Sunday, December 30, 2007

iLife Browser in Leopard's open dialogs

In Leopard, if the developer allows certain types of file to be opened, then you get a free iLife browser in the file open dialog. This applies to OpenOffice.org aqua on Leopard too. As the X11 version of OpenOffice.org doesn't have a native filepicker, this won't be available there.

Find a screenshot below.

 
Those who have played with the latest OpenOffice.org aqua builds, you will find that you get an open dialog like the above one, without any way to select any files. This is a known bug. You simply cancel and open the dialog again to workaround the issue, until the fix is found and integrated.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

BBC's iPlayer now compatible with Mac OS X

After reading a macnn article. I have now found out that the BBC's Player is now supported on Mac OS X. It is great that I can now watch BBC content from within Safari. The player only has a short buffer, though you can jump to any part of the video and it will start playing from there with very little delay. You have to remember that I have an internet connection of about 7Mbit downstream and around 0.8Mbit upstream. Therefore I don't know how people on slower connections will manage.


Some video items come up with:
"
with no explanation as to why. Maybe some videos are not updated to the adobe flash video type.

Now I'd like to get an improvement to Space, that will allow me to make a window in any application to be front most and move between space as required. That way when I'm playing a video the window will always show. Another problem that I have found with spaces is that when switching apps with command+tab or clicking the icon in the dock, a random window usually comes forward.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Edinburgh Leopard Tech Talk

Today I went along to the Leopard Tech Talk in Edinburgh at the posh Caledonian Hilton Hotel.


It was a very interesting event, and might just convince me to start programming in Cocoa and Objective-C 2.0. Objective-C 2.0 is far more like Java when it comes to memory management. This is where I tend to struggle in C. The event was under Apple Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), so I can't publicly discuss anything that isn't publicly available.

In the Cambridge Bar afterwards, one of the things that I tried to fix with the help of and Apple Tech guy was the Finder restarting when trying to change file permissions. This is mentioned in Apple support article 307128. However the instructions there don't quite work. After some tries in the pub I was still getting the crash. Once I got home I had some tried the article again, and the second sudo dscl command seemed to wipe out the group record. In the end I did manage to get the problem fix, and I no longer get the crash.

I also got to play with an iPhone, and the reception on the O2 network is crap. The iPhone was only just, maybe thinking about getting a signal. On the other hand my Sony Ericsson k750i on the Vodafone network could get a full signal. Since I upgraded to Leopard I haven't had my phone working as a bluetooth modem. With the help of the tutorial that I used the last time, and the GPRS network data table, I managed to get it working again.
The tutorial is now out of date of Leopard. On Leopard it is now a lot easier to setup. Once you have paired your phone, head into network preferences, and click Bluetooth in the left column. Then use the "User name" from the afore mentioned data table for the "Account Name" in Network preferences. The "Password" field uses the same name in both the data table and Network preferences. Next you need to click "Advanced...". Select the appropriate vendor and model for your phone, and enter the appropriate APN from the data table. Hit "OK", then "Apply" and you should be ready to connect.

At least now, the next time I go out with my laptop, and don't want to pay for expensive wifi, I can use a little bit of data on my pay as you go phone.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mac OS X OpenOffice.org file naming scheme

Bruce has mentioned that he didn't understand the files on the good-day server in a comment to a prior blog post.


I'll try to make this as simple as possible for end users to understand using the following example:
OOo_SRC680_m237_MacOSXIntel_AQUA_install_en-US.dmg
This can be broken down into several smaller chunks _ is used as a separator:
OOo is the short product name. Other options are BrOo (the Brazilian localisation of OpenOffice.org due to
SRC680 is the code line, this changes with every major release. All release candidates are done on a different code line. For example OpenOffice.org 2.3.x used OOG680.
m237 is the milestone. OpenOffice.org code base has a new milestone every few weeks (sometimes a milestone will have only a few days between but this is rare). This number increases after several new code change have been integrated into the trunk of the code line. Internally within OpenOffice.org this is a MWS or Master WorkSpace.*
MacOSXIntel tells you the Operating System and the Platform that this build is for. Another option relevant to mac users is MacOSXPPC or MacOSXPowerPC. The name is changing/has changed to come in line with other platforms.
AQUA states that this is an AQUA build. The other option is X11. This option is only there during the transition from X11 to Aqua. It will be soon be the case that this parameter won't be included when Aqua is default.
install is there to say that this is an application and not a language pack, SDK or URE. The SDK and URE are generally only needed by developers. Language packs are currently not available for Mac OS X.
en-US this is the language that is to be installed.

* In OpenOffice.org we use a trunk and branch method. Think of a tree growing. Any new code is created in a branch (internally called a CWS), which is merged back into the trunk when it is ready. Think of the milestones being the rings you see when you cut a tree down. However we are producing these rings (milestones) far more frequently than a tree in nature.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh Critical Mass - St Andrews Day

On Friday I headed in to the centre of Edinburgh for November's Critical Mass. Even before I set off from work in the west of the city, it was pitch black. So I had my lights and reflective jacket on.


About 17:45 a whole load of fireworks started from Edinburgh Castle to mark St Andrews Day. We had a great view point from the foot of the mount between the two National Galleries. There was a couple of points where the fireworks went off in a cross pattern, a bit like the cross on the Saltire (our national flag).

About 50 of us participated in this month's ride. Map of the November Critical Mass ride.

Today I watched the River City omnibus. Friday's episode really emphasised the fact that in Scotland we really don't celebrate Saint Andrews Day. In fact we usually forget that Saint Andrews Day even exists. Over the other side of the pond, Tartan Day is celebrated (at a different time of year), far more than what we do. Are we Scots no use a celebrating? Or are we just too busy working to bother with celbrations?

Friday, November 30, 2007

OpenOffice.org on Mac OS X Leopard

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard was launched by Apple Inc. about one month ago.


OpenOffice.org, with the exception of the Java features will work on Leopard. If you require the Java features of OpenOffice.org on Leopard, you require to use milestone m237 or later. 

The problem essentially boils down to the way that OpenOffice.org detects Java, and the fact that "Apple Computer Inc." is NOT the same as "Apple Inc.". (There are a few other build issues too.)

Thanks should go to Florian, Philip and Eric Bachard for their work on this issue.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The past 2 months

It has been a couple of months now since I've properly written a blog post. So here is a longish catchup post.


I have been busy doing agency work mostly in staff restaurants as a Kitchen Porter. I've even bumped into the Lead of the Marketing Project in our home town, rather than having to go to some OpenOffice.org conference. I did spend 3 weeks commuting by train (a novelty for me), to Stirling to work as a caretaker. Unfortunately the work is rather dull, though there are bills to be paid. Hopefully I'll get around to updating my CV and sending it off to relevant people to hopefully get a degree related job.


Now back to 2 months ago.
I managed to get up and do my Buildbot presentation at ooocon2007 without any breakfast. The presentation has been really useful, as I have received some very useful feedback from developers on what they want from the system.


Code writers are interested in seeing if their code breaks on some other platform as early as possible. They want this to be reliable, and ideally the same configuration as the officially released builds.
The QA project are looking for install sets for testing new code that is about to be introduced into the main code line. Again they ideally want to have the same configuration as the officially released builds.

At the moment the source code statistics aren't interesting enough for developers to want them. Also the basics don't currently work well enough.



