My random thoughts about politics, society and technology (category: english)

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CS3 Workshop 2018 - Global Scale and the future of Federated Cloud Sharing

At this years CS3 Workshop in Krakow I presented the current state of Nextcloud’s Global Scale architecture. Probably the most interesting part of the talk was the current development in the area of Federated Cloud Sharing, a central component of Global Scale. Originally, Federated Cloud Sharing was developed by Frank Karlitschek and me in 2014 at ownCloud. These day it enables cloud solutions from ownCloud, Pydio and Nextcloud to exchange files. Read more...

Software freedom in the Cloud

How to stay in control of the cloud? - Photo by lionel abrial on Unsplash What does software freedom actually means, in a world where more and more software no longer runs on our own computer but in the cloud? I keep thinking about this topic for quite some time and from time to time I run into some discussions about this topic. For example a few days ago at Mastodon. Read more...

Nextcloud Conference 2017: Free Software licenses in a Nutshell

At this years Nextcloud conference I gave a lightening talk about Free Software licenses. Free Software developers often like to ignore the legal aspects of their project, still I think it is important to know at least some basics. The license you chose and other legal decisions you make are a important cornerstone to define the basic rules of the community around your code. Making good choices can enable a level playing field for a large, diverse and growing community. Read more...

Welcome to my new Homepage

Finally I moved my homepage a a complete static page powered by Hugo. Here I want to document some challenges I faced during the transition and how I solved them. Basic setup As already said I use Hugo to generate the static sites. My theme is based on Sustain. I did some changes and uploaded my version to GitLab. I want to have all dependencies like fonts and JavaScript libraries locally, so this was one of the largest changes to the original theme. Read more...

The most sincere form of flattery

CC BY-ND 2.0 by Daniel Lee Nextcloud now exists for almost exactly 8 months. During this time we put a lot of efforts in polishing existing features and developing new functionality which is crucial to the success of our users and customers. As promised, everything we do is Free Software (also called Open Source), licensed under the terms of the GNU APGLv3. This gives our users and customers the most possible flexibility and independence. Read more...

Cloud Federation – Getting Social

With Nextcloud 11 we continue to work on one of our hot topics: Cloud Federation. This time we focus on the social aspects. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to share their contact information. This enabled users to find each other and to start sharing. Therefore we extended the user profile in the personal settings. As the screenshot at the top shows, users can now add a wide range of information to their personal settings and define the visibility for each of them by clicking on the small icon next to it. Read more...

Keynote at Open16 - Restore the Internet

This year I was invented to the Open16 in Mechelen (Belgium) to give a keynote. It was a really nice event with many interesting presentation and talks. I was asked by the organizer to started the keynote with the history of Nextcloud. Why did we started Nextcloud and what do we want to do different. Then I moved on with the main topic: “Restore the Internet - free, decentralized, open”. Why it is important and what we are doing at Nextcloud to make it happen. Read more...

Transfer Public Links to Federated Shares

Transform a public link to a federated share Creating public links and sending them to your friends is a widely used feature of Nextcloud. If the recipient of a public link also has a Nextcloud or ownCloud account he can use the “Add to your Nextcloud” button to mount the content over WebDAV to his server. On a technical level all mounted public links use the same token, the one of the public link, to reference the shared file. Read more...

History and Future of Cloud Federation

Federated Cloud Sharing – Connect self-hosted, decentralized clouds I’m now working for about two years on something called Federated Cloud Sharing. It started on June, 23er 2014 with the release of ownCloud 7.0. Back then it was simply called “Server to Server sharing”. During all this years I never wrote about the broader ideas behind this technology, why we do it, what we achieved and where we are going. Read more...

Freedom for whom?

CC BY SA 2.0 by Quinn Dombrowski This discussion is really old. Since the first days of the Free Software movement people like to debate to whom the freedom in Free Software is directed? The users? The code? The developers? Often this goes along with a discussion about copyleft vs non-protecting Free Software licenses like the BSD- and the MIT-License. I don’t want to repeat this discussion but look at the question from a complete different angle. Read more...

Road Ahead

CC BY 2.0 by Nicholas A. Tonelli I just realized that at June, 1 it is exactly four years since I joined ownCloud Inc. That’s a perfect opportunity to look back and to tell you about some upcoming changes. I will never forget how all this get started. It was FOSDEM 2012 when I met Frank, we already knew each other from various Free Software activities. I told him that I was looking for new job opportunities and he told me about ownCloud Inc. Read more...

