mether's Fedora Blog

Random thoughts, usually on Fedora

Subtitleripper is back

Subtitleripper is now available again for RPM Fusion. I was trying to fudge out of sync subtitles for a bunch of videos and found srttool to be a handy script recommended in several places but unfortunately upstream has been dead for quite sometime and it was orphaned in RPM Fusion due to failure to build from source.  I have taken some patches out of Debian, Ubuntu and Gentoo packages and pushed a cleaner build of the package for Rawhide,  Fedora 19 and 18 (updates-testing repo for the latter two).   There are some other tools in the package too.  Hopefully it is a benefit to some users.

Written by mether

May 23, 2013 at 4:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Icon hack for java applications

After hearing about Android Studio via Google I/O 2013, I have been toying around with underlying software called  IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition which is a pretty sweet free and open source (Apache v2 licensed)  IDE. IDEA was for packaged for a while in Fedora but has been retired unfortunately. Oddly no other linux distribution seems to be packaging it either. So I was trying to figure out how much work it is to revive it. Fedora git still has the old spec files and patches as part of its history. fedpkg clone intellij-idea and figure out the last useful git commit before it was retired via git log and make git point to that via git reset –hard e366b11. Clone the upstream git repo for IDEA and do a quick and dirty build and bingo!

Well… not quite.  Fixing the spec and associated patches etc  to build the latest version and follow the Fedora packaging guidelines would take a lot more work but one of the things that was bugging me was something that started out as a trivial thing yet turned to be a surprising problem.  The icon shown in alt+tab window was blurry. Looked around for a high resolution variant of the same icon and shoved it into hicolor icon theme directory and ran gtk-update-icon-cache only to realize that the GNOME Shell overview is showing a different icon from the one in alt+tab. Head over #fedora-desktop channel and talked to Matthias Clasen, adamw and Kalev and fiddled with a few different settings and still no go.

Read up on how GNOME Shell does the window matching and realize that this is a long standing problem with Java applications. Java sets the WM_CLASS based on the name of the class running the Swing main loop and there is no real Java API to reset it and since many applications can have the same classname, this confuses several desktop environments and window managers. A bug report has been open since early 2007 and I have filed one against Fedora openJDK in addition to the one on poor font rendering, hoping to see some progress on these issues.  Some folks have even developed elaborate hacks to fix the problem but atleast for GNOME Shell, all it took was to run sleep 5; xprop | grep WM_CLASS | awk ‘{print $4}’ and click on the IDEA window which reveals the class name as “jetbrains-idea”. If you rename the desktop file to match the classname (jetbrains-idea.desktop), GNOME Shell is able to pick up the right icon specified in the desktop file regardless of what the name or generic name is.  One can set the latter two to something appropriate like IntelliJ IDEA and GNOME Shell overview and alt+tab window would show that instead. Funky!

Written by mether

May 18, 2013 at 7:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

FUDCon Pune 2011 – Day 2 and Day 3

web button

Yes, it has been several days since FUDCon is over but I have been occupied with several things meanwhile including but not limited to Ask Fedora. Leaving experiences about FUDCon unsaid is however not a option.

Day 2

Day 2 started early with Harish Pillay’s keynote on “Thoughts About Community” which was essentially a description of what community architecture team does, their agenda and how they go about doing things, none of which was new to me but hopefully useful to the audience, especially outside of Red Hat. Since it was early on a weekend, there wasn’t much of a crowd. The video among several others was recorded however and is available online if this interests you.

I spend some time wandering between “Security in the Open Source world” talk by Huzaifa Sidhpurwala and Eugene Teo, “Qt Application Development on Embedded Devices” by Suchakra and “RPMFusion: I know you use it” by Ankur Sinha just to make sure the talks were on track and was surprised to see a considerable amount of delegates everywhere.

I attended the “GlusterFS : Hacking-HOWTO” by Amar Tumballi next and it had a lot more audience and it was far more interactive than I expected it to be. Congrats and nicely done on a well prepared talk. Post lunch, I attended “Zarafa in Fedora” by Robert Scheck but walked in late because I was coordinating some other event logistics including media interviews. It was nearing completion at that point but I was curious to get some input on the Fedora infrastructure experiment. Robert has posted his thoughts on the event here. It is very detailed and you should definitely take a look.

