IDC (Russia) overestimated the TCO for FOSS, published incorrect report

foss 1 Comment

IDC (well-known analytical company Рor, to be exact, its Russian division) recently published the report analyzing the TCO for different approaches to IT infrastructures for schools. Namely, they look at proprietary solution vs FOSS-based solution. Unfortunately, that report turned to some kind of scandal Рeveryone, more or less familiar with the economics of  FOSS, raised brows quite high on some figures.

Today, the major Russian Linux vendor reacted: CEO of Alt Linux, Alexey Smirnov published the open letter explaining why the report was wrong – and why it should be withdrawn. I think this is a good practice, to publish more or less official statements when someone tells lies about FOSS. We are all quite vocal at Slashdot, etc – but sometimes someone should say something loud and strong. I hope IDC has decency … at least to react somehow – if not to admit, immediately, they did rather poor job.

Keyboard indicator in Ubuntu 10.10: Disclaimer

g-s-d, gnome, libgnomekbd, ubuntu 32 Comments

TWIMC. The keyboard indicator to be shipped with Ubuntu 10.10 has little to do with the standard gnome keyboard layout indicator. Canonical moved the thing to libappindicator library which was not officially adopted by GNOME.

So, there are some important consequences:

  • If you are end-user running ubuntu 10.10 and you have complains about gnome keyboard indicator, you’re not really welcome to First, you should file your problem at Launchpad. If the Ubuntu team finds the problem down the stack, they sure will escalate it.
  • A lot of Ubuntu users (including myself) were happy to utilize non-documented but working support for flags in GNOME. In Ubuntu’s implementation that feature is not supported, AFAIK. You’re welcome to complain in Launchpad.
  • Single-click layout switching does not work any more (I was told). You’re welcome to complain in Launchpad

As a GNOME developer, I am very concerned about the fact that Ubuntu is starting to create its own version of GNOME. All distrovendors have patches, but Canonical seems to be gone a bit too far, on my taste.

As an end-user, I am quite irritated. I am thinking about switching back to Debian or Fedora (considering the fact that Ubuntu’s support for PowerPC is not great anyway).

I would appreciate if someone provides explanation on how to get original gnome keyboard indicator in Ubuntu 10.10. I did not install that version yet – but people are asking.

Kbd LEDs: now in notification area (if you need them)

g-s-d, gnome 13 Comments

The picture explains everything (in relation to this bug):

Kbd LEDs

Turned on/off using gconf entry. Open questions:

  1. Should I request stock icons (instead of png files in g-s-d) – for themability?
  2. Should the icon names be added to “well known icons list” in the notification area applet?
  3. Should the gconf entry be made visible through the kbd capplet (checkbox)?
  4. Most important: can anyone with designer skills better than mine create 6 icons that would look better than that?

XKB Geometries

libgnomekbd, xkeyboard-config 6 Comments

There is one interesting request in bugzilla: using notification service for displaying CapsLock/NumLock/ScrollLock state change, for those wireless keyboard that do not have LEDs.

How would you distinguish – what keyboard needs that feature enabled? I guess it would be logical to check XKB geometry… I know, better than anyone, about the sorry state of the geometries now – but it can be improved, right?

gnome-keyboard-applet: as good as gone

g-a, gnome 11 Comments

Today, the applet code is dropped from gnome-applets. Since gnome-settings-daemon now includes the notification icon (automatically appearing/disappearing), the applet is no longer needed.

Back in 1999 (Nov 29) it was the gswitchit applet that was committed to SourceForge. After GUADEC in Dublin it got merged into GNOME, some bits and pieces went to gnome-control-center. The rest is history…

The technology goes on. The functionality stays and improves. The initial point, the applet is gone.

kbd stuff going threezero

g-a, gnome, libgnomekbd 16 Comments

Since gnome panel and applets are about to go relatively soon, I feel obliged to do something about that. Here are some unchained thoughts related to it…

The gnome keyboard indicator applet is to become deprecated. What’s instead? The only viable option, no matter how I dislike it, is the notification area icon. Or, in terms of gtk+, GtkStatusIcon. What’s important is that it cannot be a Gtk widget (there are good reasons for that). So the widget gkbd-indicator that was used by the existing applet, is getting useless – I just can reuse some of its code.

But there is an issue with gnome-screensaver. The screensaver is using gkbd-indicator widget in the unlock dialog (and it has to stay there!). That means I’ll still have to support the widget (unless, hehe, gnome-screensaver would suddenly start implementing notification area conventions). As the result, libgnomekbd will have two “layout indicating UI elements”. Somewhat ugly, on my taste…

PS The GSwitchit Plugins will not be supported by the new GtkStatusIcon-based indicator.

PPS It is still a shame that one cannot easily produce GdkPixbuf using cairo. The way through GdkPixmap does not work correctly because the transparency is lost by gdk_pixbuf_get_from_drawable (“If the specified destination pixbuf is not NULL and it contains alpha information, then the filled pixels will be set to full opacity”). The only way is using some code snippets. Why cannot that be put into gtk?


xkeyboard-config pre-1.7 freeze

xkeyboard-config 4 Comments

The same way as 4 months ago, we’re in the freeze state.

Dear translators, please find some time to update your POs. Thanks!

Bug reporters, if you think your bug is worth fixing in 1.7, please remind me (you can do it here in comments). Unfortunately, these days the mail service of the xkb maillist is somewhat problematic, so I might have overlooked some updates…

handling exotic layouts in xkeyboard-config

xkeyboard-config 2 Comments


To Zap or not to Zap

xkeyboard-config No Comments

Some people are already aware that both Ubuntu and Fedora disable Ctrl-Alt-Bksp shortcut. There are hot discussions around that decision. Now, xkeyboard-config is a part of the battlefield. See this bug. At least, when that change is committed, users will be able to enable this shortcut back easily (for example, using gnome-keyboard-properties), by using proper XkbOption. But the default behavior would be as it is now in Ubuntu and Fedora – i.e. without that deadly feature.

PS Totally unrelated matter. If you’re Ukranian or Ukranian-speaking, you are very welcome to comment on that bug. Guys are asking to do the same thing as I did with Russian layout – make winkeys the default variant.

National-specific models: so long

family, xkeyboard-config 7 Comments

Today I committed into xkeyboard-config one important change: removal of national specific models: jp106, kr106, abnt2. These models consisted of 2 parts: keycodes and geometries.

Keycodes, as I found, could be safely merged into the default xfree86 and evdev keycode sets. So I just did that.

About geometries… Since they are just “visibility”, functionally useless – there is no point to keep models just for geometries sake.

So, these models are gone (of course, layouts should be working as they always did!). The geometry definitions I will keep for some while, just in case – but I guess I’ll remove them soon too.

If any Brazilian/Japanese/Korean user feels offended – please raise your voice, explain your concerns. I appreciate any reasonable feedback.

PS On a side note, me and my better half got approval for Irish citizenship. After 8.5 years in the country, I am going to get the second passport and be able to travel the world easily!

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