Category Archives: Interviews

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Terry Hancock on Free Software and Free Culture [Interview]

Advocates of Free Software aren’t made in a single night. When it comes to computers, software, and digital art, inspiration and motivation are of utmost importance. Terry Hancock, part owner of Anansi Spaceworks and Free Software Magazine columnist, was surrounded by all three growing up.

His mother and aunt were fans of science fiction. “My aunt gave me a copy of Robert Heinlein’s Red Planet, which was the first novel I ever read.” Hancock said. For as long as he can remember, he watched Star Trek growing up with his mother.

Terry Hancock
He contributes to Free Software Magazine.

When asked about his first memory of computers, he said, “When I was a kid, computers were still largely mythical beasts that lurked in far-away warehouses operated by mysterious experts. But my first real experience with one was about the late-1970s when my uncle visited and brought a 300 baud modem and teletype. You know, the old kind where you would actually put the telephone headset onto it. You typed into it like a typewriter, and the computer responded — all of it on paper. The computer itself was at his company’s site in Chicago.”

Text based games such as Star Trek and Adventure were enjoyed on such a system. Adventure was developed using Fortran, and is where the word “xyzzy” originated. Though both games are available as free software, they’ve been overshadowed by today’s current offerings.

It was around this time that he first encountered ASCII bitmap images.

The uncle who worked for the Chicago holding company and showed him the teletype was the one who introduced him to the concept of free software, but understanding didn’t fully materialize until later in life when he would encounter the essays of Richard Stallman.

At age 14, he would use his earnings from his job at Six Flags Over Texas to acquire a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer, which would be his first. As for what he did with it, “I mostly just wrote BASIC programs on them to do fun graphics stuff and simple games.”

It certainly wouldn’t be his last system.

“Another uncle of mine introduced me to personal computers — he had a TRS-80 Model I, which actually, I later got as a hand-me-down when I went to college.” Hancock said.

He learned Z80 assembler on that machine and used Scripsit to write papers. His first exposure to Unix was also in college. “In the 1980s, I used BSD Unix on machines at the University of Texas, where I wrote data-reduction software in Fortran. I wasn’t all that knowledgeable about the computers themselves (basically I just saw them as a platform for running my Fortran software).”

His technical understanding would increase in the near future.

Towards the end of the 1990’s, he began looking for alternatives to Microsoft products. He said, “I was still using Windows 3.1 until about ’99, because I had seen Windows 95 and not liked the direction it was going: more bloat, less control for the user.”

It was around this time that complaints against the Redmond Giant for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows and for tactics with OEMs would result in an antitrust lawsuit from the Department of Justice. After a few months with Windows 95, Hancock would decide to move on.

Working at Extrasolar Research, a private research company that no longer exists, he would deal with Macintoshes and a Unix system running Solaris. GNU utilities were popular by then as well, so he installed some of them.

In 2000, he decided to install Debian 2.1 “Slink.” His interface of choice was the FVWM Window Manager, and he wrote papers using Netscape Communicator. “It was pretty clunky. On the other hand, I enjoyed using a POSIX command line again.” Hancock said. By 2002, he recovered all the capabilities he was used to having while running Windows, a technical and economic win.

Not only was Hancock an adopter of free software, he was a pioneer in using it in free media creation. Initially, he tried creating an adventure game similar to the genre of graphic adventure games from Sierra. He created the Light Princess project on SourceForge, and began recruiting artists. During his attempt, he made a startling discovery.

“I had asked around for why these kind of games didn’t exist in free software, and I got an answer along the lines of: ‘Well, they require lots of art, and artists just don’t want to release their work under free licenses.'” Hancock said.

His primary focus was to have the art resources created before recruiting programmers.Two years before the creation of the Creative Commons, he managed to find artists willing to not only create said resources, but to release them under a license that allowed for sharing with the public. Where did he find them?

On anime fan art sites.

The issue with free software programmers at the time is that they only talked to programmers. “They didn’t take the time to go find out where the artists were.” Hancock said. He found four individuals willing to contribute artistic talent to the project, and the resources would be released under the Design Science License, a copyleft license that allowed for sharing with other people.

Unfortunately, the project didn’t go far. Starting the programming process is difficult, especially with lack of programming experience. Beyond character design, a dungeon map, and some animations using Inkscape and batch scripts, things stalled and the artists lost interest.

In the meantime, Blender became available as free software in 2005. Multimedia creation in the free software realm was also improving, so the focus shifted to art only projects. He wrote the book, Achieving Impossible Things with Free Culture and Commons Based Enterprise, which explains in detail his experiences in free software and free culture.

One obstacle was still on his mind, however. “The one thing that really bothered me, though, was that I still couldn’t see any way to make it pay for itself. You need a team effort to make a film project, and that runs into the volunteer issues and the irreducible size problem that had been such a barrier for free multimedia software.” Hancock said.

Still, he managed to use what he had learned with the Light Princess Project, his observations from other projects such as the Morvena Project and Sita Sings the Blues, and combine them with his passion for space exploration.

Nina Paley and Karl Fogel of Question Copyright would have a significant influence on Hancock’s way of thinking regarding copyright, particularly with a non-copyright-driven post-release strategy. “Enforcement of copyright law is laughably erratic. No one really buys officially-licensed products because they fear enforcement. They do it, because deep down, they feel it’s the right thing to do.” Hancock said.

In other words, it was simply a matter of creating something that fans could connect with. Enforcement of laws wasn’t necessary, especially if said fans knew they were supporting the artists directly. The only question was what to create.

Both he and his wife, Rosalyn Hunter, would have an idea that would blossom into such a project.

“Rosalyn and I have attended a number of space advocacy events, and in fact we met through the “University of Texas Students for the Exploration and Development of Space” (UT-SEDS). It was at one of the National Space Society’s “International Space Development Conferences” that we first got the initial inspiration for Lunatics. There are a lot of strong and occasionally rather awkward personalities among space advocates.” Hancock said.

After overhearing a convention attendee discuss hypothetical scenarios about being trapped with someone else on a tiny spaceship all the way to Mars, the gears would begin turning. Discussing various characters and scenarios, the idea for Lunatics was born. “The name
Lunatics!” seemed fairly obvious, since it’s kind of a gag-name for Moon-colonization advocates. A central theme is that there is a certain kind of crazy that you need to have to be a pioneer.”

