ERT (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation) is the national radio/television organisation of Greece.
ERT recently made available online part of its audio and video archive, at the website http://www.ert-archives.gr/
When browsing the website from Linux, you were blocked with a message that Linux/Unix operating systems are not supported. This message was appearing due to User-Agent filtering. Even if you altered your User-Agent, the page would not show the multimedia.
There has been a heated discussion on this on local mailing lists, with many users sending their personal polite comments to the feedback page at the ERT website. Many individual, personal comments have value and are taken into account.
Σχετικά με υπολογιστές που χρησιμοποιούν λειτουργικό σύστημα Linux σχετικές οδηγίες θα υπάρξουν στο άμεσο μέλλον.
which means that they will be providing instructions for Linux systems in the immediate future.
Going through the HTML code of http://www.ert-archives.gr/ one can see that the whole system would work well under Linux, out of the box, if they could change
<embed id="oMP" name="oMP" width="800" height="430" type="application/x-ms-wmp"
<embed id="oMP" name="oMP" width="800" height="430" type="video/x-ms-wmp"
Firefox, with the mplayerplugin, supports the video/x-ms-wmp streaming format. You can verify if you have it by writing about:plugins in the location bar and pressing Enter. For my system it says
Windows Media Player Plugin
- File name: mplayerplug-in-wmp.so
- mplayerplug-in 3.40Video Player Plug-in for QuickTime, RealPlayer and Windows Media Player streams using MPlayer
MIME Type Description Suffixes Enabled video/x-ms-wmp Windows Media wmp,* Yes
I am not sure if the mplayerplugin package is installed by default in Ubuntu, and I do not know what is the workflow from the message that says that a plugin is missing to the process of getting it installed. If you use the Totem Media Player, it instructs you to download and install the missing packages. I would appreciate your input on this one.
A workaround is to write a Greasemonkey script to replace the string so that Firefox works out of the box. However, the proper solution is to have ERT fix the code.
I must say that I would have preferred to have Totem Movie Player used to view those videos.
I just finished watching a documentary from the 80s about ecology and sustainability of the forests on my Linux system. It is amazing to listen again to the voice-over which is sort of a signature voice for such documentaries of the said TV channel. The screenshot shows goats in a forest, and mentioning the devastating effects of said animals on recently-burnt forests.
Update (22Mar08): The problem has not been resolved yet. Dimitris Diamantis offers a work-around at the Ubuntu-gr mailing list.
OpenOffice.org is one of the most important layers of the open-source stack. Although it does a superb job, we really need to make effort to get more users working on it.
Here we present training notes for the use of Writer, the word processor component of OpenOffice.org. We aim to make the best use of styles by creating well-structured documents. What we show here is built on work of others, including the OpenOffice Linux.com articles by Bruce Byfield, the amazing OpenOffice.org documentation and the spot-on article of Christian Paratschek at osnews.com. Actually, the following follow more or less Christian's article.
When training in OpenOffice.org, it is important to create a fluid workflow that starts from the basics and increases gradually in complexity. It would be great if someone could turn the notes in a training video.
- We start of with running OpenOffice.org Writer. The default windows appears. Compared with other word processors, in OOo we see this text boundary in the document (the dim rectangle that shows the area we can write in). We mention we can show/hide it with View/Text boundaries.
- When creating a document, it is good to set the properties such as Title and Subject. We do that from File/Properties/Description. It may look too much effort now, but it will help us later wherever we want to write the document title or subject. Use Using OpenOffice.org Writer for title and How to write nice document in OpenOffice.org Writer for subject.
- Writer supports styles which makes life much easier. You probably have used styles before; using Heading 1, Heading 2 for headings so that you can create easily the Table of Contents. Writer has a Styles and Formatting window that is accessible from the icon/button near the File menu. The icon looks like a hand clicking on a 3x3 grid. You can also get the windows from Format/Styles and Formatting, or by simply pressing F11. Once you do that, you get a floating window. You can dock it by dragging it to the right edge of the Writer window. If you are into 3D desktop, it may not be easy to dock (it automatically switches to another side of the desktop cube). In this case, use the key combination Ctrl-Shift-F10 to dock the Styles and Formatting window. It is good here to resize the document (that is, change the magnification) so that it appears centered with little empty space around.
