Mon 13 May 2002

May 13, 2002

  • GNOME: I did nothing productive on GNOME this weekend (except reply to a few bugs.) I feel a little lame, especially given the UI freeze tomorrow. Tomorrow’s going to be busy trying to finish the new mime capplet in time for the drop-dead date. It will be awfully tight.

  • Trading spaces: Something about this show makes me want to do crazy things to my house. I bought a large sheet of 3/4″ mdf and seven yeards of burgundy cloth. We’ll see what happens next.

  • Carpentry: I spent more time pretending I know something about wood working. This included drilling a lot of holes in the legs for my table. 16 down, 80 more to go.

  • Set (cards): Got my revenge for the game of gin I had with Zana last. I won 13-11!! I think this is the first time I’ve ever won set.

Fri 19 Apr 2002

April 19, 2002

  • GNOME: I’ve noticed a couple of diary entries recently have said that there is less fun in GNOME than there used to be, and that we aren’t as productive as we used to be. I can’t speak for others, but I personally am thrilled at how well GNOME is currently progressing. The kind of problems we’re having nowadays are so much better than the ones we had even a year ago. Last year, at this time, we were still reeling from the loss of Eazel. Nautilus was basically unusable, and GTK 2.0 wasn’t close to out yet. Three years ago, we were trying to get GNOME 1.x stable and vaguely usable.

    I have distinct memories of using the session manager to change directories in gmc at Linux World Expo with GNOME 0.93. I’d double click on a directory, it would update its restart command in the session manager, crash, and then start up in the correct directory. We had a similar experience adding launchers to the panel. The coolest ‘power’ feature in GNOME was the ability to drag colors to the terminal. One of the better dialogs in GNOME (and the one we were so proud of) was E-conf: http://people.redhat.com/jrb/files/e-conf.png

    Compare that to Louie’s top ten list of gruesome bugs left for GNOME 2.0: http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2002-April/msg00308.html They don’t even compare. Sure, there are plenty of bugs to fix, and room for improvement, but we’re really making great forward process.

    If it seems like it’s less fun, it’s because we’re a lot better at doing the small stuff and we’re no longer making the huge, visible changes we once did. We now check error conditions regularly, and raise (mostly) useful error dialogs. We have the maturity to remove features and code, instead of always adding them. Higher standards leads to less tolerance for the bad hacks we used to do.

    There are so many cool things on the desktop that are left to be done, that we now have the infrastructure to deal with. GTK 2.0 is a joy to work with, and has made a lot of problems we used to have just go away. GConf is plain cool. Adding things to make the users life easier is so simple now.

    One of the great gifts of Eazel to GNOME was that it raised our awareness of usability issues, and taught us that we could make a beautiful desktop. I just step back and look at how the GNOME 2.0 desktop looks today, and am awed.

Sun 17 Feb 2002

February 17, 2002

  • Puzzle: How many 3 letter body parts can you name? No slang allowed. Zana and I managed to name twelve.

  • Olympics: I wasn’t planning on watching much this year, but as always, I got sucked in. I discovered curling. What a great game! It’s a cross of billiards and chess, but on ice. I’m enjoying the hockey a lot too, as the level of play is excellent. The olympic rules definitely seem to lead to an improvement in play over the NHL.

  • GNOME: Idly working on the control-center again. It’ll get there by 2.0.

Sat 25 Aug 2001

August 25, 2001

  • scanners: These things suck under linux. Apparently I’m pretty incompetent.

  • Usenix: Apparently I was never mailed that I was going to give a talk. I need to write the paper soon.

  • GNOME: I’ve signed up to do waaay too much. Man, I’m hosed. On the good side, I applied James Cape’s patch (after a lot of cleanup) to GnomeDruidPageStandard. The new standard druid is going to look a lot nicer.

  • sleep: Still staying up to late. Must end the vicious cycle sometime.

Fri 13 Jul 2001

July 13, 2001

  • movie (Alphaville): Watching alphaville. Odd, odd movie. A French version of 1984. Very odd. I need an Alpha 60 here. It would be fun to play go against it.

  • movie (Chinese Ghost Story I): Last night, we watched this. It felt like a cross between Princess Bride and Evil Dead 2 (in Chinese). It was quite a bit of fun, though.

  • fish: Brought quite a bit of fish back with me from the coast. On Monday we had grilled Swordfish with Papya and Pineapple salsa. Tuesday was Tuna steaks with a plum-wine and sake sauce, which we shared with Christian. We watched battlebots. It was cool. I want to build a battlebot.

  • GNOME: Spent today hacking on the control-center again. Felt very odd — a lot of things would have been much better nowadays. Unfortunately it was written before the days of gnorba, which meant that the control-center compares argv[0] of capplets against the filenames in the .desktop files to identify them. Blah. I had to add a bunch of symlinks to the sawfish capplet to make it work.

  • movie (Alphaville): Update. The Alpha 60 went nuts when posed a riddle. It could not handle the concept of happiness. These evil-computer movies are so predicatable. Why can’t they ever go nuts trying to comprehend the nature of something more mundane, like a pretzel.

  • dinner: Barbecued with Zana, Owen, Havoc, Amy, Alex and Anna. For something thrown together at the absolute last possible minute, it came out okay, though a big ‘ol hairy catepillar ruined Havoc’s Cheetos. The watermelon Owen got was extremely good. Amazingly enough, he also bought some Bubba Burgers (which were Bioengineered to be extra juicy or some such nonsense.) The came out pretty well, though.

  • movie (Alphaville): Loses something in the translation. Zana commented on the use of familiar/formal parts of speech. They didn’t make their way into the subtitle.

  • fruit: Mangos, Papayas, I always get them confused.

Fri 06 Apr 2001

April 6, 2001

  • guadec: Really busy day. Helped give a GTK+-2.0 this morning by confusing everyone on how the new tree widget works. Hopefully every one will figure out how to use it as well as how cool it is. Saw a talk on . Missed Rob Gringle’s talk while eating lunch, and trying to get the networking working. Still haven’t read my mail. Saw a sobering talk on usability by a Sun engineer. Watched Michael Meeks talk on bonobo with Owen later. Had a pretty fun talk with Jody, who showed me what is happening in gnumeric. Finally, working group with everyone on GNOME and Havoc describing the Foundations discussions.

  • GNOME: There’s a lot of cool stuff going on!

  • food: Danish food is pretty interesting, but not great. We had a nice Danish lunch yesterday with pickled cabbage pickled herring, some sort of white potatoes, and gravy. Lunch was interesting. I put what I thought was cheese on my sandwich, only to find it was shredded horseraddish. There was some mayonnaise-like substance that wasn’t mayonnaise (I never figured out what it was.)

  • location (copenhagen): Sort of dreary and depressing. It’s also fairly compact. Very bike accessible. I like that.

Tue 03 Apr 2001

April 3, 2001

  • caulk: Finally caulked the bathtub. Not sure how good a job I did, but we’ll find out over time. I learned three valuable lessons doing so. First, using masking tape to line your edges is good. Second, you really want to use more then you think. Third, remove the shower curtain before starting. )-:

  • hacking (GTK+-HEAD): Closed the last of my API bugs today (the “range_changed” signal and the “expand_row”, “collapse_row” signals). This means that the tree is completely frozen API wise for 2.0. That would be nice…

  • packing (guadec): Did a lot of laundry tonight. Need to actually throw it in a bag tomorrow.

  • GNOME: 1.4 was released tonight. In many ways, it’s a somewhat uninteresting release of GNOME. I had very little to do with the release, for the first time in a long time. It is an important release though, and will have to bridge us over to 2.0. That release _will_ kick ass…