Friday, December 30, 2005

(x)MinGW progress

Current xmingw ebuilds completed:

  • sys-devel/automake-wrapper-xmingw-1
  • sys-devel/gnuconfig-xmingw-20051113
  • sys-devel/automake-xmingw-1.8.5-r3
  • sys-devel/automake-xmingw-1.6.3
  • sys-devel/automake-xmingw-1.5
  • sys-devel/automake-xmingw-1.4_p6
  • sys-devel/automake-xmingw-1.7.9-r1
  • sys-devel/automake-xmingw-1.9.6-r1
  • sys-devel/libtool-xmingw-1.5.22
  • sys-devel/autoconf-wrapper-xmingw-3.2
  • sys-devel/autoconf-xmingw-2.13
  • sys-devel/autoconf-xmingw-2.59
  • dev-libs/expat-xmingw-1.95.8
  • dev-libs/glib-xmingw-2.8.4
  • dev-libs/libiconv-xmingw-1.10
  • sys-devel/gettext-xmingw-0.15_pre0 (this took the longest time)

Ebuilds in progress:

  • sys-libs/zlib-xmingw-1.2.3
  • dev-util/pkgconfig-xmingw-0.20

Email me or comment on this post if you wish to have me make up some sort of way to have these ebuilds available publicly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Re: Why Use GTK+? (and some possible solutions to some problems)

I will post about my development-related progress in a bit, but for right now, I'd like to focus my attention on the flamewar-generating article via Slashdot.

I don't really know why they even bother posting those kinds of articles; they only serve to feed trolls. I don't really know why I even bother to read the comments on those articles, but whatever.

Generally, I am uncomfortable with software that has "evaluation" versions. I am quite aware that there are non-commercial versions, but given my college student mentality, I don't really like crippled things that I have to pay for (or pirate, but I wouldn't do that - just pointing out the current college student mentality) to get a "full" version.

I don't really understand the people who say that GTK+-based programs don't integrate well with Windows; if anyone can help clarify that particular position, that would be wonderful.

Personally, when I do GUI programming, I use PyGTK and Glade. The only thing that annoys me from a programming perspective is how gtk.TreeViews are so hard to work with in list mode.

The main thing that bothers me about GTK+ for Windows is the number of runtimes available. It would be very nice if all of the installers for the GTK+ programs built for Windows could detect whether any sort of runtime was available, and if not, offer to download and install all the components needed. For example, MalDC needs the GTK+ and libglade DLLs. AFAIK, only the GTK+ runtime from the Glade for Windows project at SourceForge. If the installer can't detect their runtime, and can't find the libglade DLL in the %PATH%, it should download it to a common (read: standard) place where all of the GTK+-related DLLs should be. Maybe if I ever bother to learn NSIS syntax, I'll write a macro for that.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Resuming MinGW work

Winter Break gives me a lot of time to do absolutely nothing, and I finally configured a cross-compiler for MinGW on my Gentoo box, so my work on compiling stuff for MinGW will resume. I think I'm going to make some custom ebuilds for all this stuff, because there's a lot of repetition within all the ./configure && make all install stuff.

Details: Overlay (in subversion?), putting all ebuilds in the category dev-xmingw. Also have eclasses that do stuff like split-debug and handle all the common functionality.

Something else I should consider is a cron job that dumps the bzip2'ed overlay to my webspace. That shouldn't be too hard.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

An Intelligent Lockdown Daemon (for Linux)

(Note: this is adapted from an assignment I had to do for an Informatics class)

I've had an idea mulling around in my head for a long time about how to get my productivity up, considering how much time I waste on the computer. Several window managers/desktop environments on Linux come with "kiosk settings" (e.g., Xfce, KDE) or "lockdown editors" (e.g., Pessulus for GNOME), where one can set up an account that limits the access to certain programs and certain functionality. My idea is to extend that system so that there is a mode where a person can lock down their desktop until a certain task has been completed.

For instance, say that I am writing an essay, so I activate the lockdown daemon and select "finish (word processing) document" in the "tasks to complete" list. A tab would be added to the dialog that contains details about the document task, e.g., how long should the essay be, what font, margins, etc. When the lockdown is complete, I will only have access to the word processor(s) installed on my computer, the folder specifically designated for word processing documents, and perhaps a remote (e.g., SFTP) folder for document backup.

Because of the way the menu standard is set up, it should be trivial to create groups of applications, such as word processors. It should also be trivial to set up the firewall so that one can only access a certain remote server containing the aforementioned backup directory.

The non-trivial parts are more interesting. I am not sure how one could restrict loading programs on the fly, or even restrict sections of the hard disk dynamically without affecting other users who may be logged on to the machine concurrently. Also, there needs to be a way for all of these applications to talk to each other (or at least the daemon) so that the daemon knows if the goal has been met or not. The D-BUS technology, when it reaches 1.0 status, looks very promising for this task.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Deepest Sender has just gotten better

I'm posting this through Deepest Sender, once a LiveJournal-only client for Firefox, now able to post to BloggerAPI-enabled and Wordpress-powered blogs! I eagerly await APP support!

Edit: Blogger thinks this is a spam blog! Wonderful.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Powerpoint/Openoffice + Presentations

So in one of my classes, I have to do a group presentation. We decided to go for the minimalistic approach, which led to having many more slides in our presentation than normal presentations: 188 slides, which translates to 33.6 megabytes. It seems that both Powerpoint and OO.o Impress have problems with such large presentations. Powerpoint couldn't copy/paste slides correctly between two large presentations, and Impress (2.0) just crashed trying to save in Powerpoint format, every single time I tried. I hate presentation software. It's too bad that it seems that S5 doesn't seem to scale.