#SidnetDonations: Dawid for Git and Animal Shelter in Tczew

Years ago, Dawid joined Sidnet as a selftaught developer; today, he has more experience than many Frontend Developers put together. He masters new JavaScript frameworks at an astonishing pace, and specializes in singlepage applications (SPAs) and desktop applications.

Check out the opensource and charitable projects that we will support thanks to Dawid’s choices.

Git

An opensource version control system created in 2005 by Linus Torvalds as an alternative to the thenproprietary BitKeeper. It’s one of the most common tools used by developersfrom freelancers to tech giants such as Google, Netflix, Twitter, or Android.

“Git is one of the first tools developers learn. We use it in almost every projectboth commercial or hobbyistwhenever it requires developers to seamlessly work together. The system also works well in projects with a single developerit allows the separation of work on individual elements of the application thanks to the so-called »branches« and, if necessary, to restore the previous version of the code,” explains Dawid.

If you want to become a Git expert and use its advanced functions like a pro, refer to the freely available book “Pro Git.”

Animal Shelter in Tczew

Animal shelter in David’s home town. In 2020, shelter volunteers helped find homes for 326 dogs and 48 cats. In the same yearwith only funds from 1% tax donationsthey replaced the roofs over the boxes, renovated some of the boxes, and provided their fourlegged friends with insulated kennels, specialized food, and medical treatment.

“A shelter’s expenses list never ends. That’s why I’m supporting the shelter in my city for the 5th time as part of #DarowiznySidnet”, says our programmer.

The shelter in Tczew is one of ten shelters run by the National Society for Animal Protection OTOZ Animals. Every day, the organization’s representatives rescue animals from hunger and pain, fight in courts to punish their tormentors, and prepare animals for adoption.

#SidnetDonations: Emil for Arch Linux and the Polish poetry project

When they are not programming, they’re gaming, playing with electronics, or chatting on IRC. These are the only interests of programmers according to a popular stereotype, while our developers find enjoyment in running, yoga, making music, singing, watercolor painting, or spoiling their pets.

One week before the World Poetry Day, our Full-Stack Developer Emil Maruszczak is remixing technical documentation with classic Polish poetry.

What open-source and non-profit projects does Emil want us to support?

Arch Linux

This DIY Linux distribution is aimed at competent, demanding users. First released in 2002, it has seen continued development by its community.

The creators of Arch Linux profess such values as:

  • Simplicity. In line with the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle, Arch Linux was designed as a simple system without unnecessary additions or embellishments.
  • Being always up to date. The system uses the rolling release model which involves frequent minor updates.
  • Practicality. Decisions made in relation to the system are generally based on technical analyses and discussions, not popular opinions or politics. 

“I had long been on the lookout for a system that worked how I wanted it to. Arch impressed me with how clean it was the moment I first ran a test installation. The barrier to entry was high, but so was my determinationI had to understand and configure many mechanisms which just ‘magically’ work in other systems. Now I use Arch at work, at home and on my private servers,” he said.

Polish poetry

Online audio library of Polish poetry. This project is being developed by the Maurycy Mochnacki Foundation, whose goal is to popularize the works of Poland’s most famous poets, from the Middle Ages to the present. The texts are recorded by actors and uploaded to YouTube thanks to donations.

There are more than 300 recordings currently available for listening, including samples from Master Thaddeus, Jan Kochanowski’s Laments, as well as works by Juliusz Słowacki, Maria Konopnicka, Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska. They include interpretations by PhD students of Polish literature, short biographies of the authors and descriptions of the literary periods, ideal for helping school teachers and students.

“Polish literature, and poetry in particular, is in need of digitization. This is one way of developing sensitivity in young people, who are more likely to choose their smartphone over a book. The vulgar narrative they encounter in social media every day has desensitized them to the beauty of the world around us,” said Emil in explaining his choice.

#SidnetDonations: Marcin for Laravel Actions and Zuzia Bereza (Between Heaven and Earth Foundation beneficiary)

Valentine’s Day may not be a big deal to us, but we cannot ignore Congenital Heart Disease Day. Even more so because today we can actually relieve the heart of 18‑month‑old Zuzia. The recipients of donations in February have been selected by Marcin Tabaka—Lead Backend Developer, who has a heart for PHP and the Laravel framework.

