And away we go…

So once again it’s been forever since I’ve actually blogged something. We had some reorganization at work and it’s been kicking my ass in a majuor way. I’ve had no time to do anything useful other than to whine. My one claim is that I managed to write one article for GNOME Journal. The last release was somewhat disapointing as it didn’t seem to get as good a reception as the previous one. Maybe it’s just my perception I don’t know.

I’ve decided to give “gimmie” a try. Gimmie as people have noted before is sort of a replacement for your panel and consolidates common, repetitive tasks to a single location. I deleted my bottom panel and replaced it with Folgers crys.. er I mean gimmie. I’ve been doing this for like over a week now and I don’t miss my panel. I’ve also been able to delete the applications menu on top. My only complaint is the hideous pastel colors. I think Alex was in L.A. too long. :-) It would be interesting to turn this into a type of panel in GNOME.

Finally, I’ve decided to help out with GUADEC, in the Journal section since it seems that writing and marketing has been more my forte of late.

One final note on GUADEC, Quim Gil needs your help! It’s the last stretch and this is probably the hardest, most tension riddled time for Quim and I speak from someone who has been on a planning committee for a conference; this is the time for the GNOME community to help out!! Quim is probably too busy to actualy ask for help but please go to http://www.guadec.org/ and sign up to volunteer your time in helping GUADEC be an awesome event. Even if you’re not able to show up, I’m sure any time you could sink would be much appreciated.

I had my 37th birthday May 11th, and it was pretty pedestrian. Hard to believe you’re that old. I don’t feel that old, I feel the same as I did when I was 25. I guess you only feel as old as you think you are.

Anyways, the birthday was pretty pedestrian but I did manage to watch a hindi movie called Yaadon ki Bharaat . As with most bollywood movies there are a number of songs on it. This particular movie was made in 1973 and has a number of hippie references right down to the headbands. I’ve known the songs since I was little, but never watched the movie. Mostly because I’ve had situations where you really enjoy the songs and then when you watch the movie it’s this exceptionally painful, cheesy scene that you have to somehow erase from your mind in order to enjoy the song again. The songs, and the movie did not disapoint! What struck me though was the sophistication. The sets were way better than anything in the 80s, and the incredible wonderful wardrobe of Zeenat Aman ! The 70s were probably the best time period for Hindi movies. There was an avante garde attitude to the whole thing. Something happened around the late 70s, and I suspect that the “social police” decided that things were going out of control. I consider most of the movies made in the late 60s to the late 70s to be some of the best of indian cinema.

The story was okay, but not the best but it was an entertaining three hours and it’s worth it just watching Zeenat Aman and the funky dancing!

What if the last thing you hear was song?

Well another month has gone by. It’s been pretty busy for me. Been pushing on trying to get more articles for GJ this time around and it seems we got a better set of articles than before.

The deadline was supposed to be today, but we’ll probably extend it since we are expecting some articles. The article I was supposed to do has kind of sat by the wayside. I have no excuse. It was pure laziness. I also blame Ross, because he’s easy to blame.

Rhythmbox well probably be having another release here soon. Lots of bug fixes. I’m hoping the release name will be “Iain’s Pain” or “Et Tu, Iain?” due to the complete rejection of a certain Irishman of our software. May a thousand fleas molest him and his beer. That said, we’re close to a plugin system. Three cheers to kikidonk ! Of course I volunteered him by spreading a rumor that he was going to do it. :-)

Started my next class which is actually an open source project called ‘xcb’. Some interesting with the composite stuff in Xorg. I’m hoping that it’ll be a great learning experince. The concept of my project is pretty exciting and it’s great to do some eye candy.

Listened to GWB’s SOTU; was underwhelmed.

Work’s been busy, finally started to finally do some development instead of my usual sysadmin duties. Been really ramping on python since most of it is in that. It’s a great language and it’s finally taken hold in our group. I’d like to think that I had something to do with that since I was doing most of the evangalism there. Of course other groups have already discovered python. We’re a bit late. :)

Joined the joint Freedesktop marketing team. Some nice discussions, and it’s nice to do something together insetad of having our users at loggerheads with each other because of their choice of desktops. But it’s always the case of human nature that we need to pick a side. I know I do that all the time, but then I like to argue. :-)

What’s really been awesome has been the number of new volunteers working on GNOME documentation and the kind of stuff Shaun has been doing. Really good stuff. Nobody talks about documentation because it’s always a sidebar issue, but when it comes to selling to the masses or to the govt, good documentation is an important training issue.

