Small Print

Could someone please tell me why notification-daemon holds ~51000 windows after two days of uptime?

Notification Daemon
51700 windows? Really?

Now, I accept the idea that maybe xrestop is lying (and mallum on my back is ready to hit me) but this sounds like a huge leak somewhere.

Please, someone tell me this is a known bug in Ubuntu Feisty and that Gutsy is already fixed.

How Good It Can Be

Corey, why on earth should we switch from an entire set of system configuration tools written in Perl to another one written in Python? Just for the sake of Python? Just because there are more Python zealots^Whackers on GNOME than there are Perl ones?

I understand that Ubuntu loves Python, but please: rewriting every tool in Python just for the sake of it is totally useless. What Python gives us over Perl, for system configuration backends? (No, it’s not a rethorical question: I’m serious).


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.


Next week-end I’ll be in Brussels, at this year’s FOSDEM.

I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to go or not – late flight booking and I had to check at two hostels before actually getting some place to sleep. I mostly plan to attend the GNOME track, especially Philip‘s talk on design patterns using GObject and Kristian‘s talk on Project Ridley; also, the track and the embedded Linux track promise to be really interesting.


This is a comment I left on Philip’s blog in response to Ross’ blog.

question: what are we, third graders that we must do all this touchy-feely, “we must not make comments” stuff?

ross’ comment was a bit on the edge, but its his blog, and he has any rights to write that the player sucks; the other blog post from joe is the more relevant: the entire free software/open source thingie works because we have copyright and because we have peer pressure. the “author” of listen stole code, because it didn’t simply lift it and put it into his project: he also removed the copyright notices. I copy code from many projects (as far as the license enables me to do it safely) but I leave at least a note saying from where I took the code and who’s the author. if a big company did the same thing we would all be jumping and screaming around.

what strikes me the most is that, instead of integrating stuff by talking to the various projects and – at most – forking some code base, the guy just went lifting code, collating stuff like a frankenstein movie, and then releasing the resulting “monster” without even a mention of the other projects. and all these people say: “oh, the media player situation demands it” or: “oh, amarok is such a fine player that we need a poor man’s clone for gnome” – basically insulting every author of the other media players around, insulting an author that want his contribution to the f/oss community recognized as he well should, and justifying the copyright infringement for the sake of having their pretty little clone.

these are energy stoppers. If I was a developer of another media player I would simply cease all my work instantly, out of such blatant ingratitude.

After having read some of the comments on Ross’ blog, and after the querelle about the NLD10 stuff that happened on the desktop-devel-list, I’m wondering if the major problem of the Gnome community is its being made of third graders, where one must not say bad things about someone else’s work because of a “we are all special”-kinda-like agreement that, it seems, you implicitly sign when you get an account.

Come on! If I think that a projects sucks I’ll write that it sucks, ferchrissake! I expect none the less from my peers, and I expect none the less from the many people that is well above my skills. If I wrote a piece of software and someone comes along saying that it sucks because of this and that, then I’ll respond or I’ll say fuck dude, you are right and will change it, or I’ll say yep, but it’s my project and I will go on. Gracefully taking criticism for your work is a valuable indicator that you are not a child anymore.

If you cannot cope with this, then please don’t even begin coding; because peer pressure and peer review are what makes F/OSS such a great endeavour.


I’ve just donated to the GNOME Foundation. Not much (but since I got back to studying for this year, my <marketspeak>revenue stream</marketspeak> has really slowed down), but I plan to donate more money, aside from my time as a developer, to the F/OSS projects that I use the most.

There are many F/OSS projects, out there, which asks for some support: from patches to documentation to translations; sometimes, even a little contribute if you find that project useful. Since many of these projects are free (as in beer, other than as in speach), a little donation might show some appreciacion for the wonderful jobs done by the people working on those projects.

Ubuntu Linux

Yesterday, I’ve downloaded the first official release of Ubuntu Linux – codenamed Warty Warthog. It seems – as I’ve been reading on Planet GNOME and Planet Debian – that this distro is the Next Best Thing® for desktop usage, so I decided to give it a try (currently, on my box I’m running Debian Unstable with some packages from Experimental).

I’ve turned my Dummy Mode on, and launched the installation. Well, not exactely “turned off” – since I actually had to carefully choose the right partition inside the partition table, in order to keep my precious / intact.

The installation worked pretty much flawlessy: it was better than any installation procedure I’ve done in years; it seemed more like a LiveCD booting than a disk installation.

Unfortunately, here cometh trouble. I’ve a crappy Radeon 7000 graphic card and an Acer AC711 monitor; this combination yields major PITA, since X seems to work only when using the kernel’s framebuffer device, by setting the “UseFBDev” option to “true” inside the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file. Ubuntu’s kernel image comes with the Radeon framebuffer device compiled as a module – thus I’m unable to activate it before GDM spawns.

Hence, I’ll have to turn my Dummy Mode off, and recompile a kernel with the radeonfb module compiled statically and invoked inside the kernel command line.

So long for a dummy mode installation.

Trash Applet

Skimming through the gnome-devel list, I found the announcement of a simple Trash applet for the GNOME panel, made by Michiel Sikkes (here‘s the site, with a screenshot).

I think it’s a great idea: sometimes the Trash icon is simply buried under screen clutter, especially with the new spatial paradigm that Nautilus uses. The panel, on the other hand, is always on top.

Since Michiel’s code is something short of a proof of concept, I fleshed it out, adding state recognition, and some menu shortcuts which will open a Nautilus window showing the trash contents, or empty the trash bin. It works pretty well, for a two hours hack. ;-)

This actually is the first time I touch some C code, besides a project for a class final exam, in a very long time – I had almost forgot how much fun is hacking just for fun.