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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

What linux needs on the desktop is...

... oh, screw it, why not say what it does­n't need? It's bet­ter for my blood pres­sure.

  • It does­n't need Be refugees whin­ing about how BeOS was so awe­­some and Lin­ux desk­­tops suck. You know what, guys? If BeOS was so cool, and Lin­ux sucks so much, how come BeOS is dead? Now put a sock in it and go prac­tice your OS­­-necrophil­i­a.

  • It does­n't need win­­dows users say­ing "it's not like win­­dows, it suck­­s". If Lin­ux was just like win­­dows, you would say that there is no rea­­son to switch, so put a sock in it, be­­cause you can't have it both ways.

  • It does­n't need Mac users say­ing how there's no point work­ing on it be­­cause OSX is al­ready as good a unix desk­­top as there's gonna be, so why both­­er?. Put a (de­sign­er) sock on it, be­­cause in or­der to use OSX you have to buy an un­­god­­ly ex­pen­­sive (ex­­cept the 12" ibook, that's kin­­da cheap and cute) com­put­er that pro­­vides on­­ly ad­e­quate per­­for­­mance, and I am a cheap bas­­tard.

  • It does­n't need old unix gu­rus ex­­plain­ing how there's no need to work on KDE or GNOME be­­cause Win­­dow Mak­er is lighter, and all that's need­ed is a way to keep their xterms sort­ed. Put a sock in it, be­­cause xterm suck­­s, Win­­dow Mak­er is fea­­ture­­less, and you can't do any­thing use­­ful for a reg­u­lar us­er with just xterms and Win­­dow Mak­er, so you are com­­par­ing ap­­ples to ap­­ple or­chard­s.

Most of al­l, it does­n't need any "What lin­ux needs on the desk­top" ed­i­to­ri­al­s.

On oth­er news, I will be speak­ing about Lin­ux on the desk­top at the UADE in Buenos Aires, Ar­genti­na, this sat­ur­day, and about PyQt/PyKDE pro­gram­ming this fri­day.

More in­for­ma­tion at the CafeL­UG site. If you read it here and men­tion my blog, I will pay you a beer (of­fers lim­it­ed to a max­i­mum stock of three beer­s).

Cool applications

Fw­builder was one of three GTK ap­pli­ca­tions I used (inkscape and gimp are the oth­er two).

And to­day I no­ticed that ver­sion 2 is Qt-based :-)

I like it a lot. In fac­t, as I say in my class­es, it's the first fire­wall con­fig­u­ra­tion ap­pli­ca­tion for Lin­ux I've found that is ac­tu­al­ly eas­i­er than edit­ing a scrip­t, since al­most ev­ery oth­er one I've found is a glo­ri­fied rule ed­i­tor.

Bonus cool ap­pli­ca­tion: p3s­can

I found about this to­day, when a cus­tomer asked me for a way to vir­us­can his in­com­ing mail. Which is stored in a bunch of ac­counts all over the in­ter­net :-)

For web­mail­s, a squid redi­rec­tor does the job, but for pop3? p3s­can is com­plete­ly trans­par­ent (on­ly re­quires a tiny con­fig­u­ra­tion and a NAT rule) and for what I test­ed it, works just fine.

I am us­ing it along with cla­mav, but it al­so sup­ports Kasper­sky, F-Pro­t, and al­most any­thing, re­al­ly.

Cool gad­get, and it's just a 72KB down­load.

My week so far

This last week has been one of the most ex­haust­ings I can re­mem­ber. And that in­cludes the one I did­n't sleep, while drink­ing heav­i­ly with all my school­mates in Bar­iloche (lo­cal tra­di­tion, nev­er mind).

Let's see...

Last fri­day, af­ter fin­ish­ing work at 21:00, I board­ed a bus at 23:20 with Rosar­i­o, head­ed for my birth­place, San­ta Fe. That's 450km away, and it took un­til 5:30 am.

There I was greet­ed by my broth­er, who I had not seen in al­most three years, and we went to his place to waste some time be­cause I had to go buy a gift for my niece, who was hav­ing her 5th bith­day par­ty.

So, I slept about 2 hours, and then we wen­t, bought some Bar­bie make up (my niece is go­ing to be a mod­el, trust me), and we sailed of­f, in his Peu­geot Part­ner, to­wards Moi­ses Ville (his town), about 200Km to the left.

Bad news: the Part­ner has on­ly two seat­s. There's three of us. So, I went bounc­ing in the back, in a mat­tress, Rosario and San­ti­a­go (my broth­er) at the fron­t.

We did that for about 80K­m. Then we picked up Romi­na (ex-­nan­ny of Muriel, my niece) and Mar­tin (Romi­na's chat­ter­box, 1.5 year old).

So they went to the fron­t, and Rosar­i­o, I, a few pounds of meat, a PC CRT mon­i­tor, a few suit­cas­es, the gifts and some flow­ers went on the back.

Then we ar­rived at the next town, some 50Km fur­ther. I was about to get sick, so, when we picked up the Bar­ney & friends foam suit­s, I switched places with Romi­na & Mar­tin (hey, I'm about twice the size of both of them... to­geth­er).

That's how we ar­rived at Moi­ses, around 3P­M.

Rosario and San­ti­a­go went for a nap, I helped San­dra (San­ti­ago's wife) pick up some stuff, like, bev­er­ages or what­ev­er, and at 16:30, the birth­day par­ty start­ed.