Animation would be inspired from various anime shows such as Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Escaflowne, and Nadesico. “Since we were watching so much anime at the time, it was easy to imagine these stories as anime series plots. And so I think I always saw them in my head as animated episodes.” Hancock said.

In 2009, production for a series format that was favorable towards the free culture business model would be possible. With the success of Elephants Dream and other Blender Open Movies, the only challenge left was putting it together for production.

Hunter would begin working on scripts while he worked on production, which would prove to be challenging for him due to lack of experience in film editing. Still, he wouldn’t have to put up with the hurdles from the movie industry itself.

“I am having to prove myself on this project. Which makes it more of an exciting challenge and a bigger deal if it succeeds, but also harder to get started. On the other hand, building a studio up from zero to do a free-culture-based production leaves us with less mental baggage from the industry.” Hancock said.

In late 2011, he raised money through a Kickstarter campaign so that he could pay Daniel Fu, a former participant of the Light Princess project, for character design. “Well-designed characters that the audience could relate to would be really critical, and I knew that wasn’t something I should be trying to do myself. Of course, Daniel did a fantastic job on this, and we raised the money to pay him for the modelsheets.” Hancock said.

In terms of distribution of Lunatics on a commercial medium, he initially considered a DVD release. With the availability of high definition, it wasn’t optimal. “Online, you can get the video for download at HD1080 resolution for free. But the DVD, which you pay for, is actually at much lower resolution. So you’re asking fans to shell out cash to buy an inferior copy of the episodes.” Hancock said.

He looked at Blu-Ray and found out that the DRM was much worse and harder to opt out of, if not impossible. Since Sony owns the standard, and the presses have proprietary contracts that require a significant royalty fee that goes towards the development of more copy restriction methods, Hancock decided to create a new standard.

Though existing software exists to recreate the interactive capabilities of a DVD and place them on an SD card or flash drive, he realized that something unique would be required. “So I thought, what we need is a distinct brand with a distinct customer expectation — just like DVD or Blu-Ray gives you, but for something based on free-software technology and media that can handle HD video and be available to low-budget film-makers.” Hancock said.

Thus Lib-Ray was born.

Aimed at independent film makers, it is an alternative container standard that uses WebKit to handle menus and MKV, currently using LibVLC, for video playback with multiple chapters. The MKV container uses the VP8 codec for video and FLAC for audio; Vorbis audio can be used as secondary audio for commentaries. Advanced Sub-Station Alpha is used for subtitles with support for the ub-Rip Text (SRT) file format.

What was sought was a standard of consistent quality. Bitrate-based metrics was insufficient. The aim was to be perfect to the human eye in a similar way in which CD audio was perfect for the ear. The standard relies on PSNR to measure quality as the aim is to be visually and audibly pleasing to those who watch and listen.

In other words, bitrates don’t always take the limits of human hearing and sight into account. As for testing the standard, it’s a work in progress.

“If there seems to be a call for it, we can establish some sort of vendor certification system in which we actually check that this quality standard is being upheld. Until then, we’ll simply have a script so that vendors can check whether they are up to spec.” Hancock said.

The plan is to make sure that each minute of video passes the 40 dB test.

The menu system utilizes HTML, but with a few caveats. Javascript is not needed for the main menu, but can be used for enhanced content from an Extras section. The user also gets the choice of whether to allow for links or resource fetches that ask for data off of the disk in the Extras section, but denied for basic playback.

Another challenge is the internationalization of the menus. No region coding is used for releases, but regions are established for the purpose of language selection. This calls for numerous subtitles and alternative audio tracks as well as menu text that’s easily translatable.

“This will be done by defining a limited technical vocabulary for disk menus, and then translating the set of text to any supported language. The player can then use simple substitution to replace menu text with translations” Hancock said.

Starting with a basic set of twelve languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Rssian, German, Arabic, Swahili, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Indonesian/Malay), others can be added later and he hopes corrections can be made as bugs occur. He plans on having the files conform to the .po format due to familiarity on the part of translators, despite not using Gettext for the standard.

Not able to use Python and html5lib directly due to adding XML namespaces to the output, which is incompatible with the Webkit based menu, he had to get creative. “This means I’m now learning how to use Beautiful Soup for this part. Hopefully, that will solve it. The vocabulary substitution system is working already, though.” Hancock said.

All that is needed, is a programmer to create a better player.

“The design I’m working with is encapsulating the WebKit and VLC libraries, and it’s awkward, because I’m using them in ways that weren’t really intended — such as running client and server on the same machine and then sometimes violating that paradigm to make direct calls locally.” Hancock said.

Recognizing that he is way overdue on delivering on the Lib-Ray Kickstarter, he has run into the main issue that plagued him when working on the Light Princess project. “The software is indeed the bottleneck, because I’ll need it to get through the last bit of testing to make sure the releases are correct.” Hancock said. He also promised to include the software package in the releases as well.

Still, he carries on, just like free software has for many years. All of this despite being surrounded by large corporate entities.

It’s no surprise why his company is named Anansi Spaceworks.

The first part of the name was inspired by Kwaku Anansi of West African mythology. “Although smaller and less powerful than other creatures, Anansi is smart and agile and manages to succeed in a world of hulking dangers.” Hancock said. The company is a partnership between Hunter and himself.

Initially intended for production of space technology, it has changed direction numerous times. From attempting robotics and collaboration technologies (known today as open source hardware) to USGS planetary maps and education kits, things just didn’t quite go the way he expected.

“Entrepreneurship is like that: you try a lot of stuff, you fail a lot, and you hope that something you try pays off.” Hancock said.

Plugging away, and not giving up, he also said, “We’ve had a few projects that sort of broke even, but no big successes as [of]yet. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful. Possibly this means I’m pathologically optimistic. But let’s hope not!”

Elie Auvray,Chief Executive Officer, Jahia

We still believe in Linus’ law after Heartbleed bug, says Elie Auvray of Jahia

We interview Elie Auvray, who co-founded Jahia Solutions Group SA after having started Jahia’s French operations in 2002 and is acting as President of the Board and CEO.

Swapnil: Can you tell us when and how Jahia started? A bit of history?

Auvray: Jahia was incepted in 2002 in Switzerland – the name comes from the contraction of Java (our core language) and Bahia (which means “bay” in Brazil). To support the international growth of the project, Jahia Solutions Group was later formed (in 2005) with offices throughout Europe and Jahia Inc. (the US subsidiary) was created in 2008. Jahia has now offices in Geneva, Paris, Toronto, Chicago, Washington, DC, Dusseldorf and Klagenfurt – and outsourced support centers in Australia and Nicaragua.

