Thu 08 Sep 2005

  • evince: GNOME-2.12 went out the door today with the new evince release. Version 0.4.0 is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the entire evince team. By blending a mixture of features and simplicity, we have reached a state of genuine usefulness. We are still very ambitious; there are a lot of awesome features currently on the drawing board.

    Of all the features in evince, the one that I’m most proud of is that we don’t have a preference dialog. It’s taken a lot of discipline and creativity along the way, but we managed.

  • zana: My wife rocks.

Wed 31 Aug 2005

  • evince: Bryan and I took another look at acroread today, and realized that we’re falling behind them in the web advertisement space! They have an toolbar just for Yahoo ads, and we don’t have anything like that at all. Since we had been looking for fundraiser opportunities anyway for the Evince Defence League, I whipped up Google AdWords support to the sidebar.

    http://jrb.webwynk.net/files/evince-sponsor.png

    Awesome. We’re planning on branching into personal ads, later.

Mon 29 Aug 2005

  • ridley: I finally got Project Ridley announced. This has been overdue for a long time, and I hope that we’ll get some good contributors to this project. I’ve gotten a number of replies from people interested in helping out, and there’s plenty to be done.

    There were a number of FAQs and some confusion about it, so I thought I’d give an effort to answer them:

    Q: What is the main goal of Project Ridley? A: We are really trying to clean up the existing library stack and platform. When we are done, we should have a better story for developers.

    Q: Are you going to write <my favorite feature> A: Depends if it’s in an existing library. There’s nothing that says that additional development can’t happen, but we’re going to be focusing on the functionality in libraries that currently exist.

    Q: Can I help? A: We always need help! There are some people signed up for projects already at the ProjectRidley page at live.gnome.org, but there’s plenty of room for more help. People interested in writing code should come to the GTK+ team meeting on Tuesdays. It’s typically held on IRC in #gtk-devel at 4:00 EDT.

    Q: <generic complaints about keybindings> A: This project has nothing to do with keybindings, dangit.

    Q: What does Project Ridley mean? A: I’m not telling. (-:

  • style: Zana got her hair cut short again. It looks really good!

  • dog: When we came back this evening after going out, we found a lot of muddy pawprints in the bathtub. The dog had jumped into it while we were gone. He hates baths! I have no idea what he was doing there.

  • sudoku: My mom bought us a book of sudoku puzzles, so I did what any good nerd would do — I wrote a simple solver in python. It’s now almost as good at these puzzles as my wife is. I need to add branching support to it, but it solves most of the puzzles I can throw at it.

  • New Orleans: We have been watching the really terrifying images on TV. The city was awesome when I visited it a couple months ago, and I really hope that it’s still there in the morning. It looks like it’s going to be horrible.

Tue 23 Aug 2005

  • sleep: While trying to get a better idea on which operations poppler is slow, I wrote a little tool to profile pages. I really should have gone to sleep, instead.

    http://www.gnome.org/~jrb/files/Screenshot-PDF%20Inspector-1.png

Sat 06 Aug 2005

  • windmills: Today was a windmill-tilting kinda day…

  • evince: Kristian and I cleaned up the selection code this week. It’s still a bit raw, but it’s much, much smarter than before. It was naively drawing the whole selection every time the mouse moved, which felt sluggish. We now only redraw the regions that are changed, and do that only when new glyphs are selected.

    These changes make selection feel zippy and slick. It even respects theme colors!

    Now that we have that last issue fixed, it’s time to focus heavily on getting evince stable for GNOME-2.12. We still have too many bugs — crashers and otherwise — for my taste.

  • Travels: Zana and I spontaneously drove to Vermont a couple weekends ago. I had never been to that state before, and we thought it would be fun to go take a look. It was a gorgeous area, and we took a walk near Brattleboro across an old bridge and along the Connecticut river. We followed it up with a meal on a patio, suspended over the river.

    We definitely need to go back and go kayaking there before the summer’s end.

Tue 19 Jul 2005

  • coding: Johann shamed me into starting a GtkTreeView editor for gazpacho. I spent a couple of hours tonight on it, and got a mockup going. I have a good idea of what I want it to look like, and will try hooking it up to Gazpacho tomorrow. This will make it easier to make a GtkTreeView, and more importantly, make it more obvious how to use the widget.

    It was also the first time that I’d used gazpacho for any real work. This program has matured a lot and I’m pretty excited for it. It had some quirks and bugs (which I’ll file tomorrow) but was basically usable. It acts a lot nicer than glade too, and more importantly, has a much nicer code base to hack on.

    Unfortunately, we’re still blocking on #69639, and thus this dialog will just be a novelty in the short term. gazpacho’s loader can handle GObjects, so python programs can use it, but other applications will have to wait until libglade lands in GTK+-2.10.

  • cooking: Zana and I made blueberry-rhubarb pie. We put in too much sugar, and it’s way too sweet. I’ll have to try again when we finish it.

Wed 13 Jul 2005

  • bugs: There are forty bugs against the screenshooter! It just takes screenshots, for heaven’s sake — how can it be that buggy?? It looks like I’m definitely going to spend some time going through these bugs soon. The highlight of these is a patch from Dan Winship to draw the cursors in the screenshots. Awesome!

  • cooking: After the disasterous All Star game, we made a fruit tart. The crust came out really nicely and the fruit was beautiful. Unfortunately, we accidentally bought tiramisu marscapone instead of plain marscapone which gave the tart a slight coffee flavor. It wasn’t bad, per se, but it tasted a little weird.

