lunes, 25 de febrero de 2013

Typying in Japanese with Firefox: SCIM in Mandriva 2011/Mageia 2

Yesterday, I shared how to get SCIM to behave correctly to handle Japanese typying in PCLinuxOS 2013.02.  Thanks to that discovery, I learned the way to enable SCIM when using Firefox in Mandriva 2011/Mageia 2.

First of all, let me say that while iBus does the same and can be installed fairly easy in both Mandriva 2011 and Mageia 2, the problem is that it ruins the keyboard accents in Spanish for those people who work in that language with LibreOffice.  Therefore, SCIM is a better option.

I am running Firefox 19.0 at the moment, but this trick works with previous versions of the browser and future ones, too (Aurora and Nightly).

To activate Japanese IME (SCIM) in Mandriva 2011 or Mageia 2, the following packages are needed:

1. Japanese fonts (Use MCC to get them)
2. Scim (and all of its dependencies)
3. Canna (and its dependencies)
4. Anthy (and its dependencies)
5. UIM (make sure that the bridging packages are included)

Once all the packages are installed,open the terminal Konsole and use SU to log in as root with your password.

Then go to /etc/sysconfig by using
cd etc
cd sysconfig

once there, activate Kwrite by typying
export $ (dbus-launch)

The idea is to modify a file called i18n.
When Kwrite is functional, using the open icon, and locate the file i18n to open it. Once it is displayed, append the following lines to the end of the file and save it.

XIM_PROGRAM="scim -d"

Close the terminal and then go to usr/share/X11/xdm
Once there, open Konsole and type su and the system will ask you for your root password.  Enter it and then type
export $ (dbus-launch)
then type kwrite (to start Kwrite and edit a file)

Once Kwrite appears, open the file Xsession with it. You have to append the following lines before the line that starts with exec
SCIM working with Firefox in Mandriva 2011
export XMODIFIERS=@im=xim  
export GTK_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge
export QT_IM_MODULE=xim
export XIM_PROGRAM="scim -d"

Save and log out and back in to your session.  That's the end of the show.  From now on, your browser will accept Japanese input for searches, or searches in other languages (Korean, Thai, etc) as long as you have the fonts for those languages installed.

The good thing about this method is that it also enabled SCIM for LibreOffice 4 (which is not in the official repositories of Mandriva/Mageia yet).

SCIM working with LibreOffice 4 in Mageia 2

domingo, 24 de febrero de 2013

Japanese Input in PCLinuxOS 2013.02

I've been trying to get the latest release of PCLOS to accept Japanese input.  First, I made the changes that I explained here.  Basically, you have to download the required packages and add these lines to the file i18n: 
XIM_PROGRAM="scim -d"

I did that using the command
export $ (dbus-launch)
to edit the files with Konsole, as I had also explained here once.

I also installed Abiword (as it helped me once to test SCIM) and removed the LibreOffice KDE integration package, which has prevented me to fire up SCIM both in Mandriva and Mageia.  Then I followed the detailed directions for PCLOS here

However, after trying this process in PCLinuxOS 2013.02, all I achieved was to freeze the desktop when attempting to launch any application.

Today I found the culprit and fixed the problem. In
/usr/share/X11/xdm  you have to open the file Xsession, to which you will append the following lines before the line that starts with exec
export XMODIFIERS=@im=xim  
export GTK_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge
export QT_IM_MODULE=xim
export XIM_PROGRAM="scim -d"

The problem was that the first line must read xim at the end, not SCIM, as I had detailed before.

By the way, remember that PCLOS shows the IME on demand.  You have to press CTRL + space to work with it.  日本語がきっと書けますよ!

Oh, and the best part of this method is that Japanese IME also works with Firefox.

I wonder if this can be applied to Mageia/Mandriva to enable Japanese in Firefox...

I'll try that tomorrow.

domingo, 17 de febrero de 2013

Virtualbox and USB support in Mageia 2

For those people who use Mageia 2 and like to test other OSs or need to keep another OS for work purposes, installing Virtualbox from the Mageia repositories might lead them to a disappointment.  The distro seems to only support Virtualbox OSE (as it is the only package in the repos), which does not allow one to enable USB support. Therefore, you end up with a Virtual Machine that cannot read your flash drive.

