Category Archives: Uncategorized

New GnuCash now with database backend

In the latest announcement of GnuCash 2.3.13 (Unstable) some major changes in the 2.3.x release are mentioned:

  • * In addition to the XML backend, Gnucash can now use a SQLite3, MySQL or PostgreSQL database to store the data. This is a new implementation using libdbi. It supports all features including the business features. In order to build with this, add --enable-dbi to the configure command. In addition to the libdbi-dev package for your distribution, you will also need the appropriate DBD (libdbi driver) package for sqlite3, mysql or postgresql.

I just wanted to highlight this new feature as this could be interesting.

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Pasta Making

Moser Spaghetti essender Junge

Yummy

I am starting some experimenting in home made pasta. I yet do no not have a pasta machine. But I start testing with doughs. One meal I like to do is a nice Lasagne with home made pasta. I tend to stick to original recipes, although I am not the guy who looks for the perfect ingrediences. It should be able to do stuff with what I can buy without much of a hassle.

I will keep you updated. Today I like did some simple Tagliatelle:

pasta dough

Unfortunately I missed the right lemons, so I could not test the recipe I was planning. They havent been as al dente as I think they should have been – the cooking time was more of an issue because I did not enough concentration at the end. But they were nice. Also i did mix different wheats (also wholemeal wheat), because I had to use them soon as sough does not get better once it is open. But sure they felt much better than any pasta I have bought so far. Also unfortunately the batteries of my digicam were empty after the first photos. So you cant see the meal, but you could not taste it anyway šŸ˜‰

Ah btw. I used 350 gram of wheat and 50 gram durum wheat for the dough. That seems to work fine. And the dough was not hard for me to do. Drying it would require more space, though.

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EU Parliament video stream is not open

I recently discovered the EU parliament life video stream. But I found that there is no open standard. They only provide WMV and MPEG4. This sounds weird, because the EU ist struggling for year against Microsofts monopoles in different sectors. But when it comes to the coverage of the heart of the EU they depend on Microsoft technology without alternative.

One technology that should be used ist OGG Theora. It would allow everybody, even with free software to watch the debates. It cant be that you are forced to use Windows, just to participate as a citizen of the european union!?

A quote from their website:

What formats are available and why?

Two video formats are available:

  • WMV (Windows Media Video)
  • MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)

These two formats both meet the following requirements:

  • Streaming: Each event is broadcast in real time, which requires the use of Streaming. Progressive downloading, often used for broadcasting videos on the web, is not sufficient.
  • Multilingualism: Each event is broadcast in all the official languages of the European Union (when interpretation is available).
  • Simultaneity: Parliament currently broadcasts up to 6 events simultaneously and will soon be able to broadcast up to 13.
  • Multi-bitrate: Each event is broadcast in three different qualities to allow access by the largest possible number of citizens, depending on their internet infrastructure.
But none of these two format meet the requirements that everybody can use them as they are patented. Anybody has an idea how to change policy, so that every Linux user can participate in european democracy. Some organisations already do that, thankfully. I like to point out german Deutschlandfunk radio who provide a OGG Vorbis Audio stream for some years now as an alternative to MP3. I dont quite know if it is possible with Theora to meet all the above requirements. But maybe we can find out or work on it and pressure the EU to add Theora as an alternative?

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Fedora Community

Max Spevack hold a talk about the Fedora Community on 2009 FOSDEM. Which I suggest you listen first before reading on:

Essentially I think Max grabbed the “Community” at the wrong handle. He elaborated a lot about how Red Hat and FedoraĀ  work together and ow they enable people to build uppon the tools that Fedora has invented. Thats all very nice, especially for Red hat. In the last years Fedora often has stated that they do not interfere at all with Ubuntu. This always comes up when people compare the popular success of Fedora to Ubuntu.

Fedora is very developer centric. What Fedora is missing some warmth – some more “family” feeling. Do people feel comfortable? Fedora is also a big testbed for Red Hat – it can look what technologies work or are popular – and which are not. That makes Fedora often bleeding edge – more than a general user might often want. Also the support cycle is much shorter than on Ubuntu. So Fedora is not really a distro you would want to plant on your organisations desktops or servers. You will be forced to update quite often. Fedora moves fast. But thats getting offtopic from the community.

Fact is that trough the developer centricity leads to make the barrier for non-developers harder. One thing is what I already have pointed out in another post is the fact that even when editing the wiki you will have to sign some papers.

My view is that it is very important that the connection between general users and developers is open and flowing. Fedoras style is more a either you are a part of us or you are not.

On April 23rd I will organize my first UbuntuĀ  Release Party in my hometown. Why not for Fedora? Because essentially also on marketing Fedora INVENTED barriers andĀ  created the Ambassador program, which I interpret as a means to professionalise the marketing efforts. And to make sure that people talk about the right things.

