Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for July, 2006

Bounty for compiling Democracy Player on Windows with GNU tools

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Participatory Culture Foundation is offering $500 to anyone who can get Democracy Player for Windows to compile using the GNU tools.

Democracy Player is based on Python and uses many Python extensions. Python extensions generally need to be compiled with the same compiler as Python. The official version of Python is compiled with Microsoft Visual C++ 2003. This isn’t likely to change. At one point, Microsoft was offering a no-cost command-line only version of this compiler called the “Visual C++ 2003 Toolkit.” This was hard to set up and use, but it at least gave volunteers a way to compile the program. However, since Visual Studio 2005 came out Visual Studio 2003 products are no longer available for retail sale and the toolkit compiler has been replaced by Visual C++ Express Edition 2005. It is illegal for us to distribute the VC++2003 toolkit. So, we’re forced to second hand copies of Visual C++ 2003 each time a new developer wants to work on Democracy for Windows.

We want to avoid these kinds of entanglements in the future, so we’re offering $500 to anyone who can come up with a clear, simple set of instructions to build Democracy for Windows using the GNU tools.

Learn more about the bounty >>

Website redesigned

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Just moments ago we pushed live a new design for GetDemocracy.com. The design was created by Josh Pigford who’s been doing a bunch of design projects for us, including some UI bits in Democracy Player that you might notice when we release 0.8.5 (it’s been a little bit delayed by bugs, but won’t be long now).

Anyway, we’re glad to get this new design up– it feels much more solid and clear. Check it out: Get Democracy.

(p.s. Let us know if you see any broken links or other problems…)

Testing, Testing

Friday, July 7th, 2006

Democracy 0.8.5 is almost here, and we need a little help getting it out the door. Before every big release, we make what’s called a release candidate, which is basically a testing version to make sure that the release goes smoothly. We need to thoroughly test each release candidate to make sure there are no major bugs. Although we do as much as we can, most of our testing is volunteer-based. If you’d like to test-drive the latest and greatest version of Democracy, you can check it out on this page:


If you want to test, see this page: Testing Democracy

Even if you’re not interested in testing, there are a bunch of great reasons to hop on the 0.8.5 bandwagon early. We’re proud to have our first Intel Mac binary, a feature that many OSX users have clamoured for. The new binary boasts amazing speed and stability as opposed to installing the Power PC Binary with an Intel machine.

On top of that, we’ve made great improvements to Democracy across all platforms. We’ve ironed out many of the bugs from already, and have bumped up the overall performance of the program. This is the last big release before 0.9.0, where we’ll be adding loads of new features, so we’re making sure we get this one right. You can help us out by giving it a try. Once again, check it out at:


If you come across any bugs, please let us know.

Intel Mac version in just a few days

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Democracy Player is written mostly in Python, which allows us to use the same code on Mac, Windows, and Linux. On Mac, we depend on software called PyObjC which lets us use Mac functions from Python. The reason we haven’t yet released a Mac Intel version of Democracy Player is because PyObjC didn’t have an Intel version yet. But their latest builds are working very well– huge thanks to Ronald and Bob for fixing a big bug in PyObjC/Intel that was breaking Democracy Player.

I been trying out our testing versions for Intel Macs. It is so, so fast! It launches in 3 bounces instead of 19 and switching between channels is almost instantaneous.

Assuming that we don’t hit any big bugs, we’ll be releasing the first Intel Mac version of Democracy Player at the beginning of next week, along with the 0.8.5 release on all platforms. There are also cross-platform speed increases coming with 0.8.5, so things should be getting more responsive on Windows, Linux, and PPC Mac as well.

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