I was sitting through “LaTeX: the open source document system for academia” and its followup talk “Beamer: Making presentations the LaTeX way” by Ankur Sinha which were fairly packed sessions. I think the talks went too fast paced and got concluded very early leaving an hour more. I thought it would be interesting to step it and do a “Ask me anything about Fedora and open source” ad-hoc session and that’s exactly what it did. I don’t know whether it was useful to a lot of people but it was fun for me.

I then attended “RPM packaging: make your rpm today” by Ankur Sinha since I thought I might be useful here and also because my talk was in the same room next. I think we need to plan such talks in a lot more detail and engage the (mostly) students audience to find their way to become contributors. I did a quick talk on “Ask Fedora: Community support and knowledge base” which was essentially my marketing pitch for the hackfest session the next day. I listed some of the features I had thought of and hoped people would be interested enough to send in patches.

I think by far the most interesting thing for Day 2 was FUDPub. We make sure all the volunteers, the students of COEP were able to participate and it was fun to watch them enjoy it. It was a pleasant atmosphere and I did what I do best. Sit around and make fun of people!

Day 3

The after effect of FUDPub was that I turned out late for this day. As I was walking out of my flat, I saw Praveen A catching a auto to COEP and joined him. We were discussing about Diaspora on the way and I am very curious to see how it would turn out. I don’t have high hopes for it unfortunately and think it may just fall flat on its feet considering the general lack of enthusiasm for it even among stringent advocates for Free software. Most hackers seem already very active in Google Plus. In any case, a few of us sat and discussed the Ask Fedora roadmap and I guided a few potential contributors to setup askbot on their systems and hopefully some of them will become active contributors soon. Kashyap, Suchakra and several others were running hackfests and we ate some pizza for lunch and had a nice Fedora cake to celebrate the end of FUDCon and Fedora 16 release! It was all very enjoyable.

We had a long lists of firsts in any FUDCon. Live recording and broadcasting of many talks, dedicated infrastructure for event via and so on. On Monday, we had a quick tally of people who attended FUDCon’s and we have well over 500 people and this makes it the largest FUDCon in the world. We are also the largest in number of sessions and we have so far the largest organizing team ever as well but really the most important thing is the outcome of the event. What we wanted to do was be a template for future FUDCon’s around the world and especially inspire APAC contributors to bring FUDCon to their places since FUDCon really is a great way to bring together contributors face to face and put the community front and centre of whatever we do and I do think we have been successful in doing this. I have already shared some experiences with fellow contributors from APAC and hope to help whoever is doing FUDCon next in this region, be it Philippines or Malaysia or China be successful. See you folks around again then!

Written by mether

November 27, 2011 at 2:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Celebrating Fedora 16 (Verne) release with Ask Fedora

With the excitement around the release of Fedora 16 (Verne), I am sure many of you will be installing or upgrading to check out what’s new and fun. When you have questions, we are here to help.

I am proud to celebrate this release by announcing the official launch of Ask Fedora, community knowledge base and support forum. Join us and participate. Ask questions, answer them and be a active part of the Fedora community.

Written by mether

November 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

FUDCon Pune 2011 – Day 1

web button

Registration was started really early and by the time I had reached the venue past 8 AM, the registration desk was already setup. We had banners in place the previous night and shifted one of the banners outside the gate to make the entry point more visible. The crowd came in a trickle and we had 5 or so desks for delegates to register so handling it wasn’t a problem.

The night before, the power was off due to some problem and I was worried about how well things will work out in the morning but it was quite smooth the entire day without having to run around at all. Other than coordinating some minor things (as far as logistics go), like helping setup the press interviews, I attended the event as any other speaker or delegate would and that was a pleasant surprise.

After a short welcome note from 9:45 to 10 AM, the keynote from Jared Smith run for the hour in the auditorium and it was a great talk for the mostly student audience. You can watch it online here. It was simple, easy to follow and was a pitch for more people to get involved as contributors. I was in the speakers lounge till lunch time talking to fellow contributors, some of them whom I have only collaborated online.

