It took me quite a while to release a new package for Calibre, the e-book library manager. That had a reason.
In July I switched the Qt5 package in my repositories to version 5.11 to support the latest KDE Plasma5 software and because it offers advantages over the previous 5.9 releases. Unfortunately, as I found out soon afterwards, the Calibre software fails to work with Qt 5.11 – its GUI components were not built and there was no obvious error to explain why.
Therefore I had to re-visit the calibre.SlackBuild‘s internals and try to revive the internal functions that compile an embedded Qt library set. This was last tested in the early days of my Calibre packages when Qt4 was the running champion. Adding internal Qt5 support was quite a different beast. Qt5 is a lot bigger than the venerable Qt4 so the build process needed some pruning to keep the compilation times acceptable and the package size under control.
That took a full week’s nights of compiling, debugging, recompiling and so on… hence the lack of updates on the ‘ktown’ front where I should perhaps pay some attention to a recent poppler update in slackware-current. But I managed to add Qt 5.9 internal library support to the calibre package.
My package for Slackware 14.2 still depends on an external ‘qt5’ package (to keep the package size small and because calibre works just fine with the qt 5.7 which is available from my own repository and the SBo script repository). The package for Slackware -current on the other hand was built with an embedded Qt 5.9, which means that its external dependency list shrunk to just ‘podofo’ and ‘unrar’.
Grab the new ‘calibre’ package and enjoy your e-book library!
And I updated the “plasma” package set of my KDE5 (aka Plasma 5) repository on ‘ktown‘; this is also just also for slackware-current. Plasma was upgraded to 5.5.4 which is a new bugfix release.
And there is a bit more, still in the pipeline. I have stamped a “version 0.5.0” onto my liveslak scripts and I am currently in the process of generating new ISO images for my Slackware Live Edition (in full Slackware, Plasma5, Mate and slimmed-down XFCE variants).
After I upload the new ISOs I will update the git repository with liveslak-0.5.0 sources. More about that hopefully tomorrow if my testing yielded good results.
The Document Foundation announced version 5.0.2 of their free Office Suite a few days ago. LibreOffice 5.0.2 is the second update to the “5” major release. Again this is a bugfix release for Linux, no new functionality has been added. According to the Document Foundation “LibreOffice 5.0.2 is targeted to technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users. For more conservative users, and for enterprise deployments, TDF suggests the “still” version: LibreOffice 4.4.5“.
The new LibreOffice 5.0.2 packages have been compiled for users of Slackware-current only – after all, you are the power users of Slackware. I offer 4.4.5 packages for Slackware 14.1 where a wee bit more conservatism is a good thing. The 4.4.5 packages should also work on -current, but I have not tested that.
There was a bug report in the comments section of my previous LibreOffice blog post: audio and video files embedded in presentations suffer from delays when opened. This appears to happen in all builds of LibreOffice that use gstreamer-1.x (like my LibreOffice 5 packages) whereas the bug does not appear when LibreOffice has been configured to use gstreamer-0.x (like my LibreOffice 4 packages). The bug has been reported over a year ago, but it does not show a lot of movement.
I decided to stick with gstreamer-1.x, to see if the new release is still affected. Let me know! If the bug still shows, I will compile LO 5.0.3 against gstreamer-0.x again.
For download locations, see below.
Also, I released packages for the latest version of Calibre. I quit following the weekly Calibre update cycle, and at some point noticed that the Calibre developer himself also switched from weekly updates to bi-weeklies.
Calibre 2.x uses Qt5 for its GUI so you’ll have to install a couple of dependencies as well: qt5 of course, and podofo. The remainder of the dependencies (several python libraries) has been built into the package so that they do not have to be installed separately. Available for both Slackware 14.1 and Slackware-current, you can grab the calibre package off the Slackware server or any other mirror that carries my repository:
It’s been nearly ten months since my last package for Calibre. What’s Calibre again I hear you ask? It is the highly popular E-book library management program with support for any E-Reader you can think of. I doubt that anyone who tried Calibre will ever switch back to one of the proprietary library management programs that commonly ship with E-Reader devices because Calibre transfers your E-books to and from your E-Reader device with ease. Calibre also contains an excellent E-book reader program for your desktop – even an EPUB editor comparable to Sigil. It will let you convert E-books from one format to another and allows you to subscribe to lots of news sites.
Last year august, the Calibre software switched from Qt4 to Qt5 for its user interface, and I was not yet prepared to follow suit. Running up to that month I had been working long and hard on the new KDE 5 preview and that was my first encounter with Qt5 – I decided to wait a bit for the new Calibre to mature and also I wanted to wait with adding Qt5 to my slackbuilds repository (the qt5 in ‘ktown_testing’ was just that, for testing KDE 5 and nothing production-ready).
During the previous couple of weeks I enjoyed several long weekends due to national holidays, and so it happened that I could spend some time re-visiting the calibre.SlackBuild and updating it so that it was able to compile a package for Calibre 2.x.
