29 April 2013

On winning the internets

The easiest way to win the internets is to post some cute picture with kittens, but I have no recent pictures with kittens. Then what's the next best thing? Pictures with puppies, but I don't have those either. Then the next best thing? Pictures with babies! But... wait! I have one of those:


26 April 2013


With some fanfare (including a personalized logo), yesterday was the launch of YouTube in Romania. Beside some irrelevant content contracts nobody cares about, I am not sure of the purpose of such launch, I am publishing content on YouTube for over 6 years, but just out of curiosity I tried loading the .ro website this morning to be grated with this:

youtube .ro

note: this is running an up to date Fedora 18 with an up to date Firefox 20. Fun stuff.

24 April 2013

Installing stuff

Is heartwarming to see people writing Free software and is understandable newbie developers will create less than perfect applications, still there are some apps which should never be written, and in this category I include the "scripts" supposed to install and do "everything" on your distro, from installing Flash and codecs to... $DEITY knows what.

The other day on g+ I had an exchange with the author of such an app, PostInstallerF, who got mad and labeled me a troll when I told him his creation is bad on usability, does not help newbies learn, bad for security and overall not useful.

It is true I judged the app only from screenshots, this is why I took the time to install and look in-depth at it now, here are my points:

First, I don't think is a wise idea to give your root password to apps installed from random sources (even if here the source is sf.net and the source is available), the target for this app are newbies, they should learn you give your root password only to apps from a verified repo. And rood password is not needed here, Fedora has PolKit.


Moving to the main app window, the usability disaster start to show its head, I don't know where to start: double click, why, it's the desktop? computer shutdown from inside an app? a help button don't giving any help but opening the sf.net project page? a Gnome Shell Extensions item when I don't have any Gnome Shell installed? Still. I will do it trough, option by option.


"Configure/Tuning" is a mix of system settings and installing things (desktops and drivers). I don't understand why installing desktops is a "configure" item instead of an "install" item. And some of the things there, I have them installed already. What happens if I "install" something already installed?


Honestly, I don't dare to try the options in the Gnome Shell Extensions section, I fear it will install Gnome Shell as a dependency. But the app should have figured is not installed and hide this item.


The "Install" section is another strange mix of installable apps, some from the base repo, some from Rpmfusion, some from fedorapeople experimental repos, some from 3-rd party repos, some Free software, some not. There are some unchecked apps which I already have installed (I tried to "install" Inkscape, it told me it did it, but I already had it) - if an app is installed, I expect to see it checked. Beside that, it probably gives pride to the developer to boast "over 100 programs and modifications", but when many of those (Firefox, OpenJDK, GIMP, Hugin, Converseen, Pencil, Glabels, to list only some from my screenshot) are available in the base repo and installable with the available package manager GUI, the effort is futile. Really, if you have to write such a tool, focus on what's hard to install and keep the noise away.


Still, I have not touched the main usability issue: for a new user, a list of 100 items, title and one line generic description, is not going to be useful. The apps are not discoverable, newbies need categories, keywords, long descriptions, search, maybe screenshots.

PS: also, don't call it "everything you need", maybe "my favorite list of apps".

23 April 2013

Petals wallpapers

On this front the autumn and winter were not very productive so it's been a while since I prepared photo desktop wallpapers, but today I stumbled over some images that may work this way. They are about spring and greens, so they may look best on a desktop/distro with a green flavor, but that's the beauty of freedom, they can be used anywhere.

petals wallpaper
petals wallpaper

10 April 2013


10-14 April, meaning right now, in Madrid is taking place the Libre Graphics Meeting conference, is the biggest event getting together developers working on and designers using Free and Open Source graphic tools. Is a very good conference with program packed with presentations, workshops and various meetings, making this community feel like a big family.

Unfortunately this year a conjuncture of various live evens keeps me away from the conference and friends there, but I hope to meet them again at the next edition taking place in Europe (it will be a while until then). Have the best of fun and some fruitful time!