Free Network News

3rd CNBuB at WIMoB 2014

Confine -

(By felix in CONFINE Project.)

The 3rd Workshop on Community Networks and Bottom-up-Broadband (CNBuB) took place in Larnaca, Cyprus, the 8th of October 2014. 6 scientific papers were presented on different areas of research, ranging from networking to applications, from Internet architectures at the last mile to federation. The workshop helped to present several community network topics to the audience, in order to step by step be adopted as research area by the scientific community.

Freifunk beim Google Summer of Code

Freifunk Blog -

Google nutzt für viele seiner Dienste OpenSource-Software. Mit dem Google Summer of Code möchte sich Google bei der OpenSource-Gemeinde bedanken und fördert Studenten für ein von Mai bis August laufendes Projekt mit 5500 US$ - in diesem Jahr über 1100 Studenten aus aller Welt.

Im Jahr 2014 nahm Freifunk wieder am Google Summer of Code teil. Freifunk integriert dabei als Dachorganisation weltweit Initiativen wie guifi.net, ninux.org, wlan slovenija und LibreMesh aus Argentinien. Wir bekamen in diesem Jahr 9 Slots für Projekte, die Studenten in Deutschland, Frankreich, Italien, Spanien und Slowenien bearbeiteten. Die Projekte beschäftigten sich u.a. mit der Freifunk-API, Netzwerkprotokollen und Software zum Communitymanagement. Im Freifunkblog können Details zu den Projekten nachgelesen werden.

Den Abschluss des diesjährigen Google Summer of Code bildete der Mentors Summit, zu dem jede Organisation zwei Mentoren entsenden darf. Zur Feier des 10-jährige Bestehens waren auch Teilnehmer aus den vergangegen Jahren eingeladen und der Summit wurde um einen Tag verlängert.

Auf dem Programm stand auch ein Ausflug, wo wir das echte Amerika kennenlernten und gemeinsam mit Teilnehmern aus China und Vietnam Basketball trainierten.

Mehr als 600 Teilnehmer aus aller Welt trafen sich in San Jose, Kalifornien, und wir hatten die Chance uns über unsere Projekte auszutauschen, neue Kontakte zu knüpfen und nicht zuletzt den 10. Google Summer of Code zu feiern. Als Überraschungsgast zum Jubiläumsempfang war Linus Torvalds geladen. In einem Treffen hatten wir die Gelegenheit, mit ihm über Freifunk zu sprechen.

Ideen für Projekte im Jahr 2015 können schon jetzt im Wiki eingetragen werden. Falls ihr Kontakte zu Universitäten oder Fachhochschulen habt, sprecht mit Dozenten, Studenten oder Lehrstuhlinhabern, um Unterstützung für Projekte im Sommersemester 2015 zu bekommen.

Links

Projektideen http://wiki.freifunk.net/Ideas

Fotos zum Mentor Summit: https://www.flickr.com/search/?tags=gsoc14

Call to fund experiments from SME (Fed4FIRE)

Confine -

(By leandro in CONFINE Project.)

Community-Lab is part of the Fed4FIRE federated testbeds. As part of that there’s a call to fund experiments from SME (typically European but other countries may apply). See below. You can get up to 25,000 € with a quite lightweight application.

2ndFed4FIRE competitive call for SME Experimenters – An instrument for SME’s to get involved in FIRE activities
Get involved in Future Internet … Get access to advanced Future Internet testbeds … Get funding for running your own experiments on these testbeds…

Fed4FIRE has just launched its 2nd Open Call specifically targeting SMEs using a simplified and fast application and review process. The major objective of this Open SME Call 2 is to make the federated infrastructure easier and more directly available for execution of innovative experiments by experimenters at SMEs. These experiments should be of a short duration (maximum 4 months) and should demonstrate technological expertise, novelty and quality in the area of Future Internet (e.g. in domains such as wired and wireless IP networks, cloud computing, software defined networks and innovative Internet services).

The SME experimenters should seek contact with the Fed4FIRE consortium partners prior to submitting their proposal for a feasibility check of the project. One of the Fed4FIRE partners will also act as a “Patron” during the execution of the experiment and will receive an additional funding of up to 10k to provide direct support to the SME.
Max. funding request per experiment of € 25 000 (+€ 10 000 for Fed4FIRE partner acting as “patron”)

Submission deadline: 30 October 2014, at 17:00 Brussels local time

Network Commons Part 3

Confine -

(By Armin Medosch in Confine@Funkfeuer.)

This chapter starts out with a summary of the achievements of Consume.net, London and then traces the development of this idea, how it was spread, picked up, transformed by communities in Germany, Denmark and Austria. The internationalisation of the free network project also saw significant innovations and contributions, developing a richer and more sustainable version of the network commons through groups such as Freifunk.

