The Afterthoughts – If Google came up with an RSS Reader

So here is another post in The Afterthoughts series.

Post: If Google came up with an RSS Reader
Originally posted on: 2005-01-30

This post was made long before Google came up with Google Reader. I was experimenting with RSS readers and started wondering what it would be like if Google came up with an RSS reader.

Now that we have one from Google, it is time to look back and see how my expectations matched with the actual product.

> * It would first buy the domain “greader” or something similar.
This didn't happen. However, Google Reader is popularly called GReader. I guess I made this comment because of Gmail.
On a side note, Google does own greader.net.

> * It would have an index of more than 8 million different feeds.
This is not how an RSS reader has evolved. Google Reader does have recommendations based on the feeds you already have. It would be good to see an integration of Google Blogsearch or even Google News with Google Reader. The only integration I see is the subscription of search results from both of these in Google Reader (a 'new' feature).

> * It would offer 1 GB space for storing posts.
The storage in most online readers is unlimited.

> * It would have an excellent search feature for searching posts.
This was a surprise! The feature came in so late. Totally unexpected.

> * The interface would be simple, but at the same time powerful.
You bet this has been true. The keyboard shortcuts are just superb. The speed with which you can navigate and read feeds is extremely good. (You will need my script to make it even faster. :))

> * We would be able to mail any post just at the click of a button.
I guess this feature has been around since quite some time now.

> * It would allow us to filter posts and also label them for future reference.
With tagging and folders, this has been better than expected.

> * It would also allow us to make blog entries (of course the service would be integrated with Blogger.)
Again, this is a surprise. Google has not provided any integration with Blogger. However, recently Google added a feature to share an item with notes. With the microblogging revolution, and Google having acquired Jaiku, I guess that integration will happen first.

> * It would integrate greader with other offerings like mail, groups etc.
The integration is not that great as of now. It would be cool to see posts related to a mail, or a message in a group etc.

> It would be Beta forever. 🙂
Surprise! This isn't true!

Final thoughts:
So after more than 3 years since I made the original post, (which is a lot of time in technological evolution) I should say, Google did match most of the expectations that I had back then, some features were developed much better than what I had expected. However the integration with other services is one thing where it could have done better.

Getting Rosegarden to work in Ubuntu (Gnome)

I am one of those many people out there who had trouble in getting Rosegarden to “sing” in Ubuntu under Gnome Window Manager. Finally after trying a lot of permutations and combinations, I got Rosegarden to work. I made this post to share what I did so that others don't have to go through the same trouble I did!

So let's proceed.

Required software

Rosegarden requires some other applications to be installed in your system. So before you fire up Rosegarden ensure that you have the following:

  1. qjackctl
  2. qsynth
  3. rosegarden

If you don't have any of these you could execute this:

$ sudo apt-get install qjackctl qsynth rosegarden fluid-soundfont-gm

Ok, now we have everything we need. Let's proceed to the configuration steps:

Start the Jack server

(Somehow not using sudo gave me problems)

$ sudo qjackctl &

Jack Audio Connection Kit setup

Click on Setup
Here are the settings I used:
Setup - JACK

Start the Jack server

JACK Audio Connection Kit

Start the synthesizer

$ sudo qsynth &

QSynth setup

MIDI Setup

Setup - Midi

Audio Setup

Setup - Audio

Soundfonts Setup

Setup - Soundfonts

Start rosegarden

Ok, it's time to fire up Rosegarden.

$ sudo rosegarden &

Configuring Rosegarden

Go to Settings – Configure Rosegarden.

Configure Rosegarden - General

Configure Rosegarden - Midi

Ensure that the connections are right in Jack Audio Connection Kit (Connect):
Connections - JACK - ALSA

Connections - JACK - Audio

Play one of the sample files and you should hear music!
Rosegarden

Troubleshooting

In case your Jack server is not running, you might want to execute this command and then start the Jack server:

$ sudo /sbin/alsa force-reload

Adventure with Ubuntu, Wubi, yum, libc and the like

Note: This is not for the casual reader. If you are facing any issues with any of the keywords mentioned above, you might want to continue…

So here I was trying to install some packages from a YUM repository on my Ubuntu 8.0.4 system. Why YUM when you have apt-get? Well, let's just say, the situation demanded it.

The installation seemed to be going fine. What I did not realize is that, the installation had innocently relinked my libc files to a new location (actually to an older version of libc). The yum installation failed. Without checking the error, I executed sudo yum install again.

And I got this:

sudo: /lib/tls/libc.so.6: version `GLIBC_2.4' not found (required by sudo)
sudo: /lib/tls/libc.so.6: version `GLIBC_2.4' not found (required by /lib/libpam.so.0)

Next I executed ls. Same error! And soon I realized, I was not able to execute most of the commands. The only things running were, things that were already open. I had closed my terminal by then, and was not able to bring it back neither was I able to login in an alternative terminal.

It is extremely difficult to figure out what has gone wrong without a terminal. I tried out various things, but I soon realized that since I don't have sudo access anymore, I won't be able to fix anything in the /lib directory, so no point trying.

The only solution was to reboot in recovery mode and then see if I could relink the libc files. So I popped in the Ubuntu live CD.

Now here is an added twist to the tale. I run Ubuntu on Wubi. So how do I mount my NTFS 'file' which is actually a Linux partition?

With some pointers from my colleague, I realized that it is possible to mount a file as if it were a filesystem. I executed this:

mount /dev/windows/filesystem/containing/wubi/installation /media/disk
mount /media/disk/path/to/wubi/disks/root.disk /media/root -o loop

Guess what! The Wubi file got mounted and I was able to access the files.

After some inspection I realized that the problem was that, while Ubuntu has all the libc files in /lib/tls/i686/cmov, the message indicated that these files should be in /lib/tls.

I did a 'ls' in the /lib/tls directory and found that there are some files of an older version of glibc at this location but the live cd version didn't have any files there. So it was apparent this is what is causing the problem.

I unlinked all the files, and relinked them to the new location and rebooted.

This time although it was able to boot Linux, it did not bring up the UI. I booted once again in recovery mode and ran xfix and continued with the boot.

Things seem to be fine now.

Update: Not everything was fine. Some applications, like Totem threw a SEGFAULT. So I did this:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall libc6

Things seem to be fine now.