Desktop Summit


  • Yay for Germans procedures! :P Like having to mark how many t-shirt were sold despite my experience that it doesn’t work. Still, these procedures resulted in a nicely run event
  • At GUADEC we usually have a freakishly huge GNOME banner. Apparently this year it had to be taken down, which was done during a talk. I still don’t like that or get why this happened.
  • Banner in the Audimax
    Banner in the Audimax
  • Getting a tablet is great. Though noticed a lot of bugs in Meego and the light sensor on this hardware is really annoying. Tried updating Meego to a newer version and only the 3rd version I downloaded worked. In the other versions either the USB installer didn’t boot, or Meego didn’t boot.
  • Alexanderplatz is awesome! Seems always something was happening around that place and elsewhere in Berlin.
  • Overheard that press was interested in ‘juicy stuff’ between GNOME and KDE. Bit unfortunate. I think it is ok to make fun of things, e.g. trying to trick people by stating that either the Uncyclopedia GNOME article is the official goal for GNOME and similar things about KDE (loads of settings is always a nice one). I’d rather be misunderstood while being obviously sarcastic/trolling than having to phrase everything politically, but I don’t want it appearing as a ‘$PROJECT said this’ article either. But on the very plus side, didn’t notice any negative articles.
  • Not totally sure about the frequency of the Desktop Summit versus GUADEC. This is not anything about not wanting to work together, but for me GUADEC is meeting the people I already know or haven’t met yet during last year. I almost don’t know anyone within KDE and if I talk to a Plasma developer I don’t have anything to talk about (which to me is logical and I don’t see anything wrong with this), while for anything within GNOME I usually have a good understanding. Further, there seems to be a bit of difference between Akademy and GUADEC in what usually happens during a conference. I haven’t been to any Akademy, but my idea about GUADEC is usually that there are talks, but the goal is to meet+plan+party. Focus was not so much on entire hacking days. Further, I like the unstructured choas (pants, stealing hats, turning vuntz’ icecream crazyiness into competitions, etc) that makes GUADEC. This Desktop Summit was in Germany though (procedures :P) and I haven’t been to the previous one so maybe my view is a bit off.
  • Got the impression that there were way less GNOMEis around than usual, while I had the impression that there are more active developers than previously.
  • Hopefully wrong, but got the idea that people working for Canonical seemed to feel uneasy and thinking now I at least forgot to greet seb128 except when running by in a hurry… though I am really terrible with remembering what affiliation people have (I also don’t care about affiliation).
  • Transmageddon is awesome! Used it to convert the video files from my photo camera to webm.
  • Transmageddon screenshot
  • A 7 / 8 hour train ride is not so bad when I compare it to the many unneeded annoyances you have to deal with when flying. Delay of an hour on the way back, but still ok. Couldn’t sleep though.
  • The black humour of the ‘state of the union’ talk is fun. Bit unfortunate having to say it is black humour / noticing talk being used as ‘GNOME developers say X’.
  • Was invited to a KDE release team BoF. Really interesting. Gave a few comments on how things are done within GNOME. Though realized bringing a laptop was a bad idea (tends to distract me).
  • Talk from Vincent Untz called Ramblings of a retired release manager was impressive. Hit a quite few sore points.
  • Vincent Untz and his need for a green GNOME tie
  • Football and Volleyball competition was fun. Loads of people drinking beer while Germans were running tracks around us.
  • Football match
  • Realized that not all hostels have a ‘common room’, which was the main reason for going to a hostel.
  • Week went by quickly. Didn’t have a release-team meeting, didn’t see as much of Berlin as I intended, etc.

Xz compression

Yesterday I’ve changed ftpadmin to generate .tar.xz and .tar.bz2 tarballs. Shortly after that, tracker 0.10.15 was released.

Tracker 0.10.14:

[   ] tracker-0.10.14.tar.bz2     19-May-2011 17:58  7.5M  
[   ] tracker-0.10.14.tar.gz      19-May-2011 17:58  8.9M  

Tracker 0.10.15:

[   ] tracker-0.10.15.tar.bz2     26-May-2011 17:37  7.5M  
[   ] tracker-0.10.15.tar.xz      26-May-2011 17:37  5.3M  

The smallest version you could download for 0.10.14 is 7.5MB (bz2). For 0.10.15 you’re able to get the 5.3MB xz version. A 29% saving to get the same bits.

Note: The plan is to only create xz tarballs once the last 3.2 GNOME stable version has been released (November).

What a day!

