Thu, 30 Sep 2004

Totally forgot to mention that Krissa got a new job yesterday! Still with BU, and not in biology, but will be challenging and rewarding, sounds like. And sounds like her new boss is a very cool guy- apparently he was deeply involved with site selection for the Apollo landings. We celebrated by hitting chez henri. Yum. Mahi-mahi with coconut-black bean sauce. And ribs in a guava sauce. I’m still full.

Thu, 30 Sep 2004

Thanks to Paul, Marco, JP, and jrb for commenting on the mozilla stuff. I wrote code last night based on jrb’s suggested solution that would do what paul says garnome says, grossly copying things around post-install. But as you can see from the logs, I did something wrong, and it looks like jhbuild is tracebacking. This is what I get for not actually ‘learning python’ and just ‘making stuff up as I go along.’ Hopefully I’ll get it right this evening.

I attended a board meeting yesterday where we discussed board organization and motivation. It was the first formal involvement I’d had with GNOME in some months. I’m still not back on the mailing lists, but I think I’m headed in that direction. Just need to clear a few more things off my plate first.

In really awesome patent news, the Public Patent Foundation has gotten the MS FAT patent rejected. I’d love to hear more detail on this from other sources, of course, but at least at first glance it looks like positive, important news.

Amusingly this page is google’s top hit for ‘sethdot blog’. Appears sr. wingo has been reading gnome pages on company time ;)

Tue, 28 Sep 2004

As a followup to my last post, I finally found, downloaded, and ran the newest OOo builds, and I have to say I’m impressed- OOo now seems to launch nearly as fast as gnumeric does, and it actually seems to be doing some theme-matching magic by default. Icons still look like they were drawn in the 80s, and the theming and impress code still have some bad bugs, but that’s what you get for early beta. It is sad that I had to download the program to find it out, though- OOo should be screaming the performance gains from the mountaintops, and now, not waiting for the 2.0 release (still months away) to do that.

Tue, 28 Sep 2004

Long day at work, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

JB noticed that my employer now has a blog policy that is… not completely enlightened. Among other things, they want us to remove the link to my employer from my website. Frankly, if they want me to not express pride in my employment at my employer, that is management’s call, but it does seem a little weird :)

Grr. The CD drive failure(?) I mentioned yesterday is getting quite irritating, since I have no fewer than 10 new CDs from amazon sitting around and not a single working CD drive or player at home to play them on. Blah. I guess I’ll rip them at work.

Cool to see that there will be a new XMPP server; I’ve long wanted to set one up for DBR but always been put off by the configuration nightmare. Hopefully this one will be better.

(Last but not least today…) I’m intrigued to read that open office has a marketing strategy– it isn’t a bad idea or anything, but… it only tangentially addresses the serious problems Open Office has as a product. In my humble opinion, OOo should to take a page from the mozilla folks- take a release cycle (or more) and focus exclusively on improving performance and usability. No new features. Even remove features if necessary. This is what firefox has done over mozilla, and that’s done wonders for firefox, both in user uptake and hacker uptake. They’ve gone from dozens of paid hackers to something like ten, and despite that, because of the new focus, still increased market share and hacker interest. If open office focused on those problems for a year, licked the startup time problem, and made (say) preferences less grotesque, I think they’d see a radical improvement in uptake and involvement. Frankly, people are excited about switching from IE to firefox, as far as I can see- it offers something fairly light, quick, and new features virtually every user will use and like. No one except people who loathe Microsoft are excited to switch to open office, and they won’t be until the speed and usability issues with open office are addressed. Sadly, I see no evidence that OOo is focused on these problems- if OOo wants to be competitive and relevant, if it wants to excite people, those must be job #1 for the OOo team.

Mon, 27 Sep 2004

Mixed day today; made some progress on some things (and had a good talk with Nat) but in other places little progress was made. That kind of a day, I guess.

Didn’t get any time to hack on tinderbox-y bits today, or even think about it much. Did see neither yelp nor evo are picking up mozilla correctly, it looks like, but on the plus side, evo-webcal is building for the first time in the tinderbox. Baby steps. :)

The ‘new jeff’ on coupling is growing on me.

Looks like my CD drive has finally died, looks like. Anyone with tips on a DVD/CD-burner that is compatible with nautilus-cd-burner is invited to drop the recommendation my way :)

Mon, 27 Sep 2004

Turns out moz is only about 1/2 hour to check out and build, at least last night, so mozilla will stay in the build for right now. Unfortunately, evolution doesn’t build against a jhbuilt mozilla for some reason, still. Would be nice to figure out why, but on the other hand, evolution is the only part of gnome with reliable snaps right now, so jhbuilding it in tinderbox fashion to test buildability is a pretty low priority for me.

This is not an April Fool’s joke. Wow. All I need is 180,530.90 bucks at the current exchange rate.

Mon, 27 Sep 2004

Weekend was good; good to get away- gave me the energy to deal with mail and play with tinderbox until a very late hour once I got back. Surprisingly, despite only being in Miami for around 33 hours, it still felt like a very good, full weekend- not rushed at all.

I also accomplished some stuff on the plane- wrote a nice satisfying mix of uber-constructive and uber-flame-y emails, and I wrote version 0.1 of ‘why every project needs a bugmaster’, which I’ve placed temporarily here. I’d be sort of curious what others who’ve worked with me or other bugmasters think of it.

Was good to see two build fixes go in today, thanks, jrb and shaunm. And jamesh tipped me off to the use of ‘skip’ in the jhbuildrc, so I will probably be able to build with a ‘pristine’ moduleset shortly. Have to figure out how to build with a fairly recent mozilla without tripling the build time, though.

I may be missing context, but on getting off the plane, it was extremely disappointed to hear that anyone objected to using build-buddy to generate gnome snaps. It had me in a borderline frothy rage, in fact. I now know it was only one person, but… still. While I frequently mock nat’s obsession with ‘stop energy’, it sadly did not surprise me that someone would complain about someone else’s work on a technicality. We’ve got to get better about that. We can’t become a frozen, conservative project- the response to problems has to be ‘how do we fix the problem’, not ‘we can’t do it at all.’ ‘More rules’ is usually a bad answer to ‘how do we fix’, I might note. Mind you, I’ve been bad about both of these in the past, but I’m trying to learn. We’re going in that direction already, and if we keep doing it, it is going to be that, not Windows or KDE or Swing or whatever, that makes us irrelevant.