Post lunch, I roamed around the bit and visited all the sessions just to check if everything was running as expected and indeed it was. I attended the Drools talk by mavu. I was very interested in the topic of AI when I was a student and I wanted to understand a bit better the current practical implementations. It was a rather detailed and well paced talk that covered a lot of the basics. After the talk, I heard a few students discussing the subject very seriousl. So it seems to have well received. I then proceeded to the auditorium to talk to Sitaram Chamarty a bit before his talk started. Sitaram is from TCS and is the developer of Gitolite and Fedora is the largest user and we have had a great colloboration with him online and I invited him to present a talk. It was a very interesting talk and since it was in the auditorium, it is recorded and available online as well. TCS sponsored his travel and stay which was nice of them. I was in the auditorium for the most part for the rest of the day and attended the Glusterfs talk by Krishna Srinivas and the end of the day keynote on Fedora APAC by Heherson Pagcaliwagan. Since his talk was over in half an hour, Mohd Izhar Firdaus Ismail coordinated lighting talks for another half an hour and a few us including Jared Smith (Fedora 16), me (Fedora 17), Amit Shah (topic), Abhijit (package bundles for offline distribution) and Danishka (Fedora Remix issues) presented on various topics and it was fun!

I caught the speakers bus back to Cocoon by six thirty or so and we reached back Cocoon only by eight due to the heavy traffic. Had long discussions with several people, followed by a team dinner with Fedora contributors who had stayed behind. It was around midnight by the time I reached home. All in all, a very exciting and fun day. Waiting to see how things turn out today. Check out the schedule and join us. For those unable to participate, you can login to #fedora-fudcon irc channel in and listen to the talks live here. Many thanks to kPoint for sponsoring and organizing this.

Written by mether

November 5, 2011 at 5:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

FUDCon Pune 2011: one day left!

going to FUDCon Pune

Just a day left for the event to start and while I am biased as the event owner, I think FUDCon Pune 2011 is shaping up really well. From a logistical perspective, we have covered everything we originally planned with some extras like and the response has been very overwhelming. Approximately 500 pre-registered delegates (not the full count!) and 60 sessions in a really tightly packed schedule. You heard that right. This is the largest FUDCon in the world in terms of delegates *and* sessions!

As you might have seen from the number of different people helping organizing this event and posting in Planet Fedora, I have delegated as much as possible and have atleast one another person on the loop on everything I do so that nothing ever remains blocked on me. The team has been working dedicatedly for several months now and we are going to finally see the fruits of our labour in a day. It has been really tiring but I couldn’t be more excited.

Ask Fedora

While most of my participation in FUDCon Pune is obviously in organizing the event itself, I am going to be focusing on Ask Fedora both as a talk and leading a hackfest on it as well. Ask Fedora has been my pet project for several months in parallel with organizing the event itself.

Ask Fedora is designed to be the primary community support forum for all of Fedora and a knowledge base as well. It has started growing a good community of experts helping out by answering questions and I am glad at the uniformly positives responses from the Fedora community. Ask Fedora is powered by Askbot, a Django/Python based web application and number of people in the Fedora community in India have already become contributors to it. With my talk, I would like to introduce and explain the ideas, goals and roadmap of Ask Fedora and hope to entice more people to participate in the hackfest that follows on November 6th, Sunday. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions about FUDCon Pune or if I can help you in any way at all. See you at the event!

Written by mether

November 3, 2011 at 2:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

FUDCon India Sep 20 2011 face to face meeting minutes

Present: Rahul, Satya, Shakthi, Saleem, Kashyap, Kushal, PJP, Ramky, Amit


Color: Ask Suchakra to try out tshirt design on ‘grey’ background.

We need to do the vertical banner design

Rahul to talk to Suchakra and confirm progress.

Todo: A test run on the poster and t-shirt is needed [kushal/shrink to co-ordinate]

Kushal to send mail directly to vendors, Shreyank in CC

Kushal: T-shirt updates:

Kushal will talk to Jeetendra about vendors

Kushal will talk to other vendors


Will cost ₹14 per piece

Will take 4 days to get

Kushal to select design

Amit to confirm number to be produced.


₹25 per piece (branded ribbon + clip) – Kushal

₹1-2 for the plastic casing

Rahul talked to a different vendor, ₹18 including plastic case

PJP talked to one more vendor, ₹12 including plastic case

Compare price vs quality and pick one


Kushal to get quotes


Rahul, Satya contacting people about visa, tickets, etc.

Website Info

Todo: Milan picture needs to be updated[shreyank/tatica].

Rahul to talk to tatica. Done as of today. Website updated by Saleem.

