July 10th, 2000 by raphael

I read Cees de Groot’s
diary
in which he mentions that the Orbiten Free Software
Survey
credits him for a mere 39 K of code. Since I am
curious, I decided to check what the survey says about me
and I saw that it credits me (author 3745)
for the incredible total of 28 bytes of code. Wow!
I’m
impressed…

For some reason,
it did not find me among the
contributors to
the
GIMP
or some other packages to which I contributed. But
after a bit more
careful investigation, I found that the database had
registered me several times, so I have the other profiles 7841
(credited for 21 K) and 9709
(credited for 55 K). Still, that’s not much… The
interesting thing is that I am credited for some
projects in which I did not even know that my code was
used. But on the other hand, I could not find my name in
any of the projects to which I contributed directly (except
for rplay). Funny… Anyway, I’m curious to see the
results of their next study, which should be available
soon.

While I am thinking about contributions to free
software
projects, I realized that I wrote some patches to the GIMP
last
month and I forgot to submit them. They have been sitting
on my hard disk since then. Hmmm… Maybe I need more
sleep?

June 19th, 2000 by raphael

During the last days, my SO told me a couple of times
that I was strange (why am I not surprised?) She has seen
me picking up some small flowers, dead bugs, stones and
other weird stuff from various places, then running back
home and putting them on my scanner. I told her that these
would make great textures and brushes for the GIMP, but she
is still thinking that I am a bit strange. She was
disgusted
when she saw me tearing off the wings of a dead dragonfly
in order to scan them (I got the idea from here).
But she liked the final result very much: dragonfly wings
are
beautiful and can be used as a GIMP brush to create very
nice effects. Now I still have to find a dead locust
somewhere…

Besides this and some more hacks and bug-fixes on the
GIMP code and Script-Fu’s, I also spent some time trying to
convert scans or photos into tileable textures. There are
many
ways to do that, depending on which features of the original
image should be preserved (the “make seamless” plug-in does
not give good results most of the time). Maybe I should
write a
tutorial about that, because the tricks that should be used
to
make real objects tileable are different from the ones that
are
used to create textures from scratch.

May 22nd, 2000 by raphael

Yesterday, I spent some time scanning random stuff that I
could find in my house. I would like to create some nice
brushes and textures for the next version of the GIMP
(1.2). So I
scanned some samples of wood, pebbles, skin, flowers and
even bread and pasta. Since I scanned them at a high
resolution (1200 dpi), I now have a number of large files
(several megabytes each) that I have to shrink down to a few
dozen KB if I want them to be distributed with the
gimp-data-extras package. I hope that I will be able to
produce some nice, high-quality textures.

I also hacked some Script-Fu logo scripts so that they
can register in a new menu “Alpha to logo”. I already sent
a patch for the first five scripts on Friday, and I
continued yesterday. Still a few more to go before all of
them are converted. It is very nice to have these enhanced
scripts when you have the GIMP Freetype plug-in
installed.

I am not sure that I will ever publish the second part of
my article about Moderation and
Certification
. I decided to wait for one month before
publishing anything new because the first part of that
article was published at a time when a lot of “meta”
discussions were posted (sometimes as replies to unrelated
articles) and some people were
rightfully upset about the number of meta comments. Now
the month is over and I still do not think that it would be
appropriate to post the second part of my article. The best
way to contribute would be for me to write the code instead
of just talking about it, but on the other hand it is nice
to have a discussion before implementing something that
people may not like. Hmmm… I think that I will wait a
bit more before deciding what to do with that article.

April 26th, 2000 by raphael
  • Congratulations to Heather and Raph for their
    new son Max.

  • It’s sad to see someone
    comitting suicide on Advogato. I don’t care if he is
    removing all his certifications, but removing all his diary
    entries as well means that some (valuable) information is
    now lost. Including the last diary entries that could have
    explained what happened (and of course, the other people who
    were involved in that discussion edited their diaries too,
    so it is now very difficult to understand this mess.) This
    reminds me of the WikiSuicide
    that was mentioned in an article two
    weeks ago. It’s just sad. And stupid.

  • I was hoping that yosh would wait
    until this week before releasing the Gimp 1.1.20. Nope. It is
    out now, so my patches will have to wait until 1.1.21. Ah
    well…

  • Yesterday evening, I updated the template that I use for
    my home page.
    The icons look better with some anti-aliasing, but they
    still need more work. And I also have to include the
    contents from my old pages, because the current draft does
    not contain much.

April 20th, 2000 by raphael

I see that someone has fixed the strange </ul> that
had been escaped in my article after I previewed and posted
it. I suppose that I should thank raph for that. Now even
Lynx displays it correctly. Great!

I will be away until Tuesday. I wonder what kind of
replies will be posted while I am not on the ‘net.

