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Google Talk connects to other Jabber users

Jabber Powered logoWhen Google introduced their instant messaging client, Google Talk, it was great to know that they chose an open and free standard called Jabber (or XMPP) as the basis of their service. What was not so great about it was that users who were connected to Google's server were not able to talk to users on other Jabber servers (and vice versa). This has finally changed a couple of days ago. Google enabled federation with other Jabber servers and now all Jabber and Google Talk users are able to talk with each other. I just tried it with Psi on jabber.org on one side and Kopete on Google Talk server on the other side and so far it works great. Let's Jabber on!

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OpenWengo for Firefox

Firefox logoFirefox is an amazing web browser on its own. But there are also a lot of cool extensions that make it even better. Daniel Glazman (you should know him as the author of the excellent and free website authoring application Nvu) is just about to release another awesome Firefox extension. It will bring VoIP internet telephony service OpenWengo right into your favourite web browser. For a visual preview check out this screenshot. To actually start using it you will have to wait for a little bit more. So be sure to regularly check Glazblog (or this article/my blog). Oh and I'm glad to report that I have already translated it into Slovenian language.

What is OpenWengo?
OpenWengo is an open source project, initiated by the French company Wengo, itself backed by neuf telecom. Their goal is to provide a standards-based VoIP platform - they are committed to providing unlimited free telephony and enhanced features to their users, while promoting innovative usage-driven services.

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Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5

Mozilla Thunderbird logoA few days ago version 1.5 of Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client and RSS/Atom feed reader was released. The new version brings a lot of new features and improvements. I especially like the new phishing detection which makes Thunderbird even safer than it was, this time fighting scams. An option to delete attachments has also found its way into Thunderbird. With message ageing you are now able to automatically delete mails older than specified amount of days. In short: The best email client just got better.

This is also the first version of Thunderbird that is available in Slovenian language. I know that some existing users will be very happy to hear about this. And it will also help a lot of other users of old and insecure Outlook Express to finally make a switch to safe, modern and full-featured Thunderbird.

Don't wait! Start downloading Thunderbird! Links for aMule, eMule, eDonkey and similar file sharing clients are available at eMule Content Database.

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Google Pack released

Google has just released Google Pack, which is a collection of must have software for your computer. It also includes Google Updater, which you can then use to update all software from the pack that you have installed. It is very similar to software managers that Linux users know so well and help us keep their software up to date.

The collection includes applications like the best browser Mozilla Firefox, instant messengers Google Talk and Trillian, Ad-Aware SE Personal to protect you from everyday spyware problems in Windows, Norton AntiVirus 2005 Special Edition to fight against viruses, Picasa to work with photos, Adobe Reader 7 to read PDF documents and many other, mostly Google Something apps like Google Video Player. All for free.

I think the package is quite nice but Google could do better. I still remember how bloated and slow Norton Antivirus was when I still used it. I switched to NOD32 which catches more viruses and uses a lot less system resources. Same with RealPlayer and Adobe Reader they offer. Just a couple of more bloated apps. They could have used BSPlayer/Zoom Player and Foxit Reader instead.

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Novell releases latest Xgl code

X.Org LogoAt the end of the last year a lot of open source developers got very mad at Novell, because they took the source code of Xgl and started working on it behind the closed doors. Critics argued that this is not the right way to do it and that they should just do everything in public.

It looks like people at Novell listened and I'm glad to see that David Reveman released the latest Xgl code to public. There are a lot of changes in this code. It is restructured to support drivers other than nVidia propriatery ones, there is some support for Xvideo extension and many bug fixes and enhancements. David is also working on an OpenGL compositing manager named compiz. He is planing to release it at XDevConf in February. More information is available in this announcement.

I hope that this incident brought more attention to Xgl and that now developers focus on nothing else but open and active development. Can't wait to see how future Linux desktops like KDE 4 will use all the power of hardware accelerated OpenGL drawing that Xgl will bring.

