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Viewing posts from December, 2005

Catching up with unread blogs - Nat Frie...

Catching up with unread blogs - Nat Friedmans blog has two very interesting entries: one huge entry about parties (with lots of photos) and another about parkour featuring a bunch of Latvian-Russian guys from the second larges city of Latvia - Daugavpils, which is ~50 kilometres away from the place of my birth. The video has several scenes from the very centre of the city. While on that topic I must say that I have also done some soft parkour when I was ~10 years old - not like it was popular in the day, I was just naturally good with climbing, jumping and balancing on strange places. :)

Also note: It is possible to watch Google Video videos without Flash plugin - view the source of the video page, copy the first parameter that is passed to the Flash plugin (the one that starts with "http"), decode that with something like Python's urllib.unquote() and then pass to wget or even directly to totem. I didn't get sound from the stream, but as I also can gen no sound from Flash, I am not complaining.

Free Christmas in Riga, Latvia.

It looks like the Linux centre of the Latvian university in partnership with Latvian Open Source Association is going to throw a Free Code Christmas on 19th of December. Current idea is to make a mix of a social and technical event. The plan calls for two rooms - in one room a series of 15-20 minute presentations will be held and in the other room tea and cookies will be served and all the speakers will be available for interrogation. The plan is to start at 18.00 and go on until 21 or maybe a bit later. The official information will be coming next week, but remember - you heard it here first ;)

A couple shots from Tokyo girls concert ...

Lead singer Dark wisper

A couple shots from Tokyo girls concert from the closing ceremony of the Animefest3. This ends my photostream from the event, now I'll have to shoot something new to show you. BTW: there are also some photos that I did upload to Flickr, but didn't link to the blog - you can go to my photostream to see all of them.

Last week a idea came to my mind - promoting open source is most rewarding if we do it to developers who then come to open source and help us move forward, the biggest identifiable bunch of developers in Latvia are the web developers (LAMPers, ASPers, J2EEers, ...) and these developers are quite interesed in that new "Web 2.0" buzzword. So I thought - why cann't Latvian Open Source Association organise a event dedicated to Web 2.0: what it is all about, what open source solutions empower you to develop Web 2.0 sites, how and why should you use them and also why and how do you contribute back to the community that created these tools. Nobody else stepped up for the task, so if I want this to happen - I will have to organise that. I have defined the master theme and format of the conference and now I am going around the potential sponsors asking for few hundred $ to fund the coffee breaks and a lunch. If I get that, then we can start thinking about specific topics, speakers, participant registration forms and all the rest of the stuff. If I don't get that 'till Christmas, then I will not be able to get the event going at the planed time in the last week of February. Well - a bunch of job to do.

BTW: this reminds me - what's up with USA and Christmas??? As you probably know, mine only source of information about world events is The Daily Show (along with the Colbert Report, and _sometimes_ BBC news) and now it seams that USA have gone to the extremes of ridiculousness (I guess, president sets the mark). Banning use of word Christmas? How about cancelling New Year? You do know that in some religions the year changes at a different day, don't you? And don't get me started about "Plan for success" two years after the "Mission Accomplished" by the man personally!

Folding@Stage


Flashback to childhood
A contest at Animefest - we all are trying to remember how paper boats were made. Here I have a moment of "enlightenment" :)

Another bug has pissed me enough to star...

Another bug has pissed me enough to start debugging. This time it is Totem-xine crashing on startup in Ubuntu dapper.

The first thing is that you cann't rebuild totem from sources multiple time after ubuntu patches - ubuntu uses dpatch to patch something in automake files and after the build has been run, the unpatch fails thus preventing a rebuild, doh! Worked around that by removing that patch. (Bug not reported yet)

After installing totem-gstreamer, my main suspect is the change to the statusbar, that look very recent. Could it be that Totem developers forgot a critical fix to the xine backend? Could it be that the treat xine backend as a ... second class citizen? To what? To that GStreamer? I tried to use GStreamer, I really did, but there are a few tiny issues: 1) it doesn't open even half the files that xine does, 2) within 5 minutes of a movie audio-video can easily get out of sync by 5 seconds. I have never seen A-V sync in xine. Ever. I love telling our Windows using frends that my movies "just work" with totem-xine, please do not take that away!

