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Archive for February, 2006

Impressive Xgl demo

On the weblog Pubcrawler is an impressive video of the new Xgl Xserver. The video shows a presentation of Dave Reveman, showing the various features of Xgl, such as transparent windows, switching virtual deskops using a 3D-cube, OpenGL accelerated video’s and OpenGL applications which seems to intergrate very well in de user interface. I wonder what videocard one should use in order to achieve these results. At least I think there have to be good OpenGL drivers available for your videocard… I doubt that there are videocards with open source drivers which will work good with Xgl.

Canon introduces new digicams and lenses

Canon today introduced a large number of new products. The first is the Ixus 800 IS, which is the first Canon Ixus camera with build in image stabilization. The Ixus 60 and 65 are also new, with a large 2,5″ LCD-camera. Also the Powershot A-serie is extended with new models. The A700 and the A540 are the more expensive models, the A420, A430 and A530 are aimed at the budget market. For the prosumer market there is the new PowerShot S3 IS, which has an 12x optical zoomrange and build-in image stabilization. Finally there is a new dSLR from Canon which is the EOS 30D. This camera replaces the 20D which is positioned above the entry-level dSLR EOS 350D. The new features of the 30D are limited, but interesting enough to choose the newer 30D above the 20D. Canon also introduces two new lenses for the Canon EF-mount, a 85mm F/1.2 L-lens and a 17-55mm F/2.8 lens with image stabilization. This last lens is intersting, but unfortunately a little bit expensive with an introduction price of more than 1100 dollar.

Novell Linux Desktop 10

Novell has provided the world with some previews of the upcoming version of its Linux-distribution for the desktop. Especially the visible interface of this operating system has undergone some major improvements. First, the new product incoropates the OpenGL-based Xserver Xgl, developed by Dave Reveman. Xgl makes it possible to let the gpu on the videocard do most of the visual rendering. Apart from a performance improvement it enables also slick 3D-effects known from Mac OS X. C|Net has an article about it and Novell’s Miguel deIcaza has some video’s on his weblog demonstrating the capabilities of Xgl. Jakub Steiner created a logo for Xgl and some wallpapers.

For most visual effects enabled by Xgl the operating system depends on a plugin-based windowmanager called Compiz. The source code for this project isn’t available yet, but should be released during the X Conference this month. Compiz can be extended using plugins. The idea behind this is that people with new ideas for the advanced graphical possibilities can add these easily to the desktop. According to Novell this is an advantage to Mac OS X 3D-features and the upcoming Windows Vista with DirectX-accelerated graphics. Novell Linux Desktop 10 also uses Cairo for the rendering of widgets, which is also accelerated by Xgl. Some components of the desktop are radically changed. In the video’s on Miguel’s weblog it is visible that there is a new way of launching applications. This new component, which is very similar to the Start-menu used in Microsoft Windows, seems to be inspired by mockups which appeared on Flickr. Also the new layout of the libnotify seems to be inspired by these mockups. Because the Novell developers didn’t discuss their new Gnome components on their mailinglist, there was some negative remarks from other developers. They think that Novell should have discussed the new plans for the Gnome desktop. They also asked if Novell is planning to add the changes to the desktop upstream. Novell developer Dan Winship replied to this saying that discussing the planned changes didn’t made it any better. Novell was already planning to incorporate the new desktop components to their distribution. The post is arguing that design by community doesn’t automatically leads to a better design. I think he’s right, because everyone has a different opinion about this, so a consensus is very difficult to achieve. We experience this very often on the forum of, where every change which is discussed in the fora leads to endless discussions without a good result. However, Novell should not automatically expect that their changes will becoma a part of the default Gnome package. But I think they do not worry about this. According to Dan the way the changes are now introduced in Novell Linux Desktop 10 gives the Gnome community a chance to test the changes without the risk of losing dissappointed users which was the case with the spatialness of the filemanager Nautilus. has also an article about Xgl.

Tomcat and Eclipse integration

For my graduation project, I’m working on a J2EE-application. Because I didn’t have any experience with J2EE, I had to learn all this from scratch. Installing Tomcat (which was the application server used for the project) turned out to be very straight forward. Until this week I only installed the already available program, which worked for the largest part. However, I have to improve this program and some parts weren’t working. So, I did some research about developing on J2EE applications. I decided to use Eclipse as my IDE, because I used this environment before for simple Java-applications.
Because Eclipse is positioned as a high-end development environment supported by large corporations such as IBM and others, I figured out that there had to be a way to integrate Tomcat development in Eclipse.
It turned out that this is actually very easy. The thing is that you have to know where to find the appropriate software and documentation. Using Google I found some webpages (Javaboutique and IBM Developerworks) where is explained very clearly how to integrate Tomcat development in Eclipse.
First you have to install Tomcat (see the Tomcat site for instructions on this), then you have to install Eclipse (see the Eclipse site for instructions on this part, which is really very easy). After these two steps, you have to download the Sysdeo Tomcat-plugin for Eclipse from their site. The zipfile in which this plugin is distributed should be unzipped into your Eclipse plugin-directory (ECLIPSE_HOME/plugins). After that you have to enable the new menu-options in Eclipse which are introduced by this plugin, which can be done in Eclipse by going to the Window-menu and selecting ‘Customize perspective…’.

