Tag Archives: foss-sthlm

RMS in Sthlm

Claes and I started the foss-sthlm initiative a while ago, back in 2009. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before. We’ve since then done a series of events where we’ve gathered foss hackers from the Stockholm region to speak about Free Software and Open Source for people interested in these issues. We’ve had 100+ persons attend to every event and I’ve considered them successful beyond our wildest expectations. Me and Claes originally expected to gather around 30 persons or so…


So out of the blue I got a question from Giuseppe (who were talking to RMS at the time) if foss-sthlm/me would be interested in organizing an event in Stockholm with mr Stallman. It turned out mr Stallman was already considering coming to FSCONS in Gothenburg and when doing so he was looking around to see if he could do some more talks while in Sweden. Given this chance, I simply couldn’t turn it down!

We coordinated with our pals behind FSCONS (the lovely crew at FFKP) so that we would jointly fund the event. We would split the bill for getting mr Stallman here and onward again to his subsequent gig, and the cost for his travel between Stockholm and Gothenburg.

How many?

Ironically, we already before had talked about not getting one of these super celebs to foss-sthlm events simply because of their immense popularity and the problem to get facilities to host events with them. How many would come to an RMS talk? I guessed at least 300 since among our previous events the most popular one got around 150 visitors.

How to get a place?

Commercial rooms for at least 300 people are expensive and luckily we quite soon got in touch with friends at KTH in Sweden – The Royal Institute of Technology, and they graciously offered to sponsor a room for 500. Awesome, we were on our way!


South Pole didn’t hesitate when I asked them (you rock, Jakob!), but immediately said they’d help us to sponsor the event. With them on board, we had all the financial stuff we needed covered and we could say “full steam ahead!” to everyone involved .

Fiddle like crazy

FSCONS had a fixed date for their conference already, but when would RMS come to Stockholm? After FSCONS or before? When would we be able to reserve the room and how would it all fit into RMS’s schedule of other things. Several times we thought we had nailed it when something changed and we had to redo it all again. It took a good amount of emails back and forth until we finally scheduled and decided that he’d be in Stockholm first and then go FSCONS.

Open for registrations!

We went public about RMS coming to Sweden coordinated with FSCONS so that none of us would take advantage of this on the others’ expense. On September 27th 13:22 we told everyone about it, and within less than eleven (11) hours all 500 seats in the room had been reserved!

Oops, full already

Wow. That was a bit overwhelming and not quite what I had expected. A bit tough, but well our room only fits 500 so…

Find a new place

Friendly people on the foss-sthlm list very soon mentioned a new, much larger, facility that perhaps could be possible to host Stallman’s talk. The huge Aula Magna room. I was a bit pessimistic about it, as I was just so happy already with having gotten a fine sponsorship for that first room.

New place, new sponsor

What are friends for? I can hardly describe it, but we have good friends in good places and wow, not many days passed until I got the excellent news that the Stockholm University‘s department for Computer and System’s Sciences would help us get the room and pay the bill for it. This massive room fits 1194 sitting visitors. (Thanks Beatrice, you’re awesome!)

More tickets

Amazingly enough, it was just a matter of time until we ran out of tickets again. Sure, this time there were tickets available for a longer time but well over a week before the RMS talk there were again no tickets available. The demand was still clearly very high. When the event was just a few days away, we sent out reminder emails and we got lots of ticket cancellations, perhaps 60-70 of them, and the tickets that were returned were immediately made available again on the ticket site and were soon signed up for again by other lucky souls.

When we closed the registration, there were just a few tickets still available. 1180 or so had been registered to listen to Richard M Stallman talk in Stockholm, a dull and grey November day 2011.

The speech

Richard is a charismatic person. He can speak to a huge audience for almost two hours, with no slides and no images and no script and still keep us all alert and interested. He mixes in dry humor and reflects back and recites episodes from previous speeches from time to time.

The topic was of course Free Software. About doing the right thing. About freedom and how you need to be prepared to sacrifice some things in order to gain and fight for freedom. For mr Stallman things are often black/white. It is either free and therefore right and fine, or it isn’t free and therefore morally wrong and a bad idea. He also spent quite a lot of time explaining why calling it GNU/Linux is the right thing and how mr Torvalds doesn’t care about the ethics and about doing the right thing for humanity.

I’ve been involved in Free Software (and in Open Source too, a term that RMS despises and encourages us all not to use) for many years but this was actually the first time I heard RMS talk live.


