Archive for October, 2005

Made in China

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

People in the Basque country and Navarra have been enjoying the last few years “Vaya semanita”, a comedy TV show, conducted by Oscar Terol. It’s been one of the best humour programs I’ve seen in the last few years.

And now, all people in Spain can see them, in their new program, on TVE1, “Made in China”. Not sure if it would be as good as the one in ETB2, but if it’s just half as good, I suggest everyone who reads this to watch it. AFAIK, it’s on Fridays evening.

Memos, notes

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

Harish: I guess it would be much better than exporting from Tomboy to E-D-S, to make Tomboy use the E-D-S API, and thus share all the notes.

Even more, the sticky notes applet should be using also E-D-S.

Nafarroa Oinez 2005

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

I attended last weekend, in Alsasua, the 2005 edition of Navarroa Oinez, a yearly festival organized by the “ikastolas” (schools in Basque language) in Navarra to get some funds for the schools (which are not public in Navarra).

It was a very nice day, even though we arrived quite late and missed most of the concerts. It was a 6/7 kms walk around Alsasua and other close villages, on the countryside, with bars, artisans, and, the best, concerts for all tastes.

As we arrived late, we could only attend the last concert, a death metal group (don’t know the name), which was ok.

So, we sat down with some very nice cider, and listened to the music for a little while.

Looking forward to go next year (in Vera, since the location is changed every year), hopefully much sooner, to not miss the concerts. Also, it is a pity it is only one day, it would be quite nice if it were the whole weekend, with concerts in the countryside at night.

Piracy and terrorism II

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

So, watched last night the show about piracy and terrorism, and, well, it was as pathetic as expected, with Mercedes Milá, one of the most pathetic “journalists” in Spanish TV, accompanied by Bustamante, one of the most pathetic “artists” ever borned in Spain. But that would be just as usual in Spanish TV, except for the “proofs” they showed up for demonstrating the relationship between piracy and terrorism. They used the clothes shop that belongs to the Chedadi brothers, arrested a few days after the March 11th attacks, and released a few days later with no charges at all, saying that the money they got from the shop “could be used to finance more terrorist attacks”. But as it happened with all the media, they forgot that last detail (“they were released with no charges”), which makes most people just believe the authors of the massacre are in jail, when the reality is that all of them, except one, are now free because the investigation couldn’t get any proof of their relationship with the attacks. And, IIRC, the one in jail, as for what the official documents say, is just there “because of the possible danger involved if he is released” (yeah, that’s justice!).

But, unfortunately, most people will believe what was said yesterday on that crappy TV show, so, don’t be surprised if people start treating piracy-related people (ie, the poor inmigrants with no papers selling CDs/DVDs on the street) as terrorists.

Ah, and the worst thing about the crappy TV show is that they, again, showed the images of the explosions in the Atocha station, images that the victims’ families asked to not be shown again on TV, for respecting their pain. But hey, reality shows need to impress the spectator, even if that is a lack o respect to the victims.

Piracy and terrorism

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

While trying to fight piracy in Spain, the powerful have tried to do lots of things, like trying to treat P2P users like criminals, getting an extra tax on blank CDs/DVDs (and even hard disks), etc. But what I just saw is just too much: Telecinco, a Spanish TV channel, is broadcasting tonight the Diario de… show, which this week will be about the “relationship between piracy and the March 11th terrorist attacks in Madrid”.

I haven’t seen it yet, so will comment on it later, but I have been following all the investigations about those terrorist attacks, and there are lots of other things to explain before we get to this sort of FUD, which, IMO, is just about getting people so ashamed of buying pirated CDs/DVDs that they will just stop doing it (remember Spain is one of the countries with more music piracy, there are lots of people selling pirated CDs in the streets). Also, since Mercedes Milá is conducting the show, even though I’ve never watched it, I am sure it will be just a reality show, with no base at all.

I am also against piracy, but there are many ways they can fight it (like selling the CDs/DVDs much cheaper) than just spreading FUD, which in fact, as with lots of other “official news”, just deviates the people from the real truth about those terrorist attacks. Please, fellow Spain habitants, don’t believe what is said there, if you really want to know about those horrible terrorist attacks we all suffered last year, I’d suggest a few books:

  • La jugada maestra, Bruno Cardeñosa
  • 11-M – 14-M Onda expansiva, Rosa María Artal
  • 11-M Claves de una conspiración, Bruno Cardeñosa
  • Cómplice inocente, Iván Chirivella

I won’t comment on those books, since the last time I blogged about politics, some people got very angry, filling my inbox with lots of mails, so I promised I wouldn’t do it again. But this show, which I guess lots of people in Spain will watch, was important enough to just post some tips.

