Archive for category Uncategorized
I got as a Christmas gift an external USB audio device: an Asus Xonar U1. It’s a nice device with a decent audio quality. The audio itself, both in and out works perfectly with the standard snd-usb-audio kernel module. Unfortunately the audio controls on the device are not standard, so I developed a simple daemon and accompanying udev and pm-utils script to get the device to work. I’ve published everything under the GPL hoping that they might be useful for someone else. Feel free to clone and fork my repository on github
I’m very happy to annouce a new major release for Lightspark, the open source flash player implementation. This release includes quite a lot of fixes, both internal and visible to users. The most important ones from a user point of view are probably the improved support for PulseAudio flat volumes, which makes it impossible for lightspark to manipulate the system volume and the newly added support for the BBC video player. To use BBC site you might need to use AdBlock, which is generally recommended since more often than not flash advertisements are not supported by Lightspark and causes failures in otherwise supported sites.
From the ChangeLog:
* Enable RTMP support by default, requires librtmp
* Fixed support for IEventDispatcher implementation pattern
* Improved serialization robustness
* Improved matrix handling
* Implement string and namespace pooling to reduce memory consumption
* Proper support for private namespaces
* Improved support for fonts
* Support LLVM 3.1
* Fix full volume issue when PulseAudio flat volumes are enabled
* Initial support for AIR desktop applications
* Support for www.bbc.co.uk video player
Source tarball is, as usual available from Launchpad.
This year, having joined the computer security group at UCSB for my phd, I’ve helped in the organization of the 2010rh edition of the iCTF, the biggest international online hacking competition. It has been plenty of fun, with more than 70 teams participating from all over the world. The CMU team “Plaid parliament of pwning” won it, getting the 1000$ price (thanks Adobe and IEEE Security & Privacy magazine for the sponsorships!).
Since people have been asking for the solutions of the two challenges I wrote, so here they are.
This challenge is easy, I encourage you to give it a try, it’s fun!
Question: “Who’re you’re gonna call?”
Teams that have completed it: 44 (congrats!)
Solution: in an html comment following this line
This challenge is a little more difficult, but if you know python you have all the skills necessary to beat it.
To make it run, unpack this file and run server.py (it’s all python, you can check it for backdoors). To start the challenge, you should read only the content of the “pub” directory: that was the material that was given in the ctf.
Teams that have completed it: 0, as most of the difficult challenges — because of the structure of the iCTF 2010, it turned out that it was more convenient to focus only on the easy challenges. We’ll have to fix it next year!
Solution: in an html comment following this line. The given file also contains a script that can solve the challenge (the test_* files)
For the solution of another difficult challenge, head over to Bryce’s blog.
Finally, after a long delay caused by several issues Lightspark 0.4.5 is out. Here it is a brief Changelog.
- Include the new Advanced Graphics Engine, that should provide smoother and faster graphics and support for clipping
- More robust input support (makes it possible to use Play/Pause on YouTube)
The work on this released has been especially slowed down by an issue found in libxml++ and another one found in mesa. Packagers should pay attention to fulfill the following dependency requirements:
- Libxml++ version 2.33.1 or better. If an older version on libxml++ must be supported some commits must be backported. More info about this in the README file
- Mesa should include the fix for this bug. The issue affects some radeon and maybe intel cards.
Me and most of my engineering colleagues here at Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies are leaving tomorrow morning for a week long tour of universities and labs in Belgium and Netherlands. This means I’ll have no time to work on Lightspark, sorry
Anyway the 0.4.5 release will be probably out in the last days of the month. The critical bug in libxml++ is now fixed as my patch was accepted upstream. If (as I believe) a new version of the library will be released and packaged before i get back there will be no reason to hold the release anymore.
Another week, another bugfix release for Lightspark! Apart from restoring the support for YouTube this release features the new plugin based audio framework that makes it possible to support other backends beside PulseAudio. At the moment both an ALSA and OpenAL plugins are being worked on.
As always you can grab the release here on Launchpad
I’m back from GUADEC. It was my first conference about open source and it was great.
