29 September 2006

Update on Jade

Bad news... As of 1630 CDT 29 September 2006, Jade is confirmed dead. I found her about a mile away on the side of the highway - she was struck by a vehicle at some point yesterday. I can only hope that she didn't lie there in pain wondering why her mommy and daddy weren't there to help her...

From September 2000 until I met Marla in April 2002, Jade was the most important part of my life, and Marla loved her just as much as I did from the first day of our relationship. So much of our lives revolved around Jade (and Dakota too, later on) that it's hard to imagine life without her right now. From our "Jade voice," "feed the dogs," "Look - it's a Smiling Beckus" and all the other little things that wouldn't exist without her, the next few weeks are going to be a struggle, to say the least. So far as dogs go, I couldn't have asked for a better one than Jade.

Jade, you were always a smart dog (even if you didn't quite figure out how to dodge moving vehicles), so if you've somehow learned how to read up there in doggie Heaven, I love you, girl. Rest in peace - you will not be forgotten.

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28 September 2006


What a horrible ending to an otherwise nice day... When I arrived home earlier tonight (Thursday, 20060928), my lab/hound/mutt dog (Dakota) was outside the dog fence, and my German Shepherd (Jade) was nowhere to be found. This is *very* unusual for the dogs, as they don't go anywhere alone, and even so, it was well past their normal feeding time, and they *always* come home when it's time to eat. After further inspection, I found that Jade had physically broken one of the gate latches in the back of the fence. I don't know what she decided to get out and chase, but as best I can tell, it must have won the battle, as Jade has still not returned as of 0034 20060929. Unless something changes, she is presumed to be dead somewhere (or at best, severely injured), as she would otherwise never even consider spending the night away from home. As you might imagine, my emotional state is not very good right now - I've had Jade since she was a puppy back in 2000, and to say that she's been a major part of my life would be a huge understatement. As always, life goes on, but she will be missed. RIP, Jade - I love you, girl...

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KMail Project, XFCE, Slackware -current updates

Several topics of interest today... First, I decided to go ahead and make the necessary changes to build gnupg2-1.9.23, so I've updated all of the kmail/gpg related packages, including kdebase and kdepim. The kdebase package is built with Pat's unmodified SlackBuild script, so other than the fact that it's linked to the gnupg deps, it's identical to the official Slackware package in Slackware -current (the same thing applies to kdepim). A special thanks goes out to Zalamander and Black Panther for testing and provided much needed feedback on these packages.

Brian Tarricone, xfce's xfdesktop maintainer, has advised that the dbus dependency issues have been sorted out in the subversion repository, so the next release candidate of xfce 4.4 will no longer require the dbus and dbus-glib packages. As I stated earlier, I will be maintaining unofficial packages for Slackware 11.0, which will not have the dbus dep (as it will not be in 11.0), but I will also continue to offer packages that are compiled against dbus and dbus-glib for those who wish to have that functionality. Assuming Pat adds dbus and hal to Slackware -current (after 11.0 releases), then of course I will also be maintaining packages compiled against those until such time as Pat decides to incorporate xfce 4.4 into -current.

Speaking of Slackware, we're *still* waiting on 11.0 to release. I'll admit that I'm a bit impatient, but not for the same reasons as most. I'm perfectly happy with the fact that the release will be delayed until it's "ready" (per Pat), as that's what is expected of Slackware. I know we can expect an update to openssh before it's released, and probably a few other things, but like I said, it's not *Slackware* unless it's *ready* when it releases. :-) However, as I said, I am somewhat impatient - I run -current on everything but my firewall box, so I'm ready to get back to the excitement of breaking/fixing things and adding new functionality... :-)

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26 September 2006

Updates to kmail/gpg project

I posted some updated/rebuilt packages for kmail/gpg integration yesterday, and I've got a rebuilt kdebase package on the way - it should be up sometime tomorrow.

On another note, we're still getting closer to Slackware 11.0 (I think) - it's slowly coming upon us... :-)

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20 September 2006

SUCCESS! (KMail/GPG) :-)

It's just been reported that the stuff in my testing repo for KMail/GPG decryption is working properly! Thanks to Zalmon Gershon for testing it. I'm following the gnupg development mailing list, so I'll be updating those packages as needed; however, I won't be able to upgrade to gnupg2 1.9.23 (which was released earlier this week), as it has a few bugs in it which prevent building it here. The bugs have been reported, and they are fixed in the subversion repo, but I'm not too keen on building out of svn unless it's necessary. Since things are working as is, I'm leaving them alone (thanks, Pat - you've rubbed off on me) ;-)

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18 September 2006

Slackware 11.0 RC5 Released

Pat has released Slackware 11.0 RC5, and he added desktop-file-utils to the official package set, so I'll be rebuilding xfce 4.4rc1 tonight and eliminating the included d-f-u package from it. Also, the gnupg team released version 1.9.23 of gnupg2 (development version headed to 2.0) today, so I'll also be building it tonight. Of importance in the list of changes is that this release includes all of the code contained in gunpg 1.4.5, so the development version technically could replace the old stable version now (although it's still not recommended). They're hoping for a release candidate in October, so if all goes well, maybe we can get gnupg 2.0 (and other related stuff) in Slackware 11.1 so that KMail/GPG integration is fully functional (including S/MIME support).

