Symbolic 1.2.0 released \o/

Hey folks, after a lot of (hard) work and time, Symbolic 1.2.0 has finally been released :-)
You can download it here.

There is a lot of improvements and new features, in particular we simplify installation and configuration, and delay our release to moving the application server container from jetty (shipped with grails) to a customized tomcat5 instance.

New features and fix:

  • Completed opensymbolic XML-RPC server functions
  • Completed Scripts execution
  • Added Kerberos Authentication
  • Database personalization moved in configuration file
  • RPMS Spec Changed
  • Application server container switched to Tomcat
  • Moving on OpenJDK as default JVM
  • Create a Plugin Management Execution
  • Multi Thread Symbolic Engine
  • Created Grails Plugin (Func Grails Plugin) to integrate Func Communication
  • Solved some minor bug fixes
  • Migration to fedorahosted
  • Updating documentation

We need tester, if you are interested to give feedback to us, you are welcome ;-)

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Symbolic #1 – Overview and Features

First Symbolic version was released on 22/04/08. It was first open source project I never managed, we got some problem to start and to make a stable version. Now I’m releasing (aka uploading on sourceforge) the 1.1.1. version. :-)

I want to write a bit on this project on my blog (improvements, bugs, solutions and so on), but before I need to explain a bit few word about this project.

What’s symbolic?
Symbolic is a web application written with grails and is written as a front end of FUNC (Fedora Unified Network Controller). Symbolic goal is to resolve a big problem when unskilled administrators have to manage huge number of machines (virtual or host); FUNC has sexy design and is written really good, but is a python API, so require a substantive knowledge and is difficult to be used by unskilled people.

Which features actually are implemented?
Symbolic is written using Agile programming, so there are a lot of feature which are implemented and removed because testing fails. Actually there are these implemented features:

  • basic and LDAP authentication which support one or more LDAP servers
  • Virtual machine and cluster management: every machine can be inserted as virtual machine, host, guest and cluster; this characterization permit different action to different machine types (for example, virtual machines can be destroyed :D )
  • Every operation and machine can be tagged, in this way each users has a separated environment and control only granted machines.
  • Operations: any operation is a combination of a module (which corresponds to FUNC module) and functions with certain parameters. Parameters can be dynamic or fixed: inserted run time or chosed during operation creation (example, ping to an arbitrary host or ping to a fixed host).
  • Usability: we worked hard to improve usability and made application easy and simple to use by everyone (I agree, there is a lot of work in this direction)
  • Scripting: possibility to deploy simple scripts (only by administrator). Each user can launch it (if, of course, allowed).
  • Operation log, to see what operation was launched: each operation has different status, Success, Failed, Waiting, and so on…

Right now there is a dirty method to call FUNC, using command line; I’m writing (very slowly :-( ) a FUNC extension to allow communication through network (now with XMLRPC but soon with socket). In this way FUNC provides a general interface which guarantee interdependency from back-end and front-end eliminating problems due different programming languages.

Who is working behind symbolic?

Francesco Crippa and Davide Panelli are project managers; me, Marco Mornati and Simone Pucci are developers, Samuele Storari is our Art Director. Last but not least, behind symbolic there is also FUNC community.

to be continued ;-)

Update 15/06/08@09:53am
Symbolic 1.1.1 has been released, downland here. Grails 1.0.3 is required (RPM here).

Linux TAG 2008 {1/4}

Linux Tag is the most important Linux event in Europe and is organized and played in Berlin. Linux Tag is characterized by an huge participations of people (expected ~10000), associations (Fedoraproject, Debian, Gentoo, GNOME, KDE, linux-gamers) and companies (IBM, Sun, Oracle…); in fact Linux Tag slogan is “when .org meet .com”.

My Fedora Ambassador participation was the first outside Italy; when I caught aeroplane I was a little bit scared because I didn’t travel outside Italy since exactly one year. I found a good environment made by nice people: great enthusiasm, great collaboration, great fun…

Wednesday 28/05

I arrived in Berlin at ~10:30 am, and I leave my luggage in my room (we lived in Film Hotel, with every room dedicated to an actor. My room was dedicated to David Niven, I don’t know who is, but Francesco was more lucky with Audrey Hepburn).
After arriving to Linux Tag in Messe Am, I met some fedora ambassadors and I took a look about stands of other associations/companies.

Fedora booth was wonderful: all people wear the official ambassador polo (my polo was a gift from Max, thanks again), two OLPC, one Asus eeePc, stickers, t-shirts and our powerful innovation USB stick creation station.

Fedoraproject stand

Our powerful USB stick creation station (thanks to Matteo Castellini for kobold).

Francesco e Matthieu while checking USB station

In the afternoon, after I attended the Aaron Seeigo’s talk about KDE 4 I stayed for about an hour near our booth to check USB station and OLPCs; I took a bit of my time to went to the stand in front of our: linux-gamers.

I loved that stand, there was two FlightGear’s stations with 3 monitors, cloches and pedals each one, connected by network as multi player game, in addition, the server was able to draw aeroplanes on the real world, using a google maps based application.



Freets on Fire with Guitar

At 16:00 I attended a talk on LVM. It was strange to see a speaker from Red Hat using an Apple computer (with Fedora 8 virtualized with VMWare), by the way this talk was interesting and showed a lot of stuff I didn’t know about LVM.