I’ll participate later on the GNOME Sucks/Rocks. I do have some things I would like to weigh in on.

So thats the way it was, Wed Feb 1, 2006…

Technorati Profile

Feb 1st Article Submission Deadline for GJ

The GNOME Journal team is once again getting prepared to write some articles and we encourage others to write some kick butt articles for GJ.

The deadline for the articles is Feb 1st so if you have an idea to write about please contact us and let us know what you’re doing so that we can put it up in the wiki.

On the personal front, things are going well. I’m going to be doing a project on some xorg hacking. Check out XCB. The initial project is to write a reference window manager. Should be fun as my first class that lets me hack on free software.

There’s been a lot of talk from the mono folks about Banshee. I’ve looked at Banshee and what they have is pretty impressive; a great piece of work. However, don’t count out Rhythmbox! Our CVS committing action has been stupendous with a steady march towards 0.9.3. If you’ve been using the breezy version of Rhythmbox, you’ll see some cool features if you try out HEAD.

I’ve done some work in breaking out rhythmdb out of rhythmbox which was fairly easy to do. The idea is to be able to have a canonical source for a music database. My knowledge in databases is pretty near zilch so it will be a challenge trying to do something with this considering the amount of free time I have.

Saturday, My wife and I going to inner tubing on Mount Hood. That should be a blast. I really wish though I had one of those pocket cameras so I could take a picture on the way down! I’m looking forward to having some fun in the snow.

Happy New Year..

It’s been forever since I’ve blogged about anything and I’m afraid I still have nothing to blog about. heh. First off:

A very happy new year to everyone!

I have a big feeling that 2006 is going to be a much better year in 2005. 2005 was a mostly good year personally but I’m hoping next year will be better.

Finally, I want to do a shout out to all my gnome journal peeps. We’ve have completed one year of GNOME Journal and I’m looking forward to some new stuff this year.

We are still looking for people who are interested in writing about GNOME. This could be anything like interesting tricks, trends, or spot light on interesting features.

sri

Ahr!

Ahr, mateys! It be pirate talkin day and I be talkin like pirate, ahr!!

Back from vacation about a week ago or so. It was a great trip and I feel pretty relaxed. Some tension with relatives and trying to spend time with everyone but thats the way it goes when you visit there. The worst thing was that I forgot my charger for my Canon and ended up lugging all this equipment for nearly nothing. I managed to take a couple of photos which I will add later.

This week I start school, working on my Masters in C.S. I am taking a class in Computational Biology which is a class observing patterns in genomes. Apparently you can apply several algorithms related to pattern matching to genomes in order to figure out bad genes.

We are going through a massive reorg in our IT department and I’m waiting for the dust to settle. I think I’m going to see if there are other opportunites in other areas. I”ve been doing this job for nearly 9 years and maybe it’s time for change. Sysadmining can be fun especially here where there are new problems all the time.

No work on GNOME at all. Sad. I’m working on my guitar these days in order to actually accomplish something!

My vacation thus far

Well, it’s been over 10 days into my vacation in India and I’ve been having a grand time and I haven’ gotten sick yet.

My sister-in-law’s marriage went off pretty good and we had a great time with everyone there. I even did a little driving in Bombay which can be a little disconcerting. But as long as I believe I own the road, I was fine.

Man, I’ve been eating like a pig here too. 3 square meals plus in between snacks, and caffiene. All part of the fun.

I will be in Bangalore tommorow for those who are in Bangalore and want to meet up, let me know and mail my gmail account (sriram.ramkrishna@gmail.com) I’m leaving for Goa on the 30th afternoon. Unfortunately, I’m not able to IRC since I’ve been on dialup for the last couple of days and it’s really hard to get online and download stuff. I might try again from a cybercafe later.

Hope all you GNOMEies are keepin it real.

Last day of OSCON

So this is the last day of OSCON and it’s been a full (and fun) week doing stuff like the booth. While a lot more hectic than last year since I didn’t have as many volunteers to help was still enjoyable talking to various people who come to the booth.

