GNOME3 on Ubuntu

I already blogged about this some time ago but since some people keep asking, I’d thought about giving it more publicity.

So, in case you don’t know, next Ubuntu version won’t ship GNOME 3, but we have been working in the last few months on providing GNOME 3 packages for anyone interested in running GNOME 3 on Ubuntu. The packages are in the GNOME 3 PPA, and although it still doesn’t include everything GNOME 3ish, it includes the stuff that has changed the most, like the new control center, gnome-shell and other core desktop things and some applications. Thanks to Allan Day, here are some instructions on how to use a PPA.

It still misses lots of apps and some core desktop things, like gnome-session, but should be ready for daily usage (using it myself on my systems).

You can report any problem you find on the PPA via the GNOME 3 team mailing list or directly to me, as you like.

Back home

After two weeks out of home (1 week for Canonical all hands at a nice hotel and conference center in Terrassa, and another for UDS (Ubuntu Developer Summit, for those who don’t know) in Barcelona), I’m finally back home and have rested enough to write a small post.

First of all, the good things: met again with some GNOME old friends, like Christian, Cody, Pedro, Seb, Ryan, James, Jorge, Danilo, Juanje, Daniel, … (sorry if I miss someone), and met lots of new interesting people, both from Canonical and the Ubuntu community. Learnt lots of new things (which I’ll try to blog about soon), hacked on cool stuff (more news soon), had a lot of fun hanging around with people, got a bit tipsy some nights, and, in summary, had a great time, even though I slept very few every night :-) And well, visiting Catalonia in general and Barcelona (my father’s born place) in particular is always a pleasure for me.

But there’s always a dark side, or maybe I’m getting too old, but I really don’t understand why in the free software community we compete so much, and please don’t take this as an Ubuntu-only case, I’m blogging right after UDS just by coincidence, this is something that applies to all the communities I’ve seen so far in the free software world. That is, it is nice to have competition (“2 desktops make for a better Linux desktop“, “choice is good“, etc), but hearing all the time comments in community/project A about how community/project B sucks so much (and viceversa) made me think, while coming back home on the train last night, about how we could be doing if we cooperated rather than compete. That is, having 16 audio libraries in Ubuntu, is it really needed? Or having people from different projects work on the same stuff over and over without even talking to each other about how to share some work? Is it that hard to understand for us, that we like telling others from outside our world how nice it is that you can share and work together with others, that we should really apply those principles in how we do the stuff ourselves? How is it that, in these events, you hear more comments against “rival” free software projects than against “evil” companies, like in the good old days of trolling?

As I said, maybe I’m really getting too old for this, but it really reminded me the situation in Catalonia in the final years of the Spanish civil war, where anarchists and socialists fought against each other for a few months instead of fighting together against the fascists. Fortunately here nobody is dying, so I guess I can cope with being in the middle of some fightings (I have friends at Novell/Canonical/RedHat/* and GNOME/KDE, etc), but just try to imagine how well we could do if we all cooperated a bit more. What a wonderful audio library we could have if the people working on those 16 implementations available in Ubuntu worked together!!! *

So yeah, that’s all the bad stuff I had to share. From now on, will only blog about the nice things that came out from this All Hands/UDS 2 week marathon.

* audio libs developers: please don’t get upset, I’m not criticizing you, just using you as an example of what happens in a lot of projects

New job

Being quite busy last week with my new job, I totally forgot to blog about it, so, in case someone is interested, I started last Monday working at Canonical. Not sure yet what parts of my work are public, so I’ll just point you to the job offer for now :-)

+10 years in GNOME

While cleaning up my very old mail, I came across some of the 1st mails I sent related to GNOME, and, a bit late though, I wish to celebrate my 10th anniversary as a GNOME user and developer. I started as a user in 1998, and after some hacking training (on my free time, since my job at that time was nothing related to free software), I came to announce version 0.1 of gnome-sql, which was later on integrated with the already existing GNOME-DB project.