LVM Talk

After half of afternoon, my email addiction took over me and I needed to connect so I came on Development room (a room with tables and wired/wireless networking) with Francesco. In that room I found and meet other fedora ambassadors.

Francesco, Yakoov, Stefan, Andreas, Jeroen and Fabian

Gerold, Max, Paul, Yakoov and Sandro

We leave Linux Tag building at 19 and, after a pause in hotel, we went to an Italian restaurant and we ate pizza. I ever been thought Italian food is not so good outside Italy, I ate pizza without salt, I saw people mix pasta and ketchup (OMG!!!), however in that restaurant I ate good pizza so I decided to review my policy.

Fedora ambassadors after a wearying day are going to eat
(sorry but I forgot to change ISO, so I take photo using ISO 800)

Thibault and Pavel (my room-mate)

Matthieu and Stefan

After dinner, we stayed in that restaurant to speak and drink beer, I saw for the first time “Berliner Weiss”, a special drink from Berlin ().

About near 12am, me and Francesco returned in hotel but while we was on street, we decided to made a short trip in the quarter close to us; we travelled for about 15/20 minutes until we reached the old church devastated by second world war bombing and kept original as after war.

I took a lot of photos in this day but criteria like Ubuntu’s policy…high quantity, low quality ;-) so more than 70% was deleted :(

During those days I understood the level of my english, so I decided study it to arrive to FUDCon and other events a bit more skilled ;-)

[to be continued...]

My first commit…

Today, after a day needed to make running my development infrastructure (Posgresql + TurboGears) I’ve finally done my first commit on fedora-elections project (fedora-infrastructure group).

fedora-elections is a simple and very useful web application based on TurboGears + SQLAlchemy which implement a voting system. It will be integrated with FAS2 and will be used to make decisions (new fedora name, etc. ).

Thanks to Nigel Jones to help and teach me :-)

Fedora 9 Release Party

Party + Linux + Fedora = Beer + food + Social ;-)

I’m proud to announce first Italian Fedora 9 Release Party scheduled for 13 May 2008. We will be in Lodi (south of Milan) in Via P.Gorini 19.

We will provide food and drinks and fedora USB creation stations (powered by kobold), unfortunately we don’t have time to print CDs/DVDs, so we will bet on USB creation stations technology.

Don’t hesitate to come! Remember also to bring with yourself an USB key with at least 1Gb of free space (if you have data, kobold preserve it, but is better to backup it before ;-))

More information (in Italian language) here. Thanks also to other LOLUG members to support us.

I hope we will meet there ;-)

Pycon 2 Live #1

Evito di commentare la giornata di ieri con RMS, che ha parlato di GNU/Linux, tanto prendete un video degli anni 90…ambientatelo a palazzo vecchio a firenze…e avete la conferenza di ieri ;-)

Stamattina c’è stato il workshop su django, inizialmente è partito bene, decadendo un po’ con la scrittura a mano della vista (cosa che con grails viene generata in modo automatico). La percezione cmq che da django, è che è molto difficile da mantenere…considerando che i vari branch nascono e muoino velocemente.

Ora sto seguendo il talk su Skype4Py, sinceramente una volta uscito di qui non correrò a provarloST, se devo essere sincero, considerando che lo speaker ci sta mettendo di tutto per farmi addormentare.

Ho finito le slide da circa 10 minuti…manca solo la grafica… :D

Linux Day 2007 – Tiriamo le somme

Il linux day 2007 è il terzo Linux Day che seguo come organizzatore. Quest’anno, a differenza delle scorse edizioni, ho avuto un po’ piu tempo libero, in quanto non c’erano esami che cadevano il giorno prima (2006) o la settimana dopo (2005).

L’organizzazione è andata relativamente bene, a parte diversi intoppi dovuti a seri problemi di connessione, riscontrati da alcuni membri. A parte questo, direi che il tutto è stato fatto “da manuale”. Ci siamo trovati la sera prima (Venerdì 26) e abbiamo montato tutta l’infrastruttura hardware in meno di 3 ore: il resto è venuto da se.

Abbiamo diviso in quattro aree lo spazio a disposizione: area Talk, area cazzeggio ehm, relax (LOLUG Cafe) dove distribuivamo gratuitamente bevande e biscottini :P, area LOLUG Lab dove si poteva provare linux, Area Installfest dove prendevano piede le installazioni.

La giornata di Sabato è filata liscia, nessun problema ne ritardo durante la mattina, un po’ di piu durante il pomeriggio. Diverse distribuzioni installate senza problemi, con i relativi proprietari contenti. Le persone erano di più che lo scorso anno, alcuni volti noti ma la maggior parte nuovi. L’afflusso è stato molto buono, considerando che Lodi non è una città universitaria, con un boom di presenze verso le 16:00.

Per quanto riguarda la visibilità del gruppo abbiamo avuto la visita di un paio di giornalisti (ilgiorno (la foto non c’entra una fava con il linux day :D)e ilcittadino (non c’entra molto con il linux day, ma parla di noi :P)) e siamo stati nominati su, soprattutto grazie a Tarantasio (il nostro progetto di software libero per windows, del quale parlerò a breve).

Alcune cose andranno sistemate, tipo l’organizzazione degli workshop, la lan party e il finanziamento (un po’ magro quest’anno).

Globalmente sono soddisfatto.

Ecco un’altro interessante articolo da parte di un’altro membro del LOLUG.