Growing Family

I’ve just finished including baobab, the disk usage analysis tool written by Fabio Marzocca (and others), into gnome-utils HEAD. Everything seems to build fine, and make distcheck has just confirmed that gnome-utils-2.15.0 is ready to be released. I plan to give the final touches before the deadline of tomorrow, so that the first unstable release of Gnome will ship the growing family of gnome-utils.

Now Listening: The Decemberists, Picaresque

Feeling yourself disintegrate

life: In the past 24 hours I’ve had:

  • a bad cold
  • a sore throat
  • some lines of fever
  • water spilled on my laptop’s keyboard
  • thus, a broken Ctrl key that would not disengage itself
  • and, finally, a broken Ctrl key that would not work anymore

The last problem was solved by switching Caps Lock and Ctrl (thanks to the Gnome keyboard capplet; but I’d prefer to be able to use the windows key as a replacement, as it’s nearer to the original key), as my finger memory could not adapt to using the right Ctrl key for stuff like workspace navigation.

doap: like all the cool kids, I’m too working on a way for handling DOAP streams, except that I’m doing it in Perl and not in fancy Python (I’m using the Redland library, though). Unfortunately, there’s no such Perl module for basic handling FOAF and DOAP data – so I’ll need to create them first, then work on a nice authoring interface.

perl: also, I’ve been working on Perl bindings for the Maemo libraries, as one of the goals for the 2.0 version of the platform is having language bindings working. From inside the scratchbox (version comes with perl 5.8.4), I downloaded the GLib and Gtk2 modules from CPAN, and even with some failures, they basically worked out of the box; then I began binding stuff (hildon-lgpl, hildon-libs and hildon-fm for starters, libosso will be next, as it needs the DBus perl bindings), and in less than twenty minutes I had my own nice little hello world application written (sorry, no screenshot at the moment).

Now Listening: Led Zeppelin, Stairway to heaven

For the price of a cup of tea

Here’s a screenshot of testaction test showing the GtkRecentAction action for use with the GtkUIManager. The action is bound to a menuitem tag inside the UI definition markup.

GtkRecentAction test

The code needs cleaning up and the hooking up of the GtkRecentChooser interface virtual methods, but it’s not a big issue; setting all the recent chooser knobs using the recent chooser API is not the most beautiful approach I could come up with, though. But so is setting all the properties using specially crafted functions.

The next issue is inlining the list inside a menu (to make the Gedit maintainers happy ;-)). The current (and soon to be deprecated) EggRecent code used the awful EggRecentViewGtk object and its evil spawn (EggRecentViewUIManager and the most devilish EggRecentViewBonobo). The GtkRecent approach “get the list from the recent manager and build the menu items” works for hand-built menus, but for menus created using the UI manager there’s no real option, as there’s no way to create a list of items from a GtkAction. One way to implement it might be adding a GList * (*create_menu_items) (GtkAction *action); virtual method inside GtkActionClass.

Update 2006-04-18@03:51: the tracking bug with my initial draft for the GtkRecentAction is #338843

Now listening: Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit


moving out: Marta has been in London a couple of times, in these two weeks; she has found a nice house in Crystal Palace, and began to buy furniture and stuff, and preparing it for us to move in. Next week, we’re both going to London and buy the remaining stuff (a sofa-bed, a table for the living room and some chairs to begin with). We should return in Milan for a couple of days on the 4th of May, as we must sign documents and papers for the marriage, and actually choose its date (it’ll be in July, probably).

gtk+ recent: the merge went well; on the gtk-devel list, Murray Cumming pointed out a couple of issues; most notably, the lack of integration with the GtkUIManager. The plan was to add a placeholder tag to the markup used to build the UI, but I really don’t like this approach anymore: it’s inherently messy. As a replacement, I coded up in a couple of hours a new GtkAction subclass: GtkRecentAction; when bound to a menu item tag, it creates a new submenu hooked to a GtkRecentChooserMenu; when bound to a toolbar item tag, it creates a GtkMenuToolButton like the one Gedit uses for the Open toolbar button. Unfortunately, I still can’t see a way to hook up an inlined list of menu items. Well, I suppose I’ll have to file a bug to the HIG and have it changed to use submenus for the list of recently used files. ;-)

gnome-utils: good news everyone: I’ve asked Fabio Marzocca for his permission to include into the gnome-utils package the fine disk usage tool called Baobab that he wrote; he agreed, and work is underway to clean up the code and hook it up to the gnome-utils build, in order to have it ready for the 2.15.1 release. Also, work is underway to add Solaris support to the system log viewer, and I’m fixing up a bunch of open bugs for the dictionary, including the re-addition of the “speller tool” (the list of matching words showed if no definitions were to be found).


Davyd is absolutely right: steer away from any new-ish Epson printer you see, no matter how cheap they throw it at you.

When I was living with my parents, I “inherited” an old StylusColor 760 – easily the best printer I’ve ever had under Linux. When I moved in with Marta, we decided to buy a combined scanner/printer CX3650 (it came cheap at ~100€). Making it work under Ubuntu wasn’t that hard: only the scanner required adding a line in /etc/sane.d/epson.conf; it actually required more work for installing it on Marta’s iBook. But unless you print at least a page every day or so, the ink solidifies on the heads and creates white stripes on the printouts. You try and clean the heads, and you get a puddle of ink on the bottom, which marks the paper.

To make a long story short: the printer is now sitting on a shelf, disconnected, and I’m really thinking about buying an HP – which would suck, because I still got a perfectly working scanner attached to a useless printer.

Unless, my dear Lazyweb, someone knows a way to clean the heads of an Epson without a) calling tech support or b) destroying the chassis. Thanks.