Michal Čihař - Archives

Packaging python-gammu

After Monday release of separate Gammu and python-gammu, the obvious task was to get the new package to distributions.

First I've started with Debian packages, what was quite easy as from quite complex CMake + Python package it is now purely CMake and it was mostly about removing stuff. Soon the updated Gammu package was uploaded to experimental. Once having that ready, I've also update the backports for Ubuntu and these are available in Gammu PPA. Creating new python-gammu package was a bit harder as this is the first Python 3 compatible package I've created, but it's now ready and sitting in the NEW queue.

While working on python-gammu package, I've realized that some of the data used in testsuite are missing in the tarball. While not being critical, this is definitely not nice, so I've decided to release python-gammu 2.1 today. It also includes fixes for some corner cases found by coverity.

For openSUSE the packaging was quite easy as well, stripping out unneeded parts of Gammu package went smoothly and it's now in hardware project, SR to Factory is pending. With python-gammu it turned out to be much harder as the testsuite had failed there with some strange error coming out of libdbi. After looking deeper into it, the problem is in new return type available in Git snapshot openSUSE is shipping. Fortunately producing fix was quite easy, so next Gammu upstream will handle that properly and package in hardware project is already patched. You can now use python-python-gammu from devel:languages:python and SR to Factory is pending as well.

Hacking Gammu

I've spent first day of SUSE Hackweek on Gammu. There are quite many tasks to be done and I wanted to complete at least some of them.

First I started with the website. I did not really like the old layout and aggressive colors and while touching it's code it's good idea to make the website work well in mobile devices. I've started with conversion to Bootstrap and It turned out to be quite easy task. The next step was making the pages simpler as in many places there was too much information hidden in sidebar. While doing content cleanup, I've removed some features which really don't make much sense these days (such as mirror selection). Anyway read more in the news entry on the site itself.

Second big task was to add support for Python 3 in python-gammu. It seems that world is finally slowly moving towards Python 3 and people started to request python-gammu to be available there as well. The porting itself took quite some time, but I've mostly completed it before Hackweek. Yesterday, there was just some time spent on polishing and releasing standalone python-gammu and Gammu without python bindings. Now you can build python-gammu using distutils or install it using pip install python-gammu.

GSoC 2015 applications for phpMyAdmin

As usual, I look at the application stats for phpMyAdmin just after student application period of Google Summer of Code is over.

First of all we got way more proposals than in last years, but also number of bogus proposals went up (you can see them as ignored in the chart).

Same as in past years, people leave the submission to the last moment, even though we encourage them to submit early so that they can adjust the application based on our feedback. But still we got more than half of the proposals in last three days.

Number of applications over time

Anyway we're just working on evaluation and will finalize it in upcoming days. Of course you will know the results from Google on April 27th.

PS: You can compare to our 2014, 2013 and 2012 numbers.

Porting python-gammu to Python 3

Over the time I started to get more and more requests to have python-gammu working with Python 3. Of course this request makes sense, but I somehow failed to find time for that.

Also for quite some time python-gammu has been distributed together with Gammu sources. This was another struggle to overcome when supporting Python 3 as in many cases users will want to build the module for both Python 2 and 3 (at least most distributions will want to do so) and with current CMake based build system this did not seem to be easy to achieve.

So I've decided it's time to split python module out of the library. The reasons for having that together are no longer valid (libGammu has quite stable API these days) and having standard module which can be installed by pip is a nice thing.

Once the code has been put into separate git module, I've slowly progressed on porting to Python 3. Most of the problems were on the C side of the code, where Python really does not make it easy to support both Python 2 and 3. So the code ended up with many #ifdefs, but I see no other way. While doing these changes, many points in the API were fixed to accept unicode stings in Python 2 as well.

Anyway, today we have first successful build of python-gammu working on both Python 2 and 3. I'm afraid there is still some bug leading to occasional segfaults on Travis, but not reproducible locally. But hopefully this will be fixed in upcoming weeks and we can release separate python-gammu module again.

