Tag : gui

Workaround for bad fonts in Google Earth 5 (Linux)

Update Jan 2010: The following may not work anymore. Use with caution. See relevant discussions at http://forum.ubuntu-gr.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=15607 and especially http://kigka.blogspot.com/2010/11/google-6.html

Older post follows:

So you just installed Google Earth 5 and you can’t figure out what’s wrong with the fonts? If your language does not use the Latin script, you cannot see any text?

Here is the workaround. The basic info comes from this google earth forum post and the reply that suggests to mess with the QT libraries.

Google Earth 5 is based on the Qt library, and Google is using their own copies of the Qt libraries. This means that the customisation (including fonts) that you do with qtconfig-qt4 does not affect Google Earth. Here we use Ubuntu 8.10, and we simply installed the Qt libraries in order to use some Qt programs. You probably do not have qtconfig-qt4 installed, so you need to get it.

So, by following the advice in the post above and replacing key Qt libraries from Google Earth with the ones provided by our distro, solves (read: workaround) the problem. Here comes the science:

If you have a 32-bit version of Ubuntu,

cd /opt/google-earth/
sudo mv libQtCore.so.4 libQtCore.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtGui.so.4 libQtGui.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtNetwork.so.4 libQtNetwork.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtWebKit.so.4 libQtWebKit.so.4.bak
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libQtCore.so.4.4.3  libQtCore.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libQtGui.so.4.4.3  libQtGui.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libQtNetwork.so.4.4.3  libQtNetwork.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libQtWebKit.so.4.4.3  libQtWebKit.so.4

If you have the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, try

cd /opt/google-earth/

sudo getlibs googleearth-bin
sudo mv libQtCore.so.4 libQtCore.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtGui.so.4 libQtGui.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtNetwork.so.4 libQtNetwork.so.4.bak
sudo mv libQtWebKit.so.4 libQtWebKit.so.4.bak
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/libQtCore.so.4.4.3  libQtCore.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/libQtGui.so.4.4.3  libQtGui.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/libQtNetwork.so.4.4.3  libQtNetwork.so.4
sudo ln -s /usr/lib32/libQtWebKit.so.4.4.3  libQtWebKit.so.4

Requires to have getlibs installed, and when prompted, install the 32-bit versions of the packages as instructed.

Now, with qtconfig-qt you can configure the font settings.

Playing with Git

Git is a version control system (VCS) software that is used for source code management (SCM). There are several examples of VCS software, such as CVS and SVN. What makes Git different is that it is a distributed VCS, that is, a DVCS.

Being a DVCS, when you use Git you create fully capable local repositories that can be used for offline work. When you get the files of a repository, you actually grab the full information (this makes the initial creation of local repositories out of a remote repository slower, and the repositories are bigger).

You can install git by installing the git package. You can test it by opening a terminal window, and running

git clone git://github.com/schacon/whygitisbetter.git

The files appear in a directory called whygitisbetter. In a subdirectory called .git/,git stores all the controlling information it requires to manage the local repository. When you enter the repository directory (whygitisbetter in our case), you can issue commands that will figure out what’s going on because of the info in .git/.

With git, we create local copies of repositories by cloning. If you have used CVS or SVN, this is somewhat equivalent to the checkout command. By cloning, you create a full local repository. When you checkout with CVS or SVN, you get the latest snapshot only of the source code.

What you downloaded above is the source code for the http://www.whygitisbetterthanx.com/ website. It describes the relative advantages of git compared to other VCS and DVCS systems.

Among the different sources of documentation for git, I think one of the easiest to read is the Git Community Book. It is consise and easy to follow, and it comes with video casting (videos that show different tasks, with audio guidance).

You can create local repositories on your system. If you want to have a remote repository, you can create an account at GitHub, an attractive start-up that offers 100MB free space for your git repository. Therefore, you can host your pet project on github quite easily.

GitHub combines source code management with social networking, no matter how strange that may look like. It comes with tools that allows to maintain your own copies of repositories (for example, from other github users), and helps with the communication. For example, if I create my own copy of the whygitisbetter repository and add something nice to the book, I can send a pull request (with the click of a button) to the maintainer to grab my changes!

If you have already used another SCM tool (non-distributed), it takes some time to get used to the new way of git. It is a good skill to have, and the effort should pay off quickly. There is a SVN to Git crash course available.

