Linux/Open Source

Happy Birthday to Vim!

Vim (text editor) in a terminal emulator, with...

Image via Wikipedia

Vim has been a constant in my computing life for over a decade. Initially used to Emacs, i was gradually persuaded to what i regarded as an odd editor. Oh, how wrong i was. The power of vim. The amazing configurations you can do with scripts and just a small amount of work with the .vimrc. I love this editor!

The Vim text editor was first released to the public on November 2, 1991—exactly 20 years ago today. Although it was originally designed as a vi clone for the Amiga, it was soon ported to other platforms and eventually grew to become the most popular vi-compatible text editor. It is still actively developed and widely used across several operating systems.

via Two decades of productivity: Vim’s 20th anniversary.

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Off to see the wizard…

I am presenting at :

I am nervous about this pretty important presentation – more about this next post. This is being done with the support and encouragement of many projects besides ours, so I feel a lot of weight on shoulders. I want to represent everybody as well as i can.

I am nervous about the flight, i loathe flying, and with a disability, for this distance, how will evil back hold up? And how will the trip erode my ability to cope with in, away from the support i have set up for myself?

Have we organised enough money in foreign currency? How hard will taxis etc be with wheelchair – i can’t ust do the hop on a bus thing. How about my heavy medications, will all the supporting documentation be sufficient? Thieves, a real problem, how to avoid? SO a mix of normal traveller apprehension mixed with disability concerns.

But i am going with my spouse, my joy knows no limits there. He and i know each other so well, and he is so supportive and encouraging, his excitement lifts me when my nerves threaten me. We are calling this the honeymoon we never have, a seal on the new life we are thoroughly committed to, to each other. I am old married and new married to him, and it, along with kids and project, is a delightful consumption:)

Ahh well, an adventure i am going on, and i will be all the better for it. The kids are excited for some grandpa and big sister time. And souvenirs, thre is definitely souvenirs requesting going on:) I will take many pictures, ads will himself, and it will be wonderful. I will live blog as i find access.

When i get back, it is UI revamp major release, and writing my thesis proposal for uni. And putting the next draft of my Linux Conf Au 2012 presentation together – January is exciting trip for  many Serval types, as we all head to th conference, where Corey and I wll be presenting, but all of us will be interacting and demonstrating. Serval Roadtrip!!!!

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The difference between Design and Development matters.

Android robot logo.

Image via Wikipedia

A post from me in my incarnation as serious developer type in my project mode: The Difference between Design vs Development

One in which i grumble about the state of Android development, in particular, UI design which is finally being recognised as a actually a different thing to development – which iOS has known form the beginning. Also contains a link to the first set of Guidelines to designing for Android that treats it as proper design (well, that i have found).

Android, i love you to bits and all, but honestly, iOS has everything in one set of documents because they recognise how vital both elements are.

And until you get it, dear Android, iOS will continue to offer a (mostly) superior user experience (notifications suck, iOS, you can’t boast yet).

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Android UI Development

Android robot logo.

Image via Wikipedia

I found this article, The Curious Case of Android UI Development, while getting my head around moving from iOS UI development to Android, as I am now doing UI work on the upcoming Alpha release of Serval Batphone. My favourite quote is :

“Though a bit of a well-worn topic, it is worth mentioning the development “culture shock” experienced by those coming from the iPhone world armed with tools like Interface Builder for all its shortcomings to Android-land where we are left with the technological equivalent of sharpened sticks and smooth stones. “

He isn’t wrong. I have come to the conclusion the underlying Android code is easier to work in than iOS (that may be my open source fan girl speaking, Objective C isn’t my favourite after all), but the tools available for UI development, which is my area of interest, are ‘teh suck’. Which is geek speak for they suck. I do like Balsamiq for general wireframing (I use iMockup on my iPad, and love that too. DroidDraw is incredibly dated feeling. If anyone has any other tips, I am open to them!

A couple of good links, btw :

Android vs IPhone development
Android UI development tools
Android UI Development: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

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Mesh Networks in Authoritarian Regimes

Social networking may have a reputation for pointless trivia, however it is rapidly emerging as the most pressing threat to authoritarian dictatorships. The same social networks we use to plan a night out are being used to overthrow unpopular governments. Unfortunately the means to access the Internet is centrally managed corporations – it’s easy for an embattled government to simply disconnect an entire city or country from the Internet. As we have seen in Egypt… the Internet as we know it can be shut down at the whim of government.

Paul Gardner Stephen is a fellow of Flinders University in Southern Australia. He is the founder of the Serval project, an open-source project which aims to turn every-day mobile phones into nodes of an indestructible mesh network.

And the Serval Project is something i happen to be, very proudly, co-founder of.
Mesh Networks in Authoritarian Regimes, with Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen, founder of the Serval Project by salimfadhley

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Vignettes 18/1


Serval – epic huge meeting – with much work for rest of week. Assigned myself development time, which i really haven’t done for a while (in set times). Now, i am saying thursday & friday is MINE. Coding is as much about headspace as anything – you need that headspace to be focus time, not diverted to business activities. So, tomorrow, many business tasks. Things are really ramping up, and i am having to go back into project mode. Which will make our project manager happy (she doesn’t read this, so i am safe i suspect!)