This would not have been such a smooth ride with the efforts of Giuseppe, Claes and the eager help and assistance from all friends in #foss-sthlm. Thank you!

(The pictures in this blog entry are all CC-BY-SA licensed and are taken by Kjell Ericson)

RMS to Stockholm – November 8th

On November 8th 2011, foss-sthlm has the honors of welcoming Richard M Stallman to Stockholm and we invite you all to come and listen to what he has to say. RMS, as he is commonly known, is of course the founding father of both GNU and FSF and he has served his role of non-compromising believer in and the torch-bearer of the Free Software movement ever since he started it.

Date: November 8
Time: 18:00
Where: Aula Magna at Stockholm University

To get to enjoy this talk, and to be able to perhaps ask a question of your own, you must register and book your seat. You do this by going to the foss-sthlm nov2011 web page and reading the instructions.

We have this required booking concept for this only to make sure that we don’t overbook the room. Please make sure that you “return” tickets that you won’t use. Please help us pull this event through in an excellent manner.

This event is made possible thanks to our sponsors South Pole AB and DSV. We arrange this in cooperation with the great FSCONS team.

Update: we switched to a much bigger place!

Haxx, the second year

Last year I posted my report of what I and my fellows did at Haxx after the first year of true and real independence. As I probably mentioned before, we registered our company 1997 but it was just a side project for over a decade.Haxx logo

Now, when we’re slowly approaching two years it is time to look back and what we’ve done during the past twelve months and what we’re doing right now.

We have firmly established ourselves even more as expert developers within embedded systems. We’re over and over again being hired by the teams that themselves are hired by companies to provide services or products. During the last twelve months, we’ve written software and software designs for a huge medical equipment company, a small video equipment manufacturer, a major international telecom, a market-leading embedded systems provider and a global chip manufacturer. We’ve debugged simulation software, designed video streaming servers, done video subtitling magic, poked on Linux kernel code and we’ve done old-school 8051 and 16bit x86 assembly. I’ve also managed to do a Embedded Linux development (in user-space) training course – twice. All this, in just the past year!

Haxx was (and presented) at FSCONS in Gothenburg, we went to (and presented at) FOSDEM in Brussels and we went to the Rockbox devcon in London. We did lots of work within the foss-sthlm community.

Oh, and we’ve revamped our logo and graphical design.

Haxx consists of three full-time employed senior expert embedded systems consultants. We’ve all been in the industry for over twenty years: Daniel Stenberg, Björn Stenberg and Linus Nielsen Feltzing.

We continuously work with partners in the area to reach out to new and existing customers. As we’re very small and rather spend our time on working in our actual assignments we appreciate the help with sales and marketing. If you’re in the Stockholm area and ever end up needing devoted and skilled embedded software hackers, call us!

I’m gonna do my very best to make sure we get another great year! I’ll report back and tell you how it went.

foss-sthlm, the sixth, the controversial one

I’m happy to say that I was the main planner and organizer of yet another foss-sthlm meetup, the sixth. Last week we attracted about one hundred eager FOSS hackers to attend to this meeting to which I had found and cooperated a somewhat controversial sponsor.

We have had a discussion within foss-sthlm now due to this event’s sponsor: what kinds of companies are acceptable as sponsor for FOSS events and what are not? It is obvious that we have a lot of different opinions here and several people have expressed that they deliberately didn’t go to meetup #6 simply because of the sponsor’s involvement and relationship to the Swedish defence industry. Do you think a defence manufacturer or weapon systems creator can also have its good sides and sponsor good activities or should we distance ourselves from them?

I’m honestly still interested in more opinions on this. We have not formed a policy around this subject because I simply don’t think that’s a good idea. We’re not a formal organization and we all have our different views. I think we have our members hand around and participate as long as we stay within a reasonable “boundary”. If we would get involved with the wrong kind of companies, a larger portion of the group would boycott the meeting or just plainly leave foss-sthlm. But why would we ever? I’m the one who’s mostly been in touch with sponsors and I would certainly not get involved and ask for money from companies that I believe have crossed the magic line in the sand.

The meeting was perhaps the most techy and most advanced of them all so far, and I found the talks very inspiring and educating. I’ve not had time or energy to put up a page with pictures or descriptions of them, and I think I’ll just skip it. You should probably try harder to attend next time instead!

Foss-sthlm number five!

