Ubuntu Trusty translations are now open

We are pleased to announce that Trusty is now open for translation:


* Translation caveats. Remember that according to the release schedule [1] translatable messages might be subject to change until the User Interface Freeze [2].
* Language packs. During the Trusty development cycle, language packs containing translations will be released twice per week [3] except for the freeze periods. This will allow users and translators to quickly see and test the results of translations.
* Test and report bugs. If you notice any issues (e.g. untranslated strings or applications), do check with the translation team [4] for your language first. If you think it is a genuine bug, please report it [5].

Happy translating! :-)

[1] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/TrustyTahr/ReleaseSchedule
[2] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UserInterfaceFreeze
[3] https://dev.launchpad.net/Translations/LanguagePackSchedule
[4] https://translations.launchpad.net/+groups/ubuntu-translators
[5] https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-translations/+filebug

Announcing China national-wide Ubuntu 11.04 release parties

After six month’s development, a brand new release of Ubuntu has arrived – Natty Narwhal. We are having more and more people interested in our community happily, thus I am now announcing 18 release parities in 17 cities in China, which will have approximately 2000 participates. It will be a wonderful chance for people to share knowledge and joys, and generally enjoy the time getting together to celebrate a new release of the most widely used FLOSS distribution in China.

Here is the list cities and hosts (sort by alphabet order):
City / Host
Beijing / Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Dalian / Dalian Maritime University
Deqing / Deqing High School
Guangzhou / Sun Yat-Sen University
Hangzhou / Alibaba, Inc.
Ji’nan / Shandong Polytechnic University
Jinzhou / Liaoning Railway Vocational College of Technology
Nanjing / Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Nanjing / Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Shanghai / Shanghai University
Shenzhen / Unconfirmed (*)
Tianjin / Tianjin Normal University
Wenzhou / Wenzhou Vocational College of Science and Technology
Wuhan / Wuhan Railway Vocational College of Technology
Xiangtan / Hunan University of Science & Technology
Yantai / Graduate School of China Agricultural University
Zhengzhou / Henan Experimental High School
Zhongshan / Zhongshan Institute of University of Electronic Science and Technology

* I haven’t confirmed where will host the release party in Shenzhen, however it has been handled by Shenzhen LUG already.

Things to do before becoming a Debian Maintainer

Today I received a mail asking me to give him some advice on how to become a Debian Maintainer and Debian Developer, I am glad to hear more people getting interested on joining Debian, :-)

The 1st thing to keep in mind is that, involving Debian’s development is easy, but becoming something _official_ requires a lot of time and efforts, so just be patient, :)

Here are my advices:

  • 1. Become a regular user of Debian (use it to do your everyday work as much as possible, in other word you have to be a user before you are a developer).
  • 2. Learn to make Debian package by reading Debian New Maintainer’s Guide[1]. This step gives you some basic ideas and methods on how to package software for Debian, but it’s still a bit far from making your package fits the Debian standards. You can find an existing package to work on it independently and then compare your work with the official one so you can find if there is any thing you still don’t know yet. Please don’t make very complex package here because it may just cost you many time on figuring out problems. It’ll be good if you ask some skilled people to give their opinions on your work (and in fact you can ask at any time before, during and after the process).
  • 3. Find a software that you are interested in packaging it, and make sure you have enough knowledge/time to make and maintain it in the foreseeable future, if you can’t do either of the two you should find another one to work on. Then, package it and check for any problems you can find, never try to hide problems when you are stucked, what you need to is do is just asking others for advice and mentoring, :)
  • 4. When you believe your package is made to the best condition that you can do, find an official Debian Developer to check your package and to see whether it’s ready to become part of Debian release (he’s called a _sponsor_).

    If there is one would like to help, he would do a throughout check on your package and find problems (and land mines) as much as he can. He might reject your package and ask you for improvements, then don’t be shy and just do what he has advised (DDs always think it is a good time to train new maintainers) and send your result back. Finally he is satisfied and uploads you package to Debian archive.