If you have never used an SCM, it is cool to go for git. There is nothing to unlearn, and you will get a new skill.

Git is used for the developement of the Linux kernel, the Perl language, Ruby On Rails, and others.

The Keyboard Layout Editor

Update Dec 2010: Get the latest version of the Keyboard Layout Editor from https://github.com/simos/keyboardlayouteditor

(this entry is a repost, the original was lost in a database mishap.)

As part of the 2008 GSoC program, I worked on a Keyboard Layout Editor for the X.Org Foundation.

The Keyboard Layout Editor (KLE) is an application that allows you to create keyboard layouts for the X.Org server, commonly found in the Linux, OpenSolaris, *BSD, etc Desktops.

My mentor was Sergey Udaltsov, maintainer of xkeyboard-config, the Keyboard Indicator applet in GNOME, supporting libraries for keyboard layouts and much more. I had great help and Sergey was very supportive. Highly recommended mentor for your GSoC’09 project.

The Keyboard Layout Editor showing a layout

The Keyboard Layout Editor showing a layout

The screenshot above shows the main window of the program; a keyboard with blank layout (keys are empty), a section Add to layout with items that can be used to populate the layout, and a section for the description of the layout (Layout details).

There are typically two workflows; first you start off with a blank layout and you add Unicode characters, dead keys, include files, then you save.

The other workflow is to start with an appropriate existing layout as a base, then add more characters, make changes, etc.

It might be strange to talk about different workflows, but in terms of usability it’s important provide assistance for such cases. For example, having tooltips is important when a person starts off with a new layout.

Using the Keyboard Layout Editor

Using the Keyboard Layout Editor

Here we started with a blank layout; we click on Start Character Map, then locate the characters you need, and drag and drop them to the appropriate keys. Each key is composed of four parts, and we number these from 1 to 4. The way we count is quite peculiar,

  1. bottom left, when you press the key as is (key)
  2. top left, when you press the key with Shift (Shift + key)
  3. bottom right, when you press the key with AltGr (AltGr + key)
  4. top right, when you press the key with Shilft+AltGr (Shift + AltGr + key)
Analysis of a key

Analysis of a key

This is my entry to the most engineered diagram competition.

The dead keys relate to diacritic marks such as grave and acute. Since they are too small to see, we present them next to a D letter (D for Dead key). In some cases I could not find a character equivalent to the diacritic mark, so I put ?, therefore it looks like D?. If you put the mouse pointer over the key, you can see the full details in the tooltip.

Including files

Including files

In many cases, there exist layouts/variants that contain most of the characters you want to add. In this case, you add and enable in the Include files section. You can then override any of those characters by dragging and dropping to the layout.

At this stage in the blog post, it is important to clarify the notions of a layout and a variant. The two are quite similar and the distinction is messy when trying to explain to the end-user. The French layout file is fr, which contains several variants (distinct groups of mappings of physical keys to Unicode characters). When you are actually talking about a French keyboard layout, you are actually referring to the default variant of the «fr» file. Oftentimes people refer to the «fr» file as a whole as the French layout. You can also pick a non-default variant of the layout file, and call it your layout.

The way I would like to define layout and variant is this: a layout refers to the default variant of the layout file. This is consistent to the fact that distributions pick the default variant in the settings so it’s what get the most visibility, or when users select a new layout, they are presented with the default setting first. Regarding layouts in general, it is important for different languages/scripts to make effort that the default layout is updated and includes extra useful and relevant characters.

The new Greek keyboard layout

The new Greek keyboard layout

This is the updated Greek keyboard layout, and is the near-final version that we are planning to submit to xkeyboard-config. It adds Greek Polytonic to the existing Greek layout.  It does not make changes to the previous default layout, so users will not be unpleasantly surprised. It also adds all sort of characters that are found in the Greek Unicode block.

In this post I simplified some of the terms/description. If I went a bit too far, please correct me and I’ll update in-place.

