Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for English

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 :-).

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.

Don't send patches by email

I just noticed that I tend to forget about patches that I received sometimes and didn't have time to review them right as they arrived. Fortunately that person reminded itself by sending another patch, so I got back to original issue, but it's unfortunate to loose patches just because of my bad memory.

So please bug trackers, there is much higher probability that issue won't be forgotten :-).

Haštalský dědek - good meal in Prague centre

This weekend I visited restaurant Haštalský dědek. It is new restaurant (I think it has been opened last year) in centre of Prague, in small street near Old Town Square. It has modern interior where man feels good.

You can eat there traditional Czech cuisine for affordable prices. I took great gulash served in small pot with potato pancakes. Only disadvantage this food had what that it was too big when I was not much hungry :-).

Beer was for nice price (22 CZK for lager) and tasted really good (they serve Krušovice beer). They also offer some special beers, however I didn't taste them.

Generally there is nothing to rebuke. I can really recommend you this place if you're looking for good place to eat in centre of Prague.

New blog category

I decided to add new blog category and new content to this blog. I will write short reviews of pubs and restaurants I visit. Partly it is as diary for me, to remember good and bad places, but maybe somebody who is going to visit Prague (well most of reviewed ones will be from city where I live), will find here good tips where to go and which places to avoid.

Wammu/Gammu configuration in few clicks

I already announced that development version of Wammu has new configuration wizard. Now it's time to show it and maybe gain attention of somebody who would be willing to create original artwork for it (current image is taken from KMobileTools).

So first you have to select how you want to configure your phone connection:

Wizard screenshot

Searching will just find your phone (well at least it should), so it is not much interesting :-), so let's show guided configuration. As next step you select how you connect your phone. I hope every user will know how to answer this:

Wizard screenshot

Next we need to know phone type to limit number of choices to show later:

Wizard screenshot

As we're didn't know in previous step, now we have to select from all possible connection types:

Wizard screenshot

Next step (final driver selection) is quite easy in this situation as we don't have much choices:

Wizard screenshot

The only remaining step is selecting of device out of few listed (you can enter your own):

Wizard screenshot

Now wizard will verify you configuration:

Wizard screenshot

And you can name this phone configuration (phone name is filled in by default):

Wizard screenshot

So that's it! The wizard has still some minor glitches, but I hope they will be polished till release and you will enjoy it!

Commercial Wammu for Windows?

I'm really starting to consider this option. Nonody is willing to maintain Win32 build of python-gammu and it is now far behind current version, with many bugs which were already fixed in source code.

It would need quite a lot of effort from me, because I'm really not experienced with Windows (and I don't like that environment). I could setup cross compiling environment and build Windows version on Linux, but this is something what I'm a bit affraid and need some time.

So if nobody is really interested in creating python-gammu binary for Windows, I will probably do it myslef, but you can expect you will have to pay some small amount (eg. 10 €) for download.