Thursday, August 28, 2008

Testing Intrepid Ibex with QEMU

In one of the first posts I told about testing the new version of Ubuntu. In that post I had just upgraded muy ubuntu 7.10 to ubuntu 8.04 Heard5, that was, one month before ubuntu 8.04 becomes stable. I didn't have any several problem but to be honest I had lots of lucky.

Now I am going to test the next ubuntu release, this is ubuntu 8.10 or if you prefer Intrepid Ibex.
According to the ubuntu release schedule the last version to test if the Alpha 4. Two months left for the release.

This time I am not going to trush on luck. In one of the last sessions of the Master on Free Software, Berto told us about Virtualization. Among the virtualization systems about Berto told us I liked specially QEMU, so I decided to use it in order to test ubuntu 8.10. These are the steps that I followed:

- First I downloaded the iso image of ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 from here.

- Installing QEMU:

$sudo apt-get install qemu

- Then I created a qemu file image, this will be my virtual hard disk, doing:

$qemu-img create -f qcow2 ~/intrepid.img 4G

where 4G is the size of the virtual hard disk.

- Now I could install ubuntu 8.10 in that virtual hard disk from the iso image just doing:

$qemu -hda ~/intrepid.img -cdrom intrepid-desktop-i386.iso -boot d -m 512

where 512 is the size of the RAM.

- Finally to run ubuntu 8.10 after installing it:

$qemu -hda ~/intrepid.img -m 512

Some tips:

- If you are using a 64 bits operative system you should use qemu-system-x86_64 as command instead of qemu.

- If you want the virtual system run faster you can install the qemu accelerator:

$sudo apt-get install kqemu-common

you will need to load the kernel module for the accelerator:

$sudo modprobe kqemu

then you can run qemu with the option --kernel-kqemu to use the accelerator.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Gtranslator 2.0 is comming...

It has been a long time since I decided to start to collaborate with the development of gtranslator, first as my dissertation in order to get my degree as Technical Engineer in Computer Sciences and now as my practicum in the Master on Free Software working at Igalia.

Gtranslator is a PO files editor that was created by Fatih Demir and maintained until October 2007 by Ross Golder when he transfered the maintenance to Juanjo and me. Thank you guys for trusting on us. It is not very common that there are two maintainers in a gnome project but in this case I think we are a good team, Juanjo is the experience and I am the enthusiasm.

For the last months we have been working a lot with Ignacio Casal trying to migrating gtranslator to Gobject and implementing some new features:
  • Support for different profiles with information about the translator and language.
  • Translation memory.
  • Plugin system
  • Plugins for OpenTran, alternate language, integration with subersion, diff...
  • Catalog manager for PO Files.
All this features are working right now and we hope to make a beta release as soon as possible so that translators can check them.
Besides we are preparing a new web page with all the information about the new features, a roadmap for the future and information about how to use the program and how to collaborate with its development.

We are thinking also in changing the name for the project. So far we had created a section into gtranslator's wiki where people can write its suggestions for the new name but this decision it's not definitive because change the name for a project it is a decision more complicate than it seems to be. In fact this is worth analyzing in another post.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Master on Free Software students talking about quality and Libre Software

As activity for one of the subjects in the Master on Free Software we made a paper entitled Quality and Libre Software: a theoretical and practical approach.

In that paper we tried to test the OpenBRR model. This is an attempt to meassure how much suitable a free software project is when we have a group of requirements. We chose as example in order to test the model in a real case which would be the most appropiate GNU/Linux distribution to an average user.

By means this example we could study the model and discover its strenghs and weakness. In the paper we suggest also some ideas in order to improve it.

Besides, thanks to Caixanova we could travel to Brussels in order to attend to Fosdem and present the paper into the Research Room.

Very special thanks also to people from Libresoft and Igalia for their support and to my classmates for trusting on me as speaker. (You didn't know what were doing)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Encoding video for the NDS

I have had a nds since a couple of months. Of course its best quality is the gaming but it has more possibilities. There are many homebrew or applications that you can download from internet and they let you do many things like surf the web, check your email, you can use it like video and music player even install GNU/Linux.

