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Archive for June 18th, 2009

GSoC – summary of this week’s meeting

June 18th, 2009 by

The goals for the last week were to implement oauth support into osc and add something like a “ttl” so that an access token expires after some time.

In order to implement it into osc I decided to write a simple OAuthHandler class which can be added as an “opener” to urllib2. So it should be possible to add custom “openers” for other protocols (but the interface might change again).

The next action item was to add a ttl for an access token. In fact this was just a “one-liner” (apart from a small migration script). I’m really impressed how easy it was to do this with rails.

One note about the osc integration:
At the moment osc sends all required authentification stuff (e.g. oauth_token etc.) via url parameters:<key>&oauth_signature_method=HMAC-SHA1… because we cannot use POST requests. It might be “nicer” to add this kind of parameters to the http header – so our plan is to use the standard http authorization or www-authenticate headers (see also here).

Action item for the next week:

  • add support to the frontend so that it can handle oauth via the authorization header.

OpenOffice_org 3.1.1 alpha1 available for openSUSE

June 18th, 2009 by

I’m happy to announce OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 alpha1 packages for openSUSE. They are available in the Build Service OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project and include many upstream and Go-oo fixes. Please, look for more details about the openSUSE OOo build on the wiki page.

The packages are alpha versions and might include even serious bugs. Therefore they are not intended for data-critical usage. A good practice is to archive any important data before an use, …

We kindly ask any interested beta testers to try the package and report bugs.

Other information and plans:

The build for openSUSE Factory will provide also OpenOffice_org-kde4 package with an initial KDE4 integration. It is done by Roman Shtylman, an external contributor, and it is still a work in progress. I can’t build it for openSUSE-11.1 because it requires the newer Qt >= 4.5. Please be patient, Roman wants to stabilize it at first. It is a good idea because we really want to have it ready for openSUSE-11.2. Then he will look if it would be possible to port it for the older Qt and openSUSE-11.1. There are missing some useful features, so he would need to create workarounds.

Unfortunately, the packages for openSUSE Factory are still not ready in the  OpenOffice:org:UNSTABLE project because the build is blocked by rebuild of another low level packages. I have submitted the package sources also into the official openSUSE Factory. I hope that it will be available there soon.

Note that I would like to provide 3.1.1-alpha2 build within next three weeks. The final OOo-3.1.1 packages should be available at the beginning of September.

open source xml editor in sight

June 18th, 2009 by

Six years ago I was involved with an early predecessor of the openfate feature tracker. I had  extended docbook sgml with a few feature tracking tags and it rendered nicely.  We stored it in cvs and jointly hacked on the document.  It never really got off the ground though, because there was no open source xml editor for Linux beyond emacs.

xml is great:  It’s a simple, human- and machine readable serialization.  And xml sucks because of all these ankle brackets.  You need a tool to edit it.

Now yesterday I’m getting this mail:

Subject: ANN: Serna Free XML Editor Goes Open Source Soon! Help Us Build the Community!
From:  Syntext Customer Service <XXXXX@syntext.com>
To: Susanne.Oberhauser@XXXXX
Date: 2009-06-17 17:11:26

Dear Susanne Oberhauser,

We are happy to tell you that our Serna Free XML Editor is going to be open-source software soon! Serna is a powerful and easy-to-use WYSIWYG XML editor based on open standards, which works on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Sun Solaris/SPARC.

We love Serna and wish to share our passion with anyone who wants to make it better. Our mission is to make XML accessible to everyone, and we believe that open-source Serna could enable much more users and companies to adopt XML technology.

It goes on about spreading the news and supporting the transition from just cost free to open source.

I got this mail because I’ve tried Serna five years ago, on the quest for a decent  Linux xml editor.  Back then it just rendered xml to xsl-fo with xslt, and then you edit the document in that rendered view, as if it was a word document.  Serna came with docbook and a few toy examples like a simple time tracking sheet.  Meanwhile they’ve added python scripting, dita support, an “xsl bricks” library to quickly creaty your own xslt transforms for your own document schemes, and the tool gathers the data from different sources with xinclude or dita conref and stores the data back to them and on the screen you just happily edit your one single unified document view.

I just hesitated to build an infrastructure around it because it was prorietary.  I hate vendor lock-in.  And now they want to open source serna!!

If this comes true, serna rocks the boat.  It’s as simple as that.  With the python scripting Serna is more than an xml editor:  it actually is a very rich xml gui application platform, with one definition for print and editing, with wysiwyg editing in the print ‘pre’view.  I dare to anticipate this is no less than one of the coolest things that ever happened to the Linux desktop… Once Serna is open source it will be so much simpler to create xml based applications.  I guess I’m dead excited 🙂

Serna, I whish you happy trails on your open source endeavour!!