Archive for September, 2004

28/September/2004

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

GNOME/Evolution Data Server

With the increased usage of Evolution
Data Server
in all sort of desktop applications (see the recent nautilus-sendto project
by Roberto Majadas, or the now well known clock and contact lookup applets, apart,
of course, from GNOME Meeting
and Planner), I’ve
been thinking on the idea of extending E-D-S to be a centralized data storage for more kinds
of data. First thing that came to mind was project data, idea raised when talking with
à lvaro about
his work on Planner/Evolution integration. That would, first, allow other applications to
share project data, and, second, to better integrate mail, contacts and calendar with the
projects. That is, you could associate any mail, contact or calendar event to a given project
and thus have a way to organize all data related to the project together.

But the thing that thrills me the most right now is the addition of notes to E-D-S. This would
allow Tomboy,
the sticky notes panel applet, and any other notes application to easily share their
data. This past weekend, I had a look at the previous
conversations
we had in the Evolution team. The conclusion on the VNOTE RFC was that
The vNOTE object defined by the [IRMC] specifications was created because there was no
journal entry capability in the original Versit/IMC vCalendar v1.0 specification. However, with
adoption of the [ICAL] specification support for the vNOTE in the [IRMC] specification should be
deprecated, in favor of support for the VJOURNAL calendar component in [ICAL]
“. So,
using VJOURNAL would make things quite easy, since we already should support that in the
current E-D-S calendar code.

News

Good news from
Venezuela
, where the government have decided to move the public administration
to Free Software.

26/September/2004

Sunday, September 26th, 2004

La Vuelta

Fernando
is right: La Vuelta (Cycling Tour
of Spain) has been this year, as it happened in the previous 5/6 years, the best cycling race
in the season. There isn’t a clear favorite, like in the Tour de France, so many people
ride hard for winning, which makes it the most interesting race for the public. The only bad
thing about La Vuelta is that many non-spanish riders (Armstrong, Ulrich, Rumsas, Kloden, Basso)
never come to ride, which I’m sure would make it a much better race. But even without them, the
last few years La Vuelta has had plenty of suspense, emotion, and fighting. Congratulations
to Roberto Heras, who is the 2nd rider in history to win 3 vueltas.

22/September/2004

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004

Hacking

After the hackers meeting last weekend, I felt yesteday an urgent need of hacking on something
new. So, I started thinking and remembered having to ask people to run
bonobo-activation-run-query to see if some Bonobo components
were being found correctly, and the
code
Dan Siemon and I wrote some time ago for browsing and querying Bonobo components. That is,
the Bonobo Activation-based tool like the good old goad-browser. So took
the code and added it to the libbonoboui module, fixed some stuff (like the
usage of the GNOME libraries, which won’t be possible if the code is in libbonoboui),
and here’s the result:


It is missing now a better GUI and some nice dialogs for making easier running complicated
Bonobo Activation queries. The code is not yet in CVS, but will probably be there soon.

Photos

Just uploaded the photos
from last weekend’s hackers meeting
.

20/September/2004

Monday, September 20th, 2004

GNOME Hackers Meeting

Had last weekend the GNOME Hackers Meeting in Pamplona. Overall it was great, with a few small
errors, but that we can easily fix in future meetings of this kind. Finally, 24 people showed
up, which was enough to fill the computer room we had available for the meeting.

We started with each one’s presentation; from the usual people
(Alo,
Acs,
the Galicians,
Garnacho,
Carlos,
Alberto, Juanjo, Dani) to some locals (Javier, the University person that helped in
making this meeting happen, and some people from the Navarra and Euzkadi
LUGs). Then we passed to projects presentations.

Acs talked about the stuff he’s been working on, that integrates Planner and Evolution.
First, he’s written an importer that lets Planner import contacts from Evolution. Then,
an Evolution Data Server tasks backend that uses Planner files as the data storage.

Then the Carlos’ (Carlos Garnacho
and Carlos García) showed their
current work for GNOME System Tools 1.2. It is a disks administration tool and
Samba/NFS
shares administration tool
. Great work.

Juanan presented his ideas for getting the GNOME
Programming book
back to life. Great but simple ideas is what he showed us, with the clear
intention of having a 1.0 version as soon as possible. He did, after the presentations, a working group
with the people that were interested in helping, where a lot of cool ideas and todos were decided to
get the 1.0 version out.

The people from Igalia presented their current
work on Fisterra, the free ERP they have been
developing for a few years now. What they’re working on right now is on an architecture, similar to
Java Beans but based entirely on GNOME technologies, that helps a lot in writing the GUI part of any
accounting/financial/invoicing/etc application.

At the end of the projects’ presentations, I talked about the Evolution architecture and how to help
in the project, along with cool hacking ideas, like the ones available in the bounties page. The second day, I did
a hacking session live, where I showed how to get a working build environment with jhbuild, which
modules are needed for Evolution, and, much more important, the process needed for fixing a bug. We
got bug 61978
which seemed easy enough to not lose too much time explaining internal things of Evolution and
Evolution Data Server. The purpose was just to show how to do the patching, how to get approval, and
I think it had good results, since some people showed up a lot of interest in continue helping.

