Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life

{April 27, 2007}   Building a cross-compiler

When I first started to build my own cross-compiler and my own toolchain, I didn’t think that it was so delicate. It took me almost two weeks to have it working, always fighting quite cryptical errors that could be solved with very unevident switches. Lots of thanks go to Simon Richter and Rob Landley for their help, among many others. I wouldn’t have done it without them.

What you need:



You can download my script for building the compiler if you want. Feedback is welcome.

{April 26, 2007}   Debian packages for Gnash

As it’s quite predictable that we’ll have a newer version of Gnash in one or two months, I’ve created a newer experimental set of packages from the CVS, so that everything is ready when the release comes out. There is really much more to do before they’re in a decent state, mainly making them work out-of-the box for Konqueror, and decide how to handle the shared objects that are being built right now. The plugin for iceweasel works out-of-the-box for me. Do not expect a stable program for the moment anyway, it’s still under heavy development. I’ve been reported some more bugs about these packages anyway, so be careful with them. Chipi has built the packages for amd64 for me, so if you want them, they’re available online.

According to one of the developers: “gnash should not have shared objects, they have been enabled again recently to allow builds on Darwin, altought I think we should disable them again”, so I think that matter about shared objects is likely to be solved soon. As it is right now, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be compliant with The Policy. As there’s no API for gnash yet, it doesn’t really make sense to create a -dev package for the moment, even though there seem to be some demand for it. Somewhere in the future we will likely have one.

For those who want to experiment with later versions, I’m using SVN for handling the packaging, so it’s quite easy to create some really extreme latest version of the packages:

svn co svn://svn.debian.org/svn/pkg-flash/packages/gnash/trunk/ latest-gnash
cd latest-gnash
fakeroot debian/rules get-orig-source
cd gnash-0.7.2+cvs*.????
dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot

{April 20, 2007}   TTF Fonts in Debian: Online

Some people have suggested me to put the resulting web pages from the script I mentioned earlier to show all the TTF fonts in Debian available somewhere in the net, so I’ve put them here. I’ve also modified the script a bit, so I’ve uploaded a new version (same name, same URL).

As a side note, it was somehow surprising to see that many of Enlightenmet packages include their own copy of Vera fonts. I must remember to file some bugs about that.

I suspect that some packages might be missing anyway, so I’ll have to re-check the script.

{April 19, 2007}   TTF Fonts in Debian

Fonts are usually a problem when packaging games. Many games seem to pick up fonts from somewhere in the web, which licenses allow only free redistribution, but not modification. Some others don’t even allow commercial use. Some game developers don’t mind at all about this, some others just don’t pay much attention to licenses. In any case, if we want those games in Debian main, we must replace the fonts in them.

The problem is then trying to find appropiate fonts for the replacement. As there’s no easy way to have a visual look at all the fonts in the archive, I’vd developed a tiny script to generate some web pages with images of all the TrueType fonts in Debian SID. Lots of thanksgo to Jacobo Tarrio, you’ve helped me a lot!

{April 17, 2007}   Escape from Freedom, Erich Fromm

Erich Fromm, 1900 – 1980, internationally renowned Jewish-German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and humanistic philosopher. Fromm describes three ways in which we escape from freedom:

1. Authoritarianism. We seek to avoid freedom by fusing ourselves with others, by becoming a part of an authoritarian system. There are two ways to approach this. One is to submit to the power of others, becoming passive and compliant. The other is to become an authority yourself, a person who applies structure to others. Either way, you escape your separate identity. Fromm referred to the extreme version of authoritarianism as masochism and sadism. Authoritarians respond to a painful existence by, in a sense, eliminating themselves: If there is no me, how can anything hurt me?

2. Destructiveness. Others respond to pain by striking out against the world: If I destroy the world, how can it hurt me? If a person’s desire to destroy is blocked by circumstances, he or she may redirect it inward. The most obvious kind of self-destructiveness is, of course, suicide. But we can also include many illnesses, drug addiction, alcoholism, even the joys of passive entertainment.

3. Automaton conformity. If I look like, talk like, think like, feel like… everyone else in my society, then I disappear into the crowd, and I don’t need to acknowledge my freedom or take responsibility. It is the horizontal counterpart to authoritarianism. The person who uses automaton conformity is like a social chameleon: He takes on the coloring of his surroundings. Since he looks like a million other people, he no longer feels alone. He isn’t alone, perhaps, but he’s not himself either. The automaton conformist experiences a split between his genuine feelings and the colors he shows the world.

{April 16, 2007}   Frets On Fire in Debian?

It seems that after my last post talking about the abusive position of teosto regarding the songs in the game Frets on Fire, even when the authors of the game and songs were willing to put them under a free (DFSG) license, many people is asking about whether FoF could enter Debian even without songs. I don’t really see any problem with that, in fact the game is already packaged in our subversion server (Debian Games Team).

In my opinion the game itself could be into main, and the songs, well, I guess the only possibility would be to put them in non-free. There are free and non-free songs all around the net, and in fact it’s quite easy to make them, so I don’t think the lack of songs would be a problem. The game doesn’t need to depend at all in the original songs.

The problem is that most of the songs out there are based in music protected by copyright, and/or they’re not easy enough for beginners. We should need to have at least a replacement of the tutorial, so that people could downoad the game and try it.

{April 08, 2007}   Euskal Encounter

La Euskal Encounter, anteriormente conocida como Euskal Party, Euskal Amiga Party o Euskal, es una reunión multitudinaria de aficionados y profesionales de la informática que buscan intercambiar conocimientos y realizar todo tipo de actividades relacionadas con la informática durante varios días.

Esta LAN party viene celebrándose en el País Vasco (en euskara Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa) desde el año 1993, lo que la convierte en la concentración de informáticos más veterana de España y una de las más veteranas de Europa. En el año 2007 se celebrará su decimoquinta edición en el Bilbao Exhibition Centre de Baracaldo durante los días 20, 21, 22 y 23 de Julio.


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