Saturday Mar 27, 2010

Gmail INBOX retention period limited!

I have a gmail account since September 2004 for all my personal usage, at the time when gmail invites were being sold on ebay. I followed Gmail advise in general, which is not to delete anything and use search to find all I want. However I found this advise may be a bit flimsy. Why? I looked at the oldest mail in my INBOX, it is only dated back to Feb 2005. This means, Gmail has managed to lost 5 months of my mails from my INBOX, where did they went; I have no idea! I only used 1392MB or 18% of the allowable disk. May be the Gmail Team knows about this? Is this a known problem?

Of course, Gmail is a free service; one may be shouldn't expect too much. However. this does not really instill confidence to use gmail as a primary account for important stuff :(.

Will this problem goes away if I purchase more disk, or paying Google some money so that my mails are a bit more secured?

Update: Thank you all for your comments. I found my missing mails. So all my worries were unfounded and sorry if it did worry some of you out there.

Tuesday Feb 23, 2010

cups-pk-helper would not be on Opensolaris

Just saw Vincent Vuntz's blog on a fine-grained control for printer related operations on system-config-printer based on Policy Kit. That is the Print Manager for CUPS on a number of distributions including OpenSolaris. Tim Waugh has also blogged about this here

Unfortunately, OpenSolaris users will not be able to get this feature though since PolicyKit is not part of OpenSolaris.

Wednesday Jan 27, 2010

The end of an era

Now Sun is officially Oracle!
A new beginning onto a more interesting journey.
Just to drop down a line of the Sun Workstations I have used over the years!
Sun 3/60 (1989) - The most expensive Sun Workstation I have even put my hands on.
Sparc II (1997) - CDE Transition
Ultra I (1998) - CDE Sustaining
Ultra 10 (200x) - GNOME Development
Ultra 60 (2004) - GNOME Development
Sun Blade 2000
Metropolis z2100
Ultra 40 (2008)
Ultra 27 (2009)

Tuesday Nov 03, 2009

SUNWgtk2-print-cups /SUNWgtk2-print-papi in OpenSolaris 126

Part of the preparation for making CUPS as default on OpenSolaris, I have split out 2 packages SUNWgtk2-print-cupsand SUNWgtk2-print-papi in OpenSolaris 126 from SUNWgtk2.

Why did I do that?
The primary reason is that when LP ceases to the default print system on the LiveCD, having the PAPI print backend on the liveCD and not have /usr/lib/, all the applications that have print dialog will \*CRASH\*.

Splitting this out allows the PAPI print backend not to be installed on the liveCD when CUPS becomes default and allows applications to continue to work properly.

When will CUPS as default happen?
The basic code to switch CUPS as default is in b127, however, a lots of packages refactoring is being worked on so that CUPS will be slimmer than LP on the LiveCD. The credit for that belongs to Gowtham T (and as usual Norm as the adviser).

So when will CUPS as default becomes a reality from the LiveCD, that is all in the capable hands of Dave Miner and David Comay :).

So in the meantimes, in b126/127, you may have to do:

$ pfexec pkg install SUNWgtk2-print-cups

if you are already using CUPS and noticed that all the printers you used to see is not visible in the print dialog.

Why can this be fixed automatically?
It seems until facets is implemented in IPS, I cannot easily specify some of the interdependencies easily. (see discussion thread here, here)

While I am goggling, it is really excited to see that Bart is implementing facets with this bug.


Monday Sep 21, 2009

How to turn on CUPS

OpenSolaris have 2 print systems, the default print system to date including 2009.06 release is LP. From the Live CD, the LP print system is installed. You may want to have CUPS because of better application integration or other reasons. You need to install additional packages from the repositories, such as

To avail of the CUPS print system, one needs to do the following steps:

$ pfexec pkg install SUNWcups SUNWcups-libs SUNWcups-manager SUNWpycups SUNWhal-cups-utils

or simply

$ pfexec pkg install SUNWhal-cups-utils

(All the relevant pkgs will be installed based on dependencies)
NOTE: SUNWhal-cups-utils was integrated into build 114, so you need to have that version or later).

