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Le skyblog de bochecha

Sunday, February 2 2014

New releases from the Cangjians

We made our first round of major releases on Christmas day, and since then, a few issues were found, and some were fixed.

So on this second day of the new year of the horse, here comes a new round.

Today, we release libcangjie 1.1, pycangjie 1.1 and IBus Cangjie 2.1

All of these are pretty minor releases, which fix bugs and improve the internals without introducing any user-visible change. We recommend everybody to upgrade as soon as possible. (Fedora packages are coming)

I'll finish with the changelog for each release.

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!

libcangjie 1.1

  • Fix typo in data/README.table.rst (Linquize)
  • Add docs to the tarball (Mathieu)
  • Add a link to the release tarballs in the README (Mathieu)
  • Correct typo of README file (Anthony)
  • Improve the benchmark tool (Mathieu)
  • Add a missing copyright header to the benchmark tool (Mathieu)
  • Various code improvements (Mathieu, with help from clang's scan-build)
  • Code refactoring of the filter handling (Dridi)
  • Add install instructions for a few distributions (Mathieu)
  • Document libcangjie_cli (Mathieu)

pycangjie 1.1

  • Add docs to the tarball (Mathieu)
  • Add a link to the release tarballs in the README (Mathieu)
  • Add install instructions for a few distributions (Mathieu)
  • Improve « make clean » (Anthony)
  • Fix the URL to the documentation in the README (Linquize)

IBus Cangjie 2.1

  • Add a link to the release tarballs in the README (Mathieu)
  • Actually run the unit tests on « make check » (Anthony)
  • Improve « make clean » (Anthony)
  • Add install instructions for a few distributions (Mathieu)
  • Improve the optionality of pycanberra (Mathieu)
  • Fix the pt_BR translation (Mathieu)
  • Reset sys.path to limit side effects on the unit tests (Mathieu)
  • Ensure validity of the preferences UI file (Mathieu)
  • Fix the UI file (Mathieu)

Wednesday, December 25 2013

The Cangjians wish you a merry Christmas

About a year and a half ago now, we set out to fix what seemed to us like the one critical issue which was preventing broad adoption of Free Software in Hong Kong: the lack of a good Cangjie/Quick input method for IBus.

And today, at the foot of the Christmas tree, we have 3 presents: today we are releasing libcangjie 1.0, pycangjie 1.0, and IBus Cangjie 2.0.

This is a release we are very proud of, it is the achievement of a year and a half of hard work, of studying all about Chinese input methods, and the lessons we learned with our previous attempts.

Speaking of previous attempts, even though we don't use Wan Leung Wong's libcangjie any more (we rewrote it completely), the hindsight we got from Wan Leung's original efforts was invaluable, and we wouldn't be where we are right now without it.

Without further ado, here are the links to the release:

Fedora packages are already on their way, and we'll get them very soon at least in Ubuntu and Arch Linux.

The major highlight from this release is that finally, we support all the characters which are important in Hong Kong out of the box.

But we're not done yet. For the next release, we are already working on a few things. Among others, suggestion of whole expressions and automatic translation from Traditional to Simplified Chinese are on our TODO list.

Merry Christmas to all, and don't hesitate to join us, send us code or bug reports, or just let us know how this release works for you.

Thursday, November 7 2013

Recruiting Fedora packagers

At work we produce our own distribution which is basically a downstream of RHEL / Fedora, adapted to the specific needs of our products.

We're looking to hire someone to do the following:

  • Build RPM packages

    Most of the time, we usually just rebuild packages from RHEL / Fedora packages with some occasional downstream changes.

    There are some packages that are not in their repositories though, and whenever it makes sense you'll be expected to maintain them in Fedora as well, to give back to the community.

    Of course, the changes we make downstream will often need to be pushed upstream as well, so you'd have to do that too. ;-)

  • Maintain our build infrastructure

    It's pretty much a replica of the Fedora build infrastructure: spec files are maintained in Git, source tarballs are in our lookaside cache, packages are built in Koji, updates are managed with Bodhi, repositories are made with mash, etc...

