Archive for March, 2004

25/March/2004

Thursday, March 25th, 2004

GNOME 2.8

With GNOME 2.6 not out yet, plans for GNOME 2.8 are already starting. First interesting
thing, at least for me, is Alex’s work on the GNOME-VFS network:// module, which will
be using service discovery APIs to discover servers in the network. This is something
that I’ve wanted for a long time, but had never got the time to work on it, so it’s
really nice to see Alex starting work on it.

Also, on the personal front, I’m waiting for the right time to propose GNOME
Netinfo
‘s inclusion in GNOME 2.8 (screenshots here).
It is a full featured application, much much better than the application it was
initially based on (Mac OS X’s network utils tool).

GNOME Programming Language

After following all comments about the “need” of a high-level language
for GNOME, I’d thought about giving my 2 cents. I really don’t think we need
to apply on a single language, be it Java, C# or whatever, we really should
continue to allow anyone to use any language. What would be really interesting
though would be to have that common runtime that both Java and Mono provide.
This, if it were done to be used from any language (like Mono does), will help us in reducing the
work needed for creating bindings (or even removing that need at all, since we’ll
just have to add support for new languages to access the runtime, giving them
access automatically to all features in the runtime).

I think that’s the interesting bit, and something we should really think about. We really
need to have
easily accessible all GTK/GNOME APIs to all languages, with no delay (as it happens
now with bindings, which are released almost always some time after the C library).
Automatic creation of bindings could be a good solution for the time being, although
that seems, from what I’ve heard, a bit complicated, given that human intervention is
needed in a lot of cases.

About development tools, even though I don’t like at all IDE’s (at least the ones I’ve used,
many years ago), it is another thing we should put efforts on. Anjuta seems to be loved
by new Linux developers (that’s what I’ve heard), and if it continues (as I know it does)
to just integrate into the development tools we already use (automake, autoconf, cvs,
and our beloved libtool), I think it can be the perfect entry point for new developers
right now. For the future, whenever we change the development tools, we should make sure
we always have an easy-to-use IDE that makes use of all those development tools. If
that IDE hides the (probable) complexity of the development tools, then the new developers
don’t really need to learn lots of obscure stuff.

Multimedia frustration on SuSE

Everything works as expected on SuSE, except, at least for me, the Totem and
Rhythmbox packages from the xd-unstable channel. Rhythmbox can’t play more than
one song and Totem sometimes says it doesn’t have plugins for formats it was
playing correctly before :-( Of course, since I was a (very) happy user of those
2 applications on Debian, everything points to the Ximian (unstable) packages
being broken. So, to solve it, I’ve been trying to install the totem/rhythmbox
versions from other Red Carpet channels, with no luck at all. Is there some
Swedish conspiracy against SuSE or what?

17/March/2004

Wednesday, March 17th, 2004

New machine

Got the new machine from Novell Spain last week, a Dell Dimension 8300 P4 at 3,2 GHz,
with a TFT monitor, and a 5:1 speaker system on which music sounds like in heaven. I
took advantage of that to install SuSE 9 on it and on my laptop (where I was running Debian).
The only regression from my laptop+Debian is that the TFT monitor only supports 1240×960,
while I was running at 1600×1200 on the laptop, but my eyes are now happier since I use a smaller
resolution.
Apart from that, moving from Debian to SuSE was quite straightforward, specially after
installing Red
Carpet
, which made me not miss apt-get at all. There is though much less
software available (both from Ximian and Open
Carpet
) for SuSE than what there is in Debian unstable, but so far, all the
software I’ve needed, I’ve been able to install it, and without the pain I remember for my
use of RPM-based distros some years ago, when there was no software updating tool apart
from downloading RPMs and installing them by hand.

GNOME-DB

Andre has released version
1.3.5
of Papyrus,
a XML reporting engine for Linux. This new version is all driven by libgda, the GNOME Office data access
library.