- Writer supports styles, not only for Paragraphs (like Heading 1) but also for Pages. See the status bar at the bottom of the Writer window; it mentions Default which is the default page style. When we write a document, the first page is good to have a distinct style that is appropriate to the properties of a first page. This includes, making sure the second page appears empty, the page gets no page numbering and so on. On the Styles and Formating dock we select the Page styles tab and we double-click on the First Page style. This will set the current page to the First Page style, and we can verify visually by looking at the status bar (Now First Page instead of the old Default).
- We are not writing yet; lets create the subsequent pages first. To do so, we insert manual breaks in our document. Click on Insent/Manual Break.../ and select to insert a Page Break. As style for the page after the break choose the Index page style, tick on Change page number, and make sure the numbering starts from 1. Click OK. Proper documents start numbering from the Index page. The Index page is the page we put the Table of Contents, Table of Figures and so on.
- Make sure the cursor is on the new page with the Index style. We need to create a new page break, so that we can get writing the actual document. Click on Insert/Manual Break.../ and select a Page Break. As style for the page after the break you can choose Default. Leave any page numbering settings as is because it inherits from before. Click OK.
- Now, to view what we have achieved, let's go to Print Preview, and choose to see four pages at a time. We can see the first page, another page which is intentionally left blank, the Index page and the Default page. Close Print preview and return to the document.
- Now let's go back to the first page. We want to put the title on the first page. Nothing extravagant, at least yet. What we do is we visit the Paragraph styles and find the Title style. While the cursor is on the first page at the start, we double-click on the Title style. The cursor moves the the center of the document and we can verify that the Title paragraph style has been applied; see on the right of the Styles and Formating icon on the top-left of the Writer window. Shall we write the title of the document now? Not so fast. We can insert the title as a field, because we already wrote it in the properties at the beginning in Step 2. Click Insert/Fields/Title.
- Now press Enter; the cursor moves down and it somehow automatically changes to the Subtitle style. Styles in OpenOffice allow you to choose a Next style (a followup style) and in this case, when someone presses Enter on the Title style, they get a new paragraph in the Subtitle style. While in the line/paragraph with Subtitle style, click on Insert/Field.../Subject. Fields in OpenOffice.org appear with a dark gray background; this does not appear in printing, it is just there to help you identify where the fields are.
- Now lets move to the last page, the page with Default style and write something. Select the Heading 1 paragraph style and type Introduction. Press enter and you notice that the next style is Text body. Text body is the natural paragraph style for text in Writer (most documents have the default Default paragraph style which is wrong). Now write something in Text Body such as I love writing documents in OpenOffice.org Writer. Copy the line and paste several times so that we get a nice paragraph of at least five lines. Make sure when pasting that after a full stop there should be a single space, then the new sentence starts.
- Press Enter and now we are ready to add a new heading. Type Writing documents and set the Heading 1 paragraph style. Press Enter and fill up a paragraph with more of I love writing documents in OpenOffice.org Writer.
- Press Enter and create a new section (add a Heading 2, name it Writing documents in style and fill up a corresponding paragraph).
- Press Enter and create a last section (add a Heading 1, name it Conclusion, and fill up a corresponding paragraph style).
- Now we are ready to place the cursor at the Index page we created before, and go for the Table of Contents. Click on Insert/Indexes and Tables/Indexes and Tables. The default index type is Table of Contents. We keep the default settings and click OK. We get a nice looking table of contents.
- At this stage we have a complete basic document, with first page, index page and default page.
The next set of steps include more polishing and adding extra elements to our document.
- The text body style is configured to have the left alignment by default. Normally, one would select paragraphs and click on a paragraph alignment button on the toolbar to change the alignment. Because we are using styles, we can modify the Text Body style to have another alignment, and presto the whole document with text in the same style follow suit. In the Styles and Formating dock, at the paragraph styles tab, select the Text Body style. Right-click on the Text Body style and choose to Modify style. Find the Alignment tab and choose Justified as the new alignment for Text Body paragraphs. Click Ok and observe the document changing to the new configuration.
