Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for English

Hackweek and Symbian support in Gammu

Last year I did not have much time to spend on non work related projects in Hackweek, because we took the opportunity and replaced some internal systems, when people were not using them. It will be different this year and I've decided to spend some time on Gammu.

The plan is to implement support for Symbian phones. It is one of frequently requested features and thanks to Series60-remote I can as well see way how to implement it. Current plan is to add support for their applet, with possible extending it in future and adding some features which it lacks.

You can comment this feature in openFATE or Gammu bug tracker.

PS: Introduction video can be found on blip.tv.

Going to FOSDEM 2011

It looks like I will make it again to visit FOSDEM this year. This time it won't be meeting of whole phpMyAdmin team, but just few members but I hope to meet other people in person as well.

If you have something you would like to discuss with me in person there, it's best time to let me know so that we can schedule it.

I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

PS: It looks like it might be good timing for Debian release party as well :-).

Gammu documentation

I've made cleanup in Gammu documentation and the only place where to look for it is now The Gammu Manual. Reason for this is simple - single documentation format allows easy cross-referencing and is easier to maintain than mixed sources we used to have before. Thanks to using Sphinx it is possible to generate various outputs, you can see the HTML version on the website, you can download PDF variants and the same source is being used for generating man pages.

PS: You can find more details on generating other formats in the documentation.

Useful parameters for Lintian

Every time I review some package for sponsoring, I usually end up suggesting to fix some of more picky things which lintian finds. It looks like everybody is using default set of checks and does not look at others. Indeed the defaults tell about things which are really errors or need override, but --pedantic and --display-info show also useful hints. However you need to take them more as a suggestions than as a errors.

What I usually find interesting is --pedantic, because it tells about several things, which might be good idea to have in your package. Missing Homepage in debian/control is one of them and I believe this should exist for every package which has a homepage.

The --display-info (or just -I) is also useful, for example it does spell checking of texts in binaries and man pages. Registration into doc-base is also useful integration into the system and you should definitely do it if the package provides documentation in HTML.

To run these checks every time, you can create alias in your ~/.bashrc:

alias lintian='lintian -I --pedantic'

Photo of a week 2

The second week is ending and it's time to publish another photo for project 52.

Again one picture from Prague (though the lightboards say welcome to Brno), this time taken in night:

Nuselský most

How good is phpMyAdmin translation to your language?

phpMyAdmin 3.4 is about to be released in something like two months (we want next beta to ship with brand new theme) and there is still plenty of translations to do.

You still have lot of time to translate, but there is also lot of work to do. And I'm pretty sure there are some Slovak, German or Italian speaking readers of this blog. So what are you waiting for? :-)

GPL violation - what next?

After previous series of posts about Gammu usage in proprietary software, finding culprit and getting the sources I got number of questions and suggestions. So what are the suggestions?

Lesson I've learned is that even though the website seems to be dead, the project itself does not have to be. This is what I thought about http://gpl-violations.org/ and I was proven wrong and these guys are now looking at my case.

Another option is Software Freedom Law Center - http://www.softwarefreedom.org/. I've contacted them from the very beginning (about year ago) and got some useful hints, though now my contact seems to be gone (or simply too busy).

FSF also provides information how to proceed in case of license violation.

Maybe these hints will be also useful for somebody else and I hope they will help me as well.

GPL violation - Getting the sources

Having found Gammu usage in proprietary software and finding somebody who is actually having the source code, the only remaining (and the hardest) step was to make them publish it.

I started with explaining what actually GPL means, giving them links to useful documentation what they should do, but I'm probably not good enough in explaining the things.

All I was given is source of some parts of Gammu code they have used (it is available in our git repository since then). Any attempts on explaining them that they should publish full source code of the thing to comply with GPL have simply failed.

The problem with the sources they have given is that it is hardly to reuse in Gammu - it is hard to find on which version they based and more importantly, it really does not include much code which would be useful in Gammu these days.

Photo of a week 1

I just got inspired by David Watson and will try the same challenge. I find it interesting to take and publish one photo every week, but I'm not really sure if I will last.

First week photo is from Sun Eclipse few days ago, though it is not much visible :-).

Sun Eclipse at Vyšehrad

phpMyAdmin theme contest

If you like phpMyAdmin and have web design skills, this is a chance for you. The question for new default theme has been opened for a while and in last weeks we've finally decided to rather make open contest than to stick with choosing from existing themes.

All you need to do is to submit theme (compatible with phpMyAdmin 3.4) till 13th February 2011. You can find more details on our wiki.