Making two posts today, the first is all things vaguely Linux related. I got a lovely surprise in my Inbox when I woke up this morning - a mail from Fred Lepied, who I learn has been working on the Mandriva community HCL (Hardware Compatibility List) project that I assumed had been mouldering on some intern's desk. It's reasonably close to completion and the current development version looks excellent. There's some obvious missing features (like a commenting system) and it needs clearer hand-holding and explanations, but the basic structure is there and works really well. I'll be showing it to a few people to get their feedback and I hope we can get it into a state where it's ready for a public test soon. Here's a screenshot to whet appetites:
I updated the site to Wordpress 2.0, without stopping to think this would break my Livejournal syndication plugin. Luckily I found another one which works as well with much less configuration hassle, so all's well that ends well.
Finally, I've been experimenting with audio applications again. I have a lot of music, all stored on my HTPC and shared over the network via NFS. For a long time now I've used Muine as my music player, as it's very simple, has a really nice and unique interface which suits my listening habits (I always listen to complete albums) perfectly, and it seems to keep its index of files up to date more correctly and much faster than any other library-based player I've tried. But Rhythmbox and Banshee have both been touting Exciting Shiny Things like DAAP and inotify support, so I thought I'd give them another shot. I particularly wanted to try out DAAP, which is basically an audio file server protocol. I can't see what, in particular, it gives me over NFS sharing, but hey, it's shiny and popular, and it gives me something pointlessly geeky to do for a few hours, so it can't be bad. I got a DAAP server (mt-daapd) up and running on my HTPC without much trouble, and I know it works, as the machine pops right up in iTunes on my partner's Windows PC, so now I just needed a DAAP player.
Both Rhythmbox and Banshee advertise DAAP client functionality in their latest CVS / SVN. I tried Banshee first. It currently can only use Avahi for zeroconf functionality (which DAAP relies on, being an Apple thing), and Mandriva currently uses mDNSResponder, so I had to spend a half hour arsing around getting Avahi to build and install in such a way that Banshee would notice it. Aaron tells me he's going to implement mDNSResponder support in Banshee over the weekend, so that'll make that unnecessary. Eventually I got Banshee compiled and built with gstreamer 0.10 and DAAP support, but it segfaults when I attempt to play anything, the DAAP plugin refuses to enable, and I noticed it refused to import several of my .oggs for no apparent reason when I tried to build the library. So it looks like that still needs some more cooking time. I then decided to try Rhythmbox, but that one failed right out of the gate: apparently, it can't do gstreamer 0.10 and DAAP at the same time, you have to pick one or the other. (I need gstreamer 0.10 rather than 0.8 due to issues with my new audio hardware: see the next post!) So it seems like my trusty little Muine still can't be beaten for the moment. I'm sure one or the other will get there soon enough, though.