Association Subscribers Manager and Open source stuffs

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Saturday 26 February 2011

Kurabu (a.k.a Association Subscribers Manager) development progress

Hi,

it seems that I do not communicate enough about Kurabu's progress, so I will gladly do more !

The current work is mainly concentrated on 2 points :

  • re-organize the code into libraries (libKurabuCore and libKurabuGui at the moment)
  • finish the 2 main interfaces (Addon and most importantly Storage)

Outside of those subjects, there is many aspects of the code that I try (hard !) to smash down, like all the legacy code that comes from previous versions (PerlQt or C++/Qt3) but the code clean might not be that easy to do (given the quantity of code to clean...). There is also a handful of addon I want to make : one for Alkimia and one for statistics at minimum.

You can see the main tasks advancement on Sourceforge's TaskFreak.

Have fun,
Arnaud Dupuis

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Advice required: Kurabu/Assuma's StorageInterface

Hi,

First of all, sorry for not giving life signs. Like Everyone I have a busy life and sometime it takes me more energy than I have to code after going home very late.

That said, the purpose of this blog post is to require our great community to share some of its might with me. In Kurabu (was Association Subscribers Manager) 3.3 I have redesigned the storage method to be able to add many storage capacities (Databases, cloud, Akonadi, etc.) but I am currently struggling with a design flaw/issue : Kurabu/Assuma is based on XML files (many XML files like : subscribers list, postal codes/city equivalence tables, fee details, etc.) and it looks very odd to put all those files in one big interface (and it is not that easy because of the wide variety of files AND because of some design errors I made early in the conception). So I am facing a dilemma : should I let the legacy code for current XML based files like that and use the new Kurabu::Core::StorageInterface only for new storage methods (and advice users to switch to SQLite for example) or should I put lots of effort in making my old and not-so-well-designed XML file based code fit my new abstraction ?

If you have an advice please let me know, you can contact me through comments, IRC (Arno[Slack]@Freenode), mail (a dot dupuis [the sign that embodies email] infinityperl dot org), Twitter (ArnaudDupuis) or Skype for those of you that already have my Skype user name.

Arnaud Dupuis

Monday 3 January 2011

Kurabu (a.k.a Association Subscribers Manager) 3.3.0 recent progress

Hi,

it's been a long time since I posted an update about Kurabu (Association Subscribers Manager or Assuma for short). So here is a digest of what recently changed and what will be include in the 3.3.0 release :

  • Association Subscribers Manager changes name to Kurabu (pronounce "kulabu" or "klabu", it's the Japanese pronunciation for "club"), it's a quicker and less taken name...
  • The storage mechanism have been completely rewrite now working on a data source plugin base. The 3.3.0 release will ship with the XML and database storage plugins.
  • The plugin architecture was greatly improved too and is now much more useful !
  • The user interface was reworked too and particularly the information panel.
  • AssumaEffect will no longer be used in favour of the QtAnimation framework.
There is more to come but if you know everything it's no fun ! As you see it will be a major update that will bring lots of new features and improvements. This version also mark the beginning of developments for KDE SC compatibility. This and the addon system are good basis to include the work of the KDE Finance Apps group on Alkimia.

Arnaud Dupuis.

Friday 1 October 2010

Kurabu (a.k.a Association Subscribers Manager) new stuff : the script to create addon base code

Hi,

with Kurabu 3.3 the add-on (or plug-in) system is finally complete. There is still work to do though but it is usable right now (even from the trunk). And since I hope to see many add-ons for Kurabu (and because I plan to write quite a lot myself) I just putted on the SVN a script to help developers to create a add-on.

Kurabu's add-ons can be ECMA script (a.k.a QtScript) or binary one, the init-kurabu-addon.pl script can create both of them. This little Perl script create for you the directory structure, the addon.xml file and all needed code files with sample code inside. What the current version lack is the ability to fine tune what the developer wants for binary add-ons (like if the add-on should have a menu entry, an entry in the previewer's add-on menu , both or none, etc.). The current Kurabu's add-on system do not allow script to have a menu entry but I'll correct that before the release (it is now on the TODO list ^^).

If you want to try this script, just update the SVN code and run it ! It is here /trunk/association_subscribers_manager/tools/init-kurabu-addon.pl. The embed documentation is sufficient for you to understand how to use this command line tool.

