Monthly Archives: June 2007

Avahi – discovering services a network offers

Avahi - LemurAvahi is a protocol implementation that is using the Zeroconf protocol specification to discover services available (and advertised) on the network. Avahi really does simplifying the configuration and use of certain services that are supporting it.

The number of application integrating support for Avahi is everyday growing and you can even interoperate with client of other protocol implementation like Bonjour from Apple.

Of course, Avahi is integrated with Ubuntu and it is pretty easy to activate it.

In the Gnome main menu “System” -> “Administration”, there is an item called “Services”. Simply launch it and scroll down the list of services until you find Multicast DNS service discovery (avahi-daemon). Select it and close the application.

Application like Rhythmbox, Gaim/Pidgin, etc. will now be able to use this service. You can for example share your music on the local network. So, your siblings can access your music library and listen to it too. I will write a short article on it soon.

On some of my Ubuntu systems, I had to tweak a system file before it was working. Continue reading if you are in this case.

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What about a Pretty Pidgin on your Feisty Fawn?

Pidgin 2.0 logoRecently, I have been configuring Avahi on my laptop and desktop computers and I wanted to evaluate its possibilities. The first obvious choice was using Rhythmbox to share music within the two computers. But that was too easy, basically once Avahi was configured, I had nothing else to do, it just worked…

Thus, I wanted another challenge and I was remembering that Gaim (now Pidgin) should support the Bonjour protocol. Bonjour is an implementation of Zeroconf made by Apple and release as open source. Avahi is another implementation of Zeroconf and is readily installed on Ubuntu by default, though not activated. However, the installed Gaim on Ubuntu 7.04 cannot create a Bonjour account. That was just the excuse I needed to take some times getting Pidgin and installing it.

The installation will describes how to install Pidgin with support for Bonjour and Avahi on Ubuntu 7.04, and I will try to keep it the easiest possible. However, you will have to use the command line. No worries, though, as I will try to make it easy! :-) A second little chapter will explain how to activate Avahi. This guide has been validated on both the 32bit and 64bit versions of Ubuntu.

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Re: The Indulgences of Open Source

In reply from The Indulgences of Open Source (by Jonathan Cogley).

Jonathan, the author of the above linked post, is talking about free software projects and their relation with the understanding of “customers“. To illustrate his writing, he provides two examples of free projects: DokuWiki and AWStats.

Before I go in deeper analysis, let’s talk semantic. I am not an English native speaker, but I figure that English might be close enough to French so I do not make a misunderstanding. A customer is the person that buys or receives a product, it might not be the “end-user”, the one who is actually using the product. Knowing the philosophy behind free software, I also feel uneasy to call an end-user a customer when they go and download the project. Free software give the end-user the same rights and freedom as the producer, he can therefore be an actor and/or contributor of the project. Something not possible in the traditional producer and customer view.

Products and customers are bound to the commercial world, whilst projects and users belong to the free world.

Now, Let’s analyse Jonathan’s train of thought on each subject separately.

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A typical day – Une journée type

If you want to know what is a typical work days for a hobbyist software developer, there is a nice comic strip about a Cartoonist’s day (French only). Simply replace cartoonist by developer ;-)

Envie de connaître la vie d’un développeur de logiciel amateur ? Boulet nous a concocté une planche de BD sur une journée type d’un dessinateur. Il faut avouer que la ressemblance avec celle d’un développeur est frappante.

Alpha, beta, gamma – or why Safari 3 should be Alpha

As you know Safari 3 is now beta and available for both Mac OS and Windows platform. However, it seems that Apple underestimated the development state of the Windows version. Developing software is like respecting the alphabet order, no letter (or phase) should be skipped. Apple should have thought twice about that before releasing there public beta of Safari 3 for Windows. It is hardly beta software.

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Safari 3, beta is available for Mac OS and Windows

Compass - Safari logoApple has announced the main features that will be shipped with Leopard, the next generation Mac OS. Together, they unveiled the next release of Safari. Safari 3 will be available on Mac OS and on Windows (XP and Vista only as it seems). A public beta is available for download on Apple web site.

If you want to learn more about Safari, click on read more.

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Le Nouveau Littré 2007 aussi pour Linux (French)

As this is a French related software (a dictionary of French words), it will only interest people with a good level of speech in French. Therefore, this article will be one of the few written in French.

Si j’ai toujours mon Petit Larousse de 1988 en format papier, j’ai parfois besoin d’avoir accès à un dictionnaire directement depuis mon ordinateur, ne serait-ce que lors de déplacement. Depuis maintenant deux ans, j’achète le Nouveau Littré électronique. Le Littré est un célèbre dictionnaire de la langue française qui fut écrit à l’origine par Émile Littré. Les dictionnaires plus populaires, que sont le Larousse et le Robert, ont suivi la voie ouverte par le Littré.

La bonne nouvelle pour nous amis libristes (mot inconnu du Littré au passage ;-) ) est la déclinaison multi-plateforme du Littré électronique. L’édition 2007, comme la précédente, est disponible sur les plateformes Windows, Mac OS X et celle de notre cher pingouin Linux.

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