I have finally got around to Geotagging my photos from this years OpenOffice.org conference in the past few days. As I have upgraded to Mac OS X 10.5, I found that my previous geotagging solution (GPSPhotoLinker) has stopped working as a library has stopped working due to a perl version mismatch. So I have headed to the command line with a perl script. gpsPhoto.pl seems to do the trick, though it is a pain to get the command line right as it isn't as easy to just drag a load of photos from iPhoto. I'm not upgrading to iLife 08, as there is no GPS tagging support. Leopard's Preview has a feature that allows you to go to a Google map of where the photo was taken. However, what I really want it to tell iPhoto: look in this folder for GPS traces, and geo tag all these photos automatically.

For future reference (as I was in mainland Europe with daylight saving the offset from UTC is minus 2 hours):

./gpsPhoto.pl --gpsdir 2007-09 --timeoffset -7200 --maxtimediff 7200 --overwrite-geotagged --dir /Users/shaunmcdonald/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library/Originals/2007/ooocon2007/

Photos from ooocon2007. I've also added the photos to Flickr with the ooocon2007 tag.

As many people have already seen. I am now the lead for the Mac Port of the OpenOffice.org. Eric Bachard made the announcement some time ago. I have posted my vision to the Mac porting mailing list. Due to time constraints as mentioned at the start of this blog post, I won't be spending as much time as Eric Bachard on the project. I'm sure Eric will do a great job as the lead of the Education project, which tries to get more students involved in the OpenOffice.org project.

I am currently moving broadband provider from VirginMedia to Be*. For the same price I'm getting about 4 times the speed, with a slightly greater dropout for the same £18 per month.


When I was working out in Stirling I cycled home, or part of the way home. I have managed to map and tag most of the National Cycle Network route 76 from Stirling to Kincardine/Grangemouth. The south of the Kincardine Bridge is rather difficult to map and cycle just now as there is a lot of major road works and changes to the road network happening there.

About a fortnight ago I cycle 73 miles from Edinburgh to Ayr along the A70. I left quite late just before midday, and took about 6 hours. With the winter setting in, the last hour was pitch black. I lazily took the train back home for £8.80 with my Young Person Railcard. (Rather than cycling back home.) I have mapped and tagged the A70 with my GPS trace for the OpenStreetMap project. My ride on MapMyRide.com. I probably won't cycle the A71 to Kilmarnock as it is a more dangerous road.


I have created a count down dashboard widget to State of the Map 2008. Download the SOTM countdown widget


Finally, I have partnered with Manager-Pro. To translate and distribute and English version of their software. All exported reports require the usage of OpenOffice.org. Either as the document reader as the exported documents are in the OpenOffice.org 1 format. If a user wants the reports in PDF, Word or Excel formats, OpenOffice.org requires to be installed for the file format translators within OpenOffice.org.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ooocon2007: Presentations

All the presentation slides for this years conference that have been submitted to ooocon2007@openoffice.org have been made available on the conference web pages. There is still about 12 presentations where the slides still have not been submitted for. Frank Peters has made a list of the missing presentations.


Can all presenters please send them to the above e-mail address so that they can be uploaded? 
If you didn't use any slides for your talk can you please also send a short message to the above e-mail address to say that. This will allow us to remove any links to non-existent presentations.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

OOOCON2007 Presentations

If any presenters do not currently have their presentation available on the programme pages, then please send your presentation to ooocon2007@openoffice.org. We would like to have both an OpenDocument Impress presentation and a PDF generated from it.


If you would like to update your presentation, please send it to the above address, also stating that you would like to update the presentation.

Due to a limitation in the OpenOffice.org infrastructure, we can only receive e-mails less than 2MB in size. If your presentation is larger than this, please send a short mail, and we will help you get it online using a different method.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who said Barcelona was going to be cold?

In fact it is rather roasting compared to Edinburgh.


The direct flight with ClickAir was pretty smooth, except for a short time when coming in to land at Barcelona, due to going through a cloud.

Seems that the rumours were true about the iPhone coming to the UK, as reported by Macworld UK. However at £35 per month, I'll give it a miss until I have some decent income. My current Pay As You Go Sony Ericsson still has plenty of life left in it. It currently takes me about 4 to 8 months to go through £35.

One thing that I found a pain, was the fact that Google suddenly decides to change the language to Spanish (or maybe even Catalan). I found a way around it! All I did was add ?hl=en_GB to the end of the Google URL. UK English not your language, just change en_GB to your own language code.

It has been great to see many of the contributors again from last year. Barcelona seems to be a city to easily get lost in. They too seem to have the tickets that allow you transfer for a period of time after the ticket is first validated. Why isn't that possible in Scotland?

OOOCON2007: Incoming Flight Just Arrived

The incoming flight for my flight was delayed by about 20 minutes. The passengers are now getting off, so I should be getting on my flight soon. Seem I'll be walking straight on. 


South of Edinburgh seems to be clear sky, whereas north is rather dark cloud. No fog here unlike Pavel.

Barcelona seems like it will be roasting compared to Edinburgh last night, which was down to 1°C.

Seems my mobile is cheaper than the wifi hotspots here.

Hopefully the iPhone will be able to be used as a Bluetooth modem when it is rumoured to come to the UK later today.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

OpenStreetMap: Edinburgh Mapping Party Review

Last weekend's Edinburgh Mapping Party went well. We had around 10 mappers at the meet up. Most of FIXME land has now disappeared.


There was a few debates on what things should tagged. After some discussion it was decided the West Approach Road tagged highway=primary rather than tertiary, as it has all the characteristics of a primary, even so it doesn't have a reference number. Also Princes Street hasn't been a primary road since it was restricted some years ago to allow only buses along it east bound.

Hopefully there will be some more meetups in the future.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

OpenStreetMap: Edinburgh Mapping Party: August 2007

This weekend is the first OpenStreetMap mapping party in Scotland. It will start with a get together starting in the Doctors Pub, in the centre of Edinburgh, on Friday at 1800. (Map (with the pub marked)) From there we may find some show at the Edinburgh International Festival to go to.

On the Saturday and Sunday we will meet-up around 0930 in InfoSeed, who have donated their space for the mapping party. At the start of each day we will decide the specifics of where/when/what to do, depending on who is there, and what they want to do. The general idea is to start off with a quick introduction about the project, and the mapping party. Then head out to the streets to do some mapping. Then back to base to upload the results and have lunch. For the afternoon, we head back out on to the streets and do some more mapping. Back to base to upload the results. On the Saturday evening there will probably be some form of spontaneous evening entertainment.

The main aim is to get the city centre fully mapped. There is a sketch of the area that we are looking to complete. There are many unnamed roads, and missing roads in the area. There are also some smaller things like post boxes and pubs that need to be added to the map too.

Hopefully the really nice weather, with a pure blue sky, is going to continue until the end of the weekend.

More information is available on the OpenStreetMap wiki.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cycling: Back on the Road

Today my dad came round and helped me to clean and re-grease my rear hub gears. Now the bike is running a lot better. Almost as though it's now.


However I still need to replace the cogs and chain some time soon, before they wear out completely. As I have internal gears, I can get away with wearing away the cogs for a lot longer compared to other external derailleur gears.