Swapnil: Can you tell us a bit about what is Jahia and how is WCMS different from a regular CMS?

Auvray: Today Jahia is the #1 Open Source alternative to proprietary CMS vendors for upper tier digital projects. Over the years, we’ve focused on building a content platform that delivers true technology convergence: business user and developers work in harmony to deploy digital projects (Portals, multichannel, multi site, Multilanguage corporate sites, extranets, intranets and even full digital applications) securely and seamlessly.

Swapnil: Who is the typical target audience of Jahia?

Auvray: Digital workers in business departments (such as Marketing) are the typical users of Jahia. Our target position in organizations is mainly the CIO, but also the CMO.

Swapnil: Jahia uses dual licences – while the community version is available under GNU GPLv2, you offer enterprise edition under a proprietary licence? How different is that from RHEL model and is proprietary licence the correct word?

Auvray: Similarly to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Jahia provides an Enterprise distribution under a commercial (i.e. non-viral) license: the Jahia Sustainable Enterprise License (JSEL). The Jahia Community distribution is under GNU GPL v2, similarly to Red Hat who uses GPL v2 to distribute some of its software.

Our Enterprise and Community distributions both share the same core, and our Enterprise one also fosters community back contribution and allows our customers to influence our roadmap.

Enterprise distributions are only available to our customers, at no license costs, and are covered by a subscription that works like an insurance: mission critical projects of subscribers are backed up by our architects and developers, authors of the Jahia software suite.

In other words, rather than paying a license fee as they would with a proprietary software vendor, Jahia customers contribute to an open source project by financing enhancements and get them in priority, fully tested and at a much lower and controlled TCO.

Swapnil: You are using v2, why you chose not to use v3?

Auvray: We are still using GPL v2 for two reasons:

1. Stability: licensing is a sensitive question because it’s a complex subject where details are not always easy to understand for our community of developers and customers: over the year they’ve made it clear they like stability and changing the license could mean negative impact. That’s one of the reason we haven’t changed it as of today.

2. Compatibility: GPL v2 specifically allows to use this version “or any later version” means our community has freedom of choice. Conversely, using GPL v3 could be problematic since there is no backward compatibility with v2 -and v2 is still used by a lot of open source project.

Swapnil: What is the main difference between the community and enterprise edition?

Auvray: The community and the enterprise distributions share the same core but the Enterprise one provide extensions and tools to industrialize enterprise digital and mission critical initiatives.

Swapnil: Can you tell us about some major deployment/implementation of Jahia lately?

Auvray: Jahia is powering large deployments for global organizations such as Ben & Jerry’s, Abercrombie and Fitch, the European Parliament, HomeAway.com, General Motors, and other top tier brands that we cannot disclose. When Jahia is chosen for major deployments, it usually delivers most (if not all) of the customers’ digital initiatives: global portals, intranets, extranets, all of the company’s country sites, etc.

Swapnil: Being an Open Source project, what is your take on issues like GnuTLS or openSSL where people are poking fun at Linus’ law?

Auvray: After the Heartbleed bug, we still believe in Linus’ law: “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”: even more so. First, the publicity around that bug is the proof that open source project have nothing to hide: they deliver more secure and stable software precisely because anyone can look at the code and find (and fix) its flaws: the Heartbleed bug on OpenSSL was fixed on April 7th, 2014, at the same time it was publicly disclosed. Proprietary softwares also have bugs –: they are less visible (since the code isn’t open), which means they potentially stay unfixed much longer. As a matter of fact, a study reported by CIO magazine showed that open source developers fix bugs way faster than proprietary one, precisely because of open source transparency and availability.

Swapnil: Can you talk about the organizational structure of Jahia?

Auvray: Jahia is an open source software company that focuses primarily on developing and supporting a world-class content platform for customers around the world. We’re operating from 8 countries and rely on a strong network of certified partners to deliver enterprise projects, globally.

Swapnil: What kind of community Jahia has? Are you are contributing to or engaged with other open source projects?

Auvray: Jahia enjoys a vibrant community and is engaged in many open source projects, mainly from the Apache foundation, and standards – such as WEMI.

Swapnil: How can someone contribute to Jahia? What are the incentives, motivation and what are the points of contacts?

Auvray: Any developer interested in Jahia can register and participate to our community, contribute to the Jahia project, post modules on our Public app store and interact with other members on our forums. In addition to provide incentives to our community (for instance, with developer contests), we offer a unique value to our customers: the JSEL license of our Enterprise distribution allows them to contribute to the software as well.

When customers decide to financially contribute to a new feature, guaranteed and validated by Jahia’s R&D and QA development, they will not pay anything else to get:
• “their” new feature also covered by the subscription
• the benefits of future maintenance and enhancements of their new feature delivered by Jahia and/or other community members

frank_jos

openSUSE community manager Jos Poortvliet joins ownCloud: Exclusive Interview

Jos Poortvliet, the most friendly face of the openSUSE community, is joining ownCloud as Community Manager. ownCloud doesn’t need any introduction; it is one of the most promising Free Software technologies which lets users benefit from ‘cloud’ without losing the ownership of data and computing – something that happens with public cloud services offered by players like Dropbox or Google Drive. We have been covering ownCloud from its early days so I was curious about Jos joining ownCloud.

When I asked what value would Jos Poortvliet bring to ownCloud, Frank Karlitschek, the co-founder of ownCloud said, “Jos has a huge amount of experience with open source communities and how to push free software forward in general. As a Community Manager he will help to grow the ownCloud contributor community and will also help to spread the word beyond the usual open source crowd. I think that ownCloud and decentralized web services are super important nowadays to protect a free internet.”

ownCloud works very closely with other Free Software communities like the KDE Community, FreeDesktop.org, etc. and Jos is also a strong supporter of collaboration between the free software communities so it seems like a perfect match. Frank says, “Yes. ownCloud is working closely together with other free software projects like KDE, GNOME, openSUSE, Fedora and many others. I think we all have to work together to provide a free computing environment for users including free cloud infrastructure. So collaboration is absolutely key.”

ownCloud has created a model similar to Red Hat model. ownCloud has a very strong community around it which is continuously growing, while the company is also raising funds by getting more investors. “No Free Software project can survive without a strong community and looking at Jos’ contribution to openSUSE and KDE I am positive about ownCloud benefitting from his experience.” Frank agrees and tells me more about the ownCloud community and Jos’ engagement with this community, “ownCloud already has between 200-300 contributors from all over the world who help with improving the ownCloud core, 3rd party app, translations, testing and many other areas. Jos will work together with all the other core people to grow this even more.”