For detailed information, I can recommend the two links above. While these tutorials sometimes use older versions of the software, the global steps are similar and it will work (I’ve tried it). I always thought that setting up a J2EE development environment was a cumbersome process, but it is way less complicated than it may seem at first. The benefits are great, because it is very easy to create JSP-files and by two clicks they are deployed on your Tomcat-server. It may take some time at first, but then the development process is maybe easier than with PHP or even developing using Microsoft Visual Studio projects (ugh 😛 ). Maybe the most powerfull feature is the possibility to use the Eclipse Java debugger for Servlets. While I didn’t try that part yet, I’m sure this will be very usefull…

By the way, according to Google, Eclipse and Tomcat are part of Fedora Core 4, which makes the setup of the environment even easier. An added bonus is that in that case you only use open source software. On Ubuntu this is also possible, but requires some additional effort, because Eclipse is a little buggy (i.e. no syntax highlighting for Java-files) and there is no Tomcat available, so you have to install that one yourself. I think it is even possible to do it all on Windows and Mac OS X (maybe a nice thing to try when I’m at home.. I wonder how fast this all is on my Mac mini (because it is not very fast on Linux on my laptop).

Art house

A collection of photo’s of a house (or an office, or something else, I’m not sure what it is) which has some very nice paintings inside. I think it is not possible to make pictures like this with every lens, because the perspective has to be exactly right..

Preview Novell Linux Desktop

LinuxEdge has a preview of the upcoming version of Novell Desktop Linux. The most impressive part of the videos is the addition of XGL to the desktop. This enables computers with sufficient powered gpu’s to enable impressive graphic effects on the desktop. Examples are alt-tab eye-candy, an Expose-clone, wobly windows and so on. I think this is a great improvement for the usability and acceptance of Linux as a desktop operating system, because apart from nice graphics effects, the responisiveness of the system will improve. This is because the visual rendering is done by the gpu of the videocard, which enables the processor of the system to focus on other things.

Rant op winkel

Gisteren was m’n horloge precies vier jaar oud. Dat was ook precies de dag dat ik m’n horloge op kon halen bij de juwelier die er een nieuwe batterij in zou zetten. Helaas bleek dit erg ingewikkeld.
Ik had m’n horloge bij de Siebel in Eindhoven gebracht, aangezien hij ook bij deze winkel (maar dan in Goes) is gekocht. Ze konden het batterijtje niet ter plekke verwisselen, omdat het horloge niet open wilde. Dus zouden ze het opsturen naar een reparatiecenter of zo, alwaar het horloge ook waterdicht gemaakt zou worden. De kosten hiervan zouden 20 euro zijn, wat ik op zich redelijk vond.
Twee weken nadat het horloge was opgestuurd werd ik gebeld dat het apparaat niet waterdicht gemaakt kon worden, omdat de knoppen krom zouden zijn. Dit verbaasde mij enigszinds, aangezien de knoppen altijd perfect werkten. Het vervangen van de knoppen zou 115 euro kosten. Ik vond het echter niet nodig om de knoppen te vervangen en dus zei ik dat alleen het batterijtje moest worden vervangen en dat het horloge niet waterdicht gemaakt hoefde te worden. Twee dagen later werd ik gebeld dat ik m’n horloge kon komen ophalen.
De dag later haalde ik het horloge op. De verkoopster zei dat er niets aan het horloge gedaan werd, maar ik zag gelijk dat het horloge weer liep waarop ik dus zei dat zo te zien wel het batterijtje was vervangen. Bij thuiskomst bleek echter dat ik niet meer in staat was om het horloge gelijk te zetten omdat de knoppen niet meer werkten. Vandaag ben ik dus daarom weer teruggegaan naar de winkel en heb dit probleem duidelijk gemaakt. Helaas werd ik hierop afgescheept met de opmerking dat er niets met het horloge was gedaan en het dus niet hun schuld was. Daarop zei ik dat hij nu wel weer liep en dat ze hadden gezegd dat de knoppen krom waren. De dame die mij hielp zei hierop dat het feit dat ze hem open hebben gemaakt de reden is dat de knoppen niet meer werken omdat ‘er stof verplaatst is’. In eerste instantie zei ze dat er niets aan kon worden gedaan, later bleek dat het voor 115 euro kon worden gerepareerd. Dit zou ik moeten betalen.
Lekkere service SIEBEL!!!

Ik heb besloten dat ik morgen bij een ander filiaal ga informeren wat zij er van vinden. Daarna ga ik maandag waarschijnlijk weer in Eindhoven bij de Siebel langs om ervoor te zorgen dat het probleem wordt verholpen, maar dat ik echt geen 115 euro hiervoor ga betalen.

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