WeSay, Palaso, and Linux

Author cambell | 29.05.2009 | Category WeSay

Feeling in somewhat of a reflective mood I thought I'd write about the current state of our work with Linux, and have a look at where we hope to go in the next few months.

Over the last few months (er year) we've been working on getting our applications to run on the Ubuntu Linux platform.  We are hoping that this will enable our applications to be well used on the new breed of net books and other lesser specified machines.  The main work has been centered around the mono project which enables .Net Winforms applications (most commonly a Windows technology) to run on Linux.  So, where are we now?

  • The http://packages.palaso.org repository has been launched to make our software available to you all.
  • WeSay 0.4 (stable) is available from packages.palaso.org.  Install details are on the WeSay Wiki on  projects.palaso.org.  This is an early release and has a number of issues that we know about.  Have a look at the for further information.
  • Automatic USB stick detection now works.  That means in WeSay, you can click backup and expect it to wait for you to put a USB stick into your computer and the backup will 'just work'.

There are a few significant issues that we've noticed and we're working on fixing these up over the next month or two.

  • Keyboard switching doesn't work.  In WeSay we make extensive use of keyboard switching.  If you're editing a field that's say IPA they keyboard should be set to IPA for you.  When you tab to another field with a different writing system the keyboard should change automatically.  We are fixing this by contributing to the SCIM project.  We're extending it's capability to support our Keyboard Switching component.  We expect to have this available very soon.
  • Non Roman Script rendering using Mono doesn't work.  We're fixing this in Mono, by re-writing large chunks of the Text Control.  This will take some time to filter through and become available – perhaps some time in the next three months.
  • The WeSay development branch (0.5.x) doesn't currently work with Mono.  We're working on bringing that up to date so that we can release on Windows and Ubuntu simultaneously.

Once we've finished these issues, we'll be back to focusing on core features of our products rather than enabling Linux to run them.  At that time we'll leave the improvement of Mono and Linux to others.

Well, enough reflecting.  Time to go get a coffee and carry on with the work.

Further details can be found on our various projects at http://projects.palaso.org