July 1, 2005
evince: Last time I wrote about evince, I posted a fake screenshot of it reading mail. While I thought it was obviously a cheesy composite and a pretty funny idea, some people did not. In retrospect, I should have spent more time in the gimp to make it less realistic — and thus more obviously a joke. I promised a few people that my next screenshot would be both real and of a cool feature. So, without further ado:
This is evince with real text selection! Kristian and I worked hard over the last couple evenings to get this working. We were just doing a rectangular selection before which wasn’t nearly as good. This feels much more natural, and is a necessary feature for a modern PDF browser.
It’s in CVS now, and requires poppler-HEAD built against cairo. We’ll be improving and fine tuning it over the next couple days. In particular, we think that we can make interactive dragging significantly faster than it is right now. Additionally, when you hit copy right now, you get the wrong text, and the old rectangular selection is totally broken. These should both be pretty easy to fix, though.
The other important thing about this change is that Kristian refactored the poppler text code a lot. It made it trivial to add I-beam support, and will make doing things like A11Y much easier to write. I’m going to keep cleaning up the selection code in the foreseeable future, but if anyone has any interest in tackling ATK support for ev-view, I’d love to hear from them. It is a self-contained project and should be straightforward to write.
features: One of the reasons I’m really excited about getting selection into evince is that it’s a great new feature that doesn’t involve a menu item. I feel like the shell of evince is starting to get cluttered, and we probably need to take the time to clean it up a bit. This feature will be really useful to the user without touching the interface at all.
A lot of the best features are the ones you don’t notice.
hardware: I’ve had a really bad couple days. My sidekick crashed twice, and the harddrive on my desktop died destroying some pictures that I’d recently taken. My wireless access point has been flaky too, and gnome.org being moved hasn’t helped.
I’ve been increasingly unhappy with the web-hosting I’ve gotten at pair.com, too. They do fine for what they are, but I don’t really want to put all my photos, etc. on that site at their current prices.
One thing I miss about my old house in North Carolina is that I was able to get Speakeasy DSL service with a static IP. I’m stuck with a cable modem at my new place, and thus can’t reliably host services. I’ve been giving some thought to trying to put together a co-op of sorts, where I buy a server with a few others and host it at a colo. After the initial capital outlay, it seems to be competitive in price to most web-hosting services, and I’d have much more control over the box. We’d also be able to provide a lot more diskspace than most web-hosting people.
I’m not completely convinced this is wise, as it’s one more box for me maintain, and it is a bit more expensive. I also need to find a few friends to do this with.
life: Zana keeps beating me at darts. It must be the shoes.