Monday, October 22, 2012

Tora packages with Oracle support for Mageia 2

In Mageia we include a really good database administration client called TOra, you can learn more about it on its website, but for those of you that work with databases, to give you an idea of its features (PL/SQL debugger, SQL worksheet with syntax highlighting, DB browser and DBA tools), I can tell you that it's very similar to the commercial client, TOAD. It's developed with the Qt framework, here's an screenshot so you can have an idea of how it looks:

The version we include of TOra in Mageia has Oracle database support disabled because we can't include the Oracle instant client packages due to licensing issues, so we have to do it in the same way I did it before at Mandriva: have on Mageia a package named tora with support enabled for MySQL and PostgreSQL only, and another one at TOra's download page called tora-oracle, which has additionally Oracle databases support enabled.

I had forgotten to compile and upload these Oracle enabled packages to TOra's SF download page until today. Now you can find here these packages, but remember that Oracle instant client must be installed before running this version of TOra. If you don't need Oracle support then install the packages that come with the distro. Maybe we can add a get-tora-oracle similar to the get-skype package to download tora-oracle from TOra's download page, but the Oracle instant client still has to be manually downloaded and installed by the user.

You can download Oracle instant client packages from here. Both oracle-instantclient11.2-basic and oracle-instantclient11.2-basiclite rpm packages work, but if you want to rebuild tora-oracle src package then you need to have oracle-instantclient11.2-devel too with the basic package.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's all about the games !!

UPDATE (15/02/2012): Warsow was updated to 0.62 and World of Padman to 1.6.

In the past months I have been working on many things for Mageia, like mentoring some novice packagers, fixing bugs, preparing updates for Mageia 1, and the usual packaging of new applications and updating existing ones. On this last activity I've been working really hard to get the biggest amount of games packaged for Mageia. I always have loved FPS games, so that kind of games have been my main objective.

Of course, all are open source games, but unfortunately, for some of them the data files have non-free licenses, so those have been put on the non-free repository, or are using a nifty feature to autodownload the data files at first run of the game. How this autodownload feature works ? using a program developed by Fedora called autodownloader. Here is how it works:

The user install one of the games that has non-free licensed data files using urpmi, Mageia Control Center or drakrpm as usual. Then, when the user runs the game for the first time, he/she will be prompted with the following screen describing the game and the space requirements for the download that is about to be done:

If the user accepts, then another screen with the game license will be displayed so the user can agree to it or refuse it:

Upon the user agreeing the game license, the download of the data files will begin from the first configured mirror:

You can have multiple mirrors configured in case that the first mirror is down, or the files aren't available anymore on that server. After the files finish downloading, they will be verified against a md5 hash to be sure that download was ok. Then, the user will see a screen telling him that the download completed successfully and asks the user if he wants to launch the game !! :D :

And voila ! the game starts running :D

The autodownloader program uses a very simple configuration file where you specify the text of all of these screens and the mirror list from where to download the files with it's corresponding md5 hash. What I like the most of this autodownload technique is that we can use it for other programs that can't be included on the distro, not even on the non-free repository, like skype or flash plugin perhaps ?

Well enough about technicalities !! lets see which new games we will have in the upcoming Mageia 2 in May :D

The following games are all based on ioquake3 engine, thus they use it as their game engine, which has been patched to better support these games. Also most of these (autodownloader) packages have been taken from Fedora and adapted for Mageia. I'll start with my preferred one :D

Urban Terror

Version: 4.1.1
Media: core/release (uses autodownloader)
Description from the game's website:
Urban Terror is a free multiplayer first person shooter developed by FrozenSand, that (thanks to the ioquake3-code) does not require Quake III Arena anymore. It is available for Windows, Linux and Macintosh. Urban Terror can be described as a Hollywood tactical shooter; somewhat realism based, but the motto is "fun over realism". This results in a very unique, enjoyable and addictive game.

There's an excellent video that shows the gameplay of the game on youtube. You can find more screenshots here.

World Of Padman

Version: 1.6
Media: core/release (uses autodownloader)

Description from the game's website:
World of Padman (WoP) is an open source first-person shooter computer game available in both English and German. Originally it was a modificationfor the game Quake III Arena titled PadMod created in the year 2004. After the source code for Quake III Arena was released, the game became standalone.[1] The idea is based on the Padman comic strip for the magazine PlayStation Games created by the professional cartoon artist Andreas 'ENTE' (German for "Duck") Endres, who is also the man who made many of the maps included with the game in 1998.

You can find more screenshots here.

Version: 1.0
Media: core/release (uses autodownloader)
Description from the game's website:
Smokin' Guns is intended to be a semi-realistic simulation of the "Old West's" great atmosphere & was developed on Id Software's Quake III Arena Engine. Gameplay as well as locations are inspired by Western movies, particularly those from the Spaghetti Western genre.

