ways to listen into the rooms, if the room was packed or you were in fact too hot to sit indoors, the organisers had massive tents set up where you could watch it on tvs with earphones they provided and you tuned into the room. I thought that was very coo! 10gen were a sponsor at the event and for me it was an opportunity to meet members of the community. I found it invaluable to meet people face to face and listen to what they had to say, the ideas they wanted to share and how I could be involved!
I had a great few days there and we sponsored a cocktail evening on the hotel rooftop overlooking Florence, it was amazing and over the evening I got to meet some of the MongoDB folks in Italy who are looking to have more events taking place, the coming months will see a lot of events happening there and I look forward to being involved.
There have been other trips to Berlin where I got to hang out with Christian the lead Driver here in EMEA that was great as I got to see and understand what the drivers do, I also got to work from a co working space in Berlin, there are so many to chose from so if you do ever want to travel you’ve a lot of choice. When I wasn’t travelling I’ve been working on making it easier and clearer to request sponsorship from 10gen for community events. As there are many MUGs in EMEA I also split the groups into smaller chunks so I’ve been catching up with MUGs in different regions and getting to meet the users, I’m also kicking off a series of blog posts with the MongoDB masters. It’s interested like in any open source project to talk to people in different groups as everyone has a different idea on how things can be done. My job is to listen and see how we can make it happen or make sure they’re being heard. I’ve also created the IRC channel on freenode #mongodb-community if you ever want to stop by and chat, as I’m online anyway being in an IRC channel is second nature to me.
I’ve worked in a distributed team before and worked from home before and I do enjoy it, breaking up the week by going into the office does help. My manager Francesca Krihely had a great idea for the team recently for us to see our strengths. She recommended we all purchase Strengths Finder 2.0 and do the quiz and on our weekly meeting share our results, This is a great thing to do in your team as everyone has a different strength and there is something to learn about yourself and your team by doing this when you have the time to spend doing the online questions.
I found the results to be rather accurate for me.Doing these types of team building exercises when you’re a distributed team are very useful as you can see your team mates in a different light, perhaps things that would jump out at you if you worked by them daily instead of remotely. Try the test and let me knowDeliberative
People who are especially talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate the obstacles.
People who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
People who are especially talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone in the world with consistency by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.
People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
I still find it hard to believe it’s been two months since starting as it felt very natural working with everyone, if the last two months are an indicator of what is to come. It’s going to be a lot of fun and very interesting. I’ll keep you posted!
So yesterday, Microsoft announced that it is ending support for Tag, (on Facebook?) it’s proprietary barcode format. To me, this doesn’t come as a major surprise. Here’s why:
- Tag arrived very late in the game, after QR Codes were pretty much establishing themselves as “the norm”.
- Tag is a proprietary barcode. No way around it.
- Tag is a specific implementation of HCCB, and the specification for HCCB was never released to developers.
- Tag requires a data connection to retrieve the data out of the barcode.
- Tag requires a Microsoft account to create Tags.
- Tag requires a commercial non-free license for using Tags in a commercial space, or for selling products as a result of scanning the Tag.
- Tags can only be scanned using Microsoft Tag readers.
- Generating a Tag barcode means accepting its Terms of Service. A barcode has a TOS.
Just over a year ago, I gave credit where credit is due. Microsoft had something awesome with HCCB. It’s technically superior to most 2D barcodes in many ways. But, Microsoft never made that specification to create HCCB codes available. In fact, I even had an email discussion with a Microsoft engineer regarding HCCB and Tag:
From: Aaron Toponce
To: Microsoft Tag Support
Subject: HCCB Specification
I’m familiar with Microsoft Tag, an HCCB implementation, but I’m interested in the specifications for HCCB. Specifically, I am interested in generating HCCB codes that are not Microsoft Tag. I have an account on http://tag.microsoft.com, but don’t see any way to generate HCCB codes outside of Microsoft Tags.
Any help would be great.
From: Microsoft Tag Support
To: Aaron Toponce
Subject: Re: HCCB Specification
Thank you for contacting Microsoft Tag Support. Could you please elaborate the issue as we are not able to understand the below request. High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) is the name coined by Microsoft for its technology of encoding data in a 2D barcode using clusters of colored triangles instead of the square pixels. Microsoft Tag is an implementation of HCCB using 4 colors in a 5 x 10 grid. Apart from Tag barcode you can also create QR code and NFC URL using Microsoft Tag Manager.