Full text : http://thenextlayer.org/node/1284

September sprint

Confine -

(By tanzer in Confine@Funkfeuer.)

In the first week of September, Mihi, Ralf and me did a sprint on the CNDB.

Mihi did a lot of work on the dashboard, Ralf improved the converter for the old database of Funkfeuer Graz and worked on IP allocation.

I fixed several bugs of the dashboard, some of which had been introduced by the refactoring done in June. More important, I extended the dashboard to include IP allocation and deletion.

During the work on IP allocation, Ralf and I stumbled over a shortcoming of the query implementation. The permission model for nodes comprises two checks: the currently logged in person

  • either is owner or manager of the node in question,
  • or is member of a group that is owner or manager of the node in question.

To be able to write such a query, I added support for restricting the type of an abstract attribute like owner or manager that allows all instances of Subject to a subtype like Person or Group.

To simplify interactive testing, I added a script command to the CNDB application. That way, one can easily set up test objects, e.g. IP-pools, after running the converter for Funkfeuer Wien or Funkfeuer Graz.

Special session on community networks and services in GECON 2015

Confine -

(By felix in CONFINE Project.)

We presented in GECON 2014 a paper on the participatory analysis in Guifi, in order to raise a discussion on how community clouds need to be designed regarding their economic and social components. You can find our paper in the GECON programm.

We found GECON as an excellent forum to discuss on interdisciplinary aspects of community network systems and services. As a consequence, we agreed with the GECON organizers to prepare a special session on community networks and services in the next GECON 2015, in order to bring together researchers working in various disciplines of this field.

Dashboard Sprinting

Confine -

(By mihi in Confine@Funkfeuer.)

This week Christian, Ralf and Myself spent sprinting the dashboard to a state we can have alpha-testers use it. We decided to set up a test-instance of the CNDB for our friends at FunkFeuer Graz to get useful input from them on how to push the dashboard forwards.

Right now the dashboard not only looks fancy but the basic functionality for network participants is implemented.

Key features:

The dashboard now has a nice map showing all the nodes the user manages and their position:

Next, Node creation and editing also has a map. You can assign the position of the node either through the map or through geo-lookup of the nodes address.

More bling:
The node list can of course be filtered (both through the map and through the list) and all devices etc. added and edited.

Overall this week of dashboard sprint brought us and the common node db closer to the goal of having a management software that is not only representing the network well in its data structure but has an attractive surface to participants of networks.

Links sammeln und Termine teilen

Freifunk Blog -

Was ist das?

Die beiden Werkzeuge LinkSink und Calcifer sind nun einsatzbereit. Mit LinkSink können wir für Freifunk Links zu unseren Themen zusammentragen und daraus RSS-Feeds erstellen. Durch Kategorisierung und Hinzufügen von Tags können wir damit sehr flexibel RSS-Feeds zu bestimmten Themen bereitstellen und bei vorhandenen Mediendateien sogar diese einbinden. Calcifer kann man zum Verwalten von Terminen und Erstellung von ics-Dateien verwenden. Auch hier kann nach Tags und Orten gefiltert werden.

Für einige Anwendungen nutzen wir beide Werkzeuge schon aktiv:

Wie funktioniert das?Auswahl und Filter

Auf der Startseite sind zunächst alle Einträge zu sehen. Durc h einen Klick auf ein Tag eines Eintrags oder durch Nutzung der Filterleiste kann man diese Auswahl einschränken. In Calcifer kann derzeit entweder nach Tags oder nach Orten gefiltert werden. Filter in LinkSink können Kategorie, Jahr und ein Tag enthalten.

Fü r ein Filterergebnis steht dann ein Link zum RSS-Feed oder der ICS-Datei bereit. Die URL des Feeds bleibt konstant, so dass diese in anderen Anwendungen permanent eingesetzt werden kann. Mit jedem Aufruf wird der dahinterliegende Feed neu erzeugt und mit aktuellen Daten gefüllt. Calcifer erzeugt dabei nur in der Zukunft liegende Termine. LinkSink ordnet die Einträge absteigend nach Erscheinungsdatum.

Neue Links oder Termine kann man mit einem Klick auf Neuer Link bzw. Neuer Termin oben in der Navigationsleiste anlegen. Dann öffnet sich das entsprechende Formular. Sind alle Pflichtfelder richtig gefüllt, kann der neue Eintrag gespeichert werden.

Mediendateien wie bei Podcasts können zu einem Linkeintrag hinzugefügt werden. Die notwendigen Felder für Länge und Typ stellt LinkSink beim Speichern fest und schreibt die Werte in die Datenbank. Die RSS-Feeds sind so aufgebaut, dass Podcastclients integrierte Audiodateien erkennen können und abspielen.

