Tag : text

The Ubuntistas magazine (in Greek)

Ubuntistas is an e-magazine by Ubuntu-gr, the Greek Ubuntu community.

This is the 9th issue of Ubuntistas for May-June-July. You can click on the image above and have a look at the issue. The text should look Greek to you 🙂 but you can get the gist of the content.

The contributors for the 9th issue of Ubuntistas are

  1. Almpanopoulos Nikos (editing)
  2. Diamantis Dimitris (author)
  3. Kwstaras Giannis (author)
  4. Papadopoulos Dimitris (author, desktop publishing)
  5. Petoumenou Jennie (editing)
  6. Savvidis Solon (author, public relations)
  7. Fwtiadis Grigoris (design)
  8. Fwtiadis Fillipos (author)
  9. Hatzipantelis Pantelis (author, desktop publishing)

I remember the first discussions that led to the creation of the Ubuntistas magazine. It happened at the Ubuntu-gr forum where I was a moderator at that time. As moderator, our goal was to provide a friendly environment so that users get quality help and continue to use Ubuntu. As a result of that, the chances that some of these users would end up giving back to the community would be higher.

My input to the discussion was that there are many way to contribute back and I gave a list of (very boring) things to do. I felt that a magazine endeavor requires many people to cooperate and it was quite complicated task. My belief however was that they should give it a go anyway.

They did give it a go and we got Ubuntistas Issue #1 (Nov-Dec 2008).

Ubuntu Font Beta and Greek

Update: All open bugs for this font at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntufontbetatesting/+bugs File your bug. Currently there bugs relating to Greek, 1. Letter γ ((U03B3) has an untypical style 2.  In letters with YPOGEGRAMMENI, YPOGEGRAMMENI is expected to be under not on the right and 3. Many Greek small letters have untypical style

Here we see some samples of Greek with Ubuntu Font Beta.

Ubuntu Font supports both Greek and Greek Polytonic.

In the following we compare between DejaVu Sans (currently the default font in Ubuntu) and the proposed Ubuntu Font Beta.

Screenshot Waterfall DejaVuSans

This is DejaVu Sans, showing the Greek Unicode Block. This means, modern Greek and Coptic.

Screenshot Waterfall UbuntuBeta Greek

This is Ubuntu Font Beta, showing the Greek Unicode Block. Coptic is not covered as it was not part of the requirements for this version of the font (actually Coptic currently uses a separate new Unicode Block so the Coptic here are too low of a priority).

Screenshot-Waterfall DejaVu Polytonic

This is DejaVu Sans showing the Greek Polytonic Unicode Block coverage. We show the second part of the Unicode Block which has the most exotic characters with up to three accents.

Screenshot Waterfall UbuntuFont Beta Polytonic

Same thing with Ubuntu Font Beta.

Note that those characters that appear as empty boxes are characters that either were not designed by the font designers, or are reserved characters that have not been defined yet.

Antigoni text in DejaVu Sans and Ubuntu Font Beta (PDF, 12pt)

Antigoni text in DejaVu Sans and Ubuntu Font Beta (PDF, 10pt)

If there are things to be fixed, this is the time to do them. Post a comment and we can take if further.

Traditionally, the letters γ and ν tend to have a unique form. In this case, in Ubuntu Font Beta, γ looks different to what a Greek user is accustomed to. I attach an SVG file of γ; if you have suggestions for enhancement, please use Inkscape, this gamma_UbuntuBeta-Regular file and make your suggestion!

(see top of post for link to bug reports)

OpenType support in OpenOffice 3.2 (Greek)

The new version 3.2 of OpenOffice.org is being developed and you can currently download the release candidate for your testing purposes.

A big enhancement in OpenOffice.org 3.2 is the support for OpenType fonts. A typical Linux user is able to do most of the tasks with TrueType fonts, however any new exciting fonts available are mostly OpenType fonts. So, OpenOffice.org 3.2 (to be released this month) has OpenType support and most likely Ubuntu 10.04 is going to have OpenOffice.org 3.2.

You can install OpenOffice 3.2 RC (or final, in a few weeks) on your Ubuntu by downloading the relevant archive from download the release candidate. Extract the files and enter the DEBS/ subdirectory. Then, run sudo dpkg -i *.deb in order to install the development version of OpenOffice 3.2. The installed files are located in /opt/ooo-dev3/program/ and you run now run swriter (for Writer). It is quite possible there is already a relevant PPA repository; tell me in the comments and I’ll update here.