Enjoy !

Arnaud Dupuis

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Kurabu (a.k.a Association Subscribers Manager) 3.3 and AndroBuzz progresses

Hi,

just a quick post to keeps you informed : I'm working on Kurabu and AndroBuzz but I also have a huuuuge amount of work from my job, so if you add my family that I want to see when I come back from work I have not too much time to work on my FOSS projects. But I'm working on them, specifically I am polishing the plugin system in Kurabu (Association Subscribers Manager) and I will find this last dman bug in AndroBuzz sync provider !

The release of Kurabu (Association Subscribers Manager) 3.3 will also be the occasion for the new website to go live, so considering my skills when it comes to web... It might take some time ;-)

Arnaud Dupuis

Sunday 1 August 2010

How to build a cheap yet powerful media center

Hi all,

this post will give you my recipe to build a cheap and powerful GNU/Linux based media center. I am perfectly aware of the fact that many tutorials and howto exists around the interweb and certainly explains things far better I will do. Anyway this one could be of any use to you, the g33k with many spare parts left over from your previous computer.

This post will be updated as time pass. Indeed I have not yet all needed parts to build my ultimate media center, and I will make this howto as comprehensive and complete as possible.

Some context

Context is useful for you to see if you can learn something for your own use from this post, so :

I have many of my old computers at home, some are used as servers, some are my sandboxes, etc. I have one specifically which is a file server (NFS+Samba). It is mainly used to store multimedia content (family pictures and videos, movies, music, etc.). At this point, my thoughts were : "and what if I connect it to our TV set ?". So be it ! After some test and researches on the web, I came with the idea of using XBMC as it is by far the most advanced and optimized one. I will develop the media center software choice later.

The computer I talk about is a pretty old one : AMD Athlon XP 3000+, ATI Radon HD 3650 (AGP), 1 GB RAM. You can tell  that I can't play 1080p movies with this settings. That is not a problem since it just to validate the concept that I use this computer. I mention it because their is still things to learn from this one.

A word about interoperability and "user friendliness" : we have GNU/Linux and Mac OS X computers at home. So the file server shares directories with NFS (files) and Samba (files and printers). We also want to access multimedia content through our mobile devices (EeePC with Fedora 13, Android devices, iPhone and MacBook Air). Multimedia content is shared in DLNA through uShare.

To sum this up : we pretty much want a full feature all inclusive media box connected to our TV set and accessible from any devices on the home network.

1 - Choice of a media center software

This is the tricky part : you have to figure out you needs, and like all clients in the world you don't know what you really want :-)

Let me help you with my list to that big old Santa. I want to :

  • play all my multimedia content (photo, movies, music) on my TV set (far bigger than my computer one) ;
  • be able to put and retrieve (multimedia) files on my file server ;
  • be able to watch my last Fairy Tail episode on my Nexus One from the bottom of my bed ;
  • allow my Apple fan girl of wife to enjoy all those features on her damn closed Apple's products ;
  • share the home printer/scanner ;
  • enjoy online content like YouTube or Shoutcast radio ;
  • read my RSS feeds on my TV set (geek inside) ;
  • read my email on my TV set (the geek always strike twice).

Moreover, I have to think that the computer I use to validate the usefulness of this media center is a old one. So I want a really optimized software to be able to enjoy at last 720p movies.

Important point : I don't care about watching TV. I have a HD optic fiber connected set top box from my ISP that do this job very well, I don't want to double or replace those features. I only want a single point of entry for all the medias that are stored across my home network.

With this list in mind what are the media center software that are available to fulfill my needs ? It is important to note that I want an all integrated solution : no customization of VLC or MPlayer, no KDE desktop (as beautiful it is) with shortcuts to media directories and media players. I want something that do all my required features in one place and I want to be able to boot on it directly.

Elisa / Moovida :

I tested Elisa some time ago and I liked the interface and features available, so I went and tested it again. The interface is quite nice and it does pretty much all what you want/need from a media center. Problem is : for GNU/Linux distribution their is no packages nor sources available for version 2.0 (only 1.0.9 available). Their is one more issue to me : it is absolutely impossible to use it on my "pre-prod" computer. It is super slow (maybe Python have something to do with that ^^) and I can't even play the standard DivX (no high resolution, only standard SD movie).