Here is the first Exclusive interview of Jos Poortvliet as the Community Manager of ownCloud

The Interview

Swapnil: What will be your role at ownCloud as a Community Manager?
Jos: ownCloud is of course very exciting, with the ambition of bringing control over your cloud data back into your hands! I think it is incredibly important for consumers that this is available for everybody.

I hope to help make that happen in a few areas. Certainly a big part will be to help the community with marketing and promotion, not just of the project but also the people who make up the community. There are great things going on around ownCloud and that is worth talking about! I will be going to events, writing, working on marketing materials. And I don’t like to work alone so I’m sure to kick some others into helping out with this!

Another part of the job will be to help Frank (and others) out with the social side of the community. Dealing with differences, perhaps, or helping the community find directions and make choices.

Swapnil: What actually is the role of a Community Manager? Why does someone need to manage a free software community?
Jos: I guess the term community manager means a lot of things – and in most companies just boils down to the person who tweets a lot ;-)

There is a big PR aspect to community management, of course – a primary part of the job is to grow the community. So marketing, talking, writing, and yeah, social media I suppose. The ‘management’ part of the job is about handling the relationship of the company with the community. So it is not about managing people or anything like that but taking care that the company takes the right steps with regard to the community. Answering questions like “should we do X, what will the community say?” or “how can we help the community best?” for example. Explaining how the community works to new employees, trying to improve collaboration with the volunteers, things like that.

Swapnil: ownCloud works very closely with the KDE and FreeDesktop community as Frank being an active developer there, so how will your joining ownCloud affect these two projects?
Jos: You forgot openSUSE ;-)

But yeah, we have relationships to communities in the Free Software ecosystem, of course. Not just with those, but many more. How this affects them? It will become even easier to talk to each other.

Swapnil: ownCloud is yet trying to gain momentum within the community but still doesn’t seem to be ready for prime time, as it does lack a lot of prime time features, so what changes do you expect in the community version?
Jos: First, I don’t agree it is not ‘ready for prime time’. Yes, there is a great opportunity for ownCloud and a lot of work to be done to seize it. But we already have easily over a million users, a huge and active community and technical abilities that satisfy most important use cases.

ownCloud Inc is hiring developers all the time. You might have seen the closing of a funding round last month: we are growing, and fast. We have over a 100 well known customers (including the atom smashers at CERN) and we are always adding features and improving the existing functionality. Of course, much of this work goes directly into the ownCloud code, only a little is in enterprise-only features.

Swapnil: Are you looking for developers for ownCloud, if yes why would someone join ownCloud, are there any job opportunities that arrive with gaining exp in ownCloud?
Jos: Yes, we’re hiring and mostly from the ownCloud contributor community. But it is not just us – we have some big customers and companies involved in ownCloud which might hire good people as well. And of course, being involved in a well known project like ownCloud looks great on anybody’s resume.

Swapnil: When one looks at the ownCloud community what are we looking at – just the developer or more than that? What are the areas where ownCloud needs more help from the community?
Jos: Well, I obviously would like to build up a bit of a marketing team! It would be great to have people write more blogs about what is going on inside ownCloud development. And how about getting a bit of writing done for magazines perhaps, explaining their readers what we are up to? And there is documentation, bug finding and triaging… Loads of work to be done outside of PHP development.

Swapnil: How can someone join ownCloud as a community developer?
Jos: Oh, that is terribly easy: fork something on github, build what you want and send a merge request! Of course it is smart to hang out on the #owncloud-devel IRC channel and the mailing list and so on. In general, it is very smart to begin at this page and take it from there: http://doc.owncloud.org/server/6.0/developer_manual/

And while you’re at it – documenting your trip towards development into that manual would be appreciated, lots of things are not yet as well documented as we’d like!

michael-hall

We Interview Michael Hall, Ubuntu App Development Liason

Benjamin: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Michael: My name is Michael Hall, I’ve been a software developer most of my career, touching on a number of popular and obscure languages and technologies. I’ve always had an interest in science and technology, and fell in love with computers when I got my first 386 at 11 years old. Now I’m grown up (legally anyway), married and have two kids, neither of which are terribly interested in computer science, but both of whom think open source is just the natural way things should be.

Benjamin: What is your title at Canonical and what does your role focus on?
Michael: I actually had to look this up in our internal directory. Technically my title is “Community Coordinator”, though I’ve formally and informally referred to myself as the “Upstream Liaison” and “App Development Liaison” depending on my focus at the time.

When I first joined Canonical’s Community Team my focus was on upstream relationships (Debian, Gnome, individual upstream projects, etc) as well as relationships for projects where Canonical was the upstream (Unity, Ayatana projects, etc).

But recently, my primary focus has been on growing and supporting our App Developer community, something which took on more importance when we released the Ubuntu SDK earlier this year, since it was a new toolkit and focus for Ubuntu app development, and something that we were playing much more of a driving force behind.

Benjamin: What does a typical work day look like for you?
Michael: Wake up, check and see what my co-workers in Europe have been up to, respond to direct emails or IRC pings, get out of bed.

My day-to-day schedule mostly depends on what I’m working on, I tend to have weeks-long focuses that require different routines. The past couple of weeks, for example, I’ve been getting things organized for the next UDS, which has involved adding information to Ubuntu Summit website, a little bit of hacking on the summit source code to make modifications based on feedback from the last one, and a lot of working with track leads and engineering managers to make sure they are getting their sessions scheduled.

On other days, I spend my time talking with app developers about their work, any problems or shortcomings they’ve encountered with our tools or API, then talking to the Canonical engineers tasked with building them to make sure they know what works, what doesn’t, and what still need to be done. A lot of my effort goes into simply facilitating the communication between internal and external groups (and often between two internal groups as well). I spend a lot of time promoting the work being done by the community and canonical, on social media like our Facebook page and Google+ community for Ubuntu App development, and expanding the resources on the Ubuntu Developer Portal.

Sometimes, when I’m lucky, I still get to write some code. In addition to minor contributions to the Summit project, I’m also building a new API website to provide better online documentation to app developers, which has kept my coding addiction going.