We test with the Greek Font Society OpenType fonts, which are distributed with the OpenFont License. The Debian/Ubuntu repositories already have the GFS fonts packaged for you. You can either install the fonts with your package manager (open synaptic package manager, search for ttf-gfs), or run from the command line

sudo apt-get install ttf-gfs-artemisia ttf-gfs-baskerville ttf-gfs-bodoni-classic ttf-gfs-complutum ttf-gfs-didot-classic ttf-gfs-gazis ttf-gfs-neohellenic ttf-gfs-solomos ttf-gfs-theokritos

Here is a screenshot of the PDF file of GFS Fonts Sample. With OpenOffice.org 3.1 or earlier these fonts would not appear in Writer and would be replaced with the default OpenOffice.org font. In addition, if you tried to export to PDF, you would get the default font (that is, the OpenType fonts do not get embedded in the PDF file either).

Here is the .odf file of the GFS Fonts Sample. If you load it in OpenOffice.org 3.1, you will notice that the default OpenOffice.org font will appear for each line in the sample file. If you load the sample .odt file in OpenOffice.org 3.2, you need to have the GFS OpenType fonts installed beforehand.

The GFS fonts support Greek, Greek Polytonic and several ancient Greek characters. See How to type Greek, Greek Polytonic in Linux for instructions on how to configure and use the Greek keyboard layout in Linux. Note that to type Greek Polytonic, you do not need anymore to select the Polytonic layout; the default «Greek» keyboard layout has been updated so that you can type Greek, Greek Polytonic and Ancient Greek characters.  Ergo, άᾷᾂϡϖϝ€ϕͼϾʹ͵ϐϛ.

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.

GMail J2ME application for your mobile phone

We talked a couple of years ago about the Google J2ME (Java for Mobile devices such as mobile phones) application that you can download and install on your phone. With this application, you can run GMail on you mobile phone, and access your e-mails with your data plan (GPRS, EDGE or 3G).


To install the J2ME application, visit (with your mobile phone) the URL


If GMail recognises that you are using a compatible mobile phone, it will direct you to download and install the application to your phone. The current version of the application is about 260KB.

If you want to save some of your data bandwidth, you can change the User-Agent string of your Firefox (use the User Agent Switcher Firefox Extension) to one of a mobile phone, then visit with your browser. In this case, you can get the application from googlemail-nokia.jar (version 2.0.6/L2). If you can afford it however, it is better to install from gmail.com/app, because this would set a list of reasonable defaults.

Keyboard layout editor UI concept

(click for bigger image)

At the top we select the keyboard layout file, the variant, and set the corresponding verbose name.

The keyboard layout editor shows a standard keyboard, where each keyboard key can show up to four levels. When you select a key, the bottor-left window shows the characters that have been set (here we use four levels). In this bottom-left window we can drag and drop characters (from Unicode blocks) and dead keys that are found from the right of the image. Dead keys are shown in red boxes.

The user is also able to include existing keyboard layout files in the current layout.

At this stage I am thinking how to easily draw the keyboard in a PyGTK application. It would be important not to draw it manually. It would be cool to have a GTK+ keyboard key widget, that you can specify the size, and the text that appears on it, then build a keyboard in Glade. Another option would be to have the basic keyboard as an SVG file (already exists), then draw over it with Cairo. I am inclined for the second option.

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.

Parsing XKB files with antlr

antlr (well, antlr3) is an amazing tool that replaces lex/flex, yacc/bison.

One would use antlr3 if they want to deal with Domain-Specific Languages (DSL), an example of which are the text configuration files.

In our case, we use antlr3 to parse some of the XKB configuration files, those found in /etc/X11/xkb/symbols/??.

Our aim is to be able to easily read and write those configuration files. Of course, once we have them read, we do all sorts of processing.

The stable version of antlr3 is 3.0.1, which happened to give lots of internal errors. It has not been very useful, so I tried a few times the latest beta version 3.1b, and eventually managed to get it to work. If I am not mistaken, 3.1 stable should be announced in a few days.

When using antlr, you have the choice of several target languages, such as Java, C, C++ and Python. I am using the Python target, and the latest version that is available from the antlr3 repository.