Hopefully I won't need to take it apart for the next 6 months to a year to do another re-grease.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Clean re-install of Mac OS X

Today I have spent some time re-installing Mac OS X on my MacBook. It has been over a year now since I have bought the MacBook, and have only once done a clean install on it so far


It is now a lot faster as I don't have any junk lying around running in the background. That's one problem of installing various bits of software to see what it does and then not using it again. Maybe I should unsubscribe from the VersionTracker daily mail of new software releases. I've also gained around 20GB on my internal hard drive. 

Of course prior to the clean re-install, I had create a complete bootable backup of my hard drive, thus allowing me to selectively recover anything that I need.

I should now be able to use the OpenOffice.org CWS tools again as I'll setup my local cvs server on a different port than the default port.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cycling: Bike Repairs

Today, I was intending to cycle from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed and back. Unfortunately on leaving the lights a Regent Road to head down on to London road, my gears started making a grinding noise.


Gears 5-8 all made a horrible noise. Luckily I still had gears 1-4, though unfortunately I had a top speed of only about 15 miles per hour, which is way too slow when on the road. I cycled down to Halfords at Seafield to see if they could see what the problem was. One of the guys at the BikeHut took a look and said that I could either wait about 10 days for a gear service (£14.99), or replace the gear cable myself, which probably would be the problem (£1.99). 

The old gear cable has had one of the strands lose in parts of the cable. However the change of the cable hasn't made the noise go away. So it seems that the gear unit will need to be opened for an half yearly service. I also need to get a new chain and front cogs for it too some time soon. :-( 

At least I did manage to do some more mapping for OpenStreetMap.org, so it wasn't a completely wasted journey.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Petition to get Apple to support OpenDocument in iWork

Filip Molcan has just pointed out a new petition to get Apple to support the ISO standard 26300, otherwise known as OpenDocument in iWork 08. iWork 08 already supports the Open Office XML (OOXML) document format, which isn't yet an ISO standard. Wasn't Apple meant to be a supporter of open standards?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh and Galashiels circle

Yesterday I took a cycle south on the National Cycle Network route 1. 


 I headed out on the Lasswade Road, towards Bonnyrigg, where I joined the NCN1.

It was quite a nice day, with some awesome views in parts of the route.

From 20070804osmcy...
One of the great things about being on a push bike, is that you can ignore "Road Closed" signs, instead of taking a long diversion. In this case, a bridge on the National Cycle Network was getting replaced. Though there was a temporary scaffold bridge available for use by cyclists and pedestrians.
From 20070804osmcy...
Parts of the journey were quite tough, even so they were downhill on quiet roads, there was a strong head wind. At Innerleithen, I stopped for a short break to grab a pizza, so that I would have enough energy to get back home. From there the cycle route starts heading east to Galashiels and Melrose. 

From 20070804osmcy...
After Melrose, I decided it would be better to head back home rather than continuing south on the national cycle network. At that point I seen a distance sign that said that Edinburgh was 39 miles away on the A68. At that point I predicted that I'd be home some time between 12 midnight and 1 am.

As I was heading up the first part of the A68, which was quite a bit of uphill, I was starting to extend my prediction as to the estimated time of arrival home. However the downhill at the other side made up for the extra time to get up the hill, with me arriving home around quarter past midnight. 96 miles in 9 hours 45 minutes is pretty good, with a few breaks. It is however only a third of the speed required for setting some UK Road Records.

While I was out on my travels, I collected a nice track log of  my journey, so that I could add it to OpenStreetMap.org.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh Critical Mass: July 2007

On Friday I went along to the monthly Critical Mass again.


I managed to arrive just in time this month for them setting off from the foot of the Mound at 6pm. This month seems to have been busier that the previous two months. There was about 44-55 people on their bikes there.

This month there was no major problems. Unfortunately at a few points there motor vehicle getting into the middle of the group, but we managed to sort that out quite quickly. Also on our way up Leith Street, when we were stopped at the traffic lights, there was two police cars coming up behind us with their sirens blaring and lights flashing. Unlike motor vehicles, we were able to rapidly shift over to one side of the road and on the pavement and let them past.

In true Critical Mass style at the last minute, we decided to head to an off-licence and then the Meadows for the after cycle drink and chat instead of the usual trip to The Peartree pub.

Unfortunately the GPS has gobbled my GPS logs again, so I had to re-create the route from memory.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cycling: Glasgow to Edinburgh

On Thursday evening, I took the train over to Glasgow for the Scotlug meeting. There was an interesting presentation about phidgets. Afterwards I went along with the other geeks to the pub to grab something to eat and have a natter. I've even now seen an iPhone (not just in pictures), though not yet had a chance to play with one.


After 11pm, I set off back to Edinburgh. On my bike. I could have taken the train, but that would have cost more and I was needing the challenge of cycling over night home.

I headed North from George Square to the Glasgow spur of the Forth and Clyde Canal. I then followed the Forth and Clyde Canal, the whole way to the Carron Sea Lock, where I then hit the road for the rest of the way home (except the cycleway parallel to the A90 from Dalmeny to the Crammond Brig pub, where cyclists are not allowed on the trunk road).

By the time I was nearing South Queensferry, first light was starting to show. See the picture below, where you can just about make out the towers of the Forth Road and Rail Bridges.
From 20070727Glasg...

The journey took 5 hours, and was about 53 miles in length. It's not very often you'll see me arriving home at 4:20 am.

The greatest thing about cycling at night is that the roads are really quiet, especially after 1am. It also makes cycling on the bigger roads a lot easier, and saves you from having to use the quieter and hillier routes. It can also be faster as you don't have to deal with other traffic or air turbulence caused by other traffic.

I'd be quite happy to do it again, as long as I don't need to get up the next day before lunch time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Can launch PPC apps again

Since installing the Quicktime 7.2 and iTunes 7.3.1 updates on my MacBook, I've been unable to launch PPC applications through Rosetta. It appears that having Java 6 installed has caused the prebinding process to crash.


Following the process documented in a comment by Darlene on a blog, I've been able to launch PPC applications through Rosetta again. The process is basically removing Java 6 and then force running the prebinding process. I didn't even need a restart which is nice.

EDIT: I've also had to download and install Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 5 to get Java working again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blogger Labels Cloud

I've been wondering for a while now, how to change my long list of labels in the sidebar to a cloud, which would take up a lot less space.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Picasa Web Albums now supports GeoTagging

Picasa Web Albums has now caught up with Flickr and started to properly support GeoTagging of Photos.


I have however found a bug in the iPhoto uploader plugin. Basically if you have used a GPS track to Geo tag your photos, if you compress the photos on upload, then you will lose those Geo Tags.

As a point of note, you need to enable the GPS tag reading as described in the Google Help.

I have posted to the Google Web Albums Google Group to see if any one there has come across the problem too.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Some people thought that I done a lot of cycling?


Many people have commented on the various day cycling trips that I've taken. However yesterday when shopping, I found someone who has been doing a lot more cycling than myself. He took the train from Cambridge up to Inverness. Then he started cycling and camping rough. That was two months ago. 


He was taking everything he needed in panniers on his bike. He was looking at doing around 50 miles each on the way back down to Cambridge.

See the attached photo of his bike with the panniers full.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

OpenOffice.org Aqua 2nd Preview Released

The second OpenOffice.org Aqua Preview is now available for download.


There are a number of new features and bug fixes in this release. There is one major known regression, that will be fixed in a future development build. This time we have not hacked the source to include the Mac OS X native file picker. Instead there is the OpenOffice.org file picker used.

