Month: October 2005

Switched to

Yesterday, I spontaneously decided to replace the XFree86 X server with the new X server on my desktop computer. A simple “apt-get install xserver-xorg discover1 mdetect xresprobe” was sufficient to migrate the server. I already heard that migration is quite simple and problem-free, so I was strained what would happen after I restarted the X server. I was excited that the server indeed started up and displayed the window manager, so at least the basic setup worked. I only had to make two additional refinements:

  • I replaced the “nv” driver with the “nvidia” driver. This involved re-installing the nvidia driver, because the installation I used for XFree86 did not work anymore.
  • I removed resolutions which I do not want to use; the one which was used as default caused the monitor to run at 60 Hz or similar.
Of course, I also tried some of the new features, especially transparency. To enable these features, the “Composite” extension must be activated with an entry like Section "Extensions"   Option "Composite" "true" EndSection in the xorg.conf configuration file. However, for NVidia cards, this has the effect that the “glx” extension can not be used anymore. This can be changed by adding “Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"” to the “Device” section in the xorg.conf file. Then, applications which use glx (like glxgears) work again. I then activated transparency in the KDE control center. However, the “nvidia” driver seems to be really unstable when activating this feature, the X server crashed several times. So I switched back to the “nv” driver, which seems to be more stable. In either case, moving transparent windows was very slow, and also adding “Option "RenderAccel" "true"” as sometimes suggested did not help. For now, I deactivated the transparency feature again, but I look forward to this being more stable, because it looks really cool!

Next LinuxTag in Wiesbaden

Unfortunately, LinuxTag, Europes largest Linux event, moves to Wiesbaden next year. The last three years it was in Karlsruhe, the town where I live. So I could simply walk to the event in about five minutes. I also visited it before, when it still was in Stuttgart, which is about 80 km from Karlsruhe. The presentations were always truly interesting and gave me new input. Lets see if I will make it to Wiesbaden next year; its about 150 km from Karlsruhe which is still not that far.

Adopting the synopsis package

While I introduced myself into python lately, I was also looking for a useful tool to create documentation from python sources. Although doxygen claims to be suitable for python, I did not get any useful results from it (at least not out-of-the-box). I was also not satisfied with epydoc, since it fetches the documentation for all super classes, which is quite a lot for Qt derived classes. Finally, I found synopsis, which created very good results without requiring much configuration. The Debian package was orphaned, and the latest version in the Debian archive was 0.5.0 while the latest upstream version is 0.8.0, so I decided to adopt it. A preliminary package is now available at, the RFS was sent and I hope to find a sponsor soon 🙂

Write once, install nowhere?

I will never understand why people write applications in Java(TM), and then distribute it in some binary form, like .exe files for MS-Windows or .bin files for Linux/Unix. Instead of simply downloading a .zip or .tar.gz file, you have to choose the native platform you want the application to run on, and then execute some installation program like this: $ ~/sjsas_pe-8_1_02_2005Q2-linux.bin Checking available disk space... Checking Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment... Extracting Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment files... *** glibc detected *** double free or corruption (!prev): 0x08077718 *** Deleting temporary files... Really great … The cool thing in this specific case is that it is SUN Microsystems themselves where I downloaded the package from, to be more precise the J2EE reference implementation. Going to look for the jar files I need somewhere else now…