Here is the tree of the gb layout file,

tree = (SECTION (MAPTYPE (MAPOPTIONS partial default alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols) (MAPNAME “basic”)) (MAPMATERIAL (TOKEN_INCLUDE “latin”) (TOKEN_NAME Group1 (VALUE “United Kingdom”)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE02) (KEYSYMS 2 quotedbl twosuperior oneeighth)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE03) (KEYSYMS 3 sterling threesuperior sterling)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE04) (KEYSYMS 4 dollar EuroSign onequarter)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AC11) (KEYSYMS apostrophe at dead_circumflex dead_caron)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX TLDE) (KEYSYMS grave notsign bar bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX BKSL) (KEYSYMS numbersign asciitilde dead_grave dead_breve)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX LSGT) (KEYSYMS backslash bar bar brokenbar)) (TOKEN_INCLUDE “level3(ralt_switch_multikey)”))) (SECTION (MAPTYPE (MAPOPTIONS partial alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols) (MAPNAME “intl”)) (MAPMATERIAL (TOKEN_INCLUDE “latin”) (TOKEN_NAME Group1 (VALUE “United Kingdom – International (with dead keys)”)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE02) (KEYSYMS 2 dead_diaeresis twosuperior onehalf)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE03) (KEYSYMS 3 sterling threesuperior onethird)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE04) (KEYSYMS 4 dollar EuroSign onequarter)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE06) (KEYSYMS 6 dead_circumflex NoSymbol onesixth)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AC11) (KEYSYMS dead_acute at apostrophe bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX TLDE) (KEYSYMS dead_grave notsign bar bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX BKSL) (KEYSYMS numbersign dead_tilde bar bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX LSGT) (KEYSYMS backslash bar bar bar)) (TOKEN_INCLUDE “level3(ralt_switch)”))) (SECTION (MAPTYPE (MAPOPTIONS partial alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols) (MAPNAME “dvorak”)) (MAPMATERIAL (TOKEN_INCLUDE “us(dvorak)”) (TOKEN_NAME Group1 (VALUE “United Kingdom – Dvorak”)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX BKSL) (KEYSYMS numbersign asciitilde)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE02) (KEYSYMS 2 quotedbl twosuperior NoSymbol)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE03) (KEYSYMS 3 sterling threesuperior NoSymbol)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE04) (KEYSYMS 4 dollar EuroSign NoSymbol)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX LSGT) (KEYSYMS backslash bar)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AD01) (KEYSYMS apostrophe at)))) (SECTION (MAPTYPE (MAPOPTIONS partial alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols) (MAPNAME “mac”)) (MAPMATERIAL (TOKEN_INCLUDE “latin”) (TOKEN_NAME Group1 (VALUE “United Kingdom – Macintosh”)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE02) (KEYSYMS 2 at EuroSign)) (TOKEN_KEY (KEYCODEX AE03) (KEYSYMS 3 sterling numbersign)) (TOKEN_INCLUDE “level3(ralt_switch)”)))

When traversing the tree, we can then pretty-print the layout at wish:

partial default alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols “basic” {
name[Group1] = “United Kingdom”;
include “latin”
include “level3(ralt_switch_multikey)”
key <AE02> = { [ 2 , quotedbl , twosuperior , oneeighth ] };
key <AE03> = { [ 3 , sterling , threesuperior , sterling ] };
key <AE04> = { [ 4 , dollar , EuroSign , onequarter ] };
key <AC11> = { [ apostrophe , at , dead_circumflex , dead_caron ] };
key <TLDE> = { [ grave , notsign , bar , bar ] };
key <BKSL> = { [ numbersign , asciitilde , dead_grave , dead_breve ] };
key <LSGT> = { [ backslash , bar , bar , brokenbar ] };
… snip …

The code is currently hosted at code.google.com (keyboardlayouteditor) and I intend to move it shortly to FDO.

Προβληματικές συμπεριφορές στο adslgr.com/Forum του Linux

Παρακολουθώ μερικά forum και την ενότητα για Linux που έχουν, και αρκετές φορές απαντώ σε ερωτήματα χρηστών. Μερικά έχουν μικρή κίνηση, άλλα έχουν αρκετή και είναι πολύ ζωντανά. Ένα από τα forum αυτά είναι το ADSLGR.com @ Linux.

Ωστόσο υπάρχει ένα πρόβλημα συμπεριφοράς από μερικά από τα «παλιά» μέλη που χρησιμοποιούν τακτικές bullying για να περάσουν τις απόψεις τους. Είναι πραγματικά παράξενο να έχουμε τέτοια ζητήματα στο ελεύθερο λογισμικό. Ωστόσο έτσι φαίνεται να είναι.

Σε μια συζήτηση, για τα νεότερα στο GNOME 2.22,
http://www.adslgr.com/forum/showthread.php?t=184570 υπήρξαν σχόλια με ύψηλο flameability,

Α. «Ακομα πιο προηγμενο, τωρα ΚΑΙ με υποστηριξη για webcam. »

Β. «χαχαχα, μπήκε download notification στον epiphany.»

