Topreader Desktop Development

The last couple of days I’ve been doing some hacking in Mono/Gtk#. A year ago I created a small patch for liferea, I wanted to create some more patches but the damn thing wouldn’t build on my ubuntu box. I asked the mailinglist but the reaction was that they hadn’t gotten a clue what could be the issue. Now it is a default installed ubuntu box, no special thingies, just apt-get install gnome-devel, that’s it.

So I had 2 options, find out why the hell the autotools was crashing or start writting my own RSS aggregator. Well stupid me chose the second option.

You might ask Why?
Well actually very simple I wanted to do some heavy dutty development to get back into the gtk libraries. As I want to join in on the tinymail development somewhere in the future …
Secondly it had been more than a month that I did any c# development. So I created a simple project in monodevelop, took the 2 defacto standard rss and atom dotnet libraries and started hacking.

Where am I now?
Well I have a TreeView on the left with my rss feeds, I have a TreeView with all the unread items and I display the unread Items in a WebControl (firefox embedded). The feeds that are in my TreeView get checked for updates every 3000 seconds. If you click an unread item it doesn’t get displayed anymore. So basic viewing capabilities are getting there. ๐Ÿ™‚
view the screenshot

If I’m not mistakend liferea didn’t use a database, I instead decided to implement it using a sqlite3 database. All the folders,channels and items are stored in it. I have to say I really was amazed by the speed of it.

What’s next?
Well a lot has to be done but what will happen in a few days is the ability to add folders and feeds from the gui.

Long term goal?
Well very simple finally get the rss aggregator I want, all the aggregators I’ve tried all had some nice features but none of them combined the ones I want. The scratch your own itch thingy ๐Ÿ™‚

The name?
What? TopReader?Wtf? Well since a few weeks I’m self employed and the company name is TopCoders so … ๐Ÿ˜€

Freenx font issue

As I mentioned earlier I’m experimenting with freenx, it works great but there was one issue my fonts weren’t great, the i and the l were sometimes missing what made it difficult for reading some sentences. I set it up on another machine and this didn’t have that phenomenon so I went on an investigation.

The machine I had the issue on was my laptop, I made some alterations in the fonts to give me a nicer user experience. It seems that because of these settings the font issue appeared. It’s one stupid setting and you don’t notice it when you use it on your pc but freenx seems to have problems with it.

In the font menu
font menu
You have the subpixel smoothing (for LCD) enabled you will notice this strange behaviour if you select best shapes it will render pixel perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

Swing Labs (who sais java swing was dead?)

As many java developers I heared about the javaone session about the swing makeover. Today I stumbled upon Romain Guy’s entry on it. You should really download this quicktime movie and watch it (24 mb). If your not that java lover, do check it out as it is a makeover about a mail client and I really like the new features they add to the mail client.

Hey philip, can’t you implement this in your framework 2? It would be nice if all the mail clients will do this in the future!! Who knows if my current projects are finished, maybe I’ll implement it ๐Ÿ˜›

Prime Potter

Well we always accuse the prime minister of the Netherlands to look like Harry Potter. If I can remember some flemish pollitician even called him that.

Well with the events of yesterday I propose we should call our own prime minister Harry Potter. Our country was 900 million รขโ€šยฌ short, they sat down a couple of days and when they came out of their offices they had managed to magically get more than 900 million รขโ€šยฌ. Could you do the same to my bank account pease ?! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m really interested at how we will notice this in our dailly lives! Both as a consumer and as a self-employed person.


Yesterday after a big meeting I still had some technolust in me so I started experimenting with freenx on my ubuntu dapper box. I have to say, RDP fuc* of* ๐Ÿ™‚

Really, If you want to use a remote desktop and are on a small bandwith uplink (I wouldn’t call 1mbit up very small) you should really check this out. I tried vnc and rdp on this connection and beleive me freenx really kicks the ass out of both of them!!

Another nice feature about freenx is the fact that you can disconnect and reconnect on another computer (a feature I tought only windows had, guess I was wrong). So no I can leave my desktop open and reconnect from almost anyware.

Even surfing usering firefox is really like network surfing (maybe even faster)

voip fax + grandstream gxp-2000

Big day today, but more on that at a later time.

Today my grandstream gxp-2000 arrived, it’s a nice sip phone. My girlfriend was complaining that the quality of the microphones sucked and that she some times lost the connection. Not sure if this was due to her computer or network or … I’ll checkup on it.
I have to say, it’s a nice phone. I plugged it into the network et voila dhcp gave it a nice ip. From the docs I read there was a webserver built in. Logged in, configured it for 2 extensions, one as normal and one as intercom. Created 2 extensions for the 2 lines, easy as pie ๐Ÿ™‚

Now when I call my first extension using ekiga on my laptop the telephone rings. WhenI call the second extension the speaker turns on and we have an intercom system. Very nice actually and really easy to setup!!!

Second thing is, I figured it out with gfax, really but really stupid. I was always trying to connect to my asterisk box. Only thing I had to to was connect straight to the weepee account and it send the fax for me. Because I already had a free fax receiving account I sent it to there and voila within the minute a mail with attachment as an image my sent fax.

Hmmm, I have to admit I’m a geek. But don’t worry I’m proud of it!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Asterisk + Ekiga

Yesterday evening I finalized my home voip network. I had bought some credits from weepee. And now I can call using my trixbox and ekiga ๐Ÿ™‚ This week my voip telephone should arrive, so then I’m fully setup.

Here’s in short what I did to get all this working

  • Purchase account
  • Download Trixbox vmware image
  • Download vmware server (with keys)
  • Boot the trixbox and configure network
  • Configure an extension for yourself to connect to
  • configure a trunk to connect to the account
  • configure an outgoing route for the provided trunk
  • configure Ekiga to connect to your trixbox

Easy, no?

Now when I want to call an outgoing number I prefix the telephone number with 66 and my trixbox knows, hey this should go to weepee and off it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay tuned for my little list of how to send faxes using the same account from weepee. It should work with gfax, but didn’t get there last night. Maybe after the weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

Webdesign using gnome/linux

Yesterday I updated a webdesign I had started a long time ago. It was made a couple of months ago in my vmware/dreamweaver. Yesterday I wanted to do some updates in it, but I didn’t want to use dreamweaver I wanted to do it in Linux.

A while ago I found an entry in my aggregator : webdesign firefox extensions. Among those were aardvark and webdeveloper. Webdeveloper I already had installed but aardvark was new for me. I now can say that those are really nice for doing development. As nowadays html is nothing more than xml and all the gui is done using CSS2, you can restyle a whole website using firefox with those extension.

So if you do any webdevelopment and don’t have these extension, try them. You can use these extension on windows 2, so don’t be shy!!