Blogs

Aaron Seigo's picture

eGoverment in the Netherlands

Today "everyone" is online in one form or another, and it has transformed how many people connect, communicate, share and collaborate with others. To think that the Internet really only hit the mainstream some 20 years ago. It has been an amazingly swift and far-reaching shift that has touched people's personal and professional lives.

So it is no surprise that the concept of eGovernment is a hot one and much talked about. However, the reality on the ground is that governments tend not to be the swiftest sort of organizations when it comes to adopting change. (Which is not a bad thing; but that's a topic for another blog perhaps.) Figuring out how to modernize the communication and interaction of government with their constituencies seems to largely still be in the future. Even in countries where everyone is posting pictures taken on their smartphones of their lunch to all their friends (or the world ...), governments seem to still be trying to figure out how to use the Internet as an effective tool for democratic discourse.

The Netherlands is a few steps ahead of most, however. They have an active social media presence which is used by numerous government offices to collaborate with each other as well as to interact with the populace. Best of all, they aren't using a proprietary, lock-in platform hosted by a private company oversees somewhere. No, they use a free software social media framework that was designed specifically for this: Pleio.

They have somewhere around 100,000 users of the system and it is both actively used and developed to further the aims of the eGovernment initiative. It is, in fact, an initiative of the Programme Office 2.0 with the Treasury department, making it a purposeful program rather than simply a happy accident.

In their own words:

The complexity of society and the need for citizens to ask for an integrated service platform where officials can easily collaborate with each other and engage citizens.

In addition, hundreds of government organizations all have the same sort of functionality needed in their operations and services. At this time, each organization is still largely trying to reinvent the wheel and independently purchase technical solutions.

roundcube's picture

Update 1.1.1 released

This is the first service release to update the stable version 1.1. It contains
some important bug fixes and improvements in error handling as well as a few
new features and configuration options. See the full changelog here.

It’s considered stable and we recommend to update all productive installations
of Roundcube with this version. Download it from roundcube.net/download,

Please do backup your data before updating!

Aaron Seigo's picture

Kolab Summit 2015

We just announced that registration and presentation proposal submission is now open for the Kolab Summit 2015 which is being held in The Hague on May 2-3.

Just as Kolab itself is made up of many technologies, many technologies will be present at the summit. In addition to topics on Kolab, there will be presentations covering Roundcube, KDE Kontact and Akonadi, cyrus imap, and OpenChange among others. We have some pretty nifty announcements and reveals already lined up for the event, which will be keynoted by George Greve (CEO of Kolab Systems AG) and Jeroen van Meeuwen (lead Kolab architect). Along with the usual BoFs and hacking rooms, this should be quite an enjoyable event.

As an additional and fun twist, the Kolab Summit will be co-located with the openSUSE conference which is going on at the same time. So we'll have lots of opportunity for "hallway talks" with Geekos as well. In fact, I'll be giving a keynote presentation at the openSUSE conference about freedom as innovation. A sort of "get the engines started" presentation that I hope provokes some thought and gets some energy flowing.

Aaron Seigo's picture

Kolab Summit 2015

Kolab Summit 2015

We just announced that registration and presentation proposal submission is now open for the Kolab Summit 2015 which is being held in The Hague on May 2-3.

Just as Kolab itself is made up of many technologies, many technologies will be present at the summit. In addition to topics on Kolab, there will be presentations covering Roundcube, KDE Kontact and Akonadi, cyrus imap, and OpenChange among others. We have some pretty nifty announcements and reveals already lined up for the event, which will be keynoted by George Greve (CEO of Kolab Systems AG) and Jeroen van Meeuwen (lead Kolab architect). Along with the usual BoFs and hacking rooms, this should be quite an enjoyable event.

As an additional and fun twist, the Kolab Summit will be co-located with the openSUSE conference which is going on at the same time. So we'll have lots of opportunity for "hallway talks" with Geekos as well. In fact, I'll be giving a keynote presentation at the openSUSE conference about freedom as innovation. A sort of "get the engines started" presentation that I hope provokes some thought and gets some energy flowing.

Andreas Cordes's picture

How-To - Kolab with Seafile

Hello,

Seafile is an open source cloud software which is free for private use.

There is also a professional edition which is not necessary for my needs. I just want to sync files across more than one device. In the past I used ownCloud which was pretty good for my needs.

First I decided to have ownCloud integrated in Kolab as a backend but I had a bit lack of time so developing a new driver for chwala was not so easy.

After a while I noticed that Seafile is integrated in chwala 0.3.0 and with Kolab 3.4 it is quite stable to install.

Last week I managed all the stuff and here is my Step-By-Step Guide:

Timotheus Pokorra's picture

Nightly builds of Kolab now available from LBS

Previously, my nightly builds of Kolab have been built and hosted here:

https://obs.kolabsys.com/project/show/home:tpokorra:branches:Kolab:Development

There were 2 problems recently:

  • I was not able to add builds for CentOS7. The error message is:
    Failed to add project or repository: unable to walk on path 'CentOS:7/standard'
  • Each time there was a new patch or release on Kolab:Development, I needed to manually remove the patch from the nightly package because the patch was already part of git master. I also needed to resolve conflicts in the debian.changelog and package dsc file because the version number changed.

UPDATE: since there was an easy fix for Point 1 (just edit the Meta file of the project to add different Operating System), I also realised I could update the OBS packaging instructions the same way as I do for LBS, avoiding conflicts. So we will see if that works over the coming weeks…

After some improvements to my LightBuildServer, I am now able to build the nightly packages on my own LBS server.

This is done in two steps:

Andreas Cordes's picture

Kolab 3.4 released - New Skin - Chwala driver for Seafile

Hello @all,

+Kolab.org Community released Version 3.4 and it was time to get the new updates up and running.