Update 8th Sep 08: What are the plans for further development of the layout editor;

  • Increase the user base and get more people trying out the editor. This requires some more cleanup of the code, more instructions on how to run it youselves, and get people to provide feedback. An open-source project without users is not a successful project.
  • Make it easier for developers to contribute on the project. If you use Eclipse, you can install pydev, antlr3ide, mylyn, subclipse, and you can do the full development from within the cozy Eclipse environment. These need documentation.
  • The Issues page at the project has about ten items. This list needs to be reduced.
  • The natural place for users of the layout editor is the http://listserv.bat.ru/xkb/List.html mailing list. We need to promote the editor there, and get examples of users actually using it to maintain layouts.
  • An issue that plagues some users is when they need compose sequences to generate characters that no pre-composed forms exist. If users really need this (mainly Latin and Cyrillic scripts, complex scripts), it can be adapted to the UI.
  • It is technically easy to adapt the editor so that it produces XML layouts. Considering the state of XKB-atkins, this may not be a top priority at the moment. libxml2 comes with the MIT license, so in license terms it would be OK. Not sure if it is OK to link libxml2 to the X.org server. It might actually solve the slow parsing of the configurations files and the issues of xkbcomp.
  • At the moment the default geometry is a somewhat generic keyboard. In addition, I deactivated several keys (such as the function keys), in order not to confuse users (you can activate with a small change in the code). The keyboard can be expanded to a full 105-keys style. A related project would be to figure out an efficient way to edit those geometry files, and make the keyboard customised. If people start creating layouts with the editor, they will certainly love to edit geometry files!

Today you’ll make history with Firefox

Today you’ll make history with Firefox

Are you ready to make history? Are you ready to set a World Record? Today is Download Day. To become part of the official Guinness World Record you must download Firefox 3 by 17:00 18:15 UTC on June 18, 2008, or roughly 24 hours from now.

Download page with live download statistics

The sender of this email is Mozilla Corporation, 1981 Landings Drive, Bldg. K, Mountain View, CA 94043-0801.

Did you receive your notification for your pledge?

The Firefox Download Day has just started. We are already counting 1 and a half hours in the download day. See download countdown which shown until when your downloads count for the record attempt.

Mozilla.com is currently very slow due to the repeated attempts to download. I hope the issue is resolved soon.

Update +2 hours: Now it works; when you visit the download page, it now shows correctly that Firefox 3.0 is available for download.

Update +16 hours: The download count reached 5,400,000 downloads. It is good to drive it higher. You can get your national download total, and ask your friends and family to help increase it.

Update +20 hours: The download count is over 6,000,000 downloads. Due to the technical issues at the start of the record attempt, the deadline for downloads has been extended by one hour and 15 minutes.

Update +24 hours: The download count is nearing 8,000,000 downloads. We have a bit more than an hour to go (due to the technical issue that delayed the start of the downloads). Can we make it to 8 million?

Update +25 hours: We did it! 8 million downloads in 24 hours! World record!

Update +30 hours: The world record attempt has been completed. Still, the Firefox 3 downloads continue. At the moment we surpassed 9.4 million downloads and counting.

Keyboard Layout Editor GSOC project

I got accepted for a GSOC project with the X.Org Foundation. My mentor is Sergey Udaltsov and I look forward working with him.

The project is about creating a Keyboard Layout Editor, that can be used to edit XKB files with a nice GUI.

I will be blogging about these from here (fdo category at this blog).

One-line hardware support (USB Wireless Adapter)

I got recently a USB Wireless Adaptor, produced by Aztech. It was a good buy for several reasons:

  • It advertised Linux support
  • It was affordable
  • It had good quality casing; you can step on it and it won’t break
  • It had the Penguin on the box and was really really cheap

When I plugged it in on my Linux system, it did not work out of the box. The kernel acknowledged that a USB device was inserted (two lines in /var/log/messages) but no driver claimed the device.

With the package came a CD which had drivers for several operating systems, including Linux. Apparently one would need to install the specific driver. I think the driver was available in both source code and as a binary package (for some kernel version).

The kernel module on the CD was called zd1211, so I checked whether my kernel had such a module installed. To my surprise, there was such a kernel module, called zd1211rw. I hope you have better chance with the URL because now the website appears to be down (Error 500).

Therefore, what was wrong with my zd1211rw kernel module? Reading the documentation of project website, I figured out that you have to report the ID (called the USB ID) of your adapter  so that it is included in the kernel module, and when you plug in your device, it will be automatically detected.