To solve this pesky problem, you must understand that the situation springs from having installed a Virtualbox version that does not do what you need or want.  You must, then uninstall it and grab the Virtualbox PUEL version package from the Oracle site here.

For Mageia 2, you need to use version 4.1.24 (it is the version that matches the kernel in the Mageia 2 repos), so scroll and clic on the link "older builds".

Download the Mandriva 2011 rpm package (VirtualBox-4.1-4.1.24_82872_mdv2011.0-1.i586.rpm) and do not forget to download the extension pack as well.

Then, click on it to install it.  You are going to get a warning about an invalid signature; just ignore it and proceed.  If there are some dependencies needed, the package manager will get them for you.  Make sure you also install the dkms-virtualbox package from the repos.

Once the dkms package is installed, you can fire up Virtualbox and create a virtual machine.  You will notice that USB support is still disabled.  To change this situation, you must do this:
1.  Open MCC and go to System and Manage Users.  Find your user and add it to the vboxsr and vboxusers groups.
2.  Install the extension pack you downloaded.  To do this, log out and back in and click on the file.  It will be installed automatically for you after you accept the license for public use evaluation.

Then, after you start your virtual machine, insert the USB stick and check its corresponding box in devices-> USB (You might need to mount the USB on the host system before it is displayed in the Virtual machine).

This performs the trick.

lunes, 4 de febrero de 2013

Expected release list

1.  Open Mandriva distro: no official date yet, 1,5~2 months according to sources+possible delay.

2.  Pardus Anka: unknown

3.  Mageia 3: April May

4.   Elive: unknown

5.  Mepis: unknown

Well, at least I can start saving for a new computer!

domingo, 3 de febrero de 2013

More on PicarOS: Test passed!

One week ago, I described my encounter with PicarOS, a charming spin of GALPon MiniNO targeted to children.  I talked about how beautiful I had found it and how to walk the ropes of getting it installed as a dual boot with Mageia 2.

In the course of a the week, something interesting happened.  Several adults who saw the OS got grazy about it.  Megatotoro reports that even a school principal told him that she wanted PicarOS on all the lab computers of the school under her direction.

Default desktop in PicarOS 2012 (GALPon MiniNo)

Well, when I installed PicarOS to the desktop and laptop computers of my 2-year old daughter, I said that I had great expectations.  I meant that my daughter was not home when I performed the installs.  Therefore, I had not seen her reaction to the OS, and this is, understandably, paramount to speak about the success of PicarOS.  After all, the point of the distro is not getting adults excited (which it certainly did), but children.

My wife and daughter came back from their trip and the latter started narrating --with her growing Spanish vocabulary-- all of her adventures, while the former looked for her laptop to show me the pictures she had taken.  It was a nice illustrated conversation: my daughter Eimi told me about her visit to the park with the dinosaurs and her mother filled in the gaps when I did not understand the narration.

But then, it was time to turn off mommy's laptop and Eimi, upset, started crying.

It was the perfect time to see the PicarOS laptop in action.  As my daughter cried, I took out her machine and turned it on with discretion.  Eimi continued showing her frustration until a distictively childish music announced that PicarOS was about to launch.  Upon hearing the start music, Eimi turned to the screen and became quiet.  The OS greeted her with its icons and colors and my daughter ran toward the computer.  She sat in front of the screen in a state of awe, leaving her frustration tears behind.

We then began using the computer.  I simply cannot express the look in Eimi's face; it was as if, for the first time, she had encounter a computer that understood her.  She loved everything: the sounds, the colors, the icons, the software, the fact that the computer talks in the language she is trying to master...

Since then, Eimi regularly asks me to sit with her to explore the wonderful new world she has thanks to PicarOS.  We are having great fun discovering, singing, and playing together.  Today, for instance, we had a 1 hour 30 minute session of Poison Rouge in which, among other activities, she sang "Frere Jacques" and "Ten Green Bottles".  To  my surprise, she is picking up number in English quite fast, too.

This proves that PicarOS passed the test: it is a Linux distro that children can use to learn and enjoy.  My child, for one, loves it.

It's the Ides of August!

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