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First I wish you all a merry Christmas. I hope you are all well and maybe got some nice presents with an even nicer thought behind them. It's been snowing for almost the whole day here in Bohinj and this is just great for the Christmas spirit. During these holidays I'll be playing an adventure game called Voyage (inspired by Jules Verne) together with my sister. We also watch a lot of movies during this time and this year will be no different. I hope to get Chronicles of Narnia, which we liked a lot when we were younger and watched the cartoon series. Oh, it brings back the memories. Before I forget, here is the photo of our Christmas Tree for year 2005.

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LibJingle - interface to Google Talk opens up

Google TalkWhen Google released their own instant messaging and internet telephony client, Google Talk, they promised that it will be open for all to connect with. The first step in this direction was using an open and free protocol for instant messaging, that is Jabber, or XMPP as the standard is called.

Now they finally released other parts of Google Talk, most importantly the telephony part of it. All components are collected in a library called libjingle and the code is released under a BSD-like licence. This means that open source and commercial software can use it freely.

What can I say. I can't wait until the telephony part gets its way into clients like Kopete and GAIM. It will also be interesting to see how Skype reacts on this. Oh, and thanks to TechCrunch for the news.

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Back from the dead

As you may have noticed, I haven't posted anything to my blog ever since August. This is over 3 months without any post! Some of regular readers of my blog have sent me an e-mail asking what is going on. A lot of people also wanted to know where is the next, third, part of my KDE 3.5 Previews. So I hope this entry will answer all your questions. I'll also try to tell you about important things that happened in my life during the long absence.

KDE 3.5 Previews: After publishing the second part I was ill for a couple of weeks and I was unable to work on the third part. After getting well again I had to study for my final maths exams a lot and I also wasn't in the mood for writing anything. In addition, KDE 3.5 release was approaching very fast and I had (and still have) a lot of translation work to do. Even more then for version of 3.4 as other Slovenian translators didn't have time and I was basically left alone to do the work. So I have to apologise to everyone waiting for more KDE 3.5 previews. If there is enough interest I can still try my best to write the third part. But no promises.

Laptop: Thanks to the people at Linux Users Group of Slovenia (LUGOS) I now have a new (and my first) notebook. It's a very nice HP Compaq nx6125 with AMD Turion 64 processor, 512 MiB of memory, 60 GiB hard drive and 15 inch 1024x768 LCD panel. It is already running Gentoo Linux and I have dedicated one partition for testing purposes. Currently this partition is occupied by a beta version of Pingo Linux 4.2 (a Slovenian Linux distribution). It's great to have a laptop like this. Now I will be able to translate more and it also proves extremely useful for university work and learning C++/Qt/KDE programming. I plan to write an article about running Linux on this laptop. When I have more time off course.

Blog comments: Some time ago I had to disable comments on this blog because of blog spam. It looks like that people here at Blogger.com have finally come to their senses and added an image test verification before anyone can post a comment. So I have enabled this test and re-enabled the comments. Now you can start commenting again and let's hope that spam doesn't come back any more.

Apartment: If you remember I was looking for a new apartment in Ljubljana back in July. I was lucky to find a very cheap place that is only about 5 minutes away from my faculty (if you walk). So I can sleep longer in the morning and I can go back to the apartment when we have free hours during lectures. Another bonus is that I don't have to buy monthly tickets for the city bus. The only thing I really miss here is the internet connection.

Health: During the time since my last post to the blog I also got one of my wisdom teeth pulled out. The operation itself was quite long but painless. But after anaesthetics stopped working it was very painful for a couple of days.

That's about it. I hope I don't die on you again like this and that I will be able to post to the blog at least once a week. In the meantime be sure to get Firefox 1.5 and KDE 3.5 that were released about a week ago. Take care and thanks to all of you for reading my blog.

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Telemach - Cheaper and much faster cable internet

I've been with my current cable internet service provider UPC Telemach for a long time and it has had its share of ups and downs. As of late the upload speed (256 kb/s) was getting too slow for me and I was seriously considering switching to ADSL which, in addition to faster packages, also had quite a bit lower prices.

