SOGo calendar synchronization breaks due to emoji in the event title

SOGo calendar synchronization breaks due to emoji in the event title

An emoji can break a calendar. 😳

I am using the SOGo Groupware. I noticed that certain emojis in the event title would prevent calendar apps from synchronizing using the CalDAV protocol. I checked the logs but could not find much. I had my doubts about what could be causing it. Then, this bug report confirmed that I should investigate on the UTF-8 encoding support.

I checked the database character set.

MariaDB [sogo]> select @@character_set_database;
+--------------------------+
| @@character_set_database |
+--------------------------+
| utf8                     |
+--------------------------+
1 row in set (0.001 sec)

The database name is sogo and we are using MariaDB.

I found the character set to be utf8, to my surprise. I had to dig a little further to understand what was wrong with it.

It turned out that the MariaDB utf8 character set supports a maximum of there bytes per character. Therefore, emojis being four bytes long weren't being inserted into the database. Consequently, that breaks the calendar synchronization. The solution was to use the utf8mb4 character set which supports four bytes per multi-byte character.

I altered the database character set and collation.

MariaDB [sogo]> ALTER DATABASE sogo CHARACTER SET = utf8mb4 COLLATE = utf8mb4_unicode_ci;

I also applied it to every table in the database, e.g:

MariaDB [sogo]> ALTER TABLE sogo_store CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;

Afterwards, I could create events using an emoji in the title. The event would synchronize across my calendar apps but the emoji would not show. Instead, it would appear as four questions marks (????) instead.

SOGo calendar synchronization breaks due to emoji in the event title
SOGo calendar emoji issue

A little bit of further digging and I found that SOGo needs to be made aware of the full unicode support. It should be specified in the /etc/sogo/sogo.conf configuration file.

MySQL4Encoding = "utf8mb4";

Restart the SOGo service. Emojis should be then accepted in the event titles.

SOGo calendar synchronization breaks due to emoji in the event title

I can now put my recurrent coffee breaks in the calendar. ☕


Credits:
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openSUSE community elects Axel, Gertjan and Neal to serve on the Board

openSUSE community elects Axel, Gertjan and Neal to serve on the Board

The election lasted for two weeks and it ended last night at 23h59 UTC. The results were published today at mid-day (for me).

The complete election results are:

  • Axel Braun — 142 votes
  • Gertjan Lettink — 134 votes
  • Neal Gompa — 131 votes
  • Maurizio Galli — 103 votes
  • Nathan Wolf — 59 votes

Five votes were recorded for the "none of the above" option. Out of 518 eligible voters, 229 voters have cast their vote in this election, which represents a turnout of 44%. It's a low turnout compared to last year's board election which was 56%.

Axel, Gertjan and Neal are elected to serve for two years on the openSUSE Board.

Ubuntu Mauritius 🐧

Ubuntu Mauritius 🐧

Last week, Chittesh and I were discussing about Ubuntu 20.10 and we shared how things are effortless and boring. I installed Ubuntu on my personal laptop the previous week-end. I was indeed impressed by the out-of-the-box experience with the drivers and codecs.

For a long time I had forgotten that Ubuntu has the tendency to keep things as "human" as possible; and therefore adhering to their motto, "Linux for human beings!"

Out of the discussion, we then decided we will put some energy into the dormant Ubuntu Mauritius LoCo Team. The latter was created in 2011 and we organised a few events around those years, such as the Ubuntu Global Jam and Installation Festivals. Later on, I continued to focus on my experiments with openSUSE and spent less time at the Ubuntu activities.

In 2021, we are going to sort out a few things and make the Ubuntu Mauritius group active again. Chittesh has agreed to take on the reign. He is already the team's go-to person. Expect to see more purple desktops next year!

Candidate slate for the openSUSE Board Election 2020

Candidate slate for the openSUSE Board Election 2020

Last night the nominations and applications phase of the election reached an end. We received six applications and the names of the candidates are:

• Axel Braun
• Gertjan Lettink
• Mark Stopka
• Maurizio Galli
• Nathan Wolf
• Neal Gompa

Note that this election is to fill three vacant seats on the openSUSE Board.

All candidates are encouraged to set up their election platform on the openSUSE wiki. The campaign begins now!

