Very happy to see WSOP going quite well (although a bit sad that my friend Carmen’s application wasn’t accepted), and having more women get into the GNOME project. I have though one complain (if you can call it so) to make, which is, why a separated planet for them? Wouldn’t it be better to have them on Planet GNOME? That way, I guess, they would feel much more integrated in the project than being on a separated room.

If there is no strong reason to have a separated planet, please, put them in our planet, we really want them to be part of the project since the beginning.

Mediterranean weather in…London

I went last week to London, on vacation, to visit my sister and nieces, quite happy to leave the terrible heat that we had been suffering, like all summers, in Spain. But when we got there, we were surprised to see very high temperatures (+30ºC), quite a rare thing in those latitudes. And yeah, it’s so rare that things are not prepared for those high temperatures, like the buses and tube/trains, with more than 40ºC inside them, and no air conditioning at all :-( In fact, it was terrible seeing my two lovely nieces still going to school at this time of the year (in Spain, because of the summer temperatures, schools end at the end of June, and don’t start back until September), although it was worst to see Jessica, the little one, on her sports day at school, running and jumping in a field, at noon, with no shadows at all, and with more than 35ºC. Of course, all children were melting down, and asking for water every minute.

This made me think about a lot of new businesses that could have success over there if those high temperatures continue, like selling swimming pools, sun protectors for the cars, air conditioning for houses, “abanicos” … things that are normal in Spain (and other countries with similar weathers) but not in the UK.

I’m now, for a week, in Boston, where the temperatures are lower, and, so far, more bearable. Let’s see when I come back to Spain, I might melt down.

Tour 2006

After all the disqualifications for doping, and Armstrong’s absence, it looked like this year’s Tour de France was going to be boring. But no, not only wasn’t it boring, but it’s been, in my opinion, one of the best Tours in the last few years, with the final podium decided in the last day, contrary to what’s been happening in the last 10/15 years (insulting superiority from Miguel Indurain first and then from Lance Armstrong).

Also, very nice to see people that were not favorite at all, like Oscar Pereiro, picking a place in the podium today in Paris. Only 59 seconds kept him away from what would have been a very big surprise, since he was expected to work for Alejandro Valverde. Let’s hope the doping problems end in this lovely sport so that we can continue to see spectacles like this year’s Tour.

World domination

Very interesting read from Federico. And I am happy to say one of the complains spotted in that doc:

It would be nice if there was a system-wide notification option, so we could send /etc/motd to every user logging in

is already implemented. There’s even a bug about it. It just needs to be committed to CVS/SVN.

Another one:

An application like kwrited. No, seriously, GNOMErs on my company don’t get notified by shutdown +nn or wall unless they have open terminals

It seems pretty trivial to me to add that to the motd implementation and use the same notification mechanism.

American running with the bulls

Tomorrow the big San Fermín festival starts in Pamplona, and, as you all know already, lots of Americans (and English and Australians, etc) come to run with the bulls (even though, in some cases, they have never seen a Spanish bull). But this year, if I fail in convincing him, there will an American gnomie! Yeah, this afternoon I got a call, as planned, from Alex, came to Pamplona to help him and his girlfriend find a place to sleep (we finally found one, although as expensive as the Ritz), and, while showing him the city (and the path used for the running of the bulls), I mentioned all the dangers he would find, and while I didn’t succeed in convincing him for not running, at least he’s going to watch the first running of the bulls (next Friday) on TV, so that he takes a glance of what it looks like. Let’s hope the images of the bulls running over people convince him better than I could :)

Anyway, good to have him in Pamplona, so tomorrow we’ll party a little bit and, hopefully, finish convincing him for not running.


I have the honour to present you Atomato, a scripting and automation tool for GNOME. The idea behind it is to allow non programmers to build their own scripts for automating tasks without having to write a single line of code, much like Apple’s Automator.

There is very little code yet, but thanks to the hacking session on Wednesday at Vilanova Park, it is starting to take shape. The idea is, first, to write a library that loads all actions (currently the actions are DBUS methods, but the idea is to have more action providers, like simple commands or small scripts) and is able to make calls to those actions. Once this library is done, we’ll have to write a GUI to allow users to concatenate calls to actions in a script (workflow in Apple’s terminology). For that, we need to look at S-Flux, a tool developed by Christian after my call for UNIX Power for Desktop. The S-Flux GUI is a bit ugly, since Christian just did it as a proof of concept, but the basis are there, so I think we can reuse some of his code.

After that, we really need applications to provide services, so once we have all the basis going, we’ll start trying to convince people to provide services from their applications via DBUS (or whatever is better), so that we can, once for all, really provide what other desktops (Apple and AppleScript, KDE and DCOP) have been providing for a long time. We failed with CORBA/Bonobo because people disliked CORBA, so let’s hope that now that most people are ok with DBUS, and given that KDE is switching to DBUS, we won’t have any real problem about it.

Of course, there are still some details to be taken care of, like getting the list of all (active and inactive) DBUS methods, which right now is not possible without activating them all. Or how to discard some of the DBUS methods that have no purpose in a user-oriented scripting applications (things like GetConnectionUnixUser method on the DBUS interface, for instance). We have been talking about using a separate way for getting the list of methods, having apps create a XML file or whatever with the list of methods they want to provide to Atomato, instead of just having Atomato use DBUS to get all of that app’s methods. That would solve lots of problems, since Atomato would just need to read those XML files on startup and then activate services as they are really needed.

Also, about having apps provide DBUS methods, there is a little problem, which is that apps need to take care of just activating the DBUS interface when called from a 3rd party app, and not open the application window if not needed. Not a big problem I guess, but something to take care of. For some simple services, we are planning to write our own DBUS services (see the services/imaging service in Atomato source tree), which should provide most of the basic actions (copy/move files, image management, etc).

So, enjoy it, and if you have any good ideas, please let me know.

Killing libgnome/ui

It seems we all agree that libgnome/ui in their current form should be removed ASAP. But it seems people forget that we’ll still need a place for putting desktop policy APIs, and that makes libgnome/ui useful again. That is, instead of having lots of small libraries (gnome-menus, gnome-desktop, libpanel-applet, etc), it would make sense to me to have all those, desktop-related things, in one library that people use when they want their applications integrated into the GNOME desktop. Call it libgnome/ui or whatever, but you get the idea.

To start with, I’d mix gnome-menus and gnome-desktop, and then, if people agree, continue putting more stuff in those libraries. If done well, and only the right things are added, I think it would make sense a lot to have this GNOME Desktop integration library.