Thursday, July 25, 2013

Integrating Apache OpenOffice 4.0 with GMail using MAPI

Legend Netscape and Mozilla programmer Jamie Zawinski (aka JWZ) has  humorously stated in his Law on Software Development that "Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can."

While the popular OpenOffice open source office suite did not yet "expand to do e-mail", it allows sending documents from the program interface using whatever e-mail client program is configured on your system, be it Mozilla's Thunderbird, or Microsoft's bundled Windows Mail, or the former Outlook Express, on Lotus Notes, or Eudora, you name it.

The problem comes, as one AOO user recently pointed, when you expect apps that can fire your e-mail client to "work with GMail". The problem is that GMail is not an application. GMail is a web site. You can have an application like Open Office call your default web browser, and even tell it to load GMail with a compose window opened, but you still can't tell the browser to attach a given file to your new composed e-mail. At least not without some "glue code".

Rob Weir explained: "there is an industry standard for accessing email:  MAPI(Messaging Application Programming Interface).  OpenOffice works with any application that supports MAPI.   Most email clients support MAPI.  GMail does not.  That is their choice.  We can't force them to support MAPI.  But we're not writing custom support for every email client in existence.  We support the standard. "

Thats where "TVHGoogleMAPI" comes in. It is an Apache-license open source project that makes GMail a registered "Simple MAPI" protocol handler on Windows. I have tested it with Windows 7 (64-bit edition) and I confirm that it works.

You can download this app from its Google Code project page at:

The install was painless to me. Just follow the dialogs and it configures itself automatically. It just places an icon available from the Start button to uninstall it. Other than that it seems to work automagically. ;)

Screenshots are included below:

1. You load a document on AOO 4.0 and click on File-Send-Send document as E-Mail

2. The TVHGoogleMAPI program will ask for your GMail account credentials. See the disclaimer at the end of this post about security concerns.

3. GMail opens up with your system default web browser with a GMail email compose window, and the AOO document attached to it.

4. If you have GMail configured to use the new UGLY GMail COMPOSE WINDOW this is what you will see.

5. The other user receives your attached AOO 4.0 document in his e-mail.


 I did test this app with a new GMail account, not using my main one. I am not the author of this linked application and I have not audited its source code. If you are concerned about this, you might want to create a secondary GMail account just for this use, or enable two-step authentication. Use the app at your own risk.

I hope this helps people wishing to integrate Apache Open Office with GMail.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Less is more

It should be an easy concept to grasp:

Yet, some people still need to see proof:

0. Win7 5x slower than XP

1. Vista: 25% slower than Windows XP

" We did informal tests, booting both Vista and XP on the same hardware, and Vista was between 15% and 25% slower than XP in benchmarks"

2. Inforworld: WInXP slower than Windows 2000

"Waiting for Windows XP"

" as indicated by results of independent testing performed by CSA Research and confirmed by our work in the InfoWorld Test Center. Our tests of the multitasking capabilities of Windows XP and Windows 2000 demonstrated that under the same heavy load on identical hardware, Windows 2000 significantly outperformed Windows XP. In the most extreme scenario, our Windows XP system took nearly twice as long to complete a workload as did the Windows 2000 client"

3. Win2k slower than NT4...

Microsoft looks to bury test results that show NT is faster than Win2000

"Microsoft recently threw around its weight -- and its fat wallet --
to squash an independent testing lab from publishing benchmark results
that the lab ran for InfoWorld's sister publication NetworkWorld. The test
demonstrated that SQL Server 7 runs nearly twice as fast on Windows NT
4.0 than it does on Windows 2000


Thursday, October 04, 2012

ZDNet trolling for anti-Javascript language, another ´anti-something´ Microsoft tech

Microsoft, like many firms -Google too-, suffers from the "NIH syndrome" (Not Invented Here). And it isn´t hard to imagine they aren´t too happy to see one of the key pieces of the modern AJAX paradigm and web apps is Javascript/ECMAscript, not invented by them, but at Netscape and now developed at Mozilla.

