October 14, 2004

Jamin Philip Gray: Crazy hack of the evening

Last night I finished up a patch to the gaim-remote plugin so that I can send aim URIs to set myself away, such as:

gaim-remote uri "aim:goaway?message=having a beer at mcgurks"

Added to that a little procmail recipe with some Perl glue and now I can change my gaim away message from my mobile phone. Also wrote a bit of code to display my gaim away message on my weblog.

One day I hope all of this is a lot easier to accomplish. As it is, getting all this to work involved using shell scripts, Perl, PHP, ssh, and patching a C plugin for gaim. I'm hopeful that things like Galago will go a long way towards better integration. As jimmac points out, instant messaging is increasingly becoming the killer communication app. What we need is better integration between applications and better means of getting at the data. Evolution data server, Beagle, Galago, dbus and the like are so critical for that reason. Add to that nice bindings for C# and other languages, and you'll be able to make killer applications quickly. And make killer applications such as tomboy even more killer.


Glynn Foster: City of God

Finished watching City of God last night. Superb film. Hard to imagine growing up in that sort of environment, and feeling really fortunate about how easy my life is in comparison.


Todd Berman: Employment possibilties.

My company (Medsphere) has a position open, and we are looking to fill it yesterday.

We need someone who eats xslt and css for breakfast, and then lunches on pretty layouts.

We have a lot of data that right now comes across in plain text, and you would be responsible for designing an xml schema for that data to come across the wire in, and writing xslt and css to format that information into nice reports and layouts.

You would also have to relocate down to southern California (Aliso Viejo to be specific, which is about 10 minutes from Laguna Beach, 15 from Newport Beach, and an hour (or so) away from LA and San Diego).

Anyone interested, please email me your resume.


Jakub Steiner: Zurich Airport Train

Zurich Airport

Zurich airport train rocks. I had to make two extra trips to make this ;). Luckily not everyone with a big camera is a terrorist in europe.


Hubert Figuiere: October 14, 2004

Apparently working at Apple means no more free software development according to lrz diary. Employees are strongly discouraged discouraged to do work on free software on their own time. Note that a clause in the work contract in France would be void (this guy will be working in France, exactly were I did). Stupid Apple. The worm is in you already.

What is worse than discovering a worm in an Apple ? Discovering half of one. We found a half worm. From the outside, Apple pretend to be open-source friend, take lot of open-source software for their own use, but apparently do not want people to contribute. Are they stupid or what ?

Apple has a 92% market share on hard drive based portable music players with the iPod. Source: news.com. Then two questions comes to mind:

  1. What will be Microsoft answer to this market share. Xpod ? Reading exclusively WMA proprietary format ? Remember why they did release the Xbox game console: to kick Sony out of the market. It still has yet to succeed.
  2. What about .ogg support ? If the leader in portable music player do not support Ogg, then who is likely to be. Come on Steve, don't be stupid and stubborn.


Finally found the time to fix my patch to import textboxes from RTF. Still one issue: all the text span gets the first letter truncated. At least I know which function is guilty, just need to have some time to figure out why. On the other side, FJF is making a huge progress with the MacOS X build. For those who want daiily builds, see http://www.crazy-wormhole.com/download/.

Release 2.2 is close. Really close. I should push for more testing and show write about my idea on sanitizing the release process.


Continuing to use Thunderbird. It is a good news. I still don't hate it. Convenient feature are the global SMTP setting where you can actually use authenticated SMTP over TLS, which is really convenient when you connect to moronic ISP like Sympatico.ca that filter out SMTP (not an option for residential) and that have non working SMTP relays. At least Wiznet unfilter upon request. Yay ! (I have them at home for DSL service).

Thanks to all the people that provided me with way to enable checking all the IMAP folders. I should find some time to provide a patch of that.


Hacking the Canon 300D (aka Rebel Digital). Or how marketing cripple cameras using software. Use at you own risk !

We went to Montréal Botanical Garden on Monday and took pictures of the chinese lanterns at night. This time I brought a Powershot A70, courtesy of dcoombs.

Mandatory pictures:

Big Chinese lantern

Floating lanterns

I really need to get that Canon EOS 20D.

All your files are belong to us

Google Desktop search tool make me ask some questions about privacy and Google search control attempt. However they clearly state:

9. What about my privacy? Does Google Desktop Search share my content with anyone?
We treat your privacy with the utmost respect. The Google Desktop Search program does not make your computer's content accessible to Google or anyone else. You can learn more by reading the Desktop Search privacy policy.

It requires Windows so I won't try it. And even worse: it require Internet Explorer... and all its security holes.

Go Beagle !


Jakub Steiner: My Buddy Beagle

While using the buddy list in Gaim works fairly well for a small number of contacts, it's fairly clumsy if your list grows. I don't know if anyone actually uses those, but the groups are fairly poor in helping me in finding the person I'm looking for. I cannot have my gaim contact list open all the time and once I bring it up, I am scanning thought the list which takes longer than typing the nick or name I know.

I see IM slowly taking the role of the most important communication media from e-mail. People start adding IM to their contact info and corporations have been using IM for a while too. The number of people in your buddylist seems to grow, even before you started using your company's contact list (think thousands of contacts).

