16 Sep 2014

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Xavier Mertens: Security Appliances, Pandora’s Boxes?

Security AppliancesNo breaking news, nothing fancy in this quick blog post but it is worth to remember that security appliances can be a potential threat when deployed on your network. For years, security appliances are the "in" thing. On the paper, they are sexy: you just plug a power cable, a network cable, 4 screws if you install them in a 19″ rach (under a table isn't the best place) and you are ready to play with them. At first boot time, some wizards guide you to perform the basic configuration. They require zero administration tasks, vendors have juicy RMA contracts, … What else?

Of course, they are different levels of maturity on the security applicance market. Some of them are very performant and hardened but others are just a repository of old CVE's! Why? Back to the roots: When a vendor decides to develop a new appliance, what does it need? Basic components like:

On top of these, we found some kind of interconnection layer where all the components are connected and talk to each other. All the components are packed in a white-label box with enough CPU/memory/storage. A first problem arise: some specific features of an application can be used by the developers and prevent upgrades to a newer release "because this feature has been deprecated and the code must be rewritten". As an example, the dl() function in PHP has been removed since the version 5.3. Bad news, PHP before this version suffers of many vulnerabilities! Appliances have sexy web interfaces but behind we can have badly written shell/perl scripts which access core components with full privileges.

Engineers working for vendors have usually a virtualized version of their appliance that can be executed on their laptop for demos or labs but those VM's remain private, it's very frustrating! Often appliances are delivered as black boxes. Being a hacker, I hate this and I like to understand "what's under the hood"! A few days ago, I spent some time to create a virtualized version of an old appliance used for network management / monitoring. During the migration, here are some findings:

Dear Vendors, keep in mind that once people have physical access to your appliances, consider them as compromized! System admins, take care when you deploy new appliances in your network. Here are some recommendations:

My message is not to get rid of appliances (some of them are strongly hardened) and we need them for multiple tasks. Just keep in mind that they could introduce some new threats on your network. Just be careful!

16 Sep 2014 9:16pm GMT

15 Sep 2014

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Les Jeudis du Libre: Mons, le 16 octobre – Apprendre à programmer à l’école : pourquoi et comment ?

Ce jeudi 16 octobre 2014 à 19h, dans le cadre de la Quinzaine Numérique 2014 à Mons, le Mundaneum et les Jeudis du Libre s'associent pour proposer une conférence grand public sur les objectifs et les moyens de l'apprentissage de la programmation.

Le titre de l'exposé : Apprendre à programmer à l'école : pourquoi et comment ?

Thématique : Programmation

Public : Tout public

L'animateur conférencier : Martin Quinson (Université de Lorraine, France)

Lieu de cette séance : Université de Mons, Campus Plaine de Nimy, avenue Maistriau, Grands Amphithéâtres, Auditoire Curie (cf. ce plan sur le site de l'UMONS, ou la carte OSM).

La participation sera gratuite et ne nécessitera que votre inscription nominative, de préférence préalable, ou à l'entrée de la séance. Merci d'indiquer votre intention en vous inscrivant via la page http://jeudisdulibre.fikket.com/. Cette 32ème séance montoise se terminera, suivant l'habitude, par un verre de l'amitié. L'organisation bénéficie du soutien de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles dans le cadre de la Quinzaine Numérique.

Les Jeudis du Libre à Mons bénéficient aussi du soutien de nos partenaires : Normation, OpenSides, MeaWeb, NextLab et Phonoid.

Si vous êtes intéressé(e) par ce cycle mensuel, n'hésitez pas à consulter l'agenda et à vous inscrire sur la liste de diffusion afin de recevoir systématiquement les annonces.

Pour rappel, les Jeudis du Libre se veulent des espaces d'échanges autour de thématiques des Logiciels Libres. Les rencontres montoises se déroulent chaque troisième jeudi du mois, et sont organisées dans des locaux et en collaboration avec des Hautes Écoles et Facultés Universitaires du Pôle Hainuyer d'enseignement supérieur impliquées dans les formations d'informaticiens (UMONS, HEH et Condorcet), et avec le concours de l'A.S.B.L. LoLiGrUB, active dans la promotion des logiciels libres. Le Mundaneum est un centre d'archives de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles et un espace d'expositions temporaires. Le Mundaneum organise de fréquentes conférences sur l'architecture du savoir et l'indexation des connaissances, sur un plan historique et à la lumière des technologies modernes telles qu'internet. Cette conférence constitue la quatrième collaboration avec les Jeudis du Libre.

