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Phabricator fork and the Scribe code base.
Date: 3/5/2022
Tags: scribe opensource
No one cares, but the announcement on 1st April wasn't a joke. Scribe is actually going open source. It's just taken way longer than I expected to create a new mercurial repository and have the hosting work correctly. Part of the issue is that my Phabricator install was misbehaving and it took a while to fix. I've had to create a fork of Phabricator and fix the passing of arguments to hg's web-server.

I also had to clear out all the proprietary stuff in the Scribe code base, do some cleanup and get it all building again. Mostly that boils down to the OAUTH2 client secrets (good bye Gmail support) and the InScribe key checking code. That work is mostly complete now so I can publish the code base. It lives here:

https://phab.mallen.id.au/source/scribeopensrc/

I'll be adding some more info on how to get it to build and updating the Scribe home page over the next few weeks. But it's slow going cause I have very little energy at the moment. I'm on day 14 since I got my first covid symptoms. Which have all cleared up bar the tiredness. Fortunately no one else in my family got it.

Oh yeah, I've moved the versioning for the open source tree to "v3.x.x" just to make it clear where the new builds come from. The v2.4.22 changes will be rolled into a v3.0.0 build soon. As I won't make that build off the proprietary code base.

Well ok, but how do you build it?

hg clone https://phab.mallen.id.au/source/scribeopensrc/ code/scribe/trunk
python code\scribe\trunk\build.py

Should get you most of the way there. That currently just supports Windows but I will extend that support to other OS's as soon as I can. Requirements look like:

Common: Windows: MacOSX: Linux:
  • ...TBD...
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Scribe...
Date: 1/4/2022
Tags: scribe
...is going open source. There will no free / paid versions. Just the full build available for free. Donate if you like.
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i.Disk cross platform release
Date: 2/3/2022
Tags: idisk
i.Disk is now available on all 3 platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux. There is a roll up of all the changes over the last 2 years. Mostly aimed at better updating of status during a scan and cleaner listing of folders and drives including their free space and total size. This also marks my first attempt at distributing a Linux based appimage. It would be interesting to see if it runs on a variety of Linux systems.
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IMAP Gmail support in Scribe
Date: 15/8/2021
Tags: Scribe Google
This is an update on the support for Gmail IMAP connections. I'm sure that if you have tried to connect to Gmail with Scribe you get a warning about the app being "unverified". You can click into the advanced section and bypass that warning to get access. But as of right now that is limited to 100 users (of which 81 have taken advantage of bypassing the warning). So very soon that will not be a valid path to gaining access to Gmail from within Scribe.

So this verification process? What's involved? Well you have to tick certain boxes. Things like having a homepage that meets certain criteria, having a privacy policy that states what you'll do with the user's data. And also using certain "scopes" that Google deem responsible. And that's where the trouble starts. Because Google (more specifically the app verification team) on one hand wants the apps to use fine grained scopes like "https://www.googleapis.com/auth/gmail.modify" but if you actually try and implement that you find that the OAUTH2 process fails with a scope error. If you then revert to using the more broad scope of "https://mail.google.com/" you can create a connection but the app verification team won't accept the app on the basis of the scope being too broad. They then contend that you should re-implement your client using the native Gmail restful API.

The native API? Really... just implement a whole backend to support one company's server? The whole point of IMAP and SMTP is that the client supports ONE protocol used by everyone. This would be a lot of work to support just one service. And even then Google states that you SHOULDN'T do that here: https://developers.google.com/gmail/api/guides. What is one to do?

Well right now. Nothing. Nothing can be done, Google have painted all the email client developers into a corner where there is no way forward. Some mutually exclusive options that don't work for us. What should they do? Probably enable the gmail.modify scope for IMAP and then allow apps to use than and be accepted for verification. Is that going to happen? Probably not. For reasons unknown. Google is now far to large and political to get things like that right.

So at some point Gmail support will just cease to work anymore and there is nothing I can do about it. I'm considering just yanking it out completely. The office 365 support has also been borked for a long time for extremely similar reasons... "use our proprietary API not this well known standard". And beyond Google and Microsoft there aren't any other OAUTH2 services I tried to support. (Am I missing something?)
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Gtk3 bugs on Debian (Gnome WM)
Date: 26/6/2021
Tags: linux gtk3 debian
So over the last month I've been poking at Lgi (the framework Scribe uses) on Debian trying to fix the numerous graphical glitches in the GTK3 port. And I've come to the realization that it's just horribly broken. Unlike the Ubuntu 16/18/20 installs I have that "just work". Debian seems to include the window shadow in all the coordinates. WTF? So mouse cursor x/y values are +24 compared to the window. (Ie if you move the mouse to the top left corner it's still 26,28 or something) Setting the size of the window results in a GTK_CONFIGURE message with a wildly different rectangle (out by something like 24 x 2?). Leaving all the controls in the window scaled off the right and bottom edges. None of the invalidation of dirty client content work correctly. And on top of that they use a different glib version.

They cookin up a mess over there in Debian land. So in the short to medium term I'm just going to not support Debian. Unless someone wants to chime in with some good ideas.
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Setting a DNS domain search in Ubuntu 20
Date: 10/3/2021
Tags: linux
There doesn't seem to be many good results for that search in Google so I'm documenting it. If you want to have an automatic domain suffix set for DNS in Ubuntu 20 you need to edit:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/resolved.conf

And uncomment the Domains field like this:

[Resolve]
Domains=myDomainSuffix

Then restart the service:

sudo service systemd-resolved restart

or reboot.
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