Went to the travel agent again today to adjust my travel plans. Since my cousin isn’t in Singapore I decided to instead go on a jungle trip in Borneo. So now I am signing up for a 13 day backpacking trip in the jungles in Bornea, with Orangutang sighting on the schedule :). My stay in Perth got a bit gutted form both sides by my changes, cutting the stay down from 10 to 5 days. Really starting to look forward to this trip :)

My appartment is sold now. I got 1 070 000 Norwegian kroners for it which is approximatly 133 000 Euros. A pretty good price consider I paid about half of that for it when I bought it.

Seeing the debates on osnews and Slashdot about wether Novell will be using Qt or not for their development is rather funny. Almost get the feeling its a life or death question for some of these people. Claims ranging from Red Hat having abandoned the desktop (guess all those people Havoc has been hiring for their desktop theme will have restfull days ahead then :). Sun switching to just using Java (with the side project of one person, Glow, being seen as the ultimate proof :) while the continued effort of the Sun desktop team, including they fantastic works of the documenters, and their search for a replacement for Mark (who was hired into the Red Hat desktop team) counts for no commitment of course. And although Nat did the Novell desktop talk at Brainshare his statements about Novell’s desktop plans are of course just figments of his imagination :)

Talking about desktop developments. There are some (still) behind the scenes development happening which has given me quite a bit of extra work trying to come up with a solution. It is a strange situation for me as I on one side feel that having the backing of a company allows us to actually offer a solution to the issue that at least is better than the alternative, yet on the other side the development flies in many ways in the face of what I ‘politically’ believe in. I feel like I am trying to make the loss smaller, yet I guess others can come to see my actions as selling out.

Hi, do you want a patent license to go with that? – Wonder how long it takes before I can say that with a sincere smile; Mom will be so proud of me.

It is incredible how much a horrible day at work suck you dry of energy. Todays assignment was one long hate session being sent out alone on an assignment which I had no business on being on in the first place, the customer contact who was supposed to be there to help me solve the problem (and who could have saved me hours just figuring out basics) was away at the doctors. The guy my company told me to call for assistance spoke so bad norwegian I almost gave up communicating with him. Then india called saying that the database where not upgraded as they wanted it upgraded so we had to restore a backup so they could upgrade the database themselves. Turned out that it was two steps at the end they where ‘missing’. Two steps they where told had not been run and which they could have run before they started. Two steps which they could run now, instead of demanding a rollback. People who say that India are virtually full of highly competent IT professionals are probably not competent enough to make the judgement. Not to say there are not good IT people in India, but the majority are only qualified to follow a step by step list (sadly that reminds me a lot of Norway). I am still smiling to myself thinking of that indian support guy I talked to a year ago who told me I couldn’t have found a bug as the system had been through our QA procedures. Anyway I am just to tired to fight and argue and told the customer to rollback from the backup tapes. I am leaving in two months anyway, I don’t care anymore. Most of the afternoon has been spent sleeping/watching television.

Dom just made a new release of librsvg. Lots of nice fixes from him and Caleb and the mozilla-plugin is much much nicer than in the 2.7.0 version. The rsvg-viewer even got a small appicon now :) Thanks to Tobias Jakobs for making the SVG we use for that.

Turned of spatial nautilus in gconf today. It simply do not work for me. The spatial setup is nice in theory, but for all practical reasons it just ends up giving you tons of extra windows I need to close (yes I now about shift+mouse click). While I do tend to use multiple windows for my file copying/management so is the browser navigation buttons much much more convenient to use than the solutions offerd in spatial nautilus. Personally I think that browser Nautilus will make its comeback as the default in GNOME 2.8.

Sent of my SVG article for publication today. Thanks to the people who proofread it for me, especially cinamod who fixed a lot of bad sentences etc.

