Archive for October, 2005

Spreading Ubuntu

Monday, October 31st, 2005

We’ve been very successful at spreading Ubuntu CDs among students over here at the Technische Universität in Munich. Today, I’ve distributed 250 of them among the students of Electrical Engineering, and Moritz Angermann was even able to distribute around 1000 among the students of Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics.
All of them originated from Murray’s cellar. There are still loads of them available, so if you need a bunch of them, just ask him :).

Re: Suboptimality

Friday, October 7th, 2005

Ross: I like your signal emission proposal! Sadly, GnomeVFSDrive doesn’t have any padding.

On the application startup itself: If we use the MIME type approach, it may be neccessary to add a hidden desktop file for each application (like gthumb-camera-handler.desktop), since the “Exec” line might not be appropriate.

I’ve also noted that “ghumb –import” doesn’t take any additional arguments. Shouldn’t it receive the BUS/Device/ID triple of the camera? Maybe we need new positional parameters for these very special use cases.

Update

Murray points out that one does not have to specify default signal handlers in the class vtable upon signal registration, which obviously renders my concerns pointless. This proves how well-thought out and flexible our core GObject system is. Kudos to Matthias Clasen and all the other hackers :).

On an unrelated sitenote: g_signal_override_class_closure seems to provide a mechanism to override the default handler for subclasses, although this isn’t relevant for GnomeVFSDrives. The g_signal_add_emission_hook API also looks very interesting.

GNOME Volume Manager Sub-Optimal! (was: Re: Sound Juicer Sub-optimal?)

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

Jeffrey Stedfast writes:

Ross Burton writes:
> > So. Someone puts in a CD. A while later, although there’s no
> > indication something is happening, sound-juicer pops up.
>
> This is a bug in gnome-volume-manager: it doesn’t give you any feedback
> that it is probing the new media, or starting Sound Juicer. I think a notification
> area icon for “new media inserted” would be good whilst it probes, and then
> the standard startup notification animation/panel entry when it starts up
> Sound Juicer.

This is actually completely false. No probing of audio CDs is ever done by g-v-m – any probing done on the device is done by the kernel/HAL/somewhere-lower-in-the-stack and so not only is the fault not with g-v-m for this delay, but g-v-m also cannot possibly report any notifications/progress/whatever.

I think Ross does not refer to the fact that probing a device takes time, but exclusively to the fact that gnome-volume-manager does not use startup notification. It simply executes /desktop/gnome/volume_manager/autoplay_cda_command.

IMHO, we should rather use a special key in .desktop files specifying that a particular application handles a particular media type (i.e. VolumeManagerBlankCDExec=foo %s, VolumeManagerDVDExec=bar %s, etc.). If we add gnome_desktop_item_launch_full to the GNOMEDesktopItem API, allowing the client application to specify another key than “Exec”, we’ll be able to pick up all applications with such a key and let GNOME Desktop ensure that the “StartupNotify” key is evaluated.

This would also resolve the following usability rant. I’ve felt exactly the same when seeing the dialog for the first time, btw.:

I realize that providing a drop-down list of known applications would only throw a very small light on what the system usually offers. However, the average desktop user neither knows about commandline parameters nor even about the names of all the applications he uses because the GNOME naming schema (in menus and so forth) differs from the real application names (they’re not localized, for example).

I think somebody already came up with a similar proposal, at least I remember seeing a mockup.

Python b0rkage

Sunday, October 2nd, 2005

Maybe one of you python gurus out there can tell me how simple C function invocations can end up somewhere in python wrappers and crash. We just call gtk_label_set_markup, even if the call used to be hosed.

nautilus-open-terminal 0.5 (0.6), now with SFTP/SSH support

Sunday, October 2nd, 2005

Grab nautilus-open-terminal 0.5 while it’s still hot. Thanks to the excellent work of Guillaume Desmottes you can now launch SSH sessions in terminals out of Nautilus SFTP sessions at the cwd.

Translation contributors to this release: Ilkka Tuohela (Finnish), Yuval Tanai (Hebrew), Young-Ho Cha (Korean), Žygimantas Beručka (Lithuanian), Pawan Chitrakar (Nepalese), Michał Kastelik (Polish), Baris Cicek (Turkish), Maxim Dziumanenko (Ukrainian) and Clytie Siddall (Vietnamese).

Update

I forgot to mention that this release is dedicated to Hans-Eckardt Wenzel, who released the excellent Woody Guthrie tribute album Ticky Tock (English review).

Update 2

Released nautilus-open-terminal 0.6, which ensures that the Polish translation is actually compiled/installed and also includes the Norwegian translation by Kjartan Maraas.

freedesktop.org, GNOME rant

Saturday, October 1st, 2005

I’ve been trying to get my old freedesktop.org CVS account renewed for more than 2 months now. I filed a bug report and kindly and repeatedly asked on IRC. I was told that they have no admin ressources or got no response at all. I’m curious how many of your efforts were already massively slowed down by the lack of clear rules and responsibilities. I’m also perceiving similar problems in GNOME, where lack of time by people in charge who mostly work on distro-specific stuff that has nothing to do with stock GNOME, or lack of clear accountings already proved to scotch many efforts.

Back to freedesktop.org: Nobody seems to care for my bugs and some bugs in the GNOME bugzilla depend on them, like this one (cf. related GNOME bugzilla rant by Erich Schubert). Whoever can arrange that my CVS account works again, he’ll be my very special hero of this weekend and get a free beer.

Update

Eric Anholt deserves beer!

On a sidenote: I always think it’s kind of sad if people get what they want exclusively because of some sort of advantage over others (i.e. some people are not able to rant in blogs), or rather the position they have in a community. Bugzillas are IMHO really meant to work in a socialistic fashion by being polite and treating all bug reports equal.