Status update

A small update from the battle front: I’m trying to find a blog editor which I like. Like I stated before, I need something like Windows Live Writer for my 64-bit Gentoo system. I’ve been hitting the search engines with every phrase I could come up with and so far I only found a random blog about editors for the Free Desktop. Even though the author seems to find a lot more than I do, of the 5 (or actually 10 if you count the options from the linked article) only 3 keep up with my list of demands.

I’ll skip the first 5 (because those plain suck) and skip to the last (and best) 5 options. First up is Thingamablog. This one has a decent interface, is written in Java and resembles a news client. Cool as it may be, it does not support XML RPC style postings, only direct uploads to ftp.

The next one is JBlogEditor. This one is also written in Java but is no longer actively maintained. I had a hard time getting it to run in the first place as the native SWT libraries in there are meant for 32-bit systems. I tried to get the source from SVN but they have no docs on how to build from source and after finally be able to compile it by writing my own compile and run script (which grabs all dependencies) I found out they use a launch system from Eclipse which I don’t know.

After all the effort I finally came up with the brilliant idea to use Wine to run the Windows binary. It finally worked but then I found out they only support WordPress for custom sites, the Blogger API does not wants to play with a third party website (it does not ask for a URL so it ends up at

The 3rd option it QTM for KDE and I can be brief: it looks way to simple for my taste. I will look into it later on to see if its any good as the version reviewed is way older than the current version.

Next up is Flock. Flock is not so much a dedicated blog editor as a fully intergrated package with a Firefox browser and loads of extra stuff, being the "Community Browser" or something. It works straight out of the box on my system but it is way to heavy for just blogging.

Last up is Bleezer, another Java based blogging client. I’ve actually used that one before so I know it works. The interface is a bit wonky at times but it works fine. The main issue I had in the past is the fact that on linux, it used the default Look and Feel from Java, which is at this time with Java 1.6.0 still Metal. If you don’t know it, it looks horrible – something escaped from a Windows 3.1 system or perhaps ancient Solaris.

I finally found a solution for the skinning problem though: use the command line to tell Java to switch the default L&F. I’m currently using something like this:
java -jar Bleezer.jar

The only thing driving me nuts at the moment is the fact that the GTK skin is all wrong. Its a lot better than Metal but the fonts are way too small. I have the feeling that this is an issue with the fact that the Qt-to-GtK bridge that I have on my computer is broken because of KDE4 (and thus Qt4.x). At least it is better than nothing and right now I’m even typing this using Bleezer so everything is all good.

I still have high hopes for KBlogger but as long as the 1.0 branch is alpha I will stay clear as it seems to have loads of issues and I can’t get it to compile at all.


Japan Blog Study Tour

Temples and cold feet

IMG_2409 The next morning was really really cold. Everything besides sleeping quarters is unheated so with temperatures around the freezing point it was a rude awakening (and getting up at 5:30 in the morning is a rough wake up – period). Somehow somebody managed to throw a pillow (filled with grains or something) through one of the paper walls – oops. But we were allowed to take part in the morning ceremony of the temple none the less. The high priest of the temple led the ceremony and afterwards we all got a divine blessing from him (perhaps I should have had him bless my teeth instead of the trip and flight) and we had breakfast. I ditched the misu soup and the rice and went for the fruit salad and tea (yes, shoot me). After a while some monk came in telling us that there was coffee: within seconds the eating hall was deserted.

Japan Blog Study Tour

Visiting the first companies

Today (3rd day) we have visited 2 companies. Omron and NAIST. Omron makes nanotech electrical components like miniature fiber-optics and face recognition software. Omron has a nice building and they do some cool stuff but they work pretty much on a practical side: they have a problem and they develop a solution.

Like I said before, 2 of the group became sick from last nights food and they became ill while we were on the move: Ronald decorated the floor of the bus and Erik spectacularly demonstrated the acoustics of the Omron building. As we walked outside the open balcony of the Omron building our tour guide (pretty Japanese girl) explained how they worked in an open workspace and people came outside for fresh air or to smoke a cigarette in piece and quiet. She barely had said that when Erik hurled towards the nearest fire escape and demonstrated the echoing of the balcony haven. The look on the poor girls face when she realized what was going on was priceless.

Japan Blog Study Tour


A bit late but due to the lack of time I didn’t have had the time to upload any photos or write some other message.

10022008037 So after the flight to Tokyo, we boarded the flight to Osaka. Luckily this was a short flight because the plane was much smaller and much older (and hence, noisier). After we got to Osaka airport and collected our luggage, we walked to the bus that would take us to the hotel.10022008056  Besides the color, it was a decent bus and the driver knew how to floor it so after a short while we passed through the outskirts of Osaka and arrived in the Umeda area of Osaka where we found our hotel: Hotel Kinky.

The name is more exciting than the hotel itself as the rooms are rather small. Especially the 3-bed room I’m sharing with Luuk and Roald: the beds are so close together that we have to put the suitcase on the bed to be able to open them. Also the western style rooms have no closet (whatsoever) and nothing to hang clothes on except for 5 coat hanger hooks in the wall. As a comparison: one of us has a Japanese style bedroom which comes with towel hanger in the shower and a rack in the bedroom. On the upside we have a fridge which is kinda empty but at least it was turned on when we arrived.

Another source of humor is found in the fact that the TV has an English manual but its so dead simple that none of us need it to figure out how it works. However the thermostat and the water boiler are in Japanese with no indication what everything does. Right now, we managed to fire up the heating but boiling water is still a mystery.

Japan Blog Study Tour

High up in the sky

While I’m typing this, I’m flying above Syberia somewhere at 36500 feet or 11125 meter altitude while flying at 927 km/hour (I need to get one of these engines for my car :-P). We still need to go 3181 miles which will cost us 6 hours and 41 minutes – gotta love in-flight information systems.

But lets start at the beginning, I woke up at 11 o clock in the morning with a steady 7 hours of sleep (needed to make sure I brought enough music and movies along for the flight and the stay in general, so I was up late). After getting dressed with a cup of coffee and a long shower I managed to recheck the packing list to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. By the time I was almost done, my parents and my youngest sister dropped in to bring me to the bus and to wave me off.

Once at the gathering point (its 14:30 by now), we found ourselves short one touring car. After a while the last people finally arrived and the bus finally showed up. Ofcourse the bus driver didn’t drive all the way up to the gathering point, instead he parked at the end of the street, making us walk to the damn bus. We finally headed off in the right direction: Schiphol Airport!

Japan Blog Study Tour

Rushing to the finish

Its been a few days since my last posting because I’ve been so darn busy.

For starters, I managed to get my insurance policy in English so I can take it with me at all times like the travel guides suggest. Next I tried getting Yen from the local GWK as they have "all kinds of currency in stock". Yes, all except for Yen they mean.