Once these packages are installed, do

$ pfexec /usr/sbin/print-service -s cups

(The print system is then switch over to CUPS)

To revert back to LP, simply do

$ pfexec /usr/sbin/print-service -s lp

Wednesday Jul 01, 2009

Desktop Summit - Here I come!

Desktop Summit which is made up of GUADEC and AKademy will be held this year in the Gran Canaria from 3rd-11th July. This is by far the biggest events on its nature, FOSS and totally Desktop oriented.

I will be arriving on the 2nd July evening with the whole bunch from the Desktop group in Sun. Now that some of the people, Alberto, Luis are native Canarians. I am looking forwards to their local hospitality :) Also we meet up hackers old and new.

Many of the exciting talks including GNOME Shell, GNOME 3.0, Mobile Development are so exciting topics that I look forward to hear and see! I will be there until 9th July.

Tuesday Jun 02, 2009

A Webcast for SourceJuicer - Web based automated build system for OpenSolaris

To make life simpler for folks who wants to contribute OSS code to OpenSolaris, SourceJuicer is a web based through where spec files (format derived from RPM) can be submitted and automatically build and and publish on the web. The built package which is pkg(5) format can then be installed through the browser with a single click into the OpenSolaris 2009.06.

Since the Beta day, SourceJuicer has came a long way. Came across this webcast from Markus Weber, well worth a look at this introductory webcast.

Friday May 01, 2009

My first git commit

I did my first git push yesterday (30/04/2009() since GNOME has moved from svn(1)to git(1). First of all, I really do appreciate those who worked on getting git(1) into OpenSolaris; save me having to build them from Spec Files Extra.

Looking at the my bash shell history, I issued the following commands:

git config --global "user name"
git config --global "email-address"

# That set up my basic identification.

git status
git clone git://

# First mistake, I checked out with read-only permission.

git clone ssh://"username"

# Checked out properly. Make code changes

git diff

# Look at code diff

git commit gnome-session/gsm-manager.c

# Commit code to local git clone

git push --dry-run

# Tried to push in dry run mode

git push origin HEAD

# finally pushed to master repository.

All the commands use are essentially nicely documented here

After making the commit, received a link from maintainer in how to make commit message more meaningful and conformance.

Just for future commits:

Lots of useful information can be found here
But I find this one is all that I need for doing my first git push! :)

Sunday Mar 29, 2009

Really Funny - Don't watch it in office without your head phone

My son shown my wife the video, it is so hilariously. Though I thought it can also be a Dad's song :)
Watch it but you have been warned!

Tuesday Feb 10, 2009

CUPS Print Manager in build 107

Some of you may have read from Cyril Plisko's blog that in SXCE 107, desktop-print-management supports CUPS. What does that mean? I guess 99% of OpenSolaris users do not know even that the command, desktop-print-management even exists.

Well, it is technical solution that Norm Jacobs came up to have 2 print systems to co-exist in OpenSolaris in a painless way. In simple terms, when the system admin has set the machine to use LP, all the printing related commands point to that of LP; when it is using CUPS, it points to CUPS version of the commands.

'desktop-print-management' is the command behind the menu entry,

OpenSolaris: System->Administration->Print Manager
SXCE: Java logo->Administration->Print Manager

In build 107 when you have set print system to CUPS, will launch system-config-printer. A GUI Print Manager for CUPS from the fedora community. Tim Waugh has been \*incredible\* in making this happened. A screen shot of the main window.

From system-config-printer

A couple of gotchas which I must mention here:

  • After you switch from LP to CUPS (second part of the page) , you should logout and login again. Otherwise, you will get a Add Printer Dialog for LP pop up when a USB printer is inserted. Since that is for LP, even if you add the prit queue, it will not be shown up in the System Config Printer Dialog.