Spring is here

Finally winter seems to be over and it's time to take out camera and make some pictures. Out of many areas where you can see spring snowflakes, we've chosen area Čtvrtě near Mcely, village which is less famous, but still very nice.

Gammu 1.35.0

Gammu 1.35.0 has been just released. This is just bugfix release to fix some major issues introduced in 1.34.0.

Full list of changes:

  • Fixed encoding of UTF-8 for higher code points.
  • Improved provided udev rules.
  • Fixed possible lock while getting network status in SMSD.
  • Various localization updates.

You can download it from http://wammu.eu/download/.

I will not make any promises for future releases (if there will be any) as the tool is not really in active development.

Weblate 2.2

Weblate 2.2 has been released today. It comes with improved search, user interface cleanup and various other fixes.

Full list of changes for 2.2:

  • Performance improvements.
  • Fulltext search on location and comments fields.
  • New SVG/javascript based activity charts.
  • Support for Django 1.8.
  • Support for deleting comments.
  • Added own SVG badge.
  • Added support for Google Analytics.
  • Improved handling of translation file names.
  • Added support for monolingual JSON translations.
  • Record component locking in a history.
  • Support for editing source (template) language for monolingual translations.
  • Added basic support for Gerrit.

You can find more information about Weblate on http://weblate.org, the code is hosted on Github. If you are curious how it looks, you can try it out on demo server. You can login there with demo account using demo password or register your own user.

Weblate is also being used https://hosted.weblate.org/ as official translating service for phpMyAdmin, Gammu, Weblate itself and other projects.

If you are free software project which would like to use Weblate, I'm happy to help you with set up or even host Weblate for you.

Further development of Weblate would not be possible without people providing donations, thanks to everybody who have helped so far!

PS: The roadmap for next release is just being prepared, you can influence this by expressing support for individual issues either by comments or by providing bounty for them.

Hosted Weblate welcomes new projects

In past days, several new free software projects have been added to Hosted Weblate. If you are interested in translating your project there, just follow instruction at our website.

The new projects include:

PS: Added later during the week:

  • Boilr, a cryptocurrency and bullion price alarms for Android
  • SwitchyOmega, a proxy manager and switcher for Chromium

Weblate UI polishing

After releasing Weblate 2.0 with Bootstrap based UI, there was still lot of things to improve. Weblate 2.1 brought more consistency in using buttons with colors and icons. Weblate 2.2 will bring some improvements in other graphics elements.

One of thing which was for quite long in our issue tracker is to provide own renderer for SVG status badge. So far Weblate has offered either PNG badge or external SVG rendered by shields.io. Relying on external service was not good in a long term and also caused requests to third party server on many pages, what could be considered bad privacy wise.

Since this week, Weblate can render SVG badge on it's own and they are also matching current style used by other services (eg. Travis CI):

Translation status

One last thing which really did not fit into new UI were activity charts. In past they were rendered as PNG on server side, but for upcoming releases we have switched to use Chartist javascript library and render them as SVG on client side. This way we can nicely style them to fit into page, they scale properly and also reduce server load. You can see them in action on Hosted Weblate server:

Weblate activity chart

No Windows builds for Gammu and Wammu

For quite some time I used to produce Windows builds for both Wammu and Gammu using cross compiling on Linux. But this has proven to produce some errors and needed my time to maintain the cross compilation environment. I've decided to stop producing Windows binaries and I don't expect to get back to that anytime soon.

This is actually no news for Wammu, where I've removed Windows builds some about two years ago as they proven to be too broken for normal usage, but for Gammu it's new as previous release had Windows builds. I've lost the cross compilation environment due to hard drive failure and restoring it is simply too much of work and still will not allow me to build complete release (I've not managed to build Python modules properly).

So if anybody is interested in Windows binaries, he needs to produce them on Windows. I can help with fixing code or existing setup scripts (they probably need adjustments as they were tweaked for cross compiling), but somebody has to setup the environment with all dependencies and test the build on Windows.