31 July 2006

ANNOUNCE: SlackBuilds.org

After three months of work behind the scenes, the SlackBuilds.org site is officially live! The project's main goal is to provide a set of reliable build scripts for almost any additional application a Slackware user could want.

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27 July 2006

xfce 4.4 beta 2 - looking good!

Wonderful news - I've *finally* figured out at least one way to fix the problem I've been having with icons for kde apps not displaying on the xfce menu. An updated package is available, and details on the "fix" are available in the Change Log.

On another note, we're shooting for an official launch of the SlackBuilds.org project sometime next week, so wish us luck! :)

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26 July 2006

Two updates in one day!!!

Well, I managed to get xfce 4.4beta2 and the goodies rebuilt and packaged while sitting in class, so they're available in the package repository. I've also updated the build scripts for both of them (and included the source tarballs in there too).

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New changes to -current

Well, Pat just committed a large batch of updates to the -current tree, and one of them was libpng 1.2.12. This version renumbers the shared object files in /usr/lib, and the only way to maintain compatibility with apps linking against the older number is a symlink. I experimented with upgrading libpng in troubleshooting some issues with xfce 4.4beta2, but I ran into this problem with quite a few apps, and like Pat, I wasn't happy with the idea of a symlink. I expect that link to be removed soon once he gets all the apps depending on libpng recompiled against the new version, so I'll be recompiling all of mine (including xfce 4.4beta2 and hplip, probably others) within the next few days. If I'm lucky, this might have some impact on the problem where icons for kde applications are not showing up in the xfce menu, but I'm doubtful - the more I look at the freedesktop.org standards, I'm coming closer to the conclusion that it's a kde problem (specifically, the separate directory for icons in /opt/kde/share/icons as opposed to using /usr/share/icons)...

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20 July 2006

Temporary Break Coming Soon...

Well, I still have three or four different assignments to complete (and final exams), but next Thursday is the last day of the summer semester - maybe I'll finally have a bit of free time to get some work done ;-)
With a bit of luck, I'll figure out the problems with kde application icons not being displayed in xfce 4.4beta2, and there are a few other minor things on my TODO list...

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19 July 2006

Pic from Vacation

Here's a picture taken at Little River Canyon near Fort Payne; notice the Slackware hat ;-)

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17 July 2006


I'm not sure it *really* qualifies as a vacation, but my wife and I spent the weekend at the Mountain Laurel Inn (a Bed and Breakfast) in Mentone, Alabama (near Fort Payne) to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. It was a very rural area, so internet access wasn't an option (which, in the grand scheme of things, is a good thing, I guess) - it was, shall we say, interesting to spend three whole days without thinking about anything related to computers... :-) We did a fair amount of hiking on some of the mountain trails and taking in the beautiful scenery, and while the steep inclines aren't much fun to climb, I have to admit that it was a very enjoyable trip... To make a long story short, if you're in the southeastern United States and are considering a "get-a-way" trip for a few days, I would recommend this one...

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12 July 2006

Recent Developments

There are quite a few things going on right now:
1. I'm enrolled in graduate school working on my Master's degree in Educational Administration, and I'm taking four classes this summer - as should be readily obvious, I'm quite busy with those... :)
2. I'm working with a good group of people on a project (SlackBuilds.org) to provide build scripts for additional software applications not included with Slackware "out of the box." We're not at all happy with new users of Slackware becoming dependent upon third-party sources for precompiled packages, as they tend to introduce unnecessary dependencies on other applications (and occasionally security problems), and new users don't yet know enough to tell the difference. Our goal is to provide both scripts to compile the source code of those needed applications as well as educate new users on how to work with the scripts.
3. The release of Slackware 11.0 will be coming soon; Pat Volkerding (the maintainer) has indicated in the ChangeLog that the -current tree is stable and that a new release is close at hand...
4. I've been testing some experimental work on "bleeding-edge" udev | sysvinit | sysfsutils | pcmciautils stuff done largely by Roberto Batista (aka PiterPunk), and based on my results, it looks promising. The decision is ultimately up to Pat, but we're hoping it will be stable (and reliable) enough to hit -current sometime after 11.0 releases; if not, we'll keep working until it *is* stable enough... :)
I've recently done some hacking to the newest version of sysvinit (2.86) and forwarded the results to PiterPunk, so maybe it will hit the experimental tree at some point...
5. My preferred window manager, xfce, is approaching the release of version 4.4. The beta 2 was released yesterday, and after hacking around on Pat's script for the 4.2 series, I've got a package built for -current. While it's much more usable than the beta 1 release (in fact, I'm now using it exclusively), there's no hope of it being included in the 11.0 release of Slackware - it's nowhere near ready for that. There's still a problem where some kde icons don't show up in the various menus, and I've had one random crash that had no rhyme nor reason :)

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New Blog & First (new) Post

Well, due to extreme dislike for the old blog (as well as some of its content), I completely wiped it and decided to start over again.
I'm going to try to be more vigilant about keeping this new one updated regularly with (hopefully) interesting and/or enlightening content, but I'm not making any promises... ;-)