June 21, 2003
Life (Passings): On a somber note, Steven Taylor has left this world after fatal complications from a sugery. He was one of my co-workers at Red Hat and I didn’t know him very well. I talked to him only occasionally, passing by him in the halls every few days. When things like this happen, I’m always left feeling like I should have made a larger effort to know that person, and wish I’d been a better person myself. There is no doubt that he died much, much too soon. He was a very energetic and courageous man and will leave a hole in many people’s lives.
On a much happier note, Miguel got engaged! Congratulations Miguel.
GU4DEC: What a blast! It was an amazing conference this year. The biggest problem I had was getting everything possible out if it. There was always something interesting going on and I regretfully had to sleep occasionally. During almost every track there were two or more conferences I wanted to see. There was so much gossip to share, and news to relate! There were two monster board meetings, the each of which lasted seven or eight hours. It’s a really good thing we all get along pretty well.
I met Noah Levitt, Ross Burton (briefly) and Arvind Samptur in person for the first time. It’s always really fascinating to see what people you talk to only on irc look like. Noah surprised me, as the only other person named Noah that I’ve ever known was really short. For some reason, I was expecting this Noah to be similarly sized. He apparently was in the same High School class as Shane Battier, so perhaps that rubbed off on him a little.
I also met up with Christophe Fergeau to discuss the gnome-vfs mime stuff a bit more. I’m not sure I’m being as helpful as I could be but unfortunately we both have a good idea of where we want to go and are having trouble going there. It’s a messy, messy problem.
One of the biggest bummers for me about GU4DEC was that Kristian wasn’t able to make it. I owe that guy a lot of beers, and need to start paying him back at some point. It would be great to have met him. Hopefully he can go next year.
GUADEC (continued): I also got to hang out with the Swedes again, which is always a lot of fun. I made great plans with Anders that we need to follow through with some day. I even managed to get a tiny bit of hacking done. I moved DrWright into the control-center in advance of the impending feature freeze. Hopefully Richard Hult won’t do the same thing before I can check in my code. I also did some more EggGConfWidget hacking, and somehow managed to avoid talking with Jody about the huge backlog of control-center bugs that we have.
I also gave a talk on the control-center. It went fairly well for me, as I’m not normally a good speaker. It wasn’t a very technical talk and was more along the lines of a story. I went into a lot of detail (too much according to George) on its history and all the mistakes we made. I know I don’t do a great job maintaining this code, and could always use more help. However, I do have a good deal of faith in the shared vision we have for the future of GNOME, and hope I can keep moving the control-center in this direction. It’s always interesting, if nothing else.
Zana was wonderful as always, putting up with all the GNOME-ness going on. She and Luis’s girlfriend, Krissa, went all over Dublin for a three days. Zana also managed to go to some Museums and Churches with Federico and Oralia, of which I’m pretty jealous.
Vacation: Zana and I decided to take three days off after GU4DEC and drive through Ireland. It’s not a big country, but there’s whole, heckuvalot to see. We are currently staying in a converted castle in the middle of the country. We had a pretty relaxing day driving through the country side, and it didn’t even rain much. I had a lovely dinner of Salmon, Duck, and Profiteroles. The bed is very comfortable too — much better than that awful hostel room I shared with the rest of the GNOME people.
There was a wedding on the Castle lawn out front, and the festivities have been going on all day. Weddings are so much fun even when you don’t know the people getting married. We’ve been watching people have a blast all night. Hopefully Miguel will invite all of GNOME to his wedding.
Tomorrow, we’re hoping to make it all the way to the Dingle peninsula and back half-way to Cork. Unfortunately a concert Killarny has thrown a kink in our plans by making all the Bed and Breakfasts in the area full.
Vacation (reading): The castle has a pretty cool bar set in a library. I was enjoying reading through the titles of the books. Most of them were published pre-1935, and a good chunk were even 19th century books. After browsing for half an hour, I found a book titled “The Life of Father Thomas Burke (Volume 1)” Since I knew nothing about the good man, I thought I’d borrow it to read. It’s very well written and quite entertaining. Unfortunately, I really don’t know who the man is and it’s told in a style where it’s expected that most of the readers either knew him, or at least what his works were. It would be like reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln in chronological order without knowing how that particular story would finish.
I don’t know if Father Burke is an important Irish figure or just another 19th century priest, and I won’t know until I get internet access again. My Californian education certainly didn’t cover him. However, I do know that no matter how his life plays out, his biographer has done a good job of making me want to read about it more. I’m going to have to go looking for that book when I get back to the United States.
toilets: Why does it seem like I need to flush every toilet in this country two or three times in order for it to work? There’s some cultural design issue going on here.
Name commentary: Between Havoc Pennington and Stormy Peters, GNOME has the coolest sounding advisory board around.
Musical commentary: Here are is a small subset of the songs heard in the dining room and from the wedding party outside: “Living La Vida Loca”, “Survive”, “New York, New York”, “YMCA”, “Beautiful”, “In the Mood”, “I’ll Be Loving You Forever”, “Eternal Flame”, “It’s Not Unusual”, “Wake Me Up, Before You Go-Go”, “Dancing Queen”, “Uptown Girl”, “Material Girl”, “I Feel Like A Woman”, “La Bamba”, “Can’t Get You Outta My Head”, “Red, Red Wine”, “Cecilia”, and of course, “Brown Eyed Girl”.
I think I was expecting more Irish jigs. Or at least a dancing leprechaun or two.
Jealousy: Gosh, I really like Alex’s digital camera.