Now the new hip thing seems to be the ability to quickly search and share stuff. I believe search is very much linked to an action that you wish to do once you found whatever you were looking for. I started mocking up a small applet that lets you find stuff. We started with finding files locally, but I believe the same concept works for other things, like finding people to mail, IM. Finding apps to run, finding webpages I visited etc. The interface to find things is to be as primitive as possible. Advanced searches should go to an application similar to the current best app that beagle includes.

Sketched out ideas now. Mockups will follow. Constructive comments welcome.



Sitting in my office, in Cambridge, and listening over Shoutcast live to my expat friend, JP, spin in Osaka Japan.

The Internet brings two people half way around the world together. I might as well be listening to him in person, except that this stuff is great hacking music. Anyhow, wow, we are all connected.

I even have a picture:

DJ Stand
jp, dj


Rich Burridge: Hacking the Hardware

This weeks email newsletter from Ziff Davis has an interesting piece on various hacks that people have done to different items of hardware.

  • Enhance the firmware on your Canon EOD Digital Rebel [link].
  • Get around your DVD player limits [link]
  • Turn your Xbox into a Linux workstation [link]
  • Refill ink jet cartridges [link]
  • Hack you Roomba Robot vacuum cleaner [link]
  • Killer PC HDTV Gaming [link]
  • TiVO to the Max [link]

As the article warns:

Hacking a product may cause irreversible damage and will almost certainly void the warranty.

There are also a couple of books that you might find interesting if you are into this sort of thing:


Zaheer Abbas Merali: Idea stolen!

Sorry Nat, I stole your idea and took all the limelight 6 years later :)

I did a bit of research into possibly implementing the idea, looks like it would be possible with an epiphany extension very easily. Firefox plugins need to be in javascript, which would make it harder to query the beagle daemon.

Maybe I’ll hack up a raw epiphany extension sometime to do it. If anything, I would benefit from it as I am unlikely to change my habits.


Miguel de Icaza: 14 Oct 2004: Mono Day in Bangalore

Vasu has posted a description of the events on the Mono Day at Novell Bangalore. It describes some pretty cool demos that they did.


If you were looking for information about the now extinct Dodo, look no further than here. The first match in Google is not about the Dodo, its about some Internet provided in Australia.

Mono's XML stack

We learned from Dare that XML 2 was going to get some features cut, which is a good thing for us, as there is less to implement. Kind of a shame, since Atsushi has a good foundation for XQuery already on the Mono tree. Until XQuery is added back to the Framework, we will likely distribute a Mono.XML assembly that contains our implementation of XQuery for those interested in using it before the next major revision of the .NET Framework.

Atsushi had been working on our XQuery implementation for Mono, and has some insight on its current design and limitations.

Sean has lost his mind

From Todd's blog I see that Sean has decided to shoot Gaim in the foot: look at this this monstrosity.

To add humor to this, Nat found the the ChangeLog entry for it:

Modified Files:
 Log Message:

Simplified the prefs dialog by replacing the tree with tabs.
You may think this is a bad idea, but it"s not.

Luis Villa: Thu, 14 Oct 2004

Had another fairly heated conversation yesterday with Dave about firefox and other apps who want to be more gnome-y, and I thought I'd rant on a bit about it here. Bottom line for me is that I want to match OS/X, and that means an integrated desktop, where apps all strive to look, feel, and behave the same. I had a franken-desktop before I installed evo and galeon back in 2001, with apps in gtk, motif, and even raw X. Frankly, when I install stock firefox and stock open office, that's what I feel like I have again- the dialogs don't match, the icons don't match, the behavior doesn't match. Some people seem OK with this, but I don't think the linux desktop can win (or frankly even compete) if that's the road we want to go down.

Now, maybe GNOME's standards are not the right ones to follow. Almost definitely we've made it technically too hard to follow them. And we're often not incredibly cooperative about working with outside parties on them, which is something we absolutely must fix- I want to be cc'd on relevant bugzilla.[mozilla|ooo|helix|.org bugs, and I'm very happy to do my constructive best to persuade folks of the importance of working with GNOME's standards. (Though admittedly I think Shaver is a bit sick of me at this point ;) But the bottom line, I think, is that if we want to compete, we must pick a design and usability and integration standard, and at this point GNOME's standards are the only ones we've got, and I think they are generally damn good ones. Until that changes, and we have a better standard that is a real usability standard and not just 'write whatever you want', I'll unabashedly push hard for other groups to follow GNOME's standards when writing apps for Linux.

Before this comes off as an anti-firefox rant, I'm using it as my workhorse browser right now, and it has made huge strides in the right direction. It is doing some very innovative stuff, and provides a pretty decent out-of-box experience in terms of performance and ease-of-use- in contrast, with, say, open office, which is still failing on all three of those counts. I just think firefox still has a ways to go before (out of the box, unpatched, which must be the goal) it provides the right experience on Linux. And that's where I'd like to see all apps (Firefox, Real, OpenOffice, etc.) going- again, not specific to firefox. We should applaud firefox for having done the difficult work of innovating and the possibly even harder work of tearing up a huge codebase and starting from (UI) scratch. But just because that is impressive- and it is- doesn't mean we shouldn't continue to push it towards becoming a better, more integrated part of the linux desktop.