In another hacking session, Garnacho implemented a Nautilus extension for GNOME System Tools’ new
shares administration tool, for having a ‘Share Folder’ menu item in the Nautilus context menu
for folders. It was great to see it being developed, but I think it was a bit hard for newbies,
since there were a lot of new concepts (Bonobo components, .server files, Bonobo::Listener interface, etc)
that needed a longer explanation. Anyway, the extension was developed, so the result of the session
was great.

On Sunday afternoon, before giving an end to the meeting, we signed the papers for establishing
GNOME Hispano as a legally-established
non-profit association here in Spain. This will help us getting money for conferences (like the
GUADEC-ES) or to sponsor some
projecs (like the book).

Overall, a great meeting, and looking forward to have similar ones more often, since even
though just a few people were at the meeting, the results can be considered quite good: a few more
hackers (one of them confirmed, not sure about the others, time will tell), some useful code implemented
live, and a lot of fun hanging around with the GNOME Hispano people. Will post some photos as soon
as possible, but in the meanwhile, have a look at the ones
taken by alo
.

17/September/2004

Friday, September 17th, 2004

GNOME Hackers Meeting

So, tomorrow is the big
day
. Around 20 people will show up (if not more, since some people might still register
for the meeting), which is a great number, since it’s not too many people (which will make things
much more difficult to manage) and not too few (which will make the event almost useless).

Some people are arriving today to Pamplona, so there is a meeting at 9PM tonight, at the
Café IruÃ&plusmm;a, and then a second meeting for delayed people at 10PM, at the Café Niza. Both Cafés
are located in Plaza
del Castillo
, which is very easy to find.

Brainshare

Came back yesterday from Barcelona
where I’ve been attending Novell’s
Brainshare Europe
. It was quite interesting to see this kind of event, plenty of
companies, and, more interesting for me, to get to know in more detail some of the Novell
technologies that I didn’t know much about before.

Very nice to meet in person Gary Ekker, from the Groupwise team in Novell, and part of the Evolution
team also. The talk we did together (“Improving Collaboration with Groupwise, Evolution
and the Linux Desktop
“) went pretty good, I think. We showed up all the integration
work that is being done since Evolution Data Server is distributed separately from Evolution, apart
from a detailed description of the Groupwise server configuration for accessing it from Evolution and
of the usage of Evolution itself.

Of course, the event was pretty well organized, with many nice details, like the Tablet PCs in each
conference room’s entry, or the many gifts given away in the numerous stands. Something we should have
in GUADEC’s and other community-driven events :) Although I missed some more involvement from the
community. That is, since Novell is making use of many technologies from the Free Software
community, it would be pretty nice, for future Brainshare’s, to have something like the old
Expo Linux (the ones driven by Sky Events), where they gave away, for free, some space in the
stand area for having stands, as well as the opportunity to give talks.

Apart from the conference, very nice to see Barcelona around. Lots of photos with
my new
camera
can be found here.

The only bad thing is that I was not able to see neither Miguel nor
Nat at all :(

11/September/2004

Saturday, September 11th, 2004

New Camera

Recovered now from the loss
of my camera
, I went today to buy a new one. In the beginning, I wanted to buy
a 5.1 megapixels or better, but talking with the guy in the shop, I realised the real problem
with my old camera (apart from the zoom and the crappy LCD screen) was the lack of enough space
for photos without having to bring my laptop everywhere for uploading them. So, finally I went for a
Minolta
DiMAGE G400
, with 4.0 megapixels, 6x optical zoom, audio and video, and 128 MB extra memory
card (along with the standard 16 MB one). I think this is
going to be enough for me for a good while, since I am now exactly doubly better photographer than
before (with a 2.0 megapixels, no zoom camera), and 200 ¤ richer, which is what I’ve saved
from buying this camera instead of the Sony 6.0 megapixels I initially choosed.

A good thing is that PC City (the shop where
I bought the camera) lets me 15 days to change my mind and return the camera, so I’ll be beta testing it
next week in Barcelona.

10/September/2004

Friday, September 10th, 2004

Brainshare in Barcelona

I am attending next week’s Brainshare
in Barcelona
, a Novell-related
event that puts together developers, companies, users of Novell technologies for a few
days of brain-sharing :) I will be giving a talk, with Gary Ekker, about collaboration in
GNOME with Groupwise. I am really looking forward to the event, since I missed last year’s
(in Barcelona also, 4 hours by car from my place). Also, it’s going to be really nice, after
15 years, to return to Barcelona
(my short stay in the
airport

does not count as a visit), my father’s birth place, and see how much it has changed
(when I last was, in 1989, they were still building the Olympic stadium, and of course, most
of the things built for the 1992 Olympic Games were just starting). Also, seeing again some
of the Ximian/Novell monkeys is worth the travel.

