mardi 11 décembre 2012

FOSDEM 2013 Crossdesktop devroom Call for talks

The Call for talks for the Crossdesktop devroom at FOSDEM 2013 is getting to its end this Friday. Don't wait and submit your talk proposal about your favourite part of GNOME now!

Proposals should be sent to the crossdesktop devroom mailing list (you don't have to subscribe).

jeudi 9 août 2012

¿ Qué estabas haciendo ?

9 years after my first and only GUADEC, I've finally been able to go back to GUADEC, and guess what? It was amazing to be there!

This was a great opportunity to meet plenty of people I only knew from IRC, in particular seb128 whom I have known for 10 years and never met. And let's not forget all our amazing interns from the OPW and GSoC programs, this was very refreshing to see how enthusiastic they all were about GUADEC.

Quick memory drop of the main highlights for this week :

  • Summer evenings in A Coruña can get cold, don't forget to take some kind of sweater with you when you travel there!
  • In the end, I've done a lot more talking with people in the lobby and sitting in the sunny grass than actual talk attendance
  • It's getting harder and harder to keep the existence of the French cabal secret, we'll have to do something about this!
  • Huge kudos to the organizers, everything was perfectly organized, network was great (save for the unexpected flood ;), and also thanks to the sponsors for the various parties and for making that event possible
 As for the talks, here are the things I've done/attended during this week:
  • I've been to Nathan Willis "How to fix a font" talk, interesting overview of various font issues. He was also looking for ways to get native speakers feedback since he is sometimes designing cyrillic fonts, and it can be hard to know what looks good or not. One possible way of achieving this would be to get the various GNOME language teams involved
  • Zeeshan made a presentation about GNOME Boxes, cool as usual, but he could have done better on the photos of me he used ;)
  • Marc-André and I gave a talk about building Windows applications from your linux application using MinGW, attendance was on the low side (about 15 people), but everyone seemed very interested in building for Windows. Quick spoiler for the talk: mingw32-configure && make -j4, all the other gory details can be found in our slides
  • Together with some members of the French cabal GNOME-fr, I attended a meeting with the board to defend a Strasbourg bid for GUADEC 2013, it was more of a session to discuss about the most important items to have in the bid rather than an actual defence, I summed up my notes in a (French) email. Now we've got work to do :)
  • We also had a 2 hour meeting about GNOME Boxes design. Marc-André, Zeeshan and Jonathan were present as well as our designers (Jakub and Jon), our Summer of Code students, Fidêncio and Jovanka, and other members of the SPICE team (Alon and Hans). This was a pretty productive meeting where we could go over the various small issues in Boxes design that were uncovered during development, and discuss with the designers how to best fix them
  • Last but not least, on Sunday all the GSoC and OPW interns who could attend GUADEC gave lightning talks to present their work. All the talks went well, and some very cool stuff was presented. It was just great to meet all these new heads and to feel all this energy around GNOME and free software

Fidêncio and Jovanka giving their lightning talks

All in all, this GUADEC was a wonderful experience, I'm very happy to have been there. See you all next year! Hopefully in Strasbourg ;)

The last 3 photos in this post were taken by Ana Rey and are shared under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

lundi 23 juillet 2012

Outside Boxes


Let's start this post with a quick presentation of oVirt (you'll understand why in a few paragraphs...).
oVirt is a free project providing management, monitoring and provisioning of KVM virtual machines on multiple hosts. It comes with a web interface to create and manage virtual machines, hypervisor nodes, storage, ... and with a user portal for those who just want to connect to an already existing virtual machine.
The way the user portal works is that you log into the portal from your browser, then you choose the virtual machine you want to connect to, and a browser plugin will take over and spawn an external binary (these days it's remote-viewer)
oVirt also comes with an extensive REST API which lets you do programmatically the same thing as you can do from oVirt web UIs. Moreover, it has an extensive documentation.

But what about GNOME?

And now we are finally coming as to why I'm talking about all of this :) Lately, I've been hacking on Boxes, and since one of its goals is to view, access, and use shared connection / machine, I've decided it would be fun to make it support oVirt connections! This would make it easier for Boxes users to connect to oVirt virtual machines without having to go through their browser.

librest already provides a good low-level GObject library to access REST services (though it was missing authentication support), so I used it to build a higher level library which wraps the oVirt REST accesses: libgovirt. This library uses GObject and gobject-introspection, which gives bindings to several other languages for free (including vala which is needed for Boxes). It also provides asynchronous methods for all its remote operations.
The library is still young and only implements the few REST operations I needed (list oVirt virtual machines, get VM connection details, generate temporary VM display password, ...), but this is enough for Boxes needs ;)

Once this library was in good shape, using it in Boxes was quite easy as the existing code was modular enough. All I had to do was to add a new URI type (ovirt://), and add a new Machine subclass to handle oVirt VMs, but most of the work is done by the libgovirt library.

This work is not yet merged upstream but can be seen in my personal git repository. After some small cleanups and a libgovirt release, it should be in good shape for an upstream review and integration. As for libgovirt, there is a lot of API to bind (help welcome!), but binding this new 3.1 API will be mandatory to be able to connect to all oVirt-managed VMs. One possible way forward for libgovirt would be to leverage the python oVirt REST binding generator from ovirt-engine-sdk.

And before ending this blog post, mandatory screenshots!

Authentication to an oVirt broker

Boxes from the oVirt broker

mardi 31 janvier 2012

Going to FOSDEM!

This is this time of the year again, FOSDEM will take place in Brussels next week-end. This is one of my favourite free software event, lots of interesting talks, lots of interesting people, and lots of energy everywhere. This year, it looks like it will be the best FOSDEM ever! More devrooms, more than 400 talks, more everything!

I've helped again organizing the crossdesktop devroom. Among these talks, I can only recommend the gnome-boxes presentation that Marc-André and Zeeshan will be giving :) While I'm at it, here are a few more shameless plugs: Hans de Goede will be giving 2 SPICE talks in the Virtualization devroom, one general presentation of SPICE, and one where he will describe the USB redirection support in SPICE. And Alon Levy will present his work to interact with an X server through SPICE without using a virtual machine.

Last but not least, there will also be a GNOME booth with some goodies...

See you all there in a few days!

lundi 23 janvier 2012

Unpacking Boxes...

For the impatient people running Fedora 16 but who still want to get an aperçu of Boxes, today's your lucky day! I set up a preview repository with all the needed package to install Boxes on Fedora 16.
If you want to try it, download this file to /etc/yum.repos.d and then run  
yum install gnome-boxes && yum update

To go back to your previous setup, you can either use the convenient yum history, or remove /etc/yum.repos.d/gnome-boxes-preview.repo and use
yum remove libvirt-glib && yum distro-sync

Keep in mind that this is a new application still in heavy development, so you're likely to find bugs and missing features. But I'm sure you will enjoy it nonetheless :)

Feel free to join us in #boxes on if you have any issues, or if you just want to chat with us.