Thomas Vander Stichele: Roundups

Disclaimer: this is a week-old entry blocked by my use of umlauts. Flushing it again…


Had a great saturday with people from the other company. We went into the mountains, climbed a bunch of trees, jumped off some platforms, swung from cables, and did all sorts of safe adventury stuff. Lunch was in a typical Catalan restaurant, with wine being served from the special caraffs which have a second neck to drink from. You’re supposed to tilt the bottle, getting a very fine flow of wine, and direct it in your mouth, then extend the arm as far as possible without spilling any wine. When you’re done, you get the bottle back to your face then stop tilting.

Needless to say, lots of variations on the theme were tried, with the climax being a couple pouring for one another without spilling a drop.

We were happy to have chosen the quad riding for the afternoon. On a quad, no one can tell when you’re drunk (Well, except for the poor woman who managed to land her quad off the road TWICE). The other half was not so lucky apparently - one guy managed to fall of a platform during the drunk tree climbing, straight into a bush. And some other guy managed to run fullspeed into a rope he managed to not see, and got catapulted back some ten meters.

Anyways, it was a good preparation for the very same activity at the same place for this weekend, which for obvious reasons (to the parties involved at least) I am not at liberty to discuss any further…

New employee

Fluendo wants to welcome their newest employee. Zoë weighs a good 3.2 kilos and is in perfect health. I’m sure she’ll be an excellent asset to the team. Congratulations to the happy mom and dad !


As other inhabitants of Spain can attest, sometimes dealing with Telefonica can be really frustrating. Both phone and ADSL went dead last wednesday. Called on Thursday. They called me back on Friday, saying it was probably a problem in the central switching station. By Saturday, the telephone was fixed, but the ADSL wasn’t. Tried to get into the help line for ADSL (since of course that’s a different line), keyed in my number, got disconnected with the message that there was no one available to take my call. Called again, keyed in number, got some waiting music and a message saying that everyone was busy. After eight minutes another voice said no one could take my call, and I got disconnected. Sigh.

Apparently Kristien had called as well, since when I got in the lady told me that she called. I was going to get a call back in the next 48 hours from a technician. Tuesday morning, I get a call. What kind of router I use ? A Nokia one. Yes, I’m sure it works. No, it’s not one of yours. No, it isn’t the fault of the router - it’s the third time this year you managed to turn off my phone and ADSL at the same time, so I’m pretty sure it’s not our fault. Yes, the phone works again.

Then the guy tells me that the telephone guy turned off ADSL completely in the central station. Why on earth did he want to grill me on the router then ? Anyway, he would have it fixed. During the day Kristien lets me know that it works again. And when I check, I realize that I understand WHY they messed it up in the central station - I had double the download speed as before. So it was all part of Telefonica’s cunning plan to give you double the speed in one week and no speed at all the next.

Anyway, I’m happy for this week.


I had been impatiently pining for the new Interpol disc, “Antics". When I finally got it the day it was released, I had two quick cursory listenings to it and was hugely disappointed. Nothing seemed to grab me.

This weekend I gave it another go, and I haven’t listened to anything else ever since. There is not a single bad song on this CD. And the emotion I thought lacking at first listen is all there under the surface. I love to be suckerpunched by music that way. Highly recommended.


We finally managed to cook tartiflette, a typical Savoie dish which I love eating on skiing trips. It came out great, we were very impressed with ourselves. So were our guests, Jochen en Kristien. It was better than on ski holidays, though it made me long to have my feet stuck to a snowboard on a white mountain. Jochen made the dessert, impressing me with a stunning pineapple carpaccio with mint and sugar.

On days like this life just feels right.


Michael Meeks: 2004-10-14: Thursday


Zaheer Abbas Merali: Cool Bookmarks idea

Was jabbering with Manish this morning and thought of a super idea that is feasible.

With the advent of Beagle and dbus, this should be possible with not much work. I get a lot of web links in emails and instant message conversations, ones I read in blogs with say blam, and ones I write in Tomboy or the sticky notes app. It happens - I dont have time, or I forget, or at the time I see no reason to bookmark these links myself. What if, there was an epiphany extension, a firefox plugin etc. that would fill out on demand a bookmark category with links posted in reverse date order with the bookmark title as:

“Subject - Sender, Date” if its an email
“Sender, Date” if its a instant message conversation
“Blog title - Person who’s blog it is, Date” if its a blog entry
“Notes title - Date written” if its a notes entry

With beagle’s capabilities, it can even change while it is being shown. I think that would be just excellent.


James Henstridge: 14 Oct 2004

Drive Mount Applet

I started to look at bringing the drive mount applet from gnome-applts up to scratch, since it hasn't really had much work done on it other than porting to the 2.x development platform.

The applet is a classic example of Gnome 1.x user interface complexity. The applet shows a button that can be clicked to mount or unmount a particular mount point. For this simple functionality, it provides the following preferences:

The applet also had a few problems, such as not being able to unmount a disk if there was a trash directory on it (since fam would have a dnotify watch active on that directory).

