1. Blogofile -> Pelican

    After running blogofile for four years (who knew it was that long with the little posting i've done :) and getting less done with it than I hoped, I finally decided to move on again. The main reason is, that Blogofile is basically unmaintained and writing custom controllers was harder than it should be (and documentation clearly lacking).

    So I looked around for alternatives and found surprisingly few that were interesting to me. The requirements were:

    • simple static blog compiler
    • solid templating engine
    • python
    • markdown support

    The only one that fit well was Pelican so I decided to give it a go. Migrating was surprisingly straight forward and done in basically half a day (that includes understanding Pelican, porting the CSS, moving all posts over, and implementing every missing feature I used to have in Blogofile in the Pelican templates.

    I'm not 100% happy, but so far Pelican seems nice enough, everything works (even better than before). A few of the problems I have:

    • the design seems unnecessarily complicated, compared to blogofile
    • the error handling is quite poor, it is basically impossible to get useful error messages
    • the documentation could be better (still much better than Blogofile though)
    • the ...
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  2. script to play a random series episode

    I love to watch TV shows, and often have them running at random in the background. Thus for some shows (like Futurama, Family Guy, Mitchel and Webb...), I don't really care about which specific episode is running.

    Because picking one at random manually is a) stupid and b) boring, I used to use a simple, but really horrible, shell one-liner to pick one. Now I finally decided to replace it by a more flexible and much much nicer implementation, written as a simple zsh shellscript. It uses only zsh magic and no other tools.

    Maybe someone else finds it useful, for details see the short description in the script, it's really trivial and works very well.

    You can get it here: https://github.com/tg--/scripts/blob/master/rsplay.zsh

  3. Terminology, Enlightenments fancy new terminal emulator

    Some of you might still know or even use Eterm, a neat terminal emulator that came back when e16 was still new. A long time there has been nothing new in this area, but Raster apparently found the muse to write another one, based on the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries.

    Anyway, I don't need to tell you why you should use it, let me just show you :)

    The first one shows a some weeks old version with the basic cool features:

    The second video shows the new tcat (which within some hours has been renamed to tycat due to a naming conflict) tool to make more practical use of the features:

    More cool things will certainly come (some I didn't showcase are already there).

    Now for the bad news, and the actual reason I wrote this post (the videos I had lying around anyway): Only terminology 0.2 has been release so far and a lot of features are broken in this one and have been fixed since. The new versions from SVN only run on EFL 1.8 though, which will not ...

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  4. Using a google account as OpenID

    You might have a Google account, and encountered various websites and services who allow you to log in with for example a Facebook account, a Google account or an OpenID account.

    As usual, Facebook wants (or rather forces) you to use their services exclusively, so if a Facebook login is the only possibility, you're screwed.

    Google however tends to use open systems, and they do this for logins, too. Even if a website requires you to log in using your Google account, it is using Googles OpenID services. Unfortunately you're still screwed: if the site supports the Google account excuisively, it will have the Google OpenID URI hardcoded.

    Now for the good news: if a site offers OpenID login directly, you cannot only use any OpenID provider you'd like, you can also use your Google account. Unfortunately, it is (imho) less than obvious - Google doesn't provide a short, practical URI for this purpose. The Google OpenID URI is https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id.

    Not terrible, yet inconvenient, because you'll have to type it in if there is no huge "Google Login" button.

    To make it easier, I first tried various link-shorteners, but this ...

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  5. Moving to systemd

    I'm back from Sweden, and while I was away, ELCE was held. The nice people from Free Electrons luckily put up all the conference videos in webm format, so whoever missed it can catch up. One of the first videos I watched was Integrating systemd: Booting Userspace in Less Than 1 Second, held by Koen Kooi, who I remembered from the time I used Openembedded on Openmoko devices.

    Some know that I like to show off my neat little Thinkpad x200s for its boot time; so far under 5 seconds (from bootloader to X) using Gentoo, OpenRC, and Enlightenment. I wanted to try systemd for a while but never really was in the mood to do the actual work. The video inspired me to actually give it a try now.

    Installing systemd is incredibly straight-forward, just read the gentoo-wiki articles and make sure you have your "init scripts" (or .service files in systemd jargon) ready. Enough talk, just let me finish with this: I was utterly impressed how well systemd works and I'm looking forward to it replacing all other init systems currently out there (including OpenRC which I actually liked). But look for yourself:

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