Quilting – nada. Thought about it. That is something, no?

Kids – play date day for ms 9, she & friend & mr 7 had a blast inside and outside all day. Cubby house, sandpit, inside fort, trampoline, swings, xbox360, wii, and tv. Not a lot of the tv based stuff, but enough for the down moments:) Ms 18 off for a break at her dad’s for the rest of the week – some non noisy family, second part of family (my eldest, ms 24, and their magic dad,aka one of my most valued friends:) ) Ms 16 in a10 days gone into caretaker mode (must nurture family mode). She is a darling one, but they all are:) Naturally, had to watch The Goodies with wee ones before bed was contemplated.

Dad – looking tired, worrying me a lot. The verdict on his radiation treatment for prostate cancer will be in next month. As the interim result wasn’t the best,his ongoing tiredness worries me. I am hoping it means radiation still working, but, well…

Activities – besides all else, some shopping. A surprisingly mammoth task, shopping for a few days when it is just me and wheelchair against the world. Meeting took up a great amount of time and energy, so between the two, plus kidlets – well, bye day. Oh, air yet another colour. Yes, i have low attention span. Aimed for blue black, have black with red purple blue streaks. Really dig it:) Think darkness is mine now, (darkling, i listen….?). Gave Tux the Linux penguin, who had many adventures with me, to Dr Paul’s eldest daughter, a sweet little magic princess. I have been reliably informed that he is being utterly adored – which is good for him, and me to know:)

Status – odd day, was some stuff to deal with at meeting i was dreading. Ended up doing usual coping mechanism, which is not the wisest, but my body deals with stress by getting nauseous. Wish it wouldn’t! At least pain is settled down a lot. Rest days so needed, but the medication is definitely settling into place better. Which makes management better – one restricted day where two or three utter helpless in agony days once were. Hoping i can maintain this trend! Tattoo healing nicely, too.

Mindset – relieved meeting went off okay eventually Feeling really excited about the project. Also feeling cautiously optimistic as more data to confirm feeling pain is getting better managed. The higher dosage + lesser interval seems key, side effects still a bitch, but that management, while tricky, seems to be working too. Restrictive, but hey, not as much as pain is!

Score – today we have a 7. Was climbing post meeting, of course, but rest is settling it. Tired after sleep issues, but they were based on me worrying about meeting.

For anyone interested, pain is rated on a scale of 1-10. 1 is pretty well 0, for these purposes, 10 is utterly crippling, and have only been there a few times. Ended up being carted away in an ambulance the last occasion, when back had epic sudden deterioration, and i went from limping and occasional walking stick,t o needing a wheelchair overnight. So, 9 is pretty well it, 9.5 means i am crying and waiting for uber drugs to kick in, but the .5 at this end of pain scale is quantum scale, as opposed to the .5 between a 1 and 1.5, say….every tiny increment over 7 is really noticed. I haven’t been below a five in the last year, (since that last incident), and rarely am below 6, as that would require a few days of immobility and massive medication, so ain’t gonna happen, peeps (unless i have no choice, i have learnt any other attitude is bravado…).

Is anyone reading these, btw? I had complaints not enough personal info, is this too much? Am i just using my blog as a chance to life sample? And who gives a pair of fetid dingoes kidneys for anyone’s opinion on my blog, anyway?:)

Listened to: We Play the Game from the album “A Valid Path” by Alan Parsons
(One of my highest rotation songs atm, LOVE this. Seriously, about 10th time today. Will do that with a song.)

And over at my other home…

As i am now working on this amazing project, expect cross linking. Here is a picture of me ‘flying’ in my wheelchair. I love a good optical illusion, especially one with me in it!

The Serval Project » Levitation potential….

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Last bits of the day

Apple I at the Smithsonian Museum
Image via Wikipedia

Apple Carves Out A Special App Store Area For “Awesome iOS 4 Apps”. So, developers, lesson is get in early!

Infographic of the Day: The Rise of User-Generated Porn – oh wow. There is no comment i want to make on this one:)

Wanted: A Bike Basket Perfect for Eames Freaks – i love these! I wonder if could adapt for wheelchair?

This is a really insightful issue. I do struggle a bit with enthusiasm with the products i use that work, and atm, every damn Apple thing I have bought just works beautifully – and everyone who i have shown them to, (who has ended up getting them based on their enthusiasm more than my recommendation), has loved them too. iPad, iPhone, Macbook & Macbook Pro, and the screens, gorgeous screens – no, i love their stuff. My kids like Windows and Linux, and are also comfortable with my Mac.

Would not hesitate to sing praises of latest Ubuntu install either, mind you, and have told friends if you MUST use Windows, Windows 7 is pretty good – finally a Windows product I could use. I just really like the Apple products, the finish, the software.

Does that make me a fangirl? Possibly. I just can only recommend things that work well for me. Anyway : The Art of Being Pragmatic In a World of Fanboys.

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