So it was a no go for this one.

GeexBox

GeexBox is a media center I discovered during my quest for the ultimate media center application. This one literally rocks ! It have unique features that makes it fit my needs almost perfectly : it is able to share its content through UPnP, it can play many multimedia content, it supports SHOUTcast and NFS, it also have a unique feature : bookstore. This one allows you to read on your TV set (or whatever monitor you plug to your media center box) online content like onemanga.com. Please note that GeexBox is a full distribution, to get the media center only you want to look at Enna.

I like the interface and the features so this one could do it. But there some issues : not being able to share content with anything else but FTP is a big missing feature in my use cases. GeexBox could also be really improved by adding a plugin system (at least, I am not aware of any plugin system in GeexBox).

A special mention goes to this media center since it provides many tools for others to works great (like libdlna, uShare, etc.).

XBMC

Now for XBMC. As you read before : this is the one I choose. It can do every single thing I wrote in my whish list ! It is a really feature rich media center, and thanks to its extension system it can be made even more feature complete ! It looks like the perfect software to me : easy to use and beautiful (my wife will like it !). It is also highly tunable and extensible (lil' geek inside already like it !!). Over all, XBMC have gorgeous themes that makes it a very nice choice for something that is in the middle of my lounge. Have a look to the Confluence default theme, to the Aeon theme or to the theme/skins gallery. XBMC also have a really useful feature in my context, it is called XBMC standalone. When you use this mode, XBMC acts as a window manager. Use this with auto-login and you will have something really user friendly (I start my media center as I would have start my Blu-Ray player).

On the performance side, even if the Aeon theme is not really usable on my pre-prod configuration (it is full HD 1080p so I never expected it to works anyway), the Confluence default theme runs just great. Even the last development version taken from the SVN runs smooth (I had to tweak the compilation process a little but I'll describe this later).

Freevo

It would not be fair not to mention Freevo. It looks like an excellent media center... but I have not test it. Why ? Because I might have do a little segregation against it : as soon as I saw "Python powered" it reminded me the Elisa/Moovida experience. So in fear of bad performances I did not test it. That said, from what I can see on the website it recommends only NVidia cards and I have an ATI/AMD one. There is few screenshots available (note to the Freevo team : you should really makes more screenshots your challengers are well recognized and provides there future users with many medias to tease them) and from what I can see it is much less appealing than XBMC or GeexBox (even if it is the GeexBox team that made the main theme for Freevo).

In the other hand it seems to be very feature rich, actually it is probably one of the most feature rich Open Sources media center. No wonder why it is widely used. With a nice interface like XBMC for example (OpenGL, etc.) it would be the killer choice (given the fact the performances are corrects). Do not restrain from trying it, it looks like it will do a lot of good for you. The documentation is a bit outdated (with OpenSUSE don't bother reading it if you have packman repository it is packaged).

Final choice

Like I said previously my choice goes to XBMC for both features and a very appealing UI. Moreover the HTTP remote control, Android remote and iPhone remote allows me to drop all mouses/keyboards.

2 - Installing XBMC

Now that the one have been chosen, we need to install it. On GNU/Linux based distributions you always have two options : the easy way and the hard one.  Let's go through both of them.

The easy way: use your GNU/Linux distribution's package manager

So you are a sweet one, you want to go the easy way ? Ok let's see what you have to do. First you want to go to the page that is dedicated on Linux installation on XBMC wiki. But since, I am a nice guy let's see how to install it on OpenSUSE (10.3) and Fedora (13).

Let's start with Fedora (the easiest), simply type :

sudo yum -y install xbmc

That's it ! Off course you can do it with your favorite yum UI too. Last time I checked though, the HTTP remote control was not enable... Quite a bit of a problem to me and my Android remote...

For the OpenSUSE it's almost as simple, you just have to ensure that you enabled the packman repository. If not, go to Yast2 -> Manage repositories/sources (or whatever the real name is...) -> add a community repository -> select Packman in the list. By the way this is also here that you get some nice repositories like AMD and NVidia's proprietary drivers for your video card (that you need to run XBMC properly). Once this is done just type :

sudo zypper in xbmc

And you are good to go. Obviously, you can also stay in Yast2 and install XBMC from the UI. Who said Linux was complicated ?

