banshee 1.4.2 makes me a lucky hacker

Some weeks ago I blogged about my first banshee patch which fixed the alignment issues with banshees track number. I can say proudly that my patch has recently been commited by Gabriel Burt and made it into the 1.4.2 release.  Some might think it’s ridiculous to blog about it, but some also might feel and share the joy.

Of course, what I did wasn’t world shaking, it’s truly just a small bit of code. But banshee is a big, fast growing project that will soon become one of the most important media player applications due to its clean code base. That’s at least what I think. Up to the moment the project is available for the linux and apple plattform while the windows version is still under development.  I guess the influence will rapidly grow once the player will be full functionally on all three major plattforms.

So, beeing a part of this great project just feels great. Some month ago I wouldnt have thought I could find my name on the list of banshee contributors in the near future.  But here it is:

banshee_contributors

What is the intension of this blog post? Am I just a geek looking for some fame? NO! I want to share the joy that I have with others and I want to encourage others to step up and join the project. The patch I wrote is the perfect proof, that it is possible for beginners to join the project and find some easy tasks to hack on.  It feels awesome to be  a part of a great project and hack together with other well known free software hackers. No money would have brought me the joy that I feel with that.

I defenetly will keep it up and Im quite confident that there will be banshee patches of my own in the future…

customize tasques todays tasks color

While I reside in Berlin at my girlfriends parents house for some days, I started to have a look at the young tasque project. Tasque is a small programm that creates to-do lists. Its quite handy and can use different backends (including evolution). And the best, its entirely written in c#!

I picked one of the suggested enhancement bugs and started to hack on it!

So here it goes. The color for todays tasks can now be customized from the preferences dialog:

customize todays tasks color

customize todays tasks color

I like to thank Sandy Armstrong for his help. The patch is now awaiting its review and will hopefully soon be committed to trunk.

Bugzilla Link: http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=563748

My first banshee patch fixed #553322

Yesterday I submitted my first patch for the popular banshee player. It fixes the issue that the track number is not right aligned.  It’s actually my first patch ever contributed to an open source project.  I have a desire growing inside me, that tells me to contribute code to open source projects. While I know that time is a valuable thing – and especially when you have to share it with many other persons and projects – I think whenever you feel a desire growing inside you, you have to follow it.

The patch I wrote isn’t worldshaking but means a lot to me though.

I still don’t know if or when it will be accepted, but if you like to check it out, you can get it here:

http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=553322

Bug 553322:

banshee_bug_5533221

Fixed 😉

banshee_bug_553322_fixed

…to be continued!

Picasa webalbum fetcher

Some days ago I wrote a little tool to download whole picasa web albums. I actually wrote it for my gf, who wanted to download a friends album. I was looking around but couldn’t find any comfortable way to get that done without installing the picasa software.

The tool I wrote is based on mono/gtk# and runs on linux and windows and I guess it should also run on a mac (not tested). If anybody cares for a .NET/Winforms solution – I have that, too. Just ask and I’ll bring it on.

Actually the winforms version is even more mature, because that’s the one I created for my girlfriend but as I use linux myself, I thought I should make an gtk# version for this blog.

I seperated the process of fetching the album into an assembly so that makes it easy for you to implement it anywhere else. Use it for whatever you like.

album fetcher in action

album fetcher in action

Download source and binary:

my personal experience with open source

I actually have been crazy about computers since I was a little boy.  It started even some years befor I had my first computer when I had some kind of  “kids-education-computer” which was able to understand some basic programing. I must have been maybe 10 years old.  Later when I had my first real computer I went on with some basic programming in QBasic. I remember I coded some kind of table tennis game…it where ugly flickering and the ball only had three fixed routes it could pass 😉

My brother were also coding, but he focused more on Lotus Approach which was some kind of database system like MS Access. He build up an icon gallery with various kinds of filter and search possibilities.  I can well remember the nights my brother and me were both coding in our rooms. It was some kind of competition and we kept our code closed source 😉

Well, you can say, I have been crazy about programming and computers in general for many years already . But the majority of my techie life I was using microsoft products and all my coding was focused on the microsoft plattform (QBasic, VB, .NET) .  For many years that was the only thing I knew.

Well, I must say my connection to the computer world changed drastically in the last three years. I began to get curious about Linux more and more, I tried some distributions, I was kinda fascinated but still not ready to move over. For more or less one year I was pending…

…for maybe two years already I got rid off Windows on all my machines. Well, I still work a lot on windows machines at my job.  But all the private things I do, and I guess half of my business time I’m working on a linux machine. The funny thing is, through linux, now I see how less I know about windows.  I mean, all the underlying process of a operation system are much clearer on linux for me than they are on windows. I know programms use dbus to communicate with each other on my linux desktop, when I need to get information about hardware devices HAL is there for me…I know HAL will soon be replaced by DeviceKit because HAL became too messy and huge to maintain. I could go on with that list for ever. Why is that? Why did I learn so much about the linux operation system in that short time?

Well, the cool thing about  linux[1]  is that not only the code is open and can be downloaded from anywhere, but the whole scene is open, too! At first you will start reading and posting in forums.  Later on you might subscribe to mailing list where the core developers of one system part are discussing their ideas. You might be also reading the blogs and planets[2] of all those hackers involved. The scene is so open and friendly that I sometimes can not really believe it.  Its not unlikely to get in touch with one of the core hackers who might be employed at one of the big global players like Red Hat[3] or Novell.

I also must say that my personal coding skills have improved a lot because of this whole open source thing. Because you get the opportunity to work on cool projects, to see their code, to read the svn logs, to discuss the design of the functions etc.

Well, I must say while I have been crazy about computers for nearly all my life, open source turned that craziness into passion.

[1] I use the term “linux” meaning the whole distribution while I know this is wrong.
[2] A planet is a collection of a bunch or blogs which are related to someting. I often read:
planet.gnome.org
planetkde.org
go-mono.com/monologue/
planet.fedoraproject.org/
planet.ubuntu.com
[3] A big THANK YOU to Dan Williams (the core developer of the NetworkManager which is a main feature on most distributions) for all his help he is providing on the network manager list.

Hello world!

Hello everyone,

My name is Christoph,  I’m a 24 years old company owner from Germany. Although English is not my mother language I will be mostly publishing articles in English to reach a bigger group of people and because the majority of my articles will not focus on German topics.

I have been blogging for quite some time already at www.bvsn.org/blog/ (that’s my company) and www.myhairdress.com/blog/ (that’s one of our projects).  I created this blog for all the stuff that doesn’t fit into one of these blogs.

I’m going to update this shortly!

Christoph