Shreyank / Saleem to reach out to Vaidik Kapoor for other design activities

Location page needs to be updated.[saleem]

update flickr javascript widget [Shreyank]

testing drupal cod. [Shreyank, Saleem, Vaidik]

Already started

Is a set of drupal modules to set up registration, voting, etc.

Next meeting will be held in #fedora-meeting; details sent to fedora-websites list


link to flickr stream for photos from COEP, Magarpatta, etc.



users need to register during FUDcon

Printer, power, laptop, papers and volunteers required for registration desk

Fedora Activity Days

Shakthi and Rahul organizing them.

Two FADs now scheduled so far

1st on 24th Sep at RH office

2nd run on 8th of October at COEP

Check power sockets

Should get a big 15A power points; connection should be from COEP mains

Get 3-4 of the 15A ones

Get 10-15 smaller ones

Test Internet Bandwidth

Mic, Projectors for classrooms

Fedora Mirror

Issue a ‘call for routers’ – more routers the better to ensure connectivity

Test-run of the COD — registration, QR code, etc.

Identify student volunteers and get their numbers.

Handy cams for recording

Restrooms status

Speakers lounge

Place to store speakers food boxes, 100 of them

Consult with law enforcement authorities if necessary


Waiting to hear from potential sponsors

Rahul to get more info by this week

Rahul will talk to GNOME foundation to discuss GNOME Gsoc’ers sponsorship to attend FUDCon.

Waiting for a reply

Flight tickets booking

2 local(India) contributors have booked tickets so far. Whoever hasn’t, please do.

Rahul to follow up.

Tickets for international travelers need to be updated as additional reminder

Rahul talked to Harish and Harish has confirmed that he is booking the tickets for international travellers. We need passport info etc.


Last week, PJP had meeting w/ cucoon and got quotes for food.

Decided on Cocoon for catering.

PJP is following up.

100 folks — sponsored food

Water — Confirm with caterers about the water cans/bottles during the event.

talk to Murty about water, cold drinks, chips

Cocoon to provide tea/coffee stall

Breakfast at cocoon. Satya has confirmed that they can serve breakfast as early as necessary. Even at 4 am.


Moved to Saturday

150 folks is the upper limit


Ramki to follow up – updates next week.


Power strips — 10 units, need to buy.

1 TB Hard-disks — 2 units, need to buy..

Rahul to send speaker guidelines to speakers

Add this to booklet as well


Talk to K.K travels about taxi from Mumbai to Pune return trip. (Shreyank)

Shrink to talk to Shravan about cabs, lunch and posters


Dates are here

Written by mether

September 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Ask Fedora open for testing

Ask Fedora now has a staging instance running and we welcome your feedback. Please test by posting a question or answer one that has been asked. Don’t worry about the content. It is just a sandbox for making sure everything is working as expected.

Mascot for Ask Fedora

I asked the Fedora design team for help on a logo and a mascot and this one has been proposed. What do you think?

Written by mether

September 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

FUDCon India Sep 13 2011 face to face meeting minutes

Present: Rahul, Satya, Shakthi, Saleem, Kashyap, Kushal, PJP, Ramky


– Non-unanimous consensus(from f2f meeting) was on this Tshirt design unless Suchakra wants to try more designs

– Color: Ask Suchakra to try out Tshirt design on ‘light grey’ background.

– Designs for other swag(buttons, posters) was agreed upon.

– Todo: A test run on the poster and t-shirt is needed (Kushal/Shrink to co-ordinate)

– Shrink to send email on poster design(color of O, change two instances of ‘4-6 Nov’, comma at the bottom) to Suchakra.

– Kushal will take care of doing badges

– Vertical banners for auditorium and classrooms (Suchakra within 10 days?)


– Power strips — 10 units, need to buy (Shrink within two weeks)

– 1 TB Hard-disks — 2 units, need to buy (Shrink within two weeks)

– COEP infrastructure . During the FAD. Rahul will check during FAD time on:

* projectors, power management

* wifi access: dry run test.

* consult with COEP regarding informing law enforcement authorities.