Γ. «Σε λίγο θα διαφημίσουν και το κουμπάκι “πίσω”, ε μα είναι πράγματα αυτα?»

Δ. « Αρχικό μήνυμα από simosx Διαβάζω όλα αυτά τα ειρωνικά σχόλια, όπως και στο άλλο thread με τον έξυπνο τίτλο gnome-vs-kde.
Ως ελληνική κοινότητα φαίνεται να είμαστε άσχετοι από τα τεκτενόμενα στο εξωτερικό. Είμαστε θεατές με επιφανειακή γνώση. »

««Συγγνώμη, για να εκφέρουμε άποψη πρέπει να συνεισφέρουμε πρώτα? Έλεος, διαφημίζουν τα αυτονόητα που υπάρχουν σε άλλους browsers εδώ και 10 χρόνια και καμαρώνουν κιόλας…?
Εντάξει, αφου πλέον μπορώ να βλεπω την ώρα στην Αυστραλία για να μην παρεξηγούμαι που δεν απαντάει στο msn η τουρ-τουρίστρια που γνώρισα πέρσυ, όλα καλά .»»

Ε. «Θα σου δώσει κατάλληλη απάντηση κάποιος καλοθελητής σε λίγο.»

ΣΤ. «Χρησιμοποιώ και gnome ενίοτε αλλά με τέτοιες μπαρούφες που κάθονται και του βάζουν…»

Ζ. «το μόνο σίγουρο είναι πως κάναμε hijacked το θέμα του gnome
έτσι κι αλλιώς δεν έχει ενδιαφέρον »

Η. « Αρχικό μήνυμα από no_logo το μόνο σίγουρο είναι πως κάναμε hijacked το θέμα του gnome
έτσι κι αλλιώς δεν έχει ενδιαφέρον
Ποιος το λέει ; Ο καθοδηγητής μήπως ; »

Θ. « Αρχικό μήνυμα από midnightsun Ποιος το λέει ; Ο καθοδηγητής μήπως ;
η πραγματικότητα 1 σελίδα είναι η “είδηση” για το gnome, οι υπόλοιπες είναι bashing από kde χρήστες και το πρόβλημα του ATC
Πάρε μάτι το νήμα του kde 4 που ενώ δεν έχει βγει ακόμα μαζικά έχουν γραφτεί σελίδες επι σελίδων
Αυτή είναι η διαφορά, ψοφοδεής κοινότητα από την μια vs την ζωντανή και ενεργητική κοινότητα του kde »

(σταματώ στη σελίδα 5 του νήματος· πάει μέχρι το 8)

Αυτό που βλέπω είναι ότι η αρνητική συμπεριφορά δεν είναι μεμονωμένη, και υπάρχουν και moderators που λαμβάνουν μέρος.

Αν μια διανομή είναι καλύτερη ή όχι από μια άλλη, αυτό δεν μπορεί να είναι αίτια για τέτοιες αρνητικές συμπεριφορές. Στην πραγματικότητα, οι διανομές/γραφικά περιβάλλοντα αποτελούν απλά αφορμή, κάτι το επιφανειακό.

Ένα άλλο χαρακτηριστικό είναι η κομπλεξική συμπεριφορά και η χρήση γραφικών εκφράσεων όπως «μυκητίαση» ή «μούχλα» (σε κάποια βίντεο κατά την αναπαραγωγή φαίνονται κάποιες περιοχές σε πράσινο χρώμα· πρώτη φορά το ακούω, και η λύση ίσως να είναι ένα απλό «περίμενε να ολοκληρωθεί το torrent»). Ο τίτλος της συζήτησης ήταν «18 μήνες έχει κλείσει αδιόρθωτο το bug της μούχλας του Xine».

Άλλες εκφράσεις συμπεριλαμβάνουν «άθλιο», που είναι μια γενική περιγραφή για τα προγράμματα που δεν καταλαβαίνουμε πως δουλεύουν.

Ένα ακόμα μήνυμα που βλέπουμε να περνάει από το adslgr.com/Linux είναι ότι στο ελεύθερο λογισμικό υπάρχουν κάποιοι «άλλοι» που έχουν υποχρέωση να κάνουν τη δουλειά, και αν δεν την κάνουν σωστά είναι άθλιοι. Αυτοί οι άλλοι είναι ταπεινοί υπηρέτες μας. Εδώ πρέπει να υπάρχει μια υποβόσκουσα σύνδεση στη σειρά Lost και τους Άλλους. (Ωχ, και εγώ κατάντησα να λέω μακίες).