By using some of the newer gnome-vfs APIs, I think it should be possible to remove all the preferences:

  1. The GnomeVFSVolumeManager API can be used to get a list of attached drives and volumes, and receive notification when volumes are mounted or new drives are connected or disconnected. This allows one applet to display the status of all user (un)mountable drives/volumes in one applet.
  2. By using the gnome-vfs APIs to unmount or eject a volume, a volume_pre_unmount signal to interested applications before attempting to unmount it. When Nautilus receives this signal, it drops its FAM watches on the trash directory for that volume, and closes all associated windows. This means that Nautilus/FAM won't cause a "volume is busy" error (although some other apps might hold files opne on the volume).
  3. The gnome-vfs APIs tell us what the volume type is. This way we can automatically do an unmount+eject for cdrom, zip and jaz drives like Nautilus does rather than having to provide a preference.
  4. Gnome-vfs also tells us what icon name should be used for a particular drive or volume. This way the applet can just pull the icons from the current icon theme rather than having to maintain separate ones.

My code is at the point where it produces nice screenshots, and has the above features. The screenshot shows it as a separate window, but adding the applet wrapper stuff isn't too difficult (it is easier to test as a standalone app). It is less than half the size of the old applet too, which is promising. 

Nat Friedman: 14 October 2004

This morning Zaheer Merali commented about the possibility of autobookmarking URLs using Beagle and D-BUS.

I think this is a great idea. In fact, it sounds familiar. Let's set the way-back machine to September of 1998...:-)

. . .

The girl in the Ubuntimax wallpaper looks cross-eyed:


Davyd Madeley: Ubuntu, now with a side order of PORN!

So I upgraded my desktop and logged in today, to be greated by new artwork from the guys at Ubuntu.

Login ScreenDesktop
Ubuntu :: Now with 92% more pr0n!

See it's all in sepia and there is lots of hugging, so it's not really porn, it's art, however it's not exactly what I was expecting.

While I am in full support of having an incredibly progressive desktop and as long as the women in the photo are happy to have themselves oggled over by numerous perverted geeks, I really hope there will be a worksafe version of the CD (although I'm led the believe new installers won't have this, and you only get it if you were running the preview release). 

Callum McKenzie: Saying Good Bye to Random Number Seeds in Gnome-Games

I have removed all traces of the random numebr generator seeds from gnome-games. No more large, possibly negative, integers in the title bar. No more multiple "New Game*" menu entries. No more fidly little dialogs for you to enter random numbers into. The reasoning behind this move can be found in a thread of games-list@gnome.org. Briefly the reasons are:

There are a few things seeds are good for, but none are convincing:

The only really good reason I could think of was the case where you email a friend with the seed, a score, and a note saying "beat this sucker". We also have high-score tables to sort out this sort of rivalry. (The idea of an explicit challenge is however one we don't cater for, seeds are not the way to do this though).

In short, even if the seeds are an answer they aren't a good answer. So it is all gone now. I fell good about this.


Todd Berman: UI Crack

Like a page out of the 'worst ui decisions of all time' or something, here is a screenshot of the new and 'improved' gaim preferences dialog.


Chip: And all I wanted was a little topdown ui! (Update: Chip had nothing to do with the obscenity that is this new UI)


C# kicks your ass

I just have to say, that developing applications (particularly Gtk# desktop apps) with C# totally kicks ass.

In case you have yet to play with C# and Gtk#, you need to do so. I recommend picking up Edd's book about Mono. It is essential.


October 13, 2004

Garrett LeSage: Firefox form widges: nice & generic

Steven Garrity and I talked about Firefox a lot at the GNOME Summit. We talked briefly about my Industrial-like form widgets for Firefox and Kevin Gerich’s own custom widgets too and arrived on the conclusion that a small, tweaked version of forms.css would probably be more likely to be accepted at this point in time.

I did a few tweaks to make the buttons, text inputs, textareas, checkboxes, and dropdowns look a lot better, all without changing the size. They were done in a way which should hopefully not conflict with website styling. (Although there might be bugs.)

the before image
Before the changes (ugly)

the after image
After the changes (much better)

I’ve also made an animation to compare the two, but decided not to display it inline as it is a bit much. It’s still neat to see, so I’d recommend clicking the link (but you have been warned).

There are a few things I’d like to do to it still…

I’ve also made my modified forms.css available.

So, what do you all think? Have any suggestions?


Evolution: libedataserverui lands

Evolution Data Server now contains a libedataserverui library for use by third parties. Currently it contains e-source-selector (the calendar/tasks/address book tree on the left hand side in Evolution) and e-source-option-menu (the option menu to switch the calendar/task/address book in an editor).

HPJ is working on de-bonobizing and cleaning up some of the address book completion stuff to put in the library as well, maybe using some or all of Ross Burton's widget from his contact lookup applet.


John Fleck: When Ideas and Anti-Ideas Collide

New on the local blogging seen: Atasta:

Last night, on our kitchen table, was a copy of The Virtue of Selfishness, a book of essays on Ayn Rand's philosoply, Objectivism. Also on the table was a book about Buddhism. I don't remember the title or author of that one, we have many. I picked each book up, one in either hand, and held them at arm's lenght. I moved them slowly towards each other, wondering if they would destroy each other in a burst of energy when they touched. They didn't. Now they are stacked on top of each other on the table.