The problem here is that this turns of a lot of general users who are totally capable to talk about Fedora and show people how cool it is and what to do with it. Fedoras problem is that technically it is slightly ahead – but not years, but rather months – and that this alone does not attract people.

From all the talk I can not really see to what audience Fedora is talking. I would say Fedora is for people who want a fairly new Linux as a build platform and do live and like the Red Hat/ Fedora world. So you can use Fedora to develop an application that will work on future versions of Red Hat. Fedora also contributes a lot upstream and so allows work to be transfered outside Red Hat and Fedora.

So in the end that makes Fedora not very attractive neither for general users nor for company desktops – besides being the testbed for Red Hat. Fedora does not seem to have an autonomous agenda and depends highly on Red Hats decision. it does not make much sense for self-employed Linux folks to base their installments on Fedora nor does it make sense for the typical grandpa.

Some people at Fedora might agree and would define Community as this: Developer Community. The problem is that this also means that general users will not participate as whole heartedly as they do (for example at Ubuntu). And to make it clear: Thats a concious decision of Fedora – everything from development, contribution to marketing is organized in a hierarchical way that DOES allow everybody to start contributing but in fact turns a lot of people of.

In my hometown I have not met one guy who uses Fedora. Many early Linux users did use SuSE – and if they were dissatisfied they switched to Ubuntu – and then there is the Debian, Gentoo and FreeBSD crowd. This means nobody ever sees Fedora, this means nobody ever sees Red Hat. If this is a concious business model it is not working here.

What is Fedora missing? I think as a start it should be encouraged to talk about fedora even if you are not an official Fedora Ambassador. Give people something to work with, encourage them to makeĀ  Fedora their own. I also had the experience that nobody was willing to give a speak about Fedora at our local Linux conference – actually nobody even answered my plea. But it should be the other way around. Fedora Ambassadors should go out actively and seek for the possibility to show Fedora. And here is also the problem – if only Ambassadors do it, Fedora will be shown in fewer places.

So I think the whole Fedora eco system has a problem and thats why Ubuntu is so much ahead in popularity. And I dont believe you guys that you wouldnt love it if people would adoptĀ  Fedora as much. Technically Fedora is much better than ubuntu, its the better product – but you very miuch have given up the popularity contest, which is sad. Even OpenSuse is doing more in this regard and it shows slowly.

I dont know who does the strategies at Fedora. And maybe you guys are satisfied with the status. But what I think is that in the longterm Fedora will be marginalized, especially when OpenSuse as another RPM based distribution is gaining more ground.

Thats it for now.

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Pointer to DFD report

Ah and btw. as I organized the DFD in Kiel 2009 – here is the report.

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The future of books

In the sight of the Internet people have though about if books have a future – and if so – how it will look. I have been following some broadcasts like the Daily Show for some months now from Germany – where you see a lot of people who present their new books. Often it seems that those books are more written to get a message out than to actually have people have to read the book. Well authors sure like if their books ar read – but is that really needed?

I am split when it comes to book vs. internet etc. – but I think those mainstream books that are written quickly to just get a message out should really not be a book – but a book is what is working today – and other medias often are not. An alternative to a book is a website, which gives the author some possibility of feedback and interaction with “readers” or “audience”. I think that less and less people do read books – and maybe that is sad. But I also think its often useless to read that kind of books I was just writing about. So I really think people should rather read excellent books, either from past authors – or which have a scientific significance – or contain poetry or are novells.

I tend to dislike the form of books that are build upon a single theory which they then elaborate – and actually the authors travell around to make people buy the book – but those ideas are often not very much thought through – so you end up reading this book thinking why you bought it.

I think those messages can be distributed much better by audio & video on the internet. There is not really a working distribution channel for that, so making money that way might not be that easy. I think Youtube is working on that field?

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My take on Sarah Palin, conventions and stuff

I have been following the US elections for a while now. From the outside perspective of Germany I can say that somebody like McCain would not get more than 3% of the votes here, really. Not that we would not have conservatives here – but even the Conservatives here are more like Democrats in the U.S and the socialist parties are more left.

What I find particular funny is that McCains take on Obama has always been about his lack of experience. And now he selectes Sarah Palin as a possible vice president – and also Fred Thompson continues to do so even now. How can they still do this. What I heard so far she may be smart but if McCain really thinks she could be president with NO experience in international politics then the case is made that the Republicans really do not care about experience – so why do they think they even can think to make the case, still. They have really killed their only viable argument – the rest is bullshit.

But really elections in the U.S. as well as in many democratic countries seem to be not about real facts, but about what you say and who you think will vote for you now. So McCain uses Palin as a reason for women and conservatives to vote for him. I guess this means that experience does not seem to matter a lot for americans?

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