lunedì 16 marzo 2015

Google Summer of Code meetup at Udine University

After being Google Summer of Code student with KDE I finally decided to organize a GSoC meetup in University of Udine. I requested a classroom with projector to show a little presentation of the program. The number of attendees 80 exceeded expectations. We were expecting around 40 people but more than  actually showed up. Luckily there was enough room for everyone.
The response was great with a lot of people asking for guidance and details that are covered in the FAQ and also personal opinions and advices that only a past student can provide. I'm now actively helping a bunch of students connecting with opensource organizations in order to get ready to work during the summer. It seems, in my opinion, that one of the biggest troubles is the fear of failing and the misconception of GSoC being a corporate job where the students needs to just work and know everything from the beginning. Apparently what blocked students most is the fear of be judged by potential mentors.
I also presented KDE project, which joined GSoC every year since the beginning, and the amazing fact is that I received many questions on how to interact with KDE due to GSoC as well as for just joining the community itself, like in pure opensource philosophy.
Overall the event was a success with great response from participants for both GSoC itself and opensource communities in general.

Here are some photos from the event:



martedì 10 marzo 2015

Ideas to restructure Plasma content delivery system

Last years at Gluon

During the past few years at Gluon Project we chose to adopt OCS (Open Collaboration Services) protocol in our distribution system, developing a minimal and working server and client that works on GamingFreedom.org. Gluon, however, never went into full production so people couldn't test our infrastructure and the distribution system never went above the "experimental phase".

Our mission

1) Develop further our OCS server in order to have it usable by every project that needs it. In this phase we'll need to refactor and prepare it to be installable and configurable easily. We'll include install/config scripts with a nice interface. It also will be full Attica/NewStuff compliant.

2) Implement Desktop and web client that will let users download and use content like apps, backgrounds, themes etc. The Desktop client will be written in Qt/QML and the web client will be web based.

We want in the end users to be able to get user created content for Plasma in an easy way from one single common place as well as for creators to upload it. Our secondary target is to unify Gluon and Plasma content server and implement user / login capabilities via KDE Identity in order to have a centralized infrastructure. Our dream is to have a common desktop environment experience also regarding the content distribution system across all distributions

This is a scheme of the future structure:

Technology stack

We have in plan to develop OCS server and client libraries at the same time, creating a full set of classes that are shared between the both libs. This will enhance manteinability and modularity having a php library for both uses that shares most of the model codebase.


Now, having a working server we imagined the Plasma web client to be built on top of the OCS client library (of course), using php/mysql (or generic sql database) and for the client part HTML, CSS, a bit of jQuery and maybe the opensource library famo.us (we still need to do some feasibility studies on this latest).

Why

  • Openess of OCS protocol, simple interface in human-readable REST / XML / JSON
  • Ownership of KDE project of their content distribution system (we'll have a full working in-house implementation)
  • Merge of Gluon games, backgrounds, themes etc... all in a single place, with a single unique login on KDE Identity. This also enhances in users the concept of KDE as a full desktop environment with the same content across various distribution opposed to other semi-proprietary implementations (like Canonical's one)
  • Modularity of the server and clients. OCS is a wide protocol and potentials are there. For example I implemented a real-time chat between users in Gluon Player. This could give us some ideas to brainstorm.

Projects

  • ocs-server at https://projects.kde.org/projects/playground/www/ocs-server, and Gluon Player (includes gluon player libraries that wraps libattica)
     written by me, Claudio :)
  • "Plasma AppStore" (name is just a placeholder), consisting in Desktop client and Web client, by Francesco Wofford, my guest in this blog post
We already started to work on a few prototypes because we really care about this project so we're asking for feedback from all of you. We're going to propose those projects as GSoC with KDE so feel free to drop your comments below. We need them!

Have a nice day! And have a cookie! :)

mercoledì 2 luglio 2014

Gluon Project Update

Hey KDE people! I'm Claudio and, again, I'm the only student doing GSoC and improving Gluon Project. This does mean there's a lot to do but often this translates in a lot of fun.

My project basically consists in mantaining the Gluon Player and all the distribution service in general from the server to player library that handles OCS requests to the actual QML client. This meant in porting the Qt4 player to Qt5, which led to a partial rewrite and rearchitecturing After the porting I started implementing "friends" features. This means that YOU, with a Gluon account, can ask an other Gluon user for friendship and he can accept. This is the basis of the social features we're introducing.