But yesterday evening my friend Davorin told me a really great news. Starting with 1st September Telemach is going to lower their prices and speed up their new packages considerably. For example, we were paying about 37,56 € per month for 1024 kb/s download and 256 kb/s upload speed. The new, much faster, 5120/768 package costs only a bit more, about 41,96 €, and you also get 20 MiB of free web hosting space. This space doesn't matter so much to me as I have my own Linux powered server here. But much higher transfer rates, especiallyly upload, will sure come in handy. I only hope they properly set up reverse DNS lookup. They don't have it now and this prevents me to connect to some servers.

What can I say. We're staying with Telemach and upgrading our package to the fastest one. I wonder how ADSL competition will answer as now they have lower speeds and higher prices. But in any case this can be only good for development of broadband internet in Slovenia and good for the people.

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Google Talk based on Jabber

Google TalkThere were speculations for a long time that Google will release free instant messaging (IM) client of their own. It appears that rumors have become reality. They have just released a beta version of Google Talk. And what I find the best about it is that they smartly decided to use a free and open IM standard called XMPP, which is known to most of you as Jabber. This means that you will be free to use any Jabber client you like the most (for example Kopete, GAIM, Psi, Miranda IM and many more) with their service. And if you have GMail (or some other Google account) you can already do so. Check out these instructions. Moreover, you are also free to use any existing public Jabber server with Google Talk or even set up one yourself. The new client is also conveniently integrated with your GMail e-mail account. You can also actually talk with your buddies like you can do using the popular Skype. Google also promised to provide fully documented support for video conferencing in the future.

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JLP's KDE 3.5 Previews - Part 2

< Part 1

Introduction to part 2

It looks like the first part of my KDE 3.5 previews was extremely popular. Much more than I could ever anticipated. I even got Slashdotted. Anyway, here is the second part of the look into the KDE's near future. Enjoy the tour!

KDE 3.5 Alpha/Beta Splash Screen

More about Konqueror

Let me continue with Konqueror. Search bar (comes with kdeaddons package) now has the possibility to select the desired search engine from a dropdown menu similar to the one in Firefox. To select which engines are available in the menu you simply put a check mark before its name in the Web Shortcuts settings dialog.

KDE 3.5 Konqueror Search Bar

During the past two weeks a new del.icio.us bookmarks panel made into KDE 3.5. del.icio.us is a special online social bookmarks managing system and now you can do many of the tasks directly from within Konqueror. If you would like to use it, first make sure you have Navigation Panel open (enable it under Window menu or press F9). Then right click on an empty spot under existing tabs and select the new panel from Add New submenu.

KDE 3.5 Konqueror del.icio.us Sidebar

File properties dialog got a new Preview tab, which I don't find as handy as the preview in the tooltip you get when you hold the mouse over some file.

KDE 3.5 Konqueror File Properties Preview


KSysGuard is a very nice and quite powerfull system monitoring utility. Process table used to take quite a long time to start up but now loads a lot faster (almost instantly). It also has a new search bar at the top so you can quickly filter out the desired processes. The Kill Process dialog now shows you the PIDs and names of the processes you are about to terminate.

KDE 3.5 KSysguard

Smooth Blend

While Plastik remains the default a new window decoration theme has been added to kdeartwork package. It's called Smooth Blend and what I like about it is that you can set the titlebar hight, frame width and button size. This is how it looks by default:

KDE 3.5 Smooth Blend Decoration


Another piece of software that got included into the official KDE package (kdeutils) is SuperKaramba. Those of you who like eyecandy probably know it already. It puts some really nice looking widgets (themes) on the desktop. Widgets can show various information like your local weather, system information and music you are currently playing.

KDE 3.5 SuperKaramba

I've discovered some problems while using it. It happens frequently that when you download a theme using the integrated Get New Stuff system the theme doesn't even get installed and doesn't show in the configuration window. Sometimes you also get several entries. One is named correctly and others are just names of the different languages in which the same theme you just downloaded is available in. This is mostly the problem of theme packaging. But normal users probably don't know this and will get confused and they will just think SuperKaramba is buggy and not polished enough. So it would be great if developers and theme authors could work together to solve this problem.


KDE calculator has improved display showing current angle mode and base. I guess the statusbar where the same information is duplicated can now be removed or used for some other info. A few new constants were added and some corrected. Arbitrary precision using GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library is under development.