14/March/2004

Sunday, March 14th, 2004

GNOME Network

I just released GNOME
Netinfo 0.99.0
, something I should have done a few weeks ago, just
after splitting it out from GNOME Network.

13/March/2004

Saturday, March 13th, 2004

GNOMErs are safe

As I saw on the #gnome-hackers channel topic, I just wanted to blog to confirm that,
so far, nobody from the Spanish GNOME community seems to have been affected by
the bombings on Thursday, apart from Juan
Tomás
, who was just arriving to Atocha station when the bombs had exploded.
He is not injured, but severely shocked after what he saw there.

And yesterday in Madrid, even the sky was crying.

11/March/2004

Thursday, March 11th, 2004

Slaughter in Madrid

This morning, various bombs made explosion in Madrid, killing at least 125 people
(confirmed so far). People which were just going to work, as usual, by train, innocent
people whose only sin was to have to go to work every day. All my condolences
to the families of those poor people who lost their lives today, and my most
stronger condemnation to the “people” that committed those crimes.

8/March/2004

Monday, March 8th, 2004

GNOME Office

With all the recent
conversations on gnome-office-list
, included some flames, it seems things can start
to roll up pretty well. Specially, if we follow Martin’s
advice
of “cross fertilize and use our GUI apps in ways not usually
thought of
“. That is the kind of spirit we should have for GNOME Office,
and this can be “easily” done if we share as much technology as possible.

From the database front, it looks to me that having access to all the data managed by all
applications from all the applications themselves gives a lot of opportunities. Things like
mail merging and report generation are the first to come to mind, and are somewhat
already available (mail merging in Abiword from GNOME-DB data sources), but more innovative
things can be built on top of the, IMO, good solid base we’ve got (libgoffice, Jody’s
graphics engine, to be included in libgoffice, libgda, etc). As a first step, live updates
of database content in Abiword documents is what Martin and I have started talking about.
We just need Abiword to get a set of rows from the data source, via libgda, and, once
support for live updates is added to libgda 1.2, have the Abiword document display the content
of the underlying database live, refreshing when changes occur. That is really useful for
reporting and other goodies.

We need then to start following Martin’s advice and look for innovative ways of making GNOME
Office applications work together. That would be a winning point of GNOME Office over the
other well-established-in-the-market suites. We’ve got an advantage over all of them, which is
that we can integrate into GNOME much better than the others, so we should be looking for ways
to do that integration that would make GNOME Office a better choice for GNOME users.

4/March/2004

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

Photos

Finally got some time to upload the photos
from last week’s holidays
. I am glad I am starting, of course by coincidence, to take
some pretty good pictures, like this one:


Oh, and forgot to say I discovered Dave
Camp
‘s secret job:


2/March/2004

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004

Saturn

Stunning view of Saturn from the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft:


SCO

Urgh, our friends at SCO Spain now go
after the Junta de Extremadura
, famous for their
Linex initiative.

1/March/2004

Monday, March 1st, 2004

Books

I’ve been reading, while on vacation, “Caballo de Troya”, by JJ Benítez,
a famous Spanish investigator of misteries. The book is about a former Major of the
US Air Force who hands to JJ Benítez a set of documents about a top secret project
of the USAF, on which a time travel to the Palestine of the year 30 of our era is described
in great detail. The purpose of the travel is to obtain a highly accurate description
of the last days of Jesus Christ. I’m not sure (as neither is JJ Benítez) if the story
is true (it is indeed hard to believe), but the book is fascinating.

One of the things described in the book is an atomic computer, used to do all the
calculations for the time travel. That computer is supposed to be based on titanium
atoms, which have billions of different “states” (or energetic levels).
Based on that, instead of using bytes, clearly limited,
they use those atoms to store numbers, which gives an unlimited range of what can
be stored on them. The change from one state (one number) to another one (another number)
is done by freeing or sucking energy at different frequencies. Not sure if this is only
science-fiction or if it is indeed possible at all. I want an atomic computer!!

Films

Yes, Bastien,
Scary Movie 2 is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in the last years.