  • The CUPS equivalence of the LP Add Printer Dialog through the package hal-cups-utils is work in progress.
  • Monday Feb 02, 2009

    Printing blogs/paper in Japanese

    Ken Okubo has kindly translated the following blogs/paper into Japanese. I hope the Japanese readers will find them useful! Kudo to Ken who works so hard and yet stay pretty low profile.

    Ken, I have also updated the blogs to include links to those translated pages as you have suggested.

    Japanese version of OpenSolaris Print manager blog

    Japanese version of Groups Manager Concepts

    Japanese version of Presto Auto Discovery printers - paper submitted for OpenSolaris Developer conference

    I must admit it feels nice when I look at the all the katakana/hirakana glyphs, especially when some characters I can recognize like, "容易". That is the Ultimate goal of all user's experience!

    Monday Jan 26, 2009

    Happy Chinese New Year

    Happy Chinese New Year!
    This is the year of the Ox. A Great year for Computing especially for those who can program with hexadecimal :)

    Feeling very strange to be working today on the Chinese New Year day. Such sentiment is probably a reflection of something inside me, not sure what that is ...

    Tuesday Jan 13, 2009

    Accessible Relation - how to specify it using Glade-3

    While I have been working to get a new printing application to work on OpenSolaris, QA has logged an accessibility bug which got me going to learn something about accessible relation. When a visually impaired person requires the use of speech program such as Orca to navigate around the GUI, it needs some context as to what a particular GUI element is supposed to do. In GUI we often have the label and text fields pairs to understand the context. When one is totally relying on audio, that label/text pair has to be closely associated. That is, when a input field is entered, the speech program not only have to tell the user what is the type of the input field and also what it is for based on the corresponding label.

    If you are using glade tool to specify your GUI, this accessible relation can be easily specified by the following steps with glade-3:

    1. Find out the name of the label, as the picture shows its value is 'label200'

    From Accessibility relations

    2. Find out the name of the related input field, as the pictures shows it to be 'cmbentNPTLpdHost'
    From Accessibility relations

    3. Express the label-for relation for the label, as the picture shows 'label200' is for 'cmbentNPTLpdHost'
    From Accessibility relations

    4. Express the label-by relation for the input field, as the picture shows 'cmbentNPTLpdHost' is labeled by 'label200'

    From Accessibility relations

    Once these relations are expressed using glade-3 (similarly with glade-2), the accessible technology tool such as Orca will speak out correctly when the user navigate to the input field.

    Friday Jan 09, 2009

    Poor quality fonts caused by nvidia driver on Nevada

    My old metropolis workstation, z2100w have been given me so very poor quality of fonts since I upgraded to nevada 103. I cannot have it display to its full 1900x1200 for the 24" monitor. As it turns out, it has to do with the nvidia driver that comes nevada is not working very well with Xorg. Thanks to Giri Mandalika and his adventure I now have the proper resolution for the 24" monitor :). Happy Friday!

    Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

    OpenSolaris 2008.11 Network Printers - auto-discovery using snmp

    Presto is an effort to fill the printing gaps in Solaris/OpenSolaris. The idea of Presto is to automate the process of locating printers as much as possible. So now with the integration of OpenSolaris Print Manager, we can now:

    • auto-detect local USB printers and prompt user to create queue on a pre-filled dialog when it is first plugged in.
    • OpenSolaris Print Manager allows user to do more print queues and print jobs operations as I have previously blogged here.

    One hidden jewel of Presto which is not available by default after installing OpenSolaris 2008.11 is the auto-discovery of network printers. Due the space constraint of Live CD, one of the package that the auto-discovery of network printer required is omitted from the Live CD, SUNMWsmmgr. To use this feature:

    • Launch Package Manager (a.k.a Add More Software) on the desktop
    • Search for 'SUNWsmmgr', you should see it is not installed
    • Click on the check box to its left
    • Click on Install/Update on the tool bar

    After installation, you have to restart the following SMF services:

    • svcadm restart hal (the process /usr/lib/hal/hald-addon-network-discovery should be running)
    • svcadm enable printers:snmp (make sure that this service is started correctly)

    Launch System->Administration->Print Manager, any network printer in your sub-net that talks snmp should be automatically added to the system and appear in the Print Manager. It will take about a minute for that to be shown.

