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Preview of Xpostulate Improvements

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A preview of what’s to come…

Thinking of UI enhancements, I added the Xpostulate little icon thingy right into the GUI.

What do you think?

Other items on their way:

  • Posterous support. I have interacted with the posterous api via bash with curl, so, just need to translate my scripting for that to tcl with http. Cake, but requires time. I thought I would have that done this past week, but, no joy…too much work (somebody’s gotta pay the rent around here).
  • Blogger support. – The great and benevolent Google® has granted me an API key, and I have looked at the API, but not yet played with it, but this is likely to come this season…soon, me dro0gies.
  • Read your statusnet public timeline or updates from a specific person. This I have, again, done in bash, so just a matter of coding it into tcl. Although, I question if this is appropriate for Xpostulate, and whether it might not be better to do this with iDenTickles only, since iDenTickles is a microblogging client, and Xpostulate is intended for crossposting to blogs, not reading others’ updates.
  • Download, edit, & republish older entries. This is on my todo list, but for each blogging service I have to look at how their API handles this, and then code stuff in, and develop new GUI elements for housing various functions, and blah, blah, blah. It will be work..heavy lifting…but it’s on my TODO list.

posted with Xpostulate

Written by tonybaldwin

September 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Fren.Tcl and Frendi.Sh

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So, those who know me know that I’ve been playing on Friendika, a decentralized, federated, free/open source, privacy protecting, and, well, pretty amazing Social Networking application.

Friendika is pretty awesome in various ways, including, first, you have complete control over who can or cannot see your content.  You own your content and your privacy is completely yours to control.  Also, you can follow contacts from many other networks, including twitter, any installation, Diaspora and Facebook, plus rss feeds, even, so, it becomes sort of a social networking aggregator.  Not only that, but it has friend groups similar to Diaspora Aspects or Google+ Circles.  These groups are very handy.  I follow my Diaspora and Facebook contacts, plus my contacts, plus a large number of twitter accounts on my friendika, and have them grouped into local friends, family, haxors (fellow foss hackers, tech blogs, etc.), friends (not local, people I met online), tradus (translation colleagues, work related, polyglots), and one more group for news which includes mostly twitter feeds from a number of news outlets (Al Jazeera, BBC, NPR, Alternet, etc.).  So, it has really helped me to organize my social networking.

So, these past couple of days I, being the geek that I am, have been playing with means of posting to Friendika remotely, first from the bash cli.  Now, I had posted earlier a quick-n-dirty update type script, but I have one now that will toggle cross-posting to various other services (statusnet, twitter, facebook), and will open an editor (vim) to allow you to write longer posts.  I posted it on the wiki here, but will also include the code in this post:


# update friendika from bash with curl
# I put this in my path as "frendi"

# here you enter your username and password
# and other relevant variables, such as whether or not
# you'd like to cross post to statusnet, twitter, or farcebork

read -p "Please enter your username: " uname
read -p "Please enter your password: " pwrd
read -p "Cross post to statusnet? (1=yes, 0=no): " snet
read -p "Cross post to twitter? (1=yes, 0=no): " twit
read -p "Cross post to Farcebork? (1=yes, 0=no): " fb
read -p "Enter the domain of your Friendika site (i.e. " url

# if you did not enter text for update, the script asks for it

if [[ $(echo $*) ]]; then
	read -p "Enter your update text: " ud

# and this is the curl command that sends the update to the server

if [[ $(curl -u $uname:$pwrd  -d "status=$ud&statusnet_enable=$snet&twitter_enable=$twit&facebook_enable=$fb"  $url/api/statuses/update.xml | grep error) ]]; then

# what does the server say?

	echo "Error"
	echo "Success!"
	echo $ud

# this next is optional, but I made a dir in ~/Documents to keep the posts.
# You can comment it out, you can change where it is storing them (the dir path)
# or, even, if you don't want to save the posts (they will pile up), you could
# change this to simply
# rm $filedate.fpost or rm -rf *.fpost, or some such thing.

mv $filedate.fpost ~/Documents/fposts

But I have also now written a graphical application in tcl/tk to write posts to Friendika, Fren.Tcl


Fren.Tcl - tcl/tk Friendika posting application

Find me on Friendika here.


Written by tonybaldwin

September 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

Image UP

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Image Up

a quick-n-dirty script to copy an image (or other file) to your server. (wiki page for this script)

I basically use this to upload screenshots for display here on this wiki and my blog, etc., so have the images directory “hardwired” in the script, but this could easily be customized to choose a different directory and use with any manner of files.


# script to upload images to my server
# by tony baldwin

if [ ! $1 ]; then
        # If you didn't tell it which file, it asks here
	read -p "Which image, pal? " img
        img = $1

# using scp to copy the file to the server
scp $img username@server_url_or_IP_address:/path/to/directory/html/images/
# you will be asked for your password, of course.  This is a function of scp, so not written into the script.

echo "Your image is now at$img."
read -p "Would you like to open it in your a browser now? (y/n): " op

if [ $op = "y" ]; then
	# you can replace xdg-open with with your favorite browser, but this should choose your default browser, anyway.
        # if you chose yes, the browser will open the image.
        # Otherwise, it won't, but you have the url, so you can copy/paste to a browser or html document, blog entry, tweet, etc., at will.