The video player is a great feature, for example I use a video and music player for my nds called moonshell. The problem is that application uses a specific video format (dpg) so it is necessary to encode the videos before.
Recently I found this script in python, licensed under GPL2, that let you do it easily. You need also mpeg_stat, that analyze the streaming of a mpeg file. The use is as follow:

First you need to copy mpeg_stat to your /bin directory. Then you should copy the script to the same directory where you have the video/s to encode and then you can execute doing:

$ python file_name.extension

It works perfectly with avi and mpeg videos, once it has done you can copy the video in your nds and to enjoy.

The moral of the post is: Is there anything that it cannot be made with python?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Many reasons to use Libre Software

These last days I had the opportunity to attend to many talks about Libre Software.

Last week, in the Master of Free Software, we had two exceptional guests: Alberto Abella and Marcelo Branco, you can see a summarize of their talks here.
Besides, these days gpul is organizing its VIII Xornadas Software Libre and yesterday I attended to one talk that my classmate Pedro did about the process of making free gisEIEL, a proyect between Deputación da Coruña and University of Coruña.

These three talks have in common one idea: the advantage of using Libre Software, but from different points of view.

In the first one, Alberto Abella tell us with statics and data how Libre Software is better than Privative.

In the second one, Marcelo Branco tell us about his experience in Libre Software and public administrations. Marcelo is pure passion talking about Libre Software but his arguments are true. Countries should not use Privative Software in their public administrations because on the one hand, they are putting economics resources out of the country and they cannot be sure about the integraty of the public data because they cannot really what the privative software do without seeing the source code.

Finally, in the gisEIEL talk, the reasons are technical. They started the project using Privative Software but they realize that was depending on the one company exclusively. They could not make their own applications to access to the database. The data was storing in binary way so they could not get them without using the privative applications... so they make up their minds to migrate the project to Libre Software because it was better from technical point of view.

Therefore we can deduce that Libre Software is not only for 'frikis'. It is a real inovation in the computer world. The world is changing. Do not stay in the dark!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Libre Software in Galicia

This week has just published the new number of Codigocero, a very important galician magazine about technology. This number is special for me because there is an interview to Roberto Vieito, one of my classmates in the Master of Free Software. Roberto made a study about the situation of the Libre Software in Galicia which you can see here (in English).
You can also read the interview here (in Galician).

Well done Roberto!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gtranslator in Wikipedia

I have just added a new article for gtranslator in the Wikipedia.
Just a description for now but I'll try to do a complete article.
You can edit it and to contribute, of course ;-)

Be the wikipedia my friend!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Testing Ubuntu 8.04

Yesterday I decided to upgrade my ubuntu to the new version 8.04. According to the release schedule this is the Alpha5 so all new features are included. Despite being a alpha version I didn't have any problem during the upgrade process and everything seems to work fine. Now it is time to test it.
In order to do this, a new feature seems to be very useful, the automatic bugs report. As in Gnome, now when you get a crash in an application you can send a bug report in automatic way to ubuntu.

Another interesting feature is PolicyKit. Now you can run administrative applications as normal user and click in unlock button if you need to do an action that require root privileges.

Besides, Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 5 include a beta of the new Gnome 2.22 and a beta of Firefox 3.0 as default browser.
You can also install Firefox 2 from Add/Remove programs and to have both versions installed. This is very useful because for example, the Add-ons that I use normally don't work in Firefox 3.0 yet.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Last weekend I attended to my first FOSDEM. It was a really good experience. Lots of people, lots of talks, lots of new ideas... in short time.

My classmates of the Master on Free Software and me presented a paper about Quality and Libre Software. As first experience I think was great. People showed enough interested on it.

I attended to many talks about different projects (Mozilla, Gnome, OpenOffice, Embedded devices, Freedesktop...) all of them were very interesting.

I found specially interesting a talk about integrating the Web into GTK+ applications with WebKit. I didn't anything about this and really fascinated me. I'll try to learn more about WebKit and who knows, maybe it could be used in gtranslator someday.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My First Post

Hello World! Here I am

This is my first blog and of course my first post.

I am a newbie in the free software world. I collaborate with Gnome project, most specifically in gtranslator.

Now, after the insistence of my friend Andrés, I think it is time to share my experiences.

Stay tuned!