The man who in every sense sits at the nerve centre of SUSE Linux has no airs about him. At 38, Vojtěch Pavlík is disarmingly frank and often seems a bit embarrassed to talk about his achievements, which are many and varied.
He is every bit a nerd, but can be candid, though precise. As director of SUSE Labs, it would be no exaggeration to call him the company's kernel guru. Both recent innovations that have come from SUSE - patching a live kernel, technology called kGraft, and creating a means for booting openSUSE on machines locked down with secure boot, have been his babies.
Earlier this year SanDisk committed to becoming an open source player, created an open source strategy office and joined the Linux Foundation. Since then, the flash storage company has begun contributing to open source projects in the three main areas of its business: mobile, enterprise and hyperscale computing, and consumer products, said Nithya Ruff, director of the open source strategy office at SanDisk in an online presentation yesterday.
I’ve been involved since around 2001, during which time I’ve worked on a number of areas within the community. I ended up maintaining the panels and parts of the desktop shell in KDE’s 3.x desktop and from there ended up doing the ground-up redesign of the shell we now know as Plasma.
That introduced some radical (at the time) concepts such as device-independent UIs, strong business/UI separation, animation rich interfaces, visual integration of desktop services and visual distinction between the desktop shell and applications running in them.
Outside of technical work, I was also president of KDE’s global non-profit foundation, KDE e.V., and oversaw improvements in how we manage intellectual property, standardizing developer sprints, rigorous reporting and more. It was during this time that I was named one of the top 50 most influential people in IT by silicon.com.
Like the Ninja Block, the Ninja Sphere runs on Linux and incorporates an Arduino-compatible microcontroller. However, it switches from a BeagleBone Black SBC to a computer-on-module that offers much the same Cortex-A8-based TI Sitara processor and other circuitry. Instead of being limited to a 433MHz RF radio, the Sphere adds ZigBee, WiFi, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and supports Z-Wave via an add-on.
Franklin is a 39 year old FOSS activist based in Taipei. He has coordinated KDE's zh_TW translation team since 2006, and is the core developer of ezgo (Chinese), a compilation of educational software used by schools all over Taiwan. ezgo, which in its Linux installation uses KDE by default, blends more than 100 free software applications into one localized, easy to use package.
So I’d seen The Matrix and also a BBC programme called Supernatural: The Unseen Powers Of Animals, where they shot dolphins jumping out of the water and they could just freeze time, and then spin round so you saw the water drops, and I thought that was a really amazing effect. And reading how it was done, it was with a whole array of cameras and it seemed quite simple. So I had the Raspberry Pi and a couple of cameras sat on my desk, and it was sort of like, ‘Well, if it seems that simple, then surely if we just got a whole load of Raspberry Pis and cameras – and they’re not that expensive – why shouldn’t we just be able to build it?’ It was one of those moments where you think it should work but you don’t actually know. So what I did was buy four cameras and I tried it, and that looked like it would work – it gave us a tantalising glimpse that we could do it.
Aaron Seigo is a seasoned open source developer who leads the Plasma team at KDE. He also tried to bring a Linux-based tablet to the market through his Vivaldi project. He recently joined Kolab Systems, and we talked to him as well as Kolab CEO Georg Greve to understand what Kolab does and how Aaron, a KDE developer, will help the company.
For our first magazine interview, we got some cheap flights and headed out to Kaufbeuren, an attractive Swabian city an hour’s train ride from Munich. This is where we met Florian Effenberger, Executive Director at The Document Foundation (he was chairman at the time of this interview), and Alexander Werner from the Foundation’s membership committee. This is the non-profit organisation at the heart of LibreOffice, the famous fork of OpenOffice.org now dominant in every Linux distribution. We were able to ask Florian about the split, about arguments over a new name and what wheat beer he’d recommend as a souvenir for our journey home.