You can find the USB ID by running the command lsusb. Then, it is a one-line patch for the zd1211rw driver to add support for the device,

— zd1211rw.linux2.6.20/zd_usb.c      2007-09-25 14:48:06.000000000
+++ zd1211rw/zd_usb.c    2007-09-28 11:35:51.000000000 +0300
@@ -64,6 +64,7 @@
{ USB_DEVICE(0x13b1, 0x0024), .driver_info = DEVICE_ZD1211B },
{ USB_DEVICE(0x0586, 0x340f), .driver_info = DEVICE_ZD1211B },
{ USB_DEVICE(0x0baf, 0x0121), .driver_info = DEVICE_ZD1211B },
+       { USB_DEVICE(0x0cde, 0x001a), .driver_info = DEVICE_ZD1211B },
/* “Driverless” devices that need ejecting */
{ USB_DEVICE(0x0ace, 0x2011), .driver_info = DEVICE_INSTALLER },
{ USB_DEVICE(0x0ace, 0x20ff), .driver_info = DEVICE_INSTALLER },

What Aztech should have done is to submit the USB ID to the developers of the zd1211rw driver. In this way, any Linux distribution that comes out with the updated kernel will have support for the device.

It is very important to get the manufacturers to change mentality. From offering a CD with “drivers”, for free and open-source software they should also work upstream with the device driver developers of the Linux kernel. The effort is small and the customer benefits huge.


(see http://www.guadec.org/schedule/warmup)

At the first presentation, Quim Gil talked about GNOME marketing, what have been done, what is the goal of marketing. He showed a focused mind on important marketing tasks; it is easy to get carried away and not be effective, a mistake that happens in several projects.

The next session was by Tomas Frydrych (Open Hand – I have their sticker on my laptop!) on memory use in GNOME applications. Many people complain that XYZ is bloated. However, this does not convey what exactly happens; pretty useless. In addition, the common tools that show memory use do not show the proper picture because of the memory management techniques. That is, due to shared libraries, the total memory occupied by an application appears very big. A tool examined is exmap. This tool uses a kernel module that shows memory use of applications by reading in /proc. It takes a snapshot of memory use; it’s not real-time info. It comes with a GTK+ front-end (gexmap) that requires a big screen (oops, PDAs). However, it is not suitable for internet tablets and other low-spec devices. Therefore, they came up with exmap-console which addresses the shortcommings. It has a console interface based on the readline library.

Here are the rest of my notes. Hope they make sense to you.

. exmap –interactive
. ?: help
. Head: quite useful (dynamic allocation)
. Mapped:
. Sole use: memory that app is using on its own (rss?)
. “sort vm”
. “print” or “p”
. “add nautilus”
. “clear”
. “detail file” (what executables/libs loaded and how much consume)
. “detail none”

Sole use
. valgrind, to analyse Sole Use memory?
. “detail ????”

Lots of small libraries: overhead

Looking ahead
. Pagemap: by Matt Macall
. http://projects.o-hand.com/exmap-console/

. Sole use: ~18MB ;-(

Tomas was apparently running Ubuntu with the English UK locale. The English UK translation team is doing an amazing job at the translation stats. Actually, most messages are copied, however with a script one can pick up words such as organization and change to organisation. The problem here is that, for example, the GAIM mo file is 215KB (?), however for the British English translation the actual changes should be less than 2-3KB. Messages that are missing from a translation mean that the original US English messages will be used. I’ll have to find how to use msgfilter to make messages untranslated if msgid == msgstr. Where is Danilo?

After lunch time (did not go for lunch), I went to the Accerciser session. Pretty cool tool, something I have been look for. Accerciser uses the accessibility framework of GNOME in order to inspect the windows of running applications and see into the properties. A good use is to identify if elements such as text boxes come with description labels; they are important to be there for accessibility purposes (screen reader), as a person that depends on software to read (text to speech) the contents of windows.

The next session was GNOME accessibility for blind people. Jan Buchal gave an excellent presentation.