Luis Villa: Wed, 13 Oct 2004

It's been pointed out that in my last post I mentioned interviews, without pointing out that I was the interviewer and not the interviewee :) Hope that clarifies...


Christian Hammond: Panels Packed of People Presence

Calum's blog post showing a bunch of talking heads on his panel is pretty cool. I have the presence part of this already done in Galago's gnome-presence-applet. It doesn't display a talking head, but it displays service indicators and first/last names. It wouldn't be hard to make it optionally display an avatar instead. The messaging wouldn't be there until a future release of Galago, though.

A Galago release is imminent now. Just a few things left to do.


Christian Schaller: 13 Oct 2004

Discovered a new GStreamer application today called Buzztard. It is a application like FastTracker or SoundTracker for those of you in the know about these kind of applications. One interesting comment that is both a bit tragic and rather amusing at the same time is the comment about the application which they are trying to duplicate the functionality of, a windows app called Buzz. It turns out this application Buzz is not being developed anymore since the developer making it lost his source code.....kinda says it all why open source is the way to go for small garage software projects. 

John Fleck: Santa Fe From Space

From the folks at NASA's Earth Observatory web site, Santa Fe from space.


Garrett LeSage: What is the Meatrix?

Tuomas, Jakub, and Ben showed me the Meatrix yesterday. Interesting parody with a point. “Moopheus”—nice.


John Fleck: Carbon Dioxide Cycles and News Cycles

There's been a flurry of reporting out of Great Britain in the last few days about the detection of a rapid rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. David Appell has covered this at length, with a number of posts linking to stories on this, including The Guardian and others, all somewhat breathless about the revelation.

David also links to GRIST, which uses the stories to argue that the U.S. press, in ignoring this, is a bunch of slackers with respect to climate change. The problem here, as several people pointed out in comments to GRIST, is that the story's an old one. The AP moved a story back in March when this was first reported, which was apparently carried by the New York Times and a lot of other publications.

The puzzle here is why an eight-month-old story has been resurrected. My assumption is that this all came about because of David King's major climate address Tuesday.


Garrett LeSage: Photos: The wacky Stata Center

We had the recent GNOME Summit a the the incredibly wacky Stata Center. During our time there, a number of us took pictures—well my set of pictures have just been posted!

There are lots more pictures to see… make sure you view all the Stata Center pictures.


Rich Burridge: Mount Lyell Salamander

In the Habitats column by Gordy Slack, in the Fall 2002 edition of the California Wild magazine, there is mention of the Mt. Lyell salamander. This salamander is one of the most extreme and pecular amphibians on the face of the Earth. What caught my eye was:

It has the longest and fastest tongue of any salamander, uses its tail like a fifth leg and lives above the snowline of the Sierra Nevada.

I then proceeded to read the rest of the article in the hope that it would tell me how long and how fast that tongue was. Pictures of the tongue in action would have been good too, but nope. Nothing doing. Very frustrating. Some googling around soon solved this though.

This site goes into great detail on how the salamander uses it's tongue, which extends almost 6 centimeters ( a little over 2 inches), approximately 80 percent of the salamander's head and body length. They flick the tongue out in about a hundredth of a second.

These salamanders have a remarkable protraction system that heaves the tongue out of the mouth and jerks it back in so fast you don't see the tongue at all -- you just see the fly disappear.

Here's another web site that has some great photos of this critter and the habitat that it lives in.

So to paraphrase Mulder, the answers are out there. You just need to know where to look. I'm still looking for a slow motion film of the tongue snagging a fly though.


Mikael Hallendal: Contacts in your panel...

So Frederic pointed me to an entry in Calum's blog where he had a screenshot of a panel full of hackergotchis.

Me and Richard talked some about this before and the possibility to add it to Gossip so that you can drag a contact to the panel to get a speed access to it and also always see the status. This is great when you work with a couple of persons and want to directly see and be able to message them when they get online for example.

I'm not sure that I would want to see the actual messages as balloons like in the screenshot but rather that "New IM", "New email", "new blog entry", etc.

(If only it was simple to create an applet from within a program, perhaps it is these days? Last time I checked you had to do some dirty GConf-foo...)

Comment on this entry


Rodrigo Moya: 13/October/2004

Alan Knowles committed today his latest fixes for building libgda on Win32 platform

Luis Villa: Wed, 13 Oct 2004

Yargh. Sox game last night was frustrating; nearly gave up, decided to stick it out one more inning, and watched the Sox get within six inches of tying it up. And then blow two more runs. And then get the tying run at the plate again. ARRGGH. (Bryan, I still owe you a post ;)

Even before the game, yesterday was long- did my first serious job interview, ever. Went well, but I felt underprepared, and I'm sure it showed. Followed that up with several meetings, none of which went poorly, but all of which were more draining than they should have been, can't put my finger on why. And I worked myself up over some work issues on the way home- you know, where you start thinking about a problem in solitude, and the more you think about it, the worse your mood gets, even though it started off as a fairly benign train of thought. Blah.