For the record the new things in this version include:
  • Printing now works, though it does not yet use an aqua print dialog
  • PDF export now works
  • Copy and Paste should now work fully
  • OpenOffice.org no longer crashes after quiting
  • Text and graphics are now drawn properly
  • Windows and dialogs mostly now have an aqua theme
  • Combo boxes now look a lot better
  • Various bugs, crashes and performance improvements
  • (QA only) testtool can be hacked to work properly
There are a number of things that do not work in this version. Please do not report anything in the following list, as reporting known issues, just wastes developers time. The known issues currently include:
  • There is a black flash when opening new windows
  • OpenOffice.org still has problems with Aqua's device resolution indepence
  • There is no Aqua file picker in this release. This is a known regression, the Aqua file picker will be back in a future build
  • Opening a document to open in OpenOffice.org from another application, such as the Finder, Mail or Safari, will mean that OpenOffice.org will open with a blank document. You need to open all documents from within OpenOffice.org
  • The print dialog is not the same as one in other Mac OS X Applications
  • Starting OpenOffice.org from a shared/remote folder does not work
  • Impress will not recognise multiple monitors for presentations
The list on the aqua download page will be updated with more known issues as required.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cycling: Critical Mass: Edinburgh June 2007

On Friday I headed to the Edinburgh Critical Mass again. It was a lot busier than last month, which meant that it was better perceived by the public.


As the route of the Critical Mass is not predefined, it is very easy to change the route. When we tried to turn right from Princes Street into North Bridge, no vehicles were allowed, so instead we headed down Leith Street.

Part of the Critical Mass route (I was late so it's missing the start).

After Critical Mass, I took a little detour home by going via Crammond Island.

I've stuck the photos on to Flickr seemingly Yahoo maps doesn't actually have Crammond Island.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cycling: Stirling to Glasgow

Last Thursday I was in Stirling for a presentation in the morning. I took the train out, so that I was able to be out there for the start of the presentation at 9:30. Unfortunately as I was travelling before 10am and it was not yet July or August, I had to pay the full fare of £5.80, rather than get a third off with the Young Person Railcard. I'll need to keep in mind that for the next 2 months, I'll be able to get the discount even when travelling before 10am Monday to Friday.


After the presentation finished at lunch time I cycled to Glasgow for a Scotlug meeting, where there was a presentation by Chris Fleming about OpenStreetMap.org. It took about 5 hours, including some time for a few breaks. Unfortunately there was some rain showers on the last half of the Cycle from Stirling to Glasgow. At one point it was so heavy that I decided to hide under one of the bridges that go over the Forth and Clyde Canal to let the heaviest of the rain to pass over.

As it had been so wet, I decided to take the slow train home, otherwise I would have cycled through the night back to Edinburgh.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Getting plain text logs from Colloquy

In the process of putting the log files of the Mac OS X porting meeting logs up on to the OpenOffice.org Wiki, I have been having a few problems. This has primarily been due to the location of new lines.


To day I asked on Colloquy's IRC channel, and found that there is a simple utility to get plain text logs from the XML Colloquy logs. It is located at the Colloquy extras page.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Stats for the OpenOffice.org download bouncer

Many of the OpenOffice.org national language teams will be happy with the following announcement.


There are now Download Statistics being produced for the downloads from the bouncer. The stats are generated once daily around 08:05 UTC. Inside the stats folder you will find a series of folders with dates as their name. Inside each of these, you will find a series of files that contain a few different breakdowns of the stats for each particular day. 

For example, 20070621/macos-alllangs.txt shows the number of downloads on the 21st of June 2007, broken down by download for each possible download. I find it strange that there has been 135 downloads for the Mac OS X PPC en-US version of 2.1.0, which is a very old build. The newer OpenOffice.org 2.2.0 for Mac OS X PPC en-US has less than 3 times more downloads. I'm wondering where the 2.1.0 build is linked from.

For a language example, 20070621/allos-de.txt shows a count of all the German downloads on the 21st of June 2007. The most popular German build on that day being Mac OS X Intel, with 102 downloads.

Thanks go to Michael Marineau from OSUOSL for setting up the script.

Please note that these are simply raw requests and and the script that produces them doesn't take into account builds that don't exist, but were requested for. Unfortunately there is no week, month or year view of the data at this time. 
The files do mention all version of OpenOffice.org from 2.1.0 up to and including 2.4.0. This has been done so that they will not need to be updated for each release.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Spaces around colons

Today I discovered why it is that the French have been placing a space in front of colons (:), and it has been driving me mad. 


In English it is usually seen as being wrong to place a space before a colon. However according to Lars Aronsson on the lingu-dev mailing list, it is normal practice in French to place a space before the colon.

You learn something new every day.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh to North Berwick

Last Night I took a cycle out to Prestonpans. I then took the train to North Berwick for £2.50, and cycled all the way back to Edinburgh. 


I was originally going to cycle to North Berwick, though unfortunately I had a head wind, which would have meant I would have missed the last train from North Berwick towards Edinburgh. The route that I changed to was also cheaper, because if I had gone all the way to North Berwick to take the train back, I would have taken the train all the way back to Edinburgh. That would have cost nearly twice as much.

I have also got the North Berwick branch line and the coast road into Edinburgh mapped on to OpenStreetMap.org. The signal of the GPS on the train wasn't perfect the whole way

Maps:
Edinburgh -> Presontpans (16 miles about 1 hour 20 minutes)
North Berwick -> Edinburgh (30 miles about 2 and a half hours)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dissertation Finally Complete

I've now completed my dissertation and handed it in. I completed the presentation this morning. So now that it's over, I can get on with some real work and hopefully earn some money.


I found the presentation quite tough to write (though no where near as tough as the dissertation), as I didn't think I would be able to stand up for 20 minutes to talk, with 10 minutes questions. I realised after I started the talk, I would run out of time.

If your interested you can take a read.

Just a few weeks now, and I'll know what level of degree that I will have.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Safari 3.0 Beta

I'm taking the new Safari 3.0 Beta for a test drive. I have to say, I'm quite impressed with it in many ways. For the past few months I've been using Camino, as it has had a few features that Safari didn't have.


Safari is now a lot faster than before. Buttons are being custom drawn like in other browsers. A new history feature of being able to open the last closed window is quite handy. 

The RSS hasn't changed much, so I'll just keep to Google Reader. It would be nice if there was the Camino option that allows you to open links that are meant to open in a separate window to open in a new tab instead.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

UK Government gives response to OpenDocument online petition

The UK (Westminster) Government has given a response to the petition on a petition calling on the UK Government to use the OpenDocument format for the storage of documents.
Read the UK Government's response to the OpenDocument Petition

It seems that they are making no firm commitment to use the OpenDocument format, though are continually reviewing the format to store documents in, and converting them accordingly. They welcome the newer open standards, as it makes it easier to convert from one format to another.

OpenOffice.org Aqua's first in depth review

The first in depth review of OpenOffice.org Aqua that I have come across is by Greg Kefalas. This is a four part series starting today, so more information in the coming days. I'll add links to the other parts of the review as they become available.

