Archive for March, 2010

Seamonkey 2 on CentOS 5

Wednesday 31 March 2010 1 comment

I prefer Seamonkey to other web browsers. The generic tarball build offered for Linux on the Seamonkey website doesn’t work quite right on my machine. Currently I find no one building it for CentOS 5, and certainly not tracking the current releases. For example, just yesterday, Seamonkey saw version 2.0.4 released. (Please be sure to check for later versions. Seamonkey releases age rather quickly.)

Because my machine is adequate, I wanted to see how hard it would be to build it for myself. Somebody had already prepared some notes, and I simply followed the advice for Fedora regarding dependencies. However, I’m not such a fan as to keep track of it like a developer, so I follow a simplified scheme.

Get the source. You can find links for the latest source here. Currently that’s a huge wad nearly 60MB. I move it to /usr/local/src/ and do the un-bzip and un-tar routine. It opens out to a directory named comm-1.9.1, which is not what you’d expect.

Navigate into that directory. My simplified instructions are:

  1. echo ‘ac_add_options –enable-application=suite’ > .mozconfig
  2. echo ‘mk_add_options MOZ_MAKE_FLAGS=”-j4″‘ >> .mozconfig
  3. make -f
  4. make install

If you don’t have at least a dual core processor in your computer, maybe you should change that second line at the end to "-j2" but be sure to keep the trailing single quotation mark (‘). My Athlon dual-core churns away smoothly for about a half-hour, then the prompt returns with no errors. After the make install I find the Seamonkey binary in /usr/local/bin and create a custom launcher on the desktop for it.

I check a couple of times every week and repeat the process for each new release. It simply overwrites the previous installation. I note a particular nice thing is, since having fixed the bytecode hinting in my Freetype2 libraries, and building on them, the fonts display on Seamonkey is sharper than anything pre-packaged for CentOS.

Categories: computers Tags: , ,

CentOS: Fixing Ugly KDE Fonts

Tuesday 30 March 2010 Leave a comment

On CentOS/RHEL 5 in particular, I found the fonts in KDE 3 were ragged, and unresponsive to efforts to clean them up via recompiling Freetype2 libs with bytecode hinting turned on. After reading up on it a bit, I decided it might be possible to fix it by recompiling the basic Qt libraries from the source RPM.

As of this writing, the current SRPM is qt-3.3.6-23.

If you follow the canonical method, you’ll place the source RPM in /usr/src/redhat/SRPMS/ and install from there:

rpm -ivh qt-3.3.6-23.el5.src.rpm

Then you navigate to /usr/src/redhat/SPEC/ and run the command:

rpmbuild -bb qt.spec

If you are missing any build requirements, it will complain and you can install them using yum. Run the RPMbuild command again. After a while, you’ll get the prompt back, hopefully indicating nothing went wrong.

Navigate to /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/ and choose the folder containing files matching your hardware architecture. Mine was i386, where I found the newly made qt-3.3.6-23.i386.rpm.

You’ll have to use the --force switch because RPM can’t tell this is different from the one already installed:

rpm -Uvh --force qt-3.3.6-23.i386.rpm

Once it’s installed, you’ll need to restart any part of KDE currently running to get the full effect. Just for good measure, I used the same procedure and rebuilt the kdelibs package on the new Qt libraries. However, I doubt it really makes that much difference in the results. As far as I can tell, Qt handles most of the font rendering operations in KDE. Something in the way it builds under RedHat and clones requires building Qt with the changed Freetype libraries.

Caveat: I have tested KDE 4 on other systems and hate it, so don’t waste your time with comments insisting it’s better. That’s entirely subjective. KDE 3 was fine, basically, but the developers never bothered to fix everything, just abandoned it and moved onto the next, even buggier release. That’s the way Open Source works, and I accept that, but the criticism still stands. When you have a system which is developer-centric, the user will never be satisfied because the developers don’t care about users, for the most part.

Categories: computers Tags: ,

Implications of the Decalogue: Conclusion

Tuesday 30 March 2010 1 comment

The Covenant of Moses was closed at the Cross. In that sense, God today holds no one accountable to the Law of Moses. We keep it around, referring to it historically, so that we may learn about His Laws in general. Moses was a specific example and application of the Covenant of Noah.

Noah is still in force today. All human governments are bound by it, measured against that standard. Because the Decalogue is rather general in nature, we can see it as a reflection of the broader standard of Noah. It’s not a waste of time to continue citing its provisions.

On the mystical level, what we can learn from it is most assuredly binding on every believer in this world. It helps us grasp the nature of God’s mind regarding things.

Categories: religion Tags: , ,

Implications of the Decalogue: Ten

Monday 29 March 2010 Leave a comment

You shall not covet your neighbor’s property. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

The Hebrew word “covet” carried more weight than simple envy in this context. At that time, the Nation of Israel still suffered a tremendous amount of superstition common to that part of the world. For example, the notion there was only One God was revolutionary, and Hebrew people as a whole never quite embraced that until after the Exile. In this case, the concept of covet included a background of what we would call petty black magic, where one might seek to employ the likes of “the evil eye” to bring harm to someone they envied or despised for any reason.

