Understanding FOSS pt-br

Quick update. I have a download available for the guide to Understanding Free and Open Source for all Brazilian Portuguese readers. This is the first language to translate the majority of strings (96%). If you would like to help translating this guide into your local language; then please jump right in at the launchpad page

understanding-foss.pt_BR.pdf English and other downloads

Understanding Free and Open Source 2

Many years ago I produced a short visual guide, well after all the small changes I decided to update the guide from top to bottom. It’s now longer and follows a stronger narrative than before.

This is a long image, for the PDF download here. Repository for the svg files and scripts to build pdf and tiled images here: ~doctormo/understanding-foss/trunk, all Creative Commons, Attribution, Share Alike.

Spreadsheet Awesome: Check Mark Totals

Here’s the problem, you want to use LibreOffice to do a simple registration for a small class, so you open it up and write a small table for the dates you want to record:

Spreadsheet showing simple registration form with several names and some checked off boxes

You use a simple X to record when someone was present and a simple dash – to record an absence. But the mood strikes you and you want to make it look a little more professional. So you load up the Character Map program and grab a tick character from the symbols available and paste it into all the marked in cells:

Character Map showing a pannel of symbols

OK so your spreadsheet looks nice, but your reviewer wants to know how many students were in each class total. this should be easy enough and you make a new row and add in the cell SUM formulas. But woe! it doesn’t work. Using characters in a spreadsheet doesn’t count because they’re not numbers:

Spreadsheet showing the new tick symbol and a new totals column incorrectly showing 0 in each cell.

So to fix the issue you use the search and replace to replace all your nice tick symbols with the number ‘1’ and to be consistent, all of the dashes to the number ‘0’. And it works, you have your totals; but this doesn’t look nice! So you decide to use the format cell option to figure it out:

Spreadsheet showing all tick symbols replaced with 1

This brings up the number formatting window. Here you can decide what the cell should look like given a certain value. Our values are ‘1’ and ‘0’, anything else is a problem, so we use the cell formatting code: [=1]"✔";[=0]-;[RED]"Error" which shows a tick when the cell is ‘1’, a dash when the cell is ‘0’ and a red coloured Error when the cell is anything else:

LibreOffice Format Cell Window showing new custom format typed in.

Now everything is formatted wonderfully and LibreOffice Calc has saved us from having to decide between an ugly or a useless spreadsheet, we can have both beauty and functionality!

Spreadsheet showing correct registration totals and nice tick symbols.

As a bit of extra curricular, I also created one for deciding if someone loves you:

UOW: Making Posters to Spread Ubuntu

Hey guys, I like experimenting with the IRC classroom format; especially as my classes as normally graphical and hard to explain unless you can see what’s going on.

For today’s session I created a full screen video showing you where to get source material, putting together the poster, some notes on copyright and then uploading to the spread Ubuntu website.

Check it out: Making Posters to Spread Ubuntu Video

Comment below if you’ve made something cool you’d like to show.

Understanding Project Harmony

I’ve been highly critical1 of corporate copyright assignment policies, especially those that effect me personally. Canonical, one of those I’ve complained about, has been working to try and standardise the wording and formation of the contracts that you have to sign in order to assign copyright over.

This is called Project Harmony and it kicked off today an alpha release, which we can get involved with and try and fix and bug report.

To be fair to the process (and in hope that it can fix Canonical’s current utterly ghastly wording) I’ve put together a diagram so you can understand what the options are in the new alpha contract:

What is interesting is that while diagramming2 , I could see the difference between the FSF’s3 assignment agreement (2.1 > iv) and Canonical current agreement (2.2 > v) and they do show up in stark contrast.

What are your thoughts on this project? Will it improve the situation with contributing to Canonical’s Unity, Mozilla’s Firefox or even the FSF’s Gnu project?

1I’ve likened it to corporate theft, misappropriation of volunteer work and powerful coercion from the project maintainers project’s coherence. Similar to an optional serfdom.
2This isn’t a legal diagram, just an illustration to aid comprehension. I am not a lawyer, please check with your legal council on these matters.
3Interestingly I’ve just signed two FSF copyright assignment forms, hopefully I’ll be able to blog about what I’ve been up to with them soon.

Free Culture Posters, Get Them Here

To celebrate the release of revision 16 of my Free Culture Tabloid sided poster, I’ve put together each section into it’s own US letter poster so that a multi-poster display can be created using all of the pieces.

Do you like the edits that have gone into each revision? Is the wording easy to understand and direct enough for public consumption? Please give me your thoughts in the comments below.

Manage Your Code with Philosophy

I had this idea for a diagram from maco, we were talking about Religion and got to discussing this. I wanted to explain it and I was being casual. But take a look at my diagram and you’ll see there is a very strong pattern which is used for both resolving idealogical conflicts and resolving code/patch conflicts.

And just as we as programmers need access to lots of good and bad code to build our skills and patterns of how to program in the best way. We as human beings need to experience lots of thoughts, feelings, cultures and conflicts in order to build wisdom and insight in our human problem solving.

What are your thoughts?

Opinionated Guide to Creative Commons

Hey everyone,

I had this idea for a work-flow for creative commons, but instead of repeating the same questions as the licenses, I wanted to make the ideas more personal and conceptual.

My opinionated diagram is based on experience working with communities, discussing this issue more times then I could ever want to and attempting to educate and introduce creative commons ideals.

What are your thoughts?