Part one

Part two
Part three
Many of the problems mentioned are already fixed, or will be fixed for the next developer preview. Also the new chart, which is coming in OpenOffice.org 2.3 will be there too.
Part four Some of the issues raised have already been fixed and will be in the next developer snapshot. Having separate application for Writer, Calc, Impress etc. takes a lot of work to redesign the way ooo works otherwise it would have been implemented by now. The first steps in the project is to simply use native controls and get the most important features of Mac OS X implemented. We will then make a stable release. Thereafter we will look into other things like Applescript and re-organising the menus of OpenOffice.org into palettes. However if someone with a special passion for implementing Applescript support into applications comes along today and that's all they want to do, we won't stop them, if they are following our coding guidelines.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

First OpenOffice.org Aqua snapshot released

The first development snapshot of OpenOffice.org Aqua has been released into the wild. There is still a lot of work to do, and there has been some progress already since the snapshot was produced.

This snapshot can be downloaded from the OpenOffice.org Aqua Mac Download page

There are a number of things that still don't work, including printing, exporting to a PDF, copy and paste, drag and drop, and multiple monitors.

There will be some more snapshots in the near future.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

EIS and tinderbox now show buildbot builds

Michael Leibowtiz and Christian Lohmaier have finished the bug fixing with the sending of buildbot slave results from the build master to the tinderbox.

This now means that EIS has up to date buildbot results too (except from the bots attached to the old build master).

This now means that the Mac OS X Intel platform is now in EIS.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Google Maps has new "Avoid Highways" option

Google Maps now has a great route planning feature called "avoid highways". This produces routes that don't go on to motorways and some trunk routes, such as the Edinburgh City Bypass, where cyclists are not allowed.

It still isn't perfect for cyclists as it doesn't allow for some
roads that cyclists are not allowed on. However it is a step in the right direction for route planning for more experienced cyclists who are happy to cycle on main roads rather than the quieter National Cycle Routes.

It also still routes cyclists on some roads that cyclists are banned from using, such as the West Approach Road in Edinburgh.
See example map that shows this problem.

Another problem is where the route planner takes you a much longer way than you would expect. For example Edinburgh to Dundee avoiding highways takes you via the Kincardine Bridge, this is fine if there is high winds and the Forth Road Bridge is closed to high sided vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists. However that is significantly longer than going via the Forth Road Bridge.

Cycling: Edinburgh Critical Mass

Yesterday I cycled in the Edinburgh Critical Mass.

The idea about Critical Mass is to raise awareness of cycling. A large group of cyclists just get together and cycle around a city as a group. It is completely unorganised except the starting location and time. No route is planned in advance. Anyone in the group can decide to take the lead and the route is chosen on the fly by consensus.
In Edinburgh, on the last Friday of every month at 17:30 for 18:00 set off, a bunch of cyclists get together at the the foot of the mound beside the National Galleries of Scotland. The cycle takes around an hour or two.

From 20070525Criti...
From 20070525Criti...


Some photos that I took on Flickr
Same photos on Picasa Web Albums
The route
GPX Trace

Cycling: Edinburgh to Dunbar

On Wednesday I cycled about 36 miles from Edinburgh to Dunbar in just over 2 hours. The tail wind and my significant amount of recent cycling helped with the short duration. I lazily took the train back.

From 20070523Edinb...

From 20070523Edinb...

Map of ride (no track points between Dunbar station and Edinburgh Waverley station).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Someone has a sense of humour at Google Maps

I thought I would checkout how I would get from Edinburgh to the WWDC in San Francisco. Head over to Google Maps, and search from Edinburgh to San Francisco. Take a look at item 41, which is 3,462 miles long.

(Is anyone up for the swim?)

Carbon Apps produce preference files without developers doing anything

This evening I was speaking to Yvan Barthélemy (ybart on IRC) over IRC, when he pointed out something interesting about the preferences for the Aqua port.

Even so the aqua port hasn't specifically done anything to do so, Mac OS X has created the preferences file org.openoffice.script.plist. This contains information such as the last used folder in file open dialogs, and any other Carbon components that have preferences associated with them.

The preferences filename comes from CFBundleIdentifier in the Info.plist file that is in every Application bundle. We came to the conclusion that this isn't a good name for the aqua version. We thought that having a CFBundleIdentifier of org.openoffice would be appropriate since OpenOffice.org doesn't have any other applications of the Mac. (Well as far as I know at the moment).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Blogger now auto saves when writing blog posts

Google have now added a long needed feature to Blogger Blog post creation. This is auto saving of Blog Posts, which is done pretty much the same way as Google Mail.

This is much better than the old way of saving drafts of blog posts, which meant that on saving the draft you had to go back to the list of blog posts each time you saved. This was painful productivity hindrance.

New macport OpenOffice.org meta user

At today's Mac Port meeting, Eric Bachard created a new meta user, macport, on the OpenOffice.org web site.

This meta user is to be used for all unassigned issues relating to the Mac Port of OpenOffice.org. It is now the default owner of Mac Port issues. This means that the default owner for issues is no longer ericb, the project lead.

See all the open issues assigned to the user macport.

If there is anyone doing QA or issue triage, and you come across a Mac OS X specific issue, please assign it to the new user macport. Once a developer has started working on the issue, they should re-assign the issue to themselves.

If you would like to keep track of all issues by this meta user, please edit your OpenOffice.org Issue Tracker preferences. Log in to the OpenOffice.org web site, then head to the Edit prefs -> Email settings page. On this page you can set the "Users to watch" to include macport in the comma separated list. If you do this, you will now get an email as per your email preferences whenever an issue assigned to macport is created or changed.

This is another piece of evidence that the Mac Port is active and moving faster than before.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Scotland's new First Minister

Alex Salmond is now the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament.

There were 4 candidates in total: Annabel Goldie (Conservative), Jack McConnell (Labour), Alex Salmond (SNP), and Nicol Steven (Lib Dem).

The 2 Greens voted for the SNP leader to become First Minister. All the other parties voted for their own party leader. Votes were: Annabel Goldie: 16; Jack McConnell: 46; Alex Salmond: 49; Nicol Steven: 16; abstain: 1.

The voting went to a second round with only Jack McConnell and Alex Salmond. The candidate with the most votes in the first round did not get more votes than the votes for all other candidates. For the second round the votes were: Jack McConnell: 46; Alex Salmond: 49; abstain 43.

The political landscape in Scotland is changing, hopefully for the better.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

OpenOffice.org Aqua screenshots

Today I thought I would give you a sneak peek at the upcoming OpenOffice.org Aqua. I have 2 quick screenshots for you.

First up is the OpenOffice.org Writer window after resizing, with a native Mac menu bar.

From OpenOffice.or...

Second is a menu. You can currently use both cmd or ctrl to activate the menu command shortcuts. There is no native file picker yet, but it is a work in progress.

From OpenOffice.or...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

BBC giving free text alerts of the Scottish Parliament results

Today is an election day in the Scotland. We are voting for new MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament) and local councillors.

For the Scottish Parliament Constituency vote, the BBC is providing a free txt alert system. (Choose you constituency, then reply to a text message to confirm that you want the message).

This year the council elections will be interesting as this year Scotland is moving from First Past the Post to the Single Transferable Vote (or proportional representation). Instead of putting a cross for the appropriate candidate, we are numbering the candidates with 1 for the candidate that we want, a 2 for the candidate that we want next, etc.

Lets see what the election brings about in terms of a potentially new government.