Calcifer kann auch wiederholende, regelmäßige Termine anlegen. Als Intervalle sind wöchentlich, 2-wöchentlich und monatlich auswählbar. Das Verwaltung wiederkehrender Termine erreicht man durch einen Klick auf den Link in der Navigationsleiste oben.

Zur Erleichterung der Aufnahme neuer Links gibt es ein sogenanntes Bookmarklet. Das ist in der Navigationsleiste rechts oben zu finden. Um es zu nutzen, zieht man es in die Bookmarkleiste des eigenen Browsers. Auf Webseiten, die als man als Link speichern möchte, drückt man dann auf dieses Bookmark und wird zu einem vorausgefüllten Formular in LinkSink weitergeleitet. Das Bookmarklet erfordert ein aktiviertes Javascript im Browser, bei Erweiterungen wie Privacy Badger müssen Ausnahmen für rss.freifunk.net erstellt werden, damit Javascript von einer anderen Seite ausgeführt werden kann.

Vereinbarungen

Damit das Chaos überschaubar bleibt sind hier noch ein paar wenige Regeln: 

  • soll ein Link im Medienspiegel auftauchen muss das Tag Medienspiegel gesetzt sein. Wenn es eine Community betrifft ist es schön, wenn ein weiteres Tag mit dem Communitynamen dazukommt
  • Für eine schöne Darstellung im Medienspiegel sollte das Quellmedium auftauchen. Der Titel für einen Medienspiegeleintrag sollte so aussehen: <Quellmedium>: <Titel>
  • Termine in Calcifer, die communityübergreifend stattfinden (z.B. WCW oder der Congress) verseht ihr bitte mit dem Tag freifunk_common. Diese Termine erscheinen dann im gemeinsamen Kalender mit der Markierung, dass es sich um einen übergreifenden Termin handelt. Communityeigene Termine taggt ihr bitte nicht mit freifunk_common, sondern z.B. mit eurem Communitynamen. Den Feed dafür könnt ihr dann per Freifunk API bereitstellen, wodurch sie ebenfalls in den gemeinsamen Kalender kommen. Dann sind sie aber als Termine eurer Community markiert.
Nutzung

Jede Community darf die beiden Werkzeuge gern benutzen. Achtet bitte darauf, die Tags und Orte richtig zu setzen, damit es nicht zu Überschneidungen mit anderen Communities kommt. Versucht auch, doppelte Einträge zu vermeiden, fügt lieber euer Tag zu einem Eintrag hinzu, falls ihr ihn auch in eurem Filterergebnis haben wollt.

Falls euch das alles zu unübersichtlich wird könnt ihr auch eigene Instanzen installieren. Beide Werkzeuge sind quelloffen und werden in Github-Repositories gepflegt (LinkSink, Calcifer) und freuen sich über weitere Installation oder Mithilfe und Anregungen zur Weiterentwicklung.

GSoC: Work on Freifunk API Query Client will go on

Freifunk Blog -

This is the final blogpost for my GSoC project for the Freifunk-API Query Client.

Goals
 
We want a comfortable tool to query all the Freifunk API files as there are nearly 100 communities all over Germany providing their data. There are already several applications like our community map, a common calendar, our feed aggrator or the community podcast collector. But it's still hard to find communities by properties like routing protocols or focus topics.
 
Challenges
 
When we began this project we only planned to query the generated JSON data for the community in a browser and additionally provide query results via a webservice. But then we talked to several people and we heard about DeepaMehta with features like connectors to OpenStreetmap. So we did something what you don't do normally: We changed our project goals before the midterm evaluations.
 
DeepaMehta is not just another database product, it provides a different way to store and handle data. It uses a graph to store connections between items and allows to modex complex datatypes and associations between them. We had to change our mind and had to learn a new kind of thinking. The API data is constantly evolving and changing and there a lot of cross-references in the data e.g. links to various nodemaps. We think the switch to DeepaMehta is useful because we can query the graph and add new relations and data without problems.

 
It's difficult to handle different spec versions if you want to query all API files, because some fields changed, other fields were added to the specs or got another meaning. In an ideal world all communities update their files as soon as possible. But we all know, it will never happen like that. As a workaround we first focused on less fields, available in all versions.
 
What we got
 
We're able to import communities from the API directory as a base entity. We also tried some different ways to import and store the specs, but we need some improvements here. By using the summarized API file, the import of our payload can be done via the DeepaMehta REST API.

The switch to DeepaMehta brought a lot of complexity to the project and I'm personally not happy my results at this point because I had trouble to spend enough time for the project. Additionally some basic problems like dealing with changing schema and data import are not really solved well at this point. The data is in DeepaMehta and can be queries with the included client but it's not in a state where it's usable for the community.