Τι προβλήματα δημιουργεί αυτή η αρνητική συμπεριφορά;

  • Είναι ιδιαίτερα επιβλαβής στην ελληνική κοινότητα ελεύθερου λογισμικού. Η κοινότητα βασίζεται στην «ελεύθερη οργάνωση» που σημαίνει ότι δεν υπάρχουν επίσημες δομές στήριξης που θα περίμενε κάποιος σε ένα επιχειρηματικό περιβάλλον. Αν κάποιος νέος χρήστης τύχει να περάσει πρώτα από το ADSLGR.com για να μάθει για το Linux, τότε η κοινότητα έχει πιθανότατα χάσει ένα μέλος.
  • Τα μέλη διαιωνίζουν την αρνητική συμπεριφορά και σε άλλους χώρους.
  • Προκαλούν burnout (κούραση, μειωμένο ενδιαφέρον) στα άτομα που πραγματικά βοηθάνε. Μερικά από τα άτομα αυτά έχουν ήδη γίνει ban (!) διότι δεν ακολουθούν τη γραμμή των μπούληδων. Πάντως σε τελική ανάλυση κάτι τέτοιο είναι θετικό μιας και δεν ασχολούνται πια με το φόρουμ αυτό.

Για το που πάει το forum αυτό, ας δούμε μια πρόσφατη εγγραφή στο ίδιο φόρουμ κάποιου χρήστη, για τη διανομή Ubuntu (emphasis mine).

Θέμα: Ubuntu 8.04: Κάθε πέρυσι και καλύτερα?

Θα ήθελα τη γνώμη των χρηστών που εγκατέστησαν – δοκίμασαν την πιο πρόσφατη έκδοση της Ubuntu. Θα ήθελα να ξέρω αν, παρά τις διθυραμβικές κριτικές που είχα διαβάσει πριν την έλευσή της σε διάφορα τεχνολογικά sites, έχετε την ίδια αίσθηση με μένα: ΑΠΟΓΟΗΤΕΥΣΗ!
Κατ’ αρχάς να πω ότι το τελευταίο εξάμηνο χρησιμοποιούσα αρχικά την Feisty και ακολούθως την Gutsy. Συγκρίνοντας τις δύο μεταξύ τους θεωρούσα ότι υπήρχε μία αργή αλλά σταθερή βελτίωση στις διανομές. Στο laptop και οι δύο λειτουργούσαν θαυμάσια (ένα Sony Vaio) αλλά στο deskotp η Feisty αρνιόταν να αναγνωρίσει μία ασύρματη κάρτα Linksys WMP54g 4.1. Το πρόβλημα λύθηκε (σχεδόν) με την έλευση της Gutsy οπότε και με μερικά τρικ κατάφερα να εγκαταστήσω επιτυχώς Ubuntu και στο desktop. Το upgrade δε από Feisty σε Gutsy ήταν απλά άψογο.
Για να έρθουμε στην τελευταία έκδοση, Hardy Heron. Κατ’ αρχάς το upgrade και στα δύο μηχανήματα δημιούργησε προβλήματα και αναγκάστηκα να κάνω clean install κρατώντας σταθερό το home. Στο laptop είχα πρόβλημα στην εναλλαγή των layouts στο πληκτρολόγιο, καθώς έπρεπε να το ορίσω σε κάθε boot για να δουλέψει. Επίσης πρόβλημα παρουσιάστηκε στην ομαλή λειτουργία του openoffice (περίεργα κωλύματα που δεν είχα ξανασυναντήσει στην προηγούμενη έκδοση) και στη λειτουργία του emerald theme manager. Στο desktop δεν είχα το πρόβλημα με τα layouts του πληκτρολογίου αλλά είχα τα ίδια με το openoffice και το emerald, ενώ η σταγόνα που ξεχείλισε το ποτήρι ήταν ότι δε δούλευε το number keypad του πληκτρολογίου που δούλευε μία χαρά στην προηγούμενη έκδοση.
Για να μη σας κουράσω, έχω πλέον ξαναγυρίσει στην gutsy και στα δύο μου μηχανήματα. Το ερώτημα: είχατε αντίστοιχα προβλήματα? Και η αγωνία: θα είναι η 8.10 καλύτερη ή χειρότερη (η 8.04 είναι και LTS τρομάρα τους!)
To ADSLGR.com ως δικτυακός τόπος είναι σημαντικός και προσφέρει αρκετά στη γενικότερη κοινότητα. Το θέμα είναι ότι το κομμάτι που έχει να κάνει με το Linux είναι προβληματικό, και κάποιοι από τους συντονιστές διαιωνίζουν αντί να διορθώνουν την κατάσταση.
Αυτό που θα ήθελα να προτείνω στους χρήστες είναι να αποφεύγουν το ADSLGR.com/Linux για το άμεσο μέλλον, μέχρι τουλάχιστον να αλλάξει η κατάσταση.
Ενημέρωση: Όχι άλλα σχόλια πια. Μπορείτε να συνεχίσετε τα σχόλιά σας στο http://adslgr-critics.blogspot.com/.

