Passages

August 20, 2007

  • meta: It has been a long time since I’ve written anything. Being a father has taken its toll on my free time, and I got out of the habit of writing. As has happened every time I have hit a dry spell in the past, I count on the same thing to get me started up again. I change software! This time to the WordPress instance at http://blogs.gnome.org/jrb. The old, elisp-based version I borrowed from Federico wasn’t working out for me anymore. We will see if this one does any better. I’m counting on gnome-blog to help keep it updated too. Many thanks to jdub for helping me get the old entries imported.

    I have tried to keep the visual style of the old page — namely that of a ChangeLog entry. Nevertheless, I have made concessions to the modern web. ChangeLog entries should probably do the same. (-:

  • birthdays (GNOME): GNOME is now 10! Amazing. It has definitely been a long and strange trip. Dave’s recollection of Project Bob is a good memory. I’ll add my own:

    The first time I met most of the people working on GNOME (at that time) was in Linux Expo in 1998. gnome-0.20 was just about to be released. This version featured a newly written Wanda the fish applet to play with. There was a demo machine there with someone showing off the coolest feature in in GNOME at that time, namely embeddable drawers. People were dragging them into the panel, and creating crazy shapes and figures. Naturally, it was buggy like crazy. Sopwith was sitting on the machine next to it and had logged in remotely, surreptitiously hacking on the panel, trying to fix the bugs people were hitting. When the panel (or an application) would crash, he would quickly restart them, making it seem more stable than it was.

    Looking back on it, we had know idea of what we were getting ourselves into. I am sure if we knew back then what we know now, there is no way anyone would have started writing a desktop. It sure was a lot of fun though!

  • life (Eleanor): Eleanor has grown! She is sixteen months old, and is now spending her days running around the house, terrorizing the dog. She gets into a lot of mischief, but is very, very sweet. Zana and I don’t see her changing day by day, but just this weekend we had to put another box of clothes into the attic that she had outgrown. Her hair length is stuck somewhere in the middle of her back. It gets longer as she gets taller, but never quite seems to grow.
    Eleanor and Uncle Ed
    Eleanor and Uncle Ed

Mon 13 Sep 2004

September 13, 2004

  • Travels: I spent last week in Northern California meeting with a customer. The visit with the customer seemed to go pretty well, though it took a lot of my time. I also saw friends and family while out there, and was generally kept busy. On Wednesday, I made it to a Red Sox game at the Oakland Coliseum, which despite being an away game, had a large Red Sox contingent.

  • automata: Last Labor day I went with my parents to the San Francisco Exploratorium. It has a new exhibit of automata, which by itself is worth the price of admission. They were cleverly done with lots of intricate gears, cogs, bellows, levers, and pulleys, all intricately carved out of wood. They were modern and it showed in the themes and sensibilities of their vignettes. The lack of age didn’t detract from their cleverness and charm, though.

    It’s definitely worth a trip for those in San Francisco, even if you have seen the Exploratorium many times already.

  • Birthday: For my birthday, Zana made me crab and shrimp stuffed crepes. It was served with a side dish of asparagus, and stuffed shrimp and cheese as starters. She also got up at 5:00 in the morning to pick me up from the airport, which was very appreciated!

  • Crossword Helper: On the plane trip out last weekend, I wrote a simple little program to help with crossword puzzles. I wrote it from start to finish in about three hours in python. It searches for a list of words that match a partial word, and does simple anagram searches. The feature count was limited by the battery life on my laptop, though I did add a blinking cursor a couple days later. A screenshot is available at:

    http://www.gnome.org/~jrb/files/crosswordhelper-1.png

    I don’t know if this is interesting enough to check into CVS or not, as it’s only a couple-hundred lines of code.

Fri 12 Sep 2003

September 12, 2003

  • GNOME (2.4): It’s out. It wasn’t the prettiest release thus far, but it’s in good shape. I have big plans for 2.6. But first…

  • GTK+ (2.4): This is in danger of slipping a bit. I really need to finish my GChildWatchSource patch and get it into glib. I’m pretty excited about it. It’s a pretty tricky piece of code, and I’m happy about how it looks right now. Need to reply on the list.

    (GtkTreeView): Kris and I came up with two optimizations for the GtkTreeView that will make an enormous speed difference in some common cases. I spent a bit of time arguing with Owen about how to enable the optimization (I wanted it to be automatic — Owen wanted the programmer to explicitly turn it on) and it’s going to result in a lot of people handling their column-sizing by hand. But off the cuff testing shows that we can handle about 100K rows of model per second instead of the 7K per second we were doing before.

  • Birthday: I don’t know what it says about me, but Zana gave me a great birthday present. A cotton robe, a box of Myntz, three pairs of really comfy socks, and a hand-knit pair of wool socks. I must be officially old, getting excited about socks.

Fri 31 Aug 2001

August 31, 2001

  • GNOME2: mmeeks came to visit. Good talk about the platform.

  • Birthday: My Granpa turned 80 a few days ago. I sent him an email to wish him happy birthday. He’s doing pretty well, and is even trying to use a scanner now.

  • Birthday (age): When my Grandpa was my age, he had already been shotdown over Belgium, and had made his way to Switzerland through occupied France. I’ve been fighting in GNOME. Sort of puts things into perspective.