Sun officially supports the Mac port of OpenOffice.org

This morning I woke up to some great news. Sun now have 2 full time employees with many years of experience in programming StarOffice and OpenOffice.org.

Original Mail to the Mac Port list

Original Blog post

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh to Croy via Glasgow and Bowling

Yesterday I cycled 140KM (87 miles). I first headed out to Balerno along the Lanark Road, where I joined the National Cycle Route 75. I followed it as best as I could all the way into Glasgow. Along the Clyde I switched over the the National Cycle Route 7, which took me out to Bowling, where I took a break at the Bowling Basin/Harbour. Bowling is where the Forth and Clyde Canal joins the River Clyde.

Unfortunately I managed to get 2 punctures from the rim side of the inner tube. The first around Coatbridge I managed to fix. After that I got all the way to Bowling and then start heading back along the Forth and Clyde canal. At the towpath access point for Kilsyth and Croy I got a second puncture in another place again on the rim side of the tire. I tried to fix it, but as soon as I got it all back together, I start to hear a high pitched whistle coming from where I just fixed the puncture. The tire was flat within minute. It was getting dark and it was still about another 20 miles to Falkirk, so I decided to head to Croy station and get the train from there back home for £6.05.

It wasn't all that bad, it seems to be the second most I have cycled in one day. Maybe I'll get around to doing the trip again and set myself a new record for how far I can cycle in one day.

Some photos of my trip

Maps of the trip (in 4 sections):
Edinburgh -> Livingston
Livingston -> Puncture Repair 1 (Coatbridge)
Puncture Repair 1 (Coatbridge) -> Bowling
Bowling -> Kilsyth/Croy on Forth and Clyde Canal

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Acceptability of applications to Mac users

There has been some online commentary recently on the likely acceptability of applications on the Mac platform. It basically boils down to: all applications that are successful on the Mac are well designed. They all look and behave the same way. Mac users are very fussy about the way that applications look and run. If they are not happy then they will not use the application, they will find an alternative application.
This basically means that OpenOffice.org for the Mac will have to be different from the main OpenOffice.org in a number of respects. Some of these could be integrated as an option for other platform.
Examples that could be used across all platforms include:

  • using palettes instead of dialog boxes for things like the paragraph and character dialogs
  • using native colour chooser dialogs
  • full document indexing/searching (partly implemented already)
  • system address book access
  • Mozilla plugin that doesn't require a full OpenOffice.org installation to work
  • quick view (in various incarnations)
Examples of integration specific to the Mac platform (I don't know if these are available on other platforms):
  • iLife integration
  • .Mac integration
  • Backup integration
  • (Leopard only) iChat for collaboration with documents and sharing presentations
  • (Leopard only) System-wide ToDo integration
If anyone has any other ideas or comments, please add your comments to this blog post.

Example articles:
Why VRML Failed and What That Means for OpenOffice
All I want for Christmas...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Exams Finished

This morning I sat my last exam for my Computer Science course at Heriot-Watt University. I now have just over 5 weeks of hard work on my dissertation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh to Glasgow and back

On Saturday I cycled from Edinburgh to Glasgow along the National Cycle Network Route 75 (except the bits where I missed some signs and got lost). Then to get back home I used the Forth and Clyde canal to Falkirk, where I switch to the Union Canal back into Edinburgh.

This is the first time that I have knowingly cycled over 100 miles in one day. It took me about 12 and a half hours to get there and back. I was expecting it to take another hour or two to do the journey. Heading West took longer due to the head wind and getting lost a few times due to the National Cycle Network not being well sign posted in places and not having been in the area before.

Going through North Lanarkshire isn't particularly great on the bike due to the very high amount of broken glass lying around on the cycle paths. Livingston has some glass lying around in a few places, but it is no where near as bad as heading through the North Lanarkshire council area.

Google album:

Cycling Edinburgh to Glasgow and back


See the route.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

8 Core MacPro

Apple has released the 3GHz 8 Core MacPro. Apple have just added an extra processor option to the MacPro line.
It is available in the US for an extra $1498 over the base MacPro. It doesn't appear to be available in the UK store just now.
Now all I need to do is learn how to earn enough to afford one.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh, Airdrie and Canals Circle

Yesterday I took a long 80 mile cycle. Initially I headed West from Colinton in Edinburgh through to Airdrie. In Airdrie I lost track of the sign posts for the National Cycle Route 75. So I headed North to the Forth and Clyde Canal to Falkirk. At Falkirk I joined the Union canal home.

There was only 2 hilly sections of the route. There is a steady climb from Colinton to Balerno. Though from Balerno towards Kirknewton there is a steep downhill. Heading from Airdrie to the Forth and Clyde Canal there were quire a few hills that I went over.

Along the Bathgate to Airdrie section there is a series of large artworks along the path.


At Falkirk the sun was setting behind the Falkirk Wheel as I was passing.


I was surprised that I didn't get another puncture going through Livingston or on the Airdrie side of the Bathgate to Airdrie Cycle Path, with the amount of broken glass lying around.

The longest cycled in one day was about 70 miles to Berwick Upon-Tweed. So yesterday set a new record. Not much more now until I cycle 100 miles in one day.





Saturday, March 31, 2007

OpenOffice.org Language Pack Revamp

As sent out to some of the OpenOffice.org mailing lists:


At the moment there are a number of issues with the current language packs for OpenOffice.org. Some platforms such as Mac OS X don't have language packs, instead they only have full installsets. The language packs currently have to be built on each platform individually. This means extra compilation time and extra storage on the mirror network since essentially the same localisation data is packaged into a different package for every platform.

I have a proposal for dramatically improving the current situation.

Let's have cross-platform language packs. This will mean that the language packs will be built once, and can then be used on ANY platform. This will save build time, especially when a builder can just use their fastest machine, instead of having to do it once per platform. This will free up developer and builder time, as well as space on the mirror network.

With this change I'm looking at implementing a simple user installation of language packs, similar to what has just been added to OpenOffice.org 2.2 for extensions. This would enable platform integration for the language pack installation. We could possibly go as far as Firefox and deploy language packs in a very similar way to extensions. We could even have the option to install language packs just for one user or for all users of the installation. If the platform supports it, a server deployed location for the language packs should be possible.

This is just an idea, it needs more development before implementation. No implementation testing has been done yet. An initial idea check for daftness has been completed, which is why this mail is going out. I'm looking to see if there are any foreseeable problems with this proposal, and whether there is backing from the whole OpenOffice.org community.
Comments are more than welcome.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Open Source Mapping

Today I came across mapping wiki style. OpenStreetMap aims to provide free geographic data of the whole world.
The current problems with most maps is that they are have copyright on them, and they have special easter eggs or gotchas to determine copying of the maps. This is a problem for projects that need to be able to use maps in the form of free speech, rather than free beer. Google Maps for example can be used like free beer, but not in the form of free speech.

The amount of data available is currently fairly low, so I would start using the maps for major map planning yet. However you can help, by mapping some part of the world that you know well.

I have recently been using MapMyRide.com for mapping out my Cycle trips. It uses Google Maps, which unfortunately does not contain enough information like the canals for example. This makes it difficult to do some mapping, especially in areas where their maps are of low resolution.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Union Canal resurfacing in Edinburgh

Today was the first time that I cycled along the Union Canal from the canal basin near Tollcross in Edinburgh to Wester Hailes in the West of the City. The surface was very smooth and without the potholes that were there before. In many places, the path is wider than what it was before.
The nice weather has also got people out, as the canal towpath was fairly busy, compared to what I have seen it before.