Maybe I will take some time during my short Easter break
to
update the gimp_tips file and to create a new splash screen
just for fun (using some of my bug
images
). Hmm… Unless yosh
decides to release 1.1.20 before I have the time to submit
my patches…

And Sven hasn’t replied yet to
my questions about my Script-Fu patches. I wonder what’s
up. Hi
Sven! :-)

My account has been switching several times between
Master and Journeyer during the last two months. Every time
I log in, I wonder what color I will have. Isn’t that
funny? Anyway, I don’t think that I deserve this purple
color, at least not for my current contributions to
the free software community.

April 19th, 2000 by raphael

Phew! I finished the first part of my article and I posted it a
few minutes ago. I still have to update the second part,
which is more tricky because content filtering involves more
subjective things. This essay on “moderation and
certification” is growing way out of proportion. Tell me
that I need a doctor…

I had to resort to some ugly HTML + CSS tricks in
order
to make my article look like I wanted to. I hope that raph will not be
upset about that. At least Lynx and Netscape display it
almost correctly, except for the next problem…

For a reason that I do not understand,
Advogato escaped one of my </ul> tags when posting,
although it looked fine in the preview. It also added some
extra <p> tags that should not be there.
Help! My article
looks ugly now, with this broken indentation and this
</ul> sitting in the middle of the text. I still have
the preview on screen to check that I was not dreaming.
What’s up?

I see that a couple of people are abusing Advogato,
or at
least being creative:

  • flomo855 is
    the worst offender. This account is incorrectly registered
    as a “Lead Developer” for every large project that exists.
    I will not comment on the diary entries…

  • nwv is an
    interesting experiment that started two months ago. I
    wonder what this account would become if the system that I
    propose in my article is ever implemented.

  • God and Satan are the
    most recent additions, probably created by the same person.
    I am curious to see if anybody will certify these accounts,
    and if a symbolic certification war could start between
    them.

Nothing serious so far, but I am still afraid that some
script kiddie could come, create a few thousand accounts,
and start updating those diaries like mad.

I just read nether‘s diary
entry about diaries, finger and links. He hits the nail
right on the head! Lots of good points there.

April 14th, 2000 by raphael

I eventually took the time to scan my photos
from GUADEC
and to put them on my web pages. I also
spent some time hacking some Script-Fu things for the Gimp.
But no time left for my Advogato article. Sigh!

April 7th, 2000 by raphael

Awww… I just saw the new article about
Advogato meta-issues. There is a lot of overlap with the
article that I have been slowly preparing about
moderation
and certification
. I was too slow… Now I will
have to
re-work my article again. :-(

Well, the replies to that article contain a lot of
interesting comments that I can now integrate in my
article. I will try to have it ready next week. In the
meantime, I will be off the ‘net for a couple of days (even
my mail server will be down.) I hope that I will be able to
catch up with the discussions and the diary entries when I
come back.

Hmmm… I see an interesting new account: esr. Real or
fake?

April 5th, 2000 by raphael

I decided to update my home
page
. I created a new template yesterday, then I
decided to rewrite it using WML and a set of Makefiles so
that I can maintain the site easily (hopefully). In the
spirit of release early, release often (which does
not really apply to web pages, but I did it anyway), I
already converted some pages to the new template. Of
course, this means that there is even less interesting
content than before because many pages have not been
converted yet and there are no links to them, but this
should be fixed in a couple of days. I am not really happy
with the quality of the images I created for the tabs. I
should be able to do much better than that. But hey, it’s a
first draft…

I am cleaning up my Advogato certifications. I try to
keep only
the certifications for the developers I met in real life and
those who are not certified by many others (and
thus need my certification to stay at their level). This
means that I removed my certification for alan, for example,
because he did not really need it. There were also a couple
of accounts that I rated as Apprentice or Journeyer when
they joined (based on a best guess from the info available
on their page) and who have been certified as Master by
others since then. In these cases, I removed my
certification because it was only there to allow these
people to get in.

I read the Romeo&Juliet article. The article itself is
moderately funny, but the comments are really depressing.
We do not need OS flamewars here… (FYI, my girlfriend
uses
Windows and I don’t blame her for that.) Also, I
do not think that it is a good idea to use the certification
system as a way to influence what gets posted or not.
Certification (of people) and moderation (of articles)
should be two separate things.

It looks like more and more diary entries (ab)use HTML
tricks to achieve some special
effects
. Let’s see how long it
takes before some script
kiddie
posts an article containing a huge
background picture or some JavaScript alert() bombs…

April 4th, 2000 by raphael

advogato is getting crowded. The People page is now at 263 Kb. Also, it becomes
more and more difficult to look at the list of diary updates
on the front page: if you do not check the front page often
enough (e.g. if you are away for two days), then you miss
some entries and you have no way to know what you have
missed. But the list cannot be much longer than it is now,
unless it is moved to a separate page. Hmmm.. That’s an
idea.

It looks like Advogato is approaching its first (minor)
scalability hurdle. In a way, this is good news, because
this shows that the site is successful. Maybe I should have
a look at the code and see what I can do to help the site to
grow further…