GNOME Screensaver

gnome-screensaver is, for those who don’t know, the new screensaver solution for GNOME, with better HIG dialogs and a much better integration into the desktop than the old xscreensaver.

I have been looking and testing it lately, and after all that testing and a security audit by the SuSE security team, I can say everything works great.

There was only one thing missing, which was the lack of more screensavers by default, so went ahead and wrote a patch to make it use xscreensaver hacks by default:

This is still not in CVS, since I have a little problem with the –with-xscreensaver-hacks argument I’m adding to configure, but will be soon sent upstream.

Nat is the new messiah

Just like for centuries muslims have travelled to Meca and christians to Santiago de Compostela, hackers are now starting to make Nat’s tour their must-do pilgrimage, to find the real faith and the real way to full knowledge.

What a world

Last week we were all horrified with the blasts in London. But today, 24 children died in Iraq after a terrorist attack, and I haven’t seen any of the polititians in the western countries that last week condemned the blasts in London, condemn the ones in Iraq. Of course, none of those polititians have neither condemned any of the more than 20,000 Iraqi people dead during the war.

Also, every day thousands of people die in Africa because of AIDS, hunger, wars and diseases that can be easily cured in western countries, and, again, none of those polititians condemn them, or, even better, do something to put them to an end. It seems deaths are different depending on where they happen.

Also, less important compared to the things above, Europe interior ministers are talking these days about spying all communications, that is, phone calls, email messages, from any single citizen accross Europe. Seems they have what happened in the US after 9/11 as an example of what to do.

Alejandro Valverde

What a great performance today from Alejandro Valverde, Paco Mancebo and Mickael Rasmussen in the Tour, who have been the only riders, in a long time, to go with Lance Armstrong up to the end line. But Alejandro’s performance has been specially great, since even though it’s already known he is a rider with a bright future, nobody expected him to perform so well in such a difficult stage as today’s, in his first Tour de France. Let’s hope he can continue this way, and make us, spaniards, forget about all the disappointments (Iban Mayo, Carlos Sastre, Joseba Beloki, and, specially, Roberto Heras).

Testing GNOME session new services framework

To make it easier for people to test the new service framework in gnome-session, here are some instructions to help them.

  1. Get and install libgnomeservice from CVS.
  2. Apply the dbus*.patch files in libgnomeservice to D-BUS HEAD.
  3. Compile gnome-session, with this patch and with –enable-services argument for
  4. Test this, and check the session is started correctly. If not, report bugs to me, please.
  5. Then, it’s time to add additional services. You can either apply one of the patches in libgnomeservice (*.patch) to the corresponding modules. I suggest just testing with something like beagle, or gnome-screensaver’s patches. Those are not session managed, and should be started correctly on session startup but not saved to the session. The other patches (panel, nautilus, etc) make services be started twice, so that part is better left out for now.
  6. You can also add additional services, by just putting a .desktop-service file (here‘s an example) to $(datadir)/gnome/desktop-services, and a .service file (example) to $(datadir)/dbus-1/services. For the .service file, the command line should be like:

    gnome-service-launch org.gnome.MyService /full/path/to/command_to_execute_as_service

With this, the new framework can be tested perfectly.

London blasts

Very sorry to wake up this morning and hearing the blasts in London, sadly too similar to what we had in Madrid 16 months ago. And very worried, since my sister lives in London with her husband and two daughters. Fortunately, I got in contact with her pretty immediately, and they’re all ok.

I hope all gnomers around there are ok, as well as their friends and families.

Software patents

After all the joy of seeing the software patents directive rejected, some people are starting to worry that it hasn’t been a victory.

Since the link is in Spanish, here is a little summarised translation of the important points:

  • The day before the voting, people from the anti-patent organizations were very worried about the result, with the Popular Party campaigning in favor of the bill, and some socialists (like Spanish Joaquin Almunia) saying that voting against it would make Europe be left behind in terms of innovation. Why that big change, in only one day?
  • Seems, from some explanations about the result given by some MPs, that the vote was against the commission’s way of doing things. So, one can think that once they do things “correctly”, the bill will we accepted.
  • The big corporations haven’t said anything about what is supposed to be a very bad thing for them.

So, have we been trapped, and the bill will be be back in a few months with a different shape and with the good willing and acceptance of the Euro parlament MPs? I hope not, but as Javier says, let’s celebrate it today, but let’s get back to work tomorrow.


After all the comments in my last blog entry and some other comments, here are my thoughts:

  • notifications in dialogs, like the ones in gaim, are disturbing, and sometimes makes user lose them (if you are typing and looking at the keyboard, and press SPACE/ENTER/whatever)
  • notifications in panel (either notification area or a bubble on an icon) are, at least from my experience, always missed. I used to have the alarm daemon in Evolution set up to use the tray icon instead of dialogs, and after a few days missing *all* my appointments, I switched back to disruptive dialogs, which at least are more difficult to lose (unless you are typing)
  • libnotify implementation makes it difficult to not see the notification, but doesn’t interrupt your current task

So, my conclusion is that libnotify is the best way I’ve seen so far for notifications. Of course, as with the trash applet thingy, we need to make sure we don’t abuse them, and only use them for real notifications, not for every status change.

The GUI in the notification-daemon might need some tweaks, specially if we want it to look like all those mockups we saw some time ago, but that’s all I can think of against libnotify.