You can find more screenshots here.


Version: 0.5.3
Media: core/release

Description from the game's website:
Turtle Arena (working title) is a free and open source cross-platform third-person action game using a modified version of the ioquake3 engine.
Turtle Arena is currently focused on multiplayer (with multiple game modes) and can be played with human players over a network, splitscreen, or with AI players. In the future there will also be a single player / cooperative reach the end of the level mode with AI enemies.

This game has it's own engine called ioq3ztm, which it's a modified ioquake3 engine to support additional features like the four player split screen.


Version: 2010_07_28 Justice Edition
Media: nonfree/release

Description from the game's website:
Cube 2: Sauerbraten is a free multiplayer/singleplayer first person shooter, built as a major redesign of theCube FPS.
Much like the original Cube, the aim of this game is not necessarily to produce the most features & eyecandy possible, but rather to allow map/geometry editing to be done dynamically in-game, to create fun gameplay and an elegant engine.

You can find more screenshots here.
Media: nonfree/release

Description from the game's website:
AssaultCube is a FREE, multiplayer, first-person shooter game, based on the CUBE engine. Taking place in realistic environments, with fast, arcade gameplay, it's addictive and fun!

You can find more screenshots here.

Version: 0.62
Media: nonfree/release
Description from the game's website:
Warsow is set in a futuristic cartoonish world where rocketlauncher-wielding pigs and lasergun-carrying cyberpunks roam the streets. It is a completely free, fast-paced first-person shooter for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

You can find more screenshots here.

There are other excellent FPS games that already can be fouond in Mageia:
If you would like to see any other games packaged please post a comment and open a feature request in Bugzilla. If you play Urban Terror or Nexuiz it would be nice to meet other Mageia users and share some frags. Leave a comment with your nick and usual server you play on and maybe we can meet there :)

Have fun !!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My take on SOPA and all that crap

Today I was reading a facebook comment from a musician about the closure of Megaupload, which I ended commenting too giving my take on that and all of the stuff hurdling around SOPA/PIPA these days.

I really think that downloading music is doing little harm to bands, why ? because most of the price paid for a CD goes to disc label companies, distributors and all other in the middle. Some months ago when in my country we had a very similar law project being reviewed by the senate (that fortunately got dismissed, for now), I remember the opponents of the law mentioned a study that said that for every cd sold, in average, the artist would get 14% or less of that income. So who are really being hurt ? the disc label companies and distributors that get more than 85% of the earnings, which it isn't fair with the artist who is who did most of the job, right ? label companies only shield behind artist saying that *they* are the ones being hurt which isn't true. And to make it worse, cd's are freaking expensive this days, more outside the US. I can pay around $50 - $60 in my country for a metal cd of an european band that is around  $20 - $25 on the US, do you think that's fair ??? I did bought a lot of cd's before, while prices where acceptable (I think I have 60 - 70) but now it would be impossible to pay for all the music I have downloaded online with current cd prices, it whould be thousands of dollars !!

The middle man needs to be eliminated. If an artist would sell their music directly on the Internet, prices would drop like crazy, people would be more willing to pay for a cd or a single song they like, and bands would earn much more than that miserable 14% or less. That's the real problem with SOPA and all that shit. Media companies have an outdated bussiness model that they don't want to change because it has been hugely profitable in the past. They are the ones that need to change and adapt to the Internet, not the other way around which is what they're trying to do with SOPA/PIPA. That's why itunes, jamendo and all those online music stores are doing and it's the way to go. Pay a fair price for what you like and let the money (most of it at least) go to the artist and not to a third party company.

Do you remember old times when you would copy in a cassette music you liked from a friend's vinyl ? I'm sure you did it too. Do you think that was wrong ? probably not, you did it to learn about new bands and enjoy their music, not to earn money from that. What I think is really wrong and I do not support is when someone earns money from that trade, like for example buying cd's (or movies or computer programs) on the street, which is pretty common here. I haven't done it and won't ever do it. But sharing music with your friends, or downloading it from the Internet for *personal use*, I think is fine. Because of that I have got to know a lot of bands that otherwise I wouldn't have been able to, and I have been present at every fucking concert of those bands when they have come to my country and why I did paid for an expensive trip to 70k Tons of Metal last year and I'm doing it again this year (next week, yay !!). That's the way I support the bands I like, because that money goes directly to them. They earn more from concerts than from cd selling and that's why they're touring more and more than before. Concerts for me are very expensive, for example, I have paid $250 to see Iron Maiden, were the same ticket in the US wouldn't cost more than $150, but I'm happy to pay it because of what I just said.

Most of the music I download is from torrents because it comes from other users like me, and there's no one enriching from that sharing. I didn't had put any thought on that companies like Megaupload do earn money from those downloads, even when you don't buy their premium accounts. Now I will not download anything from those sites.