Archive for February, 2008

remaining 2.22 showstoppers.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

translations

adding “just one additional string” to a module two weeks before a major release does not sound bad at first sight. but keep in mind that most of the modules have about 20 completely translated po files. it means that 20 translation teams have to edit their po file again. don’t request string freeze breaks that late in the cycle unless you have a real reason to (security issue etc). a “nice to have” is definitely not enough!

showstoppers

our showstopper list has become smaller. beside those 4 crasher bugs that have been around for some time now, only the missing ftp backend for gvfs (Company seems to work on it) and the missing migration of trash from the old location to the new one (i hope vuntz takes a look at it) are left.
gicmo is working on finishing webdav support and the “network:” backend has been fixed this week by a. walton. and of course alex and cosimoc also work like mad on squashing bugs and getting things finalized for 2.22.0. (now i hope i did not forget anybody in my list.) if anybody has the feeling that a big blocker for 2.22 has not been addressed yet, raise your voice now!
this development cycle is a tough one for our translators (many late string changes because of finishing gvfs/gio/nautilus and a lot of new strings due to new modules). just wanted to say thanks to our translators. you really do an awesome job!

Google Highly Open Participation Contest results.

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

The Google Highly Open Participation Contest (GHOP) concluded a few days back. Google had invited 10 Open Source projects, GNOME being one of them, to set up a list of tasks for high school students.
GHOP was a great success and we had much more interested and motivated students than the approx. 100 tasks that GNOME offered (so if there’s a “next time” for this, GNOME will definitely need even more maintainers/mentors filing tasks).
Thanks to the students, GNOME has seen a lot of contributed code, improvements in automated testing, translation and documentation and many bug reports and fixes (the link is not a complete list).

Today Google published the names of the Grand Prize winners. Congratulations to GNOME’s Grand Prize winner Patrick Hulin and to the many, many other students for their great work! We hope that you gathered experience, had fun working in the GNOME community and that you will continue to contribute to GNOME and Open Source. See you around!

GNOME 2.22.0 will probably not be GNOME 2.22

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

well. KDE 4.0 is not KDE4.
GNOME 2.22 will also have some regressions because of porting from gnome-vfs to GIO. two of them are listed in the latest GNOME showstopper review: the missing “network:” backend implementation and the missing ftp support. there are more regressions. if you have some spare time and are ready to dig into the world of GIO and/or nautilus, help is most welcome! see the GioToDo wiki page, take a look at the list of gio bugs and nautilus 2.21 bugs and/or visit #nautilus on irc. thanks for your help.

die musiklage der letzten tage.

Monday, February 11th, 2008
  • Fad Gadget’s Collapsing New People. Zwei Fad Gadget-CDs besaß ich ja bereits, aber mir kam erst letztens die Idee, nach Videos zu schauen. YouTube ist toll, wenn man sich dort die Auftritte bei der ARD-Hitparadensendung “Formel Eins” nochmal anschauen kann (ich wollte schon immer den Begriff “Hitparade” verwenden). Ich kann mir jedes Buch der Welt in einer öffentlichen Bibliothek ausleihen, aber die Fernsehsendungen, für die man teilweise GEZ-Gebühren (korrekte Bezeichnung hier: “Rundfunkgebühren”, bevor die GEZ mich abmahnt) gezahlt hat, sind verschlossen in Archiven, oder (wenn ich mich an das Weihnachtskaffeetrinken mit der Familie richtig erinnere) man zahlt 800 EUR für einen 15-Sekunden-Schnipsel einer ZDF-Musiksendung aus den 80er Jahren, wenn man den rechtlich korrekten Weg gehen will. Urheberrechte waren geschichtlich nie mit physikalischen Eigentumsrechten gleichgesetzt; nun gehen wir dank dem Lobbyismus der Plattenfirmen und Filmstudios also diesen Weg, machen damit 95% der Kultur einer ganzen Generation unzugänglich und kriminalisieren die bevorzugten künstlerischen Ausdrucksweisen der Jugend, indem die Verwendung eines halbsekündigen Bildes in einem selbstfabrizierten YouTube-Click mit einer vierstelligen Abmahnungssumme belohnt wird. Verweise hierfür zu Lawrence Lessig’s “Free Culture”. Arme neue Welt.
  • Von Collapsing New People zu Collapsing New Buildings. “Alles wieder offen” von den Neubauten ist noch ruhiger als Vorgänger, aber ebenso lyrisch und wunderschön industriell instrumentiert. Geld absolut wert. Link zum Video.
  • Alicia Keys: Songs in A minor. Lag hier schon länger herum. Recht schöne Musik zum abends mit Wärmflasche für Klausuren lernen. :)
  • The Streets: Original Pirate Material. Hatte ich schon mal vor Jahren als dann verlorengegangene MP3s. Allein für den Satz “Geezers need excitement. If their lives don’t provide them this they incite violence. Common sense, simple common sense.”, der die gesamte Debatte über gescheiterte Integration und Jugendkriminalität kurz und präzise zusammenfasst, lohnt sich der Kauf. Eigentlich warte ich jetzt nur auf eine schnoddrige Zusammenarbeit zwischen The Streets und Lady Sovereign. :-)
  • Miss Kittin: Batbox. Schöner, direkter, halliger Elektro. Link zum Video.
  • MGMT: Time To Pretend. Läuft hier gerade ziemlich oft. Grandioser Text, unglaublich beschissenes Video. Gut dass ich das erst nach dem Hören gesehen habe.
  • Es macht mir große Sorgen, wenn Drittklässler in diese “Freunde”-Bücher (in denen jeder den vorgefertigten Fragebogen ausfüllen soll) unter Lieblingsmusik “Massiv” eintragen. Vorallem machen mir die Eltern Sorgen, die nicht mitbekommen, welche Musik ihr Kind hört.

some (software) plans for 2008.

Friday, February 1st, 2008

evolution

at the beginning of the 2.23 cycle, i want to take a look at evolution’s user-visible messages. a lot of non-crasher bug reports (and especially support questions in forums) deal with error strings that are hard to understand for average users. i filed an evolution tracking bug to collect bug reports based on cryptic messages. in a kind of way “evolve your user interface to educate your users“, though you of course cannot compare the information that can be displayed on a 1024x680px webpage to a small error popup.
this should also include error messages that are useless to the user, e.g. the famous (and now fixed) bug 213072:
213072-fake.png

it does not totally fit here because it is about security and phishing, but i love the Phishing Tips and Techniques somebody linked on planet gnome a while ago. it tells a lot about application dialog design and its effect on users’ behaviour.
so my task currently sounds like going through evolution’s error messages xml files and see what can be improved. any additional comments to bug 502515 appreciated.

translations

at the beginning of 2.23 gnome should migrate from using context for strings to msgctxt which is less error-prone and supported by most translation tools. see http://live.gnome.org/GnomeGoals/MsgctxtMigration. i also hope to push other gnome goals and the migration from deprecated modules like gnome-vfs and libgnomeprint*. let’s get a platform that is attractive to vendors and contributors.

marketing

for the second half of this year, i would like to concentrate a bit on FLOSS marketing. which projects have good marketing, and what can be improved? i hope that this will lead to become my diploma thesis. firefox and gnome are of potential interest here, though they have quite different target groups.