Summit remnants

Friday, October 14th, 2005

Today, two more things about the summit. Firstly, my baggage, which had been kept in Paris (where I changed flights), arrived today home, with a small hole in it, produced, it seems, by some heavy weight put above it for hours. But, apart from that, everything inside (dirty clothes and some books) seem to be ok. Secondly, I uploaded all photos that I took during the days in Boston.

Back from Boston

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Got yesterday back from Boston, after 8 days there, first on a Novell’s desktop team meeting, and then, for the summit.

It was a great week, first because of the high productivity achieved during the desktop team meeting. It really makes a difference to have all your coworkers near and discuss about what everyone is doing. I would really like to have the Boston office closer to where I live, so that I could go many days to work there. Unfortunately, teletransportation hasn’t been invented yet :(

Then, the summit was also great. In the last few months, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like conferences as I used to, but on the other hand, I love more and more this kind of meetings, where all interested people get together for sharing ideas, discussions and hacking. As Luis says, it would be really nice to do some more specialized meetings for getting groups of people to work on something for a weekend.

As for the interesting things about the summit, here are some:

  • People seem to be worried about performance, so expect lots of improvements in this front for the next few weeks. Let’s hope we succeed in creating some sort of GNOME Performance Team, to continously run tests on applications and libraries.
  • Mark committed his new session manager during the summit. It is a complete rewrite of gnome-session, using the services vs applications separation mechanism we talked about in the gnome-session BOF. As discussed during that BOF, it is missing XSMP support, which we should be adding soon. Some other details, like playing login sounds, are also missing.

    One other nice thing about it is that it already includes all the infrastructure to autostart services/applications, so we should not need anymore to hard-code programs to be started on the session.

    I will be testing it in the following few days, but so far the code looked quite better than the old one, much cleaner and much easier to read. Not sure what people will think about a rewrite though.

  • John showed us (Christian and myself) his rewrite of libnotify. While I like the new API (much more GObject-oriented and cleaner to use than the old one), I still prefer the visual style of the original version from Christian. Hopefully the code will be in GNOME CVS soon, so that we can have everyone’s opinions before going further, as to avoid having disagreements when the code lands on some core GNOME module.
  • Lots of Novell projects were announced: BetterDesktop, Tango icon theme, Banshee.
  • As a result of my recent work in trying to improve GNOME startup time, I applied, along with Rodney and Chris Lahey, for maintainership of gnome-control-center. This means I will continue working on my patches for improving gnome-settings-daemon in the next few weeks, to make startup in 2.14 much quicker.
  • Federico is a great guide for restaurants in Boston. If you are in Boston, just follow him at dinner time, you will get great food. He took us once to an Ethiopian restaurant, which was just delicious, and other day, to a nice, smallish, very mediterranean-like, Italian restaurant, where we had another great dinner.

As always, the best thing on these meetings was to meet again all the nice guys, apart from meeting new ones. I won’t try to mention everyone, since I’ll probably forget someone, but I can’t resist mentioning how happy I was to see again, after more than 3 years, Duncan. Although I just saw him for a few minutes on Sunday, it was very nice to see him again.

GNOME startup speed

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

I have been for a couple of days now looking at improving the startup speed of GNOME, and this is what I’ve found so far (patches not included).

  • gnome-session does a DNS check on the hostname, not sure why. I removed that and things seem to work as before.
  • Some programs in gnome-session are being started with g_spawn_sync. I changed some of them to be g_spawn_async.
  • esd is started twice, once in gnome-session and once in gnome-settings-daemon
  • Screensaver and typing break are not essential services for the startup, so I’ve changed gnome-settings-daemon to start those 2 processes on idle callbacks, so that they are started when everything else is running
  • xrdb is run 3 times in gnome-settings-daemon!

With these changes I’ve gone from starting the session in 12/15 seconds to 4/6 (I even got sometimes that ‘your session has lasted less than 10 seconds’ error after loging out immediately), and, I think, there is a lot of room for improvement still.

Not sending patches yet, since the changes I’ve made are quite ugly so far (commented out code, #ifdef’s, etc), but will be as soon as I get them sorted out.

Update: hadn’t really read Lorenzo’s analysis before, so I guess all the things he points out make much more room for improvement.

Also, bad news is that on the first login, things are quite slower (15/20 seconds), but I guess this could be easily improved by preloading libraries and programs.

Spain is NOT that different

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

Seems the Spanish budget for next year includes a big increase in R&D military expending, making it the second country, after the US, in percentage of military expending.

Is the current Spanish government planning to invade some country? Morocco maybe? or maybe a missile shield?