I thought it was some stupid bug in Chrome, but it turn out as just a configuration fix in SELinux.

Refer: Randell’s Blog

The fix is just to run:

$> restorecon -R ~/.config

 

 

Bug in Evolution RSS Plugin

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Linux
Tags:

I have been using Evolution as my default mail application since I started using GNOME as my desktop environment. So far, I have not yet encountered strange behaviour until recently. The problem is, I can’t send inline image with my Evolution. I can insert the picture, it would display while I typing my email, but once I click “Send”, it would disappear.

This problem has been bugging me for quite sometime. I did want to try file a bug report to Fedora Core developers, but after a few Google search, it seems no one is facing a similar problem like me. This let me to rethink about the problem I had. Since I did a full installation by running yum install evolution-*, this mean, I would have install a lot more from the standard installation. I decided to check through the plugins that I had installed and one-by-one disable them to check for any effect. I finally find out which plugin is causing the problem.

The problem would happen whenever Evolution RSS plugin is enable.

Did a few Google search, I finally found others share the same problem as I am:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/evolution-rss/+bug/452874

 

It seems this problem was not fixed in Fedora 15.

Some helpful tips for Fedora Core 15

Posted: July 21, 2011 in Linux

1) How to add minimize and maximize buttons.

  • Run dconf-editor
  • Go to: desktop -> gnome-> shell- > windows
  • From your right side options double click on “buttons_layouts”. Erase it’s current text (which should be = :close ) and enter the below code instead:
:minimize,maximize,close

Source for this tip.

2) Adding “Shutdown/Power Off” and “Restart/Reboot” options into the menu.

The strange thing about GNOME 3 or Fedora Core 15, there is no “Shutdown” or “Power Off” and”Restart” options in the menu. It only provides “Suspend”.  Don’t ask me why, I am not even sure this is decided by GNOME 3 developers or the Fedora Core developers.

However, there is a way to add the options back. Just run the following command at the command prompt in root:

$> yum install -y gnome-shell-extensions-alternative-status-menu

Source here.

3) Samsung CLX 3160 (all-in-one) Printer

Just follow the instructions from the link: foo2qpdl:a linux printer driver for QPDL protocol

The strange thing about GNOME 3 or Fedora Core 15, there is no “Shutdown” or “Power Off” and”Restart” options in the menu. It only provides “Suspend”.  Don’t ask me why, I am not even sure this is decided by GNOME 3 developers or the Fedora Core developers.

However, there is a way to add the options back. Just run the following command at the command prompt in root:

$> yum install -y gnome-shell-extensions-alternative-status-menu

Source here.

The choice of desktop environment can influence the choice Linux distribution for one to choose from. This happened to me once, now I decided to move to Fedora Core for the same reason.

Linux desktop is indeed getting better. I still remember the good old days, where writing your own fvwmrc is the way to go. FVWM is still around, but I really enjoy a full desktop environment like GNOME.

Ubuntu decided to switch Unity desktop. I used it for couple of months, and I really don’t find that fun to use, in fact, it feels rather backward. I don’t think there is a need for me go in details of why I don’t like it, there are already a lot of debates on this issue one can find them from Google search. However, I do like to echo certain “features” of Unity which, I notice, others have voiced their dissatisfaction…

First, one major turn off to me is the way how I need to find a specific application. In the old days, the applications are all arrange in a logical and easily find manner from the GNOME Application menu, but I would need to jump a few steps in order to find it now in Unity. For example, if I need to find Firefox, I just click Application Menu->Internet->Firefox, now I would need to go “Launcher”, either “Search Applications” directly or I need to find “Internet” category from “All Applications”, and may need to click “view more” if not shown immediately. I can always add application into the panel, but you can’t be expecting me to add every application into it. There should be a more logical and efficient way for me to find the application. GNOME 3 did it better, Click on Activities, it shows me “Windows” and “Applications”. If I click “Applications”, on the right hand side, it would list all the categories available.