Developers Conference 2021 – Call for Speakers announced

Developers Conference 2021 - Call for Speakers announced

The Call for Speakers for the Developers Conference 2021 has been announced. Yes, DevCon 2021 is knocking at the doors already. Preparations have begun and if you would like to be a speaker at the most awaited tech conference in Mauritius, then head to sessionize.com and submit your proposal.

Save the dates

DevCon 2021 is scheduled for the 18, 19 & 20 March 2021 (if all is well in the country).

We are keeping fingers crossed that the pandemic does not worsen globally, that our friends from outside Mauritius are able to come attend, present and participate in good health, and that the COVID-19 situation on the island remains under control, so that there aren't any restriction on public gathering. All that said, we know we should continue the usual hygiene practices and apply proper social distancing measures if we are in a group of strangers.

Tips for submitting presentation proposals

  • Provide a clear and concise presentation title
  • Provide a proper description to give the attendees an idea on what they could learn or may gain from your presentation
  • Specify the difficulty level
  • If you intend to do demos and would like the audience to participate using their devices (e.g laptops/mobile phones) please specify the same in your description
  • Leave notes for the organisers if you require any specific material
  • Put a proper profile picture so that people may recognize you
  • Don't use fancy nicknames
  • A short bio about your work and other activities would be very helpful

You can submit several presentation proposals but please be reasonable, don't spam! 😉

openSUSE Board Election 2020 announced

openSUSE Board Election 2020 announced

It's election time (again)!

Yes, but this time, it is the regular board election that is happening. The previous elections that were conducted during the past year were due to ad-hoc and unforeseen circumstances. However, as per the regular election cycle, we have three seats that are going to be vacant on the openSUSE Board in December. They are the seats of Axel Braun, Marina Latini and Stasiek Michalski. Note that Stasiek was elected this year to replace Christian Boltz whose term ends in 2020. However, Stasiek is opting out from this election due to personal commitments.

My friend from the Election Committee, Ariez Vachha, made the election announcement on the project mailing list yesterday. The election wiki page has been updated accordingly, which includes the usual election schedule poster. That's courtesy of our friends from the openSUSE Indonesia community.

openSUSE Board Election 2020 announced

At the time of writing this blog post, that is less than 24 hours since the annoucement of the election, we received emails from three members who wish to stand as candidate in this election. It's a very good start.

The call for nominations and applications will continue until Sunday 29th of November. If you would like to nominate a member from the openSUSE community, please send us an email, election-officials@opensuse.org. We will be glad to inform the member about his/her nomination.

DevFest 2020 Mauritius

DevFest 2020 Mauritius

After a long wait on the island, post-confinement, we are going to have a first physical tech conference happening this month. It is the DevFest 2020 scheduled for 21 November at the Uniciti Education Hub at Pierrefonds.

The call for speakers was announced last month and the deadline for submission is today. 😉


Further details about the event will be published soon. Let's anticipate the COVID-19 restrictions such as compulsory face mask and social distancing during the event this year. I am pretty sure this must be a great challenge for the organisers and volunteers. Therefore, all the best to folks at MSCC and GDG Mauritius.

Microsoft Edge preview for Linux

Microsoft Edge preview for Linux

Last November, Microsoft announced that its Edge browser is coming to Linux in the near future. That day has arrived.

On 20 October 2020, Microsoft released Edge preview builds for Linux and with that Microsoft Edge is now available for all major desktop and mobile platforms.

Microsoft Edge preview for Linux
Microsoft Edge on all major platforms

DEB and RPM packages are available on the Microsoft Edge Insider website. These packages are updated weekly.

Hence, to install Microsoft Edge on openSUSE, simply download the .rpm file and use zypper for the installation.

sudo zypper in ~/Downloads/microsoft-edge-dev-88.0.680.1-1.x86_64.rpm

That's it! You should now be able to run Edge on openSUSE. In fact, the above screenshots are from the Edge build version 88.0.680.1 running on openSUSE Tumbleweed.

Microsoft Edge preview for Linux
Microsoft Edge build version 88.0.680.1

Hacktoberfest Mauritius 2020

Hacktoberfest Mauritius 2020

Saamiyah pinged me a few days ago about the Hacktoberfest event that she was organising and asked whether I would be free to present a topic. Sure, why not?

