One of the new features in Firefox 2 is Microsummaries, which essentially allows dynamic bookmark titles. This is useful when bookmarking volatile pages, since the title can reflect the current state of the document rather than the state when the bookmark was created.
The system works by registering XSLT transformations that generate a simple text string from the page content. The registrations are either done via a <link> element, or matched via regular expressions. The system is designed to target users (who can register their own microsummary generators), website owners (who can suggest a generator through a <link> tag) and 3rd parties (who can provide generators for other sites to users).
For Launchpad, I'd fall into the second category. It would be nice to provide microsummary generators for bug pages, so you'd get an indication of the status of the bug, plus an up to date bug title. Now while all this information is available in the page content, we can provide it in a much more efficient manner (if we know the user is only interested in generating a microsummary, why send them the 100 comments on the bug every time the bookmark title is to be updated?).
Being able to specify a transformation for the bookmarked URL that would be used instead for generating the summary would be one way of solving this. This would reduce the bandwidth requirements and processing time on our end. Another way would be for Firefox to include something in its request that would allow a site to know that the page was being retrieved for microsummary generation so it could ommit information.
Overall it looks like a useful feature, but I do wonder if it will suffer from the "RSS effect" and cause lots of needless traffic to web sites until people work out how to achieve the same effects in a less resource intensive fashion.
Chris Jones has been doing an amazing job on the onBoard on-screen keyboard, writing it from scratch a Summer of Code project.
While the existing Gnome on-screen keyboard (gok) is quite comprehensive it suffers from stability and configuration issues and has a rather complex code base after 5-6 years. We decided to start afresh and keep it simple, while at the same time make use of modern tools, like python, cairo and SVG.
Key features are:
- Faster rendering of keys with Cairo
- Zero initial configuration
- Unicode support
- Works on tablet PC
- Simple text-entry macros
- Multiple levels for extra keys and macros
- Support for user-defined python scripts
- Make your own keyboard layouts (simply SVG files)
- Scanning text entry support
- Works without AT-SPI
- Works without sticky keys enabled
Thanks to dholbach for uploading it to universe! Please install and test!
Having been on the exec committee of SUCS for two years I’ve come to realise how much potential there is for organisations to utilise student computer societies to advocate and spread awareness of free/open source software at a local level and to a demographic which would find some of the principles surrounding open source attractive. Students, that is. Google has already exploited this font of publicity with their pizza ambassador program.
For example, student computer societies annually attend some kind of "freshers fayre" at which all of the societies in the university try to attract and sign up new members or just increase awareness of what their society is capable of. To attract new members, societies give out enticing freebees to any passing students, sometimes society-branded to market the society or sponsor-branded because the freebees were funded by outside organisations.
If student societies were offered the opportunity to get sent some freebees, like OS installation CDs, branded pens, small notepads, wall planners, etc. I’m sure they would take it up without hesitating. In return, the organisation that helped the society out would get some free targeted publicity and the pleasant side effect would be happy students who don’t have to eat into their student budgets to buy commercial software.
Unfortunately the life of a computer society is an unstable one. From year to year the executive committee changes, and with that so does the society’s priorities. Personalities and levels of motivation also fluctuate annually. So I think that some proactivity (</buzzword>) from the open source organisation could help it a great deal should they think it would be a worthwhile strategy.
Unfortunately, in the UK at least, there doesn’t seem to be a single point of contact for all university computer societies. Compsoc.org.uk was set up to gather all UK computer societies together but it has been dormant for quite a while, not all UK computer societies have participated in it and there doesn’t seem to be as much interest in getting it on its feet as there probably should be¹.
I guess I could be accused of being lazy and told that I should contact a possible sponsor for these things under my own steam instead of just hinting about it in my blog, but this entry isn’t for the sake of my computer society, I thought i’d just get my insight out in the open so that organisations such as Canonical and computer societies in general might benefit from it.
1. I hear someone is creating a new CMS-based website for them, but it’ll need to be publicised sufficiently for it to work.
nc(1) can be used for simple and fast network scan. Here is sample of localhost scan (ports range: 1-1024).
$ nc -v -z 127.0.0.1 1-1024
localhost [127.0.0.1] 80 (www) open
localhost [127.0.0.1] 25 (smtp) open
localhost [127.0.0.1] 22 (ssh) open
With a mix of Hungarian and English language speakers, this is a great chance for Hungarian and international Ubuntu fans to get together in one of Europe’s beautiful old cities.
Hungarian speakers: Attila Dobi, Gábor Kelemen, Péter Mátó, Gábor
Süveg, Gábor Török.
English speakers: Mario ?ani? (Edubuntu Developer), Ante Karamati?
(Ubuntu Developer, Ubuntu Printing Team), Jani Monoses (Xubuntu Lead
Developer), Raphaël Pinson (Kubuntu Core Developer), Szilveszter
Farkas (Google Summer of Code student).
Get along to Building ‘I’ of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics on 28 October 2006 for a great day of Ubunting!
GNOME 2.16 was released this week, delivering, once again to the day, the usual catalogue of improvements and polishing. Congratulations, everyone!
Catalan is, once again, very well covered in this release (99.87% completed as of this writing) thanks to the fantastic GNOME group at Softcatalà. I have only been able to contribute an update to Sound Juicer and little more, due to lack of time and, admittedly, motivation, so I'm very glad to see the group continues to be healthy and active thanks to Xavi, Jordi, Maria (from WSOP fame!), Gil (awesome GUADEC organiser) and others, under the leadership of Josep. Moltes gràcies, equip!
Sri and bolsh have been mailing me and asking me when I'll be added to Planet GNOME, and thanks to Jeff Waugh I am now syndicated p.g.o, so I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself to the GNOME community.