Check out which open‑source and charity projects are to receive financial aid thanks to Marcin’s choices.

Laravel Actions

A tool for the logical organisation of applications that are built in Laravel. It allows developers to focus their attention on the application’s functionality under the assumption that one action performs exactly one task.

“We have recently used this package in the Fooder web and mobile app project. Together with Wojtek, we were seeking a solution to replace the now obsolete and unsupported Laravel Commander—which implements the Command Bus pattern. Laravel Actions perfectly suits our needs, as it allows us to consistently trigger an action, regardless of whether the request was triggered by the web interface, mobile app API, scheduled cron task, or queued task,” explains Marcin.

Laravel Actions implementation classes can be used as:

  • object,
  • controller,
  • command,
  • listener,
  • fake instance for testing.

Zuzia Bereza (Between Heaven and Earth Foundation beneficiary)

18‑month‑old Zuzia is struggling with Williams syndrome—a genetic defect causing cardiological problems. The girl has already had two complicated procedures to widen the sections of the pulmonary arteries and the aorta, which are narrowed due to the disease. To be able to develop, she needs cardiological drugs, intensive rehabilitation, and visits to a speech therapist.

“I share a mutual friend with Zuzia’s parents. Although the girl will always suffer from the disease, I believe that the current efforts can help her become more independent and capable in the future,” said our developer.

Zuzia is under the care of the Between Heaven and Earth Foundation, which has been providing material, legal and psychological support for incurably ill children and their families since 2011.

#SidnetDonations: Sebastian for Asahi Linux and the Korabiewice Animal Shelter

2020 has taught us not to grow attached to New Year’s resolutions. A real change requires not only consistency but also flexibility. The open-source and charitable projects that we are supporting in these early days of 2021 form good examples of this approach.

This time it was Sebastian Stasiak making the selection, the Sales Director and coordinator of web development projects and corporate IT solutions. A dedicated Apple fan who is even able to squeeze his interest in #SidnetDonations for open-source projects 😉

Asahi Linux

A project currently being launched that will result in the distribution of Linux for Mac computers with Apple Silicon. Behind the initiative is Hector Martin, an enthusiast who, as he describes himself, “likes putting Linux on things”. So far he has created versions of Linux operating on the PS4, PS3 Slim and Nintendo Wii consoles, for example.

Creating Linux distribution on the M1 Mac Mini is a full-time job for Martin. The manufacturer does not provide documentation for Apple Silicon solutions, so it is necessary to test closed-source software through reverse engineering.

“Apple is not associated with open source, but there are programmers who appreciate the quality of Mac hardware. I respect the determination of a developer who tries to reconcile fire and water,” comments Sebastian.

The costs of work on the project are to be covered by ongoing fundraising. Martin has already reached the threshold necessary for the project to start. Each subsequent donation will help speed up the development of the software and ensure its further growth.

Korabiewice Animal Shelter

A shelter for dogs, cats and farm animals, including horses, cows, pigs and sheep. Before being taken over by the Viva! Foundation, the shelter was a place of dramatic scenes as publicized by TVN UWAGA! reporting. Since 2012 the homeless animals have been looked after by devoted volunteers (50-70 people every week!) and vets. Thanks to the foundation, a range of necessary adoption programs (physical, virtual and temporary) and animal sterilizations have been launched.

This is already the third donation made to the Korabiewice Animal Shelter by this former volunteer:

“I am attached to this place. This coming year I would like to adopt one of the shelter’s charges,says our Sales Director.

Those who have not yet managed to organize themselves in the new year might appreciate a wall calendar featuring animals from the shelter. The funds from the calendar sales will be used to build a cat shelter.

#SidnetDonations: Michał for The Tor Project & Amnesty International Poland

All I want for Christmas is… fundamental human rights. Following the celebration of International Human Rights Day, we are offering financial support for projects that directly tackle issues related to the violation of human rights.

The “right” to choose open source and non‑profit projects under the #SidnetDonations initiative went for the first time to Michał Zbytniewski, Senior Full‑Stack Developer, working from Lublin on a daily basis on projects for our long‑term clients: THGEdge NPD.