As many tech meetups at the moment, the Hacktoberfest event also was virtual. It was hosted on the Jitsi instance of the Mauritius Software Craftsmanship Community. The event was scheduled to start at 19h30 on Friday, i.e last evening. I was late to join but "luckily" so was everybody.


As the event started, we had some small-talk before the presentations really kick-off. We talked about flexi-time, work-from-(home|anywhere), and how they compare to being full-time in office.

Saamiyah did the first presentation in which she talked about the concept of Hacktoberfest, a month where open source software is celebrated. Sandeep spoke about local open source projects on GitHub.

I spoke about Flatpak and how to set it up on openSUSE. I concluded my presentation with an observation on the rise of Flatpak fuelled by the idea of having immutable & maintenance-free systems such as Fedora Silverblue and openSUSE MicroOS Desktop.

Hacktoberfest Mauritius 2020
Hacktoberfest Mauritius - Flatpak on openSUSE

The presentation slides are available at speakerdeck.com.

The next speaker, Alan, spoke about Docker Swarm, followed by Pritvi who talked about software licenses. It was 22h00 by that time and I could not stay longer. I bid goodnight on the chat room and wished everyone to continue having fun!

openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020

openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020

oSLO 2020 kicked-off on Thursday 15 October at 10h00 UTC with an opening address by The Document Foundation's Chairman, Lothar Becker.

openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020
Screenshot from the opening session at the oSLO Conference

The conference was due to happen in Nuremberg, Germany, but because of the pandemic the plan was changed and the event went fully online. Three sessions ran simultaneously in virtual rooms. Two rooms hosted the short & long talks while the third room hosted the workshops.

During the opening session, as more people kept joining, the platform started to show signs of high load. People reported issues with the audio quality and some said that the page was not loading at all. Thanks to the Telegram group dedicated to the oSLO Conference communications, issues were being promptly reported and handled. Within a matter of minutes the organizers arranged to move the all sessions to The Document Foundation's Jitsi instance. The latter worked like a charm. The organizers and volunteers who helped in the swift transition did a great job.

openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020
Jitsi instance provided by The Document Foundation

The conference room 1 easily held more than 80 participants at one time and there was no degradation in the quality of audio/video.

Getting started with Podman

I had my talk on Podman scheduled at 13h30 UTC on the first day of the conference. It went fine, except my poor timing of not being able to wrap it up as a short talk of 15 mins. I'll improve next time. 😉

I shared my slides on speakerdeck.com right after the talk.

Beer hour 🍺

The second day was even more fun. I hopped into the conference chat room from time to time to have a chit-chat with friends. It was not the same as having a geek talk over a beer during the conference after parties, but I was glad to see friends from the other side of the planet. I was happy to see that they are doing well.

openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020
Where is Mauritius?

At one time during the beer chat, I was talking to two conference participants, one was from Taiwan and the other from Bulgaria. It is always funny to see people's reaction on how small Mauritius is compared to the other countries. Well, I am proud of the tiny dot in the middle of the ocean. 🇲🇺

Meet the openSUSE Board

The last session in the room 1 of the conference, on the second day, was held by the openSUSE Board members.

openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020
openSUSE Board - October 2020

They provide updates and statistics about the project over the past year and tell us a bit about what the Board is planning for the future.

openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020
What happened since last openSUSE Conference?

It is also the time when openSUSE members can ask questions.

The session was scheduled at 21h00 UTC which was 01h00 in the morning (the next day) for me. I was tired but I enjoyed the session. I jumped into the conversation when there was a comment about having a diverse representation on the Board with people from different parts of the world. I commented as an official of the Election Committee, encouraging members from all parts of the world to step up & run as candidate or nominate someone for the next Board election.

See you next year!

Italo Vignoli, founding member of The Document Foundation, during the closing keynote of the openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference (oSLO 2020), asked participants to share comments on how to improve the conference experience. He pointed out that this might not be the last virtual conference, considering the pandemic, although we all would love to have a physical conference soon.

Kudos to the organizers and volunteers for a successful conference. 👏