Month: May 2006

Remove Install Missing Plugins top yelow bar in Firefox

first try this way

No flash for me, but I cannot stand firefox bugging me about it.

locate libnullplugin.so
su
rm path_from_locate

restart firefox

everytime you upgrade, it's more likely you need to rm this file again. In other words, I wish there was a about:config option to ignore this nullplugin

Import Your Mail into GMail using Thunderbird and GMail Loader (GML)

Today I had the pleasure to use this great piece of software by Mark Lyon called GML. First of all it does what it says. In other words you need this if you had enough with POP3 and IMAP accounts, and you want to move them all in the great webmail by Google, called GMail.

The procedure goes likes this:

  1. You grab Thunderbird
  2. You setup your POP3 or IMAP account in Thunderbird
  3. You make sure that messages in your INBOX and SENT ITEMS are readable offline (in case of IMAP, you have to make sure that all messages are downloaded). To do this, right click Inbox or Sent Items, go to Offline tab and click Download Now.
  4. Wait until all mail has been downloaded (may take some time depending on your connection speed).
  5. Right click in the account, choose properties, there choose server settings. Make sure you copy in the clipboard the path in Local directory. Now you're done with Thunderbird. Close it.
  6. Get GML and run the exe (for MacOSX/Linux users use .py sources). It's pretty easy. Note that you have to put the correct SMTP server else you will get errors.
  7. Now for inbox, it is the INBOX file in the path of your mailbox is the local dir you copied above. (NOTE: INBOX, not INBOX.msf). Point to that file, fix your gmail address and click the "Send to Gmail". Wait (may take a long time, do not worry, program seems to be unresponsive, that's not true however). You can track the progress if you login in your gmail.com and you'll one by one see the mails coming.
  8. Do this again for the Sent file (again file without .msf).
  9. Now close the GML. Go to gmail.com (if you haven't done it already) and select the messages that you migrated, mark them as READ, and you may want to archive them by hitting Archive.

You're done! Close the PC, make yourself something cool to drink, you did a great thing today! Enjoy your success.

PS. It works, I did it twice.
PS2. Outlook users will end up with mailbox (mbox) format or maildir (less likely). There are ways to make it work with those formats, but I did not bother. Google it and good luck!

How Adobe looks at Linux

I just read that Linux will get flash version 9 plugin and player in 2007. That is 2 years after Windows. By then I bet Windows will have version 10.

Moreover, the Product Manager for Flash Player at Adobe made the mistake to point to the linux developer of flash player. and I quote his blog entry (which is the least lame, and at best shows how well he gets Linux).

Sometimes, I may even solicit input from visitors about how to proceed on various issues, such as recommendations for preferred Linux APIs (think ALSA vs. OSS vs. ESD) and distribution methods. (emphasis added by me)

OSS, ESD? Yeah, 1998.

Distribution methods? Yeah use NSIS on Linux.

And of course no words about other archs (especially x86_64). OK I'm fairly happy about gnash (I bet I will be even more by 2007), and gnash works in all archs used, as well as in *BSDs too. Since Adobe doesn't sell flash plugin and player but makes money from the authoring tools one would think that it makes huge sense to make flash playing capabilities a commodity, and then profit from this 100% user penetration.

Of course all those are thin letters (as we say in my country, Greece) to Adobe guys in charge. And as a result all those websites that feature flash and flash video (FLV) lose me and others (who are native amd64). So be it.

FLOSS model: All you ever wanted to know, and were afraid to read

First, take it or leave it.

FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) can be seen in two different ways. Both are good ways, but I mostly gonna focus on how corporations view it. I'm not gonna say something new, but I will summarize in very short setences my understanding of FLOSS after having read many papers and documents from GNU philosophy (mostly Richard Stallman), Bruce Perens, Joel Spolsky, and Eric Raymond. I can also speak from the inside for one of the two ways.

So what are those two ways?

