Any working SIP-phone on FreeBSD?

Chad Perrin perrin at
Mon Jun 20 18:12:25 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 07:44:04PM +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> On Mon, 20 Jun 2011 11:04:28 -0600, Chad Perrin wrote:
> >
> > This means that even LaTeX is usually the wrong choice.
> LaTeX is for typesetting text (articles, books, technical documents,
> maybe even letters) - nothing more, nothing less. I would _not_ claim
> that it is optimal for log files. :-)

I actually use Markdown for articles I write for TechRepublic (and a
filter utility I wrote that translates that to HTML), because LaTeX would
be an egregious case of massive overkill for that purpose.  Even for
purposes such as document formatting, it is serious overkill -- including
for many cases where one plans to print it out.  Yes, it's The Tool for
typesetting, but don't mistake "typesetting" as what you do when you just
want to print out a document.  Resume?  Sure.  Inter-office memo?  Hell

> >
> > Does this programmer get to write a simple script to translate to
> > CSV, then import CSV into Excel, when the boss turns his/her back?
> It's not allowed, and on the "Windows" platform (that the scrapped PCs
> run via network), there are no scripting means.  Furthermore, those
> workstations are monitored (due to security considerations), surely
> just sampled, not permanently.  The easiest way would be the required
> output writer on the mainframe that could output OpenOffice XML, and
> that could then be even exported into some outdated "Excel" format, if
> urgently needed.

I can't imagine the rationale offered for doing this crap by hand, unless
they're trying to serve some kind of budgetary constraint where a certain
number of "man hours" must be spent on a task to justify current budget

> >
> > An Excel spreadsheet probably would have been easier to use, because
> > of the ability to export as CSV.
> No. "Excel" is to make rows and columns where you enter the values
> you've just read from your desk calculator.

I meant that an Excel spreadsheet would have been easier for *me* to use
in the case of needing to insert data into my hierarchical database,
because exporting the spreadsheet document as CSV would have been less
troublesome for munging the data afterward than exporting a Word document
as plain text.

> >
> > When the form is submitted, it creates a plain text file for me, or
> > just adds it to the database automatically.  Placing it in a browser
> > would make things marginally more effort-intensive for the end user
> > than editing a text file directly, but much *much* less
> > effort-intensive than creating that four-column format. 
> For some settings, I really _dislike_ the use of a web browser as any
> interaction is limited to what the browser can actually do.  One
> example is how the keyboard can be used. Real professionals prefer it
> over mouse interaction (as this means a break in the natural work
> flow).

Oh, for competent users I will make sure to make a plain text file
available, of course.  This is not a public Webpage I'm contemplating;
it's just a way to keep some of the people to whom I would otherwise give
a text file from making their lives and my life (both) monumentally more
difficult while worshipping Office-suite-hotep.

> Security considerations may also be included when thinking about
> migrating some functionality into a web browser.

Web form access will be strictly limited.

> You could make an icon for the "Windows" desktop that opens a SSH
> session (e. g. using PuTTY) where users can enter the data into a
> simple dialog program (e. g. using NCurses Forms), and this program
> outputs a CSV data file which then gets incorporated into the database.
> Just an idea.

Nah.  They'd rebel.  "This is too hard.  It doesn't have any buttons."

> > 
> > I do not have high hopes for Skype in the future.  As I think I
> > mentioned in an earlier email, I expect Microsoft to "extend" Skype
> > in ways intended to break compatibility with non-Microsoft platforms. 
> And in the next step, the use of this functionality, integrated into
> "Windows", will be a pay-per-use service.

I don't know about that.  It doesn't really fit the pattern.  For the
most part, software included with MS Windows serves one of two purposes

1. lock people into MS Windows
2. induce people to buy MS Office

I don't see how a pay-per-use Skype service would accomplish that.

> >
> > I also expect that, if Microsoft really support Skype rather than
> > just letting it die, it will get some MS Office integration
> > "features" added to it that will make it the voice chat equivalent of
> > exactly the sort of stupidity we have been discussing.
> Will be funny to see a worker "working" when we open an "Office"
> document.

Yeah, the privacy issues inherent in such a situation on MS Windows are
both hilarious and depressing to contemplate.

> >
> > Portability is essentially the last thing on the minds of most Linux
> > community developers lately, from what I've seen.
> Yes, LATELY...

Not just lately -- *increasingly*.  The problem has been getting steadily
worse for several years.

> >
> > For portability in particular, consider the problems of XFCE
> > portability, and the fact there are people in the GNOME developer
> > community who are questioning whether they should bother continuing
> > to consider portability in the future.
> I exactly thought about that some lines above... Luckily, I do not
> essentially DEPEND on one of them, so I should be safe.

On the other hand, this is not limited to XFCE and GNOME (and I use
neither of them, myself).  These are just very visible examples of a
trend that appears to be growing in Linux circles.  I fully expect that
if an open source Skype replacement is created by members of the Linux
developer community, it will rely on udev and other u* tools, expect the
user to have all of GNOME installed (which in turn will also probably be
nonportably Linux-specific by then), and have no manpage or command line
interface at all.  If we're very "lucky", it *might* have GNU Info pages:

. . . which are often worse than useless.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]
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