5 Nov 2000 gtaylor   » (Master)

KDE2 is pretty good, but the main feature for me, Konquerer, isn't as good as Galeon seems to be, so it's back to Gnome. At least now I have KDE available for testing things like KUPS and QtCUPS.

In the meantime, I installed Galeon. Nifty! It's much faster than Konquerer, less dreadful than Netscape, and deas the Gnome theme thing properly. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to do plain old http authentication. Hmm.

I finally played with gnome-pilot; it's reasonably capable, although having the thing be bound to the desktop means you have to login to sync. There also doesn't appear to be a viable conduit for gnomecard; the current one is sort of one-way somehow. Gnomecard being the bug-fest that it is, this perhaps isn't important so long as I can find an address book program that's stable and syncs properly. Perhaps mom will end up with KDE after all...


Well, it's apparently open letter season. Kurt went haywire with an offhand comment of mine on the German website LinuxCommunity, so I wrote less offhand thing calling for vendors to work together to end-of-life LPD. This has produced at least one good result: the VA folks actually put up a web page about gnulpr, their project to improve and eventually replace LPD. We'll see how that turns out, and what the world is like when there are six LPD alternatives. It's not obvious which of "everyone uses crappy LPD" or "everyone uses a random spooler" is the better state. Unfortunately, the ideal result of distributors actually discussing with each other what printing tools they ought to ship in the near and far future doesn't seem to have happened. Doh!

The next day, HP posted an open letter response to an ESR letter from a while back. About a third of it dealt with printing, so I posted a response of my own.

And the day after that, I spotted two Lexmark driver developers having trouble figuring out a printhead arrangement, so I sent a letter on their behalf to a manager and and engineer I know inside Lexmark asking them to get with the program and open up, already. The Lexmark fellow wrote back and said they're going to try and figure out what to do. No doubt there's some confusion, since they've just released proprietary Linux/x86-only drivers for the Z32 and Z52 inkjets which, while quite functional, do not a viable long-term strategy make; especially if the other two-thirds of the market is supported by proper free software.

I've done some preliminary work on a magicfilter backend for foomatic; in theory now there are hundreds of magicfilter filter files available, as opposed to the several dozen that there used to be. Whee!


Now that I have demonstrated that Linux is a sensible OS for our project, I'm pondering the development environment. The OS and toolchains are no-brainers; ppc and arm cross toolchains are available in properly debianized format from the emdebian folks, and the rtlinux kernel kit is in stock Debian. Less obvious is version control; everyone assumes clearcase, since they're used to it, it's very capable, and money is not a big concern. The problem is that clearcase is incredibly poor for remote developers (ie, me when it snows). That techies.com survey about frills was spot-on wrt telecommuting. I've got a list of 6ish other systems to look at; we'll see what else there is.

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