Description (texte provisoire) : L'apprentissage de base et pour tous de la programmation est un enjeu majeur de notre société basée sur la connaissance et les réseaux. D'une part pour éviter que le citoyen ne se sente démuni ou victime face à la déferlante des technologies de l'information et de la communication ; d'autre part pour susciter des intérêts voire des vocations pour un secteur particulièrement prometteur d'emplois.

Une affichette est téléchargeable ici !

15 Sep 2014 5:03pm GMT

Dries Buytaert: Reflections on Drupal in China


I just spent the past week in China, and I thought I'd share a few reflections on the state of Drupal in China.

First, let me set the stage. There are 1.35 billion people living in China; that is almost 20 percent of the world's population. Based on current trends, China's economy will overtake the US within the next few years. At that point, the US economy will no longer be the largest economy in the world. China's rapid urbanization is what has led to the country's impressive economic growth over the past couple of decades and it doesn't look like it is going to stop anytime soon. To put that in perspective: China currently produces and uses 60 percent of the world's cement.

In terms of Drupal, the first thing I learned is that "Drupal" sounds like "the pig is running" ("Zhu Pao") in Chinese. Contrary to a pig's rather negative reputation in the West, many Chinese developers find that cute. A pig is a more honorable sign in Chinese astrology and culture. Phew!

In terms of adoption, it feels like the Drupal community in China is about 8 to 10 years behind compared to North America or Europe. That isn't a surprise, as Open Source software is a more recent phenomenon in China than it is in North America or Europe.

Specifically, there are about 5 Drupal companies in Shanghai (population of 21 million people), 3 Drupal companies in Beijing (population of 23 million people) and 5 Drupal companies in Hong Kong (population of 7 million people). The largest Drupal companies in China have about 5 Drupal developers on staff. Four of the 5 Shanghai companies are subsidiaries from European Drupal companies. The exception is Ci&T, which has 40 Drupal developers in China. Ci&T is a global systems integrator with several thousand employees worldwide, so unlike the other companies I met, they are not a pure Drupal play. Another point of reference is that the largest Drupal event in China attracted 200 to 300 attendees.

Drupal meetup tianjin

Given that China has 4 times the population of the US, or 2 times the population of Europe, what are we missing? In talking to different people, it appears the biggest barrier to adoption is language. The problem is that Chinese Drupal documentation is limited; translation efforts exist but are slow. The little documentation that is translated is often outdated and spread out over different websites. Less than 20 percent of the Chinese Drupal developers have an account on Drupal.org, simply because they are not fluent enough in the English language. Most Drupal developers hang out on QQ, an instant messaging tool comparable to Skype or IRC. I saw QQ channels dedicated to Drupal with a couple thousand of Drupal developers.

There is no prominent Chinese content management system; most people appear to be building their websites from scratch. This gap could provide a big opportunity for Drupal. China's urbanization equals growth -- and lots of it. Like the rest of the economy, Drupal and Open Source could be catching up fast, and it might not take long before some of the world's biggest Drupal projects are delivered from China.

Supporting Drupal's global growth is important so I'd love to improve Drupal's translation efforts and make Drupal more inclusive and more diverse. Drupal 8's improved multilingual capabilities should help a lot, but we also have to improve the tools and processes on Drupal.org to help the community maintain multi-lingual documentation. Discussing this with both the Drupal Association and different members of our community, it's clear that we have a lot of good ideas on what we could do but lack both the funding and resources to make it happen faster.

Drupal meetup tianjin

Special thanks to Fan Liu (Delivery Manager @ Ci&T), Jingsheng Wang (CEO @ INsReady Inc.) and Keith Yau. All the Drupal people I met were welcoming, fun and are working hard.

15 Sep 2014 2:14pm GMT

12 Sep 2014

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Frank Goossens: Music from Our Tube; Flying Lotus + Kendrick Lamar

I love me some Flying Lotus and it so happens he just released the first track of his forthcoming album "You're Dead". The song is called "Never Catch me" and it features Kendrick Lamar in the first part and a friggin' great bass-synth in the second part (around 2:30).

