dimitris kalamaras

mathematics, social network analysis, free software…

Tag: Ubuntu

Σχολίνουξ: ένα linux για μαθητές Γυμνασίου

Τις τελευταίες βδομάδες, έχω βρει ένα νέο …project: την «ανάπτυξη» του Σχολίνουξ. Το Σχολίνουξ ή sxolinux, όπως προδίδει το όνομά του, είναι ένα «σχολικό Linux» που στοχεύει στους μαθητές του Γυμνασίου. Γιατί ντε και καλά του Γυμνασίου; Επειδή η όλη ιδέα περί «σχολικής διανομής» ξεκίνησε από την παρατήρηση-πρόταση ενός φίλου στο φόρουμ του Linux Format, ότι εφόσον θα δοθούν φέτος κουπόνια για δωρεάν laptops στα παιδιά της Α’ Γυμνασίου, καλό θα ήταν να «φτιάξουμε μια διανομή που θα ενσωματώνει όλο το απαραίτητο λογισμικό και τα βιβλία»…

Σε αυτήν την πρόταση ανταποκρίθηκαν αρκετοί χρήστες, διαλέξαμε το όνομα «sxolinux/σχολίνουξ», κι εγώ προσφέρθηκα να φτιάξω ένα σκριπτάκι (μια εκδοχή του melux.sh) που κάνει remaster το εκάστοτε ISO του Ubuntu, δηλαδή του προσθέτει τα σχολικά βιβλία σε PDF και το αντίστοιχο εκπαιδευτικό λογισμικό της Α’ Γυμνασίου, μαζί με άλλες εκπαιδευτικές εφαρμογές του Gnome και του KDE, media players, όμορφα παιχνίδια, κατάλληλα εικονίδια και χρώματα, και φυσικά διαφορετικά λογότυπα, κλπ….

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melux: a custom ubuntu iso creation script!

When I was working for the Greek Linux Format, I was making special editions of Ubuntu for the magazine’s DVD. Those were the same distro of course, but with a lot more packages preinstalled. For that purpose, I had written all the useful info and relevant commands inside a text file. Of course, that wasn’t highly efficient, since I had to manually run through (read: copy/paste) all the commands again and again for every new custom Ubuntu image. So, I was always thinking that I should assemble and automate all those commands in a nice Bash script, but I never really tried it. This week, I finally decided to build that script and share it with everyone. So, I hereby give you Melux 1.0 (see full code below).

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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. 🙁

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