Anyway - back to the bug we go.

As we have a clean crash, I recompiled totem with debugging symbols ("DEB_BUILD_OPTS=nostrip,noopt debuild -us -uc") and run with gdb. When totem crashed, I got the code line, where it happened:

(totem:4608): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: invalid cast from ` ' to `TotemTimeLabel'

Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
0x08068659 in totem_time_label_set_time (label=0x8199a60, time=0, length=0) at totem-time-label.c:69
69 if (time / 1000 == label->priv->time / 1000

Now, that is interesting, lets see, what we have here - time is an int, so no segfaults from there, but label is a TotemTimeLabel. Hmm, that error now makes sense. And when we take a look at label->priv, it appears to be a pointer to TotemTimeLabelPrivate with an address of 0xffffffff. That's the problem, now we only need to backtrace trough the program and find the bug that is causing that.

Well all looks pretty nice - there is a "tick" event in the player that calls the time update. Not really clear, why there is such a discrepance between GtkLabel and TotemTimeLabel or why this structure is not inicialized in time. More strange is that gstreamer backend never calls this function. Wierd. Let's see what happens if I just return from it without doing anything. Does not help - now statusbar is crashing.

Let's try it from another angle - it worked before. Nothing much in totem changed since release of breezy. Installing the version from breezy, it works fine. Recompiling the version from breezy on dapper - crashes. Ouch! It looks like xine backend of totem has not been ported to that new crazy Gnome 2.12 thingie, like gstreamer backend was. Strange - that is a backend, it should not be dependent on the frontend, no? Anyway, it is not something I can do - I will have to install the breezy version, hack some dependencies to make it no conflict with one optional library and then file a critical bug on totem for breaking the xine backend.

But even that will have to wait 'till tomorrow, sleep is of the essence, anywere.

After reading the Final Debconf5 report ...

After reading the Final Debconf5 report I suddenly saw how this report shows all of us how much blood, sweat, tears and ruined stomachs has really been put into organising the best Debconf ever (so far at least). A lot of Debian Developers were present at Debconf5, even more Debian developers, Debian users and other free software users gained something from this event - a better Debian.
I feel that we should give all organisers of Debconf5 the prise the deserve, but as we can't send them all to a two week vacation to Hawaii, we could at least express our gratitude on a web page.
So, if you feel that Debconf5 has given something good to your life - got to http://wiki.debian.org/Debconf5ThankTheOrganizers and express that in warm words towards the people that made that happen!

P.S. Today I configured my Palm to be a IR remote trigger for my Canon 350D, happy like hell about that.
P.P.S. Number of unique visitors to my photo gallery has reached 575, with one of the photos seen by 475 unique visitors, thanks! (Hint: more comments with constructive critique would be useful to improve quality ;))
P.P.P.S. For me "a1t" will always mean that girl nicknamed "alt" with the shotgun pointed my way, really.

Here is my friend lastguru - the second ...

Caught in the act!
Here is my friend lastguru - the second most active photographer on the AnimeFest3. He is trying to get a shot of the audience, but while he is doing that, I got a shot of him :)

Yesterday I discovered a great surge in popularity of SBackup - just on SourceForge around 700 people downloaded it in a period of three days (compared to ~250 total downloads before that) and some new bugs were filled.Only then I remembered about the interview I gave over the email, looks that it was published on Monday. Fun. Now the plans for a good rewrite are even more prominent on my ToDo list and I am also thinking about trying to get all developers of similar tools to unite in the context of this rewrite. This will bring all their good features in (encryption, per-user subconfiguration, removable media support, config on server option) and ensure continued development of the project even if I get a bit lazy on it ;) A confederation for simple yet feature complete Linux backup solution?

Also today we have a very good milestone - translation of Debian Installer to Latvian language has just reached 100%. I thank greatly our new contributor - Orvils from Latvian University who did bulk of the work. I still had to spend around 6 hours reviewing and correcting his translations and then updating the translations that changed or were added during the time that Orvils was translating, but it was much faster then it would have been it the translation was only up to me :)

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