Automated Bugzilla email reports

Bugzilla has a very interesting feature called Whining. With it you can schedule reports to be automatically sent by email to you or anyone else in your team.

As an example, I have sent to me on the weekend a report of all items that were created or worked by our dev team in the past week.

Creating a whining report is pretty easy:

  • save a search criteria that interests you (eg. all open items, items closed in X days, etc);
  • fing at the bottom of the Bugzilla page a “whining” link;
  • create the subject and description of the email;
  • select the mailing interval;
  • recipients;
  • and saved report.

This way you’ll have a nice list on your mailbox with the bugzilla tasks that are most important to you.

eBook open standards

If you like to support open standards format, here is a (at least for me) new discovery:  .epub.

If you like open standards and ebooks, support the spreading of .epub. This file extension is a mixture of three open standards OPS ( Open Publication Structure ), OPF ( Open Packaging Format) and OCF (Open Container Format), produced by the IDPF.

From what I know Kindle – the hot ebook reader of the moment – does not support .epub format However, you can find some .epub ebooks in various websites, including Project Gutenberg. Viewing these files will be no problem with a software like FBReader.

Ten open source projects I learned to love in 2008

As the last post of the year I wanted to sum up a short list of the best open source projects I met in 2008. Several from the list were created way before, but only got used by yours truly this year.

Without further delay:

  • Identi.ca which I’m now using way more often than Twitter;
  • Gwibber is pretty much the only way I’m using Twitter nowadays since I ditched Twihrl. This is a great project and best of all, I know it is under heavy development so more features should be added to it soon.
  • GnomeDo is installed in every Linux computer I get my hands on, makes working on a computer so much easier and faster.
  • Funambol is incredibly fascinating with their push-PIM technology, syncing Google Contacts really saved my week!
  • Ubiquity is my GnomeDo for Firefox, now indispensible for me. If I want anything translated, placed on a map, searched, … Ubiquity comes to the rescue.
  • Evolution actually suprised me quite a bit at how easy it was to use and at the same time incredibly resourceful for my emails, calendar, and contacts management.
  • Bugzilla, once I learned my way through it I can’t imagine working with a development team without it.
  • Gears has nicely bridged the online world with the offline world, with extreme simplicity for the end user.
  • VirtualBox made my life easier to test different Linux distros I wanted throughout the year and nicely allowed me to use Windows without having restart my computer.
  • Miro is what I use to watch several vidcasts, there is a plethora of channels subscribe to and the list is growing quite well.

With open source projects, you never know if there will be future releases but all of these projects seem to be quite healthy for now and hopefully next year will continue quite strong. Can’t wait to see what the open source world will bring in 2009!

What would be the best open source projects you’ve discovered in 2008?

How to make Gnome looking like a Mac

Gnome has the great advantage of being a Chameleon with its Theme options. Making your Gnome based distro looking like a Mac OSX is very easy:

  • Download Mac4Lin;
  • Click on the file Mac4Lin_Install_v1.0_RC.sh for an automatic installation;
  • Install AWN and setup it up with the applets you need.

Since I installed AWN, I removed the bottom panel of my desktop.

Final result?

Tip: Open eps files with Gimp

For the past few months I’ve been doing a lot of work editing images in .eps format. Since I really like my Gimp, I spent weeks trying to find a nice way to edit these images with this program, instead of running to Photoshop. Well, I was finally able to find a solution I now share with you.

The steps you’ll need to follow are actually quite simple:

  1. Download Gimp and install it;
  2. Download Ghostscript and install it;
  3. Go to the  /bin directory of where you installed Ghostscript
  4. copy all .exe files (may be 2 or 3) and paste in Gimp’s main directory (where gimp is installed);
  5. Start gimp and try opening eps files.

That should do it! If you’re on Linux, just make sure Ghostscript is installed, it should be easy to find in Synaptic for example.

Via: Gimptalk.

Installing Linux – partitions

Before installing my Linux distro I did some pretty lengthy research on partitions. This was a concern for me since I was not doing a fresh install, but installing Linux right beside Windows with a dual boot installation.

If you want to have your entire computer Linux-only, you will not have much to worry, the automatic installation can handle everything by itself. But, if you want a dual boot with Windows, or want to leave some space for other operating systems, it is wise to study a bit about this topic before starting your installation.

Note: Since Windows is a bully and doesn’t play very nice, it always needs to be installed first, before any Linux installation. If you want to have Windows and Linux on your machine, make sure that Windows is there first.

Back to the main topic. First thing to know is that Linux will need at least two partitions: SWAP, and the system’s partition.

  • SWAP partition is recommended to be twice the size of your RAM. But usually no more then 2GB is needed.
  • the main system’s partition (in ext3 filesystem) doesn’t need to be that large. I currently have an entire Linux installation plus dozens of software occupying just 5GB. Just to be safe depending on the distro you use, set aside a minimum of 15GB.

Now, if you want to be even better you can have a third partition for your /home files. This is where all of your personal settings, configurations, and files are stored. Putting your Windows-hat on, it is almost equivalent to your “My Documents” folder. The size of this /home partition is really up to you, depends on how much file space you’ll need for your document files.

With a separate partition for your /home you will be able to reinstall your Linux distro without major losses, your files will be kept safe. In the installation procedure, you will be asked if you have a /home partition already created.

As a tip, after working dual boot with Linux and Windows I’ve found that it is much easier to have all of my files (docs, spreadsheets, images, music, etc) in one common partition. The main Linux distros are now being able to read and write from Windows’ NTFS partition. Since both can access this partition, leave all of the files you handle daily here so you can easily get access from whichever operating system you’re working with.

I realize there are ways to have Windows access with read/write permission an ext3 partition but to leave my Linux safe, I have not done it. If a virus ever gets to my computer while I’m working on Windows, there will be no way for it to do any damage to my Linux installation. So, if it doesn’t see it, it won’t harm it.

Believe me, this is one of the most complicated things to know about when installing Linux. The rest is so very easy.

Tip: Upload images from Gimp to Flickr or Picasaweb

Gimp upload to flickr and picasawebAs mentioned previously, Gimp is a very good open source program for your image editing needs. What is even better about Gimp is its plug-in structure which allows for a greater usage of the program.

One of these plug-ins, called GimpPublishr, will allow you to upload your images to Flickr or Picasaweb automatically. It is quite simple to use, to install it just drop the extracted files inside your Gimp plug-in folder.

The developers have written a pretty good setup tutorial on the project’s page with lots of helpful screenshots.

Websites to start turning open source

A couple of websites that have helped me greatly to find excellent open source projects:

  • osalt.com (open source as alternative): here you will find a good list of open source alternatives, a description of each program and the rating readers have given to each project;
  • SourceForge: the home of the majority of open source projects, you will also find statistics of the most downloaded programs and their “pick of the month”.

Both of these links are a great place to start. They will list software for Linux, Windows and MacOS.