gLabels saves the day

I wanted to print some address labels last weekend. I fired up, selected the correct brand template, and typed in the text I wanted. I then wasted an entire page of labels. Grrr.

After several failed attempts to get OOo to cooperate, I tried gLabels and was very impressed. It has a clean, simple interface, and I have lots of nice labels.

Colours, Colors…

I have committed the work I’ve been doing on the new colour schemes tab for the theme manager. I’ve also updated Clearlooks in gtk-engines to support colour schemes, and Ben Berg has updated the Industrial theme. I’m hoping to update the remaining themes pretty soon.

GNOME Theme Manager Colours Tab

So, I would like as much testing and as many suggestions as possible. There is currently one critical bug in gtk+ that means the colour scheme can’t currently be reset (unless you restart your application).

There are two other problems that will definitely be fixed before the final version. Firstly, it will need to detect if the selected theme actually supports the colour scheme options (which partly relies on the above bug being fixed). Secondly, I will create some logic to prevent the user setting the text colour to the same as the background colour. These are fairly easy fixes, but I just haven’t got round to them yet due to lack of time. Patches are very welcome of course!

N.B. For anyone with an old checkout of cvs, you will need to check gnome-control-center out of cvs again. This is because Rodrigo has added libslab as a virtual module inside gnome-control-center, and it will not be updated by just running cvs update.

Contacts 0.2

Looks like Ross beat me to mentioning it, but I finished off the Contacts 0.2 release on Friday. I won’t publish the entire changes list again, but I’m definitely going to make sure the next release isn’t in another years time as trawling a years worth of ChangeLog entries is not fun.

I’m particularly looking for new translations and hope to do a new release fairly soon. If anyone takes the time to do a translation, please feel free to send it to me!

Calling All Patch Critics!

I have a patch in bugzilla to suppress the annoying “icon not found” popup message.

The gnome-panel maintainers are unfortunately very busy people (that is, Vincent Untz is a very busy person!). Could anyone take a look at my patch and make a positive comment so Vincent can be sure it’s a good patch?!

We have a serious problem with understaffed modules. We need to encourage as many people as possible to get more involved, and we can do that by reviewing patches and helping people who really want to make our software better!

So please, help get this little tiny patch approved, and make GNOME just a bit more polished.

LinuxWorld London 2006

It’s been nearly two weeks since LinuxWorld London. It all started at 6am on the 25th October, with myself and Michael taking the Event Box to London on the train through the rush hour. I think both of us have arms 2 inches longer now. It would be really great if the event box had wheels!

I think it was especially good for GNOME this year, as we had a mini “wall of love”, which people were able to stick up their likes and dislikes about the project. It was almost like an off-line bugzilla at some times… maybe that’s an idea for next time!

Wall of Love

We also gave out plenty of Guadec leaflets, and collected details for people who were interested and wanted to be kept informed. I also managed to talk to a few people on other stands about various Guadec things they might like to get involved in. Many thanks to Andreas Nilsson for his work on the flyers, which looked very nice professionally printed.

Guadec Flyers

I had also quickly done some mini app posters, briefly detailing some information about key applications in the GNOME desktop. These were very useful for pointing out some examples of software GNOME provides, as well as great for people to look at! I hope we can definitely make some more of these. We also had a supply of Ubuntu CDs magically appear on the stand, that we gave to people who wanted to try GNOME out.

I also got to speak to many people who were using gnome in various ways. LinuxWorld is very definitely the place to target SMEs and individual contractors. By the end of the expo I nearly had the sales script down to a tee. I’ll write it up at some point.

I was invited to the LinuxAwards because GNOME had been nominated in the reader awards for best project. Unfortunately we didn’t win, but Michael Meeks (very deservedly) won the Individual Contribution award 2006. I was a bit skeptical about the event when I first knew about it, but it was an interesting evening overall. Chatted with Michael Meeks and Jono Bacon about various things, including how things get done (or not as the case may be) in the Free Software sphere. Michael mentioned the amount of bureaucracy in GNOME was becoming a problem. He mentioned getting a cvs account for a colleague as an example. He told me that when the GNOME project started, it was much easier to get things (such as getting cvs accounts) done. I agree to him to a certain extent, but I think a some amount of bureaucracy is inevitable when a project gets as large as GNOME is. We just need to make sure all the gears are well oiled!

Many thanks to the everyone who came and helped out on the stand this year:

  • Michael Wood
  • Ross Golder
  • Simon Elliott
  • Karl Lattimer
  • Aiden Delaney

Karl, Michael and Ross
Day 1: Karl, Michael and Ross (if you can spot who’s who)

Simon and GNOME
Day 2: Simon and GNOME

Lastly, thanks to my collegues at OpenedHand who came along and who I press ganged into helping pack up the stand, and Pippa who helped me get the event box back home.

Ross and Emmanuele
Emmanuele Bassi and Ross Burton enjoy the stand before I tell them they have to help pack it up

As Michael said in his own excellent write up, bring on GUADEC 2007!