    You might have to contribute to those projects if we need to change them (hint: we need Bodhi 2!), and if the changes are interesting to upstream of course, so some minimal Python knowledge would definitely be appreciated.

  • Release engineering

    You'll be seeing the other side of Bodhi, pushing the updates to the testing and stable repositories to enable QA to do its job.

    You'll also need to work on the tools we use to compose new releases of our OS, improve our release/branching processes, etc...

Basically, in Fedora terms, we need someone to be part of the provenpackager, buildsys-build and releng teams for our OS.

One last thing, you'd need to be willing to come and live in Hong Kong. :-)

If you're interested, send me an email at "bochecha at fedoraproject dot org". Be sure to specify your FAS login, as we'll check that as well as your resume. ;-)

Tuesday, October 8 2013

Meet the Cangjians

Cangjiception - CC-By-SA - Jacqueline Wong and Mathieu Bridon

I have been hacking on Chinese input methods for Hong Kong people for more than a year now, and recently the project gained some momentum.

In order to increase participation, and make it less of a "one man show", I created some time ago the Cangjians team on Github, and moved upstream development of the various Cangjie-related stuff there.

We're only two core contributors at the moment, Koala and I, but I'm hopeful that we can grow this team to the point where we leave the absurd situation we are in now, i.e where the biggest contributor can't even read Chinese. ;-)

And in fact, we made great progress last Wednesday at The Loop, and Sam just keeps sending us tons of pull requests to fix lots of small things here and there, like making lincangjie2 build on Windows, fixing build warnings, etc... In other words, he's paying a lot of attention to the details, which eventually makes a big difference for the library.

We have a simple website, which we're still working on, but hopefully it's good enough already to showcase what we do, publish the documentation, etc...

If you are interested in all things related to Cangjie, come and talk to us. We'll be thrilled to receive your feedback and/or your help.

Thursday, October 3 2013

A great iteration at The Loop

I realize I should blog more often about The Loop, the Free Software hackfest we are running every two weeks at the Dim Sum Labs here in Hong Kong, so here's an attempt at doing just that. We'll see how long it lasts. :-)

I'm back from tonight's event, and it went great!

We weren't too many people tonight (that means there's room for you!), but what we didn't have in quantity, we definitely made up for in quality.

While Koala was busy working on a new website for the Ubuntu Hong Kong community, Sam multiplied the pull requests to make libcangjie2 build on Windows.

Jeremy, who just arrived in Hong Kong 2 months ago, started hacking on Firefox / ASM.js. However, while that was building, we worked together on fixing an issue in pycangjie so that it can now build on Ubuntu 12.04.

As for myself, I started having a look into Travis CI, and did some preliminary work to use it for libcangjie2. And as Travis runs on Ubuntu 12.04, we can now also add pycangjie thanks to Jeremy. :-D

All in all, it was a very productive evening, we did lots of good stuff, all while having fun.

So don't hesitate and join us!

If you look at the calendar, you'll see that next event will happen on September 16. No registration required, the event is free for all. Just come, and have fun with us making Free Software.

Friday, September 13 2013

IBus Cangjie in Ubuntu 12.04

It's been a while since I last blogued about IBus Cangjie, but we've only been quiet, not inactive.

Something great happened just today: Haggen just finished uploading IBus Cangjie to his PPA. Thanks to his work, it is now trivial to install IBus Cangjie in Ubuntu 12.04. One step closer to world domination. ;-)

On my side, I've just finished revamping the website a bit. It should now look nicer, and be easier to navigate. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 27 2013

Testing GNOME Music on Rawhide

GNOME is working on a new music application, which should be available for 3.10 in September: GNOME Music.

It's not really ready for prime-time yet, so I haven't submitted a review request for Fedora, but if you want to give it a try, I've pushed it to a side-repo.

