VideoLAN Web Plugin: xpi vs crx

One of the main issue while preparing streaming solution is answering the obnoxious question: Question: Is possible to use the service through a browser? Answer: No, rtsp isn’t* http, a browser isn’t a tool for accessing any network content. * Actually would be neat having rtsp support within the video tag but that’s yet another large can of worms Once you say that you have half of your audience leaving. Non technical people is too much used to consider the browser the one and only key to internet. The remaining ones will ask something along those lines: Question: My target user is a complete idiottechnically impairednaive and unaccustomed and could not be confronted with the hassle of a complex installation […]

ACR got support for user permissions

ACR opensource Turbogears2 CMS got support for user permissions to allow users to edit only some pages and create children only in some sections. This should permit to separate work between multiple people in ACR based sites. ACR also got support for blog/news slice template. This permits to create blogs in ACR with just two clicks instead of having to declare the ACR slicegroup youself. As usual you can download ACR from by using mercurial

Remote desktop, meet multimedia; school, meet remote desktop

Recently we got contacted about crafting some kind of solution for remote participation to school lesson. Hospitalized students may have hard time catching up and the current technologies, even the overpriced and underused “interactive blackboards” may help a bit in the picture. What’s an “interactive blackboard” ? It is more or less a projector and any kind of tracking pointer, usually the IR flavour you can see in wide use through the Nintendo Wii. Not exactly a breakthrough it’s something you could craft with about 50e of components and any price for a projector (like the relatively inexpensive and highly portable ones from 3m). You might have some “value added software” that give you an UI that is more “blackboardish” […]

Rehearsing new ACR look and feel

As some turbogears projects are starting to use ACR as their CMS library we received the first few requests by real users and the most prominent one is to have a better administrative section. Currently administration section is implemented by using the great tgext.admin and sprox, even if those are really good to quickly implement a CRUD section they might not couple very well when a more interactive and advanced user experience is required. So a transition phase that will end with a totally new administration section for ACR has been started, currently the system implements a new user interface still using the same backend as before to handle the operations, but on the long time the backend itself will […]

ACR divided in ACRcms and libACR

As new projects started to use ACR to implement the content management part of the site we started to divide the ACR application from the content management framework to permit to other people to embed the cmf inside their own applications. Now has been divided in libACR which is the content management framework and ACRcms which is the cms application. This should make easier to use libACR to implement your own CMS or extend your web applications and also fast for anyone who needs a quickly available CMS solution to just use ACRcms and tune the graphic theme and layout.

ACR Slice Preview support, remote disk, Comment and File views.

Latest version of ACR, our opensource cms for turbogears, got some new interesting features: Now each view can have a “preview mode” which shows a minimized version of the slice to which is binded. For example you can show in your home page a short version of a news linking to the complete one, or you can show the thumbnail of an image and link to the full version. This can be quite useful in some situations and can be triggered by setting preview=1 inside a slice group. Each slice inside the group will render in preview mode. Also the Remote Disk feature has been implemented and can be accessed as /rdisk. Inside this file manager you will be able […]

CrawlBot Wars

Everybody who ever wanted to write a “successful website” (or more recently, thanks to the Web 2.0 hype, a “successful blog”) knows the bless and curse of crawlers, or bots, that are unleashed by all kind of entities to scan the web, and report the content back to their owners. Most of these crawlers are handled by search engines, such as Google, Microsoft Live Search, Yahoo! and so on. With the widespread use of feeds, at least Google and Yahoo! added to their standard crawler bots also feed-specific crawlers that are used to aggregate blogs and other feeds into nice interfaces for their users (think Google Reader). Together with this kind of crawlers, though, there are less useful, sometimes nastier […]

Autotools Come Home

With our experience as Gentoo developers, me and Luca have had experience with a wide range of build systems; while there are obvious degrees of goodness/badness in build system worlds, we express our preference for autotools over most of the custom build systems, and especially over cmake-based build systems, that seem to be high on the tide thanks to KDE in the last two years. I have recently written my views on build systems: in which I explain why I dislike CMake and why I don’t mind it when it is replacing a very-custom bad build system. The one reason I gave for using CMake is the lack of support for Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler, which is needed by some […]

Profiling Proficiency

Trying to assess the impact of the Ragel state machine generator on software, I’ve been trying to come down with a quick way to seriously benchmark some simple testcases, making sure that the results are as objective as possible. Unfortunately, I’m not a profiling expert; to keep with the alliteration in the post’s title, I’m not proficient with profilers. Profiling can be done either internally to the software (manually or with GCC’s help), externally with a profiling software, or in the kernel with a sampling profiler. Respectively, you’d be found using the rdtsc instruction (on x86/amd64), the gprof command, valgrind and one of either sysprof or oprofile. Turns out that almost all these options don’t give you anything useful in […]