Category Archives: gnome

Montreal: lets improve the GNOME development story


me and more people from Codethink are going to be in Montreal to propose what we think can be the solution to improve the build and the development story of GNOME OS : Baserock

The project is still in early stage of development, so the idea at Montreal is to have tech discussions to work out how baserock can best help on the deployment of GNOME OS.

Take a look to the overview Baserock page for more info.

Thanks to Codethink to sponsor our travel here, and also all the other sponsors to make this event possible:

Stay tunned!

GNOME 3 is here!

I’m happy, GNOME 3.0 is out!

I still remember when in 2009 I heard about a plan to make the next GNOME version.
I wanted to contribute and I met some great people that guide me on the best way to help in the effort, so I started to work in the Streamlining of the Platform part, trying to remove all the deprecated stuff. Also I started to work with the Bugsquad team, on GnomeGoals and then in GTK+3.

And now GNOME 3.0 is finally here! 🙂 Thanks to all the people that made this release possible! You all rock!

If you are in Manchester, come to MadLab this Sunday at 14:00 for the GNOME 3 Launch Party!

And, of course:


Use upstream gettext instead the glib one

Some people asked me about this, so here a fast tutorial:
Replace this in your


with this:


You can see an example in this commit: [1]

Now the theory: gettext has two different utilities: autopoint and gettextize. Here the different purposes of these programs:

  • autopoint [2] Copies the gettext infrastructure that has been omitted from version control.
  • gettextize [3] The `gettextize’ program is an interactive tool that helps the maintainer of a package internationalized through GNU `gettext’. … As a migration tool, for upgrading the GNU `gettext’ support in a package from a previous to a newer version of GNU `gettext’.

So, you should only use autopoint in your file. Only the maintainer should call the gettextize program.
Fortunately, autopoint is automatically called in both and autoreconf, so no need to change your file.

Note that autopoint needs the AM_GNU_GETTEXT_VERSION() macro to know the version of gettext files you want tou use, because it copies the infrastructure files belonging to this version into the package. ie, AM_GNU_GETTEXT_VERSION([0.17]) means exactly 0.17, not 0.17 and above.

Why we use glib-gettextize then? Well, as far as I know It’s mainly for historical reasons: autopoint was not added until version 0.11 of gettext. However, GNOME did not require gettext version 0.11 those days, so it would had been premature to rely on that script. That is not a problem anymore.

There is also a bug to deprecate the Glib gettext macros: [4]


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Flight booked and registered on GUADEC 2010 page. Here we go!

I’ll also attend the Hispano GNOME Hispano meeting some days before  (22-23 July), so It’ll be a very GNOMy weeks 🙂

I’d like to say a BIG thank you to the GNOME Foundation for sponsor my trip to the GUADEC, I’ll try to maximize the time as far as I can.

I’m very happy to get the chance to get in touch with the people I’ve been working all the year,

See you all there!!

Sponsored by GNOME Foundation

GnomeGoals Status Report

I’d like to share the status of some GnomeGoals, as some of them have been recently completed:

RemoveGnomeOpenGnomeHelp: completed!

DropLibsexy: completed!

RemoveLibGladeUseGtkBuilder: only remaining: sound-juicer. Updated automatical stats can be found at Frédéric Péters’ 299 report [1]

CleanupGTKIncludes: mostly complete. Remaining: gnome-disk-utility . Also, It’s needed to check gtk-sharp, gnome-desktop-sharp and some GNOME external dependencies.

CorrectDesktopFiles: mostly completed. I’ve been filling some bugs and I think this GnomeGoal is complete now. Anyway, please, check your module an update the wiki page. Updated automatical stats can be found here.

UseGseal: In progress. Some modules was already ported to use accessor functions instead direct access to prepare to GTK+3 transition. The GTK+ api to make the port is mostly complete now, but there still are some corner cases. Please, start porting you module ASAP and fille bugs agains GTK+ if you need some new api.

AddGObjectIntrospectionSupport: In progress. You can take a look to the modules marked as ‘done’ to help you to add introspection support inside your module. Updated automatical stats can be found at Frédéric Péters’ 299 report [1]

RemoveDeprecatedSymbols/Glib: Mostly complete. Anyway take a look on this as some new symbols can be deprecated in each cycle. Updated automatical stats can be found at Frédéric Péters’ 299 report [1]

RemoveDeprecatedSymbols/GTK+: Mostly complete. Anyway take a look on this as some new symbols can be deprecated in each cycle. Updated automatical stats can be found at Frédéric Péters’ 299 report [1]

As you can see, the status of the GnomeGoals is pretty good so congrats everyone!! 🙂


Help improve Glib/GTK+ documentation

Update: Before start working in a module, check that It’s not already deprecated (like CList or CTree): these modules will be removed in GTK+3 so the doc migration is not needed

One of the tasks to improve the GTK+/Glib docs maintenance is to convert the documentation from templates (*.sgml) files into source-comments. This is a easy tasks that everybody can do.

