Oggi inizia il terzo giorno dell’UDS, siamo ancora in albergo mezzi assonnati: qui si dorme sempre di meno e si beve sempre di più… è un inferno! 🙂

Ieri giornata intensa: un sacco di talk sulle traduzioni con un ottima sessione di QA con tutto il team di sviluppo di Launchpad Translations: gli abbiamo fatto una serie di richieste/domande e ci hanno detto quanto fattibili possono essere e anche in quanto tempo potrebbero realizzarle. Alcune sperano possano essere realizzate dalla comunità quando Launchpad verrà rilasciato open source (manca ancora poco!), altre ci vorrà un po’ di più. Alcune anteprime che si vedranno tra non molto, forse anche meno di un mese, come una nuova interfaccia per “la gestione” del lavoro di traduzione su Launchpad: una specie di workflow migliorato (specie eh, non ho detto una gestione completa del workflow). Interessante sessione anche sulle traduzioni di UNR e sugli sviluppi futuri dei temi per Ubuntu.

Oggi interessanti sessione su GDM, Ubuntu One, le traduzioni di Kubuntu e Moblin. Un’altra giornata intensa all’orizzonte…

Second day of UDS gone, and what a day. The schedule is very tight and there are some tracks that unfortunately overlaps, so it’s not always possible to be part of everything that really interests you.

Started this morning with the LoCo Directory session where they showed us the almost-soon-to-be-released LoCo Directory, a central place with all LoCo teams links and information that will replace the huge and unmaintanable wiki page that we have now. A great work done by Daniel, Richard and Christophe.

Then on with the translations tracks, really cool ones. Met David Planella and the other guys from the Launchpad Translations development team that I have never met before (Henning and Jerome). Great sessions about how to improve our internal information exchange, great QA session with all the Launchpad devs, great talk on the UNR translation handling with Kyle.

Now head out for some tapas at Barceloneta!

I wanted to try Anjal, the new tiny email client based on Evolution, for my Mini Dell 9. I use Evolution on my (almost)daily computer use, but using Evolution on a rather small screen is not the best thing that could happen, add also that when using Evolution with the Mini 9 and it starts running all my filters (70 so far) it slows down the system and sometimes it takes ages to run them all.

So Anjal seems the best option, but that meant to compile it from scratch and I dind’t want to install all the dependencies on my Mini 9: only 8 GiB (in total) of space on an SSD.

That’s were VirtualBox enter. Instead of really trying it on the Mini, I thought about reproducing a Mini environment on a virtual machine and test it from there.

The first “problem” is: installing ubuntu-netbook-remix with VirtualBox. You can’t obviously use the .img file as an ISO, but you have to convert it and create a VitualBox Disk Image. Thanks to the wonderful documentation shipped with Virtualbox, that’s easy. The command to use is:

VBoxManage convertfromraw INPUT.img OUTPUT.vdi

You can also use the –format {VDI|VMDK|VHD} option to specify the type of disk. Done that, I setted up two “hard disks” inside the new virtual machine: the master with an empty space for storing the installation and the slave with the .vdi file created before.

Run the virtual machine, press F12 to choose the boot options, select the slave disk and install Ubuntu as usual. Installation done, apply Ubuntu’s patches, install guest additions for VirtualBox (you have to reload after each step). The last thing to do, before starting the dependencies download and the compilation process, is to mimic the screen resolution of the Mini 9. And again, thanks to VirtualBox documentation you can do this with the following command:

VBoxManage setextradata “CustomVideoMode1” “1024x600x24”

Add a small option on the kernel line in this case

vga =864

and also edit the xorg.conf.vobx file adding the 1024×600 resolution (this is not writte in the documentation, but I couldn’t make it work with that resolution, so I tried adding the options there, and it worked).

This is the first step, now I should dive into the compile thing, but outside it’s sunny and 28°C, so I’m heading to the beach!

Se la montagna non va da Maometto… o forse era qualche cos’altro? Comunque, se la scuola non va verso Ubuntu, allora facciamo che sia Ubuntu a entrare nella scuola! O no?

Il 16 maggio, due ubunteri, Paolo e Dario, saranno a Pontedera (PI) per un’iniziativa legata al software libero, Ubuntu e alla comunità italiana di Ubuntu, tenendo dei talk su questi argomenti. L’Istituto Pacinotti di Pontedera, o per lo meno una sua classe, collabora da un po’ con la traduzione italiana di FCM (svolgendo un ottimo lavoro!) e avevano piacere di avere qualcuno della comunità per poter parlare “di persona” ai ragazzi, per coinvolgerli ancora di più.