OpenOffice.org Mac Port timeline updated

Further to Eric Bachard's mention on his blog. I have now updated the time line for the Mac Port of OpenOffice.org and added a new news item for it.

We are currently looking at a May 2007 release for the Alpha of OpenOffice.org Aqua. Around the end of the year we hope to have a beta release of OpenOffice.org Aqua available.

British Summer Time from tomorrow

It's that time of year again when all the clocks in Europe change again. Tonight at 1AM the clocks all jump forward an hour. Being in the UK, it is nice that during the Winter, my current time is GMT/UTC. However, during the Summer, I'm an hour out from GMT/UTC. This does confuse me at the start of the summer. The change in sunrise and sunset compared to local time is annoying too.

Thanks to Pavel, I learned a new flag for the the date command on unix based systems. If you run date -u, you get the current time in GMT/UTC rather than your current local time when running the command without the flag.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cycling: Dunblane to Edinburgh

On Sunday afternoon, there was some strong Westerly winds, so rather than cycling into the wind, I decided to cycle with the wind. Rather than do my usual of cycle somewhere, and then take the train home if it isn't a circular route, or I'm too tired; I took the train out to Dunblane and started cycling from there.

It took about an hour to get from Edinburgh Park to Dunblane. The train diverted via Falkirk High instead of Falkirk Grahamson and missing out Camelon due to some essential rail maintenance. After Falkirk High the train stopped to turn around and head in the other direction so that it could go north towards Dunblane. The cost was £4.10.

On getting off the train at Dunblane, I looked North and though "oh no, the heavens are about to open". The sky was very dark with very heavy and dark cloud. I set on my way hoping that I wouldn't get totally soaked. Heading down into Bridge of Allan, there was a little flurry of snow. There wasn't enough for it to lie on the ground. After Bridge of Allan, I headed through Stirling, Tullibody, Alloa to Kincardine on the North Side of the River Forth.

Due to the high winds the Forth Road Bridge was closed, so I headed South over the Kincardine Bridge to Grangemouth. There I headed into a head wind into Falkirk. At Falkirk I joined the Union Canal beside Falkirk High Station. I now know how Falkirk High got its name. It sits at the top of a hill on the south side of Falkirk.

I probably would have been faster keeping to the road, though the canal towpath is much simpler since you are unlikely to take a wrong turn.

The total distance that I cycled was about 54 miles. It took me about 5 hours and 40 minutes in total, with a couple of breaks.

Map of the Route

Monday, March 12, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh to Stirling

Yesterday I took a cycle from Edinburgh to Stirling, following fairly close to the Firth of Forth and River Forth further West.

It was pretty clear when I set out, unfortunately it slowly got damper later on. Heading through Grangemouth the rain came on quite heavy. By the time I had started leaving Grangemouth, the rain was down to either nothing or just a light mist. It was a pretty strong head wind most of the way.

In many of the back roads that the National Cycle routes take you, it is a lot more sheltered and often more hilly. I decided to avoid Blackness, the low road through Bo'ness and from Bo'ness to Grangemouth, where I used the main roads instead of the minor back roads.

I got to Stirling and hopped on to a train home. It cost £4.10 to get back into Edinburgh. The train took about 50 minutes, compared to just over 4 hours for the cycle into the head wind.

I even took some photos
.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cycling: Round the Forth

Yesterday I cycled round the Firth of Forth between the Forth Road Bridge and the Kincardine Swing Bridge.

It was about 60 miles, with plenty of hills to get over. This made the journey a bit tougher than I thought. There were a few showers. In true Scottish style, I waited 5 minutes and they were over. The total journey time was around 7 hours.

There was a full moon, which I seen above the Forth Bridges on my way back.

There are some photos over at Flickr. The full route.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

X11 Installation instructions now has pictures

I have added some pictures to the X11 Installation instructions on the OpenOffice.org Mac Porting Pages. This should make it easier for users to follow and understand.

Monday, February 26, 2007

OpenOffice.org 2.2 to Require Java 5 too

It looks like Java 5 and the latest software updates will be required if you want to use the next version of OpenOffice.org (2.2) on Mac OS X.

For more information please read a post to the users list by James Mckenzie.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cycling: Round Fife

Today I headed North to Fife over the Forth Road Bridge, then the continued on the National Cycle Network to Dunfermline, where I managed to lose track of the sign posts for the National Cycle Network. Rather than turn back, I just continued on and ended up heading through Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly, and Kinglassie before arriving up in Glenrothes. I stopped for a half hour break, before heading South to Kirkcaldy. I then took a cycle East for about 5 miles to Methil.

Realising I was starting to get rather tired, so turned back and got the train from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh Park, changing at Haymarket for £3.85. It was quite interesting how close to the coast the train got on parts of the journey, with only a cliff of rocks separating the train from the Firth of Forth.

The weather was dry with it only lots of low level cloud coming in from the West. The only time I had some rain was getting off the train at Edinburgh Park staiton.

Haymarket Station was very busy when I was passing through with the Rugby and Football matches that were on in Edinburgh today.

The total distance of the journey was about 50 miles.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Cycling: Edinburgh to Glasgow

On Saturday I took a cycle along the Union Canal to Falkirk and then the Forth and Clyde Canal to Glasgow. It was a total of about 60 or 70 miles.

I timed it nicely for getting into Falkirk as I got to see the Falkirk Wheel turning.



It was a really nice day for the cycle, with only a short shower of rain just after Falkirk. The great thing about cycling along the canal towpaths, is that it is fairly level all the way along the route. However, the towpath in places is very muddy.

I took the train home from Glasgow Central to Wester Hailes. At £4.35 it was cheaper than going from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Park, which is more frequent, but requires a change to get there.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nvu and KompoZer on Intel Macs

I've done a bit of searching on trying to compile Nvu and KompoZer on an Intel Mac and it would appear to be very difficult without lots of patches that have already been integrated into the Mozilla source code. They are both based on some old Mozilla/Gecko code. Namely the 1.7 aviary branch, which did not support Intel Macs.

In the mean time I can use KompoZer (a bug fix release of Nvu) though Rosetta, which seems to work. Ideally they need to be based on newer Mozilla/Gecko code so that they can be compiled as a Universal Binary for Mac OS X, thus run natively on Intel Macs.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Frappr works on the Mac again

For a while it has been impossible to upload photos to Frappr maps using Mac OS X. The Frappr team have recently got it sorted out, so I can now add my updated photo the the current OpenOffice.org Mac OS X Porting Developers map.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cycling: Cross Country


Yesterday I took a 70 mile cycle along the East Coast from Edinburgh via Musselburgh, North Berwick, and Dunbar. It was a really nice day for cycling as there was only a gentle breeze and a nice spring sun, whilst not being too hot like in the middle of the summer. I can now say that I have cycled the whole way along the East Lothian Coastal Trail, and across the Scotland-England Border.

Between Port Seton and Gullane there was a very high number of cyclists travelling in the opposite direction. Many of them were bunched up in groups. Most were wearing proper lightweight cycling gear and using road racers, unlike me.

At North Berwick I didn't stop this time, I just kept going. Shortly after, just outside Tantallon Castle, I stopped for a quick drink and take my fleece of since it was getting rather warm.

