For some reason I felt very productive yesterday and managed to do lots of stuff, like fix some API docs, do some gstreamer testing, work on a little theme project, do a libcroco testbuild, add a to libcroco, write most of todays GNOME summary etc.

Been having some trouble getting Lush ready for a relase due to a bad cut’n paste bug in Sodipodi. Hopefully some friendly prodding of Lauris on my part will get that issue resolved, hopefully he also fix the way sodipodi cut’n paste in general to allow for pasting into Abiword and Gnumeric etc.

A lot of my time yesterday where spent on trying to understand the Metacity theme format. It took me some hours, but I think I finally figured it out, and increased my understanding of XML at the same time. Havoc do offer a file describing the theme format, but of course looking at other themes is the primary source of documentation. And here XML shows what in my opinion what amounts to both a weakness and strength for this kind of use. You see I had big trouble comparing two theme definition files yesterday, and this is partly due to me not having been exposed to enough XML yet, because although they did the same thing and both where valid XML the syntax of a XML file can vary a lot within the boundaries of valid XML. So of course people who have learned XML in different settings/contexts will write the XML theme files in quite different ways, making taking something done in one file and just pasting it into the other not so easy since the files will look and be organized very differently. So while XML do provide flexibility and easy programatic access to the configuration data, its extreme flexibility do give graphics artists and other non-coders a hard time trying to follow what happens since so many themes do it differently.

The GStreamer team finally got moving on 0.6.1 yesterday. Ronald, Benjamin and Wim seems to be both fixing bugs and merging patches full speed now, so hopefully a great 0.6.1 will be out soon. I hope Thomas manages to find some time to help out too, since there are lots of build related bugs in bugzilla it would be nice to get fixed before 0.6.1

The strange effect beautiful women have on me. This morning I was sleepy as hell going to work, got there, discovered I was to work with a beautiful woman, was fully awake, full of fun little stories, listening attentivly at her little stories etc., then at miday back to the main office, tired as hell again :)

I added some more GNOME api docs to yesterday, but it seems the RH people have some autobuild stuff overwriting the index.html file so I need to redo that part today (but this time figure out how the autobuild stuff creates that page first :)

Working on switching bank for my house loan. The bank I used to use was a small, cheap and efficient online only bank, that has been merged to death (after three mergers is it now big, expensive and inefficient). Discovered today that by switching I will probably cut the interest rate on my loan by around 0.5%, which is not an insignificant amount of money per year, in fact in will probably save me around 150 Euro a month.

Which reminds me that I would like to keep on owning the place I live when I get down to Australia, the prices where approx the same, but I guess it might be harder for me to get a loan down there since I am an ‘unknown’ to their credit rating systems etc.

Released a new version of Spheres and Crystal SVG metatheme for GNOME 2.2 last night. Many nice small fixes in this release. I am considering moving it into the gnome-themes-extra module, so it is located together with Nuvola and Gorilla SVG themes. But I think I wait until the full Crystal set is released so I can get that in.

Got admin rights on the BlueSphere website so I need to update that website with new info and get a proper build system going for the icons soon.

Talker to cinamod last night. Dom is fantastic as usual and offered to look into fixing another rendering issue I had come accross. A nice side-effect of the work Dom and Lauris have been doing, as I point out issues I discover, is syncronising the featureset of Sodipodi and librsvg so that they both support the same stuff. I mean neither of them support the full SVG specification, but as long as they both support the same subset then at least people can feel confident that the icons that are made in Sodipodi displays perfectly under librsvg. Or that icons that are displayed with librsvg can be edited with Sodipodi.

As Sodipodi is getting quite featurefull and powerfull now I think more and more graphics artists will use it to make SVG artwork for GNOME so the compatability of these two systems is rather important.

Was asked yesterday if I knew of a good free font editor to which I had to say no. I know that raph started on such a beast a long time ago, but I think the code never really got to a usefull stage, and I would think the code is severely bitrotten at this point in time.

Things have been kinda slow on the GStreamer front the last two weeks. Wim have been busy working on Gnonlin, his GStreamer based non-linear video editor, and thomasvs have been busy with work stuff. The others have commited small fixes and additions here and there, but I feel we really need to get a new release out now to get the latest set of fixes out. I also want to change the setup of our plugins SPEC file so that is creates RPMS that they integrate better with the standard RPMS Red Hat will be shipping in Red Hat 9.

Been some discussion here in Norway if the attack on Iraq
is within the framework of international law or not, since there was no new UN resolution specifically approving the use of millitary force. Whenever I hear that I wonder what these people think the words ‘serious consequences’, that where used in the last resolution approved if Iraq did not comply, meant. For some reason I doubt they are actually so naive that they thought it meant sending in an old granny to tell Saddam he was being a bad boy and refuse him dinner……..

Ok, so I finally sent of the papers to the Australian government. If my understanding of the situation is correct I will very probably have my permanent Australian visa in hand in approximatly 2-3 months. Now gman just need to get moving on his moving plans :)

Been reading the second book in the Runelords series (by David Farland) for the last two days. I am really starting to take a liking to his series. He is one of the few fantasy writers who is not afraid to make his foes and heroes more greyish instead of pure black and white. He has not worries about maiming his heroes either, like the poor fellow who got his walnuts ripped off :)

Seems I be doing some talks in the not to distant future about GStreamer here in Norway, and maybe a SVG theme talk in Dublin. On a related note I been holding of a new release of my SVG metatheme waiting for a few new icons and other stuff, but I think I will manage to make a new sparkling release this weekend. I also got a new SVG theme called Nuvola from David Vignoni, looks very nice. Just need to alter it a bit to fit GNOME better, Sodipodi had a issue with the icons in this theme, but Lauris fixed it right away. Think I never understand how Lauris ticks, but he is a cool guy :)

Keith is forking X, I think GNOME should put its weight behind him, to much NIH and overconvervatism in XFree today.