Benjamin: What is most exciting about your role at Canonical?
Michael: My job is, I think, the best job in the world. I get to be involved with cutting edge technology, a diverse and passionate community, and get paid for it. Ubuntu still has one of the best communities around, and it’s a wonderful privilege to be able to spend so much time working with them.

I’m really very excited about Ubuntu for phones, our new App platform, and convergence in general. I think we’re going to see a lot of change in mobile technology in the next few years, and Ubuntu is in a position to drive a lot of it. And by Ubuntu I mean more than just the software or Canonical, the whole community is playing a part in building and shaping our platform, and I think that is something that is going to make us stand out in a crowded field.

Benjamin: Before this role you did other work at Canonical can you tell me about that?
Michael: Quite right, I began working at Canonical ISD as a web developer, developing things like the USN website, Ubuntu SSO  and maintaining the variety of WordPress and Django websites run by Canonical.

I learned a lot while working in ISD. I had a great manager, Māris Fogels, who taught me the importance (and art) unit testing, something I hadn’t paid any attention to before. I also learned a lot of new technologies, or how to better use ones I thought I already knew. I’m certainly a much better developer now than I was before I joined.

Benjamin: You were a community contributor before being hired by Canonical what was the transition like for you?
Michael: I had been an Ubuntu user for nearly a year before I learned about the community and LoCo teams. It was through my LoCo team that I got involved in community activity, met Canonical employees, and ultimately got involved in the LoCo Team Portal (http://launchpad.net/loco-team-portal) development, and from there the Summit project. In fact, when I interviewed for a web developer position at Canonical, being able to show my work on those projects was probably a big contributing factor to my getting hired.

Doing web development at Canonical was nothing new to me, but there were a number of very big changes I had to adapt to. The biggest change, unsurprisingly, was working from home. I’d had the option to do that at past jobs, but it’s baked into the culture of Canonical because most of us do it. Tools, processes and expectations are all built around that, and the fact that people in the same team actually live on different continents, and it all works surprisingly well for us.

Another big change was working for an open source, community-oriented company. I’d been “allowed” to submit changes to open source software in past companies, and once I was even “allowed” to make an internal project open source. But in Canonical that’s the rule rather than the exception. You also usually have a community that is involved in your work, and you are expected to be involved with that community. Working someplace where you’re *expected* to be on IRC, talking to people outside of the company, is kind of a weird thing at first.

Eben Upton, the founder of Raspberry Pi, in interview session with Swapnil Bhartiya at LinuxCon 2013

Raspberry Pi was created to solve talent crisis at Cambridge: Eben Upton [Interview]

Raspberry Pi needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular credit card sized single board computers which has become a revolution in its own right. The $25 (and $35 for B model) hardware is being used in so many fields that it’s hard to keep a tab on it.

The popularity of the device owes a lot to community relationships that the foundation has created and maintained with the larger open source community.

We met Eben Upton, the founder of the Raspberry Pi foundation who also works with Broadcom as Technical Director and ASIC architect, at LinuxCon 2013 at New Orleans and discussed quite a bit around Raspberry Pi.

I am amongst those don’t know what was the driver behind Raspberry Pi and I was surprised with what Upton told me (if you have read the about page of the Raspberry Pi site, you would know this).

Raspberry Pi was created to a solve talent crisis at Cambridge

“Raspberry Pi was an attempt by us at the University of Cambridge to solve a recruitment crisis that we were having in the middle part of the last decade. We had too few people applying to study computer science and we found that the range of skills that people had when they came in, and these were incredibly bright young people, was nothing like  what people had in the mid 1990s,” said Upton.

University of Cambridge, UK
University of Cambridge, UK

The reason, at least one of the reasons, of this decline was that computer had become so expensive that it became hard for parents to help their children in experimenting with them. It was hard to find hardware which kids can use for experiments.

The team was looking for a low-cost solution which was capable enough of doing so many different things that it remains a viable experimenting platform.

It was not easy to get such hardware. Silicon was going to be the heart of it and they had to keep the costs low. That’s where close ties that Upton had with Broadcom helped him in getting access to the right silicon that he needed for the job.

Georg Greve

Kolab creates a privacy refugee camp in Switzerland

The disclosure by NSA contractor Edward Snowden has exposed an ‘out-of-control’ surveillance system of the US and the UK. The more stories we are getting from Guardian and NYTimes, the more people are losing trust in the companies which operate from these two countries.

There is virtually no confidentiality and privacy of communications these days. Most of us may not care about government agencies accessing our email and communications (though we should). There are actually many people and organizations who want to keep their data away from the hands of agencies like NSA or GCHQ for many legitimate reasons. Data is power and if an entity has access to your data, that entity has a lot of power over you.

Abuse of data

There are investigative journalists who may be covering wrongdoings of governments and have sources whose lives could be at risk if the repressive regimes learn about them. There can also be trade negotiations between governments and if one government has access to all of the private communications of the party with whom they are negotiating, that government will have an unfair advantage.

There are many more such cases where you do need to have some privacy. I often hear claims like, “I don’t have anything to hide”, or, “I don’t do anything wrong so I don’t care.” It’s dangerous thinking. Just because you don’t do anything wrong doesn’t mean you take a shower in public. You do go behind closed doors. You don’t install web cameras in your bedroom for the whole world to watch just because you don’t have anything to hide. You do wear clothes, right? You don’t go out naked.

Privacy solutions

There are many companies which offer secure communication solutions to those who do want privacy. In the US there were companies like Lavabit and Silent Circle which offered secure email. However, both companies announced that they were shutting down their mail service as the government wanted access to the data. In the US, you actually don’t have any option – either you comply, or go to jail.

The shutdown of these services created a void.

When the US government is turning hostile towards those who want privacy of communication, is there any place on Earth where you can get such a ‘right’ without having to worry about whether your data is really secure?

The answer is yes! There are companies like Kolab Systems, that offer secure email solutions.

What makes Kolab solutions more trustworthy than Lavabit or Silent Circle? Why are they immune from the far reaching hands of the US government? Why should someone trust Kolab more than Lavabit or Silent Circle?

We talked to Georg C. F. Greve, CEO and Chairman of board of Kolab Systems and discussed all of these points. Before we talk about how Kolab offers solutions to the problems created by the US and the UK, let’s have a look at its history.

