Elric's random thoughts in idle times

"Why stop now, when I'm just starting to hate it?" – Marvin the robot

John Goerzen orphans offlineimap

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There are things that break my heart badly… such as this. This tool is by far the fastest imap sync tool I’ve ever used (including the ones integrated in apps such as Thunderbird), works great on my poor internet connection, and I love to use it with Mutt.

Luckily enough, the tool is far enough for a regular gmail account, and as such I will keep it till it starts segfaulting due to an incompatible dependency upgrade :***

So… thanks John Goerzen for the time spent on this fantastic tool. Sometimes I wish I had studied programming instead of language so I could maintain apps that I like and get unmaintained.

And I also hope you (John) will become unsatisfied with imap mail fetchers once again :)


Written by elric80

June 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Posted in debian, linux

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Listening… Tenpel

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Tenpel is an amazing band I’ve been following for some time now. Despite the time they’ve been around, 10 years, there success is still very relative. I presume this is basically due to a couple of facts; the originality of their musical proposal, which defies many established notions, as well as the poor habit of not listening to our own bands in Spain…

Since the music is composed by various styles, it’s pretty unexplainable. Luckily enough, you can download their latest EP for free (yes, they are just that generous :) Link below.

I guess you can say their music is some sort of really emotional rock music (NOT EMO), where you may find tinges of many styles, raging from metal to flamenco to…. Ok, find out for yourself, the music is interestingly weird, give it a chance. And if you ever have the chance to see them live, you can’t miss them, I was astonished when I saw them for the first time not so long ago by the power they unleash once they start playing.


Tenpel official website
Tenpel’s blog

Written by elric80

June 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Posted in music

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Debian: virtaal 0.6.1 and translate-toolkit 1.7

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Edit: You might want to try the newest beta releases. The packages have been tested on Debian Squeeze and Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10, and work just fine. Take a look into the amazing enhancements this release will offer by downloading the deb packages from Translate.org.za!

Definitely, virtaal is my po editor of choice. It’s clean interface and ease of use are the best virtues of this application. translate-toolkit is a dependency for virtaal and Pootle as well as a CLI tool to manipulate po files. If you haven’t used it yet, you’ll be surprised by the enhances it may bring to your work.
Ok, virtaal doesn’t do half of what Lokalize does, but I only use a quarter of what Lokalize does. Gtranslator is a fine tool, but development seems to be stopped. It is a stable and full piece of software, but I’m not a fan of the interface either. Poedit isn’t that great, in my opinion. However, Virtaal’s integration with translate-toolkit, offering nice enhancements, promising a bright future, and its interface just beat all aforementioned.

Obligatory image:

As you can see there are NO extra buttons, and the layout looks like a side-by-side sheet presentation. Beautiful.
It also allows access to machine translation services such as Google, Moses and Opentran. Other features include highlighted diffs between the translation memory suggestions, a don’t-touch-your-mouse approach, and much more.

One thing that saddens me is how late updates can be for these two packages in Debian (not incredibly late, just to much for me to wait :), and in this particular case, there was a bug rendering the preferences window pretty useless that was fixed in this release (thanks to Walter). As I couldn’t wait for long :) I just built the packages from the latest sources. It’s working great for me, but use at your own risk.
Actually, I’m doing this so often (build newer packages or rebuild other with different options) that I should consider starting a ppa. Anway, these are the links for both packages.



Happy FOSS translating!

Written by elric80

June 4, 2010 at 11:10 am

Better notify-osd integration on non-Ubuntu systems

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I really like some of the simplifications Ubuntu throws into the desktop. However, a lot of these new things (most) are only well integrated in their desktop. One example is notify-osd. It installs just fine from ppa under Debian, but both bright and volume controls may not work as expected.
I longed for a better integration with my Debian system, as I don’t like regular gnome notifications. Thankfully, there are scripts :) I found both in the Archlinux forums (some forums!).

This is the script that allows to change the volume using notify-osd.
http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=69589 Check up post number 10. (Thanks to abarilla for the original script).

Save the script as “vol”, cp to /usr/bin (or wherever in the PATH). Next, configure volume shortcuts under System -> Pref -> Keyb Shortcuts, being the commands, i.e., “vol up” “vol down” and “vol mute”. You might have to reconfigure your actual volume shortcuts so they won’t clash with the new ones.

The one for brightness is available at the following address. (Thanks to xabz).
Do cat /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/actual_brightness with maximum brightness, and replace the number 9 in the script with whatever value it returns.
Now set keyboard shortcuts.

The problem here is that Gnome may “forget” your shortcuts for brightness or volume if they are special keys “hardware” shortcuts…. I only suffer it with brightness on my laptop.

If you use compiz, you may encounter an issue with notify-osd flickering when it fades in or out. This is because notify-osd integrates its effects so they are the same regardless of the composite manager. The way to avoid such flickering is to add & !(name=notify-osd) in the “Window Match” section in ccsm for the animations that you use, and that may affect it.