    Try to get your first package uploaded as soon as possible if you’d like to achieve your aim at becoming DM/DD.

    You’ll have to read Debian Policy Manual[2] if you haven’t read it yet, and you may need to read it for several times while you are making your package. If you have enough time, it’ll be better if you read Debian Developers Reference[3] as well.

  • 5. It does not mean you can be a DM as your first (or even more) package being uploaded. Your sponsor must be convinced that you have the ability to manage upcoming updates and bug reports for some specific package and then he would be happy to advocate you. This could usually be achieved by several good uploads (means he is satisfied with your work and nothing is required to be changed) and some bug management (optional). You can talk to your sponsor about advocating you to be a DM when you see fit.
  • 6. It’s a requirement that your GPG key is signed by at least one Debian Developer and your key must be 2048R or stronger. If you don’t have, try to get one while you are processing the previous steps. Key signing does not need any skill-based judgment and you only need to find and meet some Debian Developers so they can check your identity.
  • So you are a DM after some time of hard work, then you could plan on becoming a DD now. Being a DD is much more complex than becoming a DM, since you’ll have many privileges and people have to make sure you have the ability to use it correctly. You’ll need to read through all Debian documents and read/ask again about the details then.


    Ubuntu 里的 ibus-pinyin

    前面写的《Ubuntu 中文拼音输入法小结》中说 ibus-pinyin 是 Python 写的,存在一些谬误。ibus-pinyin 已经用 C++ 重写,并且做了很多改进。

    可能有些用 Ubuntu 的朋友要问为什么现在还会有那些崩溃的现象,其实这是发行版的问题,迟迟没有能将新版推送到用户手中。

    感谢 Shawn P Huang,Shellexy 和 BYBird 的提醒,博客上的那篇文章也做了更新。

    Linux input method framework brief summary

    I am trying to keep this article concise for you to make you have an outline of current condition of Linux (and maybe other platforms like BSDs) input methods. It’s coverage is mostly CJK languages, but I think other languages that use input method would be sure to find there examples in this article. We will start with the most popular ones, and there will be some hints about other ones at last.

    Before we start our tour, there are two concepts to know, input method framework and input method engine:

  • An input method framework is designed to serve as a daemon and handle user input events, output the result to target applications or layers.
  • An input method engine is a program to analyze inputed characters and calculate a list of probably results, then send the results to their hosted input method framework to complete the reaction with users and applications.
  • 1. SCIM (Smart Common Input Method)

    Most Linux input method users may have the experience of using SCIM, which is created by Chinese developer Su Zhe for promoting his Intelligent Pinyin input method and providing a better input method framework.

    Some friends of mine are still keep using SCIM even though it is not being maintained, nor SKIM, its sister project on KDE. SCIM was the default choice of distros for years. People developed lots of input method engines for it, for example scim-pinyin, which has been mentioned above as Intelligent Pinyin input method. Users may be also familiar with scim-python, scim-xingma-*, scim-googlepinyin and the still-maintained scim-sunpinyin.

    On a distro maker’s point of view, the glorious age of SCIM has just finished.

    2. IBus (Intelligent Input Bus)

    IBus is the de facto standard of input method framework on nowadays Linux distros, whose author is a Chinese developer, Huang Peng, who has been mentioned as the author of scim-python and scim-xingma-*. IBus is aiming at a “next generation input framework” comparing to SCIM. I think this goal has been achieved – new comers may only know IBus from the very beginning of his adventure on Linux.

    IBus is written in C++, and is designed to be highly modularized: core input bus, gtk/qt interfaces, python binding, table engine, table modules and other input method engines. It uses Gtk immodule, thus is the best choice for GTK+ applications. What’s more, Flash Player support Gtk immodule only and IBus has no problem to work with it. The author of IBus is really helpful with other input engine developers, so there are many input method engines available on IBus framework.