As for the (l)ongoing language debate I think we need to allow for people to both use Java and C# (or any other language) that has a big enough community around it to ensure that bindings are kept up to date and follows the development of the rest of the desktop. Any other choice will cost those friends Havoc is worried about losing. And I don’t think GNOME’s by doing any kind of choice will be able to get Sun away from developing applications using their own JDK, or people at Novell from using their Mono stack. This might cause some disturbance in the force if they try to propose something for inclusion which depend on something not acceptible, but personally I think everyone is wise enough to realize that something which depend on something which is not GPL compatible will not be accepted into GNOME and due to that will not propose it in the first place.

As for using XPCOM or UNO, probably a nice idea, but we need some code not good wishes :)

miguel: I think Bastien has your ‘play this song’ api in totem already for Xine and GStreamer. He probably would accept a patch for a Helix backend if you want that. Another alternative to having to download your ‘160M’ of GStreamer is to have Ximian package each GStreamer plugin in its own RPM, that way you can download your mean, small and lean media framework with only what you want.

The problem with your idea is that as soon as you want to go beyond ‘play this song’ your solution would just give us a new media framework with plugins for the others, kinda like GStreamer today.

Public warning: Anyone who should happen to encounter cinamod also known as Dom in the next weeks; do not ask him about browser plugins and background colours. If you do you might not survive the encounter as I have exhausted that subject with Dom for the foreseeable future :)

Ok, so there is a windows port of GStreamer now, done by some of the core Matroska hackers. Some issues on how to merge the changes upstream as the port is done towards MSV which doesn’t like GStreamer’s heavy use of VarArgs. So debate is about redoing port with mingw or find some way to merge the MSV patches. Well I leave it to the devs to decide.

The Matroska team is also trying to make a cross-plattform transcoder on top of GStreamer using wxWindows. Will be interesting to see what comes from that camp.

Also started some light mailing regarding my little world tour today, trying to fix the most time consuming items first. Discovered my cousin was in Norway just the week I am in Singapore, so I probably will go a jungle trek on Borneo that week instead. She sais I could borrow their house in the center of Singapore though. Well see.

Tested cinamod news librsvg Mozilla plugin. It worked very well. It let me view the SVG conformance test online and it seems we have a few bugs here and there. Filled some bug reports so hopefully Dom and Caleb will get around to it. Poor Caleb have to rewrite most of his masks implementation though :(

Just read Havoc’s article on Java, C# and where to go.
First of all I don’t really buy the ‘we gotta move on this now or M$ will forever hold the desktop attitude’. Could be that my work as an Oracle consultant gives me a to narrow worldview and that the customers I talk to don’t represent the ‘whole picture’, but I am not convinced Havoc’s position as a developer relativly far removed from buying customers give him an excelent view into the realities of the marketplace either.

Personally I question how many ports we ‘need’ and of those we could be said to need how many will be dependent on GNOME using C# or Java as our main development languages. The amount of software for the GNU/Linux/FreeBSD desktop is increasing every day both with and more and more commercial developers are making their applications available for us and the ever growing presence of high quality free software. The commercial developers are making their applications available for Linux desktops because they see an emerging market, which is why Oracle is currently certifying all our desktop products (like the ERP/CRM E-Business suite that I work with) for Linux desktops.
True enough in our case the fact that all our desktop applications are Java/Swing based made the ‘ports’ very easy, which is partly why the ports proably are seen as viable already. But I do question wether the lack of something like java-gnome and/or is centrality in regards to the GNOME plattform would be the deciding factor if ever Oracle decided to make a linux native client of their software.

Personally I think the real issue we need to decide on is how we will deal with people wanting to use other programming languages other than C in their contributions to GNOME. Will we allow applications or utilities or core additions written in C#, Java, Python or whatever to become part of the official core GNOME desktop or not? If yes is it a yes to all, or a yes to one or two specificed languages? That is the only real issue I see, and while it do have some implications for what kind of technologies we probably will utilize in the future development of the desktop, it is not the all or nothing decision I feel Havoc is portraying. People are using Mono to make GNOME applications today and I am sure they will continue doing so even if Java is chosen as the official second language of GNOME or something. And the same goes the other way around.

So yes we should discuss what to do in regards to Java and C# and GNOME, but not in the context of ‘we have to decide now or doom awaits’