History of Kolab

Greve told me that Kolab was born in Europe. The local government Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) wanted to have a system which was fully auditable, secure, open source and based on open standards. They did not find anything that they needed available in the market so they announced a tender which was won by 3 companies – Erfrakon, Intevention and Kdab.

These three companies worked together and created Kolab which was based on Free Software technologies and principles. Version 1 was released around 2002 and was installed at BSI. Initially they used it in a heterogeneous environment which was a mix of Windows and GNU/Linux desktops but later they switched to GNU/Linux exclusively – which now runs on their 500+ desktops.

Kolab strengthened the cryptography stack of free software

Open Source is all about collaboration and contribution – more than mere consumption. These three companies worked on a lot of technologies such as GnuPG and the entire S/MIME subset by working closely with g10code, the company of Werner Koch, the author of GnuPG. The work of these companies made essential contributions to the entire cryptography stack in free software. KDE PIM also benefited from their work and a lot of KDE PIM developers are part of the Kolab universe. So the work done was giving more to the free software than it was taking.

But unlike many open source projects suffering from NIH syndrome Kolab does it in the right way. “Everything that we do is upstream, always,” said Greve.

Marta_Rybczynska

Marta Rybczynska: Woman force in open source

At Muktware we publish a series of interviews to feature women active in the Open Source world. Marta Rybczynska is a very active contributor to the KDE project and in this interview we talked to her to understand her work.

Swapnil: Can you tell us about yourself – what you do, where you live?

Rybczynska: I have been living in the French Alps, in Grenoble, for nearly four years now. Before that I lived in Warsaw, Poland, where I got my PhD in Telecommunications from the Warsaw University of Technology. My research at that time was on anonymity systems – mixing networking and security. There are many ways we can improve privacy over the Internet and I was looking at some of them. That was years before the PRISM scandal.

I also like embedded and real-time systems very much, especially mixing all those domains together and adding new ones.

I have a day job related to all this: it is at Kalray, a startup producing a 256-core processor. I’m working on operating systems and device drivers for the chip. There are many interesting subjects and I will be talking about the Linux port on this processor at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe in October.

Swapnil: When did you come in contact with FLOSS? What was the driving force (what is there in FLOSS that attracts you the most)?

Rybczynska: I cannot really say when it was, surely before the year 2000. For me the first reason to try it was the control it gives over the software and hardware. This was something I had not experienced before using proprietary products and something I liked from the moment I first heard about it. The control aspect remains very important to me up to today (you can well guess that from my security background!).

In the beginning it was quite a crazy ride, Linux did not support most of the hardware of the machine I first installed it on. We have made enormous progress since that time. Currently I have ‘stable’ machines that are expected to always work and then there are separate ‘developmental’ machines for hacking.

Swapnil: Can you tell us which distro and DE do you use and why?

Rybczynska: On the current devices I have a number of operating systems – Debian, Cyanogen and Android. Debian is for the desktop machines. The main reason is that it is very stable (even outside of the ‘stable’ flavour) and does not force the user to certain DE or configuration tools.

As you can guess I’m running KDE. I have very simple configuration that allows me to do the daily tasks easily. I’m try new things from time to time; I have played with Unity and GNOME3, for instance. Also, I’m running different distributions in virtual machines.

Swapnil: Can you tell us about the projects you have been involved with?

Rybczynska: The oldest project that I worked on the translation of KDE to the Polish language. That was the first FLOSS project I got involved with. I am the team coordinator and rarely do translations, I do project management and verification.

The second important project is the KDE Commit Digest. The Digest is an effort to produce a weekly overview of the development activity of KDE. It is based on the commit messages the developers put in the version control system.

Finally the last project I am working now on, without a name at this time, is using control groups, namespaces and other features of the Linux kernel to give embedded and desktop users detailed control on the applications they are running. The goal is to be able to say exactly what it is doing and disable certain actions if the user does not agree with them.

Swapnil: KDE 4.x has been around for a while – how mature do you think it has become? What are the areas where you think improvement is needed?

Rybczynska: I think it’s important to remind that KDE 4 was released more than five years ago. It has been polished a lot since it’s release. I’m using it as my desktop every day and it is not an experimental setup: I have my mail archive of several years, photos, thousands of files, multiple source trees. In short, I want it to run smoothly and it does.

When it comes to improvements, for me the number one area is the work on fixes and further polishing. In short, the effort to make it feel consistent. Second thing are performance improvements. There is already great work going on there, but more people looking at this would be very helpful. The third subject would be the integration with the mobile world. We use more devices than the desktops now and synchronisation and other common operations are something I would happily welcome.

jonathan_riddell

Kubuntu announces commercial support

Kubuntu is one of those few GNULinux based distributions which brings the two leading technologies together – Ubuntu and KDE. There are quite a lot of businesses which are using this combination in their set-up. Till now there was no professional support available for Kubuntu users. To fill this gap the Kubuntu community has launched commercial support for businesses, organizations and individuals.

The Kubuntu team is partnering with Emerge Open to offer this service which is called ‘Kubuntu Commercial Support provided by Emerge Open’.

Jonathan Riddell, the lead Kubuntu developer says, “Emerge Open are good at putting together business opportunities with businesses. In our case we have a popular distro lacking professional support and Emerge Open are able to put us together with this office in England to provide the missing link.”

Lack of commercial support can be disappointing for user Riddell shares an experience he had in a Kubuntu IRC channel, “I had someone boast proudly that
he’d managed to convince his college to switch to Kubuntu but was shocked to hear there was no commercial support available as the college would need that reassurance. I hope such users won’t be disappointed any more.”

The support can be purchased from this page. There are 4 options at the moment.

1 Hour Support Time for £ 80.00:
Purchase 1 or more hour blocks of support time for generic use.

1 Day Rate for £ 500.00
Purchase 1 or more 8 hour blocks of time for specific work or projects.

Hourly Support Per Month fro £ 80.00
Priority response, dedicated ticket portal and system monitoring. Carry over unused time for up to 3 months.

Hourly Support Per Year
Tailored SLA, dedicated ticket portal and full system monitoring. Carry over unused time for up to 6 months.

Where does the profit go?
Since Emerge Open is a non-profit company the revenues earned from support goes to the Kubuntu Council. So this support will in return make Kubuntu even better. Now there is one more way of supporting Kubuntu – just buy the commercial support.

