Taking a step back

gimp, gnome 13 Comments

Every so often I get so invested in something that I start to go off the rails a little when others don’t see things in the same way. At the moment there are two situations like that – one I won’t go into, and the other is a long-standing issue in the GIMP community about how to handle abuse in the community.

So I’ve been getting overly heated on both these issues, and have been trying to keep things moving in the right direction, but I realised yesterday that in both cases my intervention has been counter-productive.

So I’m going to take a step back for a while. Perhaps I’m not looking clearly at the issues any more, and others have ideas which will work better than mine. For the first situation, it means I’m going to take a few days to cool off, and see if anyone else steps up to the plate to move things along.

In the case of the GIMP, that means I’m finally, and definitively, leaving the project. I haven’t written any code for the GIMP in a long time anyway, and the project has ceased being fun quite a while ago. I have unsubscribed from all GIMP mailing lists, and bolsh@gimp.org no longer exists. I will also be removing myself from the list of people who handle GIMP donations as soon as possible.

The failure of the project to control the limits of acceptable behaviour of its participants has been a long-standing problem, and needs resolution. But I’m not the person who will get that resolution.

No, I’m not bitter

guadec 2 Comments

If Lyon had been chosen rather than sunny Birmingham for GUADEC 2007, we could have had a conference reception here.

I don’t want to make people jealous or anything, just saying…

The GIMP usability

gimp 4 Comments

Over the years, the GIMP has taken a lot of stick about its usability – there’s even a mini-fork to work around some of the most common complaints.

But fairly quietly, without any huge fanfare, Sven Neumann, the GIMP’s co-maintainer along with Mitch Natterer, has been working on making usability part of the GIMP’s DNA. First, he started working with Ellen Reitmeyer from KDE and OpenUsability, implementing techniques like paper prototyping. We brought Peter Sikking to the Libre Graphics Meeting in Lyon in March to discuss usability with the GIMP developers. And recently, we co-announced that OpenUsability would be funding work for a student on the GIMP.

In the past I’ve been critical of Sven, sometimes he can come across as abrupt, and there is no room for interpretation when he disagrees with you. But I have been very impressed with his management of the project and in particular with respect to usability, and I think that we’re going in the right direction as a community.

So – I know we don’t say it often enough – thanks Sven. Your leadership and example have kept the GIMP alive over the past few years.

Rob Levin, RIP

General 1 Comment

I have know Rob Levin through OPN and Freenode for nearly 10 years. He was committed to his vision of freenode as a place for free software projects to interract, and provided a valuable service to many projects. I know that his efforts to fundraise by broadcasting on the network annoyed some people, but so be it. Rob gave so much to the cause of free software, his influence will be felt for years.

The last thing I want to have to do on a Monday morning is read of the death of someone I knew and respected, so it was a shock to read this morning that Rob died over the weekend after being seriously injured in a road acident last week. My thoughts go out to his family. Goodbye Rob.

Common (?) use-case

gnome 12 Comments

Our computer is primarily a home machine – there’s myself, my wife, and now my son who use the computer regularly.

We want to keep some information (documents, bookmarks, email, saved passwords) separate, but we want to share a certain number of resources (family photos, music) across all accounts.

Ideally in this use-case, if Anne imports photos from the camera’s memory card, I should have read/write access to the photos afterwards and they should automagically appear in f-spot. Likewise, if I import tracks from a CD into my rhythmbox repository, Anne would like to have those tracks appear automatically when she starts it up.

I know this is possible with some trickiness – I add all users on the machine to the same group, and set up /home/photos, /home/music and so on to have permissions ug+rwx with the gid bit set on the directories, and then set up symlinks to the relevant directories for each user so that things Just Work, but I imagine that this kind of usage (share some stuff, don’t share other stuff, in a small household) is something that comes up quite a lot – most people probably solve the problem by just having everyone use the same account, and storing documents in different directories.

Is there a better way to solve this problem in fspot/gthumb/rhythmbox/…? A preference to let someone point to a shared repository of music/photos?

Mike Milinkovich, come on down

General 2 Comments

Mike, if you hear about this, your eclipse.org address is blocking my mail with a blacklist.

Can you mail me from an address that doesn’t use them, so that I can ask you a question, please?

Away from email (mostly)

General Comments Off on Away from email (mostly)

I’m without email and internet outside work hours (and heavily restricted during work hours) for the next few days, because of some problems getting ADSL in the new apartment. Anyone who is trying to contact me, please be patient – I’ll be on emergency-only duty for the next few days.

GNOME 2.16 press coverage

gnome 1 Comment
Cherrywood bookmark

Sometime today, GNOME 2.16 will be released. Since each GNOME release is newsworthy, and this one is no different, we can expect a flood of press coverage over the next few days.

I have started collecting GNOME 2.16 articles in del.icio.us with the tag gnome216. It would be great if others could do the same to help us collect a database of feedback on the release (local language articles, complementary articles, critical articles, anything) – when we get a CRM system in place, it will also allow us to collect a list of journalists writing about GNOME.

So, go forth and bookmark with impunity, your marketing team needs you. Thank you!