Entries from January 2005 ↓

Was very cool to see that Intel where demoing GStreamer at the CELinux Forum. World domination next step :)

Also noticed a Football manager game for GNOME on gnomefiles today. I guess Bastien will be very happy now that he can stop buying those expensive football manager games from Electronic Arts :)

Testing out wine again after a long time away. Project has come a long way since I last had encounters with it. Current setup was getting a RPM from the winehq homepage then downloading a winetool which did all the needed wine setup for me.

Tried installing some random pieces of software. Winzip and Opera installed like a charm. Winamp installed with some stuff disabled, but Wine seems having problem handling its GUI, but it basically works. Curently I am downloading the World of Warcraft demo using the Blizzard installer. Which works suprisingly well too. Still there where other pieces of software I tried, like the print server admin tool I need which did not install at all. Maybe 2005 will be the year of wine. Will be interesting to see if World of Warcraft runes under Wine, if it does it do not bode well for Transgaming and Cedega, as I would then donate some cash to Codeweavers instead of buying Cedega.

On the topic of non-free stuff, got a story submission to gnomedesktop about a UML tool for GNOME. Well it turned out to be a proprietary Java tool with Eclipse integration. screenshots here. The shots are of GNOME and Red Hat running the tool, but they are not using the GTK+ look and feel support in Java for instance. Anyway it started me wondering what a Java application would have to do before I would consider it a ‘GNOME’ application. Using java-gnome would be one answer, but even a Swing based application using the GTK+ look and feel could be considered a real GNOME application I guess if they have done some groundwork on getting it nicely integrated. Anyway I did not approve the post, left it for stro to probably delete.

Got a lot of requests for the background image used in the 3ddesktop shot in my last blog entry, to those who mailed me, I will send the image to you on Monday as I don’t have access to the SMTP server from home. (at least not without a lot of hassle).

So I installed 3ddesktop after seeing it in James Cape’s blog entry. Very cool and it was just installing 2 rpms and it was working. Almost something I would consider suggesting be used as our default way of doing it if I felt sure the hardware out there could handle it. The obligatory screenshot.

Tried MacOSX yesterday for a little while. Loved it how you got a little screenshot of your window in the mac bar when you minimized them, even a nifty animation following it. Guess the lesson is that high usability doesn’t have to be about being boring.

Also ran through the GStreamer testsuite today. We are making progress there as even the hard cases are now starting to play. Of course fixing some types of bugs help reveal other bugs, so I guess I opened quite a lot of bugs today, with issues such as audio and video sync for certain formats. Scaling when playing fli animations with repeat mode in Totem and so on. But almost all files now basically plays.

I also made some RPMS of Wim’s threadsafety patch to glib. Mattias is testing it for us now to see if it solves a Flumotion crasher bug we had. I guess if we discover no problems today or over the weekend the patch will get submitted upstream next week, than the flamewar can proceed, or hopefully not :)

ABI stability is both a blessing and a curse. When you are blocked from fixing something it feels like a curse. When you are on the receiving end of a supposedly stable ABI being blatantly broken you feel that ABI stability should be considered a blessing. The library frustrating me this time is libflac. The FLAC codec decoding library. And sadly enough this is not the first time they break their API in what is supposed to be bugfix releases. So current GStreamer CVS now demands FLAC 1.1.1 as our current test is broken with 1.1.0 (which is the one shipping with Fedora). Sucks Sucks Sucks.

On to something more postive. Wim tried out Meld today and loved it. Maintainers of out there who still hasn’t tried this wonderfull patch merging tool should get their acts together ASAP and do so.

After a lot of strugling I finally got mono working on my machine. A bit frustrating that none of the package repositories for Fedora have up-to-date Mono packages. So I had to make them all myself. But now I have and Muine is humming along on my machine. Muine surely is different, I am gonna use it for a while and see how it works out, but I think the GUI approach actually might have a lot going for it. Good work Jorn and the Muine crew!

Wim is hacking away today fixing glib, or rather making its refcounting threadsafe. Which is complicated by needing to keep ABI stabilitity. Patch is almost ready and hopefully it will get accepted upstream, at least after some more testing. Currently have atomic1.patch on my machine, waiting for what I guess will be called atomic2.patch :)

Signed a contract today which means my soul is now in foreign custody until 2012. But someone had to do it, and since I am our sales and marketing department I don’t really have a soul anyway.

Also wrote an NDA today, kinda nice to write a NDA for someone else to sign instead of always having to sign other people’s NDA’s. Guess it means we have arrived :)

Had a goodbye party for Lotte yesterday organized by Kristien. Most scary part was seeing how much high alcoholic beer Wingo drank, I would never even consider drinking that much. And I ever would drink so much I would at least keep much more steady and balanced.

