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Exportez vos anniversaires depuis Facebook via Evolution

27 Apr

Si vous dépendez de Facebook pour vous rappeler des anniversaires de vos amis, il est possible de récupérer cette information pour l’avoir sous forme de tableur, ou pour les transférer à un autre calendrier. Voilà la marche à suivre :

Sur Facebook, allez dans « Évènements ». Dans une boîte sur la droite, vous trouverez des instructions pour ajouter des données à un calendrier externe. Copiez le lien « anniversaires » (il devrait commencer par « webcal:// »).

Dans Evolution, allez dans l’onglet Agenda et choisissez « Fichier > Nouveau > Agenda ». Sélectionnez « Type: Sur le Web » puis collez l’URL que vous avez copié dans la boîte « URL ».

Si tout se passe bien, vous avez à présent vos anniversaires dans votre agenda. Mais comme ce nouvel agenda reste connecté à votre compte Facebook, il se peut que vous vouliez extraire cette info et garder un fichier statique, sous forme de tableur par exemple.

Pour cela, il faut exporter l’agenda en question en format CSV (clic-droit sur son nom, « enregistrer sous > Format: .csv »). Vous pouvez à présent manipuler cette information comme vous le voulez, avec LibreOffice Calc par exemple, ou l’importer dans un autre calendrier, local ou externe à Evolution. Et ne plus dépendre de Facebook pour vous rappeler d’envoyer vos souhaits !

Why is Clementine my favourite music player?

9 Apr

Everyone complains about how many different music players are available for Linux. Some people say that developers should join forces and make the best music player ever. But choice is amazing, competition is often stimulating, and defining the best one depends on what each user is looking for.

I can safely say that I haven’t tested even a twentieth of the available full-featured music players.

In the open-source world, I have tried Banshee, Rhythmbox, Amarok, Exaile, Audacious. In a different world, I also have used Winamp and – I dare say – iTunes and Windows Media Player (eeek). But I have been using Clementine for quite a long time, and I do not feel the need to look anywhere else anymore.

Clementine started its life as an Amarok 1.4 fork, with a first release in February 2010, and at the time of writing, the player has reached version 1.2.2.

Following an extremely trendy format, here is the list of main reasons why you should give it a go and be happy forever – according to moi. It is in no way ordered, so do not worry about those numbers!

1. Fade-out

Something I have never seen anywhere else is a lovely fade-out when a song is stopped or when the player is closed. How sensible is that!

You can of course customise this the way you want:

Clementine's fade-ins and fade-outs are highly customisable.

Clementine’s fade-ins and fade-outs are highly customisable.

You can get rid of all the “fades”, or you can make Clementine fade out when you pause a song, and chose how long for. You can even cross-fade between tracks for a smoother playlist.

2. Open source

Of course, I wouldn’t even go for a closed source music player. The choice of open-source music players available doesn’t even let you justify looking anywhere else.

Clementine’s development is hosted on GitHub.

Clementine's source is available on GitHub

Clementine’s source is available on GitHub

 

3. Cross-platform

Open source software is not just for Linux. The Clementine project does an amazing job at making their software available to most music lovers, independently of the platform they use. Just have a look at all the download options they offer:

Download options on the Clementine website

Download options on the Clementine website

So, if you use different operating systems on different machines, you can at least play music the same way.

4. Desktop integration

At least for Ubuntu, Clementine is very nicely integrated in the environment. An indicator is visible in the top panel, and changes depending on the state of the playback. A notification bubble appears when the track changes and gives you all the information you need.

Clementine is also controllable from the sound menu, with the option to chose from your playlists straight away.

And if this isn’t enough, you can also control it from the launcher with a simple right click.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 5. The developers are cool!

I like software even more when the humans behind it are great people. Obviously, the fact that Clementine is open source makes them score quite a few points already. But I generally want to find out if I can contribute financially to my favourite projects. Here is what the website says on that particular topic:

What the website says if you want to contribute money to the project... :)

What the website says if you want to contribute money to the project… :)

I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of things that make me believe in humans.

6. Not too heavy

To tell you the truth, I am not exactly sure what is heavy and what is not, but at about 60 mb of RAM, I feel like Clementine playing a song is not too much of a weight on my system, on par with Nautilus and way under Firefox, Thunderbird and Chrome.

How does Clementine compare in memory usage?

How does Clementine compare in memory usage?

The download for an Ubuntu 13.10 64 bits system is just 7.2 mb at the time of writing.

7. Lots of music providers

List of Clementine 1.2 providers

List of Clementine 1.2 providers

Clementine bundles more than 20 sources for music, from open license music website Jamendo to your music stored in your Dropbox or your Google Drive, as well as several radio station providers and streaming giants Spotify and Grooveshark.

A few of those providers require that you own a premium account to use them, but there is enough choice to please everyone.