Overall the GSoC was an interesting experience for me. Through I've failed to set aside enough time for the tasks. The timely overlap with university lectures does not make it easier. So I can only recommend to know beforehand that you'll have enough time to accomplish your goals. But the support from the Freifunk community was always great and helpful! As the project is not a state that can be considered 'ready' I'm continuing working on it.
 
Future Plans

I definitly want to finish the work at least to point where it can be used by the wider Freifunk community.

The default DeepaMehta client isn't designated to query a lot of fields like our API provides. Here we need a new web based client to provide users an interface to select fields and get a proper response.

Work will continue on integrating the API data and DeepaMehta.

Repository: https://github.com/freifunk/query.api.freifunk.net

Final Blog Post: Netengine

Freifunk Blog -

Hi everybody, this is going to be my last blog post as a participant of GSOC2014. I'm very sad about this, those have been very hard worked months but very formative.

I improved both my coding skills but above all I have earned a work methodology thanks to my mentor Federico, who said to me to be more reflexive and to be more precise in what I do.

I have learnt some aspect of versioning (Git) I ignored before and learned much more on Python than I did by myself.

This is the “change log” of the last time period of the program: we developed a new backend, the HTTP backend. It aims to retrieve informations from the web admin interface of AirOS devices, that's why we called it HTTP.

We wrote documentation about all the project, describing all the things an user should do both to contribute or use Netengine, trying to be as much more clear and to make it simpler as we could.

Unfortunately this is my last year as a student, no PhD on my way (for now), so I will not be eligible at all for next editions coming.

Greetings and thanks: I would like to thank Ninux , the community network I’ve worked with. I’ve had the possibility of joining their meetings, to talk a lot with every member and to be supported every time I had some problem about what I was doing.
Obviously my mentor Federico Capoano, Mario Behling from Freifunk who supervised projects.

For further questions on the project please visit https://github.com/ninuxorg/netengine or email us at ninuxdev@ml.ninux.org or read the docs!

GSoC 2014 Final - OpenWrt: IEEE 802.1ad VLAN support

Freifunk Blog -

Hi all!

Because I have worked very hard in the first part of GSoC, the implementation was almost done already for mid term, in the second part I have been mostly testing the code, and taking advantage of it in a lot of setups :)

The GSoC experience have been very formative to me and I would like to repeat it next year either as student or mentor :)

Moreover I'll suggests to apply to GSoC to a lot of friends!

Many thanks to Freifunk to chose my proposal I hope you will take advantage of 802.1ad too :)

Cheers!

GSoC 2014: Hardware Detection [ Final ]

Freifunk Blog -

 

Hi everyone!

I am very happy to have participated do GSoC 2014, this experience have permitted to me to learn a lot about opensorce comminity and programming, i have learned also Lua programming language, while it seemed a little ugly  to me in the firsts times I ended up loving it.

This GSoC project permits to people installing Libre-Mesh on their devices and have device specific quirks already solved by the hardware detection module, without user intervention, while it permits to developers to write little modules to easly supports new hardwares and solve their quirks.

In particular in the second part of my GSoC I have improved hardware detection, in particular I have created a module to autoconfigure TL-WDR3600 and a module that permits to Libre-Mesh to detect wan port of a lot of routers taking advantage of the OpenWRT infrastructure.

While creating those new modules I have also realized how to improve general Libre-Mesh infrastructure and committed various improvement to the hardware-detection branch, that is now in the official repository ready for merging in develop branch.

Futhermore, during the last phase of this project I have optimized the code including modules I have written in the first period like usbradio detection module. 

Obviously all this work have been possible thank to the help of the community that helped me in the whole coding period.

Best Regards ;)

GSoC: nodewatcher v3

Freifunk Blog -

Hello all!

Thanks to this year's GSoC, a lot of work has been done on nodewatcher v3 platform. It now has a better, modular monitoring agent that can run on OpenWrt-supported devices, with a new JSON-based output format that can be easily reused by other projects as well. The platform has been ported to the latest stable version of Django (1.6) together with all migrations and dependencies. Development environment setup now uses Docker and fig in order to make it very easy to dive into the code without having to battle with various dependencies.

The API for access to node configuration and monitoring data (registry API) has been much improved, with better, more usable querying capabilities and performance. During development we have discovered a bug with cascade deletions and  polymorphic models in Django. Node configuration editor based on the registry API now supports references between form models that have not yet been saved -- this functionality enables configuration of bridge interfaces which are now also supported by the firmware generator. I have implemented type support in the datastream library for long-term monitoring data storage with a new type for storing graphs as datapoints. This enables nodewatcher v3 to use datastream to store how the network topology evolves over time.

All the code is available on GitHub in several repositories:

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