KDE 3.5 KCalc

End of part 2

This concludes the second part of KDE 3.5 previews. More words and pictures will come again in about two weeks. Until then you can also take a look at Artwork for KDE 3.5 forum at KDE-Artists.org where people from all around the world contribute to the looks of the next KDE version. The main theme is going to be a wave. And don't forget about aKademy 2005 in Málaga, Spain.

Translations and derivative works

Hebrew by Uri Sharf
Slovenian by Jure Repinc

< Part 1

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[SLO] 1. Linux info dan v Sevnici

Crystal TuxSte naveličani Windowsov, virusov, črvov in dragih licenc? Potem je mogoče že srajni čas, da poskusite nekaj varnejšega, novega, drugačnega in povrhu vsega še brezplačnega. Pridružite se nam 12. avgusta 2005 na osnovni šoli Sava Kladnika v Sevnici, kjer boste lahko preizkusili operacijski sistem Linux in o njem izvedeli vse, kar vas bo zanimalo. Na vas bo čakalo 15 računalnikov in dva mentorja. Vstop je prost, za domov pa boste prejeli tudi brezplačno zgoščenko s prostim operacijskim sistemom Linux. Za dodatne informacije se obrnite na Martina Herwega.



TUX Magazine - Issue 5 - August 2005

TUX - Issue 5 - August 2005Issue 5 of TUX Magazine is out. In August 2005 edition you can read these topics:

The download is available from magazine's home page, using ED2K links or BitTorrent.

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64-bit 7-Zip 2.25 beta for Windows XP x64

7-zip logo7-Zip is a very nice free and open source utility for working with compressed files (archives). I just got an e-mail from its authors that version 3.25 beta is now available and that it is also available as a 64-bit binary for Windows XP x64. So, if you have AMD Athlon 64 (or some other AMD64 compatible processor) and 64-bit Windows, you can download 64-bit 7-Zip from its home page.

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Photos from nature

Some nice flowerI have finally convinced my sister to write on her blog. It has been almost a year now since her last post. And since my friend Boris started to publish his photos, I suggested the same to my sister. Under all the pressure she bulged and uploaded some of her photos of nature to Flickr. Check out her blog entry for links to the photos. I hope she continues to post on her blog and upload photos.

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2nd Red Hat Summer Camp in Bohinj

Crystal TuxLet me remind you there is less then a month until the beginning of the 2nd international Linux training camp, which starts on 20th and ends on 27th August here in Bohinj, Slovenia. Last year's Red Hat Summer Camp was a huge success. For this year Red Hat and Housing prepared a program with 4 different tracks to choose from: Pingo Linux (for beginners and people new to Linux), RH300 with RH302 (get certified for RHCE), RH133 (Enterprise Linux System Administration) and Lab track (MySQL, PHP, firewall). In addition to learning about Linux, each track includes sport activities (adrenalin park, canyoning, rafting...). I hope you come and visit us here in beautiful Triglav National Park.

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Slashdotted and spammed

A few hours ago a news entry linking to my KDE 3.5 Previews article was published on Slashdot.org. And immediately my blog started to receive A LOT of visitors form all over the world. If I had my blog hosted on my own server on a poor cable link the would bring it down in no time. I've never imagined that one of my articles would cause this.

But with good there also come some bad and irritating things. Some stupid spammer started to fill comments here, and some of the text was even racist. If he has something intelligent to say (which I highly doubt) he should set up his own blog. I think this coward is very sick and should get himself some professional help. Thanks to this ill person I had to disable all the commenting on this blog. Sorry for this! And after this incident I finally see how poorly Blogger.com service is prepared to fight against spam. I hope they improve this very soon or else they will loose their users to competition.