I’ve found particularly inspiring the talk by Guillaume Desmottes about Telepathy and Epiphany, which can be great to extend GTG possibilities in collaboration.
The talk by Jake Edge about promoting free software projects was also very interesting, in particular for the young Lightspark project (that went completely unnoticed for a few months before showing up on planet GNOME).
Thanks to the exciting talks and people at GUADEC, the GTG team (even the people who were not there!) has been working fervently on a nice rewrite of some parts of GTG core, along with a lot of unit-tests. Hopefully, a lot of bugs will be closed thanks to this, and GTG will be nicer to code.
As for my Google Summer of Code on Getting Things Gnome support for multiple backends, this week has seen:
- a port of my Evolution plugin as a backend (that was the last one planned)
- refactoring of the Twitter plugin to get authorization through Oauth (using the tweepy library, thanks Tante for the hint)
- docs, docs, docs
Next week, I’ll keep documenting and testing. I should also write a guide on how to write new backends. See you next week!
Trying to keep up with the old rule “Release early, release often” I’ happy to announce release 0.4.2.2 open source flash player.
This apparently small point release actually includes the biggest feature plannend for the upcoming 0.4.3 release, namely Gnash fallback on older SWF clips. Lightspark currently relies no Gnash for any Flash content that does not require AVM2 (ActionScript 3) support.
I would also like to explain an issue that many users and testers reported. Firefox is not able to handle multiple plugin for the same file type! Not even if only one of those plugins is actually enabled. So, if lightspark is installed alongside adobe’s player or Gnash no flash content will be displayed. This is a firefox bug, I’ve reported the bug and proposed a patch that is currently waiting the review.
The source of the release is as always available on launchpad. Binary packages for Ubuntu Lucid and Maverick will be available on the usual PPA (in a couple hours from now, Launchpad seems pretty busy at the moment). Moreover, since the last announcement lightspark has been also included in the debian experimental suite (thanks to Didier Raboud and Luca Falavigna).
Stay tuned, and follow the roadmap
This week in “Getting Things Gnome!” development of multiple backends:
- As for yesterday’s post, we can now automatically import (some) Evolution mails in GTG
- I’ve been working on the Remember The Milk backend to speed it up. Since RTM allows only one API call per second, anything cacheable must be cached.
- I’ve been testing and fixing the couchdb backend. Now it syncs on ubuntu one without error on my machine. It would be great if someone is willing to test it. Keep in mind that ubuntu one is syncing couchdb databases every ten minutes or so. Instructions on how to test are here.
Next week, I’ll be at GUADEC! I really don’t know if I’ll have the time to work on this at all, but if I do, it will be all about the RTM backend.
See you in Den Haag (or L’Aia, in Italian. I wonder why..)!
I’m very proud to announce the the second release candidate of Lightspark 0.4.2: the modern, efficient and open source Flash Player implementation. Thanks to all the people that tested the project and reported feedback on the bug tracker and on the IRC channel, without their help this awesome results would have not been possible.
Although we’re still missing a couple of feature before the real 0.4.2 most of the pieces are already in place. Let’s see what you can expect from this release:
- Youtube support for H264 videos. Currently only those are supported as they are played using the Action Script 3 based player. This may seem a huge limitation, but actually a huge part of the YouTube contents are available in H264 format. This limitation will go away when lightspark will be able to fall back to Gnash. This feature is scheduled for 0.4.3
- Even faster video presentation after a bit of refinement of the SSE2 based video packer
- Sound support using pulseaudio. If you want to try Lightspark without installing the pulse server that’s ok, as Lightspark detects at runtime if the server is available and if not it just politely disables sound.
As usual you can grab the source from Launchpad
Official binary packages for Ubuntu Lucid and Debian testing are available from my PPA http://launchpad.net/~sssup/+archive/sssup-ppa (in launchpad build queue as I’m writing)
Packages for Fedora 13 are also available here
As I mentioned before we’re not yet ready for the final release as the following issues needs to be fixed:
- Sound is not synchronized
- Sound sample rate is not always correctly detected
Beside those known issue, everything should be pretty ok. So go on, give it a try!