The hard way : compile it yourself

Ok, you're a tough guy, ye' wanna go fer da hard way. You're damn right : bounty earned in suffering tastes better ;-)

Actually, XBMC is not that much of a problem to compile... Given the fact your CPU support SSE2 instructions... which is not the case of my old Athlon. Anyway, I prefer the SVN version over any sources because it's more unstable... Hu, I mean : because you got cutting edges developments. One of the things I wanted from the sources was VDPAU rendering (please note that official sources do it very well too, you are not forced to use SVN version). This allow us - NVidia accelerators owners - to use the specially optimized hardware acceleration in XBMC. It makes a huge difference with your typical SD DivX. So... without further ado, here is a step by step howto get and compile XBMC from sources.

The GNU/Linux distribution used is an OpenSUSE 11.3 installed from KDE Live CD. This precision is for the dependencies : you might not need to install them all. Anyway, you should read XBMC's official HOWTO compile XBMC it have many distributions specific howtos and it covers 64 bits compilation that I don't. The following guide is a super-quick super-condensed version. So, first things comes first : install the required dependencies :

zypper in make cmake autoconf automake gcc gcc-c++ boost-devel python-devel python-sqlite2 dbus-1-devel gperf gcc-fortran unzip zip unrar nasm libavahi-devel  SDL-devel SDL_image-devel SDL_mixer-devel jpegint-devel audiofile-devel fontconfig-devel freetype2-devel fribidi-devel glibc-devel hal-devel libbz2-devel libstdc++-devel libexpat-devel glib2-devel libjasper-devel libjpeg-devel mad-devel libmikmod-devel libmms-devel libogg-devel nvidia-vdpau-devel libopenssl-devel sqlite3-devel libstdc++-devel libpng-devel libtre-devel e2fsprogs-devel libvorbis-devel lzo-devel pcre-devel libenca-devel libpulse-devel libfaac-devel ccache xorg-x11-devel Mesa-devel dbus-1-devel glew-devel alsa-devel libmysqlclient-devel libcurl-devel zlib-devel xmms-devel ftgl-devel libcdio-devel libtool libsamplerate-devel libfaad-devel flac-devel libsmbclient-devel libtiff-devel enca-devel libwavpack-devel libmpeg2-devel libmicrohttpd-devel libmodplug-devel libdvdcss-devel  yasm yasm-devel libass-devel libtool gettext gettext-devel libmad0 libmad-devel

Of course, nvidia-vdpau-devel is only in the case you own a NVidia 3D accelerator. 

From SVN trunk

Checkout XBMC sources from SVN (at the moment I write this post you can read the following sentence on XBMC's irc channel on Freenode: "Addons branch merged, stay <= r28276 for a while! You've been warned!") :

svn co https://xbmc.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/xbmc/trunk/ xbmc/

Once this is done, cd into the newly created xbmc/ directory and boostrap the sources :

./bootstrap

Then it's time for configure :

./configure --enable-mid --disable-debug --disable-pulse --prefix=/usr --enable-ffmpeg-libvorbis --disable-ccache  --enable-vdpau

Again, VDPAU is for NVidia users only. Use this switch if you want XBMC to use the NVidia boards' hardware acceleration. Once configure is done, build the code :

make -j3

The -jX option ask make to run X concurrent jobs, usually you set the number of your processor core plus one (on my Core i7 with 4 hyperthreaded core, I will use -j9 for example). You are now ready to install XBMC :

su -c "make install"

And you are done ! The only thing that still remains is to configure your box to log in automatically on XBMC and to configure XBMC to your tastes.

A note for people with hardware that don't support SSE2 instructions (like my Athlon 3000+), you have to disable SSE2 support in libsquish the quick (and dirty) way is to comment the SSE2 instructions usage in the xbmc/lib/libsquish/Makefile.in file.

From SVN Dharma branch

Checkout the Dharma branch :

svn checkout https://xbmc.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/xbmc/branches/Dharma

And everything else is the same that for the trunk. At the moment, I strongly advise you to use this branch over the trunk !

