Older blog entries for rodrigo (starting at number 50)

“GNOME 3″ on Ubuntu

With the great work from Robert Ancell and Sebastien Bacher, who worked on packaging the new GLib/GTK3 stack, and with the recent packaging of a few GNOME 3 applications (eog, Nautilus, the new control center, …), you can start testing what will be GNOME 3 on Ubuntu (Natty) by using this PPA.

Please note that this is a work very much in progress, which means that, apart from the usual problems of running unstable software, it’s got the unstability of new packages added, so please USE WITH CARE. I would suggest to use a virtual machine for testing this, but please test it and report any problems you might find. It seems to be running ok for me (on a virtual machine), but please don’t risk your every day desktop :-D

Syndicated 2010-11-12 11:15:45 from Rodrigo Moya

Ubuntu One SyncDaemon API

Ubuntu One’s SyncDaemon (the process that takes care of synchronizing your files between the cloud and the desktop) has a DBus interface for applications to control and get notifications from it about what it is doing. This interface was being used in the Nautilus plugin and other desktop tools contained in ubuntuone-client itself. Even though powerful and straightforward, we haven’t seen many applications using it, since usually 3rd party applications don’t want to be dealing with the low level DBus API themselves.

But this is now history, since I introduce you to libsyncdaemon, a GObject wrapper on top of the DBus API which makes it very easy to communicate with SyncDaemon, as well as improving a lot the performance compared to accessing the DBus API directly (thanks to its use of caches, to avoid DBus calls repeating when no needed) and containing high level functions that would allow applications to, for instance, publish a file on Ubuntu One with just one call:

SyncdaemonDaemon *daemon = syncdaemon_daemon_new ();
syncdaemon_daemon_publish_file (daemon, "/home/user/myphoto.jpg");

But before you run to another place after seeing this C code, note that it includes bindings for many languages (Python, JavaScript, etc) for free, thanks to gobject-introspection. So, the same code in Python, for instance, would be:

daemon = Syncdaemon.Daemon ()
daemon.publish_file ("/home/user/myphoto.jpg")

So now, the next step is to start adding support for sharing/publishing files in Ubuntu One to many desktop applications, like, for instance (ideas stolen from Stuart Langridge):

  • Publish screenshots directly from gnome-screenshot tool
  • Sharing photos from f-spot/shotwell/etc
  • etc…

This, along with the already existing desktop APIs (desktopcouch, couchdb-glib, libubuntuone), makes integration of 3rd party applications into Ubuntu One a very easy thing.

Syndicated 2010-07-06 12:04:33 from Rodrigo Moya

Facebook account disabled

Last night, I was writing a message to a friend’s wall on Facebook, about telescopes, and when submitting the message, I got a message saying that the content of my message had been reported to be abusive by some Facebook users ?? After that, I couldn’t log in back again, it just said my account was disabled.

So, if you rely on Facebook for contacting me, please don’t, send me mail, which is still enabled, and even allows all sorts of abusive content (you can write me about telescopes if you want, no ultra-paranoid filters there :-D ).

I already wrote to the Facebook staff about the issue, but I’m not sure what they will decide.

Syndicated 2010-03-26 12:52:42 from Rodrigo Moya

Google Wave invitations

I’ve got several Google Wave invitations to hand out, so if you want one, send me an email (you should know my email address if you’re my friend :-) ).

Syndicated 2009-12-09 13:56:48 from Rodrigo Moya

Social services clients

All the social services (Facebook, Twitter, etc) client apps I’ve seen (Gwibber on the desktop, Mauku on Maemo) fail in the same way, which is:

  • They just show the latest “feed” of messages from the service, not allowing users to either keep some message for a while, or remove messages they are not interested in.
  • They don’t integrate well with all the services (having a ‘@friend ….’ message in your Facebook profile doesn’t look well at all, which is what is done when you ‘reply’ to a message in Twitter) or just don’t integrate at all.
  • Some of them, like the Facebook widget on Maemo, just display your home page in Facebook when you click on one item, instead of sending you to the entry for that message you’re clicking on!

The only “thing” that does it correctly, from what I’ve seen so far, is yoono, a Firefox extension, which shows all the messages from all the services you configure it with, allowing you to remove messages you’re not interested in or have already read, or keeping messages for future reference. Also, it gets you to the right page at Facebook when you click on one item, and also allows you to comment directly to the messages right from yoono itself.