– Meet COEP Director with Satish/Rahul. Following up with Abhijit (Shakthi today)

Website Info

– Todo: Milan picture needs to be updated (Shrink/tatica)

* location page needs to be updated (Saleem)

* update flickr javascript widget (Shrink)

– Testing Drupal COD (Shrink/Sansari within 10 days)


To run on 8th of October. Details here (Shakthi)


– Waiting to hear from potential sponsors around 09/19 (Satish)

– Talk to GNOME foundation to discuss GNOME Gsoc’ers sponsorship to attend FUDCon (Rahul)


– Some local (India) contributors have booked tickets so far. Remind people (Rahul)

– Tickets for international travellers need to be updated as additional reminder (Satya)

– Invitation letter should preferably come from a letter head within India. Following up with Jared Smith (Satya)

– Follow up with Harish for sponsoring international flight tickets (Satya)


– Last week, PJP, Satya and Murty had meeting w/ Cocoon and got quotes for food.

– PJP is following up.


Ankur Sinha is keeping it updated and will coordinate with Ian. Deadline: Within 10 days.

Written by mether

September 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

FUDCon India Sep 06 2011 face to face meeting minutes

Present: Rahul, Satya, Sankarshan, Shakthi, Kushal, PJP, Ramky


– PJP has talked to three more people and will upload info on rates in the FUDCon wiki page.

– Murty met with Cocoon catering along with PJP and Satya yesterday and caterers will mail today with more details. Tentative rates are ₹175 for lunch boxes and ₹75 for food served on the venue. Caterer to be finalized within a week.


– Murty has followed up with Steve, Vinu and Rob. Was planning to meet Doolally partner yesterday night but he wasn’t reachable. Planning to do this by this week. We will need to finalize a venue within 10 days.

Website Info

– Shrink will followup with Tatica on updating the image for FUDCon APAC website. Sansari will coordinate with Shrink on getting the javascript widgets in place.


– We were planning to organize a FAD tomorrow but it has been postponed. We are going to ensure that Fedora is installed on the labs for the workshops and a public Fedora mirror is available soon.

– We have to meet with the Director hopefully by next week. Will talk to Prof Abhijit and discuss other venue arrangements including setting up stall, power sockets and test the bandwidth as well.


– Satish has confirmed on extra funding and potentially one vendor sponsor. Amit Shah has mailed Jared Smith on another option as well. We will publish details once we get confirmation. Amit Shah has also verified that we have funds to sponsor travel/stay within India (one travel+stay and one stay sponsor request pending). International travel sponsorship (one request pending) will have to be discussed

Voting Software

– Flask framework requires a newer version of python-jinja2 than the one in RHEL. Since EPEL cannot touch base RHEL packages, we need a newer parallel installalable version of python-jinja2 and might have to patch. Thinking about setting up COD outside of Fedora infrastructure instead of jumping through hoops.

Flight booking

– Satya has mailed everyone who has been sponsored and provided them the info they need to book Visa. She will followup as necessary and ensure that everyone has booked the tickets, collect the travel plans and put it in the wiki. If you haven’t received all the necessary info to get your visa and book do get in touch.

Important information for sponsored Fedora contributors : You should have received all this info from Satya but just as a reminder, I am the local contact point in India for the purposes of Visa. If you don’t have my number and address, mail me and I will send the info to you. If you are a travelling internationally, mail Harish Pillay instead of booking the flight ticket on your own. If you are travelling within India, book the ticket yourself and I will get you reimbursed. If you need invitation letter, mail Jared Smith. Note that you need to apply for a tourist visa and NOT a conference visa. Recommended hotel is Cocoon. We will book the hotel room for you. Put up the info on who you are sharing your room with in the FUDCon India wiki page. We recommend that you arrive by November 3rd night and leave by November 7th morning. If you are struck with anything, feel free to contact me and I can nudge things forward.

Swag, posters, banners and buttons

– Suchakra has putting up some well received designs in the wiki. Only really pending item is T-shirt design. Rahul called Suchakra a couple of days back and he has confirmed that he will complete this task by this Sunday. He is also presenting a talk on Fedora design in the FAD. We want to print them all by this month. Sankarshan has some left over swag he has handed over to Kushal and Shakthi. We will figure out what to distribute on the event later.

Other pending tasks

– Travel and video recording, we have no new updates but we will need to confirm all this before this month end. Also we need to buy some Fedora friend finders and atleast one external hard disk for storing Fedora content which is useful for FAD’s, FUDCon and other FOSS events. Will have to do that within a week.

Written by mether

September 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized