The Binary Times – Series 8 Episode 2

Series 8 Episode 2 – We welcome back Mike Saunders to the show, Mark has been enjoying using the Volla phone, Mike has been drinking liquid meals, Wayne has been playing with solar setups, Mike gives us an insight into The Document Foundation and LibreOffice and explains the recent flames on the internet regarding LibreOffice’s decision to alter its description, more under the hood tips and another epic Irish saying. Enjoy.

00:24 Wayne welcomes us to Season 8 Episode 2 from a slightly overcast Bristol. Wayne’s tongue is refusing to do what its told, leading Wayne to wonder how he can fluff up the intro after so much time. Mark tells us summer is still over in Ireland. Mike Saunders joins us to tell us he has no idea what the weather is like in Munich but the Oktoberfest has been cancelled. Mike tells us its nice to be on the show for his fifth appearance and finds it hard to believe the show is almost four years old. The guys can’t believe it either.

03:11 Mark gives us an update on his Volla phone with Ubuntu Touch. The software is still beta but steady progress is being made. Mike asks about the current development of Ubuntu Touch and Mark provides a potted history. Mike is going to try Ubuntu Touch on his Samsung Galaxy S3. Wayne comprehends the bubble we’re in. Mike thinks its great the the mobile phone duopoly is being challenged, and Mark lists off some of the mobile phone OSes, like Ubuntu Touch, Volla Phone, Sailfish OS, Postmarket OS, Phosh and the Pinephone. Mark thinks there’s a lot to be optimistic about. Mike is upset that MikeOS wasn’t mentioned in Mark’s list. Mike suggests running qemu and MikeOS on your phone as a project, so Wayne’s afternoon is sorted.

Mike tells us he’s running FreeBSD these days, but you wouldn’t really know it as he’s running it on his Nintendo Switch and reminisces about BSD in Microsoft products. Mike also gives a shout out to the developers of the Big Blue Button, a self hosted or integratedweb conferencing solution for online learning. Mark brings up the ECJ ruling as a good reason to switch from proprietary software as a service solutions to solutions like the Big Blue Button, Collabora and NextCloud.

13:07 Wayne tells us he’s been on Maker’s Corner, another fine Otherside Podcast Network Show. Mark is reminded to tell everyone he appeared on Linux Lads. Wayne goes on to tell us he’s been playing with 12V powered electronics and a viktron system he inherited as well as the Grafana graphing software.

16:41 The topic of conversation moves on to The Document Foundation, LibreOffice and the distinction between them, the companies in the LibreOffice ecosystem, and the conundrum of how to fund Free and Open Source Software.

Mike kicks off by commenting on how hard it is to please everyone in software design. He then goes on to tell us that LibreOffice and The Document Foundation have been in the tech news recently with a lot of confusion surrounding the different parts of the project. Mike goes on to explain that The Document Foundation is an independent self-governing meritocratic entity, created by a large group of Free Software advocates, in the form of a charitable Foundation under German law (gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts) which is now 10 years old. It was set up in the aftermath of Oracle buying Sun and uncertainty around the future of OpenOffice. It’s an important distinction to make that The Document Foundation is not a software house with specific requirements as a non-profit entity. LibreOffice on the other is both the software and the project, with hundreds of contributors. In essence, The Document Foundation provides the infrastructure to allow other people to develop LibreOffice. Around this then there are a number of companies formed that contribute code into LibreOffice, so there is good separation between the different parts of the ecosystem to ensure a flourishing Free and Open Source project for all. It’s a huge legacy codebase. One of the first projects The Document Foundation undertook was to simplify the build process. Mike goes on to explain the rationale behind the recent personal edition label controversy. He also reminds us of the heartbleed vulnerability as an example of how important it is to provide support to the LibreOffice ecosystem.Mike closes out the discussion with a recognition that Free and Open Source software needs to be funded.

54:52 Under the Hood – Mark’s Under the Hood comes from Mike over at the Linux Lads and it is Noise Torch, “an easy to use open source application for Linux with PulseAudio. It creates a virtual microphone that suppresses noise, in any application.” Mark decided not to try it before the show to prevent any more audio disasters but plans to install and use it in the future.

Mike’s Under the Hood is Huel and Queal, nutritionally complete meal in a drink foods that are good for you, like Guinness only with less alcohol.

Wayne’s first Under the Hood comes from Ben in the chat and it is rclone browser, a gui front end for rclone. His second is from another Ben, this time over email, and it is KISS a free and open source launcher for android. Wayne’s final one is to mention the latest Maker’s Humble Bundle with a whole bunch of useful Maker’s books.

01:03:04 And the German “Zungenbrecher”: “Schnecken erschrecken, wenn Schnecken an Schnecken schlecken, weil zum Schrecken vieler Schnecken, Schnecken nicht schmecken”, or Snails are frightened when snails lick snails because, to frighten many snails, snails do not taste. So there you have, thanks so much to Mike for coming on and taking the time to tell us all about the Document Foundation, LibreOffice and everything else. We hope you enjoy the show as much as we did making it.

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