This time there is a new driver for "chwala" integrated for +Seafile.VN so I gave it a try and tried to mix it all together.

After lots pf solving dependencies and so on I managed to get the new version up and running with Seafile attached.

That's quite amazing, for this you have to configure Seafile through Apache and connect to the LDAP.

When you were able to manage all these things, you can easily save attachments in your cloud and syncing them to your smartphone. :-)

There are still some issues on my Cubietruck which I have to solve but my Idea is to rebuild all the stuff from scratch in a chroot environment and track down all steps to get it working.

Two Screenshots showing the new skin for +Roundcube and the integration of Seafile into Chwala.

Daniel Hoffend's picture

Customize the chameleon skin

With the recently announced Kolab Groupware 3.4 Version a new default skin got introduced: "Chameleon". The new skin (which is still based on larry) provides a very clean layout which is very easy to customize.

Thanks to the LESS CSS Compilier you basically only need to define a few main colors (I changed 2), compile the style sheets and exchange the skinlogo. Most of the the other colors used within roundcube are based on your main-color (lighten by 30%, etc.).

If you don't like some of the colors in the icons, change them too by either changeing the psd files or just edit the png files (which sufficent) and within 10-120 minutes you got your personal kolab skin running.

The file structure

The roundcube theme is split into 2 componentes. The internal skin parts which consists of templates, configuration files, etc. and the asset part like CSS and images.

/usr/share/roundcubemail/skins/<name>/
/usr/share/roundcubemail/public_html/assets/skins/<name>/

Let's start

  1. Duplicate the existing chameleon skin
    cd /usr/share/roundcubemail
    cp -a skins/chameleon skins/mytheme
    ​cp -a public_html/assets/skins/chameleon public_html/assets/skins/mytheme

     

  2. Give your theme a name

    skins/mytheme/meta.json

    "name": "My Theme", 
  3. Set the 2 most important colors (main color + link color)

    public_html/assets/skins/colors.less

    @main-color:  #C1D72E;
    @link-color:  #ADAA38;

    ​ 

  4. To compile and minifiy your stylesheets you need the node-less compiler. You can either install nodejs and node-less (version >= 1.8.5) from your favorite repo or just use the version from the kolab repository.
    lessc public_html/assets/skins/styles.less > public_html/assets/skins/styles.css

     

  5. Replace the kolab logo (which is used in the upper left corner) with your logo.
    cp ~/mytheme_logo.png public_html/assets/skins/images/kolab_logo.png

     

  6. Change the skin in roundcube's configuration

    /etc/roundcubemail/config.inc.php

vanmeeuwen's picture

Wife's Birthday? Kolab 3.4 Release Day!

What is the most original birthday present one can give their spouse? Well, how about a release of your favorite collaboration software suite!

I'm pleased to announce that Kolab 3.4 is available via our OBS repositories immediately!

Please see our Installation Guide for instructions on getting you some Kolab on your favorite platform, and if you already have Kolab running, check out the Upgrade Note from Kolab 3.3 to 3.4, kindly contributed for your benefit by Daniel Hoffend.

Kolab 3.4 comes with a new skin, called chameleon, that is a nice and clean-cut, modern skin for the web client -- courtesy of Kolab Systems, patron of the Kolab Groupware solution.

Two weeks ago, we have had our first release planning meeting on IRC, which has resulted in very fruitful feedback, contributions and most importantly a significant chunk of quality assurance from various participants in the community. A special thanks goes out to Daniel Hoffend and Timotheus Pokorra, who've spent plenty of their spare time on ensuring that Kolab 3.4 is the best it can be right out of the box. One slice of the pie on your right is theirs.

We're definitely going to continue to open up more processes, such as, for example, the Kolab 3.5 Roadmap.

The Kolab 3.4 release also marks the first release with an actual release party - though naturally many people are not able to attend. We're celebrating the Kolab 3.4 release is probably the best quality assured stable release Kolab.org has yet performed

Aaron Seigo's picture

Protocol Plugfest: opening closed doors to interoperability together

The "world wide web" has been such an amazing success in large part because it was based on open protocols and formats that anyone can implement and use on a level playing field. This opened the way for interoperability on a grand and global scale, and is why http and HTML succeeded where many others failed previously.

Unfortunately, not all areas of computing are as blessed with open protocols and formats. Some are quite significant, too, with hundreds of millions of people using and relying on them every single day. Thankfully, some brave souls have stepped up to implement these proprietary protocols and formats using open technology, specifically as free software. The poster child for this is Samba and the ubiquitous file and print server protocols from Microsoft.

Such formats abound and are a key component in every day business (and personal) computer usage, and since the protocols are often not as open as we'd like it can be tricky to provide free, open and interoperable implementations of them. Again, just ask the Samba team. Yet bringing the option of freedom in technologies used by business and government around the world relies on these efforts.

The free software community is moving rapidly on all fronts of this landscape, and to help ensure that our efforts actually do work as expected and that we are sharing useful information with each other between projects, a fantastic conference has been set up: the Protocol Plugfest which will be held in Zaragoza, Spain on May 12-14. This is much like the ODF Plugfest which focuses on office file formats, but with a stronger focus on protocols found in products such as Active Directory, Exchange, Sharepoint, CIFS and LDAP.

The call for papers is now open and several speakers have already been confirmed. This include Kolab System's own Georg Greve who will be speaking on the topic of "Achieving All-Platform Interoperability", reflecting on Kolab's path towards supporting the wide world of clients, data formats and wire protocols such as ActiveSync.

He will also have some exciting announcements to make in this area during the presentation, so I hope everyone interested in free software collaboration suites will keep an eye on the event!