Friday, October 16, 2009

Life is Great!

Photo by mikep (CC-BY-NC-SA)

A view days ago Lydia dented me to an interesting video on TED. (If you don't know TED it's worth having a look. The clips there are much better than the regular TV program.)

It's a talk from David Logan on tribal leadership.

According to Logan the difference between tribes (or communities) are their cultures. Build on the culture communities can reach different states. He suggest 5 tribal states:

State 1: Life Sucks

That's the culture of gangs and in prisons. Life is horrible and you just try to survive.

State 2: My Life Sucks

Life isn't so bad. But mine! If I had other possibilities I would have fun.

State 3: I'm Great (and you're not!)

That's the culture in most companies and other "tribes". These people keep telling you their own success stories.

State 4: We're Great

Tribes in this state focus on the WE, not the I. The spirit glues those communities together. They produce excellence and are having fun. A view brilliant companies and many FLOSS communities have reached that level.

State 5: Life Is Great

Tribes in state 5 are those who change the world. They focus on values.

According to David Logan's research 2% are in state 1, 25% in state 2 and the majority (48%) is in state 3. Only 22% are in state 4 and 2% in state 5.

David Logan introduces two assumptions:

1. You can only understand someone who is at the same state (plus minus one).

2. The way as people see the world so they behave.

You might have been wondering what that has to do with KDE? Here it comes: KDE (as a brilliant community) has definitly reached state 4. How can we move from 4 to 5?

Eric Raymond discribes the attitude of FLOSS hackers: "The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved." This discribes exactely the attitude: Life Is Great!

What is your attitude?

When you are looking for fascinating problems: Grab one!

The four questions I am asking myself are:

How do I see the world? At what state are the people around me? How do I communicate with others? How do we change that amazing world?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

OpenExpo in Winterthur, Switzerland

I just came home from OpenExpo in Winterthur, Switzerland. Unfortunately I could only send the afternoon and of cause the social event afterwards. It was a great pleasure to meet Myriam, Adriaan, Eckhart, Andi, Luca and Markey and Sven from Amarok.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sesame backend for soprano on openSUSE

Just a short note. I tried to install the sesame backend for soprano on opensuse 11.1 factory (KDE 4.3.0). Since I installed the java openjdk-devel packed (thanks for the hint) and of cause soprano-backend-sesame Nepomuk runs perfectly well.

Second note: I'm really happy that openSUSE is a community based distro and is (again) selecting KDE as the default while installation. Gnome is still at the top of the list but it's a great sign. If you are not an openSUSE user you might give it a try.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The World is moving

Not only the famous and great members of the KDE community are moving. Also a small member of the KDE promo team has moved to a new country. (To be exactly I moved from Munich, Germany to St. Gallen, Switzerland.) Switzerland is really a great country. I love it! And it seems that I might win the power-plug-adapter-battle and as you can see I managed to be online again.
The only purpose of this post is to say: Hello KDE Switzerland!
Anybody who lives near St. Gallen?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Updating OpenSUSE 11.0 to 11.1

I'm just updating my OpenSUSE 11.0 to 11.1 with zypper dup ( Because I have many repositories installed (KDE4, community, factory, ... repos) I had to change a lot. And then the fun started. After 'zypper dup' I had to solve about 1000 missing dependences. What a nightmare. In general I'm very satisfied with OpenSUSE but updating from one version to the other is horrible. There is room for improvement. Kubuntu does this in a much smarter way.

But after I solved the dependences OpenSUSE 11.1 work really great.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Forget tabs?

I am hoping to get tabs for KWin in a view month and the Mozilla Project is discussing what innovative concept will come after tabs.

"Reinventing Tabs in the Browser - How can we create, navigate and manage multiple web sites within the same browser instance?" is the questing of the Design Challenge 2009.

What fascinates me:
  1. Another concept of bringing the Internet to the desktop (compared to KDE's approach of integrating the web into the desktop).
  2. How they are thinking into the future and drive real innovation.
  3. How they designed and started the campaign (nice website, many involved specialists (look at "cooperations with" and "partners" at the bottom of the page), ...).
Keep your eyes open. Always think a step ahead. Perhaps there are some good approaches for KDE, too.
E. g.
  1. To visualize search results from nepomuk not in a list but 2D in the dimensions relevance (top-down) and chronology (time, left-right) (see the last link) or
  2. the idea that content that is opened / used in the same time frame might belong together.
  3. ...


Mozilla Firefox doesn't start after update

Starting Firefox after the update failed with the following message: "Could not find compatible GRE between version ...".
In the Mozilla Buidservice repo I use ( the
xulrunner package is updated to (mozilla-xulrunner190- while Firefox is still 3.0.10 (MozillaFirefox-3.0.10-3.1.i586.rpm). Just downgrade xulrunner* to and everything should work again.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Destroying Communities

I'm not only promoting KDE and asking stupid questions I also research about community building. The opposite of the questing you want to answer sometimes gives you a totally new perspective of your subject. Therefor my question is not how to build communities but how to destroy them.
  • How can I destroy a community (as a leader or developer or user or troll)? Under which circumstances would you stop contributing to KDE or any other Open Source Project (I've read some tweets about developer leaving a certain distro)?
I would be very happy if you could leaves some comments.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Noise reduction with audacity

I recorded some interviews for my PhD thesis during OpenExpo (in Bern). The background noise unfortunately was very loud so I had to concentrate very hard while listening. Audacity has the nice effect "noise reduction". I tried it and normalized the track afterwards. The difference is magnificent. Now it's easy to understand the answers to my questions, althou the voices sound a little bit unnatural now (but that doesn't matter).

