Category: Interesting Articles

Paying Attention to Licenses

This article kind of caught my attention:

InfoWorld — Study: 70 percent of iPhone and Android open source apps violate licenses

The Open Source license isn’t the fun part of the project.  I like to be creative, and I like to see the program work.  Worrying about a license is the last thing I want to do, but it needs to be done.

So, here are some places to start researching:

I found a little bit of a checklist on this page under the section Applying the License, but I would like a better checklist specific to the Apache License 2.0.

Fedora and Pixar

While catching up on blogs, I noticed that Paul mentioned he saw Pixar was using Fedora with Toy Story. You can read is posts here and here.

I think it is cool to see Linux used in real world applications. Sometimes it seems like Linux just gets pushed off as a hobbyist tool. In the PeopleSoft world, Linux isn’t an option for the developer’s desktop. Here recently, I have been working with SQL Server installations on Windows servers even for the server side. I feel like a loner as a PeopleSoft developer who uses Linux.  But, Linux has been good to me, as I am sure it has been to Pixar.

On a side note, I went poking around the Internet to see if I could find any more information. I did see that Meta Headers seems to show that Pixar uses Fedora for their web server: “The Server powered by Apache 2.0.49 (Fedora) webserver.” Other than that, I didn’t see anything else related.

So, let me add my two cents to the blogosphere: Good Job Fedora.  Good Job Pixar.

Great Link: Teaching Open Source

Yesterday, I came across this Teaching Open Source website while reading Max Spevax’s Post.  Here are some of the different things I found on the site:

The textbook is the biggest thing.  Right now, you can go look at Version 0.8 of their textbook.  This is something I need to go through.

Explorations in Ubuntu Unity Desktop Environment

I finally got my desktop in my living room working, and I thought I would try the Unity Desktop on it.  Here is a nice little article that gives you some information about it:

First Look at the Ubuntu Unity Desktop Environment

My computer is rather old, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good fit.  These descriptions threw me off: “Ubuntu Light”, “simpler Unity desktop”, and “stripped down Ubuntu”.  What I found instead is that the Light and simpler interface is designed to make it easier to work with in smaller screen environments, not necessarily light on the hardware.

Unity uses the Mutter Window Manager, which is a compositing Window Manager.  According to this article, the name comes from combining Metacity and Clutter together.  This article mentions the hardware issue: “Interesting as the new directions may be, some people fear that Mutter will not run on older hardware.”  I agree with the reasoning: “Almost any desktop or standard laptop built within the last 5 years has sufficiently good graphics.”, but that just means that it isn’t what I originally thought it was.

Now, Clutter caught my attention on a totally different angle.  “Creating fast, compelling, portable, and dynamic graphical user interfaces” sounds great to me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see Java bindings.  On the wiki page, I only see Python, Perl, C#, C++, Vala, and Ruby.  The javascript option looked pretty interesting also.  I may have to do some experimentation with Seed.  For Java support, I found some references to jClutter, and I found someone else working on something.

Concatenating PDFs

I found a great article to help me with creating the newsletter for our Sparks/AWANA club this month:

Easy way to concatenate PDF files in Ubuntu Linux

First, I had to trim off the last page of the newsletter.  I opened the PDF in Evince and printed it to a file, PDF format, pages 1-3 (not page 4).  That gave me a PDF with just the first 3 pages.

Next, I opened the orginal PDF with Gimp and imported only page 4.  That gave me a graphic of the last page, and I saved that as a PNG file.  Then, I created a new Open Office Drawing and inserted that PNG file as the background in the drawing.  (The last page of the newsletter is just an outline for you to add your own club-specific content.)  I added the news items for a our club and saved the last page as a PDF.

Finally, I used this command to build the final PDF:

gs -q -sPAPERSIZE=letter -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=Oct-Complete.pdf Oct-Part.pdf Oct.pdf

That was it!  Please comment if you know better ways to do this sort of thing.

Where is the Priority Inbox on Android?

I came across this article the other day:

Engadget: Gmail for Android updated, becomes Market app

The new feature they were talking about was the priority Inbox.  I am all for new features and I thought I would give it a shot.  But, I couldn’t find it in the market!

I searched for the App on AndroLib, but I didn’t see it there.  Then, I searched on AndroidZoom and found it.  In fact, AndroidZoom has a nice list of all the applications that Google puts out.

I tried to scan the QR Code found on the download page.  This is the error message I got:

There are no matches in Android Market for the search: pname:

And, I think I finally found the problem on the official blog.  The application requires Froyo!  Here is the quote:

The Gmail update requires Froyo (Android version 2.2), so it’s available if you have a Nexus One, HTC EVO, Motorola Droid 2 or Motorola Droid. (Not sure if your device is running Android version 2.2? Check here.)

Davy Crocket with an iPhone or gPhone?

I came across this post a while back.

While I agree with the post, I wonder if Davy Crocket would choose an iPhone or a gPhone.  I just wonder if he would choose a tool he could tweak and write his own software for.  It just seems to me that frontiersmen would have to do much more of there own than buy things pre-made from the store.  In today’s day and age, would that mean buying something a little less proprietary?

— Just a thought

IE Tester

I saw this link on a new IE Tester.  It looks like a really great idea.  I only looked at it quickly, but I think it only runs on Windows.  My big problem is that I don’t normally use Windows period and don’t have access to any version of IE.

Here are the links for the IE Tester:

Another option: run IE in Wine.  You can have multiple Wine homes in which you could load multiple versions of IE.  I know I have seen tutorials for loading IE6 in Wine, and I think just recently some tutorials for IE7 popped up.

Partitioning in Ubuntu Installs

I just read a good tip about partitioning for Ubuntu.

They suggest using GParted Live to partition the hard drive first.  That sounds great!

I miss the option that Fedora has where you can delete all the Linux partitions and have it automatically create the new partitions.  I don’t remember the options for sure, but I think you can only delete all the partitions or shrink the existing partitions.  If I am reinstalling, I want it to leave my Windows partition alone and delete the Linux ones.  Another great option would be to manually pick the partitions to delete and use the freed space to automatically create the partitions.  Finally, another option that would be nice is to choose how much it shrinks the existing partitions.