    More on-line documentation about the Print Manager is here

    Tuesday Oct 07, 2008

    OpenSolaris Print Manager

    Japanese version of this blog
    This is something I should have blogged about earlier, it is always very hard for me to do something that I have stopped doing for a little while and under time constraints. Better late than never...

    The Phase II of the Presto project as detailed in section 4 of the paper had finally integrated into Solaris Nevada build 97 in mid August. A HUGE THANKS to Norm , Wendy, Calum for sticking in through phase I and II of the project. Though the greatest honors should be bestowed on Evan and Halton who resolved more than 90 bugs between them over the last few weeks before integration! Of course, they would be so great without all the bugs logged by Conny Cheng :).

    So what are the features in this release:
    o A shinning brand new Print Manager which supports Auto Detection of local USB printer. See this,
    o It also auto-discover network printers when this service, svc:/network/device-discovery/printers:snmp is turned on
    o Added queues are automatically reflected in the Print Manager Queue window.
    o The Print Manager also provides a Printer Group view and a job view.
    o The print system supported is LP, no CUPS yet (just to disappoint a few, sorry)

    Details of the Printer Group is described in the paper above and also in my previous blog

    Thanks to Juanita and Calum, we also integrated the Online Help into Nevada 99. Thanks go to Matt for dealing with the yelp required format. This has been truly a team worked project! It has been GREAT experience when there were times when I thought I would never see the end it :)

    Update: Added the screen shot owned to Alberto (a.k.a ARC).

    Monday Jul 14, 2008

    GUADEC 2008 - My Impression and Experience

    GUADEC 08 in Istanbul is the fourth GUADEC I have attended. My first GUADEC was in Dublin back in 2003. Second one is in Kristiansand, Norway in 2004. Third GAUDEC in Vilanova, Spain in 2006. I totally enjoyed this GUADEC for a number of reasons.

    Meeting up interesting people over the years and now we now seemed well acquainted, Luis, Jonathan Blandford, David Neary, J5, Micheal Meeks, Vincent Vuntz, Davyd Madeley, new acquaintance like Lucas, Reinout van Schouwen, Don Scroige, Peter Sikking and many other I have not be able to remember their names. Such as the conversation about only paying 1MB price for 12MB internet service in Spain at 2 a.m. (Identify yourself if you know that it is you). Though this year, we missed the presence of Jeff Waugh, Glynn Foster, Havoc.

    Of course celebrity-like figure, Mark Shutterworth was even briefly queried about the printing BOF, and remarked that it has to work for CUPS, :(. Mark made my celeb list not so muh of Ubuntu, but his venture into space with the Russian.

    What Really went well
    Apart from meeting all the interesting people, I think the following things that
    made GUADEC 2008 such an enjoyable one:

    o Turkish Cushion/Raki/Water Pipes
    These are unique to Istanbul and also such a powerful community building and
    binding 'weapons', it is almost magical. Let me explains, around the corner
    of the recommended hotels, there are these brightly coloured cushions laying
    along the streets provided by the hotels, restaurants and bars that serve foods,
    beers, Raki and Water pipes. Everyone can sit or lay down on these extremely
    comfortable cushions/bead bags bare footed. Drinking beers or Raki which is a
    local 40% alcoholic drink. Water pipes essentially is smoking fruit favoured
    tobaco but filtered through water before it reaches the smoker's lungs (okay,
    to keep the record straight for my children, I didn't smoke any :-)). You can
    imagine the coziness, everyone is relax sitting shoulder to shoulder, taking
    about GNOME, hacking ideas, FOSS, nice places in Istanbul, everything and
    anything that comes into mind. I saw people who was passionate argued about
    software development, etc. All is FUN!

    o Boat cruise
    The best social event is the boat cruise. It is perfect in a community
    building/binding event again with the 2 similar key important elements:
    o it started on time at 9.00 p.m. as that the time the boat left. Effective use
    of times.
    o Once you are on the boat, you can't go anywhere for 3 hours. You just got to
    socialize while many cans of beers are served.

