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Apache Commons Text

There is a new component in Apache Commons: Apache Commons Text. The 1.0 release might be announced in the next weeks. The current site is still in the Commons Sandbox, but it will change with the 1.0 release. The promotion from the sandbox happened a few days ago in the project mailing list.

Here’s the project description: Apache Commons Text is a library focused on algorithms working on strings.

There was a thread on the mailing list some time ago (Oct/2014) when we first discussed the component idea. Since then many people contributed porting code from Apache Commons Lang, Apache Lucene, donating code from existing projects, and with new ideas.

It is important to be aware that certain parts of Apache Commons Lang are being marked as deprecated, and will be removed in the future, after Apache Commons Text 1.0 is out. For example: StringUtils, and RandomStringUtils.

That will happen probably in a 4.x release of Apache Commons Lang, if everything goes well with Apache Commons Text :-)

And there are already future features in branches too. It was decided that these features needed further work, so they will probably be included in next releases.

So that’s a little bit of background on the new component that will be released soon. If you have code using Apache Commons Lang, you might be interested in staying tuned to release announcements in the mailing list!

And should you have suggestions and would like to contribute, feel free to join and start a thread in the mailing list, open a JIRA issue, or submit a pull request.

Happy hacking!

Plotting Auckland with OSMnx

Auckland

A couple of days ago I saw a thread in reddit about OSMnx. It is a utilty for interacting with the OpenStreeMap (OSM) API, manipulate it in pure Python and using libraries like NetworkX (a Python graph package).

With it you can do things like visualize cul-de-sacs or one-way streets, plot shortest-path routes, or calculate stats like intersection density, average node connectivity, or betweenness centrality. Or simply plot the OSM data as in the graph above.

The source code is hosted at GitHub: https://github.com/gboeing/osmnx.

Drawing Terra Celta vocal Elcio

Terra Celta band’s vocal, Elcio.

Brazil is not only Samba, there is (good) celtic music in there too :-)

Terra Celta ("Celtic Land") is a Brazilian Celtic comedy rock band formed in 2005, and based in Londrina, Paraná. They are noted for making Celtic rock in Portuguese language (initially English), with often humorous lyrics. The group performs live with traditional Celtic/Irish clothing. Besides performing Irish music, the members also research the subject, by attending Celtic music festivals in Europe.

Contributing to Krita

As I mentioned in the last post, I have been learning Qt and using C and C++ again. Since I used C and C++ more during university (about 10 years ago, phew), decided to read real code.

I used Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks a lot when I was younger and had more time to spend drawing. But some time ago I switched to Inkscape for vector graphics, which I use at work for presentations. So it was only natural to try Krita now.

Since I was going to try Krita, I thought why not check out and build from source, and then in case I found any bugs, contribute back? Or maybe from time to time triage issues, find low hanging ones, and send a patch?

Well, turns out the Krita project has a great community, and it is super easy to send contributions. So far I submitted three patches, some were included in 3.x releases.

While the patches are rather small, they are suggestions on how to fix memory segmentation faults, or strange behaviours in the interface. For these issues, I had to learn more about Qt components, signals and emitting events, and, of course, work with pointers, arrays, Qt data structures, etc. In other words, lots of (geek) fun!

In other words, by contributing to Krita, I am not only helping the project and giving a little back to the community, but also refreshing my memory on C and C++, and slowly learning Qt - which is not very hard if you worked with Swing/AWT, Delphi, Visual Basic, Gtk, etc.

What are you waiting to contribute to Krita? The developers that maintain the project answer tickets and questions posted to reddit in a good time, and are extremely easy to work with.

Read more here how to build from source, and here on how to submit patches.

Happy hacking!

Debugging an application that freezes the X server

Some time ago, I decided to start writing C++ again, and picked Krita for that. Krita is written in C++ and Qt. The bug I was working on involved a memory issue when changing the UI.

The problem was that this UI change would result in, not only Krita, but the whole X server freezing. My set up was basically Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, with Eclipse, Qt5, and the latest version of Krita checked out via git.

Initially I spent some time looking at the logs, tracing the binary, even downloaded some Qt utility tools to look at the events and what was happening with the application when it froze.

However, eventually I realized I was going to spend more time on this part of the issue, rather than on the memory bug. So decided to look for a work-around.

Thankfully someone else blogged about a similar issue and saved me a lot of time :-) Here’s how I did it, following the instructions in this blog post.

$ sudo apt-get install xnest -y
$ cd krita_install/
$ Xnest :10
$ twm -display :10
$ export DISPLAY=:10
$ ./krita

That’s it. You should have Krita running in a separate window, with Xnest, and within this window the twm window manager running. So when it freezes, at least you can still debug your application in Eclipse or whatever IDE you prefer.

Happy hacking!

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