Older blog entries for Uraeus (starting at number 445)

15 Apr 2005 (updated 15 Apr 2005 at 15:14 UTC) »


Discovered NASA' s vision statement is 'To improve life here, To extend life to there, To find life beyond.' Not sure if I think its cute or just cheesy. It definetly sounds like something written by a comitee.


Also learned today that Wingo had never seen lederhosen before. So I think I need to dig up some old photos of me wearing lederhosen to put onto my webpage. Maybe I can get Julien to get us all Fluendo lederhosen for GUADEC in Stuttgart, would make people really notice the Fluendo team at GUADEC. I know lederhosen even come in female cuts these days, so even Kristien and Noelle could get them.

OpenOffice and GNOME Office

The issue of Open Office and GNOME office is a hard one. On one side you have a huge lump of code called OpenOffice which have a everything you normally need, but being big and bloated and while improving the GNOME integration still have some way to go. On the other side you have some mean and lean and tightly GNOME integrated applications like Gnumeric and Abiword.

Problem with GNOME Office is that its still missing some critical componets, a presentation program being the killer for me and they are not really integrated with eachother as much as you expect from an office suite (cross application embeding for instance).

Maybe its time for GNOME Office to trying to be an alternative to Open Office and instead being alternatives for the specific sub components in Open Office. I mean if Gnumeric get the same suite integration features with the other Open Office applications that OpenCalc have then it could mean that a distribution maker could decide to ditch OpenCalc and go with Gnumeric instead, and still offer an integrated Office suite.

This would of couse demand some heavy work, I would think that UNO would need to be split out in a separate library so Gnumeric and Abiword could utilize it for instance. On the other side componentizing Open Office is something already on the todo list. And with Novell having people like Jody Goldberg and Michael Meeks working in the office suite space it could be a task worthwhile for them to undertake.

On the other side I have no clue what would be involved, so going this route might be mission impossible :)

Ubuntu and Nautilus

As someone running Nautilus Plus so that I got a GUI option to switch to the exact behaviour Ubuntu is now using by default I might be disqualified from making a comment.

But if I do make one anyway I am not sure if the high level of indignation felt by some people is warranted. Yes, it would be nice if GNOME behaved the same accross distributions, but if changes are to be made to GNOME by distributions (and I think there will always be such changes being made) it is relativly small/mild IMHO. I thought the KDE community where whiners when they complained about the behaviour changes Red Hat made to KDE some time ago, and I think the GNOME community is whiners when they now complain about the change made by Ubuntu. Free software means giving up control, live with it.

I was writing up a list of GNOME Foundation members who I new worked for a company on GNOME for a friend the other day. The end result was 85 people. What struck me was that its a rather sizeable number, don' t think its many other open source projects that can claim more fulltime people, and what is even more amazing is that the number 85 doesn' t even include all people as I know there are many people working on GNOME as their job, but who are not members of the Foundation.

Zeeshan' s new job

Speaking on working on free software. Zeeshan announced in his latest blog that he got a job with Movial, which will among other things include GStreamer hacking. Congratulations Zeeshan!

He also left it to me to say why he got the job. Not working at Movial and only having talked briefly with them I don' t know their actual reasons of course.

But the fact that Zeeshan have managed to overcome the hurdles of coming from one of the least developed areas in pakistan, the language barrier and the culture gap to participate in GStreamer development says a lot of really good things about Zeeshan.

On top of that I think that in general participation in open source indicates a person with initiative and good ability for self motivation, which are truly valuable skills in the eyes of any company looking for people to hire.

Fluendo marketing

So since Fluendo is a fast moving company we need to be associated with fast moving things. If you are into racing make sure to look for this beauty on the tracks in June(final design might wary a bit from that image).

13 Apr 2005 (updated 13 Apr 2005 at 10:34 UTC) »

Fedora Core 4 first impressions

Installed Fedora Core 4 (test2) on my laptop yesterday to get with the times in terms of having an updated GNOME evironment and to see what the Fedora team had been up to. Mostly a pleasant suprise. The bugs I filed during Fedora 3 had mostly been merged, so that I had a correct monitor setting to choose from in the resolution capplet and my USB bluetooth mouse worked out of the box. Also turned out the driver for my wireless card is now included so I just needed to install the firmware rpm instead of the full kernel module.

Only negative thing so far is that the built in soundcard of my laptop do not seem to work with this new release. Filed a bugzilla entry yesterday for it so hopefully it will be resolved before Fedora 4 final version.

Apple and OpenAL

After seeing the story about Apple Tiger release I clicked in on the Core Audio link to learn a bit more about it. Working on GStreamer I have a general interest to see what Apple and others are doing in the area. Anyway one thing I noticed on the Core Audio website is that Apple is using and promoting the use of OpenAL as the sound architecture for games. This is great news (or maybe not news, just me be ingnorant on Apple stuff) as it means that game makers have even more API on common between Apple and Linux/BSD. The combination of OpenGL and OpenAL should make a port to Apple or Linux/BSD even simpler for developers after they have targeted one of the platforms.