One interesting tidbit was that the Mayor of Portland runs KDE. I do intend to send him a livecd so he can perhaps change his mind. :-) But still, he’s running a linux based laptop and thats pretty cool. I had it confirmed by a couple of state government employees. Unfortunately, none of the city govt folks showed up. There was even one guy from the General Accounting Office (GAO) as well. All took some live cds. :-)

Big thanks to jeff and Dave Camp for helping me out and hanging out and talking. It was fun having them both there. When Dave wasn’t hanging out he was over at the Gibsun Guitar booth rocking out. :) (btw dude, I got myself a gibsun guitar t-shirt thrown at me! ;)

The one observation I have while doing the booth was the complete lack of females approaching the booth. No matter how hard I tried to catch their eye they’d never look. The whole thing was so intriguing I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what they were interested in and what made them go there. It seems from observation that they like booths with a lot of colours, and marketing materials, and what not. Apparently, GNOME is not appealing to women or I’m not, or it’s not flashy enough..dunno. We need to be more women friendly. We need manly men, with chiseled chins, and long flowing hair. GNOME should be about sex..er sex appeal rather.

I’d like to also state that OSCON seems to be GNOME land. When people were not running OS-X or Windows it was GNOME. Whether it was redhat, suse, or ubuntu thats all I saw. So, that was really nice to see.

Had some good conversation with one of the mozilla guys about how to create a community especially around Q&A/bugzilla etc etc and also discussing the difficulties and risks of moving Firefox to timed releases ala GNOME and Ubuntu.

Next year, I’d like to see OSCON do more on linux desktops and also having things like flumotion streaming for the outside community.

Enough for now.

OSCON Day 1

Well, it’s day one here in OSCON. I’m pretty much just going around by myself here. Had some interesting conversations with people about various topics. Mostly I’ve been looking to see who is running what on their laptops. By in large, I’ve seen GNOME/OSX/XP for desktops with powerbooks dominating. Every Unix desktop I’ve seen was running GNOME.

Overall it seems that OSX is the most popular. I”ve been thinking of asking people who are running GNOME what they think of it just to gauge people’s reactions. The one person I asked complained that we change things too much. He specifically mentioned the file dialog box where the text entry was removed and he couldn’t figure out quite how to type in a directory. There is some validity in that there is no visual cue on how to do so although once you try typing something a text entry widget does show up. He wanted some kind of on-line documentation thing that says “this was the old behavior, this is the new” and be able to select which behavior.

So his complaint is mostly about being forced to change a work model without any support of the previous model and not being able to go back to it. Unfortunately, usability is still work in progress for us IMHO and these changes will happen as we try to improve usability. But we need to tightly control these changes otherwise we will make people unhappy because we force them to change their ways. That’s not their idea of “user friendly”.

I also wandered around the bookstore and felt kind of depressed with the amount of books on UNIX desktops and how much space they don’t give to GNOME. The other desktop seems a lot more comfortable for them to use. Because of the coverage it also makes the other desktop a lot more exciting to use with all the coverage it gets. Consequently, the users we want to reach those non technical people end up reading more about KDE than GNOME when they do their research or talk to their local techie. How ironic.

BTW there was our GNOME Development book but unfortunately it’s already out of date. It needs updating. :-)

I feel obligated now to talk people’s ear off about 2.14 at the booth starting Wednesday. Party on!

When you walk the line, don’t look down.

GNOME

Well OSCON is almost upon us and I’ve been gearing up for it. At this point pretty much all the logistical stuff is done and I’m just trying to get something to show off. After many days of frustrated attempts to make little videos to show off features of GNOME I finally got vnc2swf to work on breezy. I just have to do the demos now.

My frustratino was only compounded by the fact that my internet access was very spotty but now I find that my upload speed is equal to my download speed! Woo!

I’ve been trying to recruit my brother into using GNOME or to use his skills as a professional designer at an auto firm somehow. He came through for me by helping with a poster. Getting some feedback on the poster would be great! Check them out:

GNOME Poster 2
GNOME Poster 6
GNOME Poster 7
GNOME Poster 11

Other than that been pretty busy with personal stuff. This weekend, we hope to complete the painting of the house. We only have to do the trim and do some touch up but getting an early start should help finish everything up.

The place I worked out, 24 hour fitness had a bunch of news people buzzing around there. Turns out that someone there got arrested for child molestation of some 8 year old in the day care center. Not sure who the hell would try (or even want to) in front of all those kids. No doubt, they are going to have to be more careful who they hire.

Some kid died in southern oregon somewhere on some camping trip. Strangel enough when I found out it was some Ukrainian youth trip I seemed to remember that the guy who did our wooden flooring was talking about setting up some camping trip down south and I thought it was in august but not sure.

GNOME Journal released!

Ladies and Gentleman, the new issue of GNOME Journal released and on time and on schedule. :-) Lots of nice stuff, so please read it and send feedback to the team. Browse to http://www.gnomejournal.org/

We are still looking for new columnists who have a passion for writing and are interested in helping out. We will work with anyone!

sri