My notes,

. is from Chech republic, is blind himself. has been using computers for 20+ years

. from user perspective
. users, regular and irregular 😉
. software
. firefox 3.0beta – ok for accessibility other versions no
. gaim messenger ok
. openoffice.org ok but did not try
. orca screenreader ^^^ works ok.
. generally ready for prime time
. ubuntu guy for accessibility was there
. made joke about not having/needing display slides ;-]
. synthesizer: festival, espeak, etc – can choose
. availability of voices
. javascript: not good for accessibility
. links/w3m: just fine!
. firefox3 makes accessibility now possible.
. web designer education, things like title=””, alt=”” for images.
. OOo, not installed but should work, ooo-gnome
. “braillcom” company name
. “speech dispatcher”
. logical events
. have short sound event instead of “button”, “input form”
. another special sound for emacs prompt, etc.
. uses emacs
. have all events spoken, such as application crashing.
. problems of accessibility
. not money main factor, but still exists.
. standard developers do not use accessibility functions
. “accessor” talk, can help
. small developer group on accessiblity, may not cooperate well
. non-regular users (such as blind musician)
. musicians
. project “singing computer”
. gtk, did not have good infrastructure
. used lilypond (music typesetter, good but not simple to use)
. singing mode in festival
. use emacs with special mode to write music scores (?)
. write music score and have the computer sing it (this is not “caruso”)
. gnome interface for lilypond would be interesting
. chemistry for blind
. gtk+
. considering it
. must also work, unfortunately, on windows
. gtk+ for windows, not so good for accessibility
. conclusion: free accessibility
. need users so that applications can be improved
. have festival synthesizer, not perfect but usable
. many languages, hindi, finnish, afrikaans
. endinburgh project, to reimplement festival better
. proprietary software is a disadvantage
. q: how do you learn to use new software?
. a: has been a computer user for 20+ years, is not good candidate to say
. a: if you are dedicated, you can bypass hardles, old lady emacs/festival/lilypond
. brrlcom, not for end-users(?)
. developer problem?
. generally there is lack of documentation; easy to teach what a developer needs to know
. so that the application is accessible
. HIG Human Interface Guidelines, accessible to the developers
. “speakup” project
. Willy, from Sun microsystems, working on accessibility for +20 years, Lead of Orca.
. developers: feel accessibility is a hindrance to development
. in practice the gap is not huge
. get tools (glade) and gtk+ to come with accessibility on by default
. accessibility
. is not only for people with disabilities
. can do amazing things like 3d interfaces something

These summaries are an important example of the rule that during presentation, participants tend to remember only about 8% of the material. In some examples, even less is being recollected.

What’s wrong with health care systems?

It is generally quite easy to create a blog using one of those online services such as Blogspot. In fact many people create a blog and after a couple of posts they lose interest and neglect to update it. There is a blog I would like to draw your attention to, http://fakellaki.blogspot.com/. This blog was last updated on 3rd May 2007, one month ago. Quite sadly, it will not get updated again because the blogger has just passed away.
Amalia, the blogger, has been a victim of malpractice of the health service (both national and private) who failed her. For Amalia At the age of 8 she was complaining that there was pain at her leg. The doctors failed to diagnose a case of schwannoma (a type of benign tumour). Seventeen years latter and after many visits, the tumour became malign and she developed cancer. A further five years of fight against cancer and she passed away in May 2007.
At the time of writing, her final blog post has over 1500 comments.
In the US there is no national healthcare system which leaves tens of millions of people without basic healthcare. For the rest, who have private healthcare, it appears there is a varying degree of satisfaction. Michael Moore, in his latest documentary Sicko, talks about the trend in the US private healthcare system to actively look for technicalities so that they do not cover the medical expenses.
What is wrong with the health care system? Is health care inherently expensive so that quality naturally drops? Are the examples depicted above the norm or are they just mere exceptions? What’s the true cause of the problem?

Convert your legacy font to Unicode

There exist quite a few legacy fonts, from the time that 8-bit-style encodings was the norm. Nowdays, most (if not all) spoken and ancient scripts have been added to the Unicode standard.
Therefore, if you have a legacy font, you can convert to Unicode using a guide by William J Poser. The guide uses Linear B as an example.

The program mentioned in the guide is pfaedit, which is now known as FontForge. FontForge is available in your Ubuntu distribution; simply search using the package manager.

Once you have a Unicode font, the next step is to prepare an input method so that you can write in this script. But that’s another blog post.

Open Font License (OFL) 1.1 Released

Dear OFL friends and reviewers,

We’re pleased to finally announce the completion of the SIL Open Font
License version 1.1. This free and open license has been updated to improve
clarity, remove potential ambiguities, and make it easier to use for both
authors and users.

Visit the OFL web site for more information:


A detailed list of changes can be found on the review page:


The only notable change in usage is that authors must now explicitly list
any names that should be Reserved Font Names. The original name of the font
is no longer reserved by default.

