20131203 (Tuesday, 03 December 2013)

Eesti koolid vabaks

I read an article which claims that schools in Estonia are worried because the price for their Microsoft license seems to become ten times higher in the near future: Eesti koolid ei jaksa enam Microsoftilt tarkvara osta

This made me think that now is the time to start a non-profit organisation (MTÜ) that offers professional support for schools in Estonia. Mission statement would be something like:

Tere tulemast MTÜ “Eesti koolid vabaks!” veebisaidil.

Meie missjoon on pakkuda õige hinnaga professionaalne tugi koolidele, kes kasutavad edubuntu operatsioonisüsteem. Meie põhitoode on leping, mille kaudu saad oma koolile süsteemihalur, kes vastab küsimustele telefoni jm kanalite kaudu ja kes vajadusel tuleb kohale ausa tunnihinnaga.

I am not an entrepreneur, so I see my role just as the initiator and publisher of the original idea, and possibly a financial contributor.

I started a “group” and a “page” on Facebook:

The next step (for me) would be to create a quick website for the not-yet-founded organisation.

Something like businesscard.at or veebimajutus.ee. I created a free website at businesscard.at, but as expected this is not usable because it fits our needs only almost fully.

The idea which I like best is of course to do that using Lino. I started a Lino application to quickly create a combined website and contacts management application for such a startup company: lino.projects.start.

A Lino application like Lino Così but additionally with an out-of-the-box business-card style website and a possibility to write newsletters.

I then implemented it locally using a Lino Così site with a non-empty admin_prefix setting so that lino.modlib.pages is enabled (iow “CMS mode” enabled). The result also is only almost satisfying because Lino’s CMS mode is not ready.

I’d be happy to get that into a publishable state, but I fear that I must stop this project here: it makes no sense to fiddle with the CMS mode as long as the new plugin concept isn’t fully implemented.

So that project must wait until either I get Lino’s CMS mode to a usable state or somebody in the group becomes active.

Lino source code now PEP8-compliant

I ran autopep8 -ir over the Lino source code.

Fixed a heading level mismatch in /dev/perms.

Fixed some minor failures in the test suite.

The snippet in 2013-07-19 is no longer part of the Lino test suite (because Lino should not depend on Lino Welfare).

How to read Estonian eID cards (continued)

Here is an important information which I did not know: Reading the personal data file from the ID-card. Thanks to Tavo Toomemägi from id.ee who found it for me, and to Merike Sell who gave me the idea to ask them for help.

This means that The EIDReader applet becomes useless. Instead of reading myself directly from the smartcard using the very low-level PC/SC interface, I must now:

  • write a command-line tool similar to eidenv but for Belgian cards
  • write another applet which calls this tool and sends the output to Javascript. In fact such an applet may already exist since that’s nothing eid-specific. Execute a command is similar to what I already do in DavLink, or as explained in Can trusted 1.5 applets execute system commands?.

I think I can give up the idea of an international eid card reader which would allow to read id cards from different countries, detecting automatically the right country. It would have been nice, but this is a job for programmers paid by the European Union.

Another question to meditate is: how to make configurable whether clients should use the Estonian or the Belgian card. I want to add the ability to read data from eid card for both Belgian and Estonian Lino users. And then it should maybe work correctly on a site with mixed clients (Linux and Windows).