Tag: maverick

Ubuntu and the Browser Wars

I must admit I gave in to great frustration with Firefox 3.x. The thing was slow, a memory and processor hog, besides beginning to really show its age. There were a few extensions I had come to depend on – a speed dialer, link previewer, chm file viewer, for example. Then along came Firefox 4 and all the hoopla about speed and memory improvements. Yep, you guessed it, I ran right over and gave it a try. It was in early beta but I figured I didn’t have much to lose. Ha, figured that wrong. Some of my “essential” extensions no longer worked.

Ok, plan B, let’s try Chromium. Well, after it broke a few times with no way to retreat to an earlier build, I decided plan C must be the charm. Google Chrome, here I come. Yay, no more breakage, and by version 12 it ought to be pretty mature. It sure is fast, stable, clean and modern looking. But…. it misses the mark by inches.

Chrome does a good job with video; audio, too, if it isn’t an embedded midi file. Strike 1.

Chrome finally has a pretty substantial collection of extensions. Scribefire, bookmark manager, link previewer. No chm viewer, and you know that link previewer? It only works about half the time and everything you look at in the previewer gets added to the browser history; makes going back one page in the main browser window a royal pain. Strike 2

Oh yes, printing. One thing I do every week requires printing to a pdf in landscape mode. Surely by version 12 something that basic would be possible. Nope, can’t change much when you’re printing to a pdf – paper size or orientation, scale. And, to rub salt in it, no truly functional print preview either. Strike 3.

If speed is all you’re after, Chromium/Chrome might be a good option. Unfortunately, what could be an outstanding application misses on some pretty fundamental stuff that certainly should have been figured out before double digit version numbers.

Oh well, guess I’ll just have to live with Firefox 4. It’s a big step up from version 3.x; there’s still room for improvement but it’s way closer to a fully functional and non-frustrating application than Chrome.

Kubuntu and kchmviewer

For a number of reasons, I have acquired many Bible study resources that are chm files (Microsoft Compiled Help format). They all worked great in Windows but when I switched to Ubuntu the troubles began. Using ChmSee many fonts didn’t display properly, things were even less pleasant in xchm. Both applications had difficulty with rendering frames properly. Life wasn’t a lot better with kchmviewer; rendering with the QTextBrowser-based widget wasn’t any improvement and KHTMLPart-based widget failed with an error message. It complained about not being able to find the ms-its protocol. Searches to find a resolution for the problem turned up little helpful information but I eventually managed to turn up the name of the missing file and its expected location. From there some geeky kind of sleuthing resulted in a solution. Yay! Even better, kchmviewer using the KHTMLPart-based widget has by far done the best job of rendering chm files with frames as well as Greek and Hebrew fonts either assigned in the individual pages or using style sheets.

So for those of you who are still searching for a solution, here’s what I did on Kubuntu Maverick 10.10.

The six files you need are: ms-its.so, okularGenerator_chmlib.so, libokularGenerator_chmlib.desktop, msits.protocol, okularChm.desktop, okularApplication_chm.desktop. Reportedly they are included in the okular-extra-backends-kde4. They were nowhere to be found in the Maverick version of the package but they ARE included in the package for Hardy (8.04LTS). I went here: http://ns2.canonical.com/hardy/okular-extra-backends-kde4 and downloaded the package for my architecture. I did NOT install the package since I didn’t want to downgrade support for other filetypes. Instead, I extracted the needed files and moved them to the proper locations.


Once you download the package, use Ark or its equivalent to open it; you’ll probably have to tell Ark that it is trying to open a tar archive. Extract at least the five files you need, then open dolphin with administrator rights; Alt-F2 and the command ‘kdesudo dolphin’ without the quotes will get you there. Then move the files to these locations:

ms-its.so and okularGenerator_chmlib.so to /usr/lib/kde4

libokularGenerator_chmlib.desktop, msits.protocol and okularChm.desktop to /usr/share/kde4/services




okularApplication_chm.desktop to /usr/share/applications/kde4

Following these steps allowed me to change the setting in kchmviewer to use the KHTMLPart-based widget and not get errors. Perhaps not all the files are necessary but they didn’t break anything and kchmviewer does what I need it to.