3 - Some configuration / Hints

This part is not meant to be exhaustive, I will just give hints but I will not go through all XBMC's options and I will not explain how to do things on 350 GNU/Linux distributions (go to XBMC wiki for that ^^).

3.1 - File server / organization

In my case the media center is also a file server, I use Yast2 to configure Samba and NFS to do the job. I have a user (mediabox) which is dedicated to the media center purpose. In his home directory I have a Medias sub-directory which looks like that :

Some explanations might not be required but I'll give them anyway :

  • Images : main folder for all our pictures
  • Incoming : unsorted media files
  • Music : all the music we have
  • Users : a storage directory for home network users
  • Videos : quite obvious... this is were we put videos (DVD/BR rips, vacations movies, etc.)
This Medias directory is the one shared on our home network.

3.2 - XBMC

OpenSUSE allows me to specify a user to auto log-in, I choose my mediabox user and, that is a wonderful feature of XBMC, I choose xbmc-standalone as default session. Now I can boot my media box like I boot my bluray player (well my box is actually more quick to boot that my BR player...).

In XBMC you have to add location for your multimedia content, for example for videos I have a Movies folder, go to the video item, push right (on your keyboard or remote), choose "files" and browse to select the "Movies" folder (or whatever yours is). Then select a category (Film in my case) and a scrapper, don't forget to check the "auto scan" and "recursive scan" box. I tend to prefer IMdb of thetvdb for movies. This possibility is amazing because you can set a scrapper per folder. In my case I have standard English spoken movies and French movies. I use a different scrapper for French movies (Cine-passion) for better metadata. Do the same for all your multimedia content (if you watch animes, try the ANIdb.net scrapper ^^).

In case no metadata or episodes are found for your series, please remember that XBMC needs your series episodes torespect one of those naming conventions :

  • Serie Name - S<Season number>E<Episode number>.<extension>
  • Serie Name - <Season number>x<Episode number>.<extension>
For example, the Death Note episode 3 should be name either "Death Note - S01E03.mkv" or "Death Note - 1x03.mkv".

If your movies are not correctly detected, put them in a directory (the name doesn't really matter) that contains your movie and a file with the same name as your movie but with nfo extension and put the IMdb link to this movie in the nfo file. For example, I put beowulf.mkv into the beowulf folder together with the beowulf.nfo file that contains the correct link to IMdb... Because in this case a particularly sad misunderstanding could occur...

3.3 - Remote control

A word now on remote control, XBMC can be controlled by external programs. I personally use the official XBMC Android Remote, this one have many feature, is officially developed by XBMC developers (many thanks to them !) and even if it is still a beta it is really stable and efficient. On iPhone, there is no equivalent but there is some nice stuff too. For example the highest rated one (when you search for xbmc remote in the AppStore) is not free but is almost as good as the Android version (not quite though). 

You can get the XBMC Android Remote on the market. Here is the QR-Code :

You can also remote control your XBMC by pointing your browser at your media center's address on the port you selected in XBMC settings (default: 8080).

4 - Building a cheap hardware base

Now that we have the software and since my pre-production install proved to me that the concept was worth the effort, it is time to build a decent box to use this and play all my multimedia content !

My main concerns for this box are :

  1. cost efficiency (less than 350 € is a requirement)
  2. performances (we want to be able to play HD content)
  3. silence
Although I tried to make the box relatively small it was not in my main concerns list (I already have many computer at home so... one more, one less...).

One of my point was to re-use some of my existing (but not used anymore) parts (like the spare NVidia GeForce 8800 GTS2 I have or the two 2TB seagate barracuda that are in my desk). So far what I needed was : a case, a motherboard, a CPU, some RAM memory and a silent power supply. I already own the other parts (but don't worry I will give you some hints with the price of those parts if they were to buy).

