Spain is different

Lately there have been many demonstrations here in Spain. The first one, which is the only one I attended, was in Las Bardenas Reales, a protected desertic area, except for a part of it, which is used by the military to test their bombs and weapons. So, yeah, the parade was against the military use of that area, with a great lunch after the parade in the countryside. Will post the photos I have of that soon. 1.000 persons showed up.

Then, there was a demonstration in Madrid, organized by catholic organizations, to protest against the homosexual marriages, which have been allowed as of today in Spain, with the only opposition of the right-wing parties. They were protesting because “homosexual marriages will destroy the families”, whatever that means. 180.000 people, from what the authorities said, showed up.

Then, last weekend, there was a demonstration against poverty in the world, to ask polititians to do everything on their hands to make poverty history. So, as ignorant as I am, I was expecting all the people in the previous demonstration, plus many more that have nothing against homosexual’s rights, show up on this one. But heh, only 50.000 people showed up, so it means, provided that all those 50.000 were in the previous one, there are still 130.000 “familiy-protective” persons in Spain that don’t want homosexuals to be married and form their own legal families, but have nothing against poverty, which indeed destroys many more families than any other thing :(

Curious country we live on. Fortunately next week there is San Fermín, which will help in forgetting about all this :)


Summer is the worst time of the year for me, since here in Spain it’s too damn hot, and it’s difficult to move too much without sweating like a pig, except at nights. So, the summer started officially with too much heat, which, fortunately, is going down in the last couple of days, at least here in the North of Spain.

But the summer does not really begin for me until Le Tour de France and San Fermín start. And this weekend Le Tour is starting, while next week (on the 6th) the big party that is San Fermín starts in Pamplona. This year, again, I won’t be running in front of the bulls, not that crazy/drunk yet, but I’ll be going to a lot of concerts, since, as every year, there are many (free) concerts all around Pamplona. Not sure yet which groups play, but as every year, I’m sure some of them will be quite good. A pity that the Gaztetxe was closed last year by the “nice” mayor of Pamplona, since there was a lot of cool ambient there, with R&R concerts, cheap food and nice atmosphere.

Alberto Herreros

Yesterday Alberto Herreros, one of the best basketball players in Spain of the last years, played his last professional game, scoring a 3 pointer in the last moment, to make his team, Real Madrid, win a championship for the first time in 5 years (bad record for a team like Real Madrid, that used to win almost every year a few decades ago).

Even though Alberto is considered a traitor for us, Estudiantes supporters (he left Estudiantes some years ago to play with archrival Real Madrid, something that Estudiantes supporters never forgive), I’ve always liked him, and was indeed suffering this year seeing him playing so few minutes. So, even though I wanted Tau Vitoria to win the final, it made me quite happy to see Alberto score the winning basket, in the last seconds of his last game (5th and last game in the finals playoff) as a professional player. So, this is my little tribute to Alberto, to whom the only thing I can criticize is his refusal, many years ago, before going to Real Madrid, to go to Indiana Pacers on the NBA, where he would have been, for sure, a good player.

KDE and Wikimedia

The KDE project has started some collaboration with Wikimedia to provide KDE applications with a remote API for accessing Wikimedia databases. Nice ideas have been proposed here.

Since the API seems to going to be desktop-neutral, I guess we need to pay attention to start using it in GNOME as soon as it is available. gnome-dictionary could use Wkimedia sites as its sources, Beagle could search in Wikimedia articles, Totem/Rhythmbox could display information on tracks/artists/albums as they play music/video, text editors could allow importing of those articles, etc, etc.

Desktop platform

As Philip says, the desktop platform for 3rd parties is not as attractive as it should be, given the fragmentation on two big, and incompatible for the most part, development platforms.

And it sucks that politics are involved, since that’s the only reason I can think of about glib, for instance, not being used in DBus, adding the need to copy/paste code from glib to DBus code or rewrite already existing/well tested code. This introduces the need to be updating the code in DBus whenever a bug is fixed in the GLib one, and, most important, fails short in the code reuse philosophy free software is supposed to promote.

Of course, this is just a small detail compared to Philip’s cool integration ideas, but I think a good common platform could help in solving all those integration problems.

So yeah, please let’s have some form of committe or something that approaches a similar KDE people committe to try to promote more the code reuse between the 2 desktops, trying to share as much of the platform as possible. Then, once the basics are shared, we’ll just have two different ways of writing desktop applications, just like there are several different ways on Windows (Delphi, VB, C API, Java, etc).

GUADEC 2006 in Barcelona

Seems it’s finally been decided that GUADEC will be held in Barcelona, a very nice city in the Northeast of Spain.

This means that next year, we’ll have two big GNOME events in Spain, this GUADEC in Barcelona, and the III GUADEC-ES in Las Palmas (not 100% confirmed yet, but probable). We have been talking about moving the GUADEC-ES to another time in the year, so maybe, instead of doing it a few weeks before the big GUADEC, it might get moved to September or around it.

In any case, good news for Spanish GNOMErs.

Scheduled jobs

Since I moved from the Evolution team to the desktop team at Novell, I have been looking at the desktop in a different way than before, looking for missing stuff, cool things that could be added, etc. The things that I miss the most, as a power user, is the access to many of the UNIX tools/commands from the desktop in an easy way. It makes a lot of sense to not complicate the interfaces much, but it also makes a lot of sense, at least IMO, to provide an easy access to the powerful stuff we have in UNIX systems.

So, since this weekend I had no plans at all (apart from some beers on Friday), I started hacking on one of those missing/cool things, which is a simple frontend to the crontab command. I didn’t finish it, but since it’s an easy task, I think I’ve done most of the stuff, missing only the dialog for adding/editing crontab jobs.

That missing dialog needs a bit of thought, since just providing a frontend to the crontab file format might be a bit overwhelming for most users. What I have done so far is this:

Next to the “On specific week/month days” labels, I was thinking on having a way to select any number of days to run the job at. The same for hour/minute, but I’m really short on ideas on how to make it simple but able to edit any kind of crontab entry.

GTK+ Cairo

So went ahead yesterday and compiled 2.11 with jhbuild. Everything worked great (didn’t do any performance review) when opening a “normal” X session. But, when using Xnest, this is the result:

Not sure if it’s Cairo’s or GTK’s fault, or anything else’s, but it looks quite bad.

On the good news front, I have to say I didn’t feel it being much slower than 2.6. Of course, as I said, I didn’t do any performance tests, but still, doing normal desktop tasks, I didn’t see it perform too bad compared to 2.6 (which is not slow and unresponsive, despite what Eugenia might say). To show a little example, here is the color selector dialog with no Cairo:

And the one with Cairo:

Which one looks better?