    Of course the Ice Scream Death Match and SMASH added significant participation to the occasion. I joined in the Ice Cream DeathMatch in promptu. Shamefully to say, I managed only to eat one third of the 2 Litter box of ice cream, but that is a personal best :). Other enjoyed SMASHED mini-conference. SMASHED stands for the Single Malt Appreciation Society for Hackers, Engineers and Developers. I can see this mini-conference will be an integrated part of future GUADEC.

    The beautiful night scheme of Istanbul subtle encouraged people to immersed into social participation.

    o Helpful volunteers
    I could not say more highly of the friendliness of the conference helpers
    over the 5/6 days. They tried everything the could to help, at one point
    when I was trying to set up access to the wifi, there were 3 or 4 volunteers
    come to help.

    o Istanbul
    Such a beautiful city, the straits, the bay, all the history, beautiful
    building, friendly people, nice restaurants convenience public transports,
    infinite number of taxis.

    What didn't go well
    o Some of the BOF sessions were not run as well as it could be. It is a
    combination of poor preparation of the speakers, or the lack of attendant from
    the right group of people. I think we all owned to the community to play our
    parts to the best we could. This is not meant to be a criticism, but seriously
    for us to bring GNOME community to the next level, we need to do our parts
    seriously and at the same times have FUN :), work hard, play hard! (My apology
    to all who attended the printing BOF, the demo didn't go as well as it should.
    I am too part of the problem).

    o The University has blocked some ports which meant I can't read my company's
    e-mail and which meant I have to spend more times at the hotel to reply
    some of the more urgent mails.

    o Lighning talks are excellent, in fact it is some well done that the other two
    parallel sessions fell victim of it. So to the future organsing committee,
    please do not have other parallel sessions when lightning talks is on.

    On the whole, I consider the conference a BIG SUCCESS! Lots of interesting
    works going on, GTK+ 3.0 and GNOME 3.0 are exciting news. GDM development shown the solid engineering works happening in the community. PackageKit are all encompassing and shown the important of user's experience.

    The venue of GUADEC 09 will be in the Grand Canary. I really amused at the way the decision was made, it was voted in by a show of hands and a shout of hurray during the foundation member meeting. (Update: I read from the mailing list that it was actually decided by the Foundation directors before hand, hmm I am confused here).

    Thursday Jul 03, 2008

    GUADEC - Istanbul

    I will be flying out to Istanbul on Sunday mid-day with the whole bunch of Sun people from Dublin. Should arrive late Sunday night. Stay in one of the recommended hotel, but do not have the details as I will be relying the other guys like Matt Keenan to figure the details when we arrive. This is a fairly big gang from Sun this year, I think it is 18 people all together, from Dublin, Hamburg, beijing and other places.

    I will be doing the BOF on printing tools,
    really looking forwards to people who are interested working in this area for GNOME. Will talk a bit about GTK+ Print dialog as well as I think this is an area printing tools will touch on to make better integration

    Saturday Jun 28, 2008

    13th Anniversary

    That is 4745 days plus 4 days of the leap years (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008), Kathy and I married! We missed the previous 2 anniversaries because we arrived late in Hong Kong on the 28th June 2007 and my father in-law was undergoing cancer treatment at the time and in 2006, I was in GUADEC. So this year, we just have to celebrate this together!