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JLP's KDE 3.5 Previews - Part 1

Part 2 >


Every year, during the summer holidays, I regularly download the source code of the new version of KDE desktop that is in the works and compile and test it. If any bugs are found I report them and from time to time I also make some feature suggestions. When the feature and message freeze comes into effect I also start helping with translation into Slovenian language. This year is no exception, in most parts. One of the differences is that now I'm testing on two computers: 32-bit Athlon 1200 MHz (with Mandriva Linux 2006 beta installed and GCC 4.0.1) and a much faster 64-bit Athlon 64 3000+ (Gentoo Linux and GCC 3.4.4). It is always good to have things tested on as many platforms as possible. Another change is that this year I've decided to post previews of and experiences with development version of KDE on this blog. I'll try to put up as many screenshots as possible so that everyone can see what is coming in the future.


Stability of this prebeta version is very good. I rarely encountered crashes or freezes. Speed is also about the same as with current stable version 3.4.1. The default font sizes have been reduced to 10 points, which makes a little bit more room on the screen. This is how the default desktop looks like:

KDE 3.5 default desktop

As you can see there is not much change since the previous versions. Even the version on the wallpaper is still the old one. You can expect to see more innovations in KDE 4. But there are some more or less hidden differences and some of them I'll show you next.


The first thing I noticed was that the new tooltips, first introduced in KDE 3.4 (only for buttons), are now also used for minipager, taskbar buttons and clock. I think it would be a good idea to also use them for system tray icons.

KDE 3.5 minipager tooltip
KDE 3.5 taskbar tooltip KDE 3.5 clock tooltip

There are now three different appearances for Kicker that you can choose from: Elegant (the default), Classic and For Transparency.

KDE 3.5 kicker elegant
KDE 3.5 kicker classic
KDE 3.5 kicker for transparency

Minipager has received many improvements. It can show icons of applications, background can now show desktop wallpaper or it can be transparent. You can even drag and drop windows from one desktop to another.

KDE 3.5 minipager elegant KDE 3.5 minipager transparent KDE 3.5 minipager wallpaper

Another improvement for kicker is Add Applet dialog. The inspiration probably came from GNOME desktop and it replaces the current context menu based method. It makes it quite a bit easier to find the right applet.

KDE 3.5 kicker add applet dialog

Storage Media Notification

Next new feature in 3.5 is storage media notification. This is something users of the current Windows desktop already have and some Linux distributions, like Mandriva, implemented their own version, mostly just as simple autorun. KDE will now also show a special dialog of possible actions when some media is inserted. I hope authors of KDE applications will soon start to add actions for their program. On the other hand it is simple to add, edit or remove actions yourself.

KDE 3.5 storage media notification


KIOSlaves are a special feature of KDE that make it simple to work with files and folders over different protocols. You probably know some of them very well, like file, http or ftp. A new one has recently been added: home. When you open location home:/ in Konqueror you can now see all home folders of the users belonging to the same group as you do.

KDE 3.5 Home KIOSlave


One of the main complaints about Konqueror was that there were some menu options that just don't make sense in file managing mode and should only be shown in web browsing mode (and vice versa). The work is being done to correct this.

Konqueror now supports AdBlock content filtering. You can add simple filters by, for example, right clicking on an image and selecting to block it.

KDE 3.5 Konqueror Adblock

There are a lot of other behind the scenes improvements to various parts of Konqueror. And now that Apple provided access to their improvements to KHTML and KJS, KDE developers can and did backport them into Konqueror.

End of Part 1

Well, this is it for the first part. I hope you like it. I'll take a look at other applications and new developments in following articles. Expect the next one in an about two weeks. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Translations and derivative works

Hebrew by Uri Sharf
Slovenian by Jure Repinc

Part 2 >

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Blog now under Creative Commons License

Creative Commons LicenseAs of now all the articles on this blog are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license. This license is similar to the GPL license for free software and lets you remix, tweak, and build upon my work even for commercial reasons, as long as you credit me and license your new creations under the identical terms. If you are also an author there are a lot of different Creative Commons licenses to choose from. Pick one and let other people clearly know (by marking your work by the famous CC mark) how they can use your work and share it on.

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James Montgomery Doohan died

James Doohan - ScottyWhile reading Wil Wheaton's blog I found out that today, on the anniversary of the first Moon landing, died at the age of 85. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease. If you are a fan you sure know him as the funny chief engineer Scotty from the starship Enterprise from . As he would say: "Scotty to Heaven... One to beam up.". May he rest in peace!

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