KDE, Autoconf 2.57, and Automake 1.7.2

In trying my first compile of Bookcase under Mandrake 9.1, I ran into the dreaded version incompatibility of autoconf and automake. Mandrake ships with defaults of autoconf 2.13 and automake 1.4 something. KDE requires autoconf 2.5+ which in turns requires automake 1.6+. I think…And on top of that, Mandrake made KDevelop conflict with autoconf 2.5+. That was rather dumb, I think.

The biggest problem, though, is that the newest version of autoconf, which is 2.57, doesn’t seem to work with automake 1.7.1. Got all that? These are mostly guesses.

But the acinclude.m4 file I copied from KDE requires autoconf 2.54+. The error I get then is

configure.in:129: error: m4_popdef: undefined macro: AC_Dest
autoconf/status.m4:844: AC_CONFIG_FILES is expanded from...
configure.in:129: the top level
autom4te-2.5x: /usr/bin/m4 failed with exit status: 1

Sigh… I need to downgrade something for sure, but what…


I just received a copy of the March 2003 issue of LinuxUser, a German Linux magazine, which features a review of Bookcase. Patricia Jung was kind enough to reply to my email a couple weeks ago with two comments on the article, and offered to send me a copy of the issue. It’s tremendously cool to see my app featured in a real magazine, which actually includes the source for Bookcase 0.4.1 on a CD-ROM. But my name isn’t actually in the article as author… 🙁

The May 2003 issue of Linux Magazine will have the article translated into English. It should be available April 4! Wow!

Bookcase and OpenBSD

I had a helpful email this weekend pointing out that, for OpenBSD, the Qt tools uic and moc are renamed to uic3 and moc3. Evidently, the path to those utilities should be read from the $MOC and $UIC variables. One works, one doesn’t.

I had just copied the stock KDE admin directory, and apparently, $UIC_PATH is being used instead of $UIC. I’ll fix that for the next version, but if you’re compiling Bookcase on OpenBSD, or probably any other *BSD, you might want to either set the $UIC_PATH variable, or modify the configure script.

Installing Mandrake Linux 9.1

I took the leap this weekend and upgraded to Mandrake Linux 9.1. The biggest problem was that the CD that I burned with the ISO got corrupted somehow, so I was getting intermittent read/write errors. This was a major pain in the rear. I initially just went for the upgrade option, but when the I/O error happened, it corrupted my RPM database, leaving my main partitions unuseable. So I ended up having to totally format my / and /usr partitions. Fortunately, I had kept /home and /usr/local on separate partitions. But still, this meant I was going to have to redo a lot of the configuration options I’d made.

Being at home, my dial-up is very slow, of course, so I didn’t want to redownload the ISO images. After trying and trying, again and again, I finally got through a full install.

The xfdrake program accurately configured my monitor as a Samsung Syncmaster 955DF. I normally run at 1400×1050 resolution, which it offered to me. But it didn’t add any ModeLines to the XF86Config-4 file. So when I added the Nvidia driver, I ended up with a 1200×1024 screen with 1400×1050 resolution, meaning I had to pan to see the whole screen. I added the ModeLine I found online for the 950p and they seem to work ok.

Mandrake has added their own desktop manager login program called mdkkdm. I don’t like it, since it forces you to go through two different login windows, so I promptly switched back to KDM by editing the /etc/sysconfig/desktop file to have DISPLAYMANAGER=KDM.

I also use fetchmail to download my email from a POP server and then filter it through SpamAssassin. For some reason, it complains about an SMTP problem when connecting to localhost.localdomain now. Need to figure that one out…

Something has been wrong with my motherboard battery since I got it, and whenever my computer is off, the hardware clock doesn’t advance. So I do a lot of ntp updates. Since I only use dial-up, I choose to manually update my clock when I need to. But I did that a while back, and since my partition got formatted, I need to go look up which server to use.

UPDATE: I just noticed that I could have changed my Display Manager using mcc – The Mandrake Control Center instead. Neat!

The Bookcase XSL Files

Bookcase uses XSL Transforms for printing, importing, and exporting. My XSLT files are very, very messy. I just bought XSLT Cookbook by Sal Mangano, so I have hopes of cleaning them up, but I thought I might put them up on the website in case anyone wants to look them over without downloading the whole package.

I used a version of defaultss.xsl to transform them into hierarchical, colorized HTML. I removed the JavaScript, but some of the white-space gets squashed.

They are listed on the left-hand sidebar. bookcase-printing.xsl is used for printing, and has several parameters passed in for formatting options. The files starting with bookcase2 transform Bookcase documents into other formats, and bibtexml2bookcase.xsl is a rough cut for transforming Bibtexml into Bookcase format. I included two other files just for general information, which sort by author and title.

UPDATE (11 April 2003): I decided to change over to Oliver Becker‘s xmlverbatim stylesheets, purely for aesthetic reasons.

Bookcase 0.5.2a Released

Dang, stupid debug mistake. I forgot to change my createGui() call in Bookcase 0.5.2 back to the default from when I was debugging. So now I’ll have to stick up a version 0.5.2a. Stupid mistake on my part…

Bookcase 0.5.2 Released

My next version of Bookcase is out, 0.5.2. I fixed a few bugs in the configuration options, one with importing badly formed Bibtexml files, and a translation issue in the printing XSL file. I also added Hungarian and German translations, with thanks to Marcel Hilzinger and Gerrit M. Albrecht for providing those.

Support for military action after Bush's speech

Andrew Sullivan puts it very succinctly

SEVEN OUT OF TEN: That’s the proportion of Americans supporting the president’s ultimatum to Saddam, according to the Washington Post’s poll. 75 percent: That’s the proportion disapproving of the way in which the United Nations has behaved with regard to this matter. 71 percent support going to war with Iraq. 72 percent believe that the administration has “done enough to try to win support from other countries for taking military action against Iraq.” Those are stunning figures. There may be less public division about this war than any war in recent history.

Bookcase 0.5.1 Released

Wheeee! Typos and compile problems are yucky, but kind people who point them out are cool. Thanks to Dre, the sharp fellow at KDE.com, who pointed out a typo and some compile problems, along with a dependence on Qt 3.1, I fixed up Bookcase 0.5.1 to go right out. And no, it should still compile and work fine on KDE 3.0.x with Qt 3.0.x.