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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Free software is good for me.

I make a liv­ing work­ing with free soft­ware (BTW, if you need sysad­mins that know what they do, con­tact us:­man­ager­s.­

But that's not that big a deal, I could make a liv­ing do­ing some­thing else. I am sure I would be com­pe­tent at some­thing else, even if I have no idea what that would be right now.

It does, how­ev­er give me free­dom to play, which is much more im­por­tan­t. There­fore, this post is sort of a sta­tus up­date on things I play with. Not games, those are not re­al­ly my thing, but things that I do for fun.

Yes, some of these may mean I am a very strange per­son.

I'll lim­it my­self to the last cou­ple of weeks or so.

There's been sort of a bump in in­ter­est in Mar­ave, my dis­trac­tion free ed­i­tor and it's be­cause it has been re­viewed in Lin­ux Jour­nal!

I have read the ar­ti­cle (sad­ly I can't link to it) and it was a su­per pos­i­tive re­view, here are some choice quotes:

"mar­ave makes the dull world of text edit­ing ro­man­tic and im­mer­sive with beau­ti­ful min­i­mal­is­m"

"... it does­n't just have min­i­mal­ism and sim­plic­i­ty, it has min­i­mal­ism and sim­plic­i­ty com­bined with beau­ty and a pal­pa­ble de­sign eth­ic. mar­ave has soul, and I love that."

So thanks for the kind words to the au­thor, and some­thing I no­ticed: you ran in­to a big bug in mar­ave and did­n't no­tice :-)

The "crick­et bat" icon (it's a screw­driv­er ;-) should show you the con­fig di­a­log. How­ev­er, it seems in Ubun­tu (and maybe in oth­er dis­tros, I don't know) the con­fig is not vis­i­ble,and all you see is the text move around a bit. This is what he should have seen:


I have nev­er been able to re­pro­duce it, but I am go­ing to in­stall a Ubun­tu VM just for this, so maybe soon.

On re­lat­ed news, mar­ave was al­so re­viewed in a ger­man mag­a­zine a cou­ple of months ago, and I have not been able to get a copy of the ar­ti­cle. (BTW, is­n't it rea­son­able to send a copy of these to the au­thor of the pro­gram you are re­view­ing? Nei­ther mag­a­zine even men­tioned it to me!)

In any case, if any­one has this mag­a­zine and can tell me what the ar­ti­cle about dis­trac­tion-free ed­i­tors say, you will make my day:

Here's the ar­ti­cle teas­er

And this seems to be the mag­a­zine is­sue:

On new projects (yes, I al­ways have new pro­ject­s), I ran in­to this awe­some blog post by Roger Als­ing about ap­proach­ing Mona Lisa with just 50 poly­gons <http://roger­als­ing.­com/2008/12/07/­ge­net­ic-pro­gram­ming-evo­lu­tion-of-­mon­a-lisa/ > and be­ing a nerd and hav­ing awe­some pro­gram­ming tools at my com­mand... I wrote a frame­work to test that kind of al­go­rithm­s.

I called it evo­lu­to and it's at http://evo­lu­to.­google­code.­com.

I on­ly did a very sim­ple al­go­rith­m, based on translus­cent tri­an­gles, but it did work... for some def­i­ni­tion of work!

You can even see the lo­cal min­i­mum that does­n't let her right eye form right :-)

Evo­lu­to has a li­brary of al­go­rithms (cur­rent­ly emp­ty) and you can ed­it and reap­ply on-the-fly the one you wan­t, and see the gen­er­a­tions change on-screen.

It would take some work to make it a pol­ished pro­gram, but it does work.

I folled around a bit with cre­at­ing a nice PDF pre­sen­ta­tion play­er but it's still very ear­ly:


In what's per­haps my most es­tab­lished pro­jec­t, rst2pdf. I have fixed a bunch of bugs, and a re­lease is a bit over­due:

Issue 186: Text not wrapping around images when specified

I fixed this by adding a new CLI op­tion, so be­hav­iour was not changed, but now you can have im­ages with text flow­ing be­side it. It will not look great but it work­s.

Issue 307: Replace directive doesn't replace text in header/footer in some cases

This was an in­ter­est­ing prob­lem! It was very en­ter­tain­ing.

Made it work with Sphinx 1.*

There is a piece bro­ken stil­l, but what I fixed was not ter­ri­bly hard.

Unbroken bookrest

I need to work much more with this, but at least what worked be­fore works again. If you don't know what bookrest is, it's a rst2pdf graph­i­cal fron­tend / word pro­ces­sor, here's a taste:

I al­so made sev­er­al re­leas­es for my AUR pack­ages

Plus I worked, and some oth­er stuff. All in al­l, not a bad stretch.

Nacho Larrateguy / 2010-06-18 20:33:

Muy buen post Roberto! Sí, el software libre de vuelve la base de todo, no? trabajo, entretenimiento (como decís vos.. o "una especie de").

* felicitaciones por lo de Marave.
* Sí, te deben la revista. Al menos la copia de la hoja escaneada podrían enviar.
* Roger Alsing en evoluto debería evolucionar a Roberto Alsina :-P

Roberto Alsina / 2010-06-18 20:37:

Che, que Roger Alsing es un grosso :-)