If you're running Rawhide, give it a try:

# curl > /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-gnome-music.repo
# yum install gnome-music

Note: It relies on a yet unreleased version of grilo, so that will come in as a dependency and replace the version provided by Fedora.

I'll try to keep it relatively up-to-date with upstream development, until there's a release to send into Fedora.


Saturday, May 25 2013

IBus Cangjie in distributions

I recently released IBus Cangjie 1.0, and since then, I got it pushed to the Fedora repositories.

That means the following distributions now provide packages for easy installation of IBus Cangjie:

In addition, Anthony Wong has started the work to get his Ubuntu packages into Debian as well.

If you want to help us by getting IBus Cangjie into your distribution, let us know, and we'll do our best to help. :-)

Friday, May 3 2013

IBus Cangjie 1.0 is out

Following on the hard work we have been doing for the past few months, I released IBus Cangjie 1.0 yesterday evening.

I had been meaning to do that for a while, but kept thinking about a few details to change here and there, and constantly postponed it. Well, you know what they say: "Release early, release often". So after our discussion on Wednesday during the Free Software Hackfest at Dim Sum Labs I figured I'd just call what we have now 1.0 and go from there. We can always improve it in subsequent releases. ;-)

All in all, it is a basic implementation of Cangjie and Quick, but I'd like to highlight some of its features here:

  • Both Cangjie and Quick are supported in versions 3 and 5
  • By default you'll only get Traditional Chinese, but Simplified Chinese input can be enabled in the preferences dialog
  • Candidates are presented in the unoptimized but familiar Big 5 ordering, to ease the migration for Microsoft Windows users

I'm very happy about what we achieved. Many people have given me very positive feedback. It seems our strong focus on a great user experience with sensible defaults is paying off.

If you don't want to build the sources, you can get packages for your favourite distribution:

  • As usual, Arch Linux's AUR has the stuff a few hours after it's been released
  • Ubuntu 13.04 has packages too (not the release yet, it's a very recent development snapshot
  • It's still not available in Fedora (but you can help speeding up the review!), but I just pushed the release on my personal repo

Of course, if you can package it all for another distribution, then let us know!

Of course, this is not the end. We have a long road ahead of us to make it the best way to input Chinese with Cangjie and Quick. You're welcome to climb on the bandwagon. :-)

Tuesday, April 23 2013

Kicking off a new, recurring Free Software hackfest in Hong Kong

This is a repost from the article I just published on the Dim Sum Labs blog. Go and check out the web site for more info on all the cool stuff that happens there.

Hackers know it: hacking is a lot of fun.

But what to hack on exactly? Well, we are a group of people passionate about Free Software, and, starting May 1st, we will meet regularly to hack together on various projects.

These recurring hackfests will take place every other Wednesday at the Dim Sum Labs, from 8pm to 10pm.

So come and have fun with us!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a hard-core programmer or a “complete noob”. We’ll help you learn what you need as you go.

If you’re still wondering, here are some examples of people who might want to join us:

  • you are “just a user” of Free Software, and there’s this silly bug in your favourite application which has been bothering you for a while? Come and figure out how to fix it with us!
  • you are a programmer who enjoys hacking on Free Software projects in their spare time? Come hack with us, instead of doing it alone!
  • you have this brilliant idea which will change the world? Come show it to us, and we’ll hack on it together!
  • you are the main developer of a small project which is dear to you, and you could use some manpower to make it move forward? Come have a sprint with us!
  • you want to learn programming by actually doing it for Free Software? Come, and we’ll help you get started.
  • or any other reason, you will be welcome anyway!

And it doesn’t have to be about code! Writing documentation, designing or translating Free Software, this is all hacking too!

We only have one rule: we will only hack on Free Software projects during these meetings.

If you want to have more details, use the form below to leave a comment.

Otherwise, feel free to just come. No registration needed, just show up with your own computer, say hi and we'll start hacking together.

Remember: Wednesday May 01, from 8pm to 10pm, at the Dim Sum Labs.

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