In the series of Free Software and Open Source talks and seminars we’ve been doing in the Foss-sthlm community, we are about to set off the fifth meetup on February 24, 2011 in Kista, Stockholm, Sweden. This time we will offer six talks by six different persons, all skilled and well educated within their respective topics.

The event will be held completely in Swedish, and the talks that are planned to get presented are as following:

  1. Foss in developing nations – Pernilla Näsfors
  2. Open Source Framework Agreements in the Swedish Government – Daniel Melin
  3. From telecommunications to computer networks security for real-timecommunications over IP – Olle E Johansson
  4. Maintaining – how to manage your FOSS project – Daniel Stenberg (yes, that’s me)
  5. Peek in HTTP and HTTP traffic – Henrik Nordström
  6. Cease and desist, stories from threat mails received in the Rockbox project – Björn Stenberg

As usual, we do this admission free and our sponsor (CAG this time) will provide with something to eat and drink. After all the scheduled talks (around 20:00) we’ll continue the evening at a pub somewhere and discuss open source and free software over a beer or two.

See you there!

git, patents, meego and android

dotse-logoAt this Tuesday afternoon, almost 100 people apparently managed to escape work and attend foss-sthlm’s fourth meeting. This time graciously sponsored by .SE who stood for the facilities, the coffee etc. Thank you .SE! Yours truly did his best to make it happen and to make sure we had a variety of talks by skilled people and I think we did good this time as well! This meeting took place at the same time the big Internetdagarna conference had their 6(!) parallel tracks in the building just next to ours, so it was also rather fierce competition for attention.

Robin with git

Robin Rosenberg started off the sessions by telling us about git and related dives into JGit, EGit, gerrit, code reviews and Eclipse. Robin is a core developer in the EGit/JGit projects. While I think I know at least a little git already, Robin provided an overlook over several different things in a good way. (It should be noted that Robin was called in very late in the game due to another talker having to drop out.)

As a side-note, I will never cease to be amazed by the habit in Java land to re-implement everything in “pure Java” instead of simply wrapping around the existing code/tools and leveraging what already exists and is stable…

Jonas with patents

Jonas Bosson spoke about the dangers with software patents and how they are not good, they’re hindering innovation and cost a lot of money for everyone involved. He also pledged the audience to join FFII to help the cause. You can tell Jonas is quite committed to this subject and really believes in this! And quite frankly, I don’t think a lot of people in this surrounding would argue against him…

Andreas with MeegoMeeGo

Andreas Jakl, just arrived from a rainy Helsinki, then told us (in English while all the other talks were in Swedish) about how to develop stuff with Qt for Symbian, Meego or desktop using the same tools. He showed us the latest fancy GUI builder they have called Qt Quick and how they use QML to do fancy things in a fast manner. He also managed to show us the code running in simulator and on device. Quite impressive. Andreas is a very good speaker and did a very complete session. As a bonus point, he used ‘haxx.se’ as test site for demonstrating his little demo build and of course you can’t help loving him more then? 😉

Johan with Android


Johan Nilsson started off just after the coffee break with educating us how you can do push stuff from your server applications to your mobile device. How it works and how to control that in various way. Johan’s presentation was into details, in a way at least I really appreciated it, and his (hand drawn on paper then scanned) graphics used in the presentation were stunning! The fact that Johan sneaked in a couple of curl command lines of course gave him bonus points in my mind! 😉

Henrik with FribidFribid

Henrik Nordström took the stage and briefed us on the status of the Fribid project, which is a very Swedish-centric project that works on implementing full Linux support for “bankid” which is a electronic identification system established by a consortium of Swedish banks and is used by a wide range of authorities and organizations these days. The existing Linux client is poor (and hard to get working right), closed source, saves data encrypted with private hidden keys etc.

Food, Talk, Tablets


In the restaurant after the seminaries, we gathered in a basement with beer in our glasses and chili on our plates and there was lots of open source and foss talks and we had a great time and good drinks. Two attendees brought their new tablets, which made us able to play with them and compare. the Android Samsung Galaxy Tab and the German Meego based WeTab.

Samsung Galaxy TabTo me there really wasn’t any competition. The Galaxy Tab is a slick, fast and nice device that feels like a big Android phone and it’s really usable and I could possibly see myself using it for emails and browsing. It was a while since I tried an Ipad but it gave about the same speed impression.

