Archivi categoria: code

Contributions to Mageia – April 2018

ActivitiesAs I’m back to work on some package for Mageia… let’s resume from where we stopped also on this blog.


  • areca-backup 7.5

areca-backup wasn’t properly working starting from Mageia 5 because of its dependency to Java (proprietary).

Consider also that areca-backup seems no longer maintained upstream (last version released on August, 26th 2015)  but there are still users that, like me, need that tool to backup/restore important data.

It was thus necessary to make it work with openjdk, with our current version of GTK and so on: that’s why I made a few patches to be able to make it fully functional again ?

  • davmail 4.8.5 (latest version)

The new version is now available in Cauldron.

davmail is awesome when you have to interface your thunderbird to and Exchange Server made available through EWS.

That’s all. See you next month and… thanks for reading


Paleontology 4 Geologist

For those people not really aware of what the paleontology really is, I can briefly define the paleontology as the science in charge of study the history of life. For a Geologist the paleontology is more than important as it represents the basis to, such as:

  • place in time a geologic record
  • understand the geological context
  • deduce a lot of other useful information

For a better explanation I suggest some reading like this one and – for a wider view – wikipedia.

A few years ago I was studying invertebrate paleontology at the University of Pavia and I was terribly in need of someone or something able to train me with random questions about fossils before the exam 🙂

At that time I was also working for an IT company in Lodi and I had no much free time to study with other classmates that’s why I decided to quickly prototype a simple computer application using Qt and C++ called p4d.

The purpose of p4d* was to randomly select questions from a database and to show them in the form of a multiple choice assessment.

The database was manually built using the information made available – in italian – through the labels of each fossil from the museum of the faculty of Geology.

We have to look at the fossil, to describe it properly: that’s why I also made photos of our samples to improve the experience with p4d (and especially to be able to do some training outside the museum 😛 ).

P4D was able to check for the correctness of the given answer by pressing the Check button.

Even if quite basic and w/o frippery, it worked as expected and I really enjoyed coding with QtCreator on my Mageia to build something useful and portable in a few hours 🙂

In a couple of weeks, after have asked some classmate for feedbacks, it became clear to me that this kind of tool was nice enough to be published but… how?

To avoid porting, packaging and distribution issues I finally choose to go through the web: I quickly rewrote p4d using PHP and JavaScript, with the precious help provided by the CodeIgniter and jQuery frameworks. P4G (i.e. Paleontology for Geologist) was born 😉

This way also the maintenance becomes definitely a piece of cake 😉

Far from perfection, Paleontology 4 Geologist (P4G) is a simple tool to verify your invertebrate fossils skills. It’s free to use, give it a try 😉

* p4d = Paleontology 4 Dummies

PS: just like any piece of software out there, bugs could be found so feel free to report them using the button Found a bug and reading the instructions; I’ll try to fix them asap. And remember, there’s no warranty

Contributions to Mageia – January 2013


It was another extremely busy month. I wrote part of my thesis and I worked on other projects but, I found the time to maintain a few packages, to add a new one and to work on rpmdragora.


  • merkaartor
  • razorqt-power (
  • qlipper (
  • task-razorqt (arora replaced by qupzilla)


  • josm
  • gpscorrelate
  • merkaartor
  • qlipper (
  • screengrab
  • curtain
  • geis
  • grail
  • trojita
  • libtorrent-rasterbar (freeze-push request)


  • qupzilla

UiAbstraction4mcc (aka AdminPanel)

Some improvement brought to the Privileges module that is now able to use sudo, pam and polkit as backends to let AdminPanel acquire the necessary privileges.

A lot of work has been done on rpmdragora (a rpmdrake port to yui). I’m working to make rpmdragora more gui-indipendent thanks to the yui library. rpmdrake currently uses GTK causing a lot of gtk stuff to be necessarily installed even on a qt-based installation of Mageia.

This is a huge task and it often requires a lot of code rewrite, but I already achieved some good result (see below).

Rpmdragora using ncurses
Rpmdragora using ncurses


rpmdragora using Qt
rpmdragora using Qt



See you next month for a new summary of my activities 😉

Contributions to Mageia – December 2012


It was a difficult time to me so, I’ve upgraded three packages only and maintained some of the already existing ones to address some issue related to gcc-4.7, automake 1.13 and the bleeding new llvm-3.2.

I’ve been also busy translating blog posts for because I’m the only willing to do this job (at least during the last few months) and -maybe- because I’m also the i18n-it team leader.


  • tkgate (
  • curtain (fixed bug similar to mga#7795)
  • qlipper (fixed bug similar to mga#7795)
  • juffed (rebuilt against new qscintilla and patched to solve issue with gcc-4.7)
  • squirrelsh (solved issue with gcc-4.7)
  • gambas3-3.3.4 (fixed compilation against the new llvm 3.2 and the new automake 1.13)


  • gmic-
  • qscintilla-2.7
  • yaflight-0.99.19

Lot of work has been done to improve the community logo, to make the aspect more uniform passing through the cms, the forum and the wiki and -finally- to make the forum accessible using mobile devices (like tablets or smartphones).

Take a look by yourself 😉


See you next month for a new summary of my activities and…

wish you a Happy New Year!

Speeding up APT

As someone knows using multiple connections to download files could be helpful to speed up the upgrading processes (take a look to urpmi).

Apt is definetly a good tool provided by debian, but from this point of view it could be “improved” (see notes below).

Here you can see the way I’ve reduced my download times using only apt, axel and -obviously- bash:

# ( cd /var/cache/apt/archives/ && apt-get -y --print-uris install $package | grep ^' | awk '{print $1}' | xargs -i axel -n 25 -a {} )

Notes: downloading files through multiple connections does not represent the best solution because the increasing number of connections leads to an increased load of the server plus other nasty things. A better way could be a wider usage of debdelta. Take a look to YUM presto plugin.