In all these years, I’ve worked on several projects (GNOME-DB, Evolution, Control Center, openSUSE GNOME packaging and integration mainly), and, most important, I’ve met a lot of great people, and, fortunately, the future looks even more exciting (more news on this soon), so looking forward to my 20th anniversary :-)

Unemployed

In the 8 years I’ve been at Novell/Ximian, several layoffs have happened (not in the Ximian times, AFAIR), and until now, I was never affected (directly, of course, since losing very good work colleagues affects), so it was just a matter of time that it would affect me. So, yes, from Feb 17th, I am officially unemployed, for the 1st time in, like 15 years or so. And, for the 1st time in my life, I have been fired from a company.

Fortunately, I am a positive person, and since I had been thinking for a while to move somewhere else, this gives me the opportunity to stop thinking and start acting. More on these plans as soon as they materialize, as for the time being, I’m going to relax for a couple of weeks, doing nothing but have fun.

Of course, as I am unemployed, I’m open to hear any offers, so feel free to send any, if you want me. Apart from computing, I am very good at riding motorcycles, skiing, having fun and making maps, just good at cooking and canoeing, and wanting to learn on martial arts and lots of other stuff, so, if you have something fitting any of these categories, feel free to offer me a job :-D

FreeWear

Killermundi was an online shop who has been contributing with some donations to GNOME Hispano (the Spanish speaking GNOME group). Now, under a new name (FreeWear), they have renovated their GNOME fashion line. For every item sold, a percentage is donated to GNOME Hispano, so by buying something, you get a cool t-shirt/jacket and, at the same time, help in the funding of events organized by GNOME Hispano.

openSUSE sound theme

For openSUSE 11.1, and with the new gnome-sound-properties from GNOME 2.24, we switched to libcanberra for playing sounds for events. This allows us to have sound themes now, and, as part of the libcanberra inclusion, we added sound-theme-freedesktop, which is the sound theme from freedesktop.org (in case you didn’t guess from the name :-) ), and which is the only one available so far for libcanberra to use.

libcanberra (and the sound properties applet) gives us the opportunity to have different sound themes very easily. I am not aware of any project to have openSUSE-branded sounds, but if it exists or someone wants to provide some new sounds, please contact me, we might be able to include them in 11.1 (as a sound-theme-openSUSE package) if they are good enough (and are ready ASAP :-) ).

Be my friend again, please

I have had like 5000/6000 unread mails on my inbox now for a long time, so in between compilations, web page loading, etc, I started today looking at the huge pile of unread mail. It was supposed to only contain mails from mailing lists, spam and similar things, since I have nice vfolders on Evolution which are the ones I always keep up-to-date. But, for some reason, some of my personal mails were in the huge pile of unread mail but not on the ‘Personal mail’ vfolder, so I started answering mails from last May! from people writing to me directly.

So, if in the last (lots of) months you wrote to me and didn’t get any answer, please, be my friend again, it was a technical problem :-) I’m now going to go over all of them and, at last, have a tidy mailbox from now on.

Hack Week starting

As most people might already know, this week is Hack Week here at Novell. So, as we were told to take photos/videos of the activity during this week at our work center, and since my work center is my house, I had to call some friends to come up and help me the whole week. Said and done, they were here this morning very early, and the boys started planning what they were going to work on:

The boys planning the hack week

And right after the planning meeting, full of energy, they started hacking

The boys hacking

More details on what we are working on and more photos later.

In Your Face

I have never been a gamer, but there have been some games that, sometimes, have forced me to get back, for a little bit, to a Windows machine. Those are sport games, like EA NBA/NHL, old Dinamic’s PC Futbol, all of them, in case you haven’t guessed, with the ability to play the actual games, plus the ability of managing your team (buy/sell players, get sponsors, etc). Unfortunately there is nothing similar for Linux, and even less if you just want Free software, but this may be changing: In Your Face is a free 3d basketball game. As the author says itself, it looks a bit ugly, but the difficult thing of this kind of games is to program the logic of the game itself (in this case, moving the players around and all related stuff), and this is what Isaac (the author) is working on, so, with a bit of luck, others could step on and code the other parts (the teams database, for instance, should be very easy to do), and, in little time, we could have a very good game, which could even be the base for other similar games.