Nota bene: following the news of Ubuntu One closing down in June 2014, the Ubuntu One provider has already been removed from master.

8. Artist and song info

You can also click on the Artist info tab to get to know lots about whoever you are playing, see photos, discover similar artists and read about their history.

Wikipedia provides the biography by default, but if you scroll down, you will be able to chose from 9 other providers, including LastFM and Discogs.

The Song info tab, on the other hand, gives you LastFM stats and the lyrics from three different providers.

Clementine 1.2 Artist info tab. You can select a photo to have a closer look at it.

Clementine 1.2 Artist info tab. You can select a photo to have a closer look at it.

 9. Tag your collection properly

MusicBrainz is one of my favourite open data project. It is a well-built database about music, so humans can read it like and encyclopaedia, and so robots can use it.

I am of course delighted to see that Clementine uses MusicBrainz for its tagging functionalities. It is now even easier to have your collection properly tagged, as you can let Clementine automatically look through MusicBrainz for you!

MusicBrainz tagger in Clementine 1.2

MusicBrainz tagger in Clementine 1.2

10. Remote control

One of the latest additions to Clementine is its ability to be controlled from your Android phone thanks to Clementine Remote.

Clementine Remote on Google Play

Clementine Remote on Google Play

You can use your phone to browse your library, add songs to your playlist and change the volume, without having to go to your computer + stereo system.

∞. It gets better!

Of course, Clementine keeps getting developed, so it constantly gets better. One of the latest things I have notice on GitHub is the fact that we will soon be able to add our Soundcloud credentials into Clementine in order to have a look at our own tracks and subscriptions:

Soundcloud commit on GitHub

Soundcloud commit on GitHub

♥ Give it a go!

Head to the download page to try Clementine with your library, and see if it works for you.

Still not convinced? Have a look at this AlternativeTo page to find other open-source alternatives – surely you will find your favourite!

Cheers for reading!

Happy Document Freedom Day 2014!

26 Mar

I wrote a post about Document Freedom Day (DFD) last year, and I am officially two minutes away from the 27th of March already, at least in my current time zone.

So this one will be really short: I just wanted to list a few resources that are linked to Open Standards.

Hopefully you find those links useful!

Please do what you can to promote open formats around you – at home, at work, and if you can, tell your government to switch to them!

Oh dang, it’s the 27th. Let’s make this the Document Freedom Year then.

Promotion des formats ouverts par l'April

Promotion des formats ouverts par l’April (license Art Libre 1.3 ou ultérieure, CC BY-SA 2.0 ou ultérieure, GFDL 1.3 ou ultérieure)

Edit (01.04.2014): I also found this good article about “achieving document freedom”, by The Document Foundation’s Italo Vignoli.

How can I help the Free and Open world?

16 Apr

So, you recognise that the Open Source and Free Content world is a great idea, but don’t really know how to give back to it and contribute to its development?

Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Know how to code? Get coding.

There are virtually an infinite number of projects that you can join. You can even start you own!

Some platforms you can join and start a project on are:

  • Lanchpad, using the Bazaar version control system, mainly related to Ubuntu (more than 31,000 projects)
  • GitHub, using the Git revision control system
  • SourceForge, with 324,000 projects

There are many more, and you can make your mind by having a look at this list on Wikipedia.

You can also get involved in the Google Summer of Code, with which Google promotes post-secondary developers getting involved into Open Source projects, every year, since 2005.

Getting involved in an open-source project is a great way to learn about coding and working as a team.

By the way, I’m saying all this, but I don’t know shit about developing. Anyway…

Not a developer? Release different creative Free Content

Free/Open content licenses are not made only for open-source software. You can release you cultural works – be it a book, photos, drawings or music – under a variety of licenses, in order to give others more freedom and promote creativity.

You can choose to release your photos under a Creative Commons license on Flickr for example, but maybe prefer open-source software-based websites like MediaGoblin or TroveBox. Also, if your photos have a encyclopaedic value, you could upload them to Wikimedia Commons so they can be used on other Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia.

Here are a few examples of digital libraries where you can contribute with your cultural works:

The Creative Commons license has a few parameters that you can tweak depending on how you want to be credited and what you want to let other people do with your work.

The Free Art license (called License Art Libre in French – see a definition in English) is a more permissive one. You can compare the different available licenses on the Freedom Defined website.

And if you are a scientist, consider publishing your research in an Open Access journal! This is rapidly becoming the norm for many around the world, and it is definitely the way of the future, probably giving you more opportunities to get cited too! Search for an Open Access journal on the DOAJ website.

Not an artist? Give some time!

