Category Archives: General

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 @gnome.org. 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 gnome3.org
    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.

more:

  • 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.

Whoot!

I am GNOME

So what did I do?

  • Watch the videos made by Jason Clinton
  • Change master.gnome.org; this is the machine where maintainers upload tarballs and the release-team actually does the release
  • Figure out the redirects from the old www.gnome.org to the new one.
  • Figure out that upgrading textpattern is not a 5min task, quickly leaving it to another sysadmin.
  • Did the sysadmin bit for GNOME Developer Center.
  • all the things I cannot think of now :)

On the road to GNOME 3.0

Release team has gotten a few hard code freeze breaks. Overview of the requests (not going to specify if they’ve been approved; too much work):

March 22

March 23

March 24

March 25

March 26

March 27

March 28

March 29

Pretty huge amount. Incomparable to any other GNOME release. In total, I’ve reviewed 0 of above patches btw. There have been freeze breaks for today as well…

External dependencies

Correcting Marks statement:

He talks about App Indicators, saying that “They didn’t even propose changes to core GNOME components to support application indicators.” Actually, we did, and those changes required App Indicators to be an external dependency. So we proposed that, and it was rejected. Repeat ad absurdum.

This is not correct. Applications can depend on a library without it being an external dependency. If it is not an external dependency, the support must be optional. This so distributions do not have to deal with ever increasing dependencies. We have various optional dependencies.

Furthermore, the library was not accepted (the ‘rejected’ is often interpreted as permanent rejection, while this was never meant in this way) for GNOME 3.0.x. Not the whole idea. Not the spec. Also, something similar can be proposed again for 3.2. Though really really suggest to at least assume we mean well, and understand the feedback that was given.

Unfortunately, I’m repeating what has been stated before.

What I find most unfortunate: I saw no email to release-team asking for clarification. I fail to see what the point is of continuing this via blogposts. I find it fairly strange way if the purpose is to actually have a constructive conversation.

Suggest the ‘assume people mean well’ once again. And ehr.. people are working for a long time on releasing GNOME 3.0.

Frustrations?

Hey Phil,

No need to be frustrated. Just talk to some people and you’ll notice that nobody is treated in any special way.

Do wonder what triggered this. Just the Canonical-Banshee thing?

Some comments:

For starters, some [2] people in the GNOME community moan about how Ubuntu doesn’t pull its weight upstream. They then make it difficult for Ubuntu-y folks to contribute things upstream.

Suggest to find better examples than Zeitgeist and app indicators. App indicators has already been discussed before. People already explained in on your blog, but in short: it was suddenly proposed, never noticed work on this being done, it went against the current heading of GNOME (gnome-shell and less libraries, integrating more into gtk+) plus (IIRC) it needed copyright assignment. Most importantly, I felt like almost all feedback was ignored. Feedback is very important, things can be addressed if communication happens. If not, I’ll probably vote against it as things have to be working in the long term (have to get the impression it will be supported for 5+ years). Zeitgeist: it isn’t developed upstream. Makes it difficult to follow progress. Really important for me to easily follow progress. Still, very cool technology, I’m just waiting for it to be used in a nice way across GNOME. And that is mainly why it isn’t in GNOME at the moment (the ‘cool technology’ vs ‘used nicely in GNOME’). This was given as feedback, so I don’t see why you’re using Zeitgeist as an example. Likely Zeitgeist will end up as an external dependency. I also don’t see Zeitgeist as Ubuntu-y. That’s actually a good thing. I don’t want anything which appears to be restrictive, don’t care which distribution/organization/company it is from. In practice of course most development might come from one organization.

I use Mandriva for many years. Over those years, they haven’t contributed significantly towards GNOME (KDE focussed, though a lot of their tools use Gtk+). Really does not matter how much is contributed. Though, this doesn’t mean people will not constantly ask for more contributions (the more contributors the merrier). That said, I don’t see Canonical doing much upstream, nor any limitations to not do that. Again, my view and I see it as something factual, not emotional.

Anyway, if you realize that things aren’t perfect I think it’ll be much easier. E.g. messages to release-team might be ignored for no reason. Doesn’t mean anything other than that it was not picked up. Some technology was propsosed and rejected for various reasons. Doesn’t mean it will always be rejected, or that there are reasons other than documented. Further, sometimes the reasons are explained in ways that what wasn’t intended (miscommunication).

Perhaps a cause is how the communication happens? E.g. avoid having any communication that not everyone in the world easily follow. Further, communicate in the places people expect. Might have avoided app indicators if everything started on desktop-devel-list and so on (though, ehr, not always the most productive mailing list).

I fully understand that Ubuntu and Canonical aren’t the same thing

From my perspective, whatever Canonical wants to do, will be done (e.g. Banshee thing). I don’t see this as negative, nor as positive. However, result of current situation is that direction of Ubuntu is strongly influenced by Canonical.

The method you use to make that money is subject to intense scrutiny

Just people voicing their opinions about what they think is right or wrong. It can be allowed by a licence, but you really don’t want everyone solely looking at what is exactly allowed by the small text / legal.

and insisting that all of their attempts to generate revenue fit into some warm, fuzzy picture of a benevolent cooperative for whom profit is incidental is unreasonable

This summary doesn’t reflect what feedback was given or what people don’t like. As such, I find it pretty disrespectful towards the people giving comments (talking about the posts on planet gnome).

start playing hard ball

Where I work (easy to find out, but in short: not a distribution), it won’t work long term. Sometimes you help your customer and/or vendor, sometimes they help you. Or as buzzwords: sustainability and cooperation.

chronic infighting

Chronic infighting? I don’t see any of that happening.

GNOME can understand and facilitate Canonical’s commercial goals

Ehrr… if Canonical wants to make money, go ahead. But don’t expect me to facilitate. I don’t even understand how it is meant when I think of the Canonical-Banshee incident (isn’t facilitating). Further, I work on things because I want to for various reasons.

I will be swallowing some of my pride by working on documentation for Unity and assigning the copyright to Canonical.

Talk to Michael Meeks how LibreOffice got *loads* more contributions immediately by not having copyright assignments (presentation @ FOSDEM).

Final comment

I probably said some stuff which probably will get explained in ways I didn’t intend, mean or expected.