Thanks to all of you who have helped us refine this license and make it even
easier to use and understand.

Victor Gaultney & Nicolas Spalinger

Source: http://openlists.sil.org/archives/ofl-discuss/2007-February/000160.html

The OFL is a free and open-source license specifically designed for the licensing of fonts.

Video playback problems (black) after installing Beryl (or Compiz)

Note: Here we describe a workaround. The proper solution is to fix the graphics drivers and the X.Org X server. Such work is taking place, and for several cases you do not need this workaround. Especially with newer versions of Linux.

You just installed your 3D Linux desktop and you are really enthusiastic about it. But when you try to play some videos, you get a strange black output. What’s going on?
The common software video players that come with the Linux desktop are able to display the video stream to several types of output devices. This includes several types of output for the graphical interface, and also obscure output devices such as text mode, using ASCII characters.
The default output device is XVideo (or Xv) for players such as those based on GStreamer (totem) and VLC.
As you guessed, there is a bug with XVideo when using Beryl/Compiz. Therefore, to fix, you need to switch to another output device that works.
For GStreamer players (such as totem, the default movie player in GNOME, Ubuntu and so on), you need to run from the command line the command
(with older distributions such as Ubuntu 6.06 there is an option in System/Preferences for this).
and pick
Video, then for Default Video Plugin choose X Window System (No Xv). Click on test to verify that it actually works. Click Close and you are set.
VLC is not installed by default in Ubuntu 6.10. You need to install manually using the Synaptic Package Manager (under System/Administration), once you have activated the Universe repository in Repositories.
Start VLC and click on Settings, then Preferences. Expand Video and then expand Output modules. You will notice several options for output device. How do we actually choose which one should be the active output device? Well, it appears it’s a bit tricky. Select the item Output modules, and notice the checkbox at the bottom right that says Advanced options. Check the box, and now you have the option to select a different output device. Pick X11 video output, click on Save and you are set!

Update (17 Jun 2007): Added section at UbuntuGuide.org, How do I fix black windows during video playback.

Επιστροφή από GUADEC 2006

Σήμερα το πρωί επέστρεψα από το συνέδριο GNOME User and Developer European Conference (GUADEC).

Το συνέδριο ήταν μια πολύ καλή ευκαιρία για να συναντηθούν τα άτομα που εργάζονται στο ίδιο το γραφικό περιβάλλον GNOME και αλλά σημαντικά έργα όπως το Xorg.

Οι πρώτες δύο μέρες ήταν για warm up και υπήρχαν θέματα γενικά για το ελεύθερο λογισμικό. Υπήρξαν αναφορές για τοπικοποίηση ελεύθερου λογισμικού όπως OOo και Mozilla. Ο οργανισμός SIL International έκανε επίδειξη την δουλειά που κάνει με τη βιβλιοθήκη graphite, που επιτρέπει την απεικόνιση περίπλοκων γραφών (ινδικά, κτλ) καθώς και τη γραφή με τη χρήση combining marks. Για το τελευταίο, όταν π.χ. κάποιος γράφει ελληνικά μπορεί να χρησιμοποιήσει είτε χαρακτήρες precomposed (με τα σημάδια ήδη επάνω τους) είτε τους χαρακτήρες της αλφαβήτου με τα combining marks. Δοκιμάστε να γράψετε σε GNOME

α + Ctr-Shift-301 παράγει ά

Δηλαδή υπάρχει διαφορά στην κωδικοποίηση των ά και ά καθώς και μικρή διαφορά στην εμφάνιση τους. Σε παραδείγματα με πιο περίπλοκα σημάδια, το πρόβλημα αυτό είναι ακόμα πιο φανερό.

Με τη μηχανή graphite είναι δυνατό να αποδοθούν οι κατάλληλες πληροφορίες στις γραμματοσειρές για να γίνει η σωστή απεικόνιση.
Ακόμα, η βιβλιοθήκη KMFL επιτρέπει το εύκολο γράψιμο σε άλλες γλώσσες. Σε Ubuntu είναι διαθέσιμη ως συστατικό του SCIM.

Ο Federico Mena Quintero έκανε μια βασική παρουσίαση για τα πρώτα βήματα στο προγραμματισμό και στη δημιουργία επιρραμμάτων (patches). Στόχος της παρουσίασης ήταν να κάνει την τοπική κοινότητα να ξεκινήσει τον προγραμματισμό.

