WiiCan: Easy Wii remote control on Linux

Félix Ontañón, a very good friend and hacker from my company, has just released a new versión of a systray application which help to configure and manage the Wii remote control on Linux. The application is called WiiCan and is hosted on Launchpad.

The project has been programed in Python and it uses D-Bus to connect with hal (by now) and bluez for tracking the available bluetooth devices and wiimote connection status.

I’ll copy here from the project’s site the features:

Discover if it’s an available bluetooth device for connect wiimote
Display a list of available keyboard-mouse-wiimote mappings
User-defined mappings creation assistant
Mappings manager:

  • New/Edit/Delete
  • Up/Down order
  • Visible/Invisible

Notify the state of wiimote usaging:

  • Bluetooth available/unavailable
  • Discovering wiimote
  • Wiimote disconnected

And here some screenshots:

WiiCan systray
Connected with a Wiimote
Connected with a Wiimote
Mapping options
Mapping options

I haven’t tryied the application because I haven’t got any wiimote, but some friends have already tested and they’ve told me that it work great, and they are very happy with the tool. So I’d like to invite you to test it and share here your experience.

And also I’d like to invite you to colaborate with the project, reporting bugs, patches and translations.

I hope you enjoy it ;-)

Is GNOME 3.0 for users or developers?

This question is walking around in my head for some time now…

I’m the first thinking that the old traditional desktop is that, old. And we need something new.

I like things I see about GNOME Shell and so on, but I’m a geek!

I mean, I do use virtual desktops or spaces, but I like to mess with my system and I always have running my Guake terminal.

I remember when Compiz came up, everyone was so excited with the things it could do. It was so cool, so fancy and that was going to be the right tool to attract normal users to our desktop, because it was a lot of better than Vista

That was cool, but I don’t really see much people using those effects nowadays… Ok, transparency and smoothness on windows stuff, is used, but no much more.

So now people who are thinking on the next release of their distros for non-very-tech-users (like Guadalinex), are a bit afraid to be forced to use a very new concept, which is cool when you are geek or somebody teach you about it.

To upgrade a few thousand of users to a very new desktop concept is a quite hard challenge… Even having a helpdesk services, online documentation and forums.

I just hope those new concepts be really easy to catch or somebody make any kind of “first use lesson” for them.

Actually, for regular end users I think I prefer something like Litl OS or Chrome OS. That is a change of concept, but into something they already know: the web. And also the mediacenter and web interfaces.

Well, it’s just a personal thought…

Anyways, we’ll see next year… I wish the best for my favourite desktop and their hackers, so let’s have a bit of faith ;-)

GNOME Hispano meeting and CISL09

I’ve been in Caceres (Extremadura) the last three days attending the “Conferencia Internacional de Software Libre” (International Free Software Conference), one of the biggest FLOSS events in Spain.

It was a very intense days and I met a lot of friends and new interesting people.

But also was held there the GNOME Hispano meeting with people like Carlos Garcia Campos (aka Kal), Álvaro del Castillo (aka acs), José Ángel Díaz, and others gnomers.

The beginning was actually quite moving for some of us, because José made a retrospective of GNOME’s history and how GNOME Hispano was born. For those who were that night, when GNOME Hispano started this made them draw a smile in their (our) faces :-)

I couldn’t attend all the sessions, because I had to attend also to the other conference, but they told me they were interesting. There was stuff like “GNOME Fails“, “Introduction to the Desktop course“, “The migration of GNOME Hispano’s services to OpenSolaris” and the other two sessions where I was: “Software development using git” and “GNOME and the distributions” (which, actually was mine :-P)

My talk was about how what developers make can be affected by changes on the distribution or by third party people who need to integrate their software with the desktop and more software. We were also talking about the very end users and how is more important to them some small and silly bugs than the next big and fancy feature.

We’ve learned from the experience of thousand of users in Extremadura (GNU/LinEx) and Andalusia (Guadalinex) that the very end users (people from little villages, childrens, old people, and so) don’t care so much about the new fancy stuff but they really do care about crash when they try to perform an email search on Evolution or some dialog is untranslated.

Some of those errors come from the distributions but others are responsibility of the upstream developers. I know it is much funnier to be working in a fancy feature or dealing with a very tricky bug, than take care of a hundred of silly bugs, but it’s probably that a lot of people won’t see the super-feature, just because one those silly bugs… I can tell you…

Anyways, the talk was interesting, the people was participating and we all learnt some lessons, I think. I’d like to write some conclusions to see what do you think as well…

I’ll probably do ;-)