Calum Benson: Bring me his head on a panel

Been playing a lot with various instant messengers this week, and generally being frustrated by their limitations. Got to thinking how cool it might be if GNOME just had a "contact" applet that you could add to your panel, one for each person you cared about-- then you could arrange them spatially to suit you, rather than having them in a meaningless list. The icon (perhaps the person's photo) could show their online status, clicking it would open a regular IM window, and you could right click to do the usual other stuff (send them an email, schedule a meeting or whatever). Drop a file on their head to send it to them. That kind of thing.

If Davyd's idea takes off and the whole panel becomes a notification area, you'd have your own action-packed desktop hackergotchi cartoon whenever somebody IM'd or /msged you, or posted a new entry in their blog, or did anything else you were interested in (that you could write some sort of plugin for, anyway):

It all falls down a bit when you want to do something with a group of multiple contacts though (email them all, arrange a meeting at a time that suits them all)...


Davyd Madeley: Call Us You Bastards!

I seem to recall feeling like this a couple of weeks ago when I was waiting for my laptop to be fixed. Maybe I just have a habit of trying to get things done when the people who are meant to be doing them are in fact incredibly busy.

The real estate agent still hadn't called us at about 2'o'clock (hey, they said 24-48 hours) so Steph gave them a call. The lady knew who Steph was, but said she'd have to call back. I don't understand what the delay is, the house has been on the market over a month, they've already got us on file as our current house is being rented with them and it's not like we're the worst tenants ever. Why won't they call?!?!

In GNOME related news, I rolled gnome-applets 2.8.1 only to discover an irritating bug caused by the Italian translation, so now I'm having to roll to fix it. The mention of Italy reminded me of Pokey the Penguin, hence the aptly named release "THIS CONSUMER PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED FOR USERS PRONE TO VIOLENT FITS OF RAGE!!!". Enjoy!

The only other business of the day is that I wish people would stick to decisions once they'd made them, and not flip from side to side like a Yo-Yo. Oh... and I wish people at work would learn when to call me and when to put a ticket in the support system. 

Murray Cumming: Election Night in Berlin

This (anonymous) blogger has found just what I was looking for - a multi-screen English-language Election Night event in Berlin, at the Sony Center. I wonder if it will be segregated like a British football match.


Michael Meeks: 2004-10-13: Wednesday


Christian Hammond: Better than a kick in the pants

There's nothing better than finally fixing a bug that has been a problem for over three months. Well, except finding a number of other bugs that would end up being hard to find down the road, and fixing them. Galago-daemon is now far stabler, and I would trust it to have my children, er, maintain my presence, or something. Yeah. Anyhow, one major step closer to a release. There's just one important thing left, which is username normalization.

Also, it seems IBM has shipped my new ThinkPad. Hurray! Can't wait. Except I have to. So, perhaps sleep is in order, since I'm starting to become delusional. I will be pissed if it turns out I dreamt fixing those bugs. :)


Robert Love: GNOME Summit

The GNOME Summit was fun. Oh my is the Stata Center a beautiful and unique building. I have always loved Gehry's creations--there is a Stata Center book on my coffee table--but being inside this work of art is just wonderful. Awesome architecture. Organic, alive.

Stata Center
The Stata Center at MIT

My good friend Chris from school was in town for the conference. He stayed at my place, we had a good time, laughing, catching up.

Alex was in town, too, which was, naturally, fun.

Chris, lover of all things related to pirates

The conference had some real highlights: Beagle, Tomboy, Gnoetry, Celestial. I gave a talk on inotify and other kernel happenings. Adam followed up with an overview of device model related changes, including resource management and driver binding, two things that HAL should really appreciate.

There were a lot of new faces to GNOME--heck, I am a newer face than many to GNOME--and it was good to see the first-time visitors and contributors. These folks are really the future of GNOME, and we need to do more to generate and support such hackers. In the kernel community, we do not have to worry about procuring and retaining new blood as much, because we unabatedly have this constant influx of fresh talent. The cabal might stay constant, but the pool of developers changes by the week.

Some played Badminton

The Gators, The Sox...they have both let me down in the last few days. Le sigh.


Glynn Foster: The iBook Story Continues

So my iBook died again - apparently it crashed and couldn't reboot itself again. Droped it into MagnumMac for them to tell me the disk is screwed and they recommended that I buy a replacement 60Gb drive, and while they could give me a quote for that, they couldn't tell me how much effort was required to get the data off the old one. To top that off, I decided to buy Panther because all my system disk were back in Dublin, and getting them sent over would be quite a lot of pain - explaining to my parents what I wanted sent over, finding which box in the attic they might be, popping them in the post and waiting X amount of days for delivery. So my once triple booting iBook [OSX, OS9 and Debian Linux] and gone to single boot with Panther. I wonder how long I can survive without Debian on it - hell, it might make me discover neato free applications to install on it. Expensive times.

In other news, we have our second game of touch rugby on Friday. Last week we, the 'Dodgy Marks', narrowly lost 4-3 and I mashed my hand tripping over. My hand feels a lot better today, so hopefully it will be fine for Friday. On Saturday, it looks like I'll play my first cricket game for Weedons, followed by Dean's stag night. Patrick has a bbq party tonight, and with the best weather we've seen this season, it looks like a cracking event.