This image was uploaded with the above script:

(editing website with Tcltext)

This script, of course, assumes you are in the same directory as your image file, too.



EDIT: What would be cool is if I could make your filemanager allow this in a right-click action. Like, I use PCManFM. If I could just right-click an image and choose this, then pop-up the url with zenity, or, perhaps, even just automatically run the xdg-open…Hmmmm…One can probably work this out with some filemanagers more easily than others.

With some work, I could rewrite the script so that it choose a clicked image and auto-opens with the browser, and then just choose the script with “right-click > open with …”, perhaps…

Of course, I can just F4 (open dir in terminal), then bang off the script.

Written by tonybaldwin

September 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Un Système Purifié: PureOS GNU/Linux

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Pure OS Light

Pure OS Light & Iceweasel

In my continuing gnu/linux adventures, this evening I am playing with PureOS, a French gnu/linux distribution based on Debian/Testing.  For those unaware, Debian has three branches, stable (what I use for my work machines), testing, and unstable.  Currently, Squeeze is stable, but was just made so a week ago.  PureOS, as such, is still based on Squeeze.

All I can say is that it really feels like home! After all, this IS, more or less, Debian, simply with an adapted interface for the French, I suppose. PureOS IS also available in English, but I chose to experiment with the French version of PureOS Light, the XFCE4 flavored version. I would have to say, of all the LiveCD gnu/linux distributions I’ve toyed with, of late, PureOS may very well be the fastest. Now, usually running an operating system from your cdrom drive just isn’t fast, but, with PureOS, I almost forget that I’m running a LiveCD. It’s very snappy.
The full version includes the completely Free office suite, LibreOffice, which hasn’t yet been added to Debian, plus some other updated packages, but, since I only downloaded the Light version (I’m diabetic, after all), I have not yet played with LibreOffice with this system (I do have it running on my Debian/Squeeze systems).  So far, I have not determined any other real difference between PureOS, and what I’m running on my work machines, really, aside from these few updated packages, and the fact that this system is configured for French.  PureOS Light includes gnumeric, abiword, orage, epdfviewer, exaile music player, ristretto image viewer, and more.

More images here in
my screenshots album

Written by tonybaldwin

February 15, 2011 at 12:35 am

Fiddling with Fedora 14

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So, in my never ending quest to plumb the depths of all that is gnu/linux (I have NOT gone very deep yet, really), today I decided to play with an old friend.  My first long-time relationship in the gnu/linux world was with RedHat (starting with 7.1), which evolved into Fedora Linux, which I continued to use until about 2007, when I switched, at that time, to Ubuntu’s Dapper Drake (within a year of that, I switched to my ownPCLinuxOS derived, home brewed Linguas OS, and in 2009 I switched to Debian, which, at this juncture I still use, and probably will forever, unless I switch to Arch Linux with which I was toying yesterday).

So, I downloaded the Fedora LXDE Spin and gave it a whirl on my old, spare machine.  It ran well enough, grabbed the ethernet connection automagically (unlike Arch, yesterday, but that was easily amended).  It came with the usual LXDE stuff, including PCManFM, LXTerminal, LXTask, even an LXplay front-end to XMMS2 that I’d never seen before.  It had other useful goodies, including Firefox, MTPaint, Osmo personal organizer, which was cute, etc. No real big surprises, just, basic, popular, useful stuff for your average desktop, but good stuff.

I opened up the little gui package manager and surfed around the available packages for Fedora, and, I have to say, it seems like a lot of stuff I use in Debian was simply not available in Fedora.  There were definitely far fewer packages, especially in the development area.  At the same time, many of them were more recent.  For instance, I install OmegaT by hand on my Debian system, because only 1.8.1 is available in even the brand, shiny, spanking new stable release Squeeze, while the OmegaT project has release 2.2.2 (I’m using 2.2.0 here).  Well, Fedora has OmegaT 2.2.3 (good news for my fellow translators, at least).  In truth, that’s about the only thing that impressed me.  Their inclusion of the latest OmegaT.  Yeah.  Otherwise, I was more or less confirmed in my conviction that leaving Fedora, I wasn’t missing anything, and, especially, moving to Debian was a great idea.  I don’t mean to bad-mouth the Fedora Project, of course.  Back in 2007, I left Fedora, because, as I recall, yum (the package manager) kept breaking stuff.  They may very well have resolved that issue, and, I’m certain Fedora is a solid project. It is very popular, but, frankly, I just didn’t see anything in this LiveCD that would motivate me to install it on my hdd (unlike the CTKArch LiveCD I tried yesterday…that was AWESOME! Considering a dual-boot with that, at the very least).