Last but not least, I found this instructions in webupd8.org to install a configurable notify-osd. Add the launchpad ppa and your good to go!


Written by elric80

May 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Posted in debian, gnome, linux

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gnome-mplayer Nautilus preview in Debian

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I wanted to get rid of totem for good, and stick to just one app for videos on gnome. I chose mplayer (and its frontend gnome-mplayer), as I already used smplayer on KDE/Arch. One thing I really like about nautilus/totem is the audio/video details (as well as audio preview) and I wanted that if possible. I found our gnome-mplayer offers it, yet Debian’s gnome-mplayer package isn’t compiled with nautilus support.

Since I wanted it badly (and I was bored), I rebuilt the package from debianized sources with “apt-get source”, but setting –enable-nautilus in debian/rules, and installed libnautilus-extension-dev, a build-dep not stated on Debian’s package control files. Besides that, the package is as it is from the repo in sid, built using proper Debian tools and following this awesome tutorial in Debian’s forums. Since it’s already built, I thought to share. Feel free to download. gnome-player built on Squeeze.



This enabled the preview page in nautilus properties window as in the picture above. In order to gain audio preview by hovering the mouse (with nautilus icon view) over the icons after removing totem, I had to install gstreamer0.10-tools from the repos. Some old posts state mpg321/123 and vorbis-tools are required for this, yet it didn’t work for me.

Thanks to all the mplayer and diverse frontends devs for their efforts!

Written by elric80

March 3, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Posted in debian, gnome

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Listening… Ktulu

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Last night I got to see Ktulu at a concert. As I grew up with them, but never saw them live, this has been a back in time moment with a strong Peter Pan syndrome :)
Definitely among the best industrial thrash metal bands I’ve ever heard. Check up Confrontación if you want your ears to happily bleed in joy.

Website: Ktulu
Encyclopaedia Metallium: Ktulu at metal archives

Written by elric80

December 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Posted in music

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po4a and vim-doc-es. Example of text format usage.

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po4a and vim are among my favourite FOSS applications ever since I started to like GNU/Linux systems. Some time ago, I joined vim-doc-es and (recently) po4a projects as a translator. However, I was in grief as I couldn’t use po4a in my vim-doc-es project due to some formatting problems. Up to now :)

This post is for people who don’t know about po4a, and intended as a simple example of adapting po4a to your project (or the other way around) if it’s just documentation what you need to translate. The po4a.cfg file is so complete I had no need to change the directory structure, though I guess it may be neccesarry in projects where you need to extract the translatable strings from the code. At vim-doc-es we only deal with text format (I would like to go html some time). The requirements of po4a in this project are very simple. I hope this will enlighten your way if you’ve never touched po4a before.

As I said, the central part of automatizing po4a in your project is the po4a.cfg file. Here’s vim-doc-es one.

# vim-doc-es po4a.cfg

[po4a_langs] es

# The languages to which you want to translate the document.

[po4a_paths] original/POT/$master.pot es:traducido/PO/$master.po

# The paths to both pot’s and po’s. The $master variable is perfect when you need to translate several documents. If you only have one document, you may do the following.

[po4a_paths] original/POT/original.pot $lang:traducido/PO/$lang.po

# In this case, original.pot would be translated to as many languages as specified in the [po4a_langs] field.

# General options for po4a (po4a-translate and po4a-updatepo). Specify the module options below.

[options] opt:"-v --package-name Vim --package-version 7.2\
--msgid-bugs-address vim@bugs.org --no-backups"

# You can see here that some fields are automatically filled up with po4a.

# Aliases for the text module. You may create as many aliases as needed, or none and just use [type:module] for every document.

[po4a_alias:vimtxt] text opt:"-M utf-8 -L utf-8 -o tabs=verbatim -o nobullets"
[po4a_alias:vimtxt0] text opt:"-M utf-8 -L utf-8 -k 0 -o tabs=verbatim -o nobullets"
# I need one file to recieve different options.

# List of documents. The source and destination paths of the original and translated document. You may use the $lang variable in case you have more languages. Note how every document is set to a module alias, not to the module itself. You can specify as many format modules as needed.

# help.txt
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/help.txt es:traducido/ESX/help.esx

# Tabla de contenidos
[type:vimtxt0] original/TXT/usr_toc.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_toc.esx

# Manual de usuario.
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_01.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_01.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_02.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_02.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_03.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_03.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_04.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_04.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_05.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_05.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_06.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_06.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_07.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_07.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_08.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_08.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_09.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_09.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_10.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_10.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_11.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_11.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_12.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_12.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_20.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_20.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_21.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_21.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_22.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_22.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_23.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_23.esx
[type:vimtxt] original/TXT/usr_24.txt es:traducido/ESX/usr_24.esx

Running “po4a po4a.cfg” updates pot and po files, as well as the translated documents.
And that’s about it. Easy and cool.

Written by elric80

November 24, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Posted in l10n, linux

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