Blog Post

Calling all Plucker users

If you use Plucker and/or the Plucker desktop, please raise your hand…

Plucker seems to be silent on the development scene as of late. The last development thing they did was within the past 6 months and they added a patch which actually raises the version to 1.9. Those of you who use Plucker in Debian and/or Ubuntu may have noticed the desktop edition is a mess. As of right now, the version available for a merge into Gutsy from Debian Sid has the desktop building disabled. This can’t be good, but I really don’t know 100% because I am not an avid Plucker user. But seeing as I have helped maintain in the past, I wanted to see how much work is involved with getting it release ready.

The amount of work is crazy, but guess what….I got it to build the desktop, and while at it, I patched a couple of the issues that were reported in bug reports in Ubuntu. Now the building was insane, because for some reason the patch or the developers decided to use a library called libhttp which hasn’t been developed or worked on since 2001. I don’t know why they didn’t use something like libcurl, but that is them not me, plus the libhttp library is for embedded communications that involve streaming over a socket.

Good news none the less, I am working on getting the libhttp package into Debian right now, I am 75% there, I just have to make a couple of changes and it will/should get sponsored. Once that happens, then I can just sync it into Ubuntu and finish getting Plucker to function correctly. I have been in communications with the Debian maintainer for Plucker and he is interested as well, so hopefully sometime soon we should have a viable Plucker package. And when that is complete, I will hopefully get it backported to those of you using previous stable releases. That’s it for now, sorry for the double posting ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Colbrac

    *Raises hand*

    I’m a plucker-desktop 1.8 user on Ubuntu Feisty and although the GTK1.2 windows are very ugly it does what it is supposed to do. I did experience an issue: when converting the ‘Dive into Python’ ebook to plucker pdb format it stalls. I think the length of the list of statusmessages scrolling by fills up some buffer (since x.org is the process that goes to 100% processor usage). Building with plucker-build in a terminal converts the process properly.
    I did not convert online pages (so no experience with libhttp issues) so far since I only build locally stored ebooks to read while traveling. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I have been using Plucker a while about a year ago. Plucker Desktop was awfull though. Never got it to work, it simply crashed, or didn’t function the way I wanted to, so I did all my plucking by hand on the commandline.
    It’ was back then (and according to your story, very little has changed) that the effort I had to put into using plucker was too much for wat I had to gain. If Plucker Desktop gets a nice overhaul into the 21st century, I would certainly be using it!

  • I’ve been using Plucker Desktop on Windows, Linux (Ubuntu) and Mac OS X and I can testify that it is in dire need of love, on all platforms not only Linux.

    On Ubuntu I only used Plucker desktop sporadically because it misses a very important feature, the ability to convert news feeds (RSS and the likes). And such feeds represent a lot of my reading while commuting.

    Any work that Plucker Desktop receives is well deserved, but I would have a look at an alternative tool called Sunrise (http://sourceforge.net/projects/sunrisexp/). For me, Sunrise has worked a lot better then Plucker Desktop, even thou it has it’s own problems. I’ve filled a bug report (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/118365) requesting the packaging of Sunrise, if you could have a look at it it would be great ๐Ÿ™‚ If anyone is interested in taking Sunrise for a spin, a tutorial on how to do it is available at http://www.howtoforge.com/palm_syncing_websites .

  • Flavius, I am going to take a look at this Sunrise application and see what it is about. I appreciate the heads up on the application, and as long as it isn’t in Debian and is GPLd or some other free license, then I can go ahead and get it in with ease.

    Thanks for the input everyone and I will try and get this working at a minimum.

  • alun phillips

    Yes it’s ugly and prone to freezing occasionally, but it does it’s job, I was an Avantgo user but that was even more prone to malfunctioning than Plucker-Desktop. Just upgraded to the Tribe5 of Gutsy and it doesn’t work so I am back to feisty as I consider, for all it’s faults, Plucker-Desktop to be an essential for me

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