dimitris kalamaras

mathematics, social network analysis, free software…

Tag: openSUSE

Create complex visual elements with Processing language

I was having a kind of …insomnia attack last Friday night, so I decided to search the openSUSE repositories for interesting applications. I was using openSUSE (11.1) at the moment, with lots of additional repos [1] from the excellent Build Service, so there were a lot of things there to explore. One thing led to another, and soon I ended up downloading Processing. What is this? The package description looked interesting:

Processing is an open source programming language and
environment for people who want to program images, animation,
and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers,
researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production.
It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming
within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook
and professional production tool. Processing is an alternative
to proprietary software tools in the same domain

I thought “ok, this is promising, let’s have a closer look at it”, and waited a couple minutes for all 85MB of packages to be downloaded and installed from the Education repository (no Ubuntu packages yet, but you can just download a tarball with linux binaries). Then I started the application with the command:

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SocNetV 0.51: changes, new logo, and RPM packages

Last Friday, I released version 0.50 of Social Networks Visualiser (SocNetV) and version 0.51 followed already (yesterday), fixing an important (and yet embarrassing) bug in Graph::createDistanceMatrix() method.

IMHO, this new version is the first really usable version of this little application. With it you can draw mathematical graphs (social networks, to be precise, since the focus is more on Social Network Analysis than on Graph Theory), by pointing and clicking, load existing networks of most popular formats (Pajek, GraphML, GraphViz, UCINET, etc), create random networks (Small Worlds, Erdos-Renyi, Ring Lattices, etc), compute actor centralities (Betweeness, Closeness, Graph, etc) and clustering coefficients, select a different network layout based on these centralities (or Spring-Embedder models), and finally export your work to PDF, BMP or PNG file formats, without crashes (unlike earlier releases). A complete workflow, that is!

I am really proud of this progress (if not amazed) since I didn’t expect it to come this far 5 winters ago when I was playing with Qt toolkit while I was on army service in Evros 🙂 Yet, this application has really evolved in my spare time, and seems to be useful to some people (mostly academia).

To celebrate this new release, I prepared RPMs for both Fedora 10 and openSUSE 11.1 distros. Serafeim Zanikolas maintains already an older .deb package in Debian ‘experimental’ (and soon in Sid), while Markos Chandras just added SocNetV to qting-edge overlay, which also houses all new Qt4 and KDE4 software. Ubuntu users may add my Launchpad PPA (older version) to their repos or opt to compile from source (it’s really easy!). Meanwhile, 0.51 is the first version for which we provide a Windows zipped archive with executables (although I cant say I really tested it :P)…Oh, and we now have a much more polished and ad hoc logo (handmade with Gimp/Inkscape of course):

Nice, isn’t it? 😛

SocNetV 0.49 & Ubuntu packaging

Found some time today to finish another SocNetV release — after three months of development, SocNetV 0.49 sports a redesigned dock with tabs (statistics, edit, layout), new supported social network formats, weight numbers on edges and, as usual A LOT of bug fixes :P… But, the funkier feature of this release is that I finally managed to build decent SocNetV packages for Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex. Thanks to Canonical’s Launchpad, my very own PPA (Personal Package Archive) can be used as a third-party repository in your Ubuntu installation. All you have to do is to add these two lines in your /etc/apt/sources.list file:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/dimitris-kalamaras/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/dimitris-kalamaras/ubuntu intrepid main

Then, update your package list and install SocNetV with this single-line:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install socnetv

To run it, just go to Applications > Education > SocNetV,  et voila!

SocNetV 0.49 in Ubuntu 8.10

SocNetV 0.49 in Ubuntu 8.10

Unfortunately, it seems I can’t figure out what is going on with my older RPM .spec file, although I did try some mods, which is why the openSUSE Build Service refuses to build even plain openSUSE 11.1 packages. The funny thing is that the same .spec file builds the RPM ok in my local openSUSE install… And, unfortunately I have no more time to spend on it. 🙁

RPM .specs, for a Qt4 application

Been busy the last few days; mostly reading math but occasionally I would steal some time (preferably late at night or in the afternoons) to hack on SocNetV — btw, I released a bugfix 0.47 a couple of days ago.

Today, I decided to check on SUSE Build Service. This is a complete distribution development platform that provides the means to build packages for openSUSE distributions as well as most other Linux distributions. The whole idea seemed to be “upload your source tarball and a spec, and we’ll make binary packages for you for every distro you name”. This is just awesome, if you think about it, cause it takes all the trouble from the developer. Well, I was reading their manual, trying to understand which-is-which and what-to-do-to-build-my-great-package, when I realized that I could easily make an RPM for SocNetV with no hassles, and no Build Service at all. You see, we had a very nice tutorial on building RPM packages in the Greek edition of Linux Format magazine. At the time, I hadn’t test the instructions in real world examples, but hey ..it couldn’t be that hard! And it wasn’t. Actually, it was far easier than I thought in the first place…

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