Tag: open source

Very good news! IMO the best XMPP ( Jabber ) server available is going fully open source! The server itself has been opensource for as long as i can remember, but several nice-to-have plugins and features were only available to paying “enterprise” customers. Which is a valid point of business and a good way to earn money while maintaining a great project like OpenFire. It seems along the road, the good folks at Igniterealtime found another way to provide income, and found out that maintaining 2 projects was too much work. So in 2-3 weeks, most of the enterprise grade features will become opensource too! I for one welcome our new opensource overlords! Let’s hope the most-wanted feature ( multidomain support ) gets implemented soon πŸ˜‰

Over at Sliceo, people like the smallest VPS available for things like DNS hosting or IRC proxying. This means that a daemon keeps the connection to the their favorite IRC servers/channels open and logged in, as if the user was online 24/7. Instead of connecting directly to said servers and channels from normal clients ( like X-Chat ), the user connects to the irc proxy instead, and continue his/her chat sessions just as he never went offline.. In the line of Sliceo duty, i helped to stabilise a setup that was going to be used for this exact purpose.

We tried several bouncers, like psybnc, ircproxy, to no avail. Most would crash after a while, and would overall be horrible in the stability-department. But then we found BIP. It had a few bugs as well, but some personal contact to its’ author quickly solved every bump in the road. Now, 0.7 is out, which incorporates all the fixes to the problems we were having.

The result: a bouncer that has been serving the needs for mutiple IRC users for many weeks now without a single crash or hickup! People looking for a solid IRC bouncer should really check out BIP!

I got to work, did my daily apt-get upgrade in the background, while i suddenly noticed something strange. My apps were no longer starting. I already had a browser and some terminals open, so i looked at the problem a bit closer. It seemed that apt-get tried to update my libc6 package, which was b0rked and caused some mayhem everywhere in my system. A quick launchpad search confirmed my guess, libc6 upgrade was the culprit. Since i wasn’t root on any of my terminals, and sudo and su crashed right away, i downloaded the previous version of the libc6 package ( luckily wget still working fine πŸ˜‰ ), and rebooted with a livecd. As a sidenote, Gentoo still has the best damn rescue-cd’s known to man. πŸ˜‰ I installed the older version of libc6 from a chroot, and voila, all fine and dandy!

A bit later, sdog pointed me to another post about the incident.

People around the world that are pissed off about this problem, or are moaning/flaming to the devs, please, get a life. As you might have noticed, the word “ALPHA” is used pretty abundantly all over your beloved Hardy system, and the UWN and release pages clearly mention “Pre-releases of Hardy are “NOT” encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage.”. You’ve been warned. Deal with it.

Anyways, kudos to the Ubuntu devs for their swift and prompt fix to this problem! Hardy is shaping up to be a very nice distribution!

Microsoft Windows Home Server has had a data corruption bug in their backups for many months now ( since December IIRC ). They are stating that this bug has their top priority. Then they say they hope to have it fixed by June. I mean WTF…Β  if it takes them over 7 months to fix their “top priority” bugs, i can’t even begin to imagine how long their low priority bugs take to be resolved ( if ever ) πŸ˜› In the meantime, people dumb enough to pay for MS products, like Windows Home Server, can use open source backup alternatives WITHOUT fear for corruption πŸ˜‰ Bacula and BackupPC are just a couple of names that come to mind right away πŸ˜‰

SCIM in Ubuntu Hardy

For the past couple of days, SCIM seems to be enabled by default in the latest development builds of Ubuntu Hardy. SCIM is a platform that takes care of handling different input methods. But I really don’t need to type vietnamese, russian, or any other exotic language. Another annoyance is that the keybindings can conflict with other applications, which makes it even more cumbersome to use. Trying to close SCIM from the system tray by selecting “Exit” doesn’t work, it just restarts the application in less than a second.. So, how do we go about disabling this once and for all?

Type this in your console: “sudo update-alternatives –set xinput-all_ALL /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/default” .

Restarting X should show you a scim-less systray!

Now let’s hope the Ubuntu guys remove this crap by default again before Hardy hits GA πŸ˜‰

Using a system like Symfony for your website creation needs has a lot of advantages, no doubt about that.

But you also need to be aware that you’re unwillingly creating a pattern that can be abused when you aren’t paying attention. I got caught by one of these myself for a few weeks now.. πŸ™‚

Let me explain.. For a couple of weeks, one of my sites was cursed with some strange voodoo. I had a list of some items on a page, and 1 of these items ( always the same one ) kept disappearing on a daily basis, while i was the only one with access to the database. I was puzzled until some mysql logging cleared things up. Some asian IP was executing my website like this: http://mysite.be/item/delete/id/$nr where $nr are the id’s from the list. ( Basic and easy-to-try standard crud thing, available from most frameworks, so if you know Symfony, you could guess that item had a delete, create, edit, show and list action πŸ™‚ )

Because the item module was forgotten in my security.yml frenzy, everyone could browse to that URL, and delete my items πŸ™‚ But why did only one item disappear? Well, the other delete requests were denied because of foreign keys, while the deleted one wasn’t coupled to any other field, so it was successfully removed every time.

Anyways, i plugged the hole with a security.yml as follows:

delete:
is_secure: on
credentials: admin

create:
is_secure: on
credentials: admin

edit:
is_secure: on
credentials: admin

One less thing to worry about πŸ˜‰

Lately all major graphics card developers started releasing their specs to the open source community. Nvidia, AMD and Intel released vital information about their chipsets to the public, so that better open source drivers can be written, and no time gets lost with reverse engineering. Intel was the last to provide docs on http://www.intellinuxgraphics.org/ . I’m pretty excited about the state of graphics drivers in the following couple of Xorg releases!

When your beloved MSN messaging service dies on you again, you make take a minute to look at some other messaging networks, like ooh let’s say Jabber. You can use Google Talk and Pidgin on Windows to chat with other Jabber users, or Adium X on Mac OS X. Bye bye vendor lock-in, downtime, and annoying custom smileys and banners!

Zimbra desktop, hit or miss?

First of all, let me say I’m a big Zimbra fan. Open-Xchange is shaping up to be a nice collaboration suite, but still not up to par with Zimbra. But then there is the Zimbra desktop… In my opinion, resources that should have been spent on other things.

In short, Zimbra desktop is a Jetty server running the ZCS on your desktop machine, which regularly syncing with your main server. Which means you’re running a bloaty Java beast on your PC, sucking up all those nice RAM and cpu cycles. And in the end, you are still using the webclient..

In the meantime, Thunderbird, Zindus and Sunbird are a match made in heaven for Zimbra users, providing free and open source calendaring, mail, tasks and contacts on every Thunderbird-supported platform. Putting half the manpower on that threesome and helping with bug fixing and implementing new features there would do a lot more good then trying to throw together a half-baked Java daemon and announcing it like it’s the holy grail of collaborative messaging.

For the record, Sunbird is about to release version 0.8 πŸ˜‰