  1. FLOSS is fun, free, you learn and all that
  2. FLOSS is an economic model for non-software-centric (in terms of profit) businesses to do their software work.

I will shortly say that 1. is true. And as a CompSci student that visits his University rarely, I have had the mood and the time to use and later contribute to FLOSS in various ways (first as translator of Psi Jabber Client, and later as more than a year everyday programmer for Gajim Jabber client). Becase I dislike amateur work, I ended up to understanding that it's impossible to do professional work without profit. And this leads us to 2.

Economic science is perhaps one of the best ways to accomplish truth (well.. your truth) about a given status and hope that your truth has more in common with the reality (as seen by majority) than less in common. Because being an Microsoft/FLOSS/Redhat whatever hateboy or fanboy with no reason is not my cup of tea, I couldn't resist trying to understand how come FLOSS works and most importantly where it works. Again the answer is not something new, but requires a better understand of FLOSS:

FLOSS is just a way for a group of companies to make together a common software they all use with the lowest risk taken by this common production procedure. Thus FLOSS is bad for software-centric companies, and it's more than healthy that Microsoft attacks it.
This is explained very well (eventhough with some eyecatching typos and some outdate information) in Bruce Perens paper.

In other words, if you are a software company if FLOSS would prevail allover will kill you. But of course FLOSS cannot and will not prevail allover. If you are a small software company it's likely you will continue to have work to do (and receive profit from it) either in providing indoor or otherwise super specialized software, or by customizing FLOSS to meet the needs of the client that hired you to do so. And the last customization is what distro companies are doing, eventhough because the market is very small, not many do it with profit.

FLOSS everywhere also means fewer jobs for software developers. Stallman not only agrees with it, but proposes a software tax. Now in USA the word tax is bad word to economic minds, and that's why nobody speaks about it and chances are you first heard it here. This understanding doesn't imply that I support a software tax.

Now GNU also says that software is common good and all that. That's not the case. Nothing is common good in reality. Some are seen as such because else civilized society cannot work. Software is so new (when compared to clean water, food etc) that nobody outside of a communistic view can be persuaded that software is in fact or needs to be a common good. Rest pundits of OpenSource (it's why GNU disagrees with the term) don't speak about tax and mostly not about common good. Nobody should accuse GNU of speaking about it though, as they don't care about the economics of the model. They are happy it just works and want to see it working better (as they understand better).

But for companies that "get it", FLOSS is great. It means with many times less money they can have the same or almost the same job done. Every company tries to cut costs and FLOSS is the best way to do it when you want to reduce software costs. You also may need less staff working at software if you adopt to a model of adopting a FLOSS to your needs. Even if you as a company want to make something new, either you find some competitors that can work with you on the common base of this new product, or you start your own and you hope that upaid community hackers (or geeks) will do even 1% of your work for you for free. You don't care why, you just wish they do so you can spend less money. If you agree with competitors to do the common software base together and do it as open source you have higher chances to not get trapped in the risk taken. Perens provides his facts on this and proves (in his view) that FLOSS is the way to go for common projects instead of closed-doors boards etc.

Summing up, if you are a software company you can make from FLOSS by customizing it to the needs of the client. And if you are a company that just has an software dept you can (if you really get it, and your staff also gets it) reduce costs. And that's all there is to it. Companies like Redhat or Novell didn't suddenly agree with communism, they just think they have this good way to make money. The fact that you or me can run Fedora or whatever FOR FREE is a "side-effect" of the whole thing and not the target. Eventhough it doesn't really hurt, as even Microsoft is somehow okay with illegal copies of windows in desktop machines (no matter what it lately says) as in the end when you'll work in a a company you'll say to your boss: "I know word, excel" but you didn't buy MSOffice in your house or did you? The same holds true with Fedora or whatever with the exception that with FLOSS you are really not required to buy it.

That's it. sorry for being big, and I don't have the courage to proof read it atm. I also have work to do. Have fun