My name is Jorge and I am a GNOME fanatic. I've been using GNOME since "October GNOME" and I come to the community via Ars Technica. A few years ago my friends and I got sick of the GNOME reviews on the web because they all sucked, so we made our own ... busted ass for a few months, and came up with something decent. This was my introduction to the GNOME community, where I met people like jdub and luis. These days, the Linux.Ars column is still going strong, with Ryan Paul at the helm. If you think we suck, then just ask Robert Love, he thinks we're ok. :D Through sheer luck, I've had the opportunity to be there when the GNOME Journal launched, which is awesome.
So, I ended up being part of the GNOME community in one way or another ... then a few years ago I gave up my cushy .gov contractor job (and why not, if you're going to love something, then go for it) for a Linux admin job at Oakland University in Michigan, USA. Like many of my contemporaries, I rode the "moving away from UNIX" wave, and am currently deploying GNOME and Ubuntu for ~2800 users at our University. The pay cut was worth it. Thanks to the mentorship of people like Luis Villa, Dave Camp, and Jeff Waugh I've been happy to represent the GNOME Foundation in the midwest United States. You guys really know how to build the community, so a big thanks.
I've also had the privilege of being a data point in Federico's GNOME deployment survey. This is my favorite area in GNOME right now ... because it totally sucks. And this ... is why I'm here.
What rules is that Sabayon and Pessulus are just infants ... GNOME has the opportunity to be a sysadmin's dream. The problem is that we're in the middle of the Chicken and the Egg Problem. With SLED10, Ubuntu 6.06LTS, and (soon) RHEL5 out the door ... now is the time to be heard. If you're deploying GNOME, then get on the mailing lists, get to Boston, spam Federico, whatever it takes. The software isn't going to write itself in a vacuum, so be loud. (In a constructive manner of course.)
I've got a list about a mile long about how GNOME can improve being "sysadmin friendly." I am bringing this list to the GNOME Summit. If this doesn't scare you, I'm bringing Corey Burger with me. Be afraid. Be very afraid. If you're deploying GNOME and are lost, then please feel free to email me, I'm here to help.
Stay tuned over the next month, I am going to dive into a little gem from Federico's report: 39% of the deployments in this study use thin clients as a way to save money in hardware and in administration. Remember this bullet, because this October Jim McQuillan and the rest of the LTSP.org hackers are going to rock your world. More to follow ...
A little over a month in the making, and the new UbuntuSounds are in the repos. I took on the task of creating the new sounds for Ubuntu for two reasons (a) I found a spec on the wiki from a way back about wishing to change/update the current sounds and (b) because I wanted to combine my love for Music and Ubuntu. I must admit the task was a little daunting, after all I had previously been used to the likes of a Microsoft platform, running Logic Audio, which cost me around £500. Bang went a my student loan After looking at the fantastic Ubuntu Studio website, I created my new Ubuntu Studio, and got to work.
Armed with my Korg X5D, MidiSport 2×2 and a whole host of Ubuntu software, I set about creating these new sounds. I was the first time I’d done anything like this before and although tough in places, to the point of me wanting to pull my hair out, it was a great deal of fun. I hope I get the opportunity to work on sounds next release too.
The process was a strange one, often I’d be walking round the house, flying my stunt kite, or just waiting for a lift, when a tune would hit me. I’d pull out the old pocket pc or cell phone, whichever was closer at the time, and sing into the low quality mic. Often when I returned to my studio, the sound which had seemed so amazing at the time, was not so amazing
I had many a meeting with Frank Schoep who, also being a musician, was a fantastic inspiration and communicator during this process. I’d like to thank everyone who commented on the sounds and gave me sound advice. My special thanks to Frank, you’ve been a rock bud.
Now before you run off and install these they are VERY much in development and for DEVELOPERS ONLY , e.g. they will not run 98% of your apps, will crash very often, and have been known to cause the people in your neighborhood to explode spontaneously while doing the Macarena.
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK , as you will probably be debugging and reloading a lot .
Anyhow here it is , in all its glory, now we can run the binarys on Kubuntu/Linux as well as OS X , get to crackin on porting your favourite apps to QT/KDE 4 ;)
Congrats to everybody who worked on the new GNOME 2.16!
If you are an Ubuntu user the new version is already available to edgy, just update and let we know how it works for you. Feel free to report your issues on launchpad (or on the GNOME bugzilla if you are confident you face an upstream bug). If you are not an Ubuntu user that might be a good occasion to give a try to it and to the new GNOME too ;)
Speaking about bugs and desktop, people wanting to give a hand (to triage and forward bugs by example), or simply discuss about the desktop, are welcome to join the Ubuntu Desktop Team!
This Sunday we have a Jokosher Day. The idea of the day is tidy up some chunks of Jokosher and do the following:
- Go comment-crazy and comment uncharted chunks of code.
- Write docs
- Update the wiki
- Fix bugs
Importantly, the day is a great opportunity for those who are interested in getting involved in the project to come along and get to know the team and ask questions. We are screaming out for more developers, so do come along and get involved.
The whole shebang takes place in #jokosher on irc.freenode.net all day on Sunday.
Right before feature freeze, mjg59 and I had a few fun days hacking at usplash. It now supports higher resolutions, 256 colors, animation, themes with multiple resolutions, text input and is quite bling-compatible.
Now let’s hope the Ubuntu artists can use the new features for some kick-ass startup themes!
Completely unrelated to this: I’m indeed going to EuroOscon this year. I have my conference pass, hotel is booked and I’ll buy my traintickets next week. Anyone wanting to meet up, let me know!
Otherwise, you can get addicted to new gdm theme and login/logout sounds. I'm serious, I've already heard people talking "I have to record this sounds", "Where's that file", etc...
So, I can't stress this enough, kids do not take Edgy, Edgy creates addiction.