If you are curious what kind of support will be offered. Riddell told me, “There’s a nice team of Kubuntu experts ready to provide help on the end of a phone line or e-mail (or google hangout or Skype call or whatever you want) with any problems you have.”

The support, unlike many other commercial offerings is not limited to the enterprise users. The low tier of pricing also allows home users to get needed support. When I asked if there is specific target audience for this offering Riddell said, “It’ll be of interest to all users, home users who can’t find the help they expect through community channels, small businesses who have more important things to worry about than which IRC channel is best to ask for help in and large rollouts who needs expertise from those who know Kubuntu best.”

The support is provided from an England based office which has over half a dozen people who already offer support for a range of products.

Ubuntu’s parent company Canonical is not involved with this support offering as the company dropped commercial support for Kubuntu last year. Riddell told me that they had to sign an agreement with Canonical to license the Kubuntu trademark to Emerge One for this support offering.

So if you are looking for deploying KDE + Ubuntu in your set-up you can now get commercial support. The best part, as I stated above is that the profit goes to the Kubuntu Council so by purchasing support you are directly supporting Kubuntu.

Interview with the openSUSE derivative Cloverleaf Linux Team: Working upstream is extremely important

openSUSE is one of the few very few ‘original’ GNU/Linux distributions which are driving some of the core developments in the free software world, whether it be the kernel or office suite like LibreOffice. openSUSE also offers one of the most polished GNU/Linux experience. So when a team of developers decided to create an openSUSE derivative, tentatively called FuSE Linux Cloverleaf Linux, curiosity rose what value will they add to the already awesome distribution? I reached out to the team with a set of questions. Here is the interview with Mark “Kigurame Gallifrey” van Tinteren and the FuSE team.

Swapnil: Why did you choose the name FuSE Linux? What is the meaning of it? Are in you touch with the openSUSE board about branding and trademark?
FuSE Team: It is meant to stand for Fuduntu in SUSE. But we have been getting a lot of negative feedback and SUSE Gmbh, which owns the SUSE trademark, has offered a mild objection. So we actually will most likely change it. There have been some brief informal exchanges between us and the openSUSE board and the are pretty friendly about  these things.

Swapnil: Why did you choose openSUSE as the base, why not Ubuntu or Debian? What value does openSUSE bring to the project?
FuSE Team: The reason for this was rather simple: it’s a solid rpm based distribution that means minimal retraining for our support staff and packagers, not to mention easy transition for Fuduntu users. The added benefit of the open build service and the general niceness of the openSUSE board and community sealed the deal.

Swapnil: Is there really any need or yet another distro? Should not the energy be used on making one particular distro better than creating a derivative? In a nutshell, what will FuSE do which openSUSE can’t? What problem is FuSE trying to solve?
FuSE Team: This is the fun one. This distro will follow the footsteps of Fuduntu in the terms of being a power efficient distro edged towards gaming and a easy to use conventional desktop.

So what’s the big deal? We are slightly ahead of (and in some cases a lot) of many distro’s in these things. openSUSE, for one, will get to benefit from that. We can also do things openSUSE can’t legally do – offering Netflix can be one example. Additionally, I’m [Shawn] always somewhat confused, when somebody asks “why don’t you just contribute to $bigger_project? I’ve been involved in various Linux distros since the early 90s, and in general, the desktop innovation isn’t happening in the Big Name distributions at the speed needed for the desktop, in our opinion. It could be mainly because they have too broad a spectrum to cover.

Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Slackware, Gentoo, Arch… they’re all great distros, but they are also “generalist” distros, they do *everything*, and that’s a good thing, but they don’t necessarily do *everything* well, as they can’t due to their size.

If Ubuntu, for instance (I’m not picking on Ubuntu here), had put together the perfect distro that was good stuff for *everybody*, there would be no need for projects like LinuxMint, or Kubuntu to exist; but they didn’t. They can’t.

That’s where niche distros have an edge as they can have a tighter, narrower focus and can innovate to cater to a smaller audience. Though, not all of the small guys technically last, but they’re the ones pushing the envelope, and trying new things out.

Swapnil: A blog stated that one openSUSE member was present during the meeting, can you tell us what is his/her contribution to FuSE?
FuSE Team: There were two members present during the meeting  Ilmethar and mrdocs. They act as our guide in the world of openSUSE, especially infrastructure wise and we are eternally grateful for that.

Swapnil: Can you tell us about the team behind FuSE and their roles and responsibilities? Are any of these members are openSUSE developers?
FuSE Team: All of these members are from the Fuduntu team, here is the list of FuSE Linux core team:.

  • Mihai Petracovici – Support/Testing
  • Mark van Tinteren – Project Lead/Devel
  • Shawn W Dunn – Project Lead/Devel/Packaging
  • Lee Ward – Communications
  • Jeremiah Yongue – Web/Packaging
  • Jhonny Brinsko – Packaging
  • Nick Bryda – Packaging
  • Pedro Mateus – Communications
  • Sean Thames – Web/Accounting

    Blair Zimmerman – Communications/Support
    
Swapnil: I see that you are still considering the default DE for FuSE. Consort and KDE seems to be in consideration. What is your criterion for choosing a DE and what lead you to these two?
FuSE Team: Consort is honestly a major consideration for us because of the similarities with Gnome 2. Our user-base, what’s left of it, is used to it and would have a much easier transition. We consider KDE because of the fact that it is a great full featured desktop and with our own little touch it’s amazing  for gaming, as Pedro Mateus of L.G.C will attest.

Swapnil: Have you considered KLyDE which is focusing on light-weight? How about making FuSE a KLyDE distro (it’s already an openSUSE driven project) .which may get you many more users who are already interested in KLyDE?
FuSE Team: Yes this is also being considered, and one of our team members is actually smitten with it.

Swapnil: To what extend to you plan on collaborating with openSUSE? Do you see benefit in that?
FuSE Team: We intend to upstream a lot of our work. The benefit to the project would be that we would know we are solidifying the base which we use, which in turn will prevent quite a lot of problems that we faced before.  We benefit in multiple ways – the use of their infrastructure reduces our operating costs and offers a solid base to work upon.  Not to mention the aid of the very smart and helpful people at openSUSE.

Swapnil: Will FuSE be based on stable openSUSE repos or will you be using Tumbleweed or Factory?
FuSE Team: We intend to remain rolling release, so Tumbleweed is the logical place for us to base out of. We will initially mirror tumbleweed’s development but probably end up diverging  from that greatly.