Garrett LeSage: GNOME Summit

This past week has been interesting. Both Tuomas and Jimmac have been around, so it has been great hanging out with them. Also, the GNOME Summit was great!

There were a ton of interesting talks at the conference. Of note, the Celestia (check out the screenshots) and Gnoetry speedsessions were both amazing and had everyone captivated. The seeminly never-ending GNOME marketing talk kept going on and on because everyone was interested and there was so many things to discuss. Also, I think part of the appeal was because Luis did such a great job with his note taking; using Tomboy (a really neat note app) was such a great way to keep track of everything.

While at the crazy Stata Center, I met Steven Garrity in person; we hung out a good bit at the show, had lunch, and talked about good things like Firefox, F-Spot, the GNOME desktop, and a bit specifically about Firefox’s widgets.

A whole bunch of us roamed around the wacky building where the summit was being held and took lots of pictures too.


Joe Shaw: 13 October 2004 - at least i'm getting you to post something

Chris Blizzard: LET'S GO RED SEX
Chris Blizzard: SOX
Joe Shaw: hahahaha
Joe Shaw: ok
Joe Shaw: that is going on my web site
Chris Blizzard: man 

October 12, 2004

Jamin Philip Gray: Fellowship 9/11

FELLOWSHIP 9/11 is the new best documentary of the year. Linux users: played well for me using firefox and mplayerplug-in

Evolution: Evolution 2.0.2

The Evolution Team ebulliently announces the release of Evolution 2.0.2.
Download the following:


Upgrade Notes
Evolution 2.0 is the stable version of the 1.5.x development series. It
will upgrade your existing 1.4 install if you were not using 1.5
previously, but will not delete it until told to.

Bug Fixes and Updates

Evolution 2.0.2, 2004-10-11

Bugzilla bugs fixed (see http://bugzilla.ximian.com/show_bug.cgi):

* Addressbook

#66520 - Crash deleting addressbooks (Michael)
#66369 - VCard import requires blank lines between contacts (Hans)
#65537 - Updating Contacts Causes Crash (Hans)

* Calendar

#65932 - Crash when accessing the details of an appointment notification (Rodrigo)
#64683 - meeting invite expands to larger than workspace (Rodrigo and JP)
#66736 - crash clicking Search Clear button twice (Michael)
#61766 - select personal calendar/tasks by default when migrating (JP)
#65599 - 'Evolution 1.5' crash in 'Free/Busy' editor (Rodrigo)
#62053 - select GroupWise calendar by default (Siva)
#66164 - popup date edit drop down in correct place (JP)
#45951 - Scroll properly in task description (Rodrigo)

* Mail

#67170 - Unable to subscribe to the alt hierarchy (Michael)
#67028 - 2.0.1 compilation fails on camel-service.c: In function `camel_getaddrinfo' (Jeff)
#67257 - evolution busy waits looking up hostname if network down (Michael)
#66509 - Evolution Crashes when deleteing a news group (Michael)
#65828 - Fix typo in error message (Jeff)
#63881 - "Cannot copy or move messages into a Virtual Folder" when
dragging from UNMATCHED vfolder into real folder (Ed Catmur)
#63521 - stale / bogus pop cache file (Michael)
#66991 - crash creating folders (Michael)
#66706 - Evolution Crashes while refreshing Folder Subscriptions (Michael)
#67408 - Seg Fault on exit (Michael)
#67211 - Evolution crashes when getting summary from folder (Michael)
#66703 - S/MIME signing fails randomly (Jeff)

* Shell

#61285 - use better query for config pages (Michael)
#66216 - don't show translator-credits directly in about box (Malcolm Treddinnick)

Other bugs

* Address Book

- Crash when exiting (Hans)

* Mail

- Provide error dialogs if host/name lookups fail (Jeff)
- Improve NNTP locking (Michael)
- Work with complete MBox hierarchy (Michael)
- Forward as inline sends attachments (Michael)
- Fix possible migration bug from 1.2 (Dave Malcolm)

* Other

- Updated documentation (Rodney and Novell Doc Team)
- Don't dereference NULL nickname or emailAddr on certificate (Michael)

Updated translations:

- el (ta panta rei, Nikos Charonitakis)
- ja (Takeshi AIHANA)
- hu (Laszlo Dvornik)
- pt (Duarte Loreto)
- sq (Laurent Dhima)
- es (Francisco Javier F. Serrador)
- nl (Vincent van Adrighem, Michel Klijmij)
- en_CA (Adam Weinberger)
- zh_CN (Funda Wang)
- cs (Miloslav Trmac)
- pl (GNOME PL Team)
- pt_BR (Raphael Higino)
- sr (Danilo Segan)
- sr@Latn (Danilo Segan)
- en_GB (David Lodge)
- ca (Xavier Conde Rueda)
- ko (Changwoo Ryu)
- ro (Mugurel Tudor)
- fr (Christophe Merlet)
- nb (Kjartan Maraas)
- no (Kjartan Maraas)
- da (Martin Willemoes Hansen)
- ru (Leonid Kanter)
- fa (Meelad Zakaria)

Exchange Connector 2.0.2 2004-10-11

Bugzilla bugs fixed (see http://bugzilla.ximian.com/show_bug.cgi):