Spent the first part of this morning getting my 1100 AUD check to get the final part of the Australian work permit process going. Not cheap trying to move to Australia :)

Also mailed a little back and forth with some developers. Got a reply that was in a vein I get from time to time, where developers say something along the lines that they are really happy that I got in touch or did this or that to help out because they feeling that they didn’t get enough attention/help from the core GNOME developers.
There are two issues about this, the first is that I feel a bit pressured when my attention/help or lack of such is to be considered the equivalent of ‘getting acknowledgement/attention’ or not from the core GNOME team. The second that people actually expect such a thing to exist. I mean the core GNOME developers (what the heck consitutes a core GNOME developer is another good question, but I leave that for another time) all have long todo lists and are just participating as private individuals like everyone else. So there is no people who can say ‘group/person x and y is doing some good stuff, lets set a team member to help them out and let them know we see and appreciate their effort’.

I mean such a thing would be nice in theory, I like everyone else love getting recognition and help in what I do, but in practice such a thing can not really exist. I mean yes, there are times when people ‘inside’ (another term that don’t really make sense, in my opinion you are ‘inside’ the moment you decide to be) GNOME decide to champion an application or library for inclusion in GNOME, distro XY or whatever, but this is always something that person do as a person, not as a ‘member of the core GNOME team’

Free software is about people doing something as private individuals, sometimes as part of their job, but more often not. But this image of a core team of developers/contributors who scans through the internet for new projects to give their blessing to is simply not in line with reality. In fact the frustration from people ‘outside’ that they are not contacted by the ‘people ‘inside’ is often mirrored by the people ‘inside’ being frustrated by the people ‘outside’ not contacting them.

The limiting factor is time and my personal opinion is that the more involved you are (which tend to corespond to wether you are a ‘core’ hacker or not) the less time you tend to have to reach out to ‘new’ people unless these new people activly contact you themselves.

I guess the essence of what I am saying is that free software is a system without bosses in the traditional sense, what happens is what each one of us make happen by ourselves taking the initiative to get things done and not expecting anyone to pre-approve our actions or tasks. Yes, sometimes this leads to stuff being developed/worked on and not being used, but usually not and by having some basic sense and willingnes to accept feedback anyone should be able to avoid investing a lot of time into something that will not be used. And no one will ever get help from GNOME for their project, they will only get help from some individuals who work on GNOME, which (and this is important) might be people who only contribute to your particular project. All people working on a project that use GTK+ and GNOME technologies are ‘GNOME’ hackers, that is the definition of a GNOME hacker, not some intangible mark of being ‘a core GNOME hacker’

Ok, enough ranting from me today, not even sure what I was trying to convey to who by this ;)

I was trying to figure out how to get the Xerox Docucenter printer at work going under Linux when I discovered that Xerox
ships a tool called xpadmin for Linux and Unix. With this tool I got a easy to use GUI that took care of creating printer queues very easily for me. Although the apps was not open source, but a precompiled Motif binary I had no problems of getting it going on my machine running Phoebe-3.

Having such a positive experience I tried getting Hewlett Packard webjetdirect for Linux to see if it would be as easily runable. Unfortunatly this tool was done using C++ which of course meant that it is unusable on any system other than the one it is compiled on. I think that making closed source software for Linux using C++ is as stupid as it can get considering that C++ binaries break compatibility for each new compiler/compiler version released, it is like planning for your application to be unusable for most of your users.

Been hopeing that we would be able to make a new GStreamer release this week, making such a release without thomasvs would be rather hard at this point. Unfortunatly he has been a little unavailable lately, which I think is related to getting a new girlfriend not long ago. New girlfriends truly are the bane of free software ;)

Been feel energetic and tired at the same time this week, not sure how that is possible. Guess it is a combination of a long todo list, feeling caught between what I want to do and what I actually can do and keeping a good balance between the different components that make up my life.

Anyway, on to free software, I managed to put togheter a first draft of a new GNOME Summary today so hopefully I be able to put it out tommorow. I also worked a bit on the spheres-and-crystals theme and got some nice little fixes in.
Also working slowly on two other theme sets.

Helped Leif out by doing a gst-editor testbuild which should enable us to do a new release now. Also did more testing on the Monkeys Audio support which is now doing very well.

So on my todo list for this week is tons of work tasks, some .au work permit tasks (and expenses) and a host of other little fixlets in the GNOME world.

Been a bit caught up the last week between a busy workschedule after returning from vacation and trying to catch up on sleep lost during the Oslo summit. Especially jorn ‘Casanova’ Baayen had a tendency to need transport at ungodly hours ;)

Talked loosly to cinamod the other day about what I should do next with the Spheres and Crystals SVG theme. Dom is contemplating moving librsvg to use libcroco for CSS2 parsing if possible. Anyway the CSS2 support in librsvg should already be good enough for a simple stylesheet to allow for changing the colour of the theme, so I will try this out next. Latest gedit and nautilus releases also fix the biggest themeing bug in GNOME 2 which makes my theme look so much smoother.

I also hope that we can get moving on doing a GStreamer 0.6.1 release this weekend. There are tons of nice fixes that it would be nice to have out in the stable series. Jeremy Apoc also commited his Monkey’s Audio decoder and encoder plugins to GStreamer head the other day. They are still a little raw, but hopefully the buglets gets cleaned out soon.