    So we celebrated the day with our children, doing all the tourist stuff in Hong Kong despite the poor weather and pouring rain.
    The day started off with a bunch of roses delivered by forever-florist. After tremendous efforts of waking up the two kids around 11.00 a.m., we had the simple breakfast and make our way to Stanley Market, a nice little market place in Stanley (赤柱) which is at the southern west of Hong Kong Island. Very pleasant place, even though it is rather busy but it is relatively uncrowded compared with the rest of Hong Kong. Lots of TVB series are shot here as we recognized a number of the scenes. Had lunch at the Bay Side Restaurant which is right beside Stanley Market and the sea front. The place has a nice view, but the seafood laksa Lekma was extremely blant, I can cook better than that.

    After lunch, a quick walk around the sea front and Murray house and taken some nice pictures of around the place. We set off to Repulse Bay, the most famous beach in Hong Kong. Coaches after coaches of tourists arrived and gone very quickly. The beach is fairly clean, but the sand is very coarse near the shore. Grace really enjoyed walking on the sand along the edge of the waves. However, we had stayed more than we ought to. We got caught in a sudden thunder storm, so with an umbrella I tried to cover her as much as possible. Still we were soaking wet, I was literally wet from inside out, top to bottom (well almost, my hairs were fairly dry). We ended have to buy Grace a T-shirt to change from Seven-Eleven.

    Being soaking wet from the storm rain, we decided to go back to the house to get change and hoping to make back to Starry Walk for 8.00 p.m. where "A symphony of lights" is shown. A modern city creation, really, where lights on the high rise offices are made to dance with music. The traffic was bad, the taxi driver took us round the little mountain routes across the island. However, we were running short of time to get home and back again. So a last minute shopping trick, I brought a complete set of clothing (except shoes) from a near by shop and changed (using the shop changing room) and went on as planned.

    We had a quick dinner at a really nice Italian restaurant called Double Star, service was good, foods were good. Though it is so remote from starry walk, the place is so quiet. We were the only customers. Kathy jokingly said, we have the whole restaurant just for our anniversary dinner!

    The show started on time and was impressive, though I felt it was a bit short, lasted only 10 minutes. Caleb was slightly disappointed as it has not the fireworks displays shown from their website.

    I have been reminded by Kathy, one thing we have not changed in 13 years. I am forever trying to fit in as many places as I can and she always prefers a more leisurely pace when comes to sight-seeing. Though we learnt to accept one and another despite our differences :)

    Friday Jun 27, 2008

    EEE PC at last

    Since the launch EEE PC in late 2007, I have always wanted to get one. Somehow just didn't get down to buy it for various reason, the price I felt was too steep (300+ Euro) for EEEPC 700. So when the 900 comes up, it can be ordered in Ireland from complett for 399 (+ 12.50 delivery) and I thought that is getting reasonable. (1GB Ram, 20 GB disk with Linux).

    When I came over to Hong Kong last week and found that the EEE PC 900 is selling at 3998 HKD I am delighted as the with the current exchange rate, 1Eur to 12 HKG, this is less than 340 Euro :). What is even more exciting is that the EEE PC 901 is also released with the new Intel Atom chip, which is selling for around 4298 HKG. The EEE PC 1000H with a 10" (didn't get a quote for that).

    I brought the EEE PC 900 with Windows XP (English Version)at the end, well, it is for my daughter after all. I dread the possiblity of becoming her Linux support person for getting the Linux version.

    Though I am writing this blog using it just to try it out, I must say it is quite usable, but the form is just a bit too small to rest on the lap. The very nice surprise are that StarSuite 8 is pre-installed, sliding 2 fingers down the mouse pad behaves as the the scroll wheel.

    Friday May 09, 2008

    Conferences Over the Summer

    I had submitted two abstracts in April to two conferences over the summer. The good news is both of them have been accepted!
    o OpenSolaris Developer Conference, June 25-27, 2008 Prague, Czech Republic.
    o GUADEC 2008, July 7-12, 2008, Istanbul, Turkey.

    The schedule for both conferences have now been published OSDEVCON 2008 schedule and GUADEC 2008 schedule.