OpenOffice Writer training notes (request: make training video plz!)

OpenOffice.org is one of the most important layers of the open-source stack. Although it does a superb job, we really need to make effort to get more users working on it.

Here we present training notes for the use of Writer, the word processor component of OpenOffice.org. We aim to make the best use of styles by creating well-structured documents. What we show here is built on work of others, including the OpenOffice Linux.com articles by Bruce Byfield, the amazing OpenOffice.org documentation and the spot-on article of Christian Paratschek at osnews.com. Actually, the following follow more or less Christian’s article.

When training in OpenOffice.org, it is important to create a fluid workflow that starts from the basics and increases gradually in complexity. It would be great if someone could turn the notes in a training video.

  1. We start of with running OpenOffice.org Writer. The default windows appears. Compared with other word processors, in OOo we see this text boundary in the document (the dim rectangle that shows the area we can write in). We mention we can show/hide it with View/Text boundaries.
  2. When creating a document, it is good to set the properties such as Title and Subject. We do that from File/Properties/Description. It may look too much effort now, but it will help us later wherever we want to write the document title or subject. Use Using OpenOffice.org Writer for title and How to write nice document in OpenOffice.org Writer for subject.
  3. Writer supports styles which makes life much easier. You probably have used styles before; using Heading 1, Heading 2 for headings so that you can create easily the Table of Contents. Writer has a Styles and Formatting window that is accessible from the icon/button near the File menu. The icon looks like a hand clicking on a 3×3 grid. You can also get the windows from Format/Styles and Formatting, or by simply pressing F11. Once you do that, you get a floating window. You can dock it by dragging it to the right edge of the Writer window. If you are into 3D desktop, it may not be easy to dock (it automatically switches to another side of the desktop cube). In this case, use the key combination Ctrl-Shift-F10 to dock the Styles and Formatting window. It is good here to resize the document (that is, change the magnification) so that it appears centered with little empty space around.
  4. Writer supports styles, not only for Paragraphs (like Heading 1) but also for Pages. See the status bar at the bottom of the Writer window; it mentions Default which is the default page style. When we write a document, the first page is good to have a distinct style that is appropriate to the properties of a first page. This includes, making sure the second page appears empty, the page gets no page numbering and so on. On the Styles and Formating dock we select the Page styles tab and we double-click on the First Page style. This will set the current page to the First Page style, and we can verify visually by looking at the status bar (Now First Page instead of the old Default).
  5. We are not writing yet; lets create the subsequent pages first. To do so, we insert manual breaks in our document. Click on Insent/Manual Break…/ and select to insert a Page Break. As style for the page after the break choose the Index page style, tick on Change page number, and make sure the numbering starts from 1. Click OK. Proper documents start numbering from the Index page. The Index page is the page we put the Table of Contents, Table of Figures and so on.
  6. Make sure the cursor is on the new page with the Index style. We need to create a new page break, so that we can get writing the actual document. Click on Insert/Manual Break…/ and select a Page Break. As style for the page after the break you can choose Default. Leave any page numbering settings as is because it inherits from before. Click OK.
  7. Now, to view what we have achieved, let’s go to Print Preview, and choose to see four pages at a time. We can see the first page, another page which is intentionally left blank, the Index page and the Default page. Close Print preview and return to the document.
  8. Now let’s go back to the first page. We want to put the title on the first page. Nothing extravagant, at least yet. What we do is we visit the Paragraph styles and find the Title style. While the cursor is on the first page at the start, we double-click on the Title style. The cursor moves the the center of the document and we can verify that the Title paragraph style has been applied; see on the right of the Styles and Formating icon on the top-left of the Writer window. Shall we write the title of the document now? Not so fast. We can insert the title as a field, because we already wrote it in the properties at the beginning in Step 2. Click Insert/Fields/Title.
  9. Now press Enter; the cursor moves down and it somehow automatically changes to the Subtitle style. Styles in OpenOffice allow you to choose a Next style (a followup style) and in this case, when someone presses Enter on the Title style, they get a new paragraph in the Subtitle style. While in the line/paragraph with Subtitle style, click on Insert/Field…/Subject. Fields in OpenOffice.org appear with a dark gray background; this does not appear in printing, it is just there to help you identify where the fields are.
  10. Now lets move to the last page, the page with Default style and write something. Select the Heading 1 paragraph style and type Introduction. Press enter and you notice that the next style is Text body. Text body is the natural paragraph style for text in Writer (most documents have the default Default paragraph style which is wrong). Now write something in Text Body such as I love writing documents in OpenOffice.org Writer. Copy the line and paste several times so that we get a nice paragraph of at least five lines. Make sure when pasting that after a full stop there should be a single space, then the new sentence starts.
  11. Press Enter and now we are ready to add a new heading. Type Writing documents and set the Heading 1 paragraph style. Press Enter and fill up a paragraph with more of I love writing documents in OpenOffice.org Writer.
  12. Press Enter and create a new section (add a Heading 2, name it Writing documents in style and fill up a corresponding paragraph).
  13. Press Enter and create a last section (add a Heading 1, name it Conclusion, and fill up a corresponding paragraph style).
  14. Now we are ready to place the cursor at the Index page we created before, and go for the Table of Contents. Click on Insert/Indexes and Tables/Indexes and Tables. The default index type is Table of Contents. We keep the default settings and click OK. We get a nice looking table of contents.
  15. At this stage we have a complete basic document, with first page, index page and default page.