USB Soundcard

I did try my USB soundcard on Fedora 4 last night and it worked as well as it did before on Fedora 3. Didn' t get around to testing it hard, but it might seem like the bug causing the keyboard to stop working when unplugged is gone, but I didn' t get around to testing it firmly enough to figure it out.

I have not decided yet how I want to try to set up my USB soundcard to make it practical to use. My current setup is a asound.conf file which I move away when not using the USB sound card, which is a rather sucky solution.

I guess the real solultion until a GNOME provided solution comes along is to have the USB soundcard set up as a second sound card and then I switch my applications over to it when its connected. Lots of manual work needed for that solution too, but still.

Clipart planet

Seems I am now syndicated by a new planet, planet Open Clipart, which is the home of people involved with the openclipart.org project and also Inkscape. Hopefully we get the new system for openclipart going so I can fix the remaining problems with the flag collection on openclipart. Guess I could suggest that Caleb and Dom gets added to the clipart planet too as their librsvg work is clearly related.


Working on fleshing out parts of our business plan currently, or rather fix pricing systems and levels. I think setting prices is one of the things that feels very easy in theory, but quickly gets complicated when you actually are to do it. Various pricing methods upstream doesn't make it easier of course and there is the question of what sort of customer behaviour you want to ecourage. When your software is designed differently than your competitors you for instance want a pricing model which encourages use in ways that fits your design instead of pricing that encourages use which nullifies some of your advantages.


Been doing some spring cleaning over the last few days to prepare for gettting some friends from Norway over next weekend. Incredible how nice the appartment looks when everything is clean and ordered. Was also feeling less than optimal this weekend, which lead me to skip going to a party. I found out later that the party was actually not just a party, but a birthday party, which made me feel bad about not pressuring myself to at least make an appearance.

One thing I had decided with myself moving to Spain was to try and improve my diet, by doing away with frozen pizza and similar. To some degree I have succeded as my consumption of frozen pizza is very low now. That said I haven't managed to make my diet more varied which was the reason for my inital decision, I just replaced the frozen pizza with spanish sausages and similar food. Think I need to buy myself a cooking book and do one dish per day in order to get my diet to be as varied and healthy as I want.


Noticed that the Mandrake - Madriva name change got a lot of criticism. Then again the Helix Code to Ximian rename got a lot of criticism too, and everyone got used to that new name after a while. At least Geoff Harrison gets his nick back now :)

World of Warcraft vs. the world

Seems to have tired a bit of Warcraft now which have let me put my energies into more constructive stuff. Working on an article on software patents among other things. Hopefully also get moving on a new release of g-t-e this weekend with some great Nuvola enhancements.

Anger online

After seeing Daniels blog entry about criticism burn out I started reflecting over the general aggressive tone that have taken hold in the online world. It is not only in free software forums that are filled with these kind of things, all online forums seems to grow harsher and harsher as time goes by. Various explanations are around for this, but I think its mostly that the online world provides a perfect place for people to vent all their anger without the social embargo that would be the consequence in the offline world. Not sure what can be done about it though.

Fixing the kernel

Thomas is trying to figure out why Firewire cameras sometime cause the kernel to crash. We don't really know yet, but a theory is that it might be coupled with a specific or some specific firewire chipsets. Making a kick as streaming server for Linux seems to take us into many areas programming wise :)

Fluendo press release

Put out a press release yesterday announcing the increasing adoption GStreamer and Totem is seeing much due to the work and money we spent to make it happen. Think the press release ended up rather nice. In the same step I tried adding a favicon to the Fluendo website, which for some reason have not worked out at all. No idea why it is not displaying atm., but I guess I figure it out eventually. Thomas made a post to a recent slashdot story about European patents. Great post, except the link to the press release, due to a double http it takes you to the Microsoft website instead as they are the top hit on Google when you search for http. Let the conspiracy theories flow :)

I love foo

So to get my advogato rdf feeds fixed Wingo did a little xmlrpc magic on them. Which is why some planets have featured repeated 'foo' messages from me today. But tomorrow that will all be forgotten and the world can move on.

Ryan Gordon - the ultimate game porter

Noticed on Linuxgames that Ryan 'Icculus' Gordon did a Linux port of the newly released Shadow Warrior code released by 3D Realms. He posted a screenshot as proof and I was happy to see him using GNOME. Always nice to see it when people who user their Linux desktop as a tool to do other types of coding/work choose GNOME as it means we are having some success in making the desktop be an asset and not a problem for doing work.


Thomas and Wingo are doing some great work on Flumotion these days and a new release is planned today. We are really getting there in terms of robustness and basic features. Think Flumotion at this point is a much better option for Live streaming than icecast for instance and it will only get better.

Office pains

Tried to export a document from OpenWriter2 to RTF format today so I could send it to a customer. Decided to QA the document by openinng it in Abiword to see that it looked ok. Looked almost ok except the â,¬ (Euro) signs where borked. So I tried loading the OpenOffice generated RTF back into OpenOfffice...horror. The layout was completly broken. Ended up filing bug reports against both OO for the complete brokenness and against Abiword for the Euro symbol issue (although I think OOo is the sinner also in that case.)