Την πρώτη ημέρα του Guadec ο Jeff Waugh άνοιξε το συνέδριο με παρουσίαση των βασικών στόχων του έργου GNOME. Στο προσκήνιο είναι ο Dave Neary.
Go to the screencast

Ο Alex Graveley παρουσίασε το Gimmie, ενός προγράμματος που μπορεί να αντικαταστήσει το ταμπλώ στο GNOME. Υπάρχει τώρα και ελληνική μετάφραση του πακέτου.

Ο Miguel κάθεται στα δεξιά (πράσινο t-shirt).

Η Kathy Sierra έκανε μια παρουσίαση με τίτλο How to make passionate users. Η παρουσίαση αυτή ήταν από της καλύτερες του συνεδρίου διότι παρουσίασε προβλήματα στη σωστή προβολή και διάδοση ελεύθερου λογισμικού. Συγκεκριμένα, πρέπει να υπάρχει μια ροή κατά τη διάρκεια της εκμάθησης ενός νέου πακέτου λογισμικού ώστε να γίνει η μετατροπή ενός νέου χρήστη σε ένα παθιασμένο χρήστη.
O Behdad έκανε μια παρουσίαση για το pango και τις γραμματοσειρές. Υπάρχει ένα ζήτημα για το θέμα της σωστής υποστήριξης ελληνικών στη διανομή Fedora Core Linux. Αυτή τη στιγμή η πιο κατάλληλη ελεύθερη γραμματοσειρά είναι η DejaVu. Δεν έγινε αναφορά στο ζήτημα αυτό, σε αυτό το σημείο.
O Robert Love έκανε μια παρουσίαση για το NetworkManager, που επιτρέπει εφαρμογές να διατηρούν μια σωστή σύνδεση με το δίκτυο. Το πακέτο αυτό είναι ιδιαίτερο σημαντικό όταν υπάρχουν πολλαπλά access points και θέλετε να υπάρχει αυτόματη ρύθμιση δικτύου. Στην ίδια παρουσίαση, ο Robert αναφέρθηκε και το πακέτο FUSE που επιτρέπει στους χρήστες να γράφουν τα δικά τους συστήματα αρχείων σε κατάσταση χρήστη (userspace).
Ο Damien Sandras παρουσίασε το Ekiga, πρόγραμμα επικοινωνίας μέσω φωνής και βίντεο. Φαίνεται ότι υπάρχει ανάγκη για βοήθεια στο θέμα της προώθησης του λογισμικού (μάρκετινγκ).

Ο Alexander Larsson παρουσίασε το νέο API για εκτυπώσεις σε GTK+. Υπήρξε συζήτηση για κάποιες επιλογές με το ενδεχόμενο να υπάρχουν άλλες επιλογές. Πάντως έγινε αναφορά ότι για τώρα δεν είναι εύκολη η αντιγραφή και επικόλληση του κειμένου μέσα από το νέο API.

Έπειτα, ο Federico έκανε το μεσημεριανό keynote με τίτλο How Much Faster? περιγράφοντας τις στρατηγικές βελτιστοποίησης του λογισμικού ώστε να μην υπάρχει παράξενα κολλήματα κατά τη χρήση (ζητήματα ροής από την παρουσίαση της Kathy). Υπάρχει ένα σημαντικό θέμα στην ανάλυση πακέτων λογισμικού όπως Evolution και Firefox για τη βελτιστοποίηση της χρήσης μνήμης και της διαδραστικότητάς τους.
O Glynn Foster παρουσίασε το πακέτο DTrace που επιτρέπει τον έλεγχο της λειτουργίας λογισμικού (χρειάζεται αλλαγές στον πυρήνα). Το DTrace είναι διαθέσιμο σε Solaris και FreeBSD. Είναι αρκετά καλό να το χρησιμοποιήσει κάποιος για την κατανόηση των προβλημάτων μνήμης/ταχύτητας των πακέτων ελεύθερου λογισμικού.

Την επόμενη μέρα, ο Lluis Sanchez παρουσίασε το MonoDevelop και τα νεώτερά του χαρακτηριστικά. Το MonoDevelop επιτρέπει την εύκολη δημιουργία εφαρμογών σε Mono αλλά και για άλλες γλώσσες.