Se siete da quelle parti, volete approfondire un po’ gli argomenti software libero, Ubuntu e la sua comunità, fate un salto all’Istituto Pacinotti!

This post should have been gone out the day after our Italian meeting (29th March), but do to a lack of time on my side, I didn’t have enough time to finish it until tonight. Well… actually Paolo forced me to finish it, but that’s another story.

So here the story…

Once upon a time, thanks to the daylight saving time and a bug (at least for us is a bug) in Symbian Nokia mobile, me and Paolo, while in Bologna for the third Ubuntu Italian community meeting , woke up one hour earlier than expected. Here the story of the so called “bug”: before going to sleep I set the clock of my mobile one hour on and set the alarm at 8:30, but even the Symbian software moved the clock one hour on (I didn’t know that, probably sometimes I should read manuals), so we actually woke up at 7:30 daylight saving time, 6:30 of the good old time. Crap!

Yeah, but nothing comes by itself and while we were asleep we talked about all the things that have been said during the meeting the day before and we where thinking about our community, the Italian Ubuntu community, and how it relates with other communities of the free software world.

The biggest mistake you can do when starting a voluntary driven association or community is not looking around you to see what has already been done by other people. And this is a problem that the free software in Italy has: duplication and fragmentation.

Hackers philosophy teaches us to share, in order to avoid that other hackers have to reinvent the wheel once again (OK, maybe we have license problems, but IANAL).

Inside Ubuntu the upstream and downstrean concepts are very well known among contributors since they explain the free software “production line“, simplifying the good-neighbor-behavior: our contributions should be sent upstream so that other can reuse them and all can benefit from and we should also be considerate about our contributions because others will and may use them (the Ubuntu users base and downstream).

Thinking about all of these, we noticed some overlapping between so called “marketing” actions of our community and of other free software Italian voluntary associations and we start thinking about a “marketing line” similar to the “production line” and how, if it’s possible, we can graphically present these good-neighbor-behavior rules between voluntary associations that share same goals.

What do you think? Do you witness something similar in your Country/Region?

Meeting logo

At the end of the month, Saturday the 28th, the Italian community will hold its third community meeting in Bologna.

This is more an internal meeting for the people actively working within and for the community rather than an “Ubuntu Day”, we will discuss how to better interact with all the teams that build our loco community and what to do for the year coming, but everybody is invited and we will be happy to have you there! More people, more great ideas!

So, if you happen to be in Italy and close to Bologna, come and say hi, we will be at the Hotel Fiera all day long!

More info here: (page in Italian)

I like microblogging.

It all began with Twitter, as it was the only one around that I knew of, but when I discovered, I made the switch.

Why we should prefer over Twitter? Well, you don’t have to, but if you’re a FLOSS fan, at least you should. And I do. is free as in freedom, it runs the microblogging software released under the AGPL, you can post to Twitter trough it, for somebody it could probably be not as polished as Twitter (not for me, otherwise I wouldn’t have switched), but what I like it most is that it could “speak” your language too. Not Twitter.

I don’t mind if a program or a web page is in English, but I do mind if other people around the world could not use the same program I’m using only because it’s in English. English is only the 4th spoken language in the world (somebody at UDS told me English is “the first second known language”; BTW, thanks again for the stickers!), it’s the first language used on the Internet, but still not all the world could understand it.

From my point of view, a translator point of view, in these years, in the Internet/globalization era, not thinking about i18n and l10n aspects for a program/website/project since the beginning, is a wrong implementation. All these aspects should be discussed before the development starts, doing it after, could end out being “tricky”.

So, check out, test if it speaks your language, if not, ping your translators team/group/project (almost every language has one group, being it under the GNOME, Ubuntu, Debian or Translation Project umbrella, that hopefully all share the same conventions) and ask them to help out or join the i18n mailing list!

Oh… and do this for all the programs/projects that are not “speaking” your own language, talk to your translators, help them!

Hmmm… probably this post should be localized in as many languages as possible for being of some use! 🙂

PS: if you are using a microblogging service, try Gwibber! 😉

Remember to check out the “Art of Community“!

Anybody managed to extract (successfully and with Ubuntu) an .hdr file from an .exe BIOS update file from Dell? Looks like there’s an (almost) easy way to update Dell BIOSes as long as you have an .hdr file, but for my Mini 9 with System ID 0x02B0 Dell hasn’t provide any .hdr file… and extracting it is not working… any clue?

(I will owe you a beer!)