Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Wednesday 28 February 2007

New job

As Michael mentionned Monday, I joined the OpenOffice team at Novell. I'm thrilled and I would like to thanks Novell for offering me the opportunity to work on a major Open Source project.

In the mean time I have been added to both Planet OpenOffice.org and Planet SuSE.

Sunday 25 February 2007


I have been having some spare time lately, and last week-end I boostrapped a new project: exempi. exempi is a library to deal with XMP metadata.

But what is XMP? XMP stands for eXtensible Metadata Platform. It is a standard, created by Adobe, to define an extensible storage for metadata. XMP is based on RDF (and therefore XML) and encompass EXIF, IPTC4XMP metadata[1], Dublin Core and other metadata models. It is now part of the workflow for digital photographers and supported by various software package used in the industry.

Today, Adobe provide a SDK as a source code library to read and parse XMP, but unfortunately the license makes it incompatible with the GPL license[2]. I couldn't find an XMP library[3] either. Since libopenraw needs a standard way to be able to extract the metadata, that are mostly, but not only, EXIF, I decided that the best solution was actually to go with XMP.

What are the plans? The current plan is to have a library that provide a way to access to this structured information extracted from an XML blob. That way it is easy to validate against the XMP side car files that I have. Sidecar files are XML files containing the XMP metadata, that are stored next to the file they refer to. This is the conservative way to store metadata, even more important when it is for read-only files like digital camera RAW files.

More about that later, as the XML parsing code is not finished.

As for the behind the scene, exempi is written in C++ and will have a plain C API. The license is LGPL.


[1] which supersede the IPTC IIM

[2] IANAL so don't take this as a legal statement

[3] I could actually find a couple of utilities, including a metadata plugin for Gimp

Wednesday 21 February 2007


The intent of this post is to be humoristic

ELER had a strip about GUN/Linux.

Now Eric announce that he abandon Fedora for Ubuntu. I think that Alan Cox pretty much summarize it well.

Will Ubuntu be renamed Gunbuntu?


Wednesday 14 February 2007

Thin clients

Another Linux thin client. This time it is the Canadian company Koolu (just ignore the proprietary Flash like I did). The interesting thing is that they run Ubuntu and OLPC (choice) on it, booting via PXE. OLPC is potentially the biggest deployment of AbiWord. The machine is still able to run big software like OpenOffice, and even has an optional hard drive.

Another interesting thing is that they have John "maddog" Hall as a CTO.

Update (02/15/07): the demo video is available in Ogg

See also: Linutop. BTW, about Linutop, if you are interested in it and are around Montreal, there will be a presentation of Linutop at the monthly meeting of FACIL. Info in French

Linux phone

The OpenMoko software platform has been released. OpenMoko is the the project initiated by FIC in Taiwan. Apparently the hardware is late, but they released the software still.

On the other hand, the Access Linux Platform has been released, and its openness looks much less appealing. ALP is the successor of PalmOS and is based on Linux.

They are both based on Gtk+ for their toolkit. That open more deployments for AbiWord.

Saturday 10 February 2007

Congrats Dodji #2

Dodji, congrats on your new job. All I can say is that I'm very envious.

Thursday 8 February 2007


I just wished I could go to FOSDEM...