Older blog entries for Uraeus (starting at number 392)

7 Jan 2005 (updated 7 Jan 2005 at 18:04 UTC) »

CRM: So have been continuing my headlong dive into possible CRM systems. Currently it looks like we are going to go for SugarCRM as it has a very simple and straightforward install combined with most of the features we need.

bilboed pointed me to ERP5 but it seems more like a ERP solution than CRM. Thomas suggested we use a groupware solution instead as it would allow us to use Evolution more as an interface. Basically I have come to like the idea, as a solution like the very cool Noodle setup, being put together by Imendio among others, around OpenGroupwareOrg and Evolution contains a lot of the basic functionality you want from a CRM system. Unfortunatly Noodle is still a bit early age and there are functionality which I want and which I have in SugarCRM which isn't in Noodle (as it is not actually a CRM system). What would be perfect of course was a CRM system like SugarCRM which used Noodle as its backend for calendaring, email and so on. It would make SugarCRM tens times nicer to use and make my choice more obvious. The most suprising part is that none of the CRM solutions I have found seems to support syncing with a calendaring server even.

Flumotion: One problem we would like to solve with Flumotion is that of combining video with slides. So that when you stream a conference talk you see a video of the speaker and some readable slides combined with it. The solution we are looking into for this adding an image stream to the Ogg stream. Rillian of Theora fame has some ideas on how this should be implemented so we probably try going with his approach. Anyway due to this we are wondering wether to use the established MNG format or go with the new and flashy apng format developed by the Mozilla people. Rillian is leaning towards MNG, and I got some other people expressing APNG scepticalness to, but on the other side if Mozilla is going with apng it will probably quickly be a more popular and better supported format than MNG. Which in turn might make it easier to get more people to support the planned image in OGG solution. Never any end to decisions.

GStreamer: I have also been working on writing up a licensing advisory/policy document for GStreamer. Part of it is just codifying established practise, but other parts are new. Sent it to the GStreamer list so far and got good response, so the next step is sending it out to the GNOME and KDE multimedia lists for wider review before making it part of the GStreamer website and documentation. Also think I try sending it to a couple of legal sources for review as I am not 100% sure about the wording of the legal intepretation statement linked from the main document. Maybe Debian legal would be a good place to get some sane feedback.

Also found out today that I am getting my mother and youngest sister on a visit closer to the end of the month. Hope I can get Thomas and Wim to shave and keep their desk tidy so they don't embarass me in front of my mom :)

I also pulled GStreamer and associated libraries from gnomefiles.org yesterday on Eugenia's request. She only wants GUI stuff on gnomefiles which I am not sure how much I agree with. True enough GNOME is a GUI environment and most people using gnomefiles are end users are looking for applications for their desktop, but I still think central gnome libraries are of general enough interest to warrant a listing. The again it is her website, which she has done a splendid job with so far IMHO, so I complied without too loud complaints :)

Fernando Herrera pointed me to Hipergate after my request for CRM suggestions and Gonzalo Odiard pointed out that it is possible to run Compiere on the Firebird database. Thanks to both.

I tested the online demo of Hipergate and liked it, but trying to install it on my own machine for testing I came close to hate it. SugarCRM took me under and hour to install and have running, while I have still not managed to get Hipergate going. The first problem was the Java dependencies. After some fidling and googling I found jpackage which seems to be a rather nice effort to package Java software for people. I think I would have given up even sooner without it. That said I got once again reminded why Java is not considered free software when trying to install it. First of all I had to go to javasoft.com to grab latest update to java 1.4.2. Then I needed the 'jta' package. I could not figure out at first why I was unable to apt-get it, but I eventually figured out that jpackage is only packaging a SRPM for it and that I had to build the RPM myself using that SRPM and the jta zip file which I once again had to download from Sun. At this point I was already cursing. And before anyone gets their shorts in a twist, I am not saying Sun are immoral for not freeing Java, I am just pointing out that their not doing so contributes to making Java systems a pain in the ass to install/use. Which in turn is a competitive disadvantage for Java using systems.

