News

FOSS contributions 2017

Jan. 6, 2018 · Dominik George

In 2017, Teckids e.V. contributed to several free software projects. In this article, we want to report which those were and what the results were. At the core, the goal was the improvement of the availability of free software for education, both in our organisation and in the public.

Debian

Members of Teckids e.V., namely Thorsten Glaser and Dominik George, are also member of several Debian packaging teams, including the Debian Edu packaging team, aiming at packaging educational software, and the Debian Remote packaging team, caring for packages used for Debian as a terminal server.

xrdp-Logo As Teckids provides a remote desktop environment for all users, so that children can contnue using free software from their homes to continue their projects, one of our main activities in 2017 was updating and maintaining Debian's package of xrdp, a free RDP server for Linux. Thus, we updated the outdated package, reviewed patches and updated them together with the upstream developers. That way, we got the first stable release of xrdp assembled in time for the release of Debian 9 (stretch), which is now available to all users. The team has since then kept up the work on improving the package and keeping it up to date. Also related to remote desktops, we took over the Guacamole package, a web-based remote desktop client.

Furthermore, members of Teckids contributed to several other packages, such as the Heimdal Kerberos package crucial to our infrastructure, LEGO's free NXT firmware and Pygame.

Movim

Movim-Logo Movim is a web-based Jabber client which, in addition to the chat functionality common to all Jabber clients, features microblogging and microblog communities. Since 2017, Teckids has been using Movim as a free social network for children and intends to provide it as a solution for group chats in education and schools. Starting with the early stages of use at Teckids, we reported some bugs and ideas and completed the German and Norwegian translations together with the Norwegian Skolelinux team. In the course of the 34th Chaos Communication Congress, we met up with Timothée Jaussoin, lead developer of Movim, to make a plan for the implementation of some features still missing for employment in educational areas. These features are crucial to the use in schools and with children - the first one being the easy availability of contact information for abuse reporting and support, and the second being a option to hide contents from foreign servers by default, so young users are not automatically confronted with difficult contents. Both features will be implemented in the course of January 2018, thanks to the commitment of the developer.

Transwhat / Yowsup

During a hackday, we met with the developer of Transwhat, Stefan Vogel, to analyse the state of Transwhat and Yowsup. We made a plan to achieve the usability of the two tools as a WhatsApp transport in the Jabber network. That way, people who still need to be able to contact people on WhatsApp shall be provided with a smooth transition.

django-ldapdb

django-ldapdb is an important component of TIC-Desk, our management software. Unfortunately, django-ldapdb had some critical bugs, and the developer has vanished more than half a year ago. Thus, we decided to fork django-ldapdb and continue its development.

Aussicht

We are proud to have contributed actively to FOSS projects in 2017 and hope to continue that development throughout the new ywar. Among other things, we will also be more active at conferences and present the free software in education topic there.

All these activities require donations und support. We appreciate all kinds of such support to keep up all the projects!