Kudos to wine developers

Yesterday my father was visiting and wanted to show me a CD about Australia. I first thought there were some images or videos on it but it was a MS-Windows .exe file. :-(

I knew I installed wine some month ago. So I just clicked on the file and entered "wine" when KDE was asking for the application with which I wanted to open this file. Really deeply impressed we could navigate through the whole program including animations, music, text, etc.

Kudos to the wine developers. Great work!

Finally I added wine as standard application for .exe files to the file association dialog in KDE4 systemsettings and now I can run .exe files with a simple mouseclick. I'm delighted to see how flexible Linux has become these days.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

How to convert wma to ogg

How can I convert all *.wma to *.ogg in one directory?
I first tried the approved ffmeg. That one helped me many times with good results.

Version 1:
find -name '*wma' -exec ffmpeg -i {} -acodec vorbis -ab 128k {}.ogg \;
rename 's/\.wma//' *\.wma\.ogg
(Test the renameing: rename --no-act --verbose 's/\.wma//' *\.wma\.ogg)

Version 2:
for i in *.wma; do ffmpeg -i "$i" -vn -acodec vorbis -ab 128k "${i/.wma}".ogg; done
# ffmpeg: -vn => novideo, -acodec vorbis => ogg-encoder, -ab set audio bitrate to 128k (64 is standard. That option doesn't seem to work with ogg :-(
# ${i/.wma} is cutting the filename $i from ".wma"

The quality gets really worse.

Best quality with version 3:

1. Step: Convert wma to flac with ffmeg
ffmpeg -i input.wma -vn -acodec flac output.flac

2. Step: Convert flac to ogg with oggenc
oggenc input.flac -q2 -o output.ogg
# -q quality 2 (1 bad .. 10 excellent)
# -o output-file

Or all in one line to convert the whole directory:
for i in *.wma; do ffmpeg -i "$i" -vn -acodec flac -y tmp.flac; oggenc tmp.flac -q2 -o "${i/.wma}".ogg; done; rm -f tmp.flac
# -y Overwrite output files.
# rm -f delete without further questions

EU Parliament elections and F/OSS

European Parliament election in 1 month and 4 days. The last months before elections politicians are listening very carefully to their voters. has some ideas how to bring FS and OSS into politicians minds. Even if there is no campaign in my EU-country (at the moment there is only one in Begum, France and Italy) it reminds me (and hopefully you) that this is a good time to act. NOW!

I will tease every politician I see and ask him or her about their attitude towards

  • software patents,
  • DRM,
  • support for F/OSS in schools and gov. administration,
  • ...
And perhaps I'm going to write some emails. So they know there is something like F/OSS and there are many, many voters interested in that topic.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Presenting KDE at LinuxInfoTag in Augsburg (Hello Planet)

Sat. March 28th LinuxInfoTag took place in Augsburg (in the south of Germany). Round 250 interested people were visiting the booths of KDE, Debian, and many many more Open Source Projects and could discuss with members of the communities or listen to 20 talks. This was not only my first official event promoting KDE I also had the chance to do my first talk introducing KDE 4.2. (Talking about first times: this is my first post on (thanks to Jonathan Riddell): Hello Planet!)

It was a great pleasure and honor to present KDE 4.2 together with Lydia, Eckhart and Frederik! Thanks for the fun and thanks to everyone who contributed to KDE (otherwise I had nothing to present).
Apart from a small number of comments the majority of visitors was really excited about KDE 4.2. :-)
Kudos to all of you!

P.S.: You can find the slides (German) here:
PDF (3,7MB):
ODF (OOo3.0.1) (4,6MB):
ODF template (102KB):

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Activation and deactivation of the touchpad

Most of the hotkeys of my Thinkpad wok fine with KDE 4.2 (Fn+F4 Suspend to RAM, Fn+F12 Suspend to disk, Fn+F5 act/deact bluetooth, volumes, start/stop/previous/next). Fn+F7 (select Display) and Fn+F8 (act/deact Touchpad) don't work yet.
To act/deact the touchpad I found the following comand [1]:

/usr/bin/synclient "TouchpadOff=`/usr/bin/synclient -l | sed -ne 's/\(TouchpadOff *= *\)\([01]\)/\2/p' | sed -e 'y/01/10/'`"

Now I'm searching a way to map the key in KDE4 without installing hotkeys or other programms.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

KDE 4.2 RC1 tested

Today I updated my system to KDE 4.2 RC1 (factory repository). After the restart plasma crashed. I contacted the #plasma team on IRC and got a good tip within seconds: delete (or better move) ~/.kde4/share/config/plasma-appletsrc.
After that I had a fresh new shiny open source state of the art (or above) desktop environment. If you want to have a look search for "kde42" or for "kde 4.2".

The whole KDE community has done an amazing work. Thank you very much! You ROCK!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

IBM copyed our slogan

Just read the article "The 10 Coolest Open Source Products Of 2008" and found that IBM uses the slogan "Be Free" for Lotus Symphony.