YouTube Video
Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

12 Sep 2014 5:12am GMT

11 Sep 2014

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Tom Baeyens: 5 Types Of Cloud Workflow

Last Wednesday, Box Workflow was announced. It was a expected move for them to go higher up the stack as the cost of storage "races very quickly toward zero". It made me realize there are actually 4 different types of workflow solutions available on the cloud.

Box, Salesforce, Netsuite and many others have bolted workflow on top of their products. In this case workflow is offered as a feature on a product with a different focus. The advantage is they are well integrated with the product and that it's available when you have the product already. The downside can be that the scope is mostly limited to the product.

Another type is the BPM as a service (aka cloud enabled BPM). BPM as a service has an online service for which you can register an account and use the product online without setting up or maintaining any IT infrastructure for it. The cloud poses a different set of challenges and opportunities for BPM. We at Effektif provide a product that is independent, focused on BPM and which is born and raised in the cloud. In our case, we could say that our on-premise version is actually the afterthought. Usually it's the other way round. Most cloud enabled BPM products were created for on-premise first and have since been tweaked to run on the cloud. My opinion 'might' be a bit biased, but I believe that today's hybrid enterprise environments are very different from the on-premise-only days. Ensuring that a BPM solution integrates seamless with other cloud services is non-trivial. Especially when it needs to integrate just as well with existing on-premise products.

BPM platform as a service (bpmPaaS) is an extension of virtualization. These are prepackaged images of BPM solutions that can be deployed on a hosting provider. So you rent a virtual machine with a hosting provider and you then have a ready-to-go image that you can deploy on that machine to run your BPM engine. As an example, you can have a look at Red Hat's bpmPaaS cartridge.

Amazon simple workflow service is in many ways unique and a category on it's own in my opinion. It is a developer service that in essence stores the process instance data and it takes care of the distributed locking of activity instances. All the rest is up to the user to code. The business logic in the activities has to be coded. But what makes Amazon's workflow really unique is that you can (well.. have to) code the logic between the activities yourself as well. There's no diagram involved. So when an activity is completed, your code has to perform the calculation of what activities have to be done next. I think it provides a lot of freedom, but it's also courageous of them to fight the uphill battle against the user's expectations of a visual workflow diagram builder.

Then there is IFTTT and Zapier. These are in my opinion iconic online services because they define a new product category. At the core, they provide an integration service. Integration has traditionally been one of the most low level technical aspects of software automation. Yet they managed to provide this as an online service enabling everyone to accomplish significant integrations without IT or developer involvement. I refer to those services a lot because they have transformed something that was complex into something simple. That, I believe, is a significant accomplishment. We at Effektif are on a similar mission. BPM has been quite technical and complex. Our mission is also to remove the need for technical expertise so that you can build your own processes.

11 Sep 2014 9:57am GMT

10 Sep 2014

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Philip Van Hoof: Please remove me from planet-gnome

Please remove me from planet-gnome: I'm nothing but trouble.

I want to create a new era for GNOME. The last few years at GNOME have created only desperation.

You guys invested heavily in Woman outreach programs and it didn't create any meaningful innovation

You invested in …, oh right, you only invested in woman outreach programs.

I'm sorry, I wanted to make a list. But there is none. You could have invested in gnome-shell?

But also gnome-shell is by now being rightfully replaced by MATE. After several years, gnome-shell just doesn't work.

I always understood that I'm the underdog of GNOME: the guy who the group wants to hate. That's ok for me. Having worked on the core component of Tracker, tracker-store, you all rely on my code anyway. Please do me a great favor and replace all of my code.

I need to speak up. When I tried using GEdit I had to use Pluma Text Editor to get any stuff done.

The so-called GNOME desktop is in an unusable state.

You guys suck.

10 Sep 2014 10:52pm GMT

FOSDEM organizers: Hotel offer: FunKey

Like last year, FunKey Hotel is offering special rates for FOSDEM 2015 attendees. They offer our attendees a bed for 28EUR, per night. Their offer is valid for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Please check our accommodation page for more information.

10 Sep 2014 3:00pm GMT

Frank Goossens: WP SEO vs Autoptimize; who broke your WordPress?

