Thanks, Murphy!

So yeah… I guess I’ll have to take back what I said about clearing the accounts backlog until the end of the weekend, even though I’ve already gone through more than half of it.

Why? Quite simple. My hard disk finally died, after a couple of months spitting out I/O errors and corrupting filesystems all around.

Oh well…

Bits from the Accounts Team

No, you have not reached Planet Debian, this is really Planet GNOME.

Some people have been asking what is going on with accounts creation for GNOME CVS and shell access recently, as requests are taking much longer than usual to be resolved or even responded to. While I don’t believe our average response time during the last weeks has been at all bad, compared with other projects and such, it’s certainly bad for GNOME standards, so here goes a short explanation.

Basically, our Accounts Team has people enough to handle all the requests very quickly in normal conditions and give people their accounts within 48 hours after the request, including verification, confirmation and everything else. When a couple of these brave people can’t work on GNOME account management for any reason, the rest of the team can still cope and do the same procedures within a week. However, we are obviously not prepared to have ALL of the members away at the same time, and that is what struck us some weeks ago. ;)

Today I took the last of my school exams for this bimester, which have lasted exactly two weeks, period in which I haven’t done almost any work on accounts processing at all. Hopefully, I’ll have been able to clear the backlog by the end of the weekend, so please don’t panic :)

Speaking about panic, these delays have been making people ask about the status of their requests a bit too frequently. I am preparing a guide, and going to post it here and on devel-announce-list when it’s ready and all, but as a quick summary: if you’re considering a ping, think twice before you do it.

We use our Request Tracker and nothing else for account requests exactly so that they do not get lost. If you have received the automatic reply saying your ticket has been filed, you can be sure it will be processed when its time in the queue arrives. Tickets are not rejected, resolved or in any way closed without the requestors being notified and if there is something wrong with your request, I assure we are going to mail you back to ask some questions. Requests do not ever get thrown into /dev/null, and asking about their status only wastes time from the Accounts Team with replying stating it is just the normal delay, merging duplicate tickets that are created more often than not, etc.

And finally, after a little talk with pbor on #gnome-hackers this morning, I thought some information about our mysterious and obscure queue might help accomplish what I have just asked. So, if it interests you, enjoy:

Patches for facelifts are welcome, as usual ;)

FISL talk

So I’m giving this talk at FISL in two weeks from today, about how people can contribute to GNOME. I had already prepared such a talk before, but OpenOffice kindly ate it (after I presented it, at least), so now I have to rewrite it from scratch: perhaps a nice opportunity to improve it.

I’ll mention everything that I can remember, from hacking to infrastructure, accessibility, translation, documentation, marketing, etc. But there are some areas with which I am not deeply involved (or not involved at all), with which some expert could certainly help me so it is not badly represented.

So, volunteers?

Experimental Top 15

Based on the cool statistics we have on Bugzilla, people had been requesting such kind of information for other GNOME services too for quite some time.

So here we go with the first half of it. There is now an experimental “Top 15” for tarball uploaders on it will contain monthly information (which means tarballs uploaded in March will not count for the statistics in April), and will sort people with the same number of uploaded tarballs by whoever uploaded a tarball first.

Suggestions welcome, and patches for the page too: I’m really quite far from being an HTML expert ;) Enjoy!

Subversion, yay!

Seriously, I cannot even believe we may end up with soon! This rocks so much that I will only believe it after it happens. And seeing it work is also too damn cute:

$ svn co atomix
A atomix/atomix-logo.png
A atomix/AUTHORS
A atomix/themes

$ svn co svn+ssh:// gnome-terminal
A gnome-terminal/AUTHORS
A gnome-terminal/
A gnome-terminal/src

Now we only have to get over with the basic user guide the Sysadmin Team promised so people complaining realize how great this change is.


Cleaning up for 2.14

I know this is not too important, but I like removing old cruft from our new shiny releases. Something I noticed when I adopted gnome-terminal was the remnants of .applications files, the predecessors of our current .desktop files, to which we migrated for compliance. These are now totally obsolete unless we want to support older versions of GNOME with the current applications, which is kind of impossible for a number of other reasons, and would be broken, considering the number of applications that no longer ship such files.

I thought it would be really nice if we could kill /usr/share/application-registry now, so I mailed desktop-devel-list about it and got some very good feedback (i.e. all but one of the modules in the desktop release are fixed). Now, I’ve issued an evil find from hell on our CVS repository, piped the result to some commands, and have reached a probably useful list of modules still shipping .applications files, which are fortunately few:

Come on, it should not take long to get rid of them, let’s do it!

gnome-terminal 2.13.2

I must say it has been extremely fun to take care of gnome-terminal since I claimed it on desktop-devel-list on January 4th. I hope I am not doing too bad a job as its new maintainer and, in case I am, people are welcome to tell me. Now, after releasing 2.13.1 little time after I took it over mainly because of a rather annoying bug introduced in 2.13.0, and after some more time of pregnancy, I could not give birth to the latest and coolest release of gnome-terminal ever.

I had worked on it, but there were some basic features I would really like to implement for 2.14, and I would barely have time to release the tarball on time for GNOME 2.13.5. Hence, I rushed to come up with some simple patches for roughly implementing some things I wanted, and applied some not-too-good patches after checking they were not too disruptive, and asked someone else to do the release for me (huge thanks to Emmanuele Bassi for doing it). The result, as you may guess, was pretty good: a reasonable amount of cool new and fixed stuff, together with a ton of bugs in my Inbox the following morning. Sorry for that.

Most of them were duplicates, at least, and there are basically two issues, one of which has already been fixed. The other ones (e.g. the huge tabs) are being worked on, and should land on CVS HEAD quite soon. Please bear with me. =) But really, besides this round of bizarre bugs, it’s pretty nice, please try it out!

Atomix rejected

It’s a pity and it’s frustrating, but Atomix has not been accepted in the desktop release for 2.14. After struggling to fix it and improve it, hearing that “it isn’t being given attention” and not getting it into the release are definetely not the best things that could happen. Perhaps also because it is of some kind of sentimental value to me, as that was the module that introduced me to GNOME development, but it’s not all that bad, in the end… Some distributions already ship it by default, mainly those focused on “Edutainment”, and I’ve heard of Brazilian schools using it, even the Win32 port.

But I guess I’ll just have to live with it…

Atomix 2.13.4

To those of you who do not read gnome-announce-list, or for those who do and wondered what “Include formulas of all compounds in the interface” meant, Atomix, the nice molecule puzzle game, 2.13.4 is out!.

The highlight of this release is something that had been requested some time ago, and that was relatively easy to implement thanks to Pango markup. As people say, an image is more worthwhile than a thousand words:

Atomix 2.13.4

Suggestions are, of course, greatly appreciated! Enjoy!