If you are not exactly an artist, you can still give a hand at expanding existing community-built websites. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Everybody knows and uses Wikipedia – so why not give some of your time back to the community? There are lots to do, from correcting a typo to creating a new article. You can get started from here. However, if you don’t feel like you can contribute to an encyclopaedia, there are many other Wikimedia projects to spend some free time on, including media library, dictionary, travel guide and news source.
  • MusicBrainz is a music-related database. If you love music or own a few records, why not try and give us a hand? You can start from this guide.
  • OpenStreetMap is a great project that aims at building a open database of geographical data. It is very fun to contribute to, and you can start straight away by mapping your own street! Here is a beginners’ guide to get you started.
  • Another interesting one is OpenFoodFacts. This French language version is the most mature one, but you can start helping on any of the 12 available languages.
  • The Stack Exchange network includes 101 Q&A websites that compile a wealth of community-built knowledge licensed under a CC-by-SA license. You will probably find a topic you are knowledgeable in. (Home-brewing? Islam? Robotics? Cryptography? Come on, you MUST be good at something!)

Another way to give some of your time to the cause is by promoting and advocating the use of open/free content licenses, open source software and open standards. Talk about it to your friends and family, use the cultural works yourself, install an open source software alternative on a friend’s computer, organise an event or a presentation… There are many options!

Don’t have time? Give some money!

I could have gone with “Give some money!” first, followed by “Don’t have money? Give some time!”, but I reckon everything else should be prioritize over money. In my philosophy, the less we use and depend on money, the better.

However, we have to acknowledge the fact that the society we live in heavily relies on monetary incentives. So yes, vote with your money, but only after you voted with everything else.

There are many ways you can donate some of your income for a good cause promoting openness. Here are a few ideas:

Give to organisations that do an amazing job at promoting the Open World. Just to name a few: the Open Knowledge FoundationAPRIL (fr), AFUL (fr), Framasoft (fr), the Free Software FoundationLa Quadrature du Net, the Open Source Initiative, the Free Network Foundation… They will all make a good use of your pennies.

You can also fund specific projects directly. Go to your favourite software’s website and shout them a few cups of coffee. An other way to do it is participating in crowdfunding. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the two main websites for crowdfunding inovative projects. Just do an “open source” search (quick links: KS or IGG) and give some money to the projects you like the most. For example:

Well, there you go! Those are just a few ideas, but hopefully you found something that suits you, and we can all give back to the Open community!

Cheers for reading.

Happy Document Freedom Day!

27 Mar
DFD banner

(DFD, license cc by-sa 3.0)

Today, the 27th of March 2013, we celebrate Document Freedom Day (DFD).

Why? Because we need to improve the interoperability between software in order to communicate better and give everyone the opportunity to use the software they want to use to produce documents.

In my own experience, I often felt guilty because of incompatibility problems when I was editing a .doc text document coming from someone who would use Microsoft Office. We open-source advocates often hear that we are annoying because we can’t – or won’t – use the bloody basic .doc or .docx formats, which results in jumbled documents.

Well, there is absolutely no reason we should be seen as the problem. On the contrary, our choice is more of a solution.

We need to say it, and explain it, over and over until this is understood by everyone: the problem is not us. The problem is the monopoly of the Microsoft closed formats worldwide. It is not LibreOffice or OpenOffice’s fault that your document is all messed up after going back and forth between a Microsoft Office user and a Linux aficionado – it is Microsoft’s fault for making their formats so cryptic no other software can handle them without any trouble.

Using Open Document Formats (ODF) in the first place would have solved the problem – yes, Microsoft Office can read ODF too.

Another very valid reason to use open document formats is that your files’ lifespan does not depend on the software you used to create them.

It is about time the default formats are open formats that any software can understand. Even though at the moment, .doc and .xls formats are the most widely used ones for text documents and spreadsheets, it does not mean they are the best choice! This should be everyone’s decision to do the move in a concerted and informed effort, but the governments and institutions should definitely do their part in initiating a wider change.

Today is not just the day of open document formats, it also is the day of all open standards and formats.

So if you want to do your bit, talk about this, promote the use of open standard and formats, and avoid any closed ones. Here is a short list to have an idea of which formats should be promoted:

  • In your office suite, prefer formats like .odt, .ods or .odp to .doc and .docx, .xls and .xlsx, or .ppt and .pptx;
  • Use PDF documents as much as you want;
  • For your music and other sounds, prefer .ogg to .mp3, .wma or .aac, and .flac to .wav;
  • When it comes to graphics and pictures, choose .jpg, .png, .gif and .svg instead of .psd and .bmp;
  • If you want to compress or archive bulky files, choose .7z, .tar and .gzip instead of .zip;
  • For videos, .ogv and .mkv are preferred to .wmv and .mov;
  • And for your ebooks, definitely go with the .epub format instead of promoting the myriad of proprietary formats that each brand creates to lock you in!

These are just a few examples. Have a look at this Wikipedia article to learn about the safer format choices.

You can read more about DFD on the official website.

Stephen Fry poster for DFD 2012

Stephen Fry gives you a piece of his mind for DFD 2012. And he is damn right. (DFD, licence cc by-sa 3.0)