Autoptimize 1.9 was released yesterday but unfortunately some reports were coming in about JS optimization being broken. At first I suspected the problem being related to small changes that added semi-colons to individual blocks of script (before being aggregated), but tests with some impacted users showed this was not the case.

The breakthrough came in this thread in Autoptimize's support forum, where user "grief-of-these-days" confirmed the problem started with the update of WP SEO and specifically the "sitelinks search box"-functionality that was added in WP SEO 1.6. Sitelinks Search Box comes as an inline script of type "application/ld+json", that contains a name-less JSON-object with "linked data". Autoptimize detected, aggregated and minimized this name-less object, but that not only defies the sitelinks search box mechanism, but potentially also broke the optimized JS itself. So I updated & enabled WP SEO, confirmed the problem, identified "potentialAction" as unique string to base exclusion on and pushed out 1.9.1 which will now no longer Autoptimize Sitelinks Search Box-code.

So who broke your WordPress today, WP SEO or Autoptmize? Well, WP SEO's update may have made the bug appear, but based on the fact that json-ld is standardized and as such will probably be also present in other guises, Autoptimize should really just exclude any script of the "application/ld+json"-type from being aggregated & minimized (and not just that of the Sitelinks Search Box). Adding to the to-do-list now!

10 Sep 2014 12:48pm GMT

08 Sep 2014

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Xavier Mertens: ownCloud & Elasticsearch Integration

ownCloudFor a while I left Dropbox and other cloud storage solutions and decided to host my own file exchange service based on owncloud.org. I'm using it to exchange files with my partners and customers and keep a full control of the service from A to Z. A major advantage of ownCloud is its modular architecture which allows third party applications to be installed to extend its features. When I started to work with ownCloud, I wrote a first small application which adds a way to check the uploaded files against VirusTotal.

From my humble opinion, there is a point where ownCloud is lacking of good features: The way it manages events. By default, it is possible to send events to a remote Syslog server or in a flat file but the format of the generated events is really ugly. External application were developed to log events into a MySQL database but here again it was not enough convenient for me. Next to ownCloud, I'm also using ELK to manage my log files. It was clear that both solutions must be integrated and I wrote a small application which writes event directly into Elasticsearch. The idea and framework is based on SuperLog wrote by Bastien Ho.

ownCloud implements "hooks" that can be defined as:

A function whose name can be used by developers of plug-ins to ensure that additional code is executed at a precise place during the execution of other parts of ownCloud code. For example, when an ownCloud user is deleted, the ownCloud core hook post_deleteUser is executed.

An application can place a hook on post_deleteuser and automatically performs actions when a user is deleted. seLog supports the following hooks. For each of them, an event is sent to Elasticsearch with relevant information (source IP address, login, file, folder, etc) everytime the action is performed by a user or a desktop client.

Before the esLog installation, the Elasticsearch PHP API must be deployed. Once done, you can setup the application like any other one. Extract the archive content into the /apps directory. To complete the installation, three manual steps must be performed:

1. Copy the "/vendor" directory created during the PHP API installation into a directory readable by Apache

2. Edit the file app/eslog/lib/log.php and add the following line at the top:

  require "/var/www/vendor/autoload.php"; # Change to your own location

3. To be able to log webdav operations, you must edit the remote.php file (in the root of ownCloud) and add the following line at the top:

  require_once 'apps/eslog/spy.php';

That's it! Now enable the application via the admin panel and configure it. The following parameters can be defined:

Here is a dashboard example with data received from ownCloud:

ownCloud Dashboard

(Click to zoom)

The esLog application is available on my Github account or on the official ownCloud apps repository. Comments, suggestions are welcome and happy logging!

08 Sep 2014 9:23pm GMT

Dries Buytaert: Hiking the Great Wall


Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China, the world's longest wall at 8,850 kilometers (5,500 miles). The Great Wall runs mostly through the mountains to take advantage of natural obstacles. As a result, it was quite the hike to get there but once on the Great Wall, the scenery was beyond sensational. It runs like a relentless serpentine over the horizon, evoking the image of a giant dragon.

Great wall

I learned that the Great Wall is actually a discontinuous network of walls built by various dynasties. The Chinese started building the Great Wall as early as the 7th century BC and kept building for over 2,000 years!

