This blog is offline for several weeks. No articles will appear here and comments will be hold back till its online again. Thanks for everyone keeping up with me over the last months. Read you soon.

Yes, you read right: this blog will be offline for several weeks – two at least, but maybe even a whole month. I will be travelling and will not be close to any internet connection at all.
In the meantime there will be no posts, of course. And don’t bother to comment – the comment section is set to admin-approve, therefore nothing will appear here (and if there are to many comments after my return I might even delete them all without reading!).

Speaking about the meantime, here are some things which will happen while I’m away:

  • In General: At least three articles of the Commit Digest. Hopefully the same number of “Road to KDE 4” articles on the dot.
  • April 02: The KDE 4.0 subsystem freeze will occur.
  • April 02: Debian 4.0 (Etch) is supposed to have 0 RC bugs and could be released that date.
  • April 04: Mandriva 2007.1 will be released.
  • April 05: A new Feisty (Ubuntu) beta release, Herd 6.
  • April 12: Opensuse plans to come up with an Alpha 3 release.
  • April 15: Kdelibs hackathon meeting to finetune kdelibs and review Phonon and Slid API.

Well, as you see every important Linux distribution will at least release one new version or test version – except for Fedora. Their next release (the last test version) is April 26, and I plan to be back by then. Btw., in case you wonder: Rex will take care of my Fedora packages.

So, some last words: thanks everyone for reading and commenting during the last months. Of course, not everything worked out as expected (yes, I think about the two misplaced KDE articles), but that’s normal, I guess, when you run a blog for such a long time with so many articles. I hope that I learned my part and that I will be a bit more careful with my posts.
And for the statistics: these days the 300k mark will be taken. This is partly because digg sent me some 30k people – well, as usual such a sudden popularity has its advantages and disadvantages.
Anyway, it happens only a month and a few days after the 200k mark. This equals 3k readers a day… But, as I said, the digg effect came in, and with my absence for the next weeks the statistics are screwed up anyway.
By the way, because I was asked last time: the feed statistics are now rather stable for my blog, and show roughly 200 readers in average.

So, that’s it, I’m off to another continent 🙂


tOSSad surveys and guidelines online

The tOSSad project has released 15 new papers containing over 600 pages dealing with the FLOSS ecosystem and europe. The study describes the current situation as well as possible developments and ways of improvement.

tOSSad is short for “towards Open Source Software adoption and dissemination” and is a EU founded project to improve the FLOSS community by supporting the coordination and networks of the community. To achieve that goal several studies about the state of the art, current solutions, problems, studies about national situations and so on are provided.
As other studies I already mentioned these tOSSad papers released some days ago will provide more scientific and substantial data about the FLOSS eco system. The full list of publications is available here, the highlights are presented at an extra page.

But to be clear about that: I haven’t read the papers. I simply do not have time to go through 600 pages at the moment. Still, German IT news posted an article about the main topics of the papers there was one thing I found rather interesting:
For example the main barrier for using FLOSS in the European governments is not missing support, but existing contracts with proprietary software vendors and missing money to train the staff. Only half of the people asked even had support contracts. The others had in house capacities to deal with their problems.
That means that at least for governmental institutions support is not a problem: only half of the people need it, and these people who need it also don’t have problems with missing support.
Btw., thanks heise for a providing such an article!

Another thing mentioned in the highlight section of the tOSSad project page is that usability tests of some of the larger FLOSS projects indicated that it is indeed usable. This is not really surprising for me because at least newer versions of KDE, Gnome, OpenOffice and Firefox went through several usability tests. Large parts of these studies and tests were made by Novell afaik.

It looks like that at least for the European continent there are now more and more studies about FLOSS. I hope that such studies make the problems of software monopolies more aware to politicians and managers.