#65685 - Could not send message (Dan)
#67510 - direct booking doesn't work (Sarfraaz)
Initialize codeset for textdomain. (Frederic)

Evolution Data Server 1.0.2, 2004-10-11

Bugzilla bugs fixed (see http://bugzilla.ximian.com/show_bug.cgi):

* Calendar

#62868 - Permission denied accepting a GroupWise meeting a second time (Chen)
#67513 - Evolution corrupts memory if backend autobooks meeting attendees (JP)
#66230 - tasks from online iCal duplicate after auto-refresh (Rodrigo)

* Address Book

#66368 - VCard parser doesn't add "File under" (Hans)
#66574 - Make e_book_get_self work (Diego Gonzalez
#67600 - fix e-d-s issues on x86_64 machines (Hans)

* All

#65200 - GroupWise backend crash
#67031 - (Partial) show completed status properly for GroupWise tasks

Other bugs

* Address Book
- Restrict system address book queries to groupwise server for performance reasons (Siva)

* Calendar
- load system tasks backend correctly

Updated Translations:
- fr (Craig Jeffares)
- zh_TW (Craig Jeffares)
- sk (Stanislav Visnovsky)
- fa (Roozbeh Pournader)
- id (Mohammad DAMT)
- ar (Arafat Medini)

gtkhtml-3.2.3 "Frond" 2004-09-23

New in this release

* fixed crash occuring in autosave after paste
* expose api version in pkgconfig file
* more line breaking touches
* fixed embedded widgets not shown problem

gal-2.2.3 2004-10-01

Other bugs and changes:

- Updated translations:
en_CA (Adam Weinberger)
fr (Craig Jeffares)

Reporting Bugs

If you have problems with 2.0.2, please take the time to submit the bug
using Bug Buddy or at http://bugzilla.ximian.com. Try to fill in as
much detail as you can regarding the circumstances that lead to the

If you have a feature request, you can also file that at
http://bugzilla.ximian.com/ don't be discouraged if you don't hear from
us right away, we get hundreds of feature requests a year.

You can also check if your bug has been reported before by using the
search functionality of Bugzilla.

More information is available at the project website:


Rich Burridge: Maukie

This came over one of the internal email aliases yesterday evening. Thanks to Chip Alexander for sharing. As Chip points out, it's way cooler than Hello Kitty.

Move your mouse around. Be sure to move the cursor along the bottom of the screen sometime, and to touch the cat's ears. Also touch its forehead, tail, and most of all its tummy. Make sure the sound is on. You can also have fun teasing it along the top of the screen.

Maukie was given a home by Anneke Hut. She did not create it.


Luis Villa: Tue, 12 Oct 2004

JP: I don't think he'll start next week, let's put it that way. But really, I expected inconsistency from Vick; it's Stephen Davis, Fred Taylor, and Santana Moss, who I expected to be reliable studs this year, who are killing me.

Sri: I'm not sure we have to go the 'we're the linux desktop' route, but realistically, 'we're a good linux desktop' is a hard message to pull off. And frankly, if we start planning our marketing around what Slashdot will think, we're hosed- there is a bigger, better world out there (both in terms of potential users and potential developers) that we need to think about.

As an aside on the marketing thing, I forgot last night to upload this venn diagram, which shows three potential groupings of product/market pairs, and suggests that GNOME should understand what we market in these terms- in other words, to help us understand what we're doing better, we need to think of ourselves as more than just a desktop. I think this will help us think more clearly about what kinds of materials and stories we need. Thanks to pzb for this idea. Given our limited resources right now, I believe we have to focus (for now) on the overlapping area between these three groups of product/market pairs. Hopefully I'll get myself subscribed to marketing-list tonight and this discussion can continue there- blogs aren't the right place for it, I've just thrown things up for now because I'm still list-unsubscribed ATM.

Good to see this morning that the fixes Malcolm did to make the tree green have been committed. Yay for green :) I look forward to 2.9.1 in a couple weeks. Now we just need someone to start collecting notes for the changelog ;)


Michael Meeks: 2004-10-12: Tuesday


Murray Cumming: Munich Linux presentation in Berlin

I notice that Florian Schießl will be speaking at the Berlinux conference about Munich's switch to Linux, on Saturday 22nd October. Florian seems to be the guy organising LiMux. I see that he's also an active debian maintainer. I'd really like to attend the talk, but I'll probably be in Munich over that weekend.

GNOME's own Frank Rehberger is also giving a talk.


Sriram Ramkrishna: Brightness Falls on Leaf, and Finds me Watching..

Hows that for a moronic title. I’ve got a million of them just waiting for a release.

tberman, I’m never visiting your place if you got that silly thing. This is for a number of reasons:

On a more pleasant note. Luis post is an excellent start off to post to marketing list as a point of discussions. I’m somewhat relunctant to do “We’re the best desktop for Linux” type of approach as we tend to start butting heads with our highly independent (yet, not) slashdot crew who I imagine as a Hydra.

BTW tomboy does indeed rock. As someone who has ADD, I’ve found it invaluable to have system that lets me branch off but still go back to what it was I was working on. Very cool stuff. I use it at work all the time now as a way to absorb distractions that come in.


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