Until North Berwick the road was fairly busy in comparison to the rest of the journey where the roads were a lot quieter. This was probably just as well after Dunbar as many of the vehicles beside you can be travelling at speeds of 60 or 70 miles per hour. There are some parts of the journey that had sections specifically for cyclists, which was nice. It would however have been better if there were more of them.

At Dunbar I took a short break for lunch and set on my way again. It was about 1pm, so I had another 3 or 4 hours to cycle the next nearly 30 miles to Berwick (the next station on the East Coast Mainline). I headed into the unknown.

At one point I decided to deviate of the A1 to go along some of the back roads, and ended up in some bay with a single track road and at the bottom was a caravan park. Heading back up the other side was so steep I had to get off and push the bike up the hill. Next time I'll either keep to the roads I know, or take a map with me.

I managed to surprise myself as I thought that it would be dark even before I got to the English border. Even so the sun had already set, it was still light enough until I got into Berwick upon Tweed.

The train back home cost me £10.10 with my young person railcard. It seems that once you are going a larger distance, it doesn't matter which of the Edinburgh stations that you go to, even if you have to change trains, it still costs the same, which is nice.

How many more varieties of Vista does Microsoft want to produce?

I've come across a very good picture that shows the upgrade options for Windows XP and Mac OS X. Is it any wonder I will try to avoid Vista, it is so complicated. The Mac however is nice an simple.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The M$ paperclip in real life

Most people who have used the Office suite from Microsoft will have probably come across the irritating paper clip. Well someone has taken the paper clip into real life. Take a look at the clip.

Monday, January 29, 2007

QATrack Moved, but no RSS feed at it's new home

It seems that the OpenOffice.org QATrack has moved from http://www.qatrack.org/ to http://qatrack.services.openoffice.org/ and has lost it's RSS feed in the process.

Cycling: North Berwick this time

On Saturday I took a 30 mile cycle out to North Berwick. The tail (westerly) wind did help, and helped my decision on whether to cycle west, north or east.
I took a couple of stops along the way for refreshments. I got into North Berwick about 5pm, just as the sun was setting.
When I got to the train station, the train was due to leave in about 5 minutes time. There was an announcement to say that it was 10 minutes late. Did it appear? Nope. The next one appeared and left on time though. One thing that I noticed is that with the train being electric, it is considerably quieter than the desiel trains that run between Edinburgh-{Glasgow, Bathgate, Fife via Stirling}.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Installing Inkscape on Mac OS X


I recently installed Inkscape. This was interesting for me because Inkscape is similar to OpenOffice.org on the Mac. It too needs X11 to run and has a special launcher to help integrate the program with the OS.

They have the easy installation similar to what will be introduced in the next release of OpenOffice.org.

What is more interesting is that on first start they have a message "Font caches may need to be updated". This allow the user torun a program called fc-cache.

I don't know if this could be of any use in OpenOffice.org. As OpenOffice.org on the Mac has done various things to allow the support of fonts installed for Mac OS X applications to be used in OpenOffice.org too.

Something that was even more interesting for me was the application that produced the Mac OS X integration. It seemed that they didn't use a simple Applescript droplet. Instead they seem to have used an Applescript studio or XCode application and used Interface Builder to produce the application. One advantage is that way you don't need to have a menu called "edit" with a menu item in it called "edit script". This has confused a number of OpenOffice.org users before.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Apple posts an FAQ about the X11 for Mac OS X

Apple have released Technical Note TN2165, an FAQ about the X window environment (X11) for Mac OS X.

There are several interesting things in the tech note including:

  • "OpenGL does not support off-screen rendering." Even with OpenGL not being enabled in OpenOffice.org, I get redraw issues with part of the window being off screen. This happens in both when scrolling the document and opening a new dialog that partially appears off screen. When the section of the document or dialog is moved on screen, then it doesn't draw properly. I'm now wondering if this problem is not just with OpenGL, but with X11 in general.
  • XDarwin is no longer recommended.
  • It is technically feasible to make cmd+v work across all X11 applications.
  • "XInputExtension is not yet implemented." Could this be why OpenOffice.org on the mac has some issues with the input of some international characters? (Please correct me in the comments if I'm wrong with this assumption.)
  • OpenGL has the same problem as the command osacompile, in that it won't run/work unless the user is root or the currently logged in user of Mac OS X.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

New Mac PPC Buildbot

There are now 3 Mac buildbots available for testing builds of OpenOffice.org.

The latest addition is by audionuma (or in real life known as Manuel Naudin) from Paris, France, who has donated the processor time of his PPC Mac. He gave a short introduction about himself at yesterday's Mac Port Meeting. His bot has the name MacPort3 on the buildbot master.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Cycling: Riccarton to Falkirk & 2 punctures in a fortnight



A week past Wednesday, I took a cycle straight from university along the Union canal to Falkirk. It was the furthest West I have cycled along the canal towpath. It was an enjoyable quiet cycle that too just over 4 hours. I needed the exercise.

I even got around to taking a few of pictures on the way. The two photos attached to this post were taken only a few minutes apart, a short distance apart.

I've now seen the Falkirk Wheel, for the first time. As it was very dark by then the pictures of it didn't come out well.

After getting into Falkirk around 8pm, I popped into Tesco for a quick shop, before hopping on the train with my bike home.

The next day I had some horrible slow puncture that got rapidly worse that meant I had to push the bike home. It was a lovely thorn that was stuck in the tyre that caused the puncture. Pushing the thorn out and patching the inner tube seems to have fixed it. The hardest part of the repair was tyre back on to the wheel, but I managed.

Yesterday I managed to get another puncture, this time on the other tyre. It was caused by a bit of glass 8mm long and about 2-4mm wide. It caused so much damage to the inner tube that meant that patching it just didn't work. So after a couple of failed attempts I stuck in a new inner tube.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

How can you help the OpenOffice.org project?

I've come across the question of: I'm not a programmer, or use OpenOffice.org on my Mac as a normal course of business (though do use OpenOffice.org on other platforms); How can I help the OpenOffice.org Mac Porting Project?

As a non programmer, and someone who doesn't use OpenOffice.org on the Mac as a normal course of work, there is still something that you can do to help.

The three main areas that come to mind and documentation, marketing, and donating processor time.

In terms of documentation, simply checking the documentation that is available, and making sure that it is easy to understand, and up to date. We don't always get everything right, so need others, like you, to suggest improvements. This areas covers user support too.

In terms of marketing, writing blog posts, that comment on OpenOffice.org on the Mac, increases the awareness of the project, it doesn't need to be done often. Every blog post or news article, that portrays accurate information increases the possibility of an extra user, and more importantly a developer too.
Now that we have a variety of screenshots out there of the current status, we have seen an increase in people coming to the project both as users and developers (or I'm just getting more involved with the project).
Even just using the OpenDocument file format can help, as it means that others need to install OpenOffice.org (or another application that supports the OpenDocument file format).

A third way of supporting the Mac project, especially if you have large chunks of time when your Mac isn't being used, is to build OpenOffice.org. There is a special system that the OpenOffice.org project has that automates the whole procedure of building OpenOffice.org, but you need to manage to compile OpenOffice.org locally first. This is slowly becoming easier, though there is support all the way from the Mac Porters.

More information about the buildbot system is available:

If you don't have a stable internet connection, you may be interested in the tinderbox setup.