Monthly Archives: March 2007

How smart is bug-buddy?

The latest bug-buddy includes stack straces. But if you attach it like GNOME suggests somebody will comment your bug as not having a stack trace. So the question is if it makes sense to have lots of bug reports of users which dont help. Maybe bug buddy is a tool that makes no sense at all? Also I think maybe it would be better if bug-buddy would file a bug into the distributions issue tracker instead of the GNOME ones? Filing bugs because GNOME tells you todo so and than always getting a standard answer that this is not sufficient actually is frustrating for the user. I would also like to suggest that bug reports of bug-buddy get other text – maybe also suggest installing additional packages.

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Filed under Free Software

Distribution of our dreams

I take the post of Adam: Don’t be afraid to dream as a reason for my post. So I am talking about the “distribution of my dreams”. First I like to question if the focus on a distribution is really a good thing? As long as distributions work like they do – sure we have to accept there existence. But: I like focus on the user and some freedoms. So first thing I want (but this strangely is more a distribution view maybe?) is user that get good software working BUT this software also should be free. This is why many distribution do not ship non-free software. The question is if this tie is ok. Do users get more freedom if they do NOT get free software? I think not really. The other motivation on not shipping non-free or patent-realted software are the legal aspects. I think this really is an issue. OTOH – without any non-free or patent-related software user do not get a system that they can easily use. They then need to find the HOWTOs to configure the 3D cards or MP3/MPEG. don’t misunderstand me: I understand the motivation and I am all for free software with no patent relations – but in fact users still have to deal with such things – or they want MP3 or 3D graphics.

The big question is if we really help free software if we say that with an Linux distribution you will not only NOT get any Windows compatibility but you also have to do much more work which you don’t have to do on a Windows or Mac system. I think with these strict ties we indeed also make distributions which many people wont use – so they wont use Linux and other free software because we exclude SOME software.

Same is true for flavors of software or usages. A GOOD distribution accepts that users have different needs and usages. It might have its focus (maybe to be a good desktop distribution), but it should not try to block some uses of its users. It should have a away to allow them different uses.

Personally I like a desktop, a distribution to give me freedom and also to allow me to add additional packages easily. An easy √ľackage management system like conary allows me to package my own packages and also share that with others. This is just cool.

Coolness also is an important factor for me. A distribution should be cool. It should be cool to use it – so it should look and act cool. Thats not very scientific – I know but I think thats indeed what I like. Ok it should not break too often – by accept if some things break if it moves forward.

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Filed under Free Culture, Free Software, Linux

Foresight chooses Epiphany as new default browser on upcoming release!

Why did we do this? Why didn’t we continue to present Firefox as the front row browser? Well its simple: We are THE GNOME distribution. We want to show the latest and greatest in GNOME software – and to experience what a real GNOME desktop looks and feels one should really should recommend the official GNOME browser.

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Filed under Browser, Free Software, Linux

New Evolution version

Ok you know that I switched from Evolution to Thunderbird. But indeeed – with my new Foresight came Evolution and I sticked with this default. So I use two mail clients.

I have installed new development version and so am using GNOME 2.18 Relese Candidate now. With this comes Evolution 2.9.92. . And i can say that these issues are not fixed:

  • still spam filtering is not working properly
  • Settings dialogue is still MUCH, too big on german language. This is an issue from 2005 but maybe did exist in 2004. So 3 years and no resolution (view how default site of evo settings is for me for years – and evo team knew):

Evolution Settings Dialogue.

My impression is that Evolution team just does not do its “homework”. I would vote for excluding this mail client because its hardly usable and gets no work on important parts. Maybe I get this completely wrong. But this continues to be my bad impression about Evolution.

This is a good/bad example of how sometimes focus of developers is wrong. I heard many are happy to see Evolution faster on IMAP mails. I really NEVER had a problem with that. Fastness is nice – but every spam I have to read worries me much more – and also such a settings dialogue renders for me really unusable. Maybe we find another GNOME mail client that does a better job?

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Filed under Free Software, Linux, Technology

The chat client of my dreams

I am very unsatisfied with todays chat clients (IRC,…). I take xchat-gnome as an example. What is bad about it? The window needs to be large to be usable. I wish that the windows would not be full of logins and logoffs. I also would wish that I get displayed all messages to me since the last hours by a simple click. Also instead of a search I would prefer a filter. Also servers do not have to be displayed. All server messages could be displayed in some hidden windows. Only on connection maybe there should an inbox, for server messages. These should be cached so you only get new messages and not the standard ones. The login message should just be a meta info of the server. There is no such thing as meta info of a server.

For the users I wish I also could add meta information and link this to Evolution like its done in GAIM – link to blogs, notes, photos/avatars, aliases etc..

What is also missing is an integration of pastebins as these are most widely used. There should be a mechanism to prevent spamming of a channel that should be enabled by default. You get a warning if you want to send an empty email – so you also should get a warning when you want to paste 200 lines of code in a channel. The chat program should autconfigure pastebins that are mentioned in the topic.
Every channel also should have meta information (like #fedora-> http://www.fedoraproject.org or a link to backlogs)

For me all IRC clients work at maybe 1 % of what they could do and they are not helpful at all and there is no progress. The only progress really is coming from jabber clients. Some prefer command line chat clients – but they are not integrated in the desktop at all. I also work mostly on command line, but I expect gui applications to work more intelligently.

Addition: I also would like to see a more sufficient bookmark handling. By that I mean: a) Clicking in a link should open a browser. It should not happen that the chat moves while clicking on a link. Also the user should get a feedback if the click was successful. I often have to click more than once and then also maybe have 3-4 open windows. Also I would like to have a better bookmark collector. A tool which has to be open all the time is not very helpful, especially when xchat already has a big window. It should also be better visible if an URL is for the own nickname.

Another addition: I would also like to have the possibility to search for a marked term in Wikipedia or Google.

And yet another update: The sheer number of possible servers is overhwhelming. In a browser you do not get a filled bookmark list. So you also should not get this with a chat client. Maybe one can have server bookmark packages which are organized like bookmarks (and contain more than one possible host? I also love to see better integration of server addresses into web browsers. Right now you cant handle IRC bookmarks very well in Firefox or Epiphany. But its a ressource they should be able to handle.

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Filed under Browser, Free Software