Category Archives: Free software applications

Happy 10th b-day bug #98160

Happy 10th birthday Mozilla bug #98160, I hope you won’t make it to your 11th, but who knows…I hope the same for your “younger” brothers bug #166240 which is only 9 years old. Many thanks for all the people who tried to help RTL users switch their textarea directionality and alignment easier.

Another bug in the “it sometime sucks to be an RTL user” department is bug #119857, soon to be age 10. I’m lucky to have BiDi Mail UI as a good workaround, otherwise I couldn’t read emails in Hebrew with the proper alignment/directionality.

In another department, I must say I love daylight saving time, as I have more hours of sun, but this comes on the expense of my schedule as due to bug #504299 all my events aren’t on the right local time, but an hour earlier.

Although the post is written cynically, I would like to call the Mozilla community to help with fixing these issues. I also want to thank the people who are already helping with these issues or helped in the past.

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Filed under Free software applications, i18n & l10n, Mozilla

Talk proposal accepted to LibreOffice Conference 2011

A month ago I sent a talk proposal for the LibreOffice conference regarding “RTL issues in LibreOffice”. Today I got the response:

Thank you for your paper submission to the LibreOffice Conference.
We are happy to inform you that your proposal has been accepted.

Cool  – but now the hard part begins with preparing the talk itself… and making sure people who are used to left to right languages would also understand and take something productive out of it.

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Filed under Free software applications, LibreOffice

FireGPG

FireGPG is an extension that provides GPG encryption and decryption options for Firefox. It was discontinued a year ago, and didn’t support Firefox 4.0 due to changes it introduced.

I was happy to see that the source is still available ,and also maintained enough to have a easy option to build the extension manually. For Firefox 5.0 just download the code and use the build.sh script to build an xpi file, then install it as usual. The Firefox 5.0 support got version number 0.8.5. I’m thinking about repackaging it to Debian, as it was removed from Debian testing/unstable (version 0.8 is available for squeeze).

Thanks bit for the maintenance work and Aaron C. de Bruyn for making sure the single repository holds these changes.

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Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Free software applications, Mozilla

Someone wants to port kkbswitch to QT4 ?

As part of the KDE3/QT3 cleanup after the Squeeze release, Debian is about to remove the kkbswitch package from it’s archives (unstable, testing). I got a request to keep the package available as it solves some complicated situations when having more than two keyboard layouts. As a response to that request I’m staring to look for someone who is willing to port kkbswitch to QT4. I’d be more than happy to continue maintaining the package if such a port is done.

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Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Free software applications

A simple world without license hell

Linux Journal reports about Sun re-licensing its past contributions to the xorg project to its default license, which is very short and simple:

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a
copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”),
to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation
the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense,
and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the
Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice (including the next
paragraph) shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the
Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

I wish most projects would use familiar licenses, instead of creating the license hell which already includes GPL compatible licenses, non GPL compatible licenses, apache style licenses, BSD/MIT licenses, private licenses (each company “must” have it’s own license) and a few others as categorized at http://www.opensource.org/licenses/category . And of course – dual or triple licensing which for most people doesn’t make their life easier. See how many licenses there are to compare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_free_software_licenses

Sun’s re-licensing is a step forward for a simpler life for the xorg project. It’s usually hard enough to make sure you track all the copyright info of files in a project, and having a different license to each file just makes things harder.

This isn’t the first time Sun helps to solve a licensing issue. It began in 2005 with retiring the Sun Industry Standards Source License (SISSL) which led to remove Openoffice.org dual license. It continued (2005) to solving some license issues with Java that we couldn’t even have it in Debian’s non-free

In 2007 Sun started releasing most of java in GPL to help OpenJDK and IcedTea which now makes java available in main (lets not forget that there were a few free software projects already half way through like gcj, GNU classpath and others).

So – Thank you Sun for helping free software. I think that resolving licensing issues are very important for free software community, and for Sun itself by using free software. It’s specially important to fix such issues if and before the company changes owners.

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Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Free software applications, Free software licenses

Linux Baby Rocker

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Filed under Free software applications

A new version for InfraRecorder

InfraRecorder, a free software for burning CDs/DVDs in Windows has a new version (0.50). This version comes after a long pause in releases for almost a year.

I’ve been installing InfraRecorder on every Windows computer I can as part of trying to use free software programs even on a proprietary operation system. See my “Can everything except windows can be free software?” for more free and open source software for Windows.

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Filed under Free software applications, Proud to use free software