It’s true though that it would be great to have it not tied to Firefox, as an independent application, so /me dreams about gwibber/mauku implementing something like yoono.

Syndicated 2009-12-07 12:06:24 from Rodrigo Moya

PHP Help

Dear lazy web:

How do I make PHP not run out of memory when doing thumbnails of large images? I’ve got this code:

                        $href = $path . "/" . $file;
			$tn_file = "thumbnail-" . $file;
			$orig_file = $full_path . "/" . $file;

			/* generate thumbnail if it does not exist */
			if (file_exists ($tn_file) == false) {
				$im = @imagecreatefromjpeg ($orig_file);
				if (!$im) {
				        $im = @imagecreatefrompng ($orig_file);
					if (!$im)
						continue;
					$is_png = 1;
				} else
					$is_png = 0;

				if (imagesx ($im) 

It works great for most of my images (as you can see here), but it doesn't for big images (2592x1944 pixels, like this one).

I've been trying all the solutions mentioned in this page, but none seems to work for me :-( I am assuming it's an out-of-memory problem, but could it be something else?

Syndicated 2009-12-06 22:36:30 from Rodrigo Moya

The dream comes true

Two years ago I started dreaming about driving a Yamaha XT660Z Teneré. At that time, the motorbike had just been announced, getting to shops a few months later. Then, when available, I started trying to sell my previous motorbike (Aprilia Pegaso 650 Trail), which was hard because of the crisis, but some weeks ago, a nice guy from Coruña came here and got it (quite cheaper than what I could have got if there was no crisis though), so right after that, I went to the Yamaha shop and, finally, ordered one. After 3 weeks waiting (I wanted the 2008 model, which has that khakhi color as an option, not available in the 2009 model, so it took a bit to get it from another Yamaha shop), a few weeks ago I could finally get it.

After 1200 kms with it, I can only say it’s the best motorbike I could have bought, since it’s perfect for daily usage as well as for off-road, specially after having changed its tyres yesterday:


Now all the mud, snow and tracks around here are nothing I can’t deal with :-)

Syndicated 2009-12-03 11:21:33 from Rodrigo Moya

Syncing Evolution contacts to Ubuntu One

The other day was about Tomboy notes, today, Evolution contacts syncing to Ubuntu One!

For the basic setup, see this tutorial. So, once you have contacts in the Evolution CouchDB Ubuntu One addressbook, syncing to Ubuntu One happens automatically:

The same contacts show up automatically in the Ubuntu One web UI:

Now, we just need to get mobile devices (N900, Android, etc) to sync contacts there also, and your contacts would be everywhere you need them!

Enjoy it!

Syndicated 2009-10-30 13:47:50 from Rodrigo Moya

Syncing Tomboy notes with Ubuntu One

Lots of people keep asking the same question (how do I sync Tomboy notes with Ubuntu One?), so, since there is a nice tutorial already, posting it here to get to a wider audience: the tutorial.

Since this is also my first post about it (didn’t want to make it too public until it worked great), I wish to give special thanks to Sandy Armstrong, Tomboy’s super hacker, whose help in making this work has been very valuable. Not only he helped us in all the problems we found, but he was very receptive on our suggestions for changes in the syncing protocol. So, every time you sync your notes (to Ubuntu One or a Snowy server), please save some money to pay him (and me, if possible) some beers :-D

Syndicated 2009-10-28 11:33:54 from Rodrigo Moya

Valley of Benasque

A couple of weeks ago I was in the Valley of Benasque (Huesca, Spain), for some trekking, and just had some time to upload the photos, so here they are for your pleasure, since it is a very nice place. It was the first time I was there not in winter, so had the chance to visit some places that, in winter, are almost impossible to visit (unless you want to take the risk of an avalanche).

Specially nice was the Glacier of the Aneto peak, the highest peak in the Pyrenees (from the distance, we didn’t have time to get to the top, since it takes many, many hours):


Also nice to see was the water from the Glacier disappearing into the rocks (and appearing again, by magic, in the Valley of Arán, on the other side of the mountains):


I took more photos, so go here to see the rest.

Syndicated 2009-09-26 11:33:07 from Rodrigo Moya

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