My hardware supplier is the excellent webmerchant Materiel.net, if you are not in France or Belgium you cannot use them but the prices should not change that much. So here we go :

Motherboard + RAM + CPU : upgrade kit (Intel Pentium E5400 2,70 GHz, MSI P45T-C51,2xG.Skill 1 GO DDRII PC6400) => 182.99 €
Power supply : Cooler Master Silent Pro 500W => 72.49 €
Case : Fractal Design Define R2 => 92.49 €
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total : 347.97 € (Google says ~ 460 US $)

The case is a bit of a luxury item but silence being on my top 3 concerns it is worth the price. If you have to buy a HDD and a video card I will advice you to choose the WD Caviar Green 1TB (62.99 €) and the Asus EAH5450 Silent (74.99 €). Both of them are silent, powerful enough for a media center and power efficient (spare your power tab ^^). In this case the box is a little bit expensive (if silence is not much a requirement for you, you can save some money on the case and video card) but it is still less than a pre-made box of this type. Moreover this box will be a file server, other cannot be that easily transformed into a file server.

5 - Conclusion

While it took some time to write this post, it is not that long to have this kind of media center up and running. I cannot imagine go back without now that I have it, I digitalize all my content and watch everything from my anime to my baby picture on it. Moreover, if your box is makes enough silent, believe me the Women Acceptance Factor is quite strong (given the fact you wife/girlfriend like to watch multimedia content).

I will update this post with more hints if asked in comments and I will add a description of our real usage of this after a week or two using it.

I hope you will enjoy reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it !

Arnaud Dupuis

Sunday 4 July 2010

/back !

Hi,
after what seems to be an entire year, I'm back online !! You can't imagine how long it is until you actually are unwired...
On my Open Source duties my first priority is to aggregate contributions to Association Subscribers Manager with my own code and then commit all those to the trunk.
My second priority is to get a working version of AndroBuzz to the Android Market. This project is not going fast enough and I will do my share to accelerate things here :-)


On all this things, do not expect as much code as I use to produce : I now realyze that a baby is a hell of a project to contribute ! It takes so much time I sometime wonder if it's not an exclusive process !

Arnaud Dupuis

Sunday 13 June 2010

/away

Hi,

I will be unavailable for some time since I just moved and have no internet access in my new flat yet.

Arnaud Dupuis

Sunday 23 May 2010

Back online !!

Hi,

I've been away from my online life for some time now (let's say about one month and a half), there is a pretty good reason : my wife and I spawned a new child process ! That's great news, fun and all but... It takes time !! Lot's of time ! And since it's our first baby we kind of discovering things :-)

Anyway I now can resume my online activities starting with AndroBuzz: Google made huge updates to the API and we have to keep up with that !

My second priority is Association Subscribers Manager: I have many things to do starting with database support and Akonadi integration. I also have to keep up with the KDE Finance Apps group's mailing list.

My red-top-ultra-number-one task will be to unstack my 8946 unread mails and answer most of them (sorry if I have not answered your mail by now).

On the bright side I now have Froyo up and running on my Nexus One :D

Arnaud Dupuis

Thursday 22 April 2010

KDE Finance Stack Spring Sprint meeting

Hi folks !

First, sorry for my long silence after Association Subscribers Manager v3.2 release. I recently got a new job and it's tiring... A lot !

Anyway ! From friday to sunday is held the first sprint of the KDE Finance Stack community in Franckfurt, and I'll be there. We'll discuss many things and I'll keeps you informed during the whole thing. Make sure to watch Twitter for the really hot news ;-)

Arnaud Dupuis

Sunday 11 April 2010

Association Subscribers Manager v3.2 is out !

I am very pleased to announce the immediate availability of Association Subscribers Manager 3.2 codename "Frenchies" !
This one is a major bugfixe version and feature improvement of Association Subscribers Manager.
I want to thanks particularly all testers and bug reporters that helps me make this version, particularly : Sandra Spadaccini and Max Buttjer. They helped a lot by testing the Mac OS X and Windows versions. They reported many bugs and helped a lot to improve some critical features like the custom fields.
I also want to welcome a new contributor : Nicolas Lécureuil. He is taking care of the Mandriva package.
As everyone may see there is a lot of French peoples that helped for this release, so this 3.2 version have a codename and it's all to their glory ! You will find another proof of my gratitude when you will launch Association Subscribers Manager !
You can download packages and installer at :
https://sourceforge.net/projects/assuma/files/
You can report bugs and ask for new features at:
http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=211536
You can also visit the website for more information :
http://www.associationsubscribersmanager.org
Twitter live feed is at:
http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23AssumaProject
Here is a list of the main changes :
Association Subscribers Manager version 3.2
 - changes layout of the subscribers summary/subscribers edit zone
 - made little update to the default theme styles
 - modify the subscriber's tooltip behaviour : now when dues column are hidden, the tooltip do not show the warning about them anymore
 - modify the search widget to make it more customizable by allowing the select and search into any fields (regular or custom)
 - add Mac OS X support
 - add support for compressed XML (for postal codes only at the moment)
 - fix a bug with postal codes (application was asking to add postal code/city couples even if they were empty)
 - add support for custom fields' in-place custom editor in the main view
 - fix a bug in passive popup display (they were sometime bigger than the application)
 - fix custom fields problems fix translations
Association Subscribers Manager is available as a source package (GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, BSD*, Windows, require a compiler), binary package for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.
Enjoy !
Arnaud Dupuis

