marnanel: (Default)
I thought I would walk to the Collabora party from the conference. It was four miles, a pleasant walk. On the way I had to stop to write a sonnet.

If anything should happen to The Hague,
if someday they abandon Amsterdam,
philosophers will take these strange and vague
descriptions, and derive each tree and tram
by mathematical necessity:
should nations shake their fists across the seas
with words of war, it follows there must be
a middle ground, a people loving peace.
And is this scrap alone a netherland?
Not so: we spend our nights beneath the sky,
and every country's low for us, who stand
a thousand miles below the lights on high;
if only I could learn to live as such,
and count myself as kindly as the Dutch.

I passed the Palace of Justice on the way, which is very beautiful. Collabora's party was as impressive as always, with barbecues and beer. This morning I managed to pull myself out of the resulting hangover enough to give part of a talk on xzibit. (It was really Guillaume's talk, but he was kind enough to give me a timeslice.) The talk went well except that the demo failed, due to my having tried to fix something and breaking it further. There will presumably be video of it all at some point.

Many thanks to Collabora for organising the party, but still more for sending me here (and to Cambridge).

I have written a nautilus plugin to post photos online. I might tidy it up a little and package it.

The MeeGo book is fast approaching publication. It feels like levelling up.
marnanel: (Default)
There is an image hosting site called which allows you to upload with zero configuration. You just upload a file and that's all there is to it. There are daily limits per IP address, but they're fairly high.

I thought it would be useful to add this capability to nautilus, so I wrote something very quick and dirty to do so. I don't claim it's polished work: I wrote it in a couple of hours. Patches are nevertheless welcome. I'm also considering turning it into a libsharing plugin for the N900.

At present it doesn't allow you to delete the images you upload. I know how I want to do this, and you can probably tell from reading the code, but I left it out of this version for simplicity.

I think if this was polished up a bit it would be useful enough to package. What do you think?
marnanel: (Default)
There is a tool I look after called ProjectJournal which is used to publish the Metacity Journal posts.  I am considering releasing it, because some people have expressed an interest.

One of the things it does is list all the people who have contributed translations to a project recently.  At the moment, it looks like this (apologies for the old example, but it was the first I found):
  • On branches/gnome-2-22: en_GB by pwithnall, es by jorgegonz
  • On trunk: es by jorgegonz
Things I should perhaps fix about this include
  • writing the translator's full name rather than their username
  • maybe making the translator's name a link to their home page if I had it
  • writing the full name of the language rather than the ISO 639 code
  • alternatively, displaying an icon next to the language-- but it's not obvious what icons to use.  Some people use flags to represent languages, but of course this is rather broken because there's no 1-1 mapping between flags and languages.  Wikipedia uses icons which incorporate the ISO 639 code, which makes it seem hardly worthwhile using icons at all.  I feel this is a bit of a minefield and probably one we should stay out of.
What do you think?
marnanel: (Default)
marnanel: (Default)
A few things which have happened recently:
marnanel: (Default)
Many of you will not find this interesting, and that's okay.

A few weeks ago, Davyd made the suggestion that window borders should be entirely stylable using CSS. I thought this was a wonderful idea and wrote some code around it.

Then it occurred to me that the people who would most enjoy playing with CSS theming are not necessarily the same people who are willing to compile a test program and a bunch of libraries. So I made a wiki. On this wiki, you enter some CSS into a page, and the system turns it into window borders and shows it on the finished page.

That was the easy part. However, I now have to port all the major themes to CSS in order to demonstrate the system before I make it public. So far I have about six of fourteen ported. Also, in so doing I'm uncovering lots of bugs in my initial implementation. So it might be a week or so before it goes public.

However, if any of you enjoy writing CSS and think styling window borders is interesting, I'd be interested to have your help. Let me know.
marnanel: (Default)
Rio and I spent a good while today playing with Alice.  We made a table with a button which, if pressed, would cause a yellow chicken to fly over and spin around.  For her bedtime story I read her the first chapter of The Phoenix and the Carpet.

I should reiterate that, as I said at the time, I myself don't think using WebKit in the window manager sounds like a good idea.  Since someone had raised the idea, I thought it was worth discussing, and now it certainly has been discussed.

