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Monday, October 28, 2013


Launchpad pull request

So you want to do a pull-request to a LaunchPad project?
Stop right there! The content of this blog post has been migrated to this question in stackoverflow. Move on, nothing to see here.

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Friday, June 14, 2013


Modernizing blam's autotools (or shaving the yak to move out from GoogleReader...)

Before focusing my spare time completely on the GSoC* (as I have mentoring responsibilities this year \o/ ), I wanted to solve a problem that cannot wait after July...

Yes, I've been victim of Google's cuts too... And I was wondering, where should I move? Feedly? ThingyBob? Well, I shouldn't make the same mistake twice, right?

Actually, some time ago I was using a desktop app to avoid relying on software that I cannot control (yes, vendor lock-in, the most important thing that open source tries to solve, right?): Thunderbird. But somehow the convenience of a web app (that I can access from any computer) and the hassle of using my mail client for RSS reading made me move to the web.

I should be able to find a replacement that no company or individual can "take down", and which feels less clunky than Thunderbird for reading RSS. So, enter blam (in the future I'll figure out how to sync its state between computers, maybe using SparkleShare?, to achieve that same convenience that a web-app provides), that Gnome app that has strangely managed to not catch my eye until now...

Well, maybe because if I install it from debian sid and I try to import my very first RSS feed from my GoogleReader list it doesn't work? Well, apparently it is a bug that is already fixed upstream, thanks to Carlos which has modernized the way that the program deals with XML and serialization.

Then I went ahead and tried to compile master myself... and guess what, the autogen.sh execution fails. Here the yak shaving begins, when I feel like this when trying to fix the autotools stuff:

Fortunately, after some tinkering (and some copy&paste from banshee's build scripts), I managed to fix the problem, and also modernized a bit some things (like using the brand new ".ac" extension instead of ".in" for the configure script, or using properly the AC_INIT and AM_AUTOMAKE_INIT macros,...).

Anyway, the real thing to highlight here is that while I was fixing this stuff and pushing to the repository...

... I saw some really good stuff committed by Carlos: using the new .NET 4.5 C# async patterns to get rid of those ugly callbacks! Kudos to him.

And if you're willing to help more with our autotools housekeeping, please do, I still feel this autogen.sh is way too long and needs some ironing.

* And if you're wondering what's up with GSoC (aka Google Summer of Code):

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Apple and LastFM can still receive open source love

Here we are in an era in which ad-based services (like LastFM) and closed-products (like Apple ones) are on the rise.

But contradicting what you may think, open source is still friendly to them.

If you have an Apple device supported by libgpod* and you're an avid user of LastFM's scrobbling feature, you can today configure Banshee to send all the songs that were played on your device to your LastFM account the next time you connect your device while you have Banshee running.

Pretty handy, especially if you own a device that doesn't have internet connection these days (something definitely not on the rise). You should thank our new Banshee developer Phil Trimble for doing an awesome job on implementing this feature (and on resisting to not sending me to hell when I made the patch reviews...).

The next version of Banshee, in the 2.5.x series, should include this feature. Until then, hold on to your seats! (or compile it yourself from master ;) )

* Beware: not the last generation ones! you would have to donate to libgpod project if you want those recognised.

PS: If you're a developer and want to extend this feature to other kind of devices, you should just implement the interface IBatchScrobblerSource in the corresponding Source class of your device. If you want to make it scrobble to a different service than LastFM, just create a Banshee addin (simple sample here) that subscribes to the ServiceManager.SourceManager.SourceAdded event to then later subscribe to the IBatchScrobbleSource.ReadyToScrobble event from it, to later make the corresponding HttpWebRequests to the scrobbling service.

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Sunday, May 08, 2011



The title of this post is the name of the GimpNet IRC channel that some people are recently using to talk about the .NET bindings of gtk+.

I had never seen this channel with people in it at all in the past. I guess the recent interest comes from the fact that gtk-sharp master is already targeting Gtk+ 3.x API and some people are starting to use it to port things.

One example is Hyena, the awesome library that Gnome projects F-Spot, Banshee and PdfMod use (am I missing some other?). I started the port some weeks ago and all I have received is positive feedback, encouragement, and also a lot of help! For example Olivier Dufour (which I guess he will be recently known as one of the superstars that brought DVD support to Banshee -- work finished but still unmerged) who helped with accessibility and warnings, and Mike Kestner (father/maintainer of all these GAPI-based *-sharp bindings) which helped reviewing my patches to the binding and fixing other issues I reported (and of course for making huge efforts, in the first place, to have the bindings ready for the 3.x cycle, with even some GObject-Introspection experimentation, which I guess is still in the early stages and not enabled yet).

Stay tuned for the progress! (as new contributors have expressed interest in helping out soon). Branches are being created so you can join the effort if you feel like (bugs in bugzilla too, to track what's pending).

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Monday, April 11, 2011


Calling hackers who care about Android+Banshee

If you care about the neat feature about synchronizing metadata to your device using Banshee, and you have an Android device, you may be interested to hear that I created a patch for it, and it was recently reviewed requesting some changes here.

Unfortunately my Android phone broke completely (don't ask me the details...) so I cannot work on the patch anymore. Anyone wants to continue the work?

If yes, go ahead and ask me anything you want, I'm usually in irc://irc.gnome.org/banshee with the "knocte" nickname, or you could also ask the question on the channel if I'm not there, there are usually awesome contributors there that will try to help. If you haven't ever coded for banshee, check the Contributing page first.

BTW, kudos to all the people involved in the Banshee v.2.0 release!

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Sunday, April 10, 2011


WTF reduction

My first patch to FluentNHibernate was just merged upstream!

What it basically does is a bit of what I call WTF reduction: you will no longer get a confusing message like "For property 'Foo' expected 'Bar' of type 'Bar' but got 'Bar' of type 'Bar'" when unit testing your entities' properties.

AFAIK the next release will include this, and will be the first one to link to the new version of NHibernate, 3.0, which I've found that works very well.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011


RT: MEF vs MonoAddins

Just re-posting in my blog an interesting email that was sent to the MonoAddins list, comparing these two Addin frameworks:

> Can you give a short summary on why you replaced MEF with Mono.Addins?

Basically it came down to maturity. Mono.Addins seems far more stable and mature than MEF. The MEF documentation was lacking, inconsistent and out of date in a lot of places. But all that could be worked around, and for the first few internal versions of our app, MEF was servicing us just fine.

Then our addins became a bit more complex. We needed to package them up with multiple files, ideally distribute them as an archive, host them online in a plugin exchange, allow them to be discovered and installed easily. Essentially this page covers features in Mono.Addins that made us switch rather than implementing a lot of the same things using MEF ourselves:


At the time as well MEF had issues on Mono on linux. This might have been a problem with how we were using it, but it just turned out easier to plonk Mono.Addins in instead. Was an easy migration and has a lot more power and features straight out of the box (and it worked on Linux).

Your millage may vary, and your needs are probably different. MEF might be an awesome tool for your requirements. It is a little simpler to get up and running and requires less engineering to support it (which was one of the reasons we used it first off).

Hope that helps,


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