Sunday 28 March 2010

Association Subscribers Manager updates and next release

Hi,

The next release of Association Subscribers Manager is on its way ! It was originally the 3.1.1 wich was planned but I received so much help, suggestions and feature request that, without implementing one of the initially planned features for 3.2, I just can't release a 3.1.1 version ! It is far from being just a patch release, this one will feature some major features enhancements :

  • Mac OS X support (at last !)
  • some UI changes
  • bugfixes (some unbelivably got through previous bug hunting and where quite huge !)
  • a completly reworked search widget
  • an global behaviour update
Quite some things that were asked by users directly since the 3.1 version was released. The 3.2 release is due for friday the 2nd of April. If you are using the shared Google calendar for Association Subscribers Manager's release you might already know, else you can visit http://www.associationsubscribersmanager.org in the Roadmap section to view and subscribe to this calendar.

Enjoy !

Arnaud Dupuis

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Helping a cousin project : lemonPOS (©Guillaume De Bure)

Lemon POS screens

Following other people from the KDE Finance Apps group (like Guillaume), I will help a great project to get some vision on the Web/KDE planet (when I finally got aggregated... or not...) : Lemon POS.

Lemon POS is the only Open Source Point Of Sale software I am aware of and it looks like something really interesting to me. I think that if you are running a small or medium business you should definetly try this out ! Lemon POS is KDE 4.x powered and thus looks very beautiful in addition to be useful and just this should makes you think twice about this... When I see how hugly POS software usually are... It almost makes your eyes bleed !

Anyway give it a try and visit the Lemon POS homepage !

Arnaud Dupuis

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Association Subscribers Manager under Sourceforge's lights

Hi,

A bit after the Association Subscribers Manager v3.1 release, I was contacted by Lee Schlesinger from Sourceforge.net for an interview about Association Subscribers Manager. The result of this interview is available here:

http://sourceforge.net/blog/along-comes-association-subscribers-manager/

You can learn some fresh things about the futur of Association Subscribers Manager. Speaking of that, I currently have a very interesting conversation with a French association (I'll put the link in the comment after asking for the permission) and the person I'm talking with have lots of good ideas that will be implemented in the next release (mostly because I should have had those ideas before the release).

Enjoy !

Arnaud Dupuis

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Association Subscribers Manager v3.1 is out !

I am very pleased to announce the immediate availability of Association Subscribers Manager 3.1 !
This one is a major bugfixe version and feature improvement of Association Subscribers Manager.
I want to particularly thanks all testers for their feedback and welcome a new member in the team : Márcio Moraes.
You can download packages and installer at :
https://sourceforge.net/projects/assuma/files/
You can report bugs and ask for new features at:
http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=211536
You can also visit the website for more information :
http://www.associationsubscribersmanager.org
Here is a list of the main changes :
Association Subscribers Manager version 3.1
 - add theme feature
 - add custom fields feature
 - add more compilation macros to help packagers
 - huge settings system code rewrite to make it simplier
 - GUI changes to reflect settings update
 - fix a bug wich was refreshing the edit fields and the main list view many times, causing the keyboard cursor to be sent at the end of an edit line at each typed characters
 - fix a character encoding problem in mail sending
 - fix and improve the updater/download manager
Association Subscribers Manager is available as a source package (GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, BSD*, Windows, require a compiler), binary package for Linux and windows installer.
Enjoy !
NOTE: more packages are to come in the upcoming hours/days.