Great wall

It is said that over one million people died building the Great Wall. Every step you take, you can't stop imagining how they built it and the many people who suffered. I was pretty much alone on the wall, so it was not hard to imagine the lonesome life of a Ming soldier up here, waiting for something to happen. The history, the scenery, the peacefulness -- it just made me speechless.

Great wall

08 Sep 2014 4:44pm GMT

Dieter Plaetinck: Influx-cli: a commandline interface to Influxdb.

Time for another side project: influx-cli, a commandline interface to influxdb.
Nothing groundbreaking, and it behaves pretty much as you would expect if you've ever used the mysql, pgsql, vsql, etc tools before.
But I did want to highlight a few interesting features.

read more

08 Sep 2014 12:36pm GMT

07 Sep 2014

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Dries Buytaert: The end of ownership: the zero-marginal-cost economy

The future

Society is undergoing tremendous change right now -- those of us who enjoy services like Uber and Kickstarter are experiencing it firsthand. The sharing and collaboration practices of the internet are extending to transportation (Uber), hotels (Airbnb), financing (Kickstarter, LendingClub), music services (Spotify) and even software development (Linux, Drupal). While the consumer "sharing economy" gives us a taste of what it's like to live in a world where we own less, perhaps there is an equally powerful message for the business community. Using collaboration, companies are dramatically reducing the production cost of their goods or services.

Welcome to the zero-marginal-cost economy, a way of doing business where ownership of a core process is surrendered to community collaboration. In economic terms, the cost of a product or a "good" can be divided into two parts. The first part is a "setup cost", which is the cost of assembling the team and tools needed to make the first unit. The second part is called the "marginal cost", or the cost of producing a single, additional unit.

For decades, competitive markets have focused on driving productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services to compete against each other and win customers. A good example of this approach is Toyota, which completely reinvented how cars were made through lean manufacturing, changing the entire automotive industry. Japanese cars were produced much more quickly than their American counterparts, created via traditional assembly lines in Detroit, ultimately driving down the final cost for consumers and shrinking margins for companies like Ford. Software development methodologies like the lean startup methodology and Kanban are modeled after the Toyota production line and have made software development more efficient.

Today, the focus is changing. Within service industries like hospitality and transportation, new entrants are succeeding not by optimizing production, but by eliminating production cost altogether. Consider Uber versus traditional taxi companies. For a traditional taxi company to add another taxi to its fleet, a car and license need to be acquired at significant cost. Instead of shouldering that setup cost, Uber can add another taxi to its inventory at almost no cost by enabling people to share their existing cars, all coordinated via the internet. Airbnb does the same for renting properties vs. acquiring more physical space. The fact that both these companies have near zero-marginal-cost production is threatening longstanding business and regulatory models alike.

In the software industry, the low marginal cost of producing Open Source Software threatens to our equivalent of longstanding business models: proprietary software companies. Free Open Source Software essentially can undermine the way proprietary software companies make money -- by selling software licenses. By sharing the cost to develop software, organizations can increase their productivity, accelerate innovation and bring down their setup costs.

The open source ideology extends even further beyond software. Last month, Elon Musk open sourced the patents for Tesla. His main reason? Pushing the automotive industry to create more electric cars. If Elon Musk is an indicator for industries across the board, it's further proof that capitalism is starting to become more collaborative rather than centered around individual ownership.

Great businesses can be built by adding value on top of a low-marginal-cost community that is owned by many. For example, my company, Acquia, creates value on top of the open-source Drupal software by providing support and software-as-a-service tools. Similarly, Uber adds value by providing consumer-friendly, on-demand services beyond just increasing the supply of available cars on the road. In both cases, the companies' products grow stronger as their communities grow, even as the acceleration of those same communities brings down marginal costs. The power of the community vastly improves previously inefficient base process (such as waterfall software development or taxi regulations) and creates a forcing function for business to generate profit based on products and services that appeal directly to users.

Within the next decade, businesses will need to become much more open and collaborative to survive in an increasingly zero-marginal-cost economy. Those who develop proprietary software are finding it harder and harder to sustain "business as usual". The sharing economy and collaborative development will further streamline capitalism, and organizations that figure out how to master this dynamic will succeed. A community model can work in any number of industries -- we just have to challenge ourselves to as entrepreneurs to discover how.

(I originally wrote this blog post as a guest article for The Next Web. I'm cross-posting it to my blog.)