Anyway, here are a few screenshots for your viewing pleasure.

From screenshots

Written by tonybaldwin

February 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm

CTKArch – LiveCD of Arch Linux

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CTKArch Linux LiveCD

CTKArch Linux LiveCD

I am writing to you from my spare machine, currently running CTKArch, a LiveCD of Arch Linux.  It has the OpenBox window manager, which is my old standby, so nice, and a pretty useful set of packages, including the Midori web browser, and Arora browser (I am writing in Midori, but the screeshot shows Arora). URXVT terminal, gftp, gpicview, pcmanfm, abiword, gnumeric spreadsheets, leafpad text editor, epdfviewer, the GIMP, sylpheed mail client, both xchat and irssi for IRC, pidgin for chat, xarchiver, nano, and all the usual gnu utilites.

The entire interface and all of the applications, as you can see in the screenshot, are all in French! (C’est bon que je peut lire le français, non?).  One cool thing is that this Midori browser has set as the default search engine.  I have translated stuff for Exalead, and do use their search engine sometimes.  Good stuff! (If you install midori in your distro, you can choose the default search engine. Just, the creators of this livecd chose

CTKArch did not automagically grab my ethernet connection on boot, so I had to start dhcp to get that up and running.  I had to do: xsu dhcpcd eth0

I’ve been playing around in here, since.  It has a beautiful openbox theme and some gro0vy wallpapers. Of course, that’s not what makes an operating system.  What makes Arch Linux popular with many seasoned gnu/linux users is that it allows you to install a completely stripped down system, and then add only what you want to it, as opposed to these popular “user-friendly” (read, hunt around and click on stuff, because you don’t know how a computer works) systems, like, for instance, Ubuntu, which is a decent distribution, but annoys people, like me, because it installs stuff in these “metapackages”, so that, when you want one little package, you end up getting 20 more that, in all truth, you really didn’t need.  Then, when you want to uninstall some of that unnecessary bloat, it tries to take stuff you did want with it.  Arch puts the control in the user s hands to configure the system just as they want, without making decisions for the user, or holding their hand, like these big “user-friendly” distros.

Of course, a LiveCD, such as this CTKArch does come with more than a default Arch install.  Nonetheless, I like to take everything for a test drive before installation, so, if a distribution or OS doesn’t have a LiveCd, or I can’t try it on someone else’s hardware, I’m probably not ever going to use it.

This weekend, in truth, I played with a few different alternatives to my usual, and much loved Debian.  I tried Haiku OS, which is a fork of the old BeOS (will write about that another time). I tried Syllable, but after boot it only gave me a blank screen.  I tried GhostBSD, OpenSolaris and StormOS, but none of those three would play with my USB controller, so no keyboard or mouse (not good).  I played a bit with gNewSense, which I will definitely write about some time soon.

Of all of the above, the ones I am most likely to install here are this CTKArch or gNewSense.  Below are a few more screenshots from my picasa album.

From my picasa album:

Written by tonybaldwin

February 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Sawfish WM

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sawfish window manager

sawfish window manager on debian squeeze

I tried Sawfish window manager out this morning.

Sawfish is an extensible window manager using a Lisp-based scripting language. Its policy is very minimal compared to most window managers. Its aim is simply to manage windows in the most flexible and attractive manner possible. All high-level WM functions are implemented in Lisp for future extensibility or redefinition.

Basically, it’s very lightweight and fast, which I love. It manages windows. That’s it. It doesn’t get in the way with a bunch of “desktop environment” bloat. To really make it work for me, I’d have to figure out better how to control it via the keyboard, and, especially, program my own keybindings. There is a little gui tool for adding keybindings, but it seems to only provide the means of adding a binding for sawfish’s own functions, and calling a terminal, whereas, I’d like to pull up a “run program” dialog (like grun, fbrun, that kind of thing), and program some bindings to bring up my most used applications, as I have in OpenBox. All in all, I don’t see any advantage in it over OpenBox, but I can see myself playing with it further. Apparently the keybindings and other features can be programmed in with Lisp, which I’d like to learn anyway. (I recently had an exchange with RMS in which I tentatively offered to add an extension for emacs to export a file to .djvu, and probably it’s best to just learn lisp to do that, no? ). I was able to set a wallpaper with gsetroot, and I DID program in Mod-t to bring up a terminal, but I used the gui tool to do that.
Essentially, Sawfish is the kind of window manager I like. Simple, fast, unfettered with useless bloat. OpenBox has been my default, of late, but I do sometimes switch over to wmii for it’s excellent tiling features.

The screenshot is from my experimentation with sawfish on Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 Squeeze on AMD64 architecture.  You see a roxterm, the window manager’s menu (middle click), and a small conky in the bottom right corner (just as I use in openbox) to display a clock and monitor system parameters (cpu/ram/swaap use, net up/down).

Written by tonybaldwin

February 11, 2011 at 8:23 am