Tuesday 9 February 2010

Association Subscribers Manager v3.1 new release date

  Hi,

after a look at the auto-updater issue, I found out that the problem is deeper than I first thought. Mainly built on the QHttp class, this updater's architecture is old and poorly done. I will re-code it before releasing anything.

So the new (estimated) release date is the 22th of February. This date is a maximum and I could release it before if the work is finished and tested earlier.

Arnaud Dupuis

Monday 8 February 2010

Association Subscribers Manager v3.1 release delayed

Hi,

Due to issues in the auto-updater, the release of Association Subscribers Manager is delayed at least until tomorrow. Stay tuned for more informations.

Arnaud Dupuis

Friday 29 January 2010

New feature in 3.1: splitted user settings

Hi,

Today I will continue to unveil Association Subscribers Manager new features. Actually it is not really a new feature, it is more an improvement.

Anyway, settings was sure a hard part in previous version of Association Subscribers Manager, until now ! Started with the 3.1 version, ladies and gentlemen, behold the new simplicity of the settings system ! Basically settings have been splitted in two : association settings and application ones. They are both accessible through the toolbar.

The idea is to make users life more simple by presenting only relevant informations. What I mean is : when you want to add a new activity with new fees, you do not really care about the locales of the application. So even if the amount of options have not decrease (actually, with custom fields, it increased) the settings system is more easy to use. Mainly because there is now only 3 or 4 tabs of settings instead of 8 !

That is certainly not the killing feature of the 3.1 version of Association Subscribers Manager but it sure will make life easier for many people. Here is some screenshots of the new settings organisation :

Application settings:

(please note that in those screenshots Association Subscribers Manager was not compiled with the updater support so the "Updates" tab is missing).

Association settings:


Enjoy !

Arnaud Dupuis

Monday 25 January 2010

Association Subscribers Manager v3.1 BETA1 released

Hi,

The first beta version of Association Subscribers Manager version 3.1 have just been released ! Has usual, you can find files and bug tracker/feature requests tracker at :

You can download packages and installer at :
https://sourceforge.net/projects/assuma/files/

You can report bugs and ask for new features at:
http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=211536

This version features many changes and the most important are:

  • add theme feature
  • add custom fields feature
  • add more compilation macros to help packagers
  • huge settings system code rewrite to make it simpler
  • GUI changes to reflect settings update
  • many bugfixes
I would like to use this release announcement to welcome and thanks Márcio Moraes for his work on the Brazilian Portuguese translation. He is the new official maintainer of this translation. Welcome aboard matey !

For the moment only the source packages is available, windows and GNU/Linux installers will comes later. As usual, this beta version's translation and documentation are not up-to-date, they will be in the stable release 2 weeks from now.

Enjoy !

Arnaud Dupuis & the Association Subscribers Manager team.

Sunday 24 January 2010

New feature in 3.1: Custom fields

Hi,

First of all, happy birthday blog ! This is the 100th post of this blog ! Woohoo ! Ok then if it's a birthday I have to come with something big and nice... Let's say custom fields in Association Subscribers Manager !

The first beta version of Association Subscribers Manager v3.1 will be out in few hours and will have a long requested feature : custom fields. The principle is that there is a bunch of pre-defined fields in Association Subscribers Manager and they cover a large scale of classical associations/clubs needs, but they certainly cannot covers for all the needs of every users. So for this users, it is now possible to add user defined fields and to use them like any other fields in Association Subscribers Manager.

Custom fields can be of many types:

  • "One line text" : create a one line input field (based on a QLineEdit)
  • "Multiple line text" : create a multiple line input field (based on a QTextEdit)
  • "Date selector" : create a date input field with popup calendar (based on a QDateEdit)
  • "Ok/Not ok combobox" : create a yes/no combo box with editable label (based on QComboBox)
  • "Multiple value selector" : create a free combo box with customizable items (also based on a QComboBox)
  • "Fee field" : create a fee input field, fee being a floating point number (based on a QDoubleSpinBox)
All those fields are 100% customizable and can be used (after an application restart) directly in the subscriber's edition part of Association Subscribers Manager. You can also follow everyday news through Twitter.

Check this video for an introduction:

Until the official release of Association Subscribers Manager, I will feed you with videos and screenshots of the new features of the 3.1 version.

Arnaud Dupuis

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