So I have recently stumbled upon this piece by a ZiffGatesNet writer outrageously titled "can the father of C# save us from the tyranny of Javascript?" that aims to boost interest in a Microsoft language that wants to dethrone Javascript.

I started laughing when he decided to quote Miguel de Icaza as an authorized ¨open source¨ figure. It seems that not being happy with his Mono Failure (Microsoft .Net clone for Linux) and his Moonlight failure (a failed clone of another failure, Microsoft´s Silverlight) he now wants to give a helping hand in destroying Javascript, as the he and others in the .Net camp have tried to destroy Java -unsuccesfully- for years now.

Back to the story, the headline is eye-catching no doubt about it, as it speaks of this new Microsoft language freeing us from the "Tyranny of Javascript". But when you read the story, there´s no substance about what tyranny we need to be saved from.

So, here´s my two simple answers to this long tirade:

1.there´s no "Javascript tyranny" interesting that the word "tyranny" is present only in the headline, with no substance in the article to back up that claim.
2. The headline asks a question, and the answer lies in "Betteridge´s Law of Headlines" which states: "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word 'no'*
So there :-P
PS: Nobody outside of Microsoft and Microsoft-only shops will get to use this language, for the same reasons that hampered .Net and Silverlight adoption: microsoft´s languages only work well and fully on Microsoft´s own OSs. They´re just means to justify Microsoft´s uber-end for the last couple of decades : "Windows Everywhere".

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Foxconn riots - and some exclusive footage from India

After this

Foxconn China plant closed after 2,000 riot

...comes this secretly videotaped footage of a huge riot at one undisclosed Fx.conn factory in India.

Alleged riot at one FC India factory :)

Sorry, I can´t reveal my sources...


The anti-Btrfs FUD must stop...

If you read the Whackypedia entry on "Butter FS" (Btrfs), you see:

"Btrfs (B-tree file system, variously pronounced "Butter F S", "Butterfuss", "Better F S",[1] or "B-tree F S"[2]) is a GPL-licensed copy-on-write file system for Linux. Development began at Oracle Corporation in 2007. It is still in heavy development and marked as unstable"

ewww... SCARY!

But then there´s another view:
LinuxCon Japan 2012 | Presentations
"On The Way to a Healthy Btrfs Towards Enterprise"
by  Liu Bo, Fujitsu

Let me quote:
"Btrfs has been on full development for about 5 years and it does make lots of progress on both features and performance, but why does everybody keep tagging it with ""experimental""? And why do people
still think of it as a vulnerable one for production use? As a goal of production use, we have been strengthening several features, making improvements on performance and keeping fixing bugs to make btrfs
stable, for instance, ""snapshot aware defrag"", ""extent buffer cache"", ""rbtree lock contention"", etc. This talk will cover the above"

From its web "Liu Bo has been working on Linux kernel development since late 2010 as a Fujitsu engineer. He has been working on filesystem field and he's now focusing on btrfs development".

RHEL 7 to get Btrfs support

"RHEL 7 will support ext4, XFS, and Btrfs (boot and data)"

Then you have SuSE:

"With SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2, the btrfs file system joins ext3, reiserfs, xfs and ocfs2 as *commercially supported file systems*. Each file system offers disctinct advantages. While the installation
default is ext3, we recommend xfs when maximizing data performance is desired, and *btrfs as a root file system when snapshotting and rollback capabilities are required. Btrfs is supported as a root file
system (i.e. the file system for the operating system) across all architectures of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2*. "

"OL6.3 that boots up uek (2.6.39-200.24.1) as install kernel and uses btrfs as the default filesystem for installation. So latest and greatest direct access to btrfs, a modern well-tested, current kernel,
freely available. "

So, again, why does people insist in calling Btrfs "experimental" and "unstable"?. Do you think SUSE and Oracle both ship an unstable FS as a comercially supported feature??.

Sheesh, I´ve lost data with IBM´s "supposedly ´GA´" version of JFS for OS/2 once...

Back to Btrfs... it´s in the mainline Linux Kernel since February so with the adoption by RHEL 7, it´ll become mainstream sooner rather than later...

Here is a good video to get you interested on Btrfs and why it matters...

Just my $0.02...