    But IBus has obvious limitations from its design:

  • Firstly, it uses Gtk immodule only, which benefit GTK+ platform applications, but do poorly with QT.
  • Secondly, it depends on gconf, which is unacceptable for some users and distro makers (most of them are anti-gnome holic).
  • Thirdly, the most used input engine, ibus-pinyin is written in Python that caused serious performance limitation. And this engine has had some severe bugs like memory leak and dead loop (100%). Even though the condition is largely improved, users are still complaining about them.
  • Fourthly, the alternative Pinyin engine ibus-sunpinyin is not well maintained, and really lacks of testing. There are some obvious bug leaving their without people interested to fix.
  • Note: ibus-pinyin has been rewritten in mainly C++ with many improvements, and such changes will land on major in very near future (maybe some of them have already published it, I didn’t do a detailed research here).

    3. Fcitx (Free Chinese Input Toy for X)

    Fcitx is an old and new input method. It bears at the same time as SCIM, and now gets a new life with the brand new 4.x series. As name suggests, it is first designed to be a Chinese specific input method by Yuking. During 3.x series, the aim of being a feature rich Chinese input method gave it quite a few of fans, but also kept it from being a default choice of major distros. Fcitx uses XIM, which works well for most platforms (like GTK+ and QT), but has some small problems.

    However, starting from 4.x series, Fcitx has been given a new goal with a new maintainer – a college student at Peking University, Weng Xuetian. Now he has published 4.0.1, the second version of 4.x series, with features like customizable skins, tables which has been wanted for a long time. It has been heavily modularized: all tables are separated, developer-friendly input method engine interface, graphic user configuration tool. Also, 4.x series does not use GBK encoded Chinese configuration files anymore, and UTF-8 encoded English configuration files are used. I would like to highlight its perfect user experience of fcitx-sunpinyin, it is worthwhile for every Pinyin users to give a try.

    There are still issues on its way of (probably) being the default of distros:

  • Though the author has promised Gtk immodule support in 4.1.0 release, the feature is still not available now.
  • The internal Pinyin input method is old, and still not being separate out from the framework core because of too close integration before. The work will be done in 4.1.0 as well.
  • Fcitx is still lacking of people who are interested in developing input method engines, even if the interface is more friendly to developers. There is an example, fcitx-sunpinyin (written in C++) has only ~300 lines to make everything work perfectly with libsunpinyin.
  • Properly speaking, Fcitx is still not a input method framework because of the reasons listed above, but it will be, also as said above.

    Above are the most famous input methods, here is a list of other things in Linux input methods with short descriptions.

    1. ucimf (Unicode Console Input Method Framework)

    ucimf is an input method framework for Linux unicode framebuffer console, which is mainly with fbterm and jfberm. It is developed by Chinese developer, Mat. He maintains a series of input method engines ported from BSD licensed Mac OSX input method OpenVanilla.

    There are other solutions under framebuffer console, for example ibus-fbterm (development has stopped), but I still recommend to use ucimf because it full featured and well maintained.

    2. SunPinyin

    One thing to clarify, Sunpinyin isn’t a frame work, but it is important so I would like to mention it here. We have mentioned scim-sunpinyin, ibus-sunpinyin and the recommended fcitx-sunpinyin. In fact there is also a standalone xsunpinyin alive. SunPinyin is a statistical language model based Chinese input method, which was firstly developed by Sun Beijing Globalization team, and opened source to community with Opensolaris project, with LGPLv2 and CDDL dual-licenses.

    SunPinyin would be heavily used from now on, it is the best Pinyin engine on Linux and some other platforms.

    3. SCIM2
    SCIM2 was trying to be a next generation SCIM, but abandoned because of the emerging star during that period – IBus.

    4. ImBus

    ImBus is created by the author of SCIM, and he would like to make it a general input method framework including all known best techniques with minimal dependencies. But the project halted with the same reason like SCIM2, no code in its svn repository.

    5. Fitx (Fun Input Toy for Linux)

    Fitx was a flash in the pan on Linux, the project stopped soon after its emerging. Fitx is a ported version of FIT input method on Mac OSX, but implemented using SCIM framework.