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17 September 2006

Rest in peace, Rob Levin

It was announced earlier today that Rob Levin (aka lilo) of the Peer-Directed Projects Center (PDPC), has died. On September 12th, he was hit by a car while riding his bike. He suffered head injuries and was in a coma. Rob was being treated at the Neuro Trauma Intensive Care Unit at a local hospital in Houston, Texas, where he passed away on September 16th.

Rob was a founding member of the Freenode IRC (internet relay chat) network, and in my experiences with him, he was always willing to give of his time to help someone else. The Freenode network has been tremendously beneficial to more than a few open source software projects. The world is a better place because of Rob Levin, and he will certainly be missed. RIP, lilo.

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Several new things...

I've made some major changes to both the build scripts and packages of the xfce goodies; instead of one large package containing all of the goodies, they are now built and packaged separately to allow more fine-grained control over what's being installed on the system.

I'm tentatively declaring success on my project to get the gnupg integration and kmail working properly; based on my preliminary tests, I am able to successfully decrypt both my own sent mails as well as encrypted mails sent from others. Both the build scripts and packages are available, and testing/feedback are encouraged. :)

We seem to be creeping closer to the 11.0 release of Slackware; it's been at Release Candidate 4 for a couple of weeks with only a couple of non-minor changes since then, so here's hoping :)

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12 September 2006

New xfce goodies package!

I've just updated the xfce4-goodies package; in addition to several of the included plugins being updated, I've also added the thunar-archive plugin and the wavelan plugin. Enjoy!

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11 September 2006

Xfce Rebuilt; New Goodies Coming...

I've just posted a rebuild of the xfce 4.4rc1 package - I've added an unofficial patch from Mike Massonnet to fix a problem where the volume slider bar in the panel is too tall.

Several of the goodies have been updated, and there's finally been a release of the wavelan plugin for 4.4, so I'll have a new build of the goodies up tomorrow.

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10 September 2006

Packages for xfce 4.4rc1

Well, after much discussion on IRC and various other places, I've got xfce 4.4rc1 packages for Slackware -current built and posted here.
I'm not extremely happy with having to do this, but I was more or less forced to build xfce against dbus and dbus-glib (which required building those two and getting them working). Brian Tarricone (the xfdesktop maintainer) implemented a new Trash icon with some interactive features (for example, an "Empty Trash" function), which depend on dbus. Unfortunately, he's not finished with the code, and he's been away on holiday for the last week or so, and the current state of the code does not allow one to disable the dbus dependency. I've explained it in a bit more detail in the ChangeLog, so read through it if you want more information. The main thing to keep in mind right now is that you MUST install the dbus and dbus-glib packages available from the main package link above, or you should build them yourself with the SlackBuild scripts prior to starting xfce. Regardless of which route you go, make sure you follow the instructions for dbus setup.

This dbus issue should be resolved in the next release candidate of xfce 4.4, so I'll hopefully be able to offer a build without requiring dbus next time.

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03 September 2006

Xfce 4.4 RC1 Released

Xfce has finally released the 4.4 RC1 sources, and I've got them downloaded, so I should have new packages built for Slackware -current within a day or two. Unless something changes between the Slackware 11.0 RC4 and the official 11.0 release, these packages will also be advertised on the xfce mailing lists for 11.0.

On another (unrelated) note, I've been experimenting with some gnupg additions (libgcrypt, libgpg-error, libassuan, gpgme) trying to get email decryption working in KMail. It's turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought it would be, and it may not even be possible without the development version of gnupg (which includes gpgsm), but we'll see. Wish me luck... :)

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02 September 2006

OpenOffice.org and Xfce Updates

I've rebuilt the xfce 4.4 beta 2 ( packages, as the author of xarchiver released a new version yesterday. I also made several changes to the xfce4-goodies package; the battery plugin and weather plugin were upgraded to newer versions, which should fix the various issues people were having with them, and I've added three new plugins: thunar media tags, sensors, and xmms.
I've also upgraded the openoffice.org package; I've been working on the build script a little at a time for several weeks while reading quite a bit of the freedesktop.org information. Instead of including our own, we now use the *.desktop files included with the official binaries. Also, we no longer create/replace /etc/mailcap and /etc/mime.types, as these didn't accomplish my objective at all, and otherwise provided no measurable benefit so far as I can tell. To make a long story short, I don't see a way to set OOo as the system-wide default for anything other than its own file types - this has to be done by each user. See the shared mime info spec and standard mime actions spec at FreeDesktop.org for more information.

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