Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Tuesday 28 November 2006

Popular Digital Archives

Popular Mechanics has a good article about digital archives. If you want to explain to your parents why proprietary formats are bad, and to some extent why Open Software can prevent or solve several of the issues described.

Pimp my word processor!

Linux Journal has chosen AbiWord as Editor's Choice 2006.

Congrats to the whole AbiWord team for the good work !

Sunday 26 November 2006

Bayesian comment filter

I just installed SpamClear (direct download link, there is no web page, french announcement) to filter comments and trackbacks using bayesian filtering.

Saturday 18 November 2006

Sony and Linux

Sometime the world is full of contradiction. On one side you have Sony that fight on the ground of DRM and put spyware on their music discs, and the other hand you can run Linux on their devices. I think it is more related to the organization of the company and how they are business driven. In that case Linux is business driven.

  • Running Linux on Playstation 3. The Playstation was rumored to include lot of anti-freedom features, include one that would mark the game media to not play it in another machine after the first time (to avoid the used game market). I don't know what happened to it, but apparently it is gone. But you can run Linux on the Playstation 3 and it is supported by Sony. Note that Playstation 2 had a similar option as well. But the Playstation 3 might be able to provide a decent hardware platform for distributed computing with its cell-processor.
  • Mylo to ship, and it runs Linux and Qtopia. Not cheap either: USD$350.

Linux on phones

Linux on phones is spreading.

  • OpenMoko or the open source platform for cell-phone with a decent price. They claim to be exclusively open source. It is based on Linux and Gtk/X11 leveraging the OpenEmbedded platform. Some interesting point is that the phone module is separate and communicate with a serial connection.

Time to port AbiWord on GPE and OpenMoko? We already have a Maemo version.

Sunday 12 November 2006

Ottawa -> YUL -> AMS -> Paris Nord

I'm now in France by way of Amsterdam.

Free software hacking in airports is efficient, but short unless you find an AC plug (even more when you have 20minutes left at 40% of the charge). Fortunately the new international terminal in YUL has lots of them. And in Montréal downtown, the food court at Eaton Center has free wifi as well. Now I'm out of books. I knew two were not enough.

Wednesday 8 November 2006

Proverbe du jour

"Shoemakers wear the worst shoeing"

Artistic translation of

"Les cordonniers sont les plus mal chaussés".

Tuesday 7 November 2006

WebKit and Gnome...

So after my last post I investigated a bit.

First I have to say that C++ is NOT a problem. It is perfectly possible to provide API for C++-incompatible applications/developers. It does not matter what is the underlying language, even more when said language integrate very well with the existing C framework.


You clearly don't know about KHTML. KHTML4 as of today is in the WebKit repository, that same WebKit from Apple. It is called Unity and is the result of the cooperation of the WebKit developers at Apple and the KDE people.

On MacOS, for example, WebCore does not hard-depend on Qt, even less on KDE. Even if it were, I would still consider a Qt dependency less a problem than, for example, Mono or Python. GtkWebCore is dead, and there is actually Gtk support in WebKit. See for yourself. And that is where the future lies. The current status is "sort of work", ie you can display pages, but you miss forms and other things.

As of GtkHTML, it is not because it is used that it is a good solution. The lack of support for recent web standard is probably its biggest problem. And bringing that on par is probably more work than one might expect. The Web is a huge mess. Going towards fixing GtkHTML is probably doomed to failure. Wasn't GtkHTML originally a rewrite of KHTML in a non object oriented language? And clearly the easiest route is to finish the port of WebKit.

Monday 6 November 2006

Gnome in dire need of an HTML component

Gnome is in real need of an lighter but powerfull HTML widget. Could be used by Gaim (like Kopete and AdiumX do), could be used by Yelp (shrinking down the memory usage of Mozilla), by Liferea, Evolution, etc.

GtkHTML ? I pass.

GtkMozEmbbed ? Too big and complex.

Actually something based on KHTML/WebKit would be a killer. Even Adobe use it (thanks Aaron Seigo for the link). Can the lazyweb enlighten us on the status of GtkWebCore? The thing on sourceforge seems to be dead.

I wonder the feasibility of including KHTML4 in a Gtkmm application now that we have Qt/glib integration.