The next set of steps include more polishing and adding extra elements to our document.

  1. The text body style is configured to have the left alignment by default. Normally, one would select paragraphs and click on a paragraph alignment button on the toolbar to change the alignment. Because we are using styles, we can modify the Text Body style to have another alignment, and presto the whole document with text in the same style follow suit. In the Styles and Formating dock, at the paragraph styles tab, select the Text Body style. Right-click on the Text Body style and choose to Modify style. Find the Alignment tab and choose Justified as the new alignment for Text Body paragraphs. Click Ok and observe the document changing to the new configuration.
  2. It is nice to the section numbers on the headings, such as 2.1 Writing documents in style. To do this, we need to change the default outline numbering. Click on Tools/Outline numbering… and select to modify the numbering for all levels (under Level, click 1-10). Then, under the Numbering group, change the Number option from the default None to 1, 2, 3, …. Click OK and the number is changed in the document.
  3. Go back to the Table of Contents. You notice that the numbering format does not look nice; some section numbers are too close to the section names. To fix, right click on the gray area of the table of contents and select Edit Index/Table. In the new dialog box, select the Entries tab. Under Structure and Formatting you can see the structure of each line of line in the table of contents table. The button labeled E# is the placeholder for the chapter number. After that there is a placeholder that you can actually type text. In our case we simply click and press the space bar to add another space. We then click the All button and finally click OK. Now, all entries in the Table of contents will have a space between the chapter number and chapter title.
  4. In order to add a footer with the current page number, click on Insert/Footer and pick Index, then Default. Both the Index and the Default style of pages get to show page numbers. Then, place the cursor in the footer area and Insert/Field/Page Number. You can modify the Footer paragraph style so that the text alignment is centered. You have to insert the field in both an Index page and a Default page.
  5. The page number in the Index page is commonly shown in Roman lowercase numbers. How can we fix that? We simply have to modify the Index page style accordingly; click on the Page Styles tab in Styles and Formatting, click to modify the Index page style, and at the Page tab in Layout Settings select the i, ii, iii, … format. Click OK.
  6. It would be nice to have the title on the header of each page, either Index or Default. Click on Insert/Header and add a header for Index and Default. Then, place the cursor in the header for both styles and click to add the Title field (Insert/Field/Title). Would it be nice to put a line under the header? The header text has the Header paragraph style. In the Styles and Formatting, click the Paragraph styles tab and select the Header paragraph style. Right-click and choose to Modify. In the Borders tab enable a bottom line and click OK.

OpenOffice.org Writer in Style

You can download this sample document (.odt) from the link Using OpenOffice.org Writer.

I’ll stop here for now. There are more to put such as Table of Figures, Index of Tables and Bibliography.
It would be good to leave feedback if there is interest to work on this direction.

Update 15Mar2008: This appears to be a Farsi translation/adaptation of the article.