    6. gcin
    gcin is a input method developed by traditional Chinese community, targeted to traditional Chinese users.

    7. uim

    uim is a input method framework made by Japanese developers. It is a little different because uim isn’t an input method server (XIM is a server), it’s just a library. Because the designer believe many people don’t need a full featured platform but only something enough to work.

    For information about input method types, there is a good website: http://seba.studentenweb.org/thesis/im.php

    2011-01-15 21:30
    Thanks to Zhengpeng Hou, I’ve added some description about uim, and a notice about whether fcitx should be considered as a framework now.
    2011-01-28 00:15
    Thanks to Shawn P Huang, ibus-pinyin has been rewritten in mainly C++ with many improvements.

    VM disk performance on btrfs partition

    Recently I read Alexandre Rosenfeld’s blog post about low performance of btrfs while placing VM’s disk on it, so I had a try and got almost the same result.

    I tried to have someone look into the problem, and now get the answer, quoting Bastian Blank :

    This is a result of the filesystem design, no bug. For decent performance don’t use O_SYNC on files. For qemu use cache=writeback in the disk definition.

    Speakers presentations of Bejing Ubuntu 10.10 Release Party

    Here are speakers presentations we’ve used on 16th Oct, 2010’s Beijing Ubuntu 10.10 Release Party, and licensed under CC by-nc-sa 3.0.

    1. Live USB introduce – 白清杰 [linuxbqj AT gmail DOT com] (Chinese)

    2. You in Community – Aron Xu [happyaron AT ubuntu DOT com] (English)

    3. How Applications Speak Fluently – Eleanor Chen [chenyueg AT ubuntu DOT com] (English)

    Announcing Beijing Ubuntu 10.10 Release Party

    Update: I’ve updated more details about the party.

    Hello everybody,

    We are happy to announce that we’ll hold Beijing Ubuntu 10.10 Release Party on 16th Oct, 2010.

    Time: 2010-10-16 14:00-17:50
    Location: Building 3, BUAA, No. 37 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, P.R.China (Google Maps)

    14:00-15:00 Presentations
    14:00-14:20 Qingjie Bai (From Kanas FOSS Store) Howto: LiveUSB Making and Usage
    14:20-14:40 Aron Xu (Ubuntu Simplified Chinese Translation Team Leader, Ubuntu Member, Organizer): You in Community – The Foss Essentials
    14:40-15:00 Eleanor Chen (Ubuntu China LoCo Contact, Ubuntu Member, Organizer): How
    Applications Speak Fluently – Introduction to FOSS I18n and L10N

    15:00-17:50 Installfest and discussions (so take your laptop with you!)

    There is no need for registration or invitation, feel free to join us and have fun!

    Work around of file name problem while unzip handling CJK encodings

    Unzip 5.x has an option -O to specific the encoding of file names in an ZIP archive, but when 6.0 is arriving with unicode support, that option disappeared as well. CJK users need special cares on support and conversion of obsolete encoding while they are switching to utf-8.

    Here is my workaround about this problem, install p7zip and convmv packages on your system first, then:
    $ env LC_ALL=C 7z x file.zip
    $ convmv -f gbk -t utf8 --notest *

    File names extracted by unzip are not able to be converted to correct one whatever you do with it, but what is done by 7z can be converted by convmv.

    Moving more on, we can automate this action to a script:
    #! /bin/sh
    LANG=C /usr/bin/7z x -y "$1" | sed -n 's/^Extracting //p' | sed '1!G;h;$!d' | xargs convmv -f gbk -t utf8 --notest >/dev/null 2>/dev/null

    Save it us unzip.sh, then try:
    $ sh unzip.sh file.zip
    This will act as what unzip does, but with additional care about converting file name encoding from gbk to utf-8. Moreover, convmv can detect whether your file name is already utf-8 encoded and will skip it.

    If your file names are encoded other encoding, please replace “gbk” with the appropriate name.

    This work by Aron Xu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.