Ok, so finally I got tomcat installed and the postgres database up and runnning. Figured it be easy going from that to get the system running, but not so. Seems the tomcat dependencies where not complete as I got error messages about missing javamail and jaf packages. After a lot of find commands I was able to find out where to install the files and it seems I got it running in the end. Now we just need to get it working on the server :)

Been trying to find a nice open source CRM system for Fluendo. Being a GNU/Linux company we want something that is fully open source. One of the first I looked at was Compiere as it seemed like a rather extensive solution which had other functionality as well so it would be easy to grow with. But it only supports running on Oracle databases, which sorta killed the open source aspect of it IMHO.

Currently installing and testing SugarCRM which I saw people recommend in various forums etc. My inital testing makes it look relativly nice, but I need to try and run a full virtual sales cycle in it to get more of a feel for it before I decide. If anyone reading this have any experience with open source CRM systems and has something to recommend feel free to mail me at uraeus at gnome dot org.

GStreamer: Wim's work on his branch for GStreamer 0.9 is progressing very well. He is currently demoing lighting fast seeking with on-the-fly previewing meaning it displays the keyframes as you drag the seekbar back and forth. Not everything is perfect yet of course, but it is looking very nice so far.

Zaheer is in Barcelona with his wife Alia, to celebrate her birthday. We are going out to eat with them today so hopefully we will be able to dig up a nice place that serves halal meat.

Wim, Thomas, Kristien, Zaheer, Alia and me all went to see Sky Captain yesterday. Managed to scare Zaheer and Alia with claims of it being dubbed in Spanish :) Anyway it turned out to be a rather entertaining movie. Not Oscar material I guess as the acting was maybe a bit wooden at times, but still a fun storyline and setting. I guess the Wizard of Oz clip in the beginging was rather fitting :)

Happy new year to everyone!

rbultje: I would agree with you if people where suggesting a legal ban on buying fireworks and mandatory use of the money saved to foreign aid. But if you are actually saying that sharing thoughts/discussing issues related to society and private values should never be done then I think you are not thinking of the consequences of such a 'ban'. In fact it would go straight against your own recent blogs on the murder of Theo van Gogh.

I tried the demo for the recent Linux port of Robin Hood during Christmas week. The gameplay is very similar to the game Commandoes for those of you who have tried that. I enjoyed the game quite a lot and tried ordering the full version, but I am still not sure I was able to do so (some problems with the online ordering system screwing up my mastercard number).

Also noticed an interesting project on Freshmeat the other day. Metatheme seems to be an abstraction layer for theme engines that allows you to write theme engines that covers GTK+, Qt and Swing. I haven't gotten around to testing it yet, but if it work the way I got the impression it works from the website I for one would push for it beeing adopted as a freedesktop shared system. Combined with the icon theming specification this could be a big step forward.

On the topic of themes, there is a new icon theme on art.gnome.org called ChaninDjoole really nice looking IMHO.

Tim commented briefly on the recent debacle caused by Jan Egeland of the UN saying that rich western nations where 'stingy' in regards to foreign aid. US officials got rather angry about it, and maybe rightfully so as the statistics for foreign aid that Egeland based his comments on do not include military aid for instance, an area where the US currently shoulders a bigger piece of the cost pie than other nations. Or that US citizens, due to the US culture of more things done in the private sector, might be making more private contributions than their European counterparts (no idea if this is true or not).

Sadly enough I found that Nagsios who seems the be the head of US aid didn't mention these items as the reasons for criticizing Egeland's comments; instead he basically says that the US is to rich and are growing even richer so fast that they can't be expected to give as high a percentage as other wealthy countries (see two last parahraphs in linked article). In most circumstances great wealth is considered a reason to do more to help the less fortunate and not a reason to do less, but I guess my thinking is stuck in a pre-bush era or something.