All the process is documented here: [1]

Here a step-by-step example to help new contributors 😉

  1. Download GTK+ and gtk-doc source code:

    cd ~/git
    git clone git://
    git clone git://

  2. Execute gtk-doc script to convert the documentation

    cd gtk+/docs/reference/gtk
    ~/git/gtk-doc/tools/ –module=gtk

    This creates a “src” directory containing “*.c” files with all the comments.

  3. Copy and paste them to the right place.

    The section docs are best placed in the *.c file. Put them below the copyright header and the main includes (if there is no *.c file use the appropriate *.h file).
    All other comment blocks should be put directly above the definition of the symbol.

    For example, for GtkAccelGroup, we’d move the comments from gtk+/docs/reference/gtk/src/gtkaccelgroup.c to gtk+/gtkaccelgroup.c and gtk+/gtkaccelgroup.h

  4. Remove the template file:

    git rm docs/reference/gtk/tmpl/gtkaccelgroup.sgml

  5. Check that the documentation is correctly generated with:

    ./autogen –enable-gtk-doc

    then go with a browser to docs/reference/gtk/html

  6. Send a patch to bugzilla and make it block 599599 for GTK+ or 589775 for Glib documentation.
  7. Update the wiki page [1] to avoid duplicate work

When adding the source code comment, its a good opportunity to review it a bit. Have a look on spelling and style. Is it really giving a helpful explanation what the function does, etc. Also improve cross references. The gtk-doc syntax of the comments is described in the gtk-doc manual [2].

You can take a look to the gtkwidget.h [3] and gtkwidget.c [4] code as an example.





Modernize your autotools build system

Update: I converted this post in a new GnomeGoal, see here

Update 2: Added some more tips

Autotools is the most common system to build programs in GTK+/GNOME projects.

Remove deprecated macros for our file and use the new syntax will do our build system more legible and portable

The Autotools comes with a program to make the work for us, simply run


in you source tree and you have a new updated (Checks the result for possibles errors)

Some more tips:

  • Respect the standard layout
  • Try to avoid the use of AM_MAINTAINER_MODEAM_MAINTAINER_MODE (called like that) disables dependency-checking for autotools-generated stuff. AM_MAINTAINER_MODE([enabled]) retains the default behavior, but lets users pass a configure option to disable the dependency checking. So, if you really need this macro, use AM_MAINTAINER_MODE([enabled]). See the automake manual for a extended explanation
  • Use all the parameters of AC_INIT() (for the fifth parameter you need autoconf >= 2.64):
  • Use updated versions of the programs (all of these versions (and newer) are present in Debian stable):
    • automake >= 1.11.1 (AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE([1.11.1])) (or 1.10.3, Automake < 1.10.3 and 1.11 are known to be suffering from critical security issues)
    • autoconf >= 2.64 (AC_PREREQ(2.64))
    • libtool >= 2.2.6 (LT_PREREQ([2.2.6]))
    • intltool >= 0.40.0 (IT_PROG_INTLTOOL([0.40.0]))
  • Take a look to all AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE() posible parameters. For example, to use 1.11.1 automake version and generate bzip2 distribution tarballs in addition to the gzip’ed:
AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE([1.11.1 dist-bzip2])
  • Use LT_INIT() syntax for libtool (needs libtool >= 2.2.0). More info about LT_INIT(). For example, change this:

For this:

LT_INIT([dlopen win32-dll disable-static])
  • Don’t use GNOME_COMMON_INIT, as it does not work with autoreconf. Simply add this to your (You have to define the macros dir in your, in this case: AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIR([m4]))
  • Use gnome-common macros for compile warnings macros instead custom ones. Also use GNOME_MAINTAINER_MODE_DEFINES to get warnings when using deprecated symbols:

Other tips

Feel free to suggest more tips in the comments!

Some documentation:

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Help cleaning GNOME Bugzilla

Do you want to help cleaning GNOME Bugzilla?

Are you afraid because you are a newbie? Or you don’t know where to start?

In a recent Bugsquad meeting [1], a new initiative was propossed: the BugsquadGoals [2] .

This is the objective: Setting small concrete goals to clean some kind of bugs from the database.

For example: Search for bugs about a crash without the correct value in severity field (critical). Also, set the keyword STACKTRACE if the bug has a decent Stacktrace with line numbers and symbols.

You have more info and the bugzilla queries in the BugsquadGoals page [2]. Also, any suggestion for other queries are always welcomed.

If you have any problem or you want to request some Bugzilla permissions, we are in #bugs irc channel on

See you there!



2009: My GNOME year

2009 was a great year: I started to contribute to GNOME this year for the first time.

I’ve worked in Gnome 3 cleanup tasks, bugsquad, GnomeGoals and finally I’ve done some GTK+ patches.

After reading Andre Annual GNOME Bugzilla statistics for 2009, I’ve recollected some of my statistics since my first bug report in 2009-04-26 (255 days ago): [1]

  • 201 Bugs reported (4th position)
  • 300 patches (2th position)

Although some of the patches are quite trivial, I think that they are good numbers for a newbie like me 😉

But the best thing was meet great people in the GNOME community; Thank you to all the people that help me this year, was great work with you 😉

Looking forward to 2010!