28 January 2008


First, I upgrade the ATI drivers on my linux laptop and they break 3D. Then Nokia buys Trolltech, the company behind Qt and KDE. Is this God's way to tell me to switch to a GNOME-based distribution? Sigh.

27 January 2008

Thinking 'bout a distrolution

Debian 4.0 "Etch" is growing stale on my laptop. I can live with KDE and OpenOffice being backported only after a few months, but the amount of recent packages breaking on libc6 version (2.3.6, with 2.7 only available in the unstable "Sid" branch) is growing by the day. I basically can't update or add anything released in the last 6-to-12 months, which in linux-time is a lot; and God knows when the newer version ("Lenny") will be released.

I'm seriously thinking about giving Ubuntu another spin; maybe I could install LinuxMint, a polished Ubuntu clone which ships with media codecs/flashplugin/java out-of-the-box; I was positively impressed by the liveCD version, and being Ubuntu-compatible (and hence almost-Debian-compatible) it should have pretty much everything I need. Did anybody try other user-friendly distros, recently?

25 January 2008

What "taking control of the means of production" really means

BBC NEWS | Wales | Miners' proud march from colliery. 13 years ago, 240 miners bought out "their" mine from the incompetent and greedy management (who wanted to shut it down as "unprofitable"). They managed to be profitable just after a few months, and earned their families a comfortable living for 13 years, until the mine was really depleted.

When the workers control the means and ways of production, things will work. This is inspirational.

23 January 2008

Il grande Ratzinga

Torno da NYC e che mi trovo, un fantastico post di Simotrone che linka non solo La ballata del Programmatore, ma persino una bellissima versione di Il Grande Ratzinga!!!

Good one, Simo :)

14 January 2008

Here we come!

KDelicious now on public SVN

I migrated the KDelicious SVN repository to SourceForge, mainly to make it easier for people to volunteer translations. If you fancy having a go (as of today we'd really need de/fr/nn/nb/es, but feel free to add other ones!), just download the KDelicious .pot template, save it as yourlang.po (for example, fr.po), open it with a gettext-compliant tool like KBabel, translate the strings and then send the saved file to me (g dot lacava at gmail.com). Thanks a lot!

12 January 2008

Downloading KDE4

KDE 4.0 is out. I'm currently installing OpenSUSE 10.3 in a qemu image in order to test it (as openSUSE is the only distro to ship official binary packages right away -- and in a very good way: "KDE4 development" is even listed among their regular installation targets). Well, let's see if ti's really as good (or as bad) as people say.

qemu tip

"-net user,vlan=0" doesn't work, despite being generated by KQemu (a graphical front-end). You need "-net user,vlan=1". Eh. An hour wasted on that.

11 January 2008

Nick Bradbury: FREE Demon? Yes, FeedDemon is Now Free!

FeedDemon is now free. Mmh, worth investigating... I even bought it once (three years ago). Does it still sync only with NewsGator with subscription etc? I might go back to it only if it supports Bloglines or Google Reader, as it would only be for my work machine.

UPDATE: indeed it does only sync with NewsGator. Ah well, I'll stick to Google Reader then... I wish a KDE app would sync with it, aKregator is currently only a local (and very basic) tool.

I love the smell of releasing in the morning

I am release-addicted.

I really enjoy cleaning up before packaging, and then putting my (ugly) code somewhere on the public web, hoping that it will help somebody. I probably have some sort of syndrome, "DCDD".

This week, after a few days banging on a little java project (that is coming along nicely, btw), I felt a bit dispirited: it looked like the more I did, the more there was to do. Luckily, KDelicious offered a nice alternative, and given its nature (it's a very small program) it's pretty much impossible for the codebase to be horribly far from release-quality at any given time. So I moved my attention to that and lo, there was a release! How nice :)

Now I can go back to the java stuff with more calm, conscious that there's no way I can release anything before the holiday (next week we'll be in NYC!). I love this post-orgasmic Zen feeling.

KDelicious 3.1

Faithful to the open-source mantra "release early, release often", here's another fresh version of KDelicious!

All the (ugly) calls to kdialog have been replaced by a proper (and nicer) custom UI, I added an About dialog to check the version, and the translations in the .desktop files are getting better thanks to users sending in corrections.

I also fixed a little bug with variable capitalization (i.e. tagging items "ToDo", "todo" or "Todo" would previously create three different folders with different bookmarks); del.icio.us is internally case-sensitive! Its web UI overrides this, but it still shows the different tag capitalization in XML files served by  API. Curious.

The new release is available from the KDelicious area on Sourceforge.

08 January 2008

for once in my lifetime...

... I'm actually (fairly) happy with the design of one of my Java programs. I'm crap at design, I always try to decouple too much and end up with writing loads of bridging code that doesn't really do anything. This time it seems like I've found a good balance... well, we'll see if/when this little thing will actually be released.

Meanwhile, KDelicious is picking up steam, thanks to my relentless advertising :) -- it's now on Freshmeat too!

jEdit plugin for Thinlet dev

Too bad I won't use it soon, but here's a nice jEdit plugin to display Thinlets in realtime as you modify the XML.

06 January 2008

Random thoughts

Tried out the GData Java API. It works fine with Blogger, even though it's slightly cumbersome to constantly have to manipulate strings to extract the "real" id of any given object; it would have been nice to have some sort of dictionary structure, like this:
but I guess that's way too nice for the java world! :)

The more I think about it, the more the idea of a jEdit plugin for blogging makes sense. It would just be a matter of writing lots of scaffolding (options screens, layouts etc), like you always have to do in Java. Is there an equivalent of Qt-Designer in the Java world, where you design your interface, save, and get a nice class ready to be used? That would speed up things immensely.

KDelicious now on SourceForge!

KDelicious finally has a proper home on SourceForge. I hope this will bring a few more users (and feature requests).

I don't think I'll use their Subversion server yet. The bugtracker and wiki will definitely be handy; I have a local Trac instance (which is nice), but I'd rather not administer it f I can.

Thank $DEITY for version control

  • User points out a little bug in program
  • Author meanwhile made several changes to the codebase, not ready for release yet, but the required fix is trivial
  • Author checks out the latest tagged release from svn repository, tags as new release, commits fix, uploads and announces updated version in a few minutes
  • (...and right after that, he realises that there are other places in which the change must be applied, so he repeats the last step...)
  • With calm and tranquility, a day later, author applies changes to trunk (thanks to KDiff3)

05 January 2008

The Linux community deserves better blogging tools

Dear lazyweb, did the KDE community ever produce a decent blogging tool?

All I can find are half-baked applets, or java programs, or GNOME programs, and they all fail miserably when trying to connect to Blogspot since Google launched the new API.

We only need a little plugin for Kate or Quanta to do a few things: connect, open a post, open a draft, publish. I tried to do it myself, with Python, adapting the examples that David Boddie posted a few years ago, but so far no luck (whenever the plugin is called, Kate segfaults); I guess it would be much easier in C++, I really should learn it sooner or later. Doing it the other way (by including kparts from Kate and then adding stuff) is wrong and much more wasteful, lots of tools could potentially get instant gains by having a KService to interoperate with the GData API. Or maybe something like this will be in KDE 4...?

If anybody builds it, I swear I volunteer for documentation and italian translation.

EDIT: what about a jEdit plugin? This would even be cross-platform. Uhmmm, nice little project...