The WeTab however, even if it runs a modified Meego that isn’t “original” and that might suffer from bugs and what not, was a rough UI that looked far too much like my regular X Window system put in a touch device. For example, and I think this is telling, you scroll a web page down by using the right-side scroll bar and not by touching the screen in the middle and dragging it down like you’d do on IOS or Android. In fact, when I dragged down the scroll-bar like that I found it far too easy to accidentally then press one of the buttons that are always present immediately to the right of the scrollbar. Of course, the Galaxy Tab is a smaller device and also much more expensive, so perhaps those factors will bring a few users to WeTab then still.

I don’t think I’ll get a tablet anytime soon though, I just don’t see when I would use it.


I didn’t do any particular talk this time, but I felt we had a lot of good content and I can always blurb another time anyway. I really really like that we so far have managed to get lots of different speakers and I hope that we can continue to get many new speakers before we have to recycle.

It was a great afternoon and evening. All the good people and encouraging words inspire me to keep up my work and efforts on this, and I’m now aiming towards another meeting in the early 2011.

I will do another post later on when the videos from these talks go online.

Fossgruppen – Swedish fossers

Haxx is dedicated and committed to work with open source as much as possible, and we love and praise the virtues of free and open source software.

We have teamed up with a bunch of friends here in Sweden that share a lot of our mindset and spirit, and together we’ve created Fossgruppen, The Foss Group, and as an umbrella organization the group is all about making it easier for companies and people in Sweden and the world to find open source professionals. We offer open source consultants, foss-related training/courses and more.

If you’re looking for Open Source professionals in Sweden, no other company or association can compete with the amount of experience and core hacker geekness that Fossgruppen possesses. Together we also have contributors and maintainers of a range of foss projects. If you have any insights at all into foss in Sweden, there is no doubt that you will recognize more than one name in our group.

The guys in Fossgruppen are also involved in some of the biggest recent foss-related events in Sweden: foss-sthlm and FSCONS.

Fossgruppen currently consists of this team of elite guys:

  • Daniel Stenberg
  • Björn Stenberg
  • Simon Josefsson
  • Henrik Sandklef
  • Jonas Öberg
  • Johan Thelin
  • Henrik Nordström
  • Andreas Nilsson
  • Jeremiah Foster
  • Mathias Klang
  • Peter Stuge
  • Marcus RejÃ¥s

The web site is basic so far, and we don’t really have a shiny logo to show off with yet but I’m confident we will sort all that out over time!

Community Hack

OWASP Sweden and FOSS-STHLM are doing a joint effort and we’re putting together Community Hack #2 on September 4-5 2010 here in Stockholm, Sweden.

We are looking for sponsors and facilities to use for this event, please get in touch!

The goal here is to gather a group of interested people. Everyone brings their own ideas of what to accomplish, communicate the intentions to the group and then work together during the weekend to try to reach the set goals. Suitable things, hacks, to work on during the weekend will of course be free and open code and not unlikely a fair amount of things will be security related.

The event is two full days, with some kind of social thing happening on the Saturday evening and with final presentations on Sunday afternoon.

Hopefully we can use each others’ competences and cross-feed between our different communities to get inputs, feedback and good spirit into the targeted projects.

This event is number 2 since the OWAPS guys already had Community Hack #1 back in January 2010, but at that time FOSS-STHLM wasn’t involved.

We gather all info about this event at foss-sthlm.haxx.se/mote3.html.


Foss-sthlm on Internetdagarna

Yes, I’m very happy to say that our good friends at .SE (who run and admin the .se TLD and more) like FOSS a lot and they are organizing Swedish perhaps biggest conference on internet-related stuff annually in October: Internetdagarna. This year, they’ve reached out to cooperate with us – the foss-sthlm foss network – to arrange and hold a meeting of our own during the conference.

The foss-sthlm meeting will not be within the actual conference, but will be held just next door. We intend to hold the meeting admission-free just as before – the way we like! I hope and think that we will be able to arrange another kick-ass meeting then and with .SE’s help we will get the arrangements done in style. I just very well may end up doing a talk myself at that meeting. (We call that meeting #4 for now, but it’s by no means decided that it actually will end up being the forth one this year.)

Let me again just mention that foss-sthlm is no formal organization and it has no leaders and no actual members. We’re all just individuals. However, I work to get things to happen within the network and I thus sometimes appear to “speak for” us, although in the end I of course only speak for myself and I help out to arrange things that I hope others will appreciate as well.