GU4DEC 2003

Just came back from GUADEC,
held this year in Dublin. As all the previous GUADEC’s, it has been really fun,
and also as always, interest in GNOME hacking increases, at least on my part,
after expending some days surrounded by cool GNOME hackers.

The conferences were held in the Trinity College, a wonderful place, as you can
see in the photos that
I took. A preview follows:

As the previous year in Sevilla, I gave a talk, this time with the help of my friend
German, about
GNOME Network, a dead module in GNOME CVS that we are trying to resurrect from death.
The talk did not go very well, since it was supposed to be a BOF, where German and I
could get cool ideas about new tools/features in the package, and there were just
a few people. In any case, we got some good ideas, which we will be implementing
soon. If you want to see the talk, I have put the slides

The most interesting thing about this GUADEC is that we have committed to doing
a libgda/libgnomedb 1.0 release very soon (later this summer), to go with the
(hopefully) GNOME Office 1.0 release.



Lots of changes in the Evolution calendar views code. Both EDayView and
EWeekView are now based on the generic ECalView, which contains all
the code that was duplicated in both views. Thus, the amount of lines of
code has been reduced significantly, and, most important, we can now
implement new functionality without having to do it in two places, as

Also, a lot of discussions
are going on on the Evolution hackers list. Very good ideas are
coming up, which I’m sure will end up in a very nice calendar
GUI for Evolution 2.0.


New photos added, from La
Vaca de Gredos 2003
, the Free Software course in
, and, at last, photos from
Madrid, my
home town.


Live content on the desktop

Just installed gdeskcal,
a very nice little application which creates a cute transparent calendar
on your desktop and which displays information on which days you
have appointments on, and a summary of the appointment.

It even reads Evolution’s default local calendar folder
(evolution/local/Calendar/calendar.ics). It doesn’t access
any other Evolution folder nor does it write to the Evolution calendar
(that would be a very bad idea, since it doesn’t use libcal-client
to access the Evolution calendar, and writing to the file directly could
result in nasty things due to two applications accessing the same file
without any locking).

From this application, talking with Tuomas and Jakub on IRC, the idea of
having something similar to this in Evolution
came up.
The idea is to move the current Evolution summary to a cute transparent
window, and offer from there access to the calendar, tasks, news feeds,
contacts, and mail folders, in a non-intrusive way.


Travel to León

New photos are
available. This time, photos from León, a beatiful (very old, with lots
of history, and home of the unique Roberto Santos) city in the North-West
of Spain, where I went to give a
course about component development. As I stayed only one night, I
had no chance to sightsee the city, but my girlfriend had plenty
of time, so most of the photos are from her.



More progress on the Evolution GDA provider. Now, I’ve added simple SQL

This image shows the Evolution default tasks folder being queried from
Mergeant. This is a feature now available to all GNOME Office applications.
The SQL supported so far is quite limited (essentially, a ‘select … from
table’, that is, only fields from a single table can be retrieved), but
should be enough to start using the provider for beta testing.

Ettore asked
me about the purpose of this provider relating Evolution’s calendar
and contact client API, so I think I’ll explain it here in case somebody
else wonders the same. The idea is not to have libgda as “the way of
accessing Evolution data”, but to have this provider allow access to
Evolution data via libgda, as can be done with other data sources.
Applications wanting more control over their communication with
Evolution’s data server should use Evolution’s provided APIs, which, in
fact, are going to be improved a lot as part of the work for 1.6.


GNOME Office

I can’t stop hacking on the GNOME Office applications integration; it’s
like a fever. This time, I have started a libgda provider for Evolution,
which will allow any application using libgda to use Evolution calendar,
tasks and contacts as a data source.

This, if distributed along with GNOME Office, will allow AbiWord and
Gnumeric to use the data stored in Evolution for insertion in the
documents those apps manage.

I have uploaded the code to the GNOME
CVS server
. The module is named gda-evolution.


My server is down, not sure what happened to it, but it stopped working
on Thursday, and now, every time I try to switch it on, it just
beeps constantly a disgusting noise. I’ll bring it on Monday for repair,
but maybe it’s time to buy a new server?

GNOME Office

More work this week on the database integration for
GNOME Office.
This time, thanks to Dom, we have added the ability to insert the data returned
by executing a command on the database as a table on the document.

The image above shows a database table after being inserted, as a table,
in an AbiWord document.

Apart from that, I added, as I did for Gnumeric, the ability to manage GDA
data sources from the AbiWord menu. So, another big step towards GNOME
Office integration, at least in the database front.



Nice to know about the
OpenGroupware.org project
, an open source groupware server, developed
by a company which have now opened the software. Very nice news, since a groupware
server is one of the missing things in the Free Software world.

There are several clients which already work with this server, including Mozilla,
Evolution (via Ximian Connector), and others (see their web page for full details).