29 September 2009

Starting up gnubiff



I am using gnubiff as my email notifier because it's cuter and more flexible than the defacto standard Mail Notification. In fact, I use two different instances of gnubiff to provide notification for two different groups of email accounts. (Yeah ... I have too many email accounts.)

However, one of gnubiff's issues is that once it encounters an error (such as if the Internet connection isn't up) it tends to get stuck even when whatever caused the error is fixed. To help with this problem, I wrote a script that I call when my session starts up. The script waits until the Internet connection is up before starting my biffs. You'll need to modify the specific biff/gnubiff/whatever calls for your needs.
#!/bin/bash

# Copyright (c) 2009, Mithat Konar
# All rights reserved.
#
# Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without 
# modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are
# met:
# 
#     * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright 
#       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
#     * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
#       notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
#       documentation and/or other materials provided with the
#       distribution.
#     * Neither the name of the  nor the names of its
#       contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived
#       from this software without specific prior written permission.
# 
# THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS
# IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO,
# THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR 
# PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR 
# CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, 
# EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, 
# PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR 
# PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF 
# LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING 
# NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS 
# SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
#
# Delays the launching of biffs so the network can get setup.
# Requires wget, zenity.

MAX_TRIES=4   # max number of attempts to verify connection
DELAY=15   # time between attmepts to verify connection
TEST_URL=http://www.google.com # the URL used to verify connection
TMP_FILE=/tmp/start-biffs-mfk # a needed temp file; must be user r-w

###########################################################################

rm -f $TMP_FILE
numTries=0
while [ "a" == "a" ]
do
if [ $numTries -ge $MAX_TRIES ] ; then
zenity --question --title "biff startup issues" --text "I haven't been able to detect an Internet connection.\n\nShould I continue trying?"
if [ "$?" == "0" ] ; then
numTries=0
else
exit 1
fi
fi
wget $TEST_URL -O $TMP_FILE
if [ -s $TMP_FILE ] ; then
break 
fi
sleep $DELAY
let numTries=numTries+1
done
rm -f $TMP_FILE

###########################################################################
sleep 5
gnubiff -n --systemtray -c ~/.gnubiffrc-gmail&
sleep 10
gnubiff -n --systemtray -c ~/.gnubiffrc-misc&
# the following isn't really a biff, but it's close enough to count as one
sleep 10
~/Apps/scripts/email-notify-mfk&

25 September 2009

Running commands on GNOME logout

This post deals with GNOME, which disqualifies it from any reasonable "light-and-lean" discussion, but I don't exactly know where else to make a note of this.

One of the bigger omissions from GNOME is that there is no built-in mechanism for executing commands at logout. I discovered this the hard way when trying to set up MPD to run completely in userspace (to be documented in an upcoming post). However, it is possible to make GDM run arbitrary stuff at the end of the session, and that can be used to good effect as described here. In the event that that link goes bad, in summary what you do is edit /etc/gdm/PostSession/Default
and add
logoutscript="$HOME/.gdmlogout";
if [ -x "$logoutscript" ] ; then
su $USER -c "$logoutscript"
fi
to the file. Then create a file .gdmlogout in your home directory and make it executable.

You need to note that this will only work if you are using GDM and the .gdmlogout file will execute no matter what desktop environment you log into.

14 September 2009

Use ROX-Filer to open containing folders in Firefox/Iceweasel (Part 2)

About a year ago, I wrote up a method for getting Firefox/Iceweasel to open files in ROX-filer in Debian Etch. Recently, Into.The.Void wrote up a much more sane way to accomplish the same thing in Gentoo that works with more recent versions of ROX.

ROX's -U option that Into.The.Void uses is not available in the version of ROX that's in Etch, but it is available in Lenny. (You have updated to Lenny, haven't you?) The bad news is that, the file used in Into.The.Void's script, /usr/lib/rox/ROX-Filer/AppRun, is not part of the ROX package in Lenny. But the good news is that it is trivially simple to change the script so that it does work in Lenny.

So, here is Into.The.Void's method adapted to Lenny:

As root, make a new file /usr/local/bin/roxuri and copy the following into it:
#!/bin/sh
exec rox -U "$@"
Make the new file executable for all by using ROX or by issuing the command:

chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/roxuri

Open Firefox/Iceweaswel and set it to use the script to open files with Edit -> Preferences -> Applications: file and selecting /usr/local/bin/roxuri

Enjoy.

I don't know if this will work with Ubuntu because for some strange reason Ubuntu's version of ROX in 9.04 is quite a bit older than what ships in Lenny.