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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Migrating to KDE Telepathy

Last Friday I decided to migrate from Kopete to Telepathy. Believe it or not it was Microsoft that convinced me to migrate. I explain, I used to use Kopete for gtalk, jabber, Windows Live Messenger (wlm), skype and icq. I have just a few contacts in the alternative (to gtalk) jabber server and icq and most of them I can contact using other protocols. Now that wlm contacts are migrating to skype and Kopete's skype support is kind of broken* I used to use Kopete only for gtalk, so there was no need to wait for the metacontact bug to be fixed anymore.

* I have migrated my wlm contacts to skype. It works ok in Skype 4.1 but Kopete is not able to see them. Besides Kopete is not able to change skype's status (online/offline/away, etc) anymore.

All KDE Telepathy (ktp) installation process went smooth in Gentoo, but then the contact list did not appear. After some time researching I saw in a log that telepathy-logger was complaining about some uninstalled schemas. Issuing the command "glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas" fixed this problem and the contact list works now. Well, I still would like it to disappear when I click on the systray icon but it seems  we I will have to wait for a solution for this problem. Update: we did not have to wait that much :-). Another bug that I would like to see fixed is the problem of showing groups with zero contacts in contact list.

All in all, I like ktp and it is working well here, except for one crash when I try to search a contact in the contact list :-/ I added a facebook account, which I never used in Kopete, and now I use ktp for gtalk/g+ and facebook.

One thing that I really miss in all communication programs in KDE is the ability to set a glogal available/away. Today I use ktp, skype and konversation and I would like to set my status in only one of them and the others follow it. Last year I tried to implement something like that but never finished my work. Today I tried again and implemented something simple that works for me. I know my patch is not ready for reviewboard yet, just wanted to know if somebody else is working on something like that. By the way, the patch applies against ktp-kded-module. Now when I set my status to available/away in ktp it will contact skype and konversation to do the same, pretty cool :-)

I know kpt supports to skype but Gentoo does not have an ebuild for telepathy's skype module, so when I have some spare time I will create one.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Plasma NM

Plasma NM

SHA256Sum: c3b4458faf3bea75c5952ffe20b55724246c9cc3cd751a484b3e1832240d3ad6

The problem with missing password field in wpa2 password dialog if finally fixed. Everybody is advised to upgrade to this new version. Wireless ap-mode is also available for wifi firmwares that supports it.


. Show icon in systray when mobile's access technology and signal quality are unknown.
. Don't erase the input for the WEP key when it's not correct.
311705: Add support to wireless ap-mode.
316672: Handle new states of active connection due to some changes in the new version of NetworkManager (>= 0.9.7).
299868: Fix missing password field in wpa2 password dialog.
. Use correct interface name in InterfaceDetails.
314811: Fix crash when parsing IPv6 configuration from dbus and accept upper case hexadecimal digits in SimpleIpV6AddressValidator.
312964: Relay NetworkManager's secret request even when using plain text storage.

The following languages have more than 80% of strings translated:

bs ca cs da de el es et fi fr gl hu ia it kk km lt nb nds nl pl pt pt_BR ro ru sk sl sr sr@ijekavian sr@ijekavianlatin sr@latin sv tr uk zh_CN zh_TW

Also read some very usefull information about how to use and avoid problems when using Plasma NM in my past posts page.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What is happening in QtNetworkManager (former libnm-qt)

Last year I wrote about some changes I would like to see happening in QtNetworkManager. One of the most important ones (Move the DBus parsing code to QtNetworkManager) is happening right now (just grab the code from settings branch from libnm-qt repository). Thanks Jan Grulich from RedHat for working on this issue.

Well, there are still other things to work on QtNetworkManager, just take a pick :-) If you are a student you can also take a look at my Google Summer of Code idea for improving the interface details panel in Plasma NM. Just write a proposal based on the idea and I will take a look it.

Update: I have just added a second idea for GSoC. It is about implementing SMS send/receive feature in Plasma NM.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Plasma NM: ap master mode for wifi shared connections

NetworkManager usually configures the wifi card in ad-hoc mode when activating a wifi shared connection. Unfortunately, ad-hoc mode is unstable in certain situations (specially when using WPA2 encryption). As a consequency most smartphones refuses to connect a WAP2 shared connection in ad-hoc mode.

There is a project in Fedora to make NetworkManager configure the wifi card in ap master mode (ap mode for short), which by the way is the mode access points run in. I have just pushed some commits to QtNetworkManager (former libnm-qt) and Plasma NM to add support to ap mode. I tried to test this but the firmware of my wifi card (Intel Ultimate-N 6300) does not support ap mode so I need someone else to test this for me.

Ap mode should solve the instability problems that usually people face when trying to activate shared connections in NetworkManager. It is a great improvement in NetworkManager, but it requires at least NetworkManager version, wpa_supplicant-1.1 and a suitable firmware for your wifi card. If your wifi card does not support ap mode then Plasma NM will set the shared connection to use adhoc mode instead.

Update: I forgot I have a second wifi card, a usb Ralink RT5370, which supports ap-mode (uhu!!!). After updating wpa_supplicant to version 1.1 now ap-mode works with Plasma NM :-) Now I can connect my Samsung Galaxy S2 to the Internet using my notebook as gateway. Well, I had to unload the intel wifi card's driver to prevent conflicts with the ralink card. Plasma NM support for more than one wifi card at the same time is not good, that is another point I need to work on, maybe during Solid Sprint in April.