Nice par­ty. Muriel dressed like a princess (she's too cute, re­al­ly. Princess­es are usu­al­ly ugli­er ;-) 40 of her best friends (in a town pop. 1800), two in­flat­able cas­tles to bounce in, cake, and all the sand­wich­es you can eat.

Good thing Rosario used to work teach­ing kinder­garten, too, so she lent a hand...

High­lights of the day: Muriel waltz­ing with her un­cle Iair dressed as the Beast (Dis­ney ver­sion... ok, he looked more like the crea­tures in "The Vil­lage" to me, but to each his own).

Lis­tened at ran­dom: "y­ou know, he could have just used a zip­per in his bel­ly as a beast cos­tume", which is an ab­so­lute defama­tion of the boy ;-)

Rosario paint­ed ev­ery lit­tle girl as if they were about to be on TV...

Now, I have been to some 5-year-old gath­er­ings, and this bunch has to be the sweet­est-­na­tured chil­dren I ev­er saw, ex­cept maybe for the kids at Ur­di­nar­rain, who even say hi to strangers on the street.

At 19:30 ev­ery­one went away, and we rest­ed a lit­tle, then head­ed for one of San­dra & San­ti­ago's busi­ness, a cy­ber­cafe/ping-pong den for a nice asa­do (that's why there was meat in the truck :-).

Awe­some meal, laughed un­til San­ti­a­go seemed about to burst some­thing, dis­gust­ed the fe­male com­pa­ny with anec­dotes, Muriel sleep­ing in a cor­ner, while kids were play­ing coun­ter­strike...

The fol­low­ing day more of the same, knish­es, em­panadas, long nap, think­ing of how the hell we could get back to Buenos Aires be­fore mon­day 18:00, when I had to meet a cus­tomer (yeah, that's right).

San­dra took us in a scary pick­up ride in the dark­ness over a dirt road to Pala­cios, the town on the pave­ment road, where we wait­ed in the dark­ness for a bus.

That bus was head­ed to Rosario (a city, not my girl­friend), and it was ful­l, so Rosario got a seat, I got to stand up (and smooch) un­til Sun­chales (some 40K­m) where some peo­ple left, and we got seat­s, and then noth­ing much hap­pened un­til we ar­rived, around 1am.

Then... no bus­es un­til the morn­ing. We had al­most no mon­ey now, but what the hel­l. We ate a cou­ple of sand­wich­es, took a room in a cheap near­by hotel, and took a bus (fi­nal­ly a nice one) at 9:15 am.

Ar­rived at B.A. at 13:30, she went home, I went to work, went home at 21:30, col­lapsed at 21:32.

Dis­cov­ered my house was in­fest­ed with fleas at 21:33 (how? My cat nev­er leaves! It's a 7th floor!)

lost con­scious­ness at 21:38.

And it was still on­ly mon­day.

Then lots of oth­er stuff, like try­ing to buy a suit with Rosario and Maria Fer­ay (her sis­ter), and wal­ing about 40 blocks look­ing for a piece of cloth... lots of work... even some hack­ing...

And you know... I have a tick­et for San Juan (o­h, rough­ly a 14hs bus ride ;-) for to­mor­row. Once I get there at 10am on sat­ur­day, I will have to dress up for a par­ty (a wed­ding, not mine), and then we will come back in a car. On sun­day.

That means I am go­ing to spend 12 hours in a car with Rosar­i­o, her sis­ter and their fa­ther. Have mer­cy on my soul if noone sees me again!

I for­got to men­tion: I saw Nahuel, a black cock­er spaniel that lived with me when he was a pup­py... many years ago. He's blind, but he still rec­og­nized me. Emo­tion­al mo­ment :-(

konqueror/embedded hacking continues

I have rough­ly 95% of it build­ing with kdelibs 3.3.1, with the patch­es comit­ted up to now.

I have some weird prob­lem with khtm­l_­part where it does­n't see a func­tion that's de­fined right there, but I am start­ing to get dizzy.

It's not very dif­fi­cult cod­ing (most­ly cut&­paste) but it's a large piece of it and this is a slooow com­put­er :-)

Konq-embed hacking progress

Ok, I have done a lit­tle about that.

Turns out I was patch­ing it for HEAD, not 3_3_1, so I fixed that, and now the avail­able patch­es work for both ver­sion­s.

Of course that does­n't mean ei­ther one ac­tu­al­ly build­s, on­ly that the stuff that need­ed to be patched for 3.2 is now patched for new­er ver­sions as well.

The big­gest prob­lem with this piece of code is that in or­der to do it nice­ly, I have to test ev­ery change I make agains sources pre­pared from 3 dif­fer­ent KDE re­leas­es (or rather, about 5 or 6, but I will not do that), so that when I touch one of the dropin/ class­es to pro­vide a 3.3 in­ter­face, I don break the 3.2 kdesr­c/ build.

And I am oing it in a pret­ty slow box, so each build takes a cou­ple of hours.

Er­go, I am do­ing it wrong. I am go­ing to hack against 3.3.1 un­til it work­s, then 3.2 un­til it work­s, then 3.3.89.

Then all around again, un­til all three work with­out trou­ble. It's not go­ing to be too easy.

To make mat­ters worse, I re­al­ized that I don't need it to work with 3.3 for what I want­ed, since a 3.2-based KHTML is al­ready good enough.

Oh, well, at least I am hack­ing in pub­lic CVS again. Hope­ful­ly I won't break any­thing too bad­ly.

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