Installing Wallabag 2 on a Shared Web Hosting Service

Wallabag describes itself as a self hostable application for saving web pages. I’m using Wallabag already for quite some time and I really enjoy it to store my bookmarks, organize them by tags and access them through many different clients like the web app, the official Android app or the Firefox plug-in. Yesterday I updated by Wallabag installation to version 2.0.1. The basic installation was quite easy by following the documentation. Read more...

Guake Terminal Improvement for Multi-Monitor Setups

Guake Terminal Guake is a top-down “Quake-style” terminal. I use it on a daily basis on the Xfce desktop. The only drawback, Guake doesn’t work the way I want it on a multi-monitor setup. On such a setup the terminal always starts on the main (left) monitor. But for many people, including myself, the left monitor is the small Laptop monitor. Therefor many people prefer to open the terminal on the secondary (right) monitor. Read more...

Federated Sharing – What’s new in ownCloud 9.0

Privacy, control and freedom was always one of the main reasons to run your own cloud instead of storing your data on a proprietary and centralized service. Only if you run your own cloud service you know exactly where your data is stored and who can access it. You are in control of your data. But this also introduces a new challenge. If everyone runs his own cloud service it become inevitable harder to share pictures with your friends or to work together on a document. Read more...

The next Generation of Code Hosting Platforms

CC BY-SA 2.0 by Christiaan Colen The last few weeks there has been a lot of rumors about GitHub. GitHub is a code hosting platform which tries to make it as easy as possible to develop software and collaborate with people. The main achievement from GitHub is probably to moved the social part of software development to a complete new level. As more and more Free Software initiatives started using GitHub it became really easy to contribute a bug fix or a new feature to the 3rd party library or application you use. Read more...

Integrate ToDo.txt into Claws Mail

I use Claws Mail for many years now. I like to call it “the mutt mail client for people who prefer a graphical user interface”. Like Mutt, Claws is really powerful and allows you to adjust it exactly to your needs. During the last year I began to enjoy managing my open tasks with ToDo.txt. A powerful but still simple way to manage your tasks based on text files. This allows me not only to manage my tasks on my computer but also to keep it in sync with my mobile devices. Read more...

The ownCloud Public Link Creator

ownCloud Share Link Creator – Context Menu Holiday season is the perfect time to work on some stuff on your personal ToDo list. ownCloud 6 introduced a public REST-style Share-API which allows you to call various share operations from external applications. Since I started working on the Share-API I thought about having a simple shell script on my file manager to automatically upload a file and generate a public link for it… Here it is! Read more...

Introduction to the new ownCloud Encryption App

Last weekend we released a first preview version of the new encryption app. This wouldn’t be possible without the work done by Sam Tuke and Florin Peter. Thanks a lot for all your work! Let me take the opportunity to tell you some details about the app, what it does and how it works. The encryption app for ownCloud 5 was a complete re-write. We moved from the relatively weak blowfish algorithm to the more secure AES algorithm. Read more...

Free Software, Open Source, FOSS, FLOSS – Same same but different

There are two major terms connected to software you can freely use, study, share and improve: Free Software and Open Source. Based on them you can also find different combinations and translations like FOSS, Libre Software, FLOSS and so on. Reading articles about Free Software or listening to people involved in Free Software often raises the question: Why do they use one term or another and how they differ from each other? Read more...

A new toy arrived

My little new toy arrived! It’s a Thin Client Tux@Home Q-Box 270 (Intel Atom) with 1GB RAM and 500GB hard disk. One of the nice things about the device is the low power consumption, only 10-15Watt. This is important because I want to use the device as a small home server. To avoid paying the “windows tax / proprietary software tax” I bought the computer at ixsoft.de, a online shop which sells hardware with GNU/Linux pre-installed. Read more...

My Backup Solution

For a long time I have made backups of my home partition by hand, starting from time to time rdiff-backup. But as you can imagine, this approach doesn’t generate regular and reliable backups. I couldn’t put this task into a simple cronjob because of two reasons. First I use encrypted hard disks and my backup disk is connected via USB and not always on. So before a backup starts I have to turn on my backup disk and make sure, that my home partition and my backup disk is decrypted and mounted. Read more...

A successful year for the 1. RFC Stuttgart

This year it was the first time I participated at RoboCup tournaments. It was quite stressful but also really exiting and most important: successful! In April the year started with the German Open in Hanover. It was a hard week, we lived in a bus and worked every day far into the night. But it was worthwhile. After many years of struggle the 1. RFC Stuttgart finale made it and win the German Open! Read more...