For more information http://tag.microsoft.com/what-is-tag/home.aspx
Attached is the document on specification of Tag, hope this will help you.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know.
Thank you for your feedback and your interest in Microsoft Tag.
From: Aaron Toponce
To: Microsoft Tag Support
Subject: Re: HCCB Specification
I’m not interested in Tag. I’m only interested in the High Capacity Color Barcode specification, that Tag uses. For example, how do I create offline HCCB codes? How do I implement digital signatures? How do I implement error correction? I would be interested in developing a Python library to create and decode HCCB codes.
I am already familiar with HCCB, what it is, how it works, and some of the features. I want to develop libraries for creating and decoding them. But I can’t seem to find any APIs, libraries or documentation in encoding and decoding HCCB.
I never got a followup reply. Basically, I’m allowed to create Tags, but not HCCB codes. I’m sure I’m not the only developer denied access to HCCB. I’ve thoroughly scanned the Internet looking for anything regarding building HCCB barcodes. It just doesn’t exist. Plenty of sites detailing how to create a Microsoft account to create Tags, but nothing for standard offline HCCB codes.
So, citing the reasons above it’s no surprise to me that Tag failed. Maybe Microsoft will finally release the specifications of HCCB to the market, so people can create their own offline HCCB codes, and develop apps for scanning, encoding and decoding them. Time will tell, and I’m not losing any sleep over it.
Continuing our Inkscape series by Mark Crutch, all budding artists can work through the features of this immensely capable vector graphics application in our compilation of Inkscape series Parts 8-14, from issues through 74.
Note: the file-size for this edition is 4.6Mb
Last week I went to my first ever MUG ( MongoDB User Group) meet up in Dublin. Having never been to one I wasn’t sure how many would turn and what the format was. It was the middle of summer and in Ireland so it was pouring rain and yet we had over 40 people turn up on Thursday in the 10gen Dublin office. It was lovely to meet people face to face and get to meet members of the community who use MongoDB every day in their organisations. Everyone arrived early and over some cold beers in the fridge had some great conversations with one another.
First talk was David Lynch from Soundwave, a new product I’d not heard about, it’s an app for your phone that instantly picks up songs from your regular player and streaming apps as you play them. “Draw a circle with your finger over any city, street or building to see what songs are being played in that area. Tune into your local gym, favourite music festival.”It does all of this using MongoDB. David explained the reasons as to why they chose MongoDB for their product features such as availability, flexibility, tooling scaling and geo-search were behind their choices. He also mentioned areas in which we could improve such as Geo-searching. No tool is perfect and without feedback to see where users are needing help nothing can ever be improved upon. Lucky we have Derick Rethans on hand to tell us more about Geo at the London MUG in September!
If you missed Davids talk or want to see what he talked about he has very nicely made available his slides for downloading. To be able to meet and hang out with the community in the 10gen office was great and everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun especially when a lot of pizza boxes appeared and we pointed ou the fridges were still full of beer!
Following on from Pizza, Gregor Macadam from 10gen gave a very insightful talk on MMS ( MongoDB Management Services) which is a cloud-based suite of services for managing MongoDB deployments. MMS provides monitoring and backup capabilities, helping users optimize clusters, automate tasks and mitigate operational risk. This is where having a talk in an office outweighs going to the pub, Gregor explained how MMS works not just by talking about it but also showed real time graphs and explained how MMS works by drawing it out so people could understand what he was saying. I know that really helps me understand things better I need visual examples so I found this to be a very informative talk. Gregor has also made his slides available.
At the end of the talks I got to do a short introduction of who I am and how I can help people, but also asking for suggestions for events, perhaps not every MUG needs to have two talks, we can do something more hands on if people wanted just let me know so I can arrange it. I did ask for a show of hands who was signed up to the monthly newsletter not as many as I’d hoped so you should sign up and learn what’s happening when and where also see what we’ve been up to.
It was a great evening and I look forward to meeting people again, if you want to keep tabs of what is happening in Dublin sign up to the Dublin MUG Meet up, if you’re in London in September we also have a meet up taking place and if you want to find a local MUG we have lots to chose from.