Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rygel 0.5.0 (Mind the Baby) is out!

The first release in the unstable 0.5.x series. Changes since 0.4.6 that were
not provided by any subsequent 0.4.x releases:

- New URI generation scheme that avoids problematic characters which makes some
  crappy renderers choke.
- Allow creation of new media items and tranfering data into existing ones (
  upload). This is relavent to, and works for both MediaExport and Tracker.
- Implement GetTransferProgress and StopTransferResource actions.
- Advertise:
  - support for connection stalling.
  - live response to be sender-paced.
- Rewrite SearchCriteria parser to make it more reliable.
- Tracker:
  - Port to the Tracker 0.7 APIs.
  - Provide richer & more intuitive media hierarchy.
  - Signal container update on changes to subjects.
  - Act on config options allowing user to define which categories to share.
  - Support for search by URI.
  - Descriptive IDs for containers.
- MediaExport
  - Implement custom search that translates to an SQLite query and therefore
    performs much faster than before.
  - Print message on console when harvesting is done.
  - Don't modify DB if harvester was cancelled.
  - Cancel harvester before starting new one.
- Lots of non-functional improvements and fixes.

All contributors to this release:

Zeeshan Ali (Khattak) 
Jens Georg 

Download source tarball from here

Rygel 0.4.12 (Through the Looking Glass) is out!

Another release in the stable 0.4.x series. Changes since 0.4.10:

- Fix desktop file.
- A few fixes to satisfy latest valac (0.7.10).
- Adapt to new libxml Vala API.

All contributors to this release:

Zeeshan Ali (Khattak) 
Andreas Henriksson 
Philip Withnall 

Download source tarball here

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Regarding meaning of life

Back in the days when we were losing a lot of good souls to "World of Warcraft", I used to say to myself "Losers, there's so much in life to enjoy and so much to do to bring Free SW on every machine out there.." and promised myself that I'll never even try any MMORPG.

About a month back, Rene came over to me carrying a German game magazine and showed me a comparison of the upcoming MMORPGs based on Star Trek and Star Wars. Now I can resist all games but a chance to live the life of a Star-fleet officer? No way!

So I started playing Star Trek Online last month when it was still in beta and got into it. Soon I pre-ordered the game for amazon.co.uk and life-time subscription (that also allowed me to play a freed Borg character).

Now when I say "I got into it", I don't mean I am playing for hours and hours everyday. It means I play maximum 5 days a week and for 1-3 hours only. Anyway, here is a nice picture taken by Ekaterina while I'm fighting off a Gorn ship:

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that I have a key that should allow a month of playtime and I am willing give it out for free to a friend. :) So let me know if you want to try it out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Just like the last 2 years, I joined the FOSDEM fun. Just like every year there were lots of awesome beers, chocolates, waffles and of course conference full of awesome hackers from all over the world & their awesome talks. In short, the same old 'awesome' experience. Also I finally got to meet Jens George (phako) in person. Another thing that went it a totally unusual (and unexpected) direction was my home directory. Here is how it went:

Early Sunday morning (8:00) my alarm goes off to wake me up in time for my 10:15 am talk. I manage to get up after half an hour of snoozing the alarm, get ready (including getting a shower out of almost non-functional shower), back-up my slides on USB stick and manage to get to the conference room 10 minutes before the talk along with my room-mates, Marc-Andre and Juerg. Failed to get anything to eat or even a cup of coffee before that.

I open-up the lid of my laptop to find out that it won't be able to wake-up from suspend. No problems, happens all the time even since I moved to Ubuntu so I apply the usual solution: Forced reboot. When the system boots I get into another issues that I had been having ever since I moved to Ubuntu: Soon after I provide the password for my encrypted partition (home and swap), I am told that home partition could not be mounted. No problems, I again apply the usual solution: Hit escape key to get to a root shell, where I do this:

# cryptsetup remove home
# cryptsetup create home /dev/sda6
Enter passphrase:
# mount /home

Normally, at this point I just hit CTRL+d and normal boot sequence resumes and everyone on the laptop lives happily ever after. However, this time thats not what happens. `mount` says:

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/mapper/home,
missing codepage or helper program, or other error
In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
dmesg | tail or so

This has also happened before but usually this means I mistyped the password and I just have to repeat the above procedure. However, after trying several times, I keep getting the same message. I give-up and lend Marc-Andre's laptop for the slides show. After the presentation, I tried everything and asked everyone I knew who might have any clues but no help came.

Since I get the same questions each time I tell this story to anyone, I thought I append this blog entry by an FAQ:

Q: Why on earth are you encrypting your partitions:
A: Nokia security policy.

Q: What makes you so sure that you haven't just forgotten the password.
A: Because I keep the exact same password for both the partitions and I am able to successfully decrypt one of them.

Q: Have you tried looking at `dmesg | tail`?
A: Yes, nothing in there.

Q: Have you tried fsck?
A: Yes, that can't make any sense out of the "unencrypted" block device either. Because of this, I suspect something is wrong on the actual (encrypted) device, which fsck can not help with.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

GUPnP AV & GUPnP Vala releases

GUPnP AV 0.5.4 released

Changes since 0.5.2:

- Gracefully handle empty or no 'res' node.
- Function to get the list of descriptors from DIDL-Lite objects.
- More complete comparison for LPCM mime types.
- Fix incorrect type conversion of DLNA flags.
- DLNA flags should not default to a specific DLNA version.
- New APIs to deal with contributor-related properties in DIDL-Lite objects.
- Remove redundant construction methods.
- Add forgotten header to the meta-header file.
- Add and fix gobject-introspection annotations.
- Lots of documentation fixes.
- Many minor non-functional fixes/improvements.

Bug fixes in this release:

1935 - Incorrect conversion while parsing primary DLNA Flags
1934 - DLNA Flags should not default to a specific DLNA version.
1933 - Content type matching fails when additional parameters exist in LPCM
1814 - Add "artists" property to GUPnPDIDLLiteObject

All contributors to this release:

Zeeshan Ali (Khattak) 
Yakup Akbay 
Zachary Goldberg 

Download source tarballs from here

GUPnP Vala bindings 0.6.4 released!

Changes since 0.6.2:

- Require and adapt to gupnp-av 0.5.3.

All contributors:

Zeeshan Ali (Khattak) 

Download source tarballs from here