    The OSDEVCON is also about Printing Tools, it is primarily concentrated on Presto on OpenSolaris Desktop. While I have been looking forwards going to Prague (never been there before) to talk about Presto and also meet face to face with many of the OpenSolaris developers. Despite all the good reasons to go, I could not make it due to unforeseen family circumstances. So to this end, Michal Pryc has kindly agreed to present the paper on my behalf. Thanks Migi!

    The GUADEC session is a BOF on Printing Tools, so in order to make it to work well, I need input/involvement of the communities. So I really look forwards to see everyone who is interested in printing or your applications have printing elements in them to be there! I plan to provide you an update on the GSOC project that I am mentoring on Integrated Printer Management. So Rui, pressure is ON! :)

    Monday Apr 28, 2008

    Mentoring GSOC on Printer Management

    I have meant to write this up last week. I am mentoring for the first time ever for GSOC. His name is Rui Tiago Cação Matos, a final year of Computers and
    Telematic Engineering at the University of Aveiro [1]. He will be working to improve the GUI for system-config-printer. The broad goal is to make it ready as a candidate for printers management to be blessed by the GNOME release team :)

    Welcome Rui!! Looking forwards to work with you!

    [1] It is in Portuguese, another little thing in life that I have to start learning :).
    Though I am glad Rui's English is actually very good.

    Monday Apr 07, 2008

    GSOC 2008 - Integrated Printer Management for GNOME

    Even since I expressed my interest in a BOF session to talk about tools for printers management in GAUDEC 2008, a number of things have happened since:

    \* I have volunteered myself to be a mentor to the GNOME GSOC 2008 for Integrated Printer Management
    \* I have also received a couple of direct inquiries from students who expressed interest to want to work on it. Both of them show great potential to make this project a success! I really hope that this project do get accepted, this is something really need to tackle head on, a GSOC project will help tremendously to make a head start!
    \* Google has extended the student submission deadline from 31st March to 07 April, 5:00 PM PDT /00:00 UTC April 8, 2008. That is less than 8 hours from now. Hurry Up if you are interested in this project.
    \* I have some very helpful comments from last BOF post. Thank you All! Keep it coming.

    Still, I am looking to hear from You who are working in printer related tools! (Hints, hints, fedora folks, ubuntu folks, OpenSUSE folks, BSD folks, Debian folks ... and those I have not mentioned :-)).

    Tuesday Mar 25, 2008

    BOF proposed for GUADEC 2008

    As I will be on vocation for the next 3 days, so I thought it is best that I submit my BOF (bird of feathers) proposal early. So below is the abstract I have written up.

    The GNOME community has not prioritized printing since the last gallant efforts by Alex Larson and John Palmieri back in 2006. With the gradual adoption of GTK+ printing, the GNOME desktop has finally got all its components to use GTK+ print dialog in 2.22.0. With the unified application print dialog at hand, it is about time to move on to the printing tools. Currently, various distros come up with each unique solutions. While the existing tools are usable and are making steady progress, there is no such printing tools endorsed by GNOME as such.

    The author proposes the following area for discussion:
    \* printer management tool that support major print systems such as CUPS, Windows and LP (with pluggable modules)
    \* examine the existing tools to enumerate the major must have and separate into nice to have features. The possible tools for evaluation include, gnome-cups-manager, gnome-cups-add, system-config-printer, and ospm-pm [1].
    \* consolidate the (possible) GSOC work on integrated printer management if the project does go ahead.
    \* create opportunities for the interested parties to work together.

    [1] Most people are familiar with gnome-cups-manager, gnome-cups-add and system-config-printer as these have been around for sometimes. ospm-pm is at an early stage and there are useful features worth sharing.

    If you are interested in involving with this work, please drop me a line regardless of whether you are going to GUADEC or not, here or post me a comment :) THANKS!

    Tuesday Mar 18, 2008

    OpenSolaris not selected by GSOC 2008

    I am rather disappointed that GSOC (Google Summer of Code) 2008 have not selected OpenSolaris as one of the Open Source community to participate the programme this year. Rahul is the bearer of the bad news. The complete list of Open Source communities that made GSOC 2008 is here. Rahul thinks OpenSolaris is too big a project to be there. He suggested next year we should choose "Indiana" or "DTrace" instead.

