Not Dead Yet

been a while since I posted. Basically had a bunch of stuff to do..


Dropping out of MCA after slogging my ass off fro 3 years before realizing that it was a complete and utter disaster.

Got a new day job. basically training people on their “Final year projects”

WebPhonon is being developed in its state. Haven’t done much so far. Have plans for reworking the media library aspect. Now all it does is link to phpMyAdmin where you have to manage the database yourself. Toying with the idea of making it a media player for DBAs which means less work for me but then againg since nobody but me uses it. I’m owndering if i should make the library feature ( not a planned one by the way) easier to use or just simply remove the feature and let it be a player that just plays stuff. Anybody out there reading this or using this app. Do let me know

WebPhonon Howto

This Howto deals with getting, building and installing the WebPhonon Media player and Server.

Getting WebPhonon:

Ubuntu and derivatives:

WebPhonon is available for Ubuntu and its derivatives at the following PPA:


Add the above PPA to your Software Sources and then install it from your package manager or from the command line.

Debian  (Wheezy/Jessie/Sid):

A 64 bit only binary Debian package is available at

This package is basically the same as the Ubuntu version even though the minor revision numbers don match up.

Building from source:

WebPhonon can be built from the source code for any Linux Distribution.

Download the Source code:

  • WebPhonon is available at the following git repository

You can either clone the repository using the git clone command or download and extract the master zip archive.

Compile and install the project:

First create a new folder for the build files in the same directory where the WebPhonon folder is.

You can use either qmake or cmake to configure the project.

For CMake:

$cmake ../WebPhonon -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr

For qmake:

$qmake ../WebPhonon/

Then we compile the configured project using:


and then install it to the system using:

$sudo make install

Project Synopsis 101

Mini projects and main projects are a requirement for Computer science courses in India such as BCA and MCA. The initial step most colleges and professors insist on before starting on the project is submitting the Project Synopsis.

This is something some students (I will not say all or even most) dread as they have no idea how to go about it.

So this is a guide for students to easily create their project synopsis without resorting to desperate measures:


Step 1: What is your project about?:

A lot of times students are vague on what exactly the project they have to develop is supposed to do. This varies with every project and every syllabus. If the project is a “Mini-Project” usually given at the 3rd semester of BCA or MCA, then it is usually a database project with a front end and a back end.

Most colleges give students a list of topics or project titles to choose from to develop a project, these can range from a library management system to a general store’s inventory control. Whatever the title, be clear on what the project is supposed to do, what type of data it should process and what technology it should employ.


Step 2: Choose your front and back end:

If your college makes you use only what software they have available in your computer lab, your choices are then limited. Most colleges will have Visual Studio and java for front end development and either MS Access, SQL Server or Oracle XE for the database. If you are lucky there maybe other choices such as Qt, PHP and Python for front end development and MySQL or SQLite for the back end.

One bit of advice: Oracle is NOT repeat NOT for beginners. If you must work with Oracle make sure that all the appropriate frameworks and JDBC drivers are available, installed and configured. They will not be unless your System Administrators knew exactly what they were doing when they setup and configured the lab computers.


Step 4: Analyze the existing system and propose a new one:

Here is where most students get stumped as well, what the professor expects over here is the requirements analysis part of the SDLC and the feasibility study. You need to look at what the project is going to replace. For example if you are doing a library management system, you need to know how exactly a real library works. How are books issued? How is the late fees processed? How does one apply for membership? During this phase you will also get the idea of what data you need to keep track of in your database. Once all this is done you need to tell them how your project is going to change or improve the system already in place.


Additional tips:

Unless your professor explicitly gives you a page count, a synopsis for a mini project or even a main project should not exceed 10 pages of size 12 times new roman font.


Pick a programming language you are comfortable with and which can be used to design a front end with a GUI. Nobody uses command prompts anymore so a framework such as .NET (Visual basic or Visual C++) or Java AWT/Swing is a good bet. If you want to create a web based front end, PHP or ASP.NET is a good idea.

Using a language or framework that your college does not teach or your professor is not familiar with is a risky venture. If you are hell bent on using it, remember you are on your own as your teacher will not be able to help you if you run into problems so make sure you know exactly what you are doing when you pull a stunt like that (trust me I speak from personal experience)


Launchpad PPAs are up

WebPhonon is now available for Ubuntu and its derivatives at the following PPA

In case you haven’t followed the Github revision history, a lot has changed since the app first went live. It now supports adding multiple local files and has support for playing urls stored in an external MySQL database. For you to implement this you need to have a database with tables that contain a url field and a name field. Apart from that it is still a standard media player but has now added a bit of weight to the download and install size thanks to more icons and pictures for the built in documentation. Here are some screenshots of how the app now looks

the splash screen

the splash screen

The Menu entry in KDE

The Menu entry in KDE

Main window with the Url bar and the Playlist table

Main window with the Url bar and the Playlist table

the Main Window

the Main Window