Category Archives: Gadgets and misc tech stuff

Why the hate for Qt?

I’ve noticed there seems to be a lot of “ZOMG it’s Qt! Oh Noes!” going on and I just don’t get it.  I think the reason is some confusion and lack of understanding.  Now I’m not talking about the programming languages behind Qt and GTK, I’m talking about the typical end user’s experience.  People seem to assume that Qt == KDE, Qt requires a lot of KDE libs, and/or Qt looks ugly and doesn’t integrate well in a GTK environment.

First, a Qt application doesn’t always mean it’s KDE.  Yes KDE is based on Qt, but there’s a huge difference between a pure Qt app and a KDE app.  An application that is written in pure Qt has nothing to do with KDE whatsoever.    Some of these include SMplayer, KeePassX, VLC (0.9.2), VirtualBox, and many others.  KDE apps will depend on a lot of KDE specific stuff that will have a lot of dependencies.  This goes on to the second point.  A pure Qt app does not require a tone of KDE libs since it has nothing to do with KDE.  All it usually needs libqt.

Finally to put this integration mess to rest.  Qt integrating into a GTK environment used to be an issue.  This is no longer true.  This argument is deprecated.  Qgtkstyle (which will come bundled with Qt 4.5 😀 ) is a Qt theme engine that uses your GTK theme directly.  It does not try to emulate a GTK theme or anything like that.  It actually uses the GTK theme.  So now it can’t be argued that Qt doesn’t integrate with GTK anymore.  You pretty much can’t tell the difference.

VirtualBox
VirtualBox
SMplayer
SMplayer
SMplayer Preferences
SMplayer Preferences

You almost can’t even tell those are Qt applications.

So I just don’t understand all the Qt hating going on.

</rant>

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Busy Busy Busy

Well, I’ve been very busy lately, which is why I haven’t blogged about anything recently.  It’s coming down to the last few weeks of the school quarter here, which means exams, which also means everything just gets more hectic.  I have two projects coming up this week and on top of that, I have to study for exams.  There’s only two more weeks of this madness 😛 after which I will have a nice break and have time to blog about some stuff.  Possibly about a home server which I plan to re-set up during my break.

I already have something sort of setup on this server, but it’s not really serving anything.  I pretty much just have SSH setup so I can remote admin it, and throw files on it, but that’s about it.  I would like to make it a full fledged home server, but I’ve learned the hard way that servers on wireless don’t work too well. 😛 So I’ll have to find a way to run some cable or something since this will be second computer on a hard line to the router.

Anyways, I’ll give a shoutout to all my online buddies who I haven’t had time to chat with much lately because of all this work. 😉

w00t! 2 more weeks of madness 😆

MPAA University Toolkit Removed

A follow-up to my other entry about the MPAA’s University Toolkit

One of the Ubuntu developers sent the ISP that was hosting the University Toolkit’s site a DMCA takedown request after being ignored by the MPAA when attempting to contact them.

Well that’s the basics of the story. You can get more details from the following links.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/04/mpaa_copyright_petard_hoisting/

http://mjg59.livejournal.com/78590.html 

So the MPAA got a taste of its own medicine. Haha.

MPAA Caught Violating Copyrights? (Again?)

First of all, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Anyone remember the Linkware incident?
Anyways, recently the MPAA has released a University Toolkit (The toolkit site)and has promoted it to many universities across the U.S. so that they can spy on students to catch them doing “illegal activities”. Now besides the obvious privacy concerns here, there’s another issue at hand. This toolkit is essentially a modified version of Xubuntu. This is not lightly modified either. According to the Ubuntu Trademark Policy, once *buntu has been modified past a certain extent, you can no longer use the *buntu logo or name.

…but removing or changing any infrastructure components (e.g., shared libraries or desktop components) will result in changes too large for the resulting product to be called by a Trademark.