    It's such a pity that OpenSolaris itself not making it, I am saddened that my printing related proposals are now left on the long list of things to be done :(. Also missing a opportunity to be part if the mentoring experience. Well, we can always try again next year.

    Friday Mar 14, 2008

    GNOME 2.22 Released

    GNOME 2.22 was released on schedule on 13th March 2008. The list of new features are here. The speed of announcement by the GNOME hacker, this blog entry literally is yesterday news. It is amazing how the community managed to pull it all together even when there was some doubts about the viability of the release back in December 2007. Well Done to All there!

    GNOME 2.22 release on OpenSolaris is not official due until Nevada build 88 according to the current plan. The preview of that is actually in vermillion devel 86 if you know what I am talking about.

    Update: Damien just sent out and email saying vermillion devel 86 is DOA . Workaround is on the way, but given many are on holidays over Paddy day and Easter. The wokaround is unlikely to be available until the holidays is over. So better off waiting for Vermillion 87.

    Update 2: Good man, Damien has spent beyond his holidays and uploaded the HAL packages to make sure that vermillion devel 86 is working on download. Extra steps in the instruction is here. Kudos to Damien!

    Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

    OpenSolaris Printing Demo - Organising printer Groups

    Two Flash movies to demonstrate the Printers Group concept in Print Manager

    [Read More]

    Monday Nov 12, 2007

    Printing to Windows Printer from Solaris

    Robert asked me how hard it is to print to Windows from Solaris today. It couldn't be that hard from what I have been told, it is just that I have never done it. So reading up the FAQ from the OpenSolaris Printing page , I figured out I have to do the following things:

    o Create a print queue on the Windows box connecting the printer to the network. I have a HP 2600N which I have already created queue connected through the USB. So I share it and use the Add Printer wizard and let it auto discovered on Windows side. From which I got the Server and Printer names (FERRARI/HPColorL, surprise, surprise).

    o On the Solaris box (Nevada 76), I copied over the file /etc/sfw/smb.conf-example to /etc/sfw/smb.conf and replace the workground = WORKGROUP (as it is on Windows).

    o svcadm enable samba

    o lpadmin -v winprinter -v smb://FERRARI/HPColorL -m uri -n /usr/share/ppd/SFEfoo2zjs/foo2zjs/HP-Color_LaserJet_2600n.ppd.gz

    o lp -p winprinter

    That's it.

    NOTE: I have though created the package SFEfoo2zjs so that it can print.
    This reminds me that I probably upload the proper patch to what was given to me by Paul Cunningham to sourceforce.

    Wednesday Nov 07, 2007

    smcup/rmcup is in Nevada 76 for xterm

    If the title means anything to you, then it could be of two things:
    o You are ancient in the computing age :)
    o You are a vi user

    Thanks to Brian Utterback, a simple fix as he said by simply updating a couple of terminfo file on Solaris. Now, when you vi in a gnome-terminal or xterm, the screen area where you vi drawn over is restored when you exit the editor. Though it is a little thing, but it is little thing in life that enriches the user experience and so is work more pleasurable.

    Unfortunately, it also caused a regressive behaviour in another bug. Though I think this is probably the right behaviour for less(1) or more(1). Pity I don't have a Linux box to test how does it looks at the moment.

    Well, let's see how thing go

    Wednesday Sep 19, 2007

    GNOME 2.20 Released Today

    19-09-2007. Today GNOME 2.20 is released. The GNOME community just amazing!! Since the release of GNOME 2.2 in a six monthly cycle, the community and the release team have consistently working to a very well-defined schedule and have not missed a single release date. Congratulations to the community and the release team!

    Murray Cumming, Jorge Castro, Andreas Nilsson and others have also written the most extensive and beautiful release notes here. Whoever going to do the release note for GNOME 2.20 is going to face a BIG challenge!.


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