We know today the reality of such things as God viewed it. Someone obsessed with the property or comforts of another would give room to Satan and his demons for all sorts of mischief. The Suzerain was demanding His people keep their spiritual doors locked against evil by simply learning to accept their lot in life, trusting Him for all their needs.

The mystical lesson is obvious. God alone, through His Spirit, can prompt people to fight circumstances. However, we do that only for the most other-worldly purposes. We don’t fight with the expectation of winning, but we fight because God commands it, regardless of the outcome. When it comes to mere personal property and creature comforts, this should be the last thing we care about. Under His Laws, whatever is really needed for His purposes is always provided quite generously. Under His grace, we outgrow the concern for such things and take what comes as our basic assumption, and fight it only when we can’t avoid it.

Wanting stuff is the root of all sorts of evil. Taking offense at someone else’s relative prosperity is sin by definition. You should rather rejoice with them in their good fortune, and celebrate the simplicity of your own life. If you are on the lower rungs of material prosperity, thank God for the lack of complexity, and get on with serving your Master.

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Implications of the Decalogue: Nine

Sunday 28 March 2010 Leave a comment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

The Suzerain does not permit dishonesty. Since it would require more than one witness in court to meet the minimum evidence of a crime, it would invariably be collusion and conspiracy to offer a false accusation or account.

But it’s far more than just the narrow application of a trial court. This includes rumors, unjustified hatred, or any of the thousands of ways we take life and sanity from people one tiny sliver at a time. The security and safety of your neighbor is your own. When it becomes every man for himself, every man dies — literally in some measure, but most fully in the figurative sense.

This is a mystical God speaking His demands in a mystical culture to a people acquainted with mystical logic. Truth is Our God, and if we are not committed to the Truth, we are His enemy. Speaking a lie against God is blasphemy, but speaking a lie against His declaration is hardly less of a sin. God says if you aren’t willing to suffer for His Truth, you can’t gain the safety of lies. Thus, the symbolism: In court cases, those caught lying will receive the punishment they hoped to gain for the person against whom they perjured themselves. When you begin digging into anything contrary to God’s revelation, you have chosen death.

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Implications of the Decalogue: Eight

Saturday 27 March 2010 Leave a comment

You shall not steal.

The word translated into English as “steal” covers a wide range of unjust takings, including frauds. It should be obvious how this inflicts harm on the community. The whole point of living in proximity of others is security, not inviting abuse. We should find it strange this even needs to be addressed. Still, such a blunt statement covers a lot of territory.

Our Suzerain says we need only what He grants us. It’s an affront to Him directly if we insist on nabbing something He gave to another, as if we were charging Him with mismanagement and neglect.

Paul said it best when he said we should prefer being a victim in this area than risk in the slightest degree defrauding another. A primary sin of the Pharisees and the Hellenized corruption of the Law of Moses was this nasty pile of excuses for grabbing other people’s stuff. Jesus condemned it harshly, suggesting a great many Jews were actually worshiping Mammon. A loose grip on the things of this world means they will have a loose grip on you.

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Implications of the Decalogue: Seven

Friday 26 March 2010 Leave a comment

You shall not commit adultery.

This is one commandment more honored in the violation than in the keeping. The Suzerain is not amused when people break faith. We are not animals operating with no moral compass, but bear a heavy obligation to uphold the needs of our extended family community over our particular appetites. Sexual fulfillment is not a sacred right.

Nor is this a demand you view sex merely as an act of procreation. However, you cannot separate the two. It’s bad enough we carry the Western mythology that romantic love is mysteriously overpowering, but we don’t even have much of that these days. It’s just a form of recreation, detached from any other reality.

Notice here the issue is not sex out of wedlock, but sex which interferes with the marriage bond. Nor is it simply a matter ancient women were mere property in themselves. Rather, their sexual favors were a property right, as were the man’s. Sex meant making babies, and God says babies need the full support of their entire village — which always meant your extended family household. So you don’t upset things by getting your cousin’s wife/daughter/etc. pregnant without that lifelong commitment. Same goes if you spot some gal/guy from another clan or even another nation. Proper social stability was not possible without honoring commitments between persons. Obviously, prostitution is also a sin, regardless, but the Old Testament narrative seldom bothered to condemn the obvious.

God has distinct notions about this, and He knows what is best. Reading between the lines, we note idolatry and adultery don’t simply sound similar in English, but they are morally related. If you try to quibble on God’s requirements, you are a moral adulterer, as the Suzerain is the husband who marries the nation as His bride. The Hebrew death penalty on adultery applied to both sexes, but in spiritual terms, you are dead already if you can play around on God.

Categories: religion Tags: , , ,

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