The Tor Project

An open‑source web browser for (almost) anonymous Internet browsing. It works with Linux, Windows and macOS, as well as on mobile devices. Since 2003 it has been distributed under the BSD license.

The authors of the tool are against Internet spying and censorship. The multi‑layered encryption and limited user identification capability has made Tor popular among activists, journalists and whistleblowers. It helped Edward Snowden to release information about the PRISM program.

“Tor lets users share opinions, publish content and communicate in places where these activities are impossible or difficult, such as in countries censoring the Internet. It also protects users’ privacy by blocking the tracking of their Internet activities, for marketing purposes for example,” Michał explains.

Amnesty International Poland

This branch of a global organization that combats human right violations has been operating in Poland for 30 years. The organization carries out research, publicizes instances of right violations, helps victims across the world, and lobbies for legal changes.

“My first thought was to choose a non‑governmental organization supporting development and universal education. The recent events – the Women’s Strike and the Belorussian elections along with the repercussions – have swayed me to change my attitude,” our developer said.

Amnesty International Poland is credited with starting such initiatives as:

  • Write for Rights – the largest worldwide human right campaign initiated by the Warsaw local group of Amnesty International. The action is about sending a massive number of letters appealing to the authorities or expressing solidarity regarding several specific individuals whose human rights have been violated.
  • My Body My Rights – a campaign against limiting sexual and reproductive rights.
  • The Border of Human Rights [PL] – a campaign against limiting the rights of individuals seeking asylum in Poland.

“When things spiral out of control, it is good to know there are people in this world who can help us selflessly,” Michał added.

Amnesty International was founded in 1961 in London. In 1977 the organization received the Nobel Peace Prize for its contributions to strengthening of fundamental freedoms, justice and world peace.

#SidnetDonations: Wojtek for Pandoc and Marcin Sztrubel (Avalon Foundation beneficiary)

Inconspicuousness may be the common denominator of the initiatives we support in November. Today we’ll talk about the inspiring power to act despite disability and about a tool that did not need a marketing package to become popular at universities and among developers.

This month’s selection of open‑source and non‑profit projects has been made by Wojtek Siewierski AKA Vifon—an experienced Full‑Stack Developer and IT Administrator, a cybersecurity expert and enthusiast of open‑source technology.

Pandoc

Versatile, open‑source document converter. Created by John MacFarlane, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and released under the GNU General Public License.

It supports a number of formats, from standard .doc or .pdf to those used by developers, such as: Markdown, org-mode, LaTeX, Jupyter Notebook or HTML. The project author himself points out the tool’s multi-functionality, comparing it to  Swiss Army knife.

“At Sidnet, we use it in our SidPDF software—an internal tool to generate PDFs based on templates. The strength of Pandoc is that even if we need to convert from/to a format that is new to us, the tool probably supports it,”—says our developer.

In addition to many formats, Pandoc can perfectly handle document aspects such as:

  • metadata (title, author, date);
  • footers;
  • tables;
  • lists;
  • subscripts and superscripts;
  • quotations.

You can see the capabilities of Pandoc in the browser demo version.

Marcin Sztrubel (Avalon Foundation beneficiary)

Wojtek’s friend, Marcin Sztrubel, suffers from progressive muscular atrophy. Thanks to the Avalon Foundation, he collects funds for orthopedic equipment and specialist rehabilitation.

When his health and time allowed him, he used to be involved in issues close to people with disabilities. He was a member of the board of the Polish Neuromuscular Diseases Association, which has gathered over a thousand members. He is also the author of over 20(!) blogs in Polish dedicated to people with disabilities, including:

“Last year Marcin broke both legs during rehabilitation, which made his condition much worse as he had to cease all exercise. Because of Marcin’s health, the injury required several surgeries. Right now, he must use a special elevator,”—explains Wojtek.

Marcin is looked after by the Avalon Foundation, which also helps many other people with disabilities and chronic diseases. It acquires funds, activates those under its care during rehabilitation and improves their self‑reliance. It inspires the disabled to play sports through the Avalon Extreme project.