None of the default Xubuntu artwork has been removed. That’s not all though. There’s also another rule they break. Whatever software they are using in this toolkit, it’s definitely not in the Ubuntu repositories. And according the the Ubuntu Trademark Policy this is a no-no

If you are producing a new product which is based on Ubuntu but which has more substantial changes than those described above as a Remix, you are allowed to state (and we would encourage you to do so) that your product is “derived from Ubuntu”, “based on Ubuntu”, or “a derivative of Ubuntu” but you may not use the Trademarks to refer to your product. In some cases you may be allowed to use the Trademarks, but we’ll need to discuss that. In that event, these products will need a trademark license, and such a license can be revoked if the nature of your divergence from Ubuntu changes. Products which include very invasive changes, such as a new kernel, the inclusion of packages which are not part of the Ubuntu repositories, or anything else that significantly impacts the technical quality or user experience would fall into this category are unlikely to be approved.

Not only are they violating Canonical’s and Ubuntu’s Trademark and Logo, they may also be violating the GPL License. There is no place to get the source code for this toolkit and according to the GPL if you modify and/or distribute a work that was licensed under the GPL, it must remain under the GPL and the source code must be made available.

For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the recipients the same freedoms that you received. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.

You may convey a work based on the Program, or the modifications to produce it from the Program, in the form of source code under the terms of section 4, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:

  • a) The work must carry prominent notices stating that you modified it, and giving a relevant date.
  • b) The work must carry prominent notices stating that it is released under this License and any conditions added under section 7. This requirement modifies the requirement in section 4 to “keep intact all notices”.
  • c) You must license the entire work, as a whole, under this License to anyone who comes into possession of a copy. This License will therefore apply, along with any applicable section 7 additional terms, to the whole of the work, and all its parts, regardless of how they are packaged. This License gives no permission to license the work in any other way, but it does not invalidate such permission if you have separately received it.
  • d) If the work has interactive user interfaces, each must display Appropriate Legal Notices; however, if the Program has interactive interfaces that do not display Appropriate Legal Notices, your work need not make them do so.

So, why is the default Xubuntu artwork still on there? Why is it still called Xubuntu? Where is the source code?

Obviously the MPAA doesn’t practice what it preaches. So, can anyone take the MPAA seriously anymore?

http://www.ubuntu.com/aboutus/trademarkpolicy

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

I Had to Use the Command Line…

In Windows! Yes, that’s right. I had to use the command line in Windows. As far as I know, the only way to convert a FAT32 drive to NTFS without using any kind of third party program, is to open up a Command Prompt. The reason I found this funny is because one of the main reasons people say that Linux isn’t “ready for the desktop” (whatever that means) is that it doesn’t have a GUI for certain things. Linux gets criticized because it doesn’t have a graphical tool for everything and you have to use the terminal every once in a while. Usually goes something like: “you have to edit config files by hand. Linux isn’t ready for the desktop.” Now you can’t tell me Windows has a GUI for everything. So that said, I have made up my mind. Windows isn’t “ready for the desktop”. I had to use the command line. 😆

(I do actually prefer to use the command line in Linux for certain things.)

Ideas Before Their Time

It seems that with a lot of inventions, ideas, etc. there’s always a precursor. For example, xcompmgr was basically the precursor to what we now know as Compiz Fusion. So I was loading up an old Windows 2000 box with the latest of my favorite open source software, 😀 when I happened to notice something: there’s a lot of features in Windows 2000 that got dropped in XP, but reappeared in Vista. Only they were implemented better. (If you want to call it that 😛 )

Ok, so what the heck am I talking about? In Windows 2000 if you single clicked on an image in the My Pictures folder you would get a little interactive preview thing
2000-preview.png

This was a feature that was dropped in XP, only to reappear in Vista (not exactly the same, but very close)
vista-image-preview.png

Same goes for audio files. Single click on an audio file in Windows 2000 and it brings up a little Windows Media Player plug-in type thing right in Explorer

audio-preview.png

Yet another feature that was dropped in XP only to pop up again in Vista

vista-audio-preview2.png

Finally, when pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete in Windows 2000 it brings up a screen with a bunch of options on it.

options.png

Yet again, it’s not present in XP, but came back with Vista

vista-options.jpg

So, where did these features go in XP? Was it as simple as a feature that was before its time?

Just thought that this was interesting. I’m now sitting back at my Linux box. Home sweet home 😉