Free Software in Schools

At the moment Free Software in education is one of my main interests in the Free Software ecosystem. FSFE’s Fellowship wiki already provides some useful information on this topic. It’s quite interesting to see the development in this area. Further I think schools play an important role for the adoption of Free Software in many areas. What pupils learn and get used to during school is what they want to use and what they demand if they enter the business world. Read more...

Fedora and gpg-agent

While it was quite easy to set up my Fellowship smartcard for SSH logins on Debian GNU/Linux following this instructions I never managed to get it working on Fedora GNU/Linux. At some point of time I just gave up. Today finally I found a solution in an on-line forum. The problem was that gpg-agent always stopped with the error message: $ gpg-agent gpg-agent[2857]: can't connect to `/home/schiesbn/.gnupg/S.gpg-agent': No such file or directory gpg-agent: no gpg-agent running in this session By default the gpg-agent on Fedora creates the socket in /tmp instead of in /home/schiesbn/. Read more...

It’s all about communication

About one week ago the new Fellowship web page was launched. It’s a great improvement over the old one. Finally we have a first-class blogging platform, a first class wiki and a planet to aggregate all weblogs of FSFE’s Fellows. I think this components already show that communication (blogs, planet) and collaboration (wiki) is an essential part of the Fellowship. Beside increasing FSFE’s financial independence and political weight the Fellowship always aimed to bring Free Software supporters together and offer them a place to exchange ideas and collaborate on Free Software activities. Read more...

Living in Emacs

E-Mail, News, Editing, Writing, Programming,… Since a few year now I use GNU Emacs for almost everything i do regularly on my computer. But there is still so many to discover and learn. The last few weeks I started to use org-mode for notes, ToDo lists, etc and i really love it. Especially the feature to link from your ToDo list or note directly to an mail in Gnus. Just copy (C-c l) the link to the mail in Gnus and insert (C-c C-l) it into the note. Read more...

Fellowship meeting Stuttgart

It’s time for the next Fellowship meeting in Stuttgart. It will take place at Thursday, 2 April at 19:00! We are going to meet in the “Unithekle”, Allmandring 17 , 70596 Stuttgart. Short term changes are announced in the wiki. This time we want to talk about Free Software in education. I think this is an interesting and important topic. We live in the digital age. Therefore pupils should learn how to use and develop information technology in an social and sustainable way and all pupils should have equal opportunities. Read more...

“Frühjahrsfestival zum Datenschutz” at Stuttgart

Today the “Frühjahrsfestival zum Datenschutz” (engl. “spring festival of privacy”) starts at the public library of Stuttgart. This will be a 4 day event from 25. to 28. March 2009. Today the event will start at 19:30 with a speech by Padeluun, he is a member of the Big Brother Award panel in Germany and a chairman of the FoeBuD e.V., an association which works for civil rights and privacy. The title of his talk will be “Datenkraken. Read more...

Happy Birthday FSFE!

Today the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) celebrates his 23 birthday! For 8 years now, the FSFE works for basic rights and freedom in the digital age, a world in which our life increasingly depends on software. In this eight years FSFE achieved a lot, from the local area to Europe and even up to the United Nations. It ranges from highly visible activities like the Document Freedom Day and the recently launched pdfreaders. Read more...

Jabber Mail Notification

I always struggled to find the right mail notification applet for my desktop. Furthermore I always stumble over the question: Why do I have to ask the mail server in a defined time interval “Do I have a new e-mail?”. Wouldn’t it be better if the mail server notifies me if a new e-mail arrives? This is probably somehow a new form of the good old question “mailing list vs bulletin board” or in general: Do i have to fetch the information or does the information come to me? Read more...

PDFreaders.org launched

Today the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) announced their latest initiative: PDFreaders.org. The initiative started in the Fellowship and is coordinated by the Fellows Hannes Hauswedell and Jan-Hendrik Peters. The Fellowship increases FSFE’s financial independence, FSFE’s political weight, FSFE’s workforce and is the source of many great projects, activites and campaigns. Read more about the Fellowship. Many websites with PDF documents have a link to a proprietary PDF reader from one specific company. Read more...

An awesome event is over: KDE 4.2 Release Party and Fellowship Meeting at Stuttgart

At Friday, 30.Jan.09 we had a joint event between KDE and the Fellowship of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and it was simply awesome! Beside a lot of KDE and FSFE people we had a lot of visitors and at the end we were about 40 people! All interested in KDE 4.2 and Free Software. At the beginning Frederik started with an introduction and showed all the new and cool things in KDE 4. Read more...

Quick Guide to GPLv3

The FSF has released a Quick Guide to GPLv3. This article explains all major changes in an easy-to-understand overview. So it is a good staring point for everyone who wants to understand GPLv3. It is also a good resource for developers who plan to release their software under the GPLv3. Read more...