- It is nice to the section numbers on the headings, such as 2.1 Writing documents in style. To do this, we need to change the default outline numbering. Click on Tools/Outline numbering... and select to modify the numbering for all levels (under Level, click 1-10). Then, under the Numbering group, change the Number option from the default None to 1, 2, 3, .... Click OK and the number is changed in the document.
- Go back to the Table of Contents. You notice that the numbering format does not look nice; some section numbers are too close to the section names. To fix, right click on the gray area of the table of contents and select Edit Index/Table. In the new dialog box, select the Entries tab. Under Structure and Formatting you can see the structure of each line of line in the table of contents table. The button labeled E# is the placeholder for the chapter number. After that there is a placeholder that you can actually type text. In our case we simply click and press the space bar to add another space. We then click the All button and finally click OK. Now, all entries in the Table of contents will have a space between the chapter number and chapter title.
- In order to add a footer with the current page number, click on Insert/Footer and pick Index, then Default. Both the Index and the Default style of pages get to show page numbers. Then, place the cursor in the footer area and Insert/Field/Page Number. You can modify the Footer paragraph style so that the text alignment is centered. You have to insert the field in both an Index page and a Default page.
- The page number in the Index page is commonly shown in Roman lowercase numbers. How can we fix that? We simply have to modify the Index page style accordingly; click on the Page Styles tab in Styles and Formatting, click to modify the Index page style, and at the Page tab in Layout Settings select the i, ii, iii, ... format. Click OK.
- It would be nice to have the title on the header of each page, either Index or Default. Click on Insert/Header and add a header for Index and Default. Then, place the cursor in the header for both styles and click to add the Title field (Insert/Field/Title). Would it be nice to put a line under the header? The header text has the Header paragraph style. In the Styles and Formatting, click the Paragraph styles tab and select the Header paragraph style. Right-click and choose to Modify. In the Borders tab enable a bottom line and click OK.
You can download this sample document (.odt) from the link Using OpenOffice.org Writer.
I'll stop here for now. There are more to put such as Table of Figures, Index of Tables and Bibliography.
It would be good to leave feedback if there is interest to work on this direction.
Update 15Mar2008: This appears to be a Farsi translation/adaptation of the article.
One more initiative by Google to reach out to the community and promote free and open-source software is the The Google Highly Open Participation Contest 2007/2008.
The purpose of the competition is to enable young students older than 13 years old but have not entered yet the tertiary education, to participate in open-source development.
There are ten projects to choose to work from, one of which is GNOME, the desktop environment found in Linux distributions such as Ubuntu Linux and Fedora.
The current list of items to work on for GNOME include several documentation and translation tasks. If there is interest to work on the Greek localisation, leave a comment at this post. The direction I propose is to help with translating the documentation of GNOME applications.
Open-source software progresses by having more people contributing. This effort by Google and also previous efforts (Google Summer of Code) help tremendously towards the wider participation.
Last year we talked about the Take Back The Tech, an initiative by the Association for Progressive Communications, Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) to stop violence against women with the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), that took place between the 25th November and the 10th December. The same initiative runs this year during the same days (25th November to 10th December). At the time of writing this the event is at Day 8 of the 16-day event.
Violence Against Women (VAW) can also be perpetrated through the use of ICT (such as being a victim of targeted spyware or malicious online intimidation). Therefore, a better use of ICT (Take Back The Tech!) would help mitigate online-related VAW and reclaim the control of technology.
Here is the announcement for this year,
ka-BLOG! TAKE BACK THE TECH!
25 Nov to 10 Dec
ka-BLOG! Calling all bloggers to contaminate the blogosphere with
activism on VAW for 16 days.
ka-BLOG is a 16-day blog fest for the Take Back the Tech Campaign. It
is open to anyone and everyone - girls, boys, everyone beyond and more
-- who want to share their thoughts on violence against women, and how
online communications can exacerbate or help eliminate VAW.
We welcome bloggers in different languages!
ka-BLOG with us
For more information, go http://www.takebackthetech.net, or email jac
AT apcwomen DOT org
[FYI. In Filipino slang, "ka-BLOG" would mean someone you blog with.]