07 Sep 2014 11:48pm GMT

Claudio Ramirez: Review: Java Cookbook, 3rd ed., by Ian F. Darwin (O’Reilly)

Java Cookbook

I am not really a fan of Cookbook style books. However, by looking at the table of contents of the Java Cookbook, it's clear that the chapters on this book run parallel to chapters in more classical technical books, e.g. the excellent Core Java books by Horstman and Cornell. While the more classical books try hard to provide a logical structure within the chapter with the needed context (a story) to master the content, cookbooks give you independent ready-to-use recipes (yeah for metaphors!). So it's really about getting a proven solution fast than (deep) understanding. But you should get that from the title, so no surprises there.

My specific use case is simple. I want to do some Java coding soon, and needed a quick refresh on the language. While not so long ago I used Java 7 features for a private project, most of my Java coding in the past was based on Java 6. Java 8 seems to have nice improvements, so a fresh-from-the-press Java Cookbook (3rd edition, July 2014) seemed a fast way to get up to date. With 900+ pages, "fast" is of course relative. By this standard, the books delivered.

The content is *very* varied. Some chapters needed careful reading (or even re-reading), while others could be skimmed or even skipped. Recipes include (citing the product page):

As you can see, it's a mixture of very basic and advanced stuff and that kind of thechnical width has its risks. Some recipes are too obvious and not more useful than the javadoc showing the classic usage of a standard method of a standard class (e.g. substr from String). As such, I don't think it can replace a good book from a "Learning/Starting" series if you're new to Java. A similar phenomenon happened on the other side of the spectrum. For more complicated subjects (like the new functional aspects in Java (lambdas), GUI development or threading) a cooking recipe just doesn't provide enough context to really grasp the concepts. I hope the following screenshot from the book illustrates my point (and also shows what I don't like about java):


Try to put this in a recipe!

Despite this warning, I can say that most of the recipes are useful. By example, even the first chapter ("Getting Started: Compiling, Running, and Debugging") was surprisingly useful because it included things like ant, maven and gradle. There is lots of content to skim (it's OK, it's a cookbook!), lots of interesting stuff to read, lots to use with a mental note "need to dig deeper here" and even some annoyances from time to time (I wish the author would stop pushing his own classes for trivial stuff, like removing tabs (!)).

As a conclusion we can say that if you like cookbooks, this could be a good one. If you don't, it depends on your expectations. Mine were met, no more, no less. 3 out of 5.

Title: Java Cookbook, 3rd Edition
By: Ian F. Darwin
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Print: July 2014
Ebook: June 2014
Print ISBN: 978-1-4493-3704-9
| ISBN 10: 1-4493-3704-X
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4493-3703-2
| ISBN 10:1-4493-3703-1

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: bookreview, books, goodread, Java, o'reilly, Programming

07 Sep 2014 9:27pm GMT

06 Sep 2014

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Paul Cobbaut: Vagrantfile (this is just a bookmark)

This is my (thank you Abel) current Vagrantfile to quickly create a number of servers with two extra disks and three extra network cards:


Vagrant.configure(VAGRANTFILE_API_VERSION) do |config|
config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |vb|
vb.customize ["storagectl", :id, "--add", "sata", "--name", "SATA" , "--portcount", 2, "--hostiocache", "on"]
(1..3).each do |i|
config.vm.define "server#{i}" do |node|
node.vm.hostname = "server#{i}"
node.vm.box = "hfm4/centos7"
config.vm.box_check_update = true
node.vm.network :public_network, ip: "10.1.1.#{i}", netmask: ''
node.vm.network :public_network, ip: "10.1.2.#{i}", netmask: ''
node.vm.network :public_network, ip: "10.1.3.#{i}", netmask: ''
config.vm.provider "virtualbox" do |v|
v.name = "server#{i}"
v.memory = 512
v.cpus = 1
v.customize ['createhd', '--filename', "server_#{i}a.vdi", '--size', 8192 ]
v.customize ['createhd', '--filename', "server_#{i}b.vdi", '--size', 8192 ]
v.customize ['storageattach', :id, '--storagectl', 'SATA', '--port', 1, '--device', 0, \
'--type', 'hdd', '--medium', "./server_#{i}a.vdi"]
v.customize ['storageattach', :id, '--storagectl', 'SATA', '--port', 2, '--device', 0, \
'--type', 'hdd', '--medium', "./server_#{i}b.vdi"]

06 Sep 2014 12:29pm GMT

05 Sep 2014

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Wouter Verhelst: ASCII art Wouter

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You know you're doing a fun gig when you get to do things like the above on billable hours.