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Java is based on reason, like Humanism. :)

I read this funny post "if programming languages were religions..." over here , and couldn' t help writing the rebuttal below with regards to its characterization of Java:

Totally wrong on Java. See, some people -often whom have never used it- continue saying Java "is dead", "is so 1990s" yet, Java continues being relevant ever more each day, and is now free (GPL open source, OpenJDK). Then some said Java was going to die after the Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems, they were proved wrong once again, with Oracle investing in Java, opening OpenJDK even more, making JavaFX open source (OpenJFX), making OpenJDK the reference implementation of JDK7, and even getting IBM, Apple and Twitter aboard the OpenJDK project. Plus, Apple donated its OSX JRE code to OpenJDK as well.

So does it make it like "fundamentalist christianity"? don' t think so, more like humanism...

See, Java is NOT ONLY a programming language, Java is actually 3 things: a programming language, a virtual machine, and a level playing field software ecosystem. So you can write cross platform Java apps without even writing a single line of Java source code, thanks to dynamic languages that run atop the Java VM. That' s why there' s JRuby, Jython, xRuby (ruby to java bytecode compiler), Scala, JGo, NetRexx (open source REXX for the JVM -, and you can even write Java apps with Basic, thanks to Jabaco (

So, in the end, Java understands that all the people has its own beliefs, and people of all beliefs are welcome to come to the Java VM, which is based on the rational belief that "porting code"  from one OS to another is silly, and that all apps should run on all OSs. It' s based on reason, like humanism.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thanks Armstrong for inspiring a generation...

Thanks, Armstrong, for inspiring a generation with regards to #Moon & #space travel.

...fake or true tv footage, it really doesn´t matter...

What a better way to pay homage to him than with #OMD ´s "Apollo 11" song.... immortalizing in the lyrics the "ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND..."


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reader´s feedback says sometimes I´m not full of sh..

It´s really nice when you write a news story and someone writes back, months later, "from inside" -a big corp- saying "hey you hit the nail on the head".

 Photo courtesy (CC) of Marco Repola @ IStoleThe.TV

I wish that came back more often, but I guess that also means I hit the nail on the head only once a while. ;)

This was my story on Oracle´s decomission of "Sun Download Manager"

And this the feedback the story got, posted by the SDM product manager Gary Zellerbach:

12 Aug 00:42

Hi Fernando, I was the co-inventor and Product Manager of Sun Download Manager (SDM) from its inception (~2001) until its recent "retirement." I was surprised to see this article -- frankly, I wasn't sure if anyone had noticed, but obviously you did! 

You seem very perceptive and make some salient points. For the record, I believe the main reason SDM was discontinued was due to lack of engineering resources to update it. As you pointed out, first there was the the desire to rebrand it as "Oracle Download Manager." More importantly, as you also noticed, was the lack of HTTPS support, which was not a problem on the Sun Download Center, but meant that SDM simply did *not* work with Oracle's primary product download site. That was a serious issue. 

To be fair, there was interest expressed in updating SDM and a desire for Oracle to have a good download manager for its customers, but when push came to shove, it was deemed there were higher priority needs for the download engineers. Soon after SDM was retired, my brief stint at Oracle came to end as well. I understand the need to prioritize resources but did not agree with the lack of communication. I wanted to post a blog with a heads-up and explanation about why it was being discontinued. But I was advised not to by my management, as it is company policy not to pre-announce product changes. The most I could do was to insist that customers not get a 404 when hitting the former SDM web pages, and so I got a redirect put in to the FAQ you saw. 

Now I see the redirect appears to have been removed too. (BTW, while the redirect is gone, the FAQ is still available here: ) I can't disagree with much of your editorial perspective, though hopefully my comments help fill out the background.

I don't know Oracle's future plans as to whether they'll ever offer another download manager. I do know, though, that SDM had a great run, was downloaded and used literally millions of times, saved Sun a ton of money on bandwidth and support costs over the years, and was a great example of Java programming. Thank you for noticing it disappeared. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

What can I say, thanks to you, Gary, for the kind words and taking the time to write back, confirming some of my perceptions from afar.