Second, the idea of do it similar to Mac OS global menu is not right for Linux. Yes, if every application open only 1 window and in full screen, we may get along this idea. But not all application in Linux follow this structure. Take for example GIMP, when launch, it usually would open itself with 2 or 3 windows:  The image/canvas, toolbox and layers. In order for me to navigate around various setting, I need to frequently click on different windows and move up to select the option from global menu. Things would get even more confusing, If I have multiple applications run at the same time. There are times, I get confused on which application’s menu is on the global menu. It is even more troublesome, if I use focus-follows-mouse/sloppy focus.

Looking at the Unity and GNOME 3, I can’t help notice that these 2 desktop are heading for more touch screen friendly interface. I guess, this is expected.

Anyway, I am now using Fedora Core 15 with GNOME 3. Not too bad, but I still missed the old or classic way of doing things…

Who in the right mind would use “Ctrl-Delete” combination of keys for deleting files in a file manager? Huh?

Hello!!! There is a delete key on every keyboard. It says “D-E-L-E-T-E”, it means delete, why on earth I need to use another key to delete?

From one of those weird things about Gnome 3…

Thank goodness there is a work around to this “feature”:

  1. Run dconf-editor, and open: org -> gnome -> desktop -> interface
  2. Enable “can-change-accels”.
  3. Open nautilus, select any file/directory, then click “Edit” from menubar, and hover on “Move to Trash” menuitem.
  4. While hovering, click on your delete key. The accel should change from “cntrl+del” to “del”.

NOTE:

  • Make sure you have selected a file, else the “Move to Trash” menuitem will be greyed out.
  • Do remember to disable “can-change-accels” afterwards, so won’t accidental change it.
  • If dconf-editor is not install, just install it by running yum install dconf-editor

On why this “feature” is there in Gnome3, just follow the link below:
http://gilest.ro/2011/patches-for-nautilus-move-to-trash-bug

EDIT: After reading the link above and trying out my girlfriend MacBook Air, I decide to give this new feature a try. I had set  it back to Ctrl-Delete.

 

 

 

 

Nokia – A Burning Platform

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Linux, Microsoft, Nokia

I think, by now, everyone who is familiar with the mobile market had read the famous The Burning Platform article by Nokia CEO. It is rare, for a company CEO to give a blunt comments about their core product and compare it as a “burning platform”. This definitely a mark of a major change of attitude on how Nokia is going to continue their business. So, I guess Nokia’s plan of entering an alliance with Microsoft should not deem as total surprise. As a person who been in the IT business and someone who keenly follow mobile world news, I felt I want to comment something about this. Though I would be one of millions of comments out there and my opinion would unlikely to cause any impact, but I still want to express my view on this. To me, this is a historical event in the mobile world. So here goes…

From The Burning Platform:

The battle of devices (smartphone and mobile devices) has now become a war of ecosystems, where ecosystems include not only the hardware and software of the device, but developers, applications, ecommerce, advertising, search, social applications, location-based services, unified communications and many other things. Our competitors aren’t taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. This means we’re going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem.

– Stephen Elop, CEO, Nokia

(Emphasis mine.)

I think the new CEO has a good grasp of the current state of mobile world. We are no longer converging into a single dominate platform. When Symbian was supported by major mobile phone makers, there was a belief that the convergence of mobile platform would be based on it. However this did not happen, instead mobile world is now in a stage of multiple platforms. At this time, major platforms are Android, Blackberry and iPhone. It is very clear, Nokia has to make choice and it choose to enter an alliance with Microsoft to develop WP7 phones.

This is simply amazing and if we put ourselves a few years back, looking at this event, no one would have imagine this could happen. I personally think, history will view this as one of those moment where a once seemingly mighty and invincible company, had decided to desperately alliance itself with an external party to find a new future. However, what is truly amazing, after details of alliance is known, Nokia, the once held largest market share of smart phone in world had decided to drop their own mobile platform and embrace Microsoft WP7 completely.

Unbelievable!

I always believe, for a company to grow, it should continue the proven strategies, learned the mistakes from itself and others, and finally the willingness to copy or emulate others successful strategies.

Symbian mobile smart phone ‘ecosystem’ is indeed declining in its market share, but it is still has a large market share. Looking at their latest flagship Nokia N8, I find Symbian UI has improved quite a lot, once we compare it with older version of Symbian UI. If they continue this direction, I believe they should be able to find new success and rejuvenate the platform. Nokia made great phones, in fact, I even wrote a little entry in my blog detailing why I had chosen Nokia E71 instead of iPhone. Even to this day, the basic requirement for me to buy a phone have not changed, and I still don’t own an iPhone.

My point is, there were successes in Symbian phones. Nokia should find out why it was successful, and at the same time, learned from the mistakes they made. N8 is direction I really likes. It is, in my opinion, unfortunately, Nokia decided to throw all these away. What about MeeGo? Well, to me it is not a proven platform as Symbian. I was looking forward to try out MeeGo phones, once it ready, but I guess this won’t be happening now.

Mobile phones has evolved from a pure communicating device on the move, to a social network device hub. It is true, we are in a multiple platforms or ecosystems, but if we view from a higher level, all these ecosystems are mainly develop around a social network device hub. This mean, instead of just making phone calls and texting short messages, we are using it more for social networking among friends and strangers. We are now using our phones to share info, pictures, videos and files. We use it to surf net, gossips among friends, give comments on current affairs and play network games. A friend once told me, it is more trendy to add a friend inside Facebook than to ask for contact number. Nokia made phones with a lot of features, but those features did not enhance the social hubbing experience, if we compare with its competitors. A few years of lagging behind competitors caused Nokia to lose a whole generation of users.

Mobile phones are getting more powerful and have more resources. There maybe a future where our phone would replace our desktop and laptop, and starts new generation PC experience. This won’t happen solely on a single ecosystem or platform. It will be a world of multiple platforms and power by unify backend services. Hence, depending entirely on a single platform, may not be a good strategy for the future.

If we look at other phone makers, what they have shown us, it is possible to support multiple platforms and continue with their own in house platform. For example, Samsung has phones power by Android and WP7, it also has its own phone power by Samsung Wave, Bada OS platform. Samsung are not just surviving from it, they are profiting from such strategy.

Nokia is the only major phone makers that (besides Apple and RIM) choose to stay their own, and I believe, this is a mistake. Their market share is shrinking, so they should not continue to behave like a monolithic company. They should branch out and expand to other platforms. The objective is not to be dominating, but to ride the wave and brings in the necessary profits, and increase its visibility among mobile phone users. This will help them to gain more time to build up and improve Symbian or complete MeeGo. Otherwise, If one of the platforms they enter prove to be a real success, they would be in a position to let go old or legacy Symbian systems, follow by an orderly migration to that platform.

The last thing they should be doing now, is to shrink their market share more by announcing the abandonment of their current platform. Who in their right mind would want to buy a Nokia’s Symbian phone, if they know, they are buying a “transition” phone? I can’t imagine how the existing Symbian developers would be feeling right now and would they be willing to jump into WP7 development? This move would simply give its competitors more opportunities to capture or win over existing or potential Nokia users, as it would take times for Nokia to start selling phones base on WP7.

Nokia should have kept its exiting core product and continue to improve it, while at the same time join in the development of both WP7 and Android. Nokia was in a crossroad. They could have chosen a strategy that has lower risk and safer bet, instead, they have chosen a path that be more turbulent and higher risk. It is unbelievable that a company is willing to dump their existing and working product, and start from scratch. They had chosen to abandon previously acquired and core expertise, and embrace into something that is alien to the organisation. Such move is risky, if the migration or the transition fails there would be no fall back to their old (and working) product to survive. Such move would also alienate all existing alliances that it made all these years. It is again unbelievable, a product based company would want to entirely relies their core product to an external party. This would make this company entirely at the mercy of that external party. If the business relationship turn soar, it would have direct impact of its core business.

Common sense tell us, don’t place all your eggs into one basket. A successful strategy always has a plan B. There is no plan B here. This is not a good sign.

End note: I am now using Android phones – To cut the story short, my last Symbian phone was Nokia N97, and it was very disappointing to me. A friend introduce me to Android, and after playing a few Android phones, I ordered Nexus One and not long later, I bought Samsung Galaxy S. To be honest, it is quite fun to play Android phones. I may write an article about my Android experience.