Full story: writing a test suite for reading data from eID cards. It makes sense to decode the JPEG data which you read from the card, so that you know there's no error in the lower-layer subroutines (which would result in corruption). And since we've decoded it anyway, why not show it in the test suite log? Right.

05 Sep 2014 10:20am GMT

Les Jeudis du Libre: Mons, le 18 septembre : MOOC – Une façon OUVERTE d’apprendre LIBREMENT ?

Ce jeudi 18 septembre 2014 à 19h se déroulera la 31ème séance montoise des Jeudis du Libre de Belgique.

Le sujet de cette séance : MOOC - Une façon OUVERTE d'apprendre LIBREMENT ? Exemples avec ITyPa (sujet généré par les participants) ou « Khan Academy » (sujet classique exposé par un professeur)

Thématique : e-Learning

Public : Tout public

Les animateurs conférenciers : Philippe Verstichel (Académie du Management) et Bruno De Lièvre (UMONS, Faculté de Psychologie et des Sciences de l'Éducation)

Philippe Verstichel

Philippe Verstichel

Bruno De Lièvre

Bruno De Lièvre

Lieu de cette séance : Campus technique (ISIMs) de la Haute Ecole en Hainaut, Avenue V. Maistriau, 8a, Salle Académique, 2e bâtiment (cf. ce plan sur le site de l'ISIMs, et ici sur la carte Openstreetmap).

La participation sera gratuite et ne nécessitera que votre inscription nominative, de préférence préalable, ou à l'entrée de la séance. Merci d'indiquer votre intention en vous inscrivant via la page http://jeudisdulibre.fikket.com/. La séance sera suivie d'un verre de l'amitié.

Les Jeudis du Libre à Mons bénéficient aussi du soutien de nos partenaires : Normation, OpenSides, MeaWeb, NextLab et Phonoid.

Si vous êtes intéressé(e) par ce cycle mensuel, n'hésitez pas à consulter l'agenda et à vous inscrire sur la liste de diffusion afin de recevoir systématiquement les annonces.

Pour rappel, les Jeudis du Libre se veulent des rencontres autour de thématiques des Logiciels Libres. Les rencontres montoises se déroulent chaque troisième jeudi du mois, et sont organisées dans des locaux et en collaboration avec des Hautes Écoles et Facultés Universitaires du Pôle Hainuyer d'enseignement supérieur impliquées dans les formations d'informaticiens (UMONS, HEH et Condorcet), et avec le concours de l'A.S.B.L. LoLiGrUB, active dans la promotion des logiciels libres.

Description : Voyage au pays des MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), cours en ligne qui autorisent de nouvelles façons d'apprendre mais également, dans l'esprit du "Libre", de nouvelles façons de développer non pas des programmes informatiques mais des contenus éducatifs communs.

Dans une première partie, le concept est expliqué de manière pratique au travers d'exemples bien choisis pour mettre en relief les différences entre les plateformes. Du traditionnel « coursera » au connectiviste « ITyPa » en passant par le concept de la « Khan Academy ».

Au cours de la deuxième partie, à côté d'une nouvelle approche de l'enseignement à distance, l'exposé dévoilera l'extraordinaire possibilité des MOOC comme outil de co-création de connaissance et de supports éducatifs. Au delà des défis technologiques engendrés, le caractère collaboratif/participatif des MOOC requiert en effet de nouvelles approches aussi bien en matière de pédagogie que de fabrication de contenu (celle-ci pouvant se rapprocher des développements de logiciels libres).

Dans la dernière partie, nous aborderons le côté pratique au travers de deux outils, l'un Moodle (utilisé par l'Université de Mons et la Haute École Condorcet) et OpenMOOC.

La présentation se terminera par un débat interactif sur les potentiels des MOOC en Wallonie et sur leurs apports possibles dans des milieux universitaires, entrepreneuriaux ou en formation continue.

05 Sep 2014 6:06am GMT