Archive for April, 2009

It’s all about communication


About one week ago the new Fellowship web page was launched. It’s a great improvement over the old one. Finally we have a first-class blogging platform, a first class wiki and a planet to aggregate all weblogs of FSFE’s Fellows. I think this components already show that communication (blogs, planet) and collaboration (wiki) is an essential part of the Fellowship. Beside increasing FSFE’s financial independence and political weight the Fellowship always aimed to bring Free Software supporters together and offer them a place to exchange ideas and collaborate on Free Software activities.

But the Fellowship offers even more ways to collaborate and communicate. There are mailing lists for various languages and regional Fellowship groups, there is a Jabber server with multi-user chats (MUC), there are IRC channels and there are even Fellowship meetings for real life contacts. I always thought that this infrastructure was not as visible as it should be. So as one of my contribution to the new web page I helped to create the communicate-page which gives an overview of all these options.

Just take a look at it. Maybe you will find some mailing lists or chat rooms you are interested in. With this web page in place I hope more Fellows will know an use the various communication channels.

Living in Emacs


E-Mail, News, Editing, Writing, Programming,… Since a few year now I use GNU Emacs for almost everything i do regularly on my computer. But there is still so many to discover and learn. The last few weeks I started to use org-mode for notes, ToDo lists, etc and i really love it. Especially the feature to link from your ToDo list or note directly to an mail in Gnus. Just copy (C-c l) the link to the mail in Gnus and insert (C-c C-l) it into the note. Now I can click on the link in my ToDo list and Emacs will show me directly the corresponding mail/thread in my mail client. Great!

As already said, for mails and news I use Gnus. Until now I always set up postfix as my Mail Transport Agent (MTA). Only today I learnt that Gnus is able to send e-mails directly without an external MTA. The only pitfall, you have to install gnutls-bin and starttls to use SSL/TLS. Otherwise it will not work and you will not get a meaningful error message. After that it is fairly easy. I just had to enter this into my ~/.gnus:

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(setq smtpmail-smtp-server "smtp-server")
(setq smtpmail-smtp-service 25)
(require 'smtpmail)
(setq message-send-mail-real-function 'smtpmail-send-it)
(setq smtpmail-auth-credentials
 '(("smtp-server" 25 "user" "passwd")))
(setq smtpmail-starttls-credentials
     '(("smtp-server" 25 nil nil)))
(setq starttls-use-gnutls t)
(setq starttls-gnutls-program "gnutls-cli")
(setq starttls-extra-arguments nil)

That’s it. Now I can apt-get remove postfix and have one service less in the background of my daily computing.