Looking for room to stay during June: I need a place to stay in Barcelona for the month of June. Posted a request on loquo.com, but if any Barcelonian gnomes knows of somewhere acceptable to rent for June please let me know. The reason for this need is that Ralph Giles of Xiph.org and Theora fame is coming to stay and I am giving up my place for him and his family. This also means that any Barcelona Linux users groups or similar should use this chance to get him to come and talk while he is here :)

USB soundcard continues

So I filed a bug report today against gnome media to try to see if we can figure out what needs doing. Since I managed to get the setup working nicely at home now the missing step is making it not only work, but work in a nice way for users.

Borked advogato

Seems some troubles at Advogato last week borked the XML output in my RSS feed again. This time I doubt its even fixable as there are no entry numbers even for me to access with xml-rpc to fix it. Will not even bother trying to mail Raph for help as my latest mails on such issues have all gone ignored. But for anyone wondering why I have 4 empty entries on Planet GStreamer this is the reason.

1 Apr 2005 (updated 1 Apr 2005 at 11:29 UTC) »

Continued my fight against my USB Sound card and starting to make some positive progress. Turns out the crasher bug of GNOME Mixer was solved by Ronald before the 2.10 release. Problem is that it doesn't really let me adjust whats needed out of the box. Turns out I can adjust this through the preferences menu, but I think it should display inteligent sliders right away. I guess this would need to be handled through HAL someway and with some soundcard profiles.

Also discovered that the way to make Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 NX play sound without distortion is to have ALSA resample my sound to 48000 instead of the default 44100. Some .asoundrc plunking solved that. Once again something which I guess we need to get HAL to take care of.

Another bug I found is that if you unplug the soundcard, the plug it back in, it seems its adress changes. Which means your settings aimed at card number 2 doesn't work anymore as your card is now number 3.

Multimedia track

So there will be a multimedia summit at GUADEC in Stuttgart this year. Managed to pull together a rather nice team of speakers for the Multimedia track with topics such as Theora/Xiph, Dirac, Annodex, Flumotion and GStreamer. Hopefully a lot of people outside the traditional GNOME camp will be interested in coming to parttake in this track.

I put together a small presentation of the talks. Anyone reading this and have a interest in Multimedia should check out the program and hopefully decide to come.

The call from bellow

Wim and Wingo have both been looking into trying to fix stuff in glib as our new extensive testsuite for GStreamer 0.9 is showing some bottlenecks and problems. The fixes are aimed at more threadsafety and higher performance mostly. Think they have some nice things cooked up and if they manage to get them all done and merged upstream it will mean a nice performance boost for not only GStreamer, but also for anything else using glib, including of course GNOME.

We need more people

We are looking to hire 1-2 more people at Fluendo. We are at this point mainly looking for Python hackers to work on our streaming server and the services around the streaming server. So if you are a python hacker and are willing to move to Barcelona (or are already living there) to join the coolest company in the Open Source world make sure to mail Thomas (at fluendo.com) or mail me and I forward it to Thomas. Strong general python experience is of course the most important, but specific knowledge of twisted, gstreamer, streaming technologies and/or pygtk and so on doesnt harm your application of course :)

31 Mar 2005 (updated 31 Mar 2005 at 11:15 UTC) »

I bought an external Sound Blaster Audigy NX2 sound card recently to use with my laptop. Discovered it do everything apart from just working. Think I will spend some time over the coming weeks trying to file bug reports and talk with maintainers of various pieces of the puzzle to see if I can get this working correctly under Linux and GNOME. The ideal experience would have been to plug in the USB soundcard to the laptop. Get a dialog popping up saying an external soundcard got connected and if I wanted my GNOME applications to use it for default sound output. When I later unplug the soundcard the default would go back to the builtin soundcard of the laptop.

What actually happened is this. Plugged in soundcard. Needed to run Fedora sound config to detect and configure it. Needed to manually edit the gconf key in gstreamer to use the external soundcard or manually configure XMMS to use it. Had no sound. Tried running the gst-mixer, crashed - googled and found others have same problem. Ran alsa-mixer and tried unmuting stuff. After some googling I found the right combination of muting/unmuting to get sound out. Sound now playing but highly distorted, maybe a driver bug or some volume setting that needs adjusting, needs further investigation :). Tried unplugging the USB soundcard, keyboard stopped working....

So I will spend some time figuring out what the problems are and filling bug reports around various places. I think this is a good example of where a non-coder can make a difference as these kind of issues demand that you have the hardware in question, the problem space relates to multiple modules and programs and as such you need to do some investigation and file bugs and work with maintainers across modules to make it work nicely. Filing a bug one place will at best solve a small part of the issue, but the thing here is to start at the bottom then work upwards towards the GUI. Already talked to David Zeuthen and it turns out soundcard detection comes with HAL 0.5 (which will ship with Fedora Core 4) I also bug in Red Hat bugzilla on the issue of borking my keyboard when uplugging USB and one against gnome-media in GNOME bugzilla on the issue of the mixer crashing with the soundcard (seems Ronald might have fixed that one already).

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