StixFonts, finally available (beta)!

The STIX Fonts project (website) has been developing for over 10 years a font suitable to be used in academic publications. It boasts support from Elsevier, IEEE and other academic publishers or associations.

A few days ago, they published a beta version of the font in an effort to get public feedback. The beta period runs until the 15th December.

STIX Fonts Beta showing Greek (Regular), from STIX Fonts Beta

STIX Fonts Beta currently support modern Greek. An effort to get support for Greek Polytonic did not work out well a few years back.

STIX Fonts Beta showing Greek (Italic), from STIX Fonts Beta

The main benefit of STIX Fonts is the support for mathematical and other technical symbols. This helps when writing academic publications and other technical documents.

STIX Fonts Beta showing Greek (Bold), from STIX Fonts Beta

STIX Fonts have extensive support of mathematical symbols, symbols that exist in Unicode Plane-1.

STIX Fonts Beta showing Greek (Bold Italic), from STIX Fonts Beta

If there is any modification that we would like to have in STIX fonts, we should do now. Once they are released, they will be widely distributed. Currently, Fedora has packaged STIX Fonts and made them available already.

Cannot write Greek Polytonic in Linux

For up to date instructions for Greek and Greek Polytonic see How to type Greek, Greek Polytonic in Linux.

The following text is kept for historical purposes. Greek and Greek Polytonic now works in Linux, using the default Greek layout.

General Update: If you have Ubuntu 8.10, Fedora 10 or a similarly new distribution, then Greek Polytonic works out-of-the-box. Simply select the Greek Polytonic layout. For more information, see the recent Greek Polytonic post.

Update 3rd May 2008: If you have Ubuntu 8.04 (probably applies to other recent Linux distributions as well), you simply need to add GTK_IM_MODULE=xim to /etc/environment. Start a Terminal (Applications/Accessories/Terminal) and type the commands (the first command makes a backup copy of the configuration file, and the second opens the configuration file with administrative priviliges, so that you can edit and save):

$ gksudo cp /etc/environment /etc/environment.ORIGINAL
$ gksudo gedit /etc/environment

then append


save, and restart your computer. It should work now. Try to test with the standard Text editor, found in Accessories.

In Ubuntu 8.10 (autumn 2008), it should work out of the box, just by enabling the Greek Polytonic layout.

Update 20th June 2008: If still some accents/breathings/aspirations do not work, then this is probably related to your system locale (whether it is Greek or not). It works better when it is Greek. If you are affected and you do not use the Greek locale, there is one more thing to do.

$ gksudo cp /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose.ORIGINAL
$ gksudo cp /usr/share/X11/locale/el_GR.UTF-8/Compose /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose

The first command makes a backup copy of your original en_US Compose file (assuming you run an English locale; if in doubt, read /usr/share/X11/locale/locale.dir). The second command copies the Greek compose file over the English one. You then logout and login again.

End of updates

To write Greek Polytonic in Linux, a special file is used, which is called the compose file. There is a bit of complication here in the sense that the compose file depends on the current system locale.

To find out which compose file is active on your system, have a look at


Let’s assume your system locale is en_US.UTF-8 (Start Applications/Accessories/Terminal and type locale).

In the compose.dir file it says

en_US.UTF-8/Compose: en_US.UTF-8

Note that the locale is the second field. If you have a different system locale, match on the second field. Many people make a mistake here. Actually, I think be faster for the system to locate the entry if the compose.dir file was sorted by locale.

Therefore, the compose file is


So, what’s the problem then?

Well, for the Greek locale (el_GR.UTF-8) we have a different compose file, a compose file in which Greek Polytonic actually works ;-).

Therefore, there are numerous workarounds here to get Greek Polytonic working.

For example,

  • If you speak modern Greek, you can install the Greek locale.
  • You can edit /usr/share/X11/locale/compose.dir so that for your locale, the compose file is the Greek one, /usr/share/X11/locale/el_GR.UTF-8/Compose.
  • You can edit the Greek compose file, take the Greek Polytonic section and update the Greek Polytonic section of en_US.UTF-8/Compose.
  • You can copy the Greek compose file in your home directory under the name .XCompose. I did not try this one, and also you may be affected by this bug. (not tested)

Of course the proper solution is to update en_US.UTF-8/Compose with the updated Greek Polytonic compose sequences. There is a tendency to add the compose sequences of all languages to en_US.UTF-8/Compose, and this actually is happening now. In this respect, it would make sense to rename en_US.UTF-8/Compose into something like general/Compose.