With the incoming release of Gnome 2.13.90, we are approaching the 2.14 version of Gnome. Now, features are frozen, and soon even changing the UI will require at least two approvals (one from the GUP and one from the release team); so, while we still have a full month for fixing bugs, I think it’s time for some little thinking and planning ahead about the next release cycle of gnome-utils.

The biggest job for the 2.15/2.16 cycle will be the cleaning up of the System Log Viewer. The code-base is a bit messy, but thanks to the great work of Vincent we’ve avoided the Design by Accretion Syndrome; still, even a white space consistency patch would be in order: some lines have a (horrid) three-space indentation, while some other have a tab indentation. So, I’d move everything to a tab-based indentation. The other “cosmetic” clean up is the removal of the dead and/or obsolete calls, the usage of a naming scheme for the classes and functions, and a switch to typed objects (e.g. boxed types and GObject-based types). I’ve already begun some attempt at cleaning up the code base, but this will most likely require to land in a new branch as soon as we release gnome-utils 2.14.

The other job is the implementation of a couple of transport methods for Dictionary, namely the HTTP-based transport, which should allow the connection to a web-based dictionary service; the file-based transport, which should allow the querying of locally available dictionaries; the StarDict transport, similar to the file-based one, but including a C parser for the StarDict format. Regarding this format, I’ve had a look at the C++ library and I seriously think that before releasing some software under an open source licence, a serious check on the code style should be in order; I don’t like C++, I think it’s inherently inefficient and messy, but something like this:

whitespace horror in lib.cpp

should really be closed source software – in order to avoid programmers throwing themselves out of the window after having had a look at it.

One more job would be the re-working of the gfloppy utility, with the addition of the ability to format every removable media (floppies, USB sticks, CD/DVD RW, etc). This will require some updates inside HAL – namely, the volume formatting and partitioning support. I think that, while floppies are becoming more and more rare these days, gfloppy might be reborn into something very useful again.

Finally, the last job for the 2.15/2.16 cycle should be the update of the Screenshot utility. First of all, I’d like to close bug #325708, but the whole bug list should be triaged and updated.

Obviously, I can’t promise that everything will be ready in time for 2.16. As always, patches that will make this happen faster are welcome.