While trying to show that perhaps some things could be interpreted a ‘assume people mean well’ way, stated something very poorly. Then got a huge thread as result because people assume I didn’t mean well. Oh the irony of this :P

New mouse

Old mouse (rebranded Logitech) was acting up and the plastic pads on the bottom were having issues as well. Bought a Logitech LS1. Different mouse takes a bit getting used to. New one is smaller, scroll wheel isn’t as nice as the old one and it is heavier. It has one interesting feature; horizontal scrolling. The horizontal scrolling is nice within mplayer; configured my ~/.mplayer/input.conf as:

MOUSE_BTN5 volume -1
MOUSE_BTN6 volume 1
MOUSE_BTN5_DBL volume -1
MOUSE_BTN6_DBL volume 1

If you move the scroll wheel left or right it automatically generates the btn5/6 double click events. So after changing the mplayer config I can easily turn the volume up and down using just the mouse. Pretty nice.

It has a laser too instead of optical (meaning: no red light anymore), but I do not notice a difference in accuracy.

Best feature? Loads of colours.. I like purple :) …that’s the reason I bought it without trying it out first.

Electronic Frontier Foundation: “Didn’t like our spam? Click the opt-out!”

Just got an unsollicited email from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Apparently people are encouraged to get as much money donated as possible. As a result, some person seem to have collected email addresses and send out various of such ‘give me money’ emails.

Complained about it, but response is that I should click the opt-out link. Ehr? I didn’t want this, so I want the person stopped from sending this.

This is not the behaviour I’m used to from other net citizens.

Wondering whether to block the IP address (and thus EFF) from sending stuff to I guess I’ll have announce it before implementing it.

Suggest if you wanted to donate to the EFF to reconsider.

Feedback and more

I’ve been reading the feedback regarding GNOME3. Pretty nice overall.

  • A lot of feedback thanks to the Live versions available on
    GNOME is made of various people spending time on what they think is good for the project overall. The live images happened because people spend the effort. Live versions also resulted in a lot of extra feedback, and thus a better GNOME 3.0.0.
  • Do not see too much stability issues
    Most of the feedback focuses on behaviour changes
  • I unfortunately see too much assumption that feedback is not welcome
    I guess this is because of a combination of getting used to GNOME3, design decisions that are not changed without a lot of feedback, the relative imperfection of GNOME3 vs 2.32 (3.0 is less refined than 2.32) with the assumption is that 3.0 set in stone and not having interacted with the real GNOME community yet. Regarding changing decisions: I forgot what it was about, but in gnome-terminal some things were changed every other release because of feedback. Each time another bigger group complained what the default of some option should be.
    I am strict on ensuring all communication follows the Code of Conduct (which also includes “avoid being repetitive”). Other than that, be as critical or positive as you want.
  • Various criticisms concerns valid points
    Things that will be addressed during GNOME 3.2 and 3.4.
  • Some criticism is regarding design decisions
    Decisions taken with some goal in mind. Requiring a different way of working and always results in transition pain. As a result, it is still early to draw conclusions on those IMO, we first have to wait for a few distributions to have GNOME3 as default in their stable version.


  • Once again uncle :)
    Tech wise: My sister really enjoys having a smartphone (3g+wifi)
  • Twice in the last 2 weeks had to cycle differently as sections of roads where closed off due to possible gas explosions. Once a gas pipe underneath the street was faulty, second time a person drove off from a gas station while the gas line was still connected to the car.
  • Celebrating Queen’s day in Utrecht is a lot of fun!
  • Switched my ISP contract to 60 / 6 Mbit/s (fastest they provide is 120/10)
    Got a new modem. Modem has DOCSIS 3, wifi (+ separate wifi dongle which works in Mandriva Cooker) and router functionality built in. I hate the router functionality though. I don’t like NAT, much rather have my pc directly on the internet. The router did have some bridge options, haven’t played with that yet. Only disabled the firewall + enabled the option which directs all traffic directly to my pc.
    Since the new modem the IPV6_DEFAULTDEV=tun6to4 /etc/sysconfig/network option doesn’t result in a IPv6 address anymore. Fortunately my ISP intents to provide IPv6 somewhere this year (and yeah, that’s documented on their website). Now if they’d only stop trying to sell me ‘digital tv’.
  • Updated packages on my laptop
    Switched to Fedora from Ubuntu during FOSFEM. This as I need something which tracks GNOME and does so by default. Though prefer using a distributions which is different from what other release-team members prefer.