The Old Blog Archive, 2005-2009

Archive for June, 2006

It’s there… OpenVanilla 0.7.2 released!

After several months of fine-tuning and some weeks of packaging, OpenVanilla 0.7.2 is finally out of beta. We should have a (functionally) stable release now, although there are still tons of things to be made. Documentation, wiki, support work, spreading the message, and we have to prepare for a list of OV’s “issues” with OS X so that we’re able to discuss with the people at Apple.

OV’s Wiki in English has been slightly updated. On OV’s Wiki in Chinese, you’ll find a more detailed description on what’s new and how to get a copy of the latest release.

A special and big thanks to davidyu. If not for his patience (and also thanks to his elfish PowerBook XD), we wouldn’t have been able to hunt down and fix one of the most mysterious and unreproducible bug that we have ever encountered. Cheers for all!

That’s What I Am…

boē lián-tńg

Boē lián-tńg, or, “not fluent” in Taiwanese Holo, often written as “不輪轉”, is what I often say to admit my embarrassment of never being able to master that language (…”yet”).

Picture courtesy of Pektiong, the person behind OV’s POJ input method.

A Big Thank You–Fund-Raising Target Met, and Beyond!

Progress of the Campaign (click here to donate):

Raised USD 2,635 (NT$84,319)
Target Met–and Beyond!


Not only the target of this year’s fund-raising campaign is met (USD 1,920 / NTD 61,440), but we have actually received more!

The part of the donation that exceeds the target will be retained as a long-term fund. We will use this fund in the future to help our team members participate in future conferences and/or hold input method-related technical workshops. Because of you, together we have made it!

Once again, we would like to thank all of you for your kindness and generosity!

Letter to Users of OpenVanilla: On the Fund-Raising Campaign of 2006, and Why We Are Seeking Your Support This Year

Dear OpenVanilla Users,

We would like to seek your help in this year’s OpenVanilla Fund-Raising Campaign.

OpenVanilla has made lot of progress in the past two years. Since October 2004, it was transformed from a proof of concept to a real thing that serves thousands of users. We have received comments and feedback from both Traditional and Simplified Chinese users, and have even heard that some retailers in Taiwan are installing OV as an offer to Windows “switchers.”

Right now OpenVanilla is at version 0.7.2 beta. During the past quarter we have become universal–0.7.2 beta runs on Intel Macs. We have fixed a number of difficult buges, and a stable 0.7.2 is coming along the way. Certainly there are still lots to be done. We’re planning a better Uninstaller, a Module Manager, even a .cin-Table Editor to make it easier for you to customize your favorite input method.

We need to be up to the front of the development of OS X to make OpenVanilla better. This is why we are having a Fund-Raising Campaign this year.
Apple is expected to announce its OS X 10.5 Roadmap at WWDC 2006 in San Francisco. We have learned that Apple is planning a redesign for the Text Service Manager (TSM)–on which all input methods of OS X depend. The current TSM is a legacy from the pre-OS X era and the form of many API calls date back to 1998. This will mean a sea-change of the inner structure, and we need to catch up this shift.

In addition, Apple Asia is holding an Input Method Workshop in the first week of September in Beijing, China. Apple Asia has invited many developers to join this event. The OpenVanilla Team is invited too.

We need your help to make these two trips possible.

We are expecting to send lukhnos (who is in charge of the core of OpenVanilla’s OS X version) to WWDC 2006. Zonble is planning to fly to Beijing in September (lukhnos will happen to be in Beijing in September, so he won’t need to fly).
We are raising a fund of USD 1,499 (NTD 47,968) to cover the entrace ticket for WWDC 2006 (which costs USD 1,295) for lukhnos and a part of a roundtrip ticket Taipei-Beijing for zonble. Lukhnos is willing to pay for the ticket to San Franciso on his own expense, and part of zonble’s ticket will be covered by the donation we have received for the past year.

As of June 6, 2006, OpenVanilla has received USD 461 (NTD 14,756) as donation. A roundtrip ticket Taipei-Beijing usually costs around USD 625 (NTD 20,000). That’s USD 164 shorter. Plus the ticket of WWDC 2006, and that’s how we have come up with the figure.

This year’s fund-raising campaign will end on July 31, 2006.

Being a community effort, OpenVanilla has already been a free software in both sense of the word–it’s free as in free beer and free speech. Its source code is open under the BSD License, and anyone can use the code freely under the terms of the License. Personally, I would like to promise that the OS X version of OpenVanilla will always be free of charge as long as I have a job–which means it will always cost nothing in the foreseeable future–and OpenVanilla’s commitment to the free/open source software will not change. Because of this, we rely more on the support of our users, so that we at the OpenVanilla Project will keep up the fast paces of the change in the big world–and bring back what we have learned and share it with you.

On behalf of the OpenVanilla team, I would like thank you for your support of this project and this campaign. Your help will be greatly appreciated!

Best regards,
Lukhnos D. Liu

Adium and gaim talk off-the-record (OTR)

Now it’s clear that Adium and gaim use the same off-the-record (OTR) library, and can talk to each other with no problem. Great for people who need a little more privacy. Whether this otr library (libotr) is strong enough remains to be tested. It’s better than nothing (MSN and other instant messenger protocols are in clear). Still, a false sense of security is no security, and is actually worse. So use it with discretion (in every sense of that word).

For Adium users, OTR module already comes with it.

For gaim users and Linux/FreeBSD savvy, look for the following packages: libotr, gaim-otr, gaim-encryption.

The BigMac(BookPro) Index

In the spirit of The Economist‘s BigMac Index, here is what I’ve called the “BigMac(BookPro) Index”.

Price is quoted from Apple Store around the world (VAT included). Currency is converted using google. GDP per capita from CIA’s World Factbook (2005) after PPP (purchasing power parity) adjustment.

MBP 15″
MB 13″
2 GHz
over (%)
US US$2,499 US$1,299 - US$41,800 -
Hong Kong HK$19,200
-1.0% US$32,900 -50.8%
Canada C$2,799
2.0% US$34,000 -4.4%
Singapore S$4,288
8.8% US$28,100 -30.2%
Taiwan NT$87,900
9.6% US$27,600 -25.4%
Japan Yen 309,800
Yen 159,800
10.5% US$31,500 -30.5%
S. Korea Won 2,790,000
Won 1,390,000
18.1% US$20,400 -18.7%
China RMB 23,900
N/A 19.2% US$6,800 -58.7%
Germany Eur 2,429
Eur 1,279
24.9% US$30,400 11.4%
UK £1,699
27.7% US$30,300 5.4%
Eur 2,489
Eur 1,299
28.1% US$30,500 11.4%

Apparently, HK is the place to go…