Oh and did you know we have a working partial and opensource implementation of the OCS protocol? I really care that you know this because when I started writing it, there was no open server-side implementation and I had to start writing it. As for now, the server supports CONTENT, PERSON, FRIEND, FAN, COMMENT and CONFIG with some calls not exaclty following the standard (nested comments feature missing). And this server also is tested with our beloved libAttica. I'll publish the source as soon as I can in a personal scratch repo for now, but I'd like to move it in the KDE infrastructure (admins?).
Ah, and I'll spend the next time of my project implementing a xmpp-based realtime chat between users. And also activity streams and other social features.

What is really missing to Gluon then?
Unfortunately I'm just focusing on distribution and user parts, but being Gluon a platform for creating, playing and deploying games, also Creator and Engine needs attention, care and most of all port to Qt5. Our idea would be to give you a usable release (oh, I really want to do my Gluon Konqui game). In order to get this possible please donate to the Randa Meeting, where gluon developers will meet :)

http://www.kde.org/fundraisers/randameetings2014/

See you in days!

giovedì 16 gennaio 2014

OpenSourceDay 2013

Probably almost all of you didn't know about an Italian event called OpenSourceDay. It's organized and set up by a small group of university students that share the passion for Computer Science and hacking. Yeah, I'm part of it, and I went there representing KDE and it's spirit, along with the Qt framework.

The event was quite a success with around 1100 visitors. Many of them also stopped at our booth primarily asking what KDE was. I was pretty surprised that while there was a good percentage of people that alread knew (and used) KDE, there was also an other good part who believed Ubuntu/Unity was the only desktop environment for open source OSes.
Despite from that I had a good response with people appreciating in particular Plasma's design, usability and responsiveness. I had to write instructions on how to install it on various distributions for more than one person. So I'm also here to say: good job mates!

If you have time/interest, we're usually holding the event on the last week of November every year. And everyone is invited of course. Here are some photos of the event.









sabato 21 settembre 2013

Last updates from Gluon GSOC

Hello! This is my last update before the GSoC ends, so I'm going to show you the final result of my work which consisted in making all the Gluon toolchain (from development to deplayment) works.

Here is a video I recorded to show you last updates: ( ~6m )


Hope you enjoy it! Have a good weekend!

giovedì 25 luglio 2013

Gluon and the state of the project

Hello, I'm the guy currently working on Gluon project for GSoC with the idea of Making the Create > Discuss > Play workflow actually work.

Last year:

Well, last year I joined GSoC too, always with Gluon, and I wrote a working OCS server just for Gluon purposes. Of course it's not full featured neither bug free, but it's currently serving us at this address: http://gamingfreedom.org/v1/config. In addition, I developed the future Gaming Freedom web site that is using our OCS server too.

This year:

I started a partial rewrite of the Gluon Player which now uses QML and plasma components. Here is a screenshot of it running:

It currently supports login/logout and registering a new account but the target for the end of the project is to browse and play games. Also graphics isn't perfect and amazing but we can always improve it after having the application working.

What games?

In order to play games we must have games. So yesterday I finished to fix Gluon Creator (which is a game creator) in order to work with our central OCS server, so you can now make your game, log into GamingFreedom network and publish your games automatically.
Gluon Creator will give you the possibility to modify description, changelog, version and so on, but the most amazing part of it is that it will create a "gluonarchive" that will be uploaded to server, ready to be played!

Logging...

Publishing...

And you'll find your game there on Gaming Freedom website page!

What's next?

I'll plan to give the possibility to the player to actually play games through QML Gluon Player, and eventually, give feedback like comments and votes. I'll also update my scratch repo with the updated sources of the OCS server, in case someone else needs my work.

Thank you for the attention, have a good day! :)

sabato 9 febbraio 2013

Ruzzle Cheat v1.1 + HG repo

Hello! :)

Time of an update of the python ruzzle solver! The inner algorithm is changed and is way faster than the previous. This time, I don't ship dictionary with the source. You can easily grab them at: http://www.winedt.org/Dict/

Small usage sample:
python ruzzle.py   [lang] [grid]
python ruzzle.py it nahcyeksmtbudew

You have to create a folder called "dicts" and put in it the dictionaries, called like [lang].txt es it.txt for it language.

This time, I distribute via hg repo: http://ruzzle-solver.googlecode.com

Profit! :)