User Notification System

I’ve been having a look at FreeDesktop.org‘s
user
notification system proposal
. Looks quite promising, which means I’m going to do some test hacking
this weekend, so I’ll post some code as I learn.

8/September/2004

Wednesday, September 8th, 2004

GNOME Hackers Meeting

I’ve got a few mails from people asking about more details on the GNOME
hackers meeting in Pamplona
. They asked me about more details on the
place where the meeting is taking place, and about places to stay in Pamplona.

We don’t have all the details yet, but the meeting is taking place in the
Universidad
Pública de Navarra
, which is near El Sadar, Osasuna football team
stadium. We don’t know yet in which room(s) we’re going to be, but don’t worry
since we’ll send a more formal announcement as soon as we’ve got all the details.

About places to stay, Pamplona has a lot of hotels, and now most of them have free
vacancies, so take a look here
for all kind of places in Pamplona and book yourself.

We are probably requiring people to register, so that we know how many people will show
up, but, again, we’ll include that information in the “official” announcement.

Toxic Vessel

I haven’t seen anything about it on the Spanish media (apart from the radio program
La Rosa de los Vientos), but
there’s plenty of it on Google:
a Spanish boat, called MV Ulla, “with 220 tons of toxic material, four years ago, sailed through
the Mediterranean with its load and called on the Turkish port of Iskenderun. It remained in
the port for 4.5 years, by numerous tactics and sunk yesterday in the Turkish waters, with all its
poison
“. It seems Greenpeace complained several times about the ship being
in Iskenderun, and even sent a report stating the ship was in danger of sinking. Again, we must
thank our stupid governors all over the world, who are incompetent, this time, for letting the Mediterranean
sea die.

7/September/2004

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

GNOME Hackers Meeting

Thanks to Javier Ros, from the Universidad
Pública de Navarra
, in Pamplona,
we are going to celebrate, on September the 18/19th, a GNOME hackers meeting in that
university. This is the first of a series of meetings we would like to be doing, in
order to share knowledge between all the hackers here in Spain, and to try to get more
new blood into hacking our beloved desktop. Doing so we copy our friends at
GNOME Chile, who have
started doing meetings regularly (2 so far IIRC).

The meeting will be a very informal one, with no schedule at all, and with just a few
people (we expect just a few hackers, some people from the Navarra LUG, and,
hopefully, some students from the university). But even though there is no schedule,
we are now establishing a set of points to be discussed and things to be done (like
presenting our projects’ status), so I am really looking forward to have the meeting,
since I’m feeling some renovated energies can come out of it.

So far, these are the things we will be talking about:

  • Presentation of projects: people working on GNOME projects already will be presenting
    their work, so that we all know what everyone is working on.
  • New ideas: we will be taking note of all ideas people have. This is specially important,
    because it could easily attract new people into hacking on GNOME, and also, given the current
    status of GNOME, where we have almost everything, some new ideas are needed to make GNOME
    different from other desktops. I initially thought about doing this idea exchange while
    going out at night in Pamplona, but I guess very crazy ideas can come out then, so I guess
    it’s better to do it during the real meeting.
  • Easy fixes for beginners: in Evolution, we have some bugs marked as easy-fix
    for new people to start helping. We will be getting this list and try to get the new hackers
    attending the meeting starting with those tasks. But not only for Evolution, since
    Carlos will
    prepare a list for GNOME System Tools, and à lvaro will do the same
    for Planner. We might also get some easy fixes from other GNOME projects (where the
    easy-fix keyword is also used, IIRC.

    GNOME maintainers: if you want your project’s easy-fixes to be included in the list, please
    mark them as easy-fix.
  • If enough newbies come to the meeting, we might probably do some Python/Mono tutorial
    to help those people start writing GNOME applications in no time.
  • GNOME Book: as I already
    said
    , we started writing some years ago a GNOME programming book in Spanish.
    Juanan Pereira is going to tell us about his ideas to relaunch this project. He’ll also
    have prepared a list of tasks for new people to help.

And, of course, a visit to Pamplona without going through the 100s of bars there are downtown
wouldn’t be a complete visit. So, I will be taking all people attending the meeting for some
gastronomic/ethilic tourism on Saturday night. Of course, I take no responsibility of what
happens next, I will be just guiding people, not intoxicating them, so that’s each one’s
responsibility.

6/September/2004

Monday, September 6th, 2004

GNOME Pedia

I’ve just imported to GNOME CVS
the code for the GNOME
Pedia application
, which is a GNOME frontend to the Wikipedia. This code comes
from Hendrik Richter, who started the application and had it more advanced than
my
skeleton
.

It is written in C#, and so far it should allow simple access to the Wikipedia (although
I can’t confirm, since I’m missing gecko-sharp in my system, which
is needed).