Thanks to Hugh Skottowe I was able to resolve my OpenOffice document pain in a acceptable manner. Seems there a OpenOffice release note page describing how to manually migrate your docs from the old format to the new one. Have to say that the latest snapshots of OpenOffice looks much nicer than they used to, although I think the new OpenOffice stock icons are less nice than the one’s Tigert and Jimmac made. But I guess they want icons that fits better in on Windows in additon to GNU/Linux systems.

Only thing I really miss in these new OpenOffice versions is SVG import support. As a stopgap solution I guess they even make a import filter on top of librsvg, although the result would of course be a pixmap in OO, but still better than nothing.

Got the Robin Hood game recently so I played it a bit. It is a graphically nice game although there are a few ugly things popping up. One purely visual item is that the site names in the minimap is in Chinese. The second item is that I am suddenly getting segfaults while playing one of the modules. Not sure if it is something in that module causing it, or if something changed on my distro underneath it to break something. The segfault message is not very usefull, just saying something about SDL parachute being activated. Mailed Epic-Interactive today and got a quick response that a bugfix was coming this week. Nice :)

Wingo found himself a place yesterday so he will be moving out on Saturday, while its fun to have Wingo around, I guess the freed up bed space will be sorely needed soon anyway for the GStreamer summit. On the topic of Wingo, he is now hacking on a Jack plugin allowing you to use Jack as a drop in replacement for esound or artsd etc. While doing this is a bit of crack, it seems some people really want it, and it is according to Wingo a really simple plugin to make…and we are all about pleasing our users in the GStreamer community.

Bluetooth mousing. Got my bluetooth mouse working smoothly thanks to an online howto, some input from Edd Dumbill and finally with a little Red Hat help through their bugzilla. Still not sure why the mouse locks up with the –search parameter turned on for hidd though.

In regards to Fluendo I had a productive day today, sending of two initial proposals. Thomas pretends not to like it when I ask for help writing sales propositions, but I know that deep down he wants to gets transfered to Fluendo’s sales department.

One thing everyone knows is that you should never use development versions of software for production use. I know that and so does everyone else. But like everyone else I find it hard not to sin against it. So I have been using the development snapshots of openoffice for quite some while now but had a annoying bug with putting images inside a page header. So upgraded my snapshot and removed the old snapshot. Bad bad mistake. Now I am unable to open the docs I have been working on a lot during last week and have to extract the text from the xml files and redo the layout once again. What sucks the most is that I can’t really blame anyone but myself. I should have known that openoffice could be changing their file format or something during the development of the unstable format.

Ok, so we have a deinterlacer plugin for GStreamer, which is a good thing. Problem is that the code is taken from tvtime. Billy Biggs when making tvtime took a lot of code from a lot of different places, mostly GPL sources, but also some LGPL ones, and merged them into his deinterlace support under the GPL. Now this is an example of the strenght and power of free software, that you can legally take all this code from a lot of different sources and reuse it. The problematic part is now that we want to relicense that code to LGPL for GStreamer it is quite a job to trace all authors and ask their permission and then rewrite those parts where the author says no or author is unreachable. Luckily all asked have so far said yes, but it will probably be still some time before this plugin can be declared LGPL clean and merged.

Similar problem with our DVB plugin which is also blocking on a relicensing problem. Luckily Mitch, known for his work at Convergence and now Imendio is helping me with getting those small pieces of code relicensed.

I also put the licensing advisory online on the GStreamer webpage. Hopefully all this licensing work will pay of in the end in the sense that they will spur GStreamer onwards towards even greater acceptance and use.

So I joined the masses who own an iAudio M3 portable music player. Like other people have comented on before it is a nice piece of hardware. One thing I had hoped for when buying it though was that since so many people in the community had bought it someone would hack on some nice integration tools and fix the last small issues (like the non-critical Do not disconnect message not disapearing when you unmount the device. I guess it works well enough with HAL already for people to not bother or something :) But some nice automated syncing of songs and playlists with Muine, AmaroK and Rhythmbox would be nice.

Also went with Kristien to Ikea yesterday to purchase some new furniture and utilities for my appartment. Very happy with how the living room table ended up as it really completes the room. Had a small ‘dinner party’ with Wingo and Wim, eating a self composed dish and drinking one bottle of relativly expensive red wine and one both of extremely cheap red wine. The expensive one did taste much better in this case.

Hopefully I manage to put together the rest of the furniture today.

Doing some testing on Flumotion today in prepartion for a new release. The error handling works well now with dialogs telling me if my device permissions are wrong or telling me I am missing a needed GStreamer plugin. Thomas has done some outstanding work on it.