Desktop Summit, Lanedo & Imendio and Tracker

Desktop Summit

Wanted to say thank you to everyone at the desktop summit this year. It was superb and it was good to see everyone again!

So it became quite obvious to me at this years desktop summit in Gran Canaria that no one really knows what is going on with regards to Lanedo and my involvement in projects. This is primarily because I haven’t been blogging enough. I have decided to change this.

After speaking to various people (Bastien, Lucas, etc) I was surprised to hear some of the questions about Lanedo. I thought my initial blog covered it. But clearly not.

Lanedo & Imendio

In December 2008, Micke spoke to us all in Imendio and said that he was going to shutdown the company. Of course this came as a huge surprise to everyone given our success over the years and the economic climate was not the reason for his decision. The reason was stress. If I really think back I can see how Micke was trying to change things internally to alleviate this by of-loading some of his responsibility to others. This happened probably for a year or more. In the end, I think it was just too much. Towards the end of Imendio, you could tell how stressed Micke was by his demeanor. Now-a-days, he is much happier and everyone can see the change.

Richard decided to not continue with Imendio too. As such Tim and I (who were effectively internally managing projects at Imendio) decided to start a new company if everyone (except Micke and Richard) wanted to continue. The consensus was that they did, so in January 2009, Lanedo GmbH was formed in Hamburg. We took on some of Imendio’s contracts and now we are continuing the work on our own steam.


This year Tracker was in the spotlight somewhat. As a project it was grown considerably in the last 12 months. In the early part of last year, Carlos and I started working on it full time. More and more people got involved like Jürg Billeter, Philip Van Hoof, Ivan Frade and Mikael Ottela. These are the core developers. We refactorred a lot of it to produce the 0.6.9x releases. Jamie has been providing feedback about direction and ideas and doing one of the most important features – the SQLite module we use for Full Text Search (FTS).

About 3-6 months ago, Jürg, Philip and Ivan started looking into the 0.7 work and at the moment Jurg is leading the development there while I maintain bug fixes for the 0.6 branch. Our roles in the project are all quite well defined (I would say at least) and it is a really fun project to work on with some really brilliant people contributing. Right now, this is how it looks:

I handle the File system monitoring, crawling and database connection management. I also do the 0.6.9x releases and have been doing project management in coordination with Urho Konttori.

Carlos maintains the indexing of the data, the extensions (or modules) which know what to do with the data we extract.

Philip works on the thumbnailing and has a really good appetite for creating specifications and working with new technologies to provide ideas about how to improve areas.

Ivan is our ontology guru not to mention he added the GLib unit tests to Tracker which is a huge benefit.

Jürg has been working on completely refactoring the databases and the higher level API that sits on top of them (libtracker-data). Jürg is also leading development the 0.7 (master) branch right now.

Mikael is our extractor expert. Mikael has been improving constantly the MP3/GStreamer/JPEG/etc extractors to get better performance for each release.

ALL of us do general project maintenance it should be added, so we all contribute to each other’s areas. These are also just some of the more noteable areas which we are each involved in. It is a large project and there are a lot of things not mentioned here.

So right now Tracker is looking really good and it is an exciting project to be involved in, especially with Zeitgeist being interested in using it and other components in BOTH desktops too.

I plan to blog much more about features we add, crap we remove, etc.

Post-GUADEC Photos & Libtool

GUADEC Photos – So Ross managed to capture my evil twin at the GUADEC party standing next to Dave Malcolm (who looks worse for ware) 😀

Some of the photos showing up post-GUADEC are cool. It is a shame Mikael and I didn’t have a camera to capture Glynn running from the German police at the end of the party really 🙂 – when you got to go, you’ve got to go!

libtool on Windows – So I have been trying to get libltdl work on Windows to automatically load libraries at runtime for plugin support. This stuff is not nice, I was trying to use libltdl from a library and found out that you can’t do that until v2.0 of libtool (on Windows) and that there are problems particularly with MSYS. It is all going now, I had to use libltdl from an executable instead. Thankfully, after speaking to Tor at the GUADEC party, he told me about libtool-cache which speeds things up considerably. This is really needed since creating processes on Windows is expensive and given the number of times that happens when using GNU’s auto tools you can imagine how slow things get :/

Blog move – Jeff has now moved my blog over from Advogato onto, cheers dude 🙂

GUADEC & Google Gnome Bounties

GUADEC – So my first year at GUADEC was so amazing. Had a superb time. Some of the talks I found especially interesting, cool and funny were:

Robert’s talk about Gnome, memory, and some new kernel abilities we should be using
Owen’s talk about Cario
Nat’s lightning talks
Glynn’s 101 things to know about Gnome.

So I met so many really cool hackers at GUADEC this year and as Ross points out, Bastien needs a new hackergotchi. I like Ross’s knocked up replacement – it seems much more fitting 🙂

I need a hackergotchi – perhaps you could do the honors Ross? 🙂

Also, managed to bag a Nokia 770 – they are uber cool!

While at the GUADEC, I managed to get some bugs fixed during the hackfest too. Overall a wiked conference.

Gnome Bounties – Good news about Google splashing out for Gnome bounties.

GUADEC & New Zealand Photos

Images: Ah… the memories, I had a chance to put my New Zealand images up tonight:

I agree with Glynn, New Zealand is a comfortable place to be. If I had to move anywhere, NZ would be my first choice.

GUADEC: Well I am a GUADEC virgin and this year will be my debut visit. Flights are booked and I believe there is a botanical garden that might be worth a visit in Stuttgart too.