Back in Barcelona after spending Christmas back in Norway. Had a great time both together with family and visiting friends in Norway. Managed to go back with trice the luggage I had when arriving, of course half of that was the ceiling fan I bought for the bedroom.

Also spent quite some time watching tv as the Asian tsunami news unfolded. Since many of the places hit badly in Thailand where very scandinavian centric the catastrophe got even closer as scandinavians where heavily represented in the foreigners dead or missing there. Got a bit annoyed with some of the Norwegians returning home, who complained loudly about the Norwegian government not doing enough for them quickly enough. While there probably where things which could have been done better I think in the context that there had been a natural disaster which completely broke down local infrastructure and killed maybe as many as 100 000 people a little more humbleness would be in order. I have no problem understanding that the days for the survivors and hurt where long, but I am also sure that Norwegian embassy officials and others where not sitting around twinning their thumbs. They where probably working their ass off trying to help as many as they could as fast as they could, which probably was no easy task considering what had happened. Some where complaining that the Swedish government had done so much better and that the swedish officials had ended up helping norwegians too since there where no Norwegian officials there; well I am sure there are many cases where even Swedish officals where not there quick enough for Swedish citizens too. Instead of being angry at Norwegian officials for not managing to be everywhere for everyone I think they instead should be happy that we have such a close relationship in scandinavia that the Swedish officials could help them out instead.

22 Dec 2004 (updated 22 Dec 2004 at 14:30 UTC) »

Elijah: Havoc wasn't unemployed last time I checked :)

Ok, so due to the Ogg clips featured in Red Hat magazine being so horrible I did some quicktime to ogg transcoding testing with GStreamer today. I took the World of Warcraft Quicktime trailer and converted it to Ogg using this little script(qt2oggt input.mov output.ogg). The end result came out very nice so I made a screenshot of the Dwarf and one with the Tauren. You can download the whole Ogg here to see for yourself. Only frustrating part being that I had to use mplayer for the shot as Totem/GStreamer (and Totem/Xine for that matter) was to CPU heavy in non-xv mode for me to be able to use it. Guess we need to put some optimizations of this onto Ronald's todo list for next year.

Another nice thing I noticed is that the Ogg file is about 12 MB, while the Quicktime is 28MB (and image/sound quality about the same). Not a scientific test of course, but still a nice example showing that free formats do not have to be ashamed when being compared to proprietary ones.

Bug piles
Elijah's futile attempt to unpile Metacity have now been severely punished. While he has taken Metacity from 175 bugs down to 164 it is not nearly enough. The Ephiphany developers are also showing their weakness by only lowering their bug count from 178 to 155 since I uttered my big pile of bugs challenge. According to the Bug Summary GStreamer is now at 151 open bugs. Which means we can safely state that not only are Ephiphany and Metacity big piles of bugs, but also Gnumeric belongs in this category. If I where a developer on those projects I would be ashamed. They should look at GStreamer and learn from its developers how to make bugfree software :)
20 Dec 2004 (updated 20 Dec 2004 at 20:15 UTC) »

Had a hectic but fun weekend with Julia and Michael visting me . Was nice to see them again for the first time since we met on the trip in Borneo. Think we drank a little to much yesterday cause I was pretty worn out at work for the first half of the day. Think I definetly have to pop over to England for a visit in the new year.

Suddenly realized how few days I have left in Barcelona before going home for Christmas, think I need to do some present shopping tommorow if I am to be able to look my family in the eyes this Christmas.

Noticed Havoc pointing to the nice stuff in Red Hat Magazine today. To balance it out I guess I should point out that the Ogg Theora videos, like the 'choice' video and the Bob Young video about the Red Hat name are horribly broken in regards to audio/video sync. I guess they didn't use GStreamer to transcode the videos :)

Ok, we are now safely below Metacity in number of open bugs, with only 173 open, so I can now safely safe that Metacity is one big heap of bugs. The Ephiphany team seems to be cheating currently as they have closed a lot of bugs to since my last blog so we are still not past them. But look out we are not so easily done in :)

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