Swapnil: What enhancements are expected on top of openSUSE experience?
FuSE Team: Users can expect a much better power consumption for notebooks and laptops. FuSE will offer simple ways of installing vendor drivers. You can expect better openGL performance and performance in general packages like Netflix and, of course, a classic desktop.

Also we will be working on overall “Out of the Box” experience on install, and try to provide the best default experience we can. We have quite some experience with it as we have already done it successfully with Fuduntu.

 

Working upstream is extremely important, why have development if it doesn’t improve things for everyone?

 

Swapnil: Since you are talking about working upstream, how important is it to work upstream? Will you be making efforts (even if it can be challenging at times) to push changes to upstream instead of implementing them on downstream? Do you see any benefits of working with upstream?
FuSE Team: Working upstream is extremely important, why have development if it doesn’t improve things for everyone? The main benefit here is to the community at large The benefits are far stretching – less patches to maintain and apply for everyone. Better and more secure software. Not to mention the ability to see what’s coming and what you should plan for.

Swapnil: FuSE is being created by the same team that worked on Fuduntu. How can you ensure users that FuSE won’t meet the same fate of Fuduntu? What have you learned from the demise of Fuduntu?
FuSE Team: We have learned a lot of things and one of them was that something started as a joke could turn into greatness.

Fuduntu’s main problem was forking and maintaining our own base as we worked on features and bugfixes, what lay underneath grew stale not to mention the after effects of the actual fork recursive deps and all. In addition to that teh upstream changes and a bunch of EOL code due to using Gnome2  made it impossible to move forward.

So the lesson learned was don’t do it all alone and openSUSE is kind enough to aid us.

We are not intending to fork openSUSE and do it alone. Spinning and maintaining a distro is a huge amount of work and it becomes easier if you rely on and work with upstream so you can concentrate on things you want to polish – such as overall desktop environment instead of worrying about or investing limited resources in core technologies. This allows us to focus on things which can be more “creative” or “fun” like Gaming, or Multimedia, or Graphical Environment…  for our end users.

Swapnil: What’s the funding model of FuSE?
FuSE Team: we are working on a 501c3 so we take donations but right now it’s been my and the team’s not so deep pockets.

Swapnil: By when can we expect the first release?
FuSE Team: As of yet it is not yet certain when we can put out a stable release. We will however have an alpha out after we finish setting up our infrastructure and such. That hopefully will be soon.

KDE is the most welcoming and warm community, says Krita maintainer Boudewijn Rempt

KO GmbH, a Germany firm,  has announced the commercial support for Krita, one of the commercial-grade sketching application. KO GmbH, the Magdeburg based company,  was co-founded by Krita maintainer Boudewijn Rempt. We reached out to Rempt to talk about Krita and the commercial support for Krita. Read on…

Swapnil: Can you tell us more about Krita’s core market? Who are itss typical users? Do you have any stats on its user-base?
Rempt: Krita currently has tens of thousands of users, ranging from talented amateurs to hard-working professionals. Krita is being used professionally for illustration (by David Revoy, Jens Reuterberg and others) and in the VFX industry (Simon Legrand of Double Negative and others). Krita is created for painting illustrations, comics, textures, matte paintings, concept art. It is a complete art studio for artists who want to create great art from start to finish.

Swapnil: What kind of relationship is there between Krita and KDE community?
Rempt: It really is very tight. Krita is a KDE application, was born inside KDE and has grown as KDE has grown — the developers are part of the KDE community, some of us are e.V. members, others have been KDE developers for a long time.

In my opinion, there isn’t a more welcoming and warm community in the open source world than KDE and we’re proud to be part of that community. We’re doing our best to uphold KDE’s values of inclusiveness and openness, for instance through participation through KDE in Google Summer of Code, Season of KDE and Outreach Program for Women. And let me take the opportunity of saying this: I have never been with any organization with as amazing a sysadmin team as KDE’s. KDE’s sysadmin’s are beyond belief: they are helpful, friendly, active, approachable and just keep everything running, no matter the huge challenges.

Swapnil: What kind of developer force is working on Krita (how many dedicated developers does it have)?
Rempt: No-one is really 100% dedicated — Dmitry is sponsored by the Krita Foundation to work on Krita, but he also has to finish his thesis! KO GmbH had two dedicated developers working on Krita Sketch for several months. The volunteer developer force fluctuates, as school, university, jobs and weddings dictate. We’re currently at about five active developers.

Swapnil: Who is funding the development of Krita?
Rempt: Dmitry is funded by the Krita Foundation, that is, by donations from our user community. Thank you! You are great! KO GmbH has started the support plan to make it possible to extend the funding of Krita development. However, all development on Krita is overseen by the community-based Krita Foundation.

Swapnil: What kind of solutions and services do KO GmbH offer? What is its business model?
Rempt: KO GmbH offers two things: a support contract, and that means that if you take out a contract with KO GmbH you get access to recent, up-to-date builds of Krita for CentOS 6 and support when there is a problem and you’ve got a deadline, and custom development. Krita is GPL so any plugin will be GPL as well — we hope that this will make the Krita ecosystem richer and more attractive over time.

Swapnil: Can we expect an Android app any time soon?
Rempt: There is no android version yet because only with Qt5 Android is a first-class supported platform. Porting to Qt5 is something that is expected quite soon; the Android app will then take a bit more time.

Swapnil: You announced that KO will be offering commercial support for Krita,  what does that mean?
Rempt: If you’ve got a VFX studio then you will need a good application for 2D painting. Many, if not most studios, big and small, run their work stations on CentOS 6. There’s no Photoshop for that platform! Krita fills that gap. But a small studio cannot afford to hack around compiling applications from source, installing them, dealing with bug fixes — and a large studio will want to have a solid partner that knows the software in and out and that is responsive to their needs and wishes.

KO is that partner. We offer solid support, backed by our deep knowledge and involvement with Krita. After all, I’m the maintainer, and I’ve worked on Krita for close on ten years now!

Swapnil: What kind of support will KO offer for Krita?
Rempt: Bug fixes, custom development, training — everything that is needed to make deploying Krita in your organization a success!

Swapnil: If someone wants to participate in Krita development, what is the best way to do it?
Rempt: Join the community on #krita on irc.freenode.net. Check out our join page: http://krita.org/join-krita. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Krita embodies the KDE spirit: we are an open, welcoming and friendly community.