Tag: Ubuntu

nedit_5.6~cvs20100114-rknize1 released

by on Jan.15, 2010, under Linux

Release a new CVS snapshot for nedit, mainly to ease installation on top of the snapshot that comes with Ubuntu 9.10.

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notifier-applet 0.3-1

by on Jan.12, 2009, under Linux

Version 0.3-1 of notifier-applet has been released.


  • Add length field to message format 1.
  • Update example with message format 1 support.
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helper-scripts 0.18-1

by on Jan.08, 2009, under Linux

Version 0.18-1 of helper-scripts has been released.


  • Bundle debian-helper-scripts 0.12 and subversion-helper-scripts 0.6-1 and call it 0.18-1.
  • Create ubuntu-helper-scripts to tune debian-helper-scripts for Ubuntu.
  • Import cleaned-up versions of some scripts from rknize-tools and make it into a new package: rknize-helper-scripts.
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notifier-applet 0.2-2

by on Jan.07, 2009, under Linux

Version 0.2-2 of notifier-applet has been released.


  • Add README to explain the message parser.
  • Add very primitive message parser to allow more control over notifcation.
  • Fix bug with empty messages.
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site-upload 0.6-1

by on Dec.15, 2008, under Linux

Version 0.6-1 of site-upload has been released.


  • Only check the checksum if the modification time changed.
  • Really fix stamp updates when there is an upload failure.
  • More stamp updating/checking cleanups.
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subversion-helper-scripts 0.6-1

by on Dec.15, 2008, under Linux

Version 0.6-1 of subversion-helper-scripts has been released.


  • Fix naming convention of config files in tools versus documentation.
  • Don’t use ‘source’ in non-bash scripts.
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site-upload 0.5-1

by on Dec.12, 2008, under Linux

Version 0.5-1 of site-upload has been released.


  • Add –checksum method of change detection.
  • Add –force-stamp option to allow stamp file fix-ups.
  • Major cleanup of how stamps get updated.
  • Continue uploading if something goes wrong, but don’t update that stamp.
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site-upload 0.4-1

by on Nov.25, 2008, under Linux

Version 0.4-1 of site-upload has been released. This is the first version I am releasing publicly, but I have actually been using this tool for many years to upload changes to various websites that I maintain. It works easily and quickly form the command-line, which is handy when making changes on my home server remotely.


  • Initial public release.
  • Major clean-up of the code.
  • Do not delete remote files if they are now being ignored.
  • Add –start-path and –norecurse to allow fast uploads of large sites when little has changed.
  • Allow command-line options to properly override config file options.
  • Fix logic for boolean config options.Only check the checksum if the modification time changed.
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Downgrade from Irritating Ibex

by on Nov.14, 2008, under Linux

Lately, I have not been as diligent in testing Ubuntu releases before upgrading my important machines.  There are always some small hiccups, but most were fixed fairly easily.  Upgrades to both Feisty and Gutsy went fairly well and didn’t introduce any serious issues that I can remember.  I had a few snags with Hardy on one or two machines, but once a few weeks went by and the flurry of updates subsided, it proved to be one of the more solid versions I have used to date.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Intrepid Ibex.  The upgrade went OK, but it introduced a lot of issues with usability such that I have decided to downgrade at least one of my machines.  The two main issues are:

  • GNOME 2.24 was (intentionally) released with completely broken session management.  Sessions are no longer saved.  This is extremely irritating for me on laptops and other machines that I don’t keep on 24/7.  You can sort-of work around it by manually adding apps to the session, but most of those apps will not be placed and sized how they were originally.  I’m sort of anal that way and have workspaces dedicated to certain tasks.  I like those workspaces to be restored the way I left them.  This is very basic functionality that I have been using on UNIX for the past 10 years until now.
  • Xorg 7.4 introduced a mysterious incompatibility with older X clients on Solaris hosts such that they immediately crash on any key press.  The result is that I can no longer use any tools on the servers at work via this machine.
  • Random slowdown and lockups of the machine for no apparent reason.  The CPU and hard disk are idle when this happens, but the mouse becomes sluggish and any back ground tasks (such as music playback) will get interrupted.  On one or two occasions, my machine has locked-up hard.  This is probably a kernel issue, but I have not looked too deeply into it yet.

The 2nd issue is preventing me from doing any useful amount of work at my job.  Thus, I have been forced to downgrade that machine.

Downgrading Debian or Ubuntu is not trivial, but not impossible either.  It does require a lot of attention, however. Here is approximately how I did it (it’s best to do all this from a text console and not the desktop via Ctrl+Alt+F1):

  1. Set your /etc/apt/sources.list to:
    deb hardy main restricted universe multiverse
    deb intrepid main restricted universe multiverse
  2. Set your /etc/apt/preferences to (be careful about extra white space, as apt-get will quietly ignore these if there are any parsing issues):
    Package: *
    Pin: release a=hardy
    Pin-Priority: 1001
    Package: *
    Pin: release a=intrepid
    Pin-Priority: 60
  3. apt-get update
  4. apt-get upgrade

The upgrade will fail for various reasons.  Most of them can be resolved by:

  1. dpkg -i –force-overwrite /var/cache/apt/archives/problematic-package.deb
  2. apt-get -f install
  3. apt-get upgrade

Keep repeating the above sequence, replacing step 1 with whatever needs to be worked-around.  I ran into a problem with exim’s pre-install script and had to temporarily hack /etc/init.d/exim4 to succeed so that the package would install (don’t forget to unhack it once exim is installed).  I also had to manually remove “python-twisted-core” and “landscape-common” to avoid another conflict.

