Friday, March 21, 2008

xdg-open and general freedesktop annoyance

Using the E17 RSS reader has recently acquainted me with xdg-open from, or as it is more affectionately known, "the utility that causes all URLs to be opened in the most sucky browser installed, e.g. konqeror or nautilus".

Fortunately, you can add the lines

BROWSER=`which firefox`
export BROWSER

into ~/.profile, or into ~/.bashrc and do the old bash-profile-symlink-hack:

ln -s ~/.bashrc ~/.bash_profile

...and a reasonably well-written XSession file (e.g. the one that ships with *buntu)
will find it.

But come on, an ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE? For a helper program called by X applications?
You have to restart X if you want to change it!

What is so horrible about an optional freedesktop config file, say in ~/.local/etc/defaults/browser, that lets you change this at runtime?

Or, if having to read a file every time a link is checked is the problem (I can see that), why not have a freedesktop config service that caches settings and can be flushed by the user?

There is an upside to all of this: having spent the past evening restarting either E17 or X to tweak parts of the system, I am coming to like the idea of using XSM to restore all of my terminal, IDE, and browser sessions. If it plays well with E17's virtual desktops.

Systrayless Wifi

Didn't come across this last time I was playing with E17: exalt network manager.


sudo apt-get install exalt exalt-daemon emodule-exalt libexalt-dbus-dev libexalt-dev

This solves the "have to run knetworkmanager in an alternate WM' problem, as
exalt runs as a standalone app (and has an E17 widget).

Caveats: Hold the shift key (not Caps Lock!) down when entering your WEP key, and be sure to changed the mode from Ad-Hoc to Managed.

For those who are suffering with unmaintained E17 packages, use the Gos servers:

deb reloaded main
deb-src reloaded main

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2.6.22 kernel and 'alps_process_byte'

On the R500 (and other laptops, apparently) kernel 2.6.22 (and a few before, and a few after) panic on resume with an oops like the following:

[113189.828000] EIP: [] alps_process_byte+0x18/0x60 [psmouse] SS:ESP 0
[113189.828000] <0>Kernel panic - not syncing: Fatal exception in interrupt

Recompiling without extra alps support does not help.

Adding the module 'psmouse' into the MODULES variable in /etc/default/acpi-support seems to work -- no crashes so far. (Update 3/21: still no crashes! We have a winner)