I wanted as few external dependencies as possible. The exception would be Qt5 which should be a proper package in its own right – it is too big to become a mere part of a calibre package. I ended up with just “podofo” and “qt5” as dependencies and I am now in the process of uploading the qt5 packages for slackware-current… something I forgot earlier this week. I borrowed them from my ktown_testing repository in order to compile Calibre.
But I also want to keep the older Qt4 version of Calibre (the 1.x releases) around for those who like that better or do not want the big Qt5 on their computer. So I renamed my SlackBuild for the 1.x version to “calibre1.SlackBuild“. I then recompiled calibre-1.48.0 for Slackware-current because the previous build of the package was broken after the recent big update and I still needed to address that issue. That is why you will find a “calibre” as well as a “calibre1” package in the repositories for Slackware 14.1 and -current. Take your pick.
Enjoy a shiny new Calibre 2.28.0 on Slackware (14.1 and -current)!
I have not been updating this blog for a couple of days, but that did not mean I was sitting on hy hands.
These are the package updates which landed in my various repositories during the last few days:
Nearly every week I have been updating my Calibre packages whenever Kovid Goyal released a new version. Especially the last couple of releases are really exciting. Perhaps you noticed (if you are an ebook lover or even an ebook writer) that the Sigil EPUB editor’s progress had stalled, in fact the software’s development is dead. I did not really care because Sigil had switched its Qt dependency from 4 to 5 and Slackware does not contain Qt5, so new Slackware packages were out of the question anyway. Now, Calibre has been enhanced with an ebook editor. Visually and functionally the Calibre ebook editor application shows similarities to Sigil, however it is a completely different program, and it integrates perfectly into the Calibre GUI. You can invoke it directly by running “ebook-edit” from a terminal or using the “Edit E-book” menu item in your Desktop Environment.
Calibre can also run as a Web Server with an OPDS interface, ideal for when you have an ebook reader with a Wireless network interface – you can download books directly from your library without the need for a USB cable. But it needs to be hidden behind an Apache reverse proxy to make it safe enough to use on the Internet. I recently installed COPS however, which is built from the ground up to be a replacement Calibre OPDS PHP Server. After some discussion with the developer, I talked him into adding an online web-based EPUB reader which is based on Monocle, so that I can read my ebooks directly on my ChromeBook without the need for downloads or browser plugins.
I already posted about my gripes with building the new LibreOffice 4.2.0. Well, I finally managed to make it work, and the resulting packages (for Slackware 14.1 and -current) are available. A significant bug was rapidly discovered in Calc when using a non-english language pack. It seems that other people suffered from this in earlier releases even, and not just on Slackware. Still, this is a release with many improvements. Read more about the new features and fixes on the announcement page. Interesting tidbit: LibreOffice 4.2 offers a new Start screen, with a cleaner layout that makes better use of the available space – even on small screens – and shows a preview of the last documents you opened.
Focus for the 4.2 cycle is performance and interoperability (yeah, when is it not) with MS Office.
Note that I ship my LibreOffice 4.1 and 4.2 packages with additional “libreoffice-dict-<language>” packages, containing dictionary and spellchecker support! If you are still running Slackware 13.37 there’s LibreOffice 3.6.7 for which I also have packages, and users of Slackware 14.0 are served well with LibreOffice 4.1.4.
Another update to Chrome/Chromium brings this open source version of Chrome to 32.0.1700.107, and interestingly enough (but I disregarded this) another update appeared one day later which “upgrades” Chromium to 32.0.1700.103. A comment to that blog announcement questions the effective downgrade but there is no answer yet from the developers.
This is another maintenance release of the “Rincewind” release, “fixing numerous bugs, and improves decoders, notably for the new formats (HEVC and VP9). Important fixes involve Audio and Video output management on most platforms“. 2.1.3 also “improves the demuxer and decoders for most formats, and the various interfaces“.
Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .
My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.
Adobe’s Flash Player plugin
There was a minor version number update today, for Adobe’s Flash Player Plugin for web browsers. The update is accompanied by a security bulletin “apsb14-04”
Packages for Mozilla compatible browsers are here (and the update to pepperflash plugin for Chromium should follow shortly):
A new release of the web browser plugin for OpenJDK is available since today. Version 1.4.2 finally makes Oracle’s Java version tester page work again (remember that you now have to explicitly allow the plugin to start inside your Firefox or Chromium browser):
The latest KDE Sofware Compilation is 4.12.2 which is available now and it accompanied by Plasma Workspaces 4.11.6. Mostly bug fix release, you should have no issues upgrading.
Contrary to what I had told before, I have built these packages on Slackware 14.1. I am running them on all my Slackware-current boxes without issues. The difference between Slackware 14.1 and -current is not so big yet, which is the rationale behind my decision to use Slackware 14.1 as the compilation platform this one time (for maximum compatibility). You will find all the installation/upgrade instructions that you need in the accompanying README file. That README also contains basic information for KDE recompilation using the provided SlackBuild script.
You are strongly advised to read and follow these installation/upgrade instructions!
My packages can be found in the ‘ktown’ repository which I maintain for KDE packages: