Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Torvalds' gift for the Linux community... The new Kernel 2.6.28

Actually, it was on the 25th of december. Linus Torvalds plays Santa clause and released a gift for all Linux users. It's the New Kernel.

Ext4 :
The most important thing in this relase is EXT4 the new Filesystem of Linux which will be :

  • Compatible with the old EXT3 : you can have and ext4 partition as if you have a ext3 one.
  • Larger filesystem : The capacity of this FS was extended to be able to support 1 Exbibyte and files of 16 TiB ( about 16 000 Gigabytes). The number of possible used directories was extended to 64000.
  • Journal Checksums : The Journal (a file containing the changes of a hard disk) will be using a new technique which will improve the reliability of the disk by cheking the occurence of anyy error during the processing of saving data.
You can check this link fo further informations

Graphic performances :
The release of the new GEM (Graphics Execution Mananger). This piece of software will take care of the graphic chipset ressources and how to exploit them for different multimedia applications. This GEM will improve the graphic performance of you graphic card.
Some improvments were made to KVM. It's the part of the kernel that take care about virtualisation for some architectures like intel-V and AMD-V. It will allow the machine the possibility to seperate several systems without restarting and the possibility to use some pieces of software that don't exist on the HOST system.

Many improved drivers specially for USB and Wirless devices. The tree of these drivers was considered as stable.

As a conclusion, the new Linux has many new features. Will they be adopted by the different distributions ?

References :
Site du zero news article. changelog

Friday, December 26, 2008

The status of the engineer in Tunisia

In order to find out the status of the engineer in Tunisia we will try to answer these questions:

Who`s he ? What does he do?

How much does he earn ?

What is his image in society?

What does he suffer from ?

What are the potentials of this career in Tunisia ?


An engineer is a person professionally engaged in a field of engineering. Engineers are concerned with developing economical and safe solutions to practical problems, by applying mathematics and scientific knowledge while considering technical constraints. As such, the work of engineers is the link between perceived needs of society and commercial applications. Some consider this profession to be the link between art and science.
wikipedia definition


joblessness and overexploitation :

Some statistics of a study made on 4763 young graduated students in 2005 after 18 months from their graduation

Financial status

  • For newly graduated engineers with no experience the wage is from 800TD to 1200TD.
  • After 5 to 10 years of experience the wage can touch the 1500TD to 2000TD.
  • Earnings mainly depends on years of experience, certifications and of course the engineer himself. Once he proves to his boss his skills and abilities, he can renegotiate his salary.

The gap between Tunisia and Europe in wages

  • In France, the salary of a newly graduated engineer is from 2000€ to 2800€ ( 3600TD to 5000TD).
  • In the end of his career, a well experienced engineer can touch 6000 € (10800 TD).
  • The standard of life is very different. The daily needs are expensive in Europe compared to what is available inTunisia but still an engineer in Europe is better remunerated.
  • The evolution of the engineer in Europe and USA is faster. In fact, occidental companies evaluate talent and take it into consideration.
  • The competition between these companies to have the best members in their crew make the salary negotiation more simple and efficient.
  • In conclusion, Tunisian engineers won`t skip the chance to travel and work abroad . Consequently, Tunisia lose many skilled engineers and this is just a sample of a wider phenomenon called `Brain Brand`.

Social status

57,2% of higher education students are female (

30% of working engineers are female(2004 statistics INS)

  • conclusion : The society consider engineering as a masculine job

To proceed in explaining the social status of the engineer Tunisia we will use a study made by Raoudha Ben Othmen a professor in the university of Tunis:


  • 180 secondary school students aged 15-16
  • 180 primary school pupils

Tools :

  1. Questionnaire
  2. Draw me an engineer test
  3. Teacher led class discussions

N=140 Questionnaires (45% boys and 55%girls)


  • No major difference between children and teenagers’ drawings.
  • None of the drawings contained a picture of a woman.
  • Most drawn engineers have glasses, are middle-aged, look scruffy wear a lab coat and hold some kind of tool.
  • Some pictures contained a working bench

Class discussions

  • Teachers seem to have naive ideas about engineers and engineering.
  • Teachers did not give the children the name of a famous modern engineer. Most of the examples are old (Graham Bell)
  • In leading the class discussions about future careers, teachers allocated more turns to boys than to girls
  • In leading class discussions about studying engineering, teachers seemed to allocate turns equally between girls and boys

Tests conclusions

  • Students and teachers hold naive conceptions of engineering
  • The necessity to enhance the image of engineers and specifically of the working environment
  • Both male and female students are determined to choose other lucrative careers than engineering


  • Many foreign companies choose to invest in Tunisia due to the low taxation and labor cost.
  • The Tunisian government aims to attain 7000 engineers in 2011-2012.
  • Many Mega projects are scheduled in Tunisia as ` The Mediterranean gate` which will host hundreds of companies.


All the figures are showing the fact of the promising future of engineering as a profession in Tunisia. However, many laws and interventions have to be made in order to protect the engineer`s rights and ameliorate his status and his image is society.

Diapositive 1

Thursday, June 12, 2008

how to get your blog back on track after a long period of inactivity.

First, Let me apologize to all my readers for my absence. I was really busy lately because of an important exam that I hope I will pass.
As you all can notice my blog was inactive for more than six months. My Alexa rank dropped from 500k to 2M ! My PR dropped from 4 to 2 ! ( That's hard ! ah) . My visits kept an average of 50 visitors a week most of them from google. So to fix these problems I put some steps to take :

1- Finding new content :
I have to write and make some new fresh articles about the latest news. I made a tour among the E-magazines that I used to read and I found a couple of subjects that I definitely will write about. Since I was cut off from the world, I will need some time to figure out what is going on in the world.

2-Gathering old web traffic sources :
Get back tou your Web analytics and open the archives of the happy days ! The busiest months and the best traffic days and find out the websites that directed to you and try to post your content in them again. Believe me it's very efficient.

3- Gathering keywords :
This absence is a very good experience for my blog. In fact, I kept on having traffic from google. So it's very important to get those keywords and work on them more so you can still have traffic if you will get absent again.

4- Heavy social networking :
I will need thousands of diggs and stumbles. I will use everything I can use to get the old traffic.

If I follow these steps my blog will definitely be back.

Monday, January 21, 2008

KDE 4 shining points..

Originally posted by bluestorm

KDE4 Libraries have witnessed major changes in order to make coding KDE applications an easier task. Many shining points in this new edition which make of the future of KDE more promising.


Oxygen has remarkably changed. It's the standard graphic kit of KDE, developed by KDE designers. Oxygen Includes Wallpapers, buttons and themes... You can change any theme you want but Oxygen is the standard theme of KDE4. May be some screenshots could describe better than words: (by SDZ)

and here are some Oxygen designers :


The graphic library used by KDE users to code most applications. QT4 wasn't compatible with the previous editions of KDE. Now, KDE4 is using Qt4.

Qt4 will allow KDE developers to make better graphic applications. Qt library was optimized to reduce its appetite to memory and hardware resources (RAM,CPU..etc). This optimization is still not complete. Qt developers are focusing to make the use of Qt4 easier than they will continue this optimization.

Qt4 is portable through KDE. We previously explained that Qt4 was distributed under both proprietary and GPL license. From now on Qt4 will be distributed with KDE which will make it accessible to everyone.

Plasma is a KDE library dedicated to the desktop : background, menus... Plasma was tweaked to become more personalized. You can change your desktop by adding widgets and plasmoids on your Dashboad, add RSS wires, and many other features.
These plasmoids are independent from each other which makes them easier to create. You can code your own plasmoids using C++ or Javascript.


Phonon is a multimedia library which I previously talked about ( Phonon : where Qt and KDE meet) dedicated for Sound and video. This library will allow KDE developers to include sounds and video effects to their KDE graphic applications smoothly. this is the blog of Matthias Kretz the Phonon creator.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

900 fixed bugs with Mozilla Firefox 3 beta 2

Firefox 3 developers are taking all the time that they need to accomplish their new Firefox. After the Beta 1 Mozilla has released Firefox 3 beta 2 to get more feedbacks about bugs from its testing community. Bugzilla was a little bit busy lately since the beta 1 thousands of bugs fortunately 900 of them are fixed. Firefox developers are trying to reveal more bugs to make their Firefox 3 better. The Beta 2 features are very promising and the Firefox 3 will definitely beat all competitors.

What's new in Firefox 3 :

Security :
I think that the previous reported vulnerabilities in Firefox made them more determinant to improve the security of Firefox users. The most important improvements in this issues were the the protection against cross-site JSON data leaks,anti-virus integration, malware protection, add-ons version check and the one click site info.
Easier to use :
developers added new buttons to save time when bookmarking. The ability to put some tags about the page you're bookmarking. You can also search your bookmarks through a Places Organizer.Tabs will also be easier to locate and better integration with Vista, Mac and Linux.

Performance :
Mozilla developers are dealing with Firefox's appetite for Memory. Around 30 memory improvements were included in the Beta 2 and developers are still working on optimizing the Firefox memory use, speed and reliability.

Related links :
SDZ news article by misterti (Fr)

All the features presented by Mozilla
The Beta 2 release notes
Firefox security add-ons

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Mozilla Weave... Mozilla is trying to be more social

The newest Project of Mozilla labs was "Weave". It allows the user to save his browser settings on Mozilla servers (Favorites, sessions ,passwords...etc..) and be able to load it wherever he is.

What are they preparing ?
Mozilla labs are trying to make some Mozilla-hosted online services which means that Mozilla is trying to be more social. Weave project still a prototype and Mozilla labs are planning for the future. Early in 2008, Mozilla Labs will try to offer some initial Web service APIs for developers to build on and will enable sharing on applicable interfaces.

Privacy : The biggest challenge
Many visitors asked about Privacy in Mozilla Labs Blog. Developers were very conscious of this issue because putting such important individual data on the web is risky. Weave developers answered these questions:

  • We currently encrypt on the client all data that gets placed on the server, with an encryption passphrase that only the user knows.
  • We kept the server intentionally dumb and standards-based, so that anyone can set up a server for themselves and/or their friends or company.
How to use it?
First you have to create an account in this website then you download Weave extention. Once you sign in you can install the extension then you need to save your settings on you hard disk. You risk loosing them. It's still a prototype!
Second, The software will ask you to put your email and password. Then will ask you to put a passphrase to encrypte all your data.
Finally, you make your first synchronisation then it will be automatically done every 30 minuts.

Related Links
Create a Mozilla Weave account
Introducing Weave