The Matrix Has You

While browsing the Web i have found the video presentation “Free Software and the Matrix” by Alexandre Oliva. Just take some time, watch this presentation and you will see how much the movie “The Matrix” discusses the issues of the Free Software movement. Read more...

Back from Chemnitz

At this weekend Rainer and I were in Chemnitz at the “Chemnitzer Linux Tage” (CLT). It was the first time that FSFE had a booth at this event and for me it was the first time going to a fair especially to work at the FSFE booth. The first day was really hard for us. Because of the late decision to go to Chemnitz we had a bad place for our booth and many visitors hadn’t seen us. Read more...

Test your knowledge of the GPL and LGPL

While reading some FSF Blogs i found a link to a license quiz where you can test your knowledge of the GPL and LGPL.. If you want to test your knowledge of the GPL and LGPL than try the license quiz. I remember that i had found this test already some years ago but forgot about it. So i tried it again to see if my licensing knowledge has improved. The last time i did the test i remember that i answered a few questions wrongly but this time everything was correct. Read more...

a lot of impressions and news

I’m back from the SFSCon and the first international FSFE Fellowship Meeting in Bolzano (Italy). For me i can say that it was a great event and it gaves me the opportunity to meet a lot of great people from the Free Software Foundation Europe and around Free Software in general. The Fellowship Meeting was also the place were a new project of the FSFE was launched, the Freedom Task Force (FTF). Read more...

Login with GnuPG smartcard

Libpam-poldi allows you to use your Fellowship crypto card to log in your GNU/Linux system. First check if poldi detects your cardreader: ‘poldi-ctrl -d’. Unfortunately some cardreader doesn’t work with poldi and the existing free driver. For example the cardma4040 needs the non-free driver from Omnikey. If poldi successfully detected your cardreader you can start to configure poldi. Poldi has a pretty good documentation so i will keep my explanations rather short. Read more...

French “iPod Law” violates Human Rights

The so-called “iPod law” contains reduced fines for file sharing and forced companies to open their DRM specification to enable competition. The French Constitutional Council has declared this aspects unconstitutional. The justification: The “iPod law” violated the Human Right of constitutional protections of property. Mr. Menard, a partner at the Lovells law firm and a specialist in “intellectual property” said: “The Constitutional Council effectively highlighted the importance of intellectual property rights,” and added that Apple Computer and other companies could not be forced to share their copy-protection technology without being paid for it. Read more...

Interview with DefectiveByDesign

Thanks to Markus from netzpolitik.org i have found this interesting interview with the DefectiveByDesign campaign. The campaign has received quite a lot of attention in the media. For example the “Bono petition” saw press coverage in more than 115 news papers and news sitest in the USA. Here a answer from DefectiveByDesign to a probably common question on this topic: “Are those two goals (content protection and consumer protection) compatible with one another? Read more...

Second draft of GPLv3

After about seven month of discussion and more than 1000 comments through gplv3.fsf.org/comments/ the FSF has published the second draft of the GNU General Public License (GPL) Version 3 and the first draft of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) Version 3 which is now designed as a set of permissive exceptions to GPLv3 in accord with section 7. The main changes in the second draft of GPLv3 are clarifications of the DRM section, a reworked license compatibility section and provisions that specifically allow to distribute programs on certain file sharing networks such as BitTorrent. Read more...

Open letter to Bono (U2) to take a stand against DRM

DefectiveByDesign, a FSF campaign to eliminate DRM, has written an open letter to Bono the lead singer of the Irish rock band U2 to take a stand against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). The group has focused on Bono because of his social activism and leadership in the music industry. The aim is to collect 10.000 signatures, at which point they will seek an audience with Bono, discuss with him the threats posed by DRM and request that he be the final signer. Read more...

License fee for PDF export?

As a GNU/Linux user i’m used to have PDF export in almost every program. With Office 2007 Microsoft finally wants to offer this common feature to their users too. But it seems like Adobe doesn’t like this idea. As cnet reported Adobe asked Microsoft to remove the PDF export feature or pay a fee for it. Brian Jones from Microsoft has published some information, too. Adobe promotes PDF as an open standard. Read more...

“World Intellectual Property Day” – Canadian musicians say “Not in Our Names”

April 26th was the “World Intellectual Property Day” (German). Brigitte Zypries, minister of justice of Germany, said “We need a better sense of right and wrong for ‘intellectual property’” and announced that the protection of ‘intellectual property’ will be the main focus when Germany will held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2007. At the same time Canadian musicians like Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan or Sloan say “Not in Our Names”. Read more...