  • bookworm: Zana has been bugging me for a long time about adding better syntax checking to bookworm. Instead of doing this, I spent a couple nights teaching her Python. She picked it up really quickly, and she spent most of tonight adding a bunch of sanity checks to the code. It should fail a lot less now.

    Tomorrow, we’re going to tackle the overview dialog and get that going. We’ll see if our relationship survives me teaching her about GtkTreeView…

Wed 06 Jul 2005

  • evince: We got a bunch of patches this weekend from Matt Wilson of rpath fame to fix up the tiff backend. If someone wants to hook us up to some telephony software, we’d make a pretty awesome display for a fax program. I also read in the ChangeLog that Marco put some code to make evince ‘spatial’. I do not think that that word means what I think it means. It sounds pretty cool, but sometime I’m going to have to figure out what it does.

  • cinema: When I was a kid, I remember watching the Three Amigos. I loved that movie, and remember laughing and laughing a lot at it. A decade later, I rented it to show it to Zana, promising her it would be a great movie. “You’ll love it! It’s funny!” It was terrible. None of the jokes were watchable, and we turned it off before we got to the end.

    (Actually, the bit where Martin Short shoots the invisible swordsman by mistake was pretty funny…)

    After watching Revenge of the Sith recently, I thought I’d rewatch the original Star Wars trilogy again. I’m not a really a Star Wars fan, but I do remember enjoying them a lot when I saw them, and, like everyone else, was disappointed with the second trilogy. I was afraid that watching the originals again would ruin them like it did for the Three Amigos, or at least diminish them in my memory.

    I needn’t have worried. It turns out that the first two were genuinely much better than the later movies. However, the Return of the Jedi was a surprise for me, as I really enjoyed it a lot. I remember it as good, but not great, and not as good as the other two. That also appears to be its reputation on the internet. In particular, the final lightsaber battle between Vader and Luke has got to top my list of favorite movie duels. It wasn’t as technically impressive as other sword fights, but the emotion of the moment and the music really swept me away. It was really worth a rewatch.

  • words: Nat is my literary hero this week! Not only did he write a play in a day, he used the word ‘uxoriousness’ in his blog. +1 style point for that.

  • independence day: Groton had its independence day celebration tonight. Zana and I went to go listen to music, eat fair food, watch the fireworks. We had a great time. It wasn’t clear to us why the town had their party a day late, though. I guess they just wanted to have their own Fifth of Fourth…

Fri 01 Jul 2005

  • evince: Last time I wrote about evince, I posted a fake screenshot of it reading mail. While I thought it was obviously a cheesy composite and a pretty funny idea, some people did not. In retrospect, I should have spent more time in the gimp to make it less realistic — and thus more obviously a joke. I promised a few people that my next screenshot would be both real and of a cool feature. So, without further ado:

    http://www.gnome.org/~jrb/files/evince-selection.png

    This is evince with real text selection! Kristian and I worked hard over the last couple evenings to get this working. We were just doing a rectangular selection before which wasn’t nearly as good. This feels much more natural, and is a necessary feature for a modern PDF browser.

    It’s in CVS now, and requires poppler-HEAD built against cairo. We’ll be improving and fine tuning it over the next couple days. In particular, we think that we can make interactive dragging significantly faster than it is right now. Additionally, when you hit copy right now, you get the wrong text, and the old rectangular selection is totally broken. These should both be pretty easy to fix, though.

    The other important thing about this change is that Kristian refactored the poppler text code a lot. It made it trivial to add I-beam support, and will make doing things like A11Y much easier to write. I’m going to keep cleaning up the selection code in the foreseeable future, but if anyone has any interest in tackling ATK support for ev-view, I’d love to hear from them. It is a self-contained project and should be straightforward to write.

  • features: One of the reasons I’m really excited about getting selection into evince is that it’s a great new feature that doesn’t involve a menu item. I feel like the shell of evince is starting to get cluttered, and we probably need to take the time to clean it up a bit. This feature will be really useful to the user without touching the interface at all.

    A lot of the best features are the ones you don’t notice.

  • hardware: I’ve had a really bad couple days. My sidekick crashed twice, and the harddrive on my desktop died destroying some pictures that I’d recently taken. My wireless access point has been flaky too, and gnome.org being moved hasn’t helped.

    I’ve been increasingly unhappy with the web-hosting I’ve gotten at pair.com, too. They do fine for what they are, but I don’t really want to put all my photos, etc. on that site at their current prices.

    One thing I miss about my old house in North Carolina is that I was able to get Speakeasy DSL service with a static IP. I’m stuck with a cable modem at my new place, and thus can’t reliably host services. I’ve been giving some thought to trying to put together a co-op of sorts, where I buy a server with a few others and host it at a colo. After the initial capital outlay, it seems to be competitive in price to most web-hosting services, and I’d have much more control over the box. We’d also be able to provide a lot more diskspace than most web-hosting people.

    I’m not completely convinced this is wise, as it’s one more box for me maintain, and it is a bit more expensive. I also need to find a few friends to do this with.

  • life: Zana keeps beating me at darts. It must be the shoes.

Fri 10 Jun 2005

  • evince: Since I was bored, and since evince had every other possible feature that a pdf viewer should have, I thought I’d add e-mail support to it:

    http://www.gnome.org/~jrb/files/evince-mail.png

    Took only half an hour’s work, too.