Ο Jim Gettys παρουσίασε το έργο OLPC και αναφέρθηκε στις πληροφορίες που μπορεί να βρει κάποιος και από το www.laptop.org. Έβγαλα φωτογραφίες με τις διαφάνειες και θα τις βάλω κάπου σύντομα.

Ο Lluis Villa έκλεισε το συνέδριο GUADEC με μια πολύ δυνατή παρουσίαση. Ο Lluis ήταν bugmaster στο bugzilla.gnome.org και έχει προσφέρει αρκετά. Τώρα ξεκινά πτυχίο για δικηγόρος με αποτέλεσμα να είναι εκτός της σκηνής για τα επόμενα 4 χρόνια. Χρησιμοποίησε το στοιχείο αυτό για να αναφερθεί στο 2010 και σε τι πιστεύει να έχει γίνει μέχρι τότε. Το μήνυμά του ήταν ότι GNOME is about people.
Οι επόμενες δύο μέρες ήταν της μορφής After Hours workshop.

Υπήρξε μια συζήτηση για το OLPC από τον Jim Gettys. Έγινε αναφορά στην τοπικοποίηση και στα τυχόν προβλήματα καθώς και στο ζήτημα της ανάγκης hinting στις γραμματοσειρές.

Ακόμα, έγινε μια συζήτηση για το θέμα των γραμματοσειρών στη διανομή Fedora. Όπως είναι τώρα, όταν κάποιος εγκαταστήσει ελληνικά, έχει ένα αποτέλεσμα που μοιάζει με αυτό το χάλι. Ο λόγος για τον οποίο δεν έχει μπει άμεσα η γραμματοσειρά DejaVu στη διανομή Fedora είναι διότι η γραμματοσειρά αυτή περιλαμβάνει αραβικούς χαρακτήρες και μπορεί εν δυνάμει να δημιουργήσει πρόβλημα στους χρήστες από αραβικές χώρες. Ωστόσο, το ίδιο ζήτημα το έχουμε στα ελληνικά, και η πραγματική λύση είναι η επέκταση του υποσυστήματος fontconfig για να επιτρέπει τη μη-χρήση χαρακτήρων σε συγκεκριμένες γραμματοσειρές μέσω του αρχείου ρυθμίσεων /etc/fonts/fonts.conf

Ο Keith Package δήλωσε ότι θα δεχτεί επίρραμμα (patch) για την προσθήκη της νέας λειτουργίας, που θα απενεργοποιεί μια και καλή περιοχές χαρακτήρως σε συγκεκριμένες γραμματοσειρές. Κάτι τέτοιο είναι καλό για τα ελληνικά. Από την πλευρά του, οι Nicholas και Jay (sun.com) ετοίμασαν ένα επίρραμμα που υλοποιεί κάτι παραπλήσιο αλλά επιτρέπει εκείνους τους κακούς χαρακτήρες να είναι χρησιμοποιήσιμοι με απευθείας επιλογή. Κάτι τέτοιο ίσως είναι πιο θεμιτό διότι για π.χ. το κοινό που γράφει CJK και θέλουν τα ελληνικά που υπάρχουν στις γραμματοσειρές τους.

Ο Behdad από την πλευρά του δήλωσε ότι θα δεχτεί την DejaVu LGC. Τώρα είμαστε στο σημείο να κλείσει το ζήτημα με την επιλογή μιας ή και των δύο επιλογών.

Έκανα μια παρουσίαση για το θέμα της γραφής στο GNOME και συγκεκριμένα ότι είναι θεμιτό (desirable) να υπάρχει η δυνατότητα να μπορούν οι χρήστες να γράφουν ακόμα περισσότερους χαρακτήρες που υποστηρίζει το Unicode και οι γραμματοσειρές.

Η επιστροφή ήταν θεαματική. Προλάβαμε το αεροπλάνο με περιθώριο ~10 λεπτά. Το μέρος (venue) ήταν πολύ όμορφο και υπήρξε παραλία αρκετά κοντά…

Ένας από τους προσκεκλημένους ήταν από την Μογγολία. Του δώρισαν ένα βιβλίο για το Mono (εκείνο το μπλε βιβλίο) και έβαλε και τον Miguel να το υπογράψει 🙂
Το επόμενο Guadec θα γίνει στο Birmingham, στο H.B. Όσοι είστε στην Αγγλία αξίζει να πάτε.