Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for English

Next Gammu release

It looks like next release will have quite a lot of new features thanks to contributed patches. Probably largest improvement will be PostgreSQL support in SMSD. This was many times required feature and Gammu will now finally have it thanks to Andrea Riciputi.

Another important change is completely rewritten vCalendar RRULE parsing, which should be able to handle all standard fields. The only part which is questionable right now is how to decode YD repeating. As I read specification, I think that it should be by day of year (eg. 32 for 1st February), but from real world (and especially Siemens phones) it looks like it is used for date repeating (which means same as YM). Anyway as real difference between both is only on leap years, I will probably switch to date repeating to be compatible with Siemens.

Last small change I want to mention is CMake build support. I'm going to bring it to usable state before release, so that it can be tested in wide set of environments. Then we will see whether it is worth of changing build system.

PS: You can expect testing release this weekend.

Weather complications

For most of winter, we had troubles because there is no snow. Right now there is trouble because there is too much snow. And it is still falling. This happens just few days after Kyrill has caused quite a lot of damage, maybe the Earth wants to get rid of people who destoy its environment ;-).

In most places in Czechia 15 to 30 centimenters of new snow occured over night. Many people can not drive their car safely in these conditions and this causes lots of traffic problems. Maybe they should think before going out and use public transport instead, but it is not as comfortable as driving damn slow, because they still have summer tires…

Advertisements in phpMyAdmin demo

I probably made something not popular, but I decided to add (minimal) advertisement on all demo pages (using config.footer.inc.php). You can dislike this step, but if number of visits for demo server will grow this way, it will soon need hardware upgrade and I'm not willing to pay it from my money.

If you want me to remove ads, the only way to do it is to donate some amount which might be used for hardware upgrade. In really near future server will probably need more memory.

Petřínské terasy - nice outlook on Prague

In middle of Petřín hill, there lies small restaurant called Petřínské terasy (this website does not contain much information). You would not go there for low price, but for nice location, where you can see whole Prague centre.

You can select from variety of special meals, starting from some salads and ending with big steaks. I choose second option and I was pleased by the food. It was really good and I was not hungry after eating it :-).

This time I can not report beer quality, as I didn't drink it, but there was good selection of Czech (well Moravian) and Italian wines.

If you're looking for nice place where to go for some special occasion, or just exclusive view on Prague, this restaurant is definitely for you. Prices are not too high, but you can not expect something at this place to be cheap :-).

Gammu maintenance

As Marcin today officially moved Gammu maintenance to me, I'd like to write down some facts:

Phones support

I will improve AT and OBEX code and related Gammu parts. You can not expect much work for Nokia protocols as I have no experience with those. So if there is somebody willing to help me with this, he will be welcome.

SMSD

Almost same as for Nokia applies to SMSD. However I know this is quite important part and I will do my best to fix errors found in this code, anyway somebody willing to give this piece of code some love is velcome.

Releases

Development will go on in version control system (currently Bazaar, but it might change), there are available daily snapshots, so that you can easily test latest code. Releases will not be regullar, they will happen only if I will feel there is enough stabilised new code.

Future

I'd like to thank Marcin for all his care he devoted to Gammu and I hope I will follow in his steps. The future will show whether he will have enough time to bring Gammu+ to final state.

Most useful Firefox^WIceweasel extension

I used it already for some time, but it stopped working after upgrade to 2.0.0.1. This time I noticed how desperately I need this extension to display plain text files in browser instead of opening another applicatin just to view few lines of text. What am I talking about? Great Open in browser extension!

I thought there is no new version as update didn't find it, but I was obviously wrong, as new version exists, only automatic updater does not find it. So now I'm again happy user of it :-).

Not enough developers for free software?

I see it now on two projects on which I participate - Gammu and phpMyAdmin - they do not attract new developers and old slowly retire.

phpMyAdmin is very widely used tool and it does not help it attract developers. Only Marc is currently active developing, I sometimes commit few lines of code and I don't see much other activity. Isn't among users some skilled PHP developer who would like to improve our code? Or phpMyAdmin already reached perfect state? I don't think so.

There seems to be big barrier in those projects to attract new developers. They both lack developer documentation, what is unfortunately quite usual in free software world. But is it the real reason? It probably discourages people who look at the code and are not able to understand how it works. They could ask on mailing list and they would get some hints, but this is probably too much for somebody who wants to fix some small issue. So this is something which can be improved and might help.

I also thought that open version control system can help also a bit in this situation, but phpMyAdmin doesn't seem to profit much from this. Gammu never had it (except of my own), now when I will be creating releases, it will have it, but I doubt it will change anything.

I'm really out of ideas how to attract developers, and looks like I'm not alone, as I saw recently, KMobileTools have same issue and there are definitely more such projects…

BTW: Anybody interested in improving mentioned projects? Just contact me or any team member :-).

Gammu built using CMake

As I again came across problems with autofoo used in Gammu, I started to look for some alternative. As I heard good things about CMake, I decided to give it a try.

After few minutes I was able to build Gammu using CMake. Well it now probably fails if you don't have MySQL or Bluez installed, but it should not be hard to resolve. Also it doesn't generate config.h file right now, but that's again nothing hard.

I will probably add CMake as alternative build system (it can safely coexists with autofoo) in one of next Gammu releases as it is much easier to write and understand than autofoo madness.

Brave users can unpack gammu-cmake.tar.bz2 into Gammu sources and try it :-).

Taking over Gammu maintanance

Marcin offered me today to take over Gammu maintanance, what I gladly accepted. He will make next testing release and then I will have button for creating releases in my hands :-).

Therefore my releases will be uploaded to http://dl.cihar.com/gammu/releases and information about them will be available in simmilar form to Wammu and python-gammu in Gammu releases feed.

Wammu and phone database interaction

In development version of Wammu, I started to add some interaction with my website. For now there are only menu entries to access website and bug tracker, but there should be later integrated some access to phone database.

First part is getting feedback from user. Easiest option is to open web browser with prefilled values. This would not allow to remember state whether user actually already provided feedback, but I don't know how much I want to bother users. More complicated would be to fill in form in Wammu and submit it from python. This should not be much complicated, I'm only abit affraid of synchronisation of enum choices on both sides (eg. connection names).

The second part is integration in phone configuration, so that user can enter his phone name/vendor and will get list of reports. This is a bit harder than reporting stuff, but it is needed to give phone database more usage.

Do you have any other ideas how to integrate this functionality in Wammu? Please write me.