Eventually you will get to a point where some of hardy is installed, but much of intrepid remains.  You can illustrate this by trying “apt-get dist-upgrade”.  You will get a huge list of packages to remove, including some critical ones.  Don’t attempt to continue this way.  What causes this are packages installed by Intrepid that claim to “conflict” with some of Hardy’s packages.  APT needs some hand-holding to get through this.

  1. Remove Intrepid from /etc/apt/sources.list
  2. apt-get install libselinux1 sysvutils sysvconfig
  3. apt-get upgrade

Even now you will have seen a huge list of packages that will get removed.  There should only be one “critical” package getting removed.  Go ahead and proceed.  If you are currently logged-in via GNOME, applications will likely start crashing around you during the next phase.  Just let them and try to avoid doing anything else with the system.  It’s best to do all this from a text console, though (Ctrl+Alt+F1).  The procedure is the same as before:

  1. dpkg -i –force-overwrite /var/cache/apt/archives/problematic-package.deb
  2. apt-get -f install
  3. apt-get upgrade

Now you should be free of more of Intrepid, but you’ve also lost most of the desktop.  Restore it simply by:

  1. apt-get install ubuntu-desktop linux-image-generic

I tried various methods to get through that last half in one step without removing so much of the system, but APT was getting highly confused by various package conflicts as before.  I think much of the trouble stems from Xorg, Python, libc, and CUPS (the packages were renamed from cupsys), but it could also be that I have a lot of extra stuff installed beyond your basic Ubuntu desktop.  It may have helped to remove the pinning rules from /etc/apt/preferences earlier, but I think all that would do is allow more of Intrepid to stick around without APT trying to do anything about it.  Following the steps above allowed APT to tackle the job a chunk at a time so that in the end “ubuntu-desktop” installed cleanly as it should.  Then I forced libc, cups, the 2.6.24 kernel to downgrade and kept trying apt-get dist-upgrade.  Once the dist-upgrade looked sane (not trying to uninstall the world), I let it go and called it a day.

Once you get through all this, a few loose ends remain:

  1. Restore your original Hardy /etc/apt/sources.list from before you upgraded to Intrepid.  It should have been saved as /etc/apt/sources.list.distUpgrade.
  2. Remove the pinning rules in /etc/apt/preferences.
  3. apt-get update ; apt-get dist-upgrade
  4. Restore your Hardy /etc/X11/xorg if you can (should have been backed-up).
  5. Make SURE you have a kernel still installed.
  6. Reboot

Wish yourself luck!  After that it was a matter of reinstalling the nvidia drivers with module-assistant for my system.  YMMV.

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by on May.22, 2008, under Linux

NEdit is a multi-purpose text editor for the X Window System, which combines a standard, easy to use, graphical user interface with the thorough functionality and stability required by users who edit text eight hours a day.  It provides intensive support for development in a wide variety of languages, text processors, and other tools, but at the same time can be used productively by just about anyone who needs to edit text.”  Features include:

  • Very complete functionality. NEdit is the primary editor for thousands of Unix and VMS programmers.
  • Thorough consistency with Motif, MS Windows, and Macintosh conventions.
  • Designed for intensive use: keystroke efficiency, fast response time, streamlined interaction.
  • Unlimited undo.
  • True multi-window, fully graphical design.
  • Mouse-based editing.
  • Secondary/quick action selections.
  • Fully integrated rectangular selection.
  • Interactive WYSIWYG dragable selections.
  • Maximum compatibility with X, Motif, and inter-client protocols, for interaction with the widest possible range of X programs and systems.
  • Easy to learn: just point and type.
  • Capabilities are clearly organized and presented in top-level menus.
  • Comprehensive on-line help.
  • No special knowledge of X Windows required, all important options are GUI-settable within the program.
  • State of the art syntax highlighting with built-in patterns for C, C++, Java, Ada, FORTRAN, Pascal, Yacc, Perl, Python, Tcl, Csh, Awk, HTML, LaTeX, VHDL, Verilog, and more.
  • Auto-indent, programmable language-sensitive smart-indent.
  • Block indentation adjustment.
  • Parenthesis flashing and matching.
  • Find lines directly from compiler error output.
  • Tab emulation.
  • Unix ctags support.
  • Client/Server mode for integration with software development tools.
  • Programmable: Learn / Replay.
  • Easy to use C-like macro language, safe and fully interruptable.
  • Includes a library of over 150 built-in editing functions.

See the online documentation and the Wiki for more information.

NEdit is the most powerful and induitive editor that I have found that is available for all of the different types of systems that I use (Linux, Solaris, Windows, etc).  The interface is somewhat dated due to its Motif-based GUI, but there are ways to improve its looks and customize the interface.

In Linux, NEdit can have difficulties when trying to make use of the resident Motif libraries.  In particular, the GNU lesstif implementation causes a number of problems that lead to frustration.  This version is linked against OpenMotif which tends to fair much better.  The current stable 5.5 version is quite old and running into problems the more recent XOrg servers, glibc locales, etc.  Many of these issues seem to be fixed in CVS, so I am offering a CVS snapshot of the upcoming 5.6 release here.


Here is the latest CVS snapshot:

If you are using Debian Etch, you will find that the OpenMotif libraries are missing from the release.  You will need to install these backports:

Changes in these packages from original Source

  • Added proper GNOME/KDE/OpenDesktop desktop and MIME integration.
  • Created wrapper scripts to launching NEdit safely and also to the background.
  • Added some shell prompt shortcuts.
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