I was trying to typeset some of my work the other day (for some reason), and I noticed how odd it looks to set sonnets in a sans-serif font...
Remember all the old familiar faces?
Helvetica's the nicest of the lot.
Gill Sans and Johnston take the second places;
It seems as though the serif has been shot.
Verdana has its own intrinsic glories;
The fairest text that ever left my desk
Was set in these-- for essays or for stories.
But using them for sonnets?  That's grotesque.
And gravestones are a special case as well:
A mortal lack of serif fonts would be
A certain kind of typographic hell
With Comic Sans for all eternity.
In death, the Roman lettering is best.
May flights of serifs sing thee to thy rest.
marnanel: (Default)
Background: what a window is (basic X stuff)
When you're in GDK you never see all this stuff, because it wraps it.  You see widgets instead.  But some widgets have multiple windows and some have no windows (GTK_NO_WINDOW) because they draw in their parent widget's window.

So, client side windows.  Only use X windows for toplevel.  Subwindows are emulated.

  • No flicker, because you never see a partially-drawn widget. (Demonstration.  Spontaneous applause.)
  • Smarter redrawing; less copying.
  • Easier to work across platforms (no X-specific stuff for X and so on).  Much simplified.  (more applause)
  • Bling: you can do rotation and stuff (more applause).
  • More bling: crazy clutter stuff that bounces around while you're working on it.  "This is clearly not like a useful user interface" :)
Clientside will be default, except for toplevels.  There is a call you can use to force a window to be native.
How does it work?  Lots of clever stuff about emulating events.  "Sounds easy but it's not".

Merged to git master already; X11 working fine; Win32 being written.
marnanel: (Default)
ebassi's talk on the state of Clutter:

0.8 was released at Guadec '08.  Then they were bought by Intel.  0.9 release came in July.

Got more complicated because people other than them are using Clutter now and they have to check bug reports etc.  1.0 is imminent.

What's changed in 1.0?
  • Performance
  • API consolidation
  • New animation stuff
  • API will be stable for two years (until 2.0)
  • Minimal amount of API.
  • Full documentation
marnanel: (Default)
I am sitting in the foyer of the auditorium hacking and waiting for the next talk, which is on GNOME Shell, something I have a particular interest in. Just to show you how close everything is to the sea here, this is the view from where I'm sitting.


Jul. 5th, 2009 07:13 am
marnanel: (Default)
First off, I want to thank Google for giving out water bottles.  This morning I forgot my lanyard with the name badge on it, and had to walk for forty minutes in the sun to the hotel and back.  Google, you made it much less unpleasant than it could have been.  Also, Nokia gave us towels and USB keys, and Intel are giving us coffee and ice-cream every day.

The flight to Las Palmas was delayed yesterday, and we missed some of the opening talks-- apparently RMS was singing.  But we arrived in time for the lightning talks; I heard one on refactoring, one on KDE's triage team (which sounds like a great idea), one on improving OCR in Linux, and some others.  Later I went back to the hotel and slept while other people were eating (my choice: I was quite horribly jetlagged) and then we all ended up on the roof talking about tech stuff until about midnight, when we dispersed.

There was a sign up saying "Don't try to upgrade your system: there are 700 of us here."  The network has been getting a little overloaded.  I'm now sitting in a talk about Bluetooth.  People keep trying to pair with the speaker's devices.

I will take some pictures and post them.  I haven't seen any actual canaries here, but perhaps I haven't been looking hard enough.
marnanel: (Default)
Life: It's been a busy few days, and I should have been blogging every evening in order to keep up.  (But I didn't, because I was busy.)  I've been packing and getting ready for GCDS and trying to finish off some things before I leave.  I did find time to go swimming with Rio one evening, and yesterday we all went to the fair.  I won a fluffy penguin playing darts.  (I was playing darts, not the penguin.)  Thanks to Alex for the photo on the right.

The future of Metacity: It is fairly clear that Metacity will be replaced by its fork Mutter in the near future: Mutter is effectively Metacity 3.  Although I have some loose ends to tie up in Metacity, it doesn't seem worth continuing hacking on Metacity 2 when the life is in the other fork.  In addition, there are over five hundred bugs open against Metacity, more than I (as the only active maintainer) can humanly deal with.  Mutter has far more contributors and the bugs will be far more easily dealt with.

CADT: However, this raises a problem.  I can't just close the bugs because there's a new version: that would be repeating the GNOME 2.0 mistake which jwz called "cascade of attention-deficit teenagers".  Therefore I will have to go through several hundred bugs and decide whether they are reproducible with Mutter, and if so reassign them.  This will be a long and dreary job, and if anyone wants to help out I'd be happy to assign them a block.

Nargery: There is also a discussion about whether windows should be able to indicate to compositing managers that they are still working on drawing a window, to save the compositor diving in and drawing the existing pixmap, which may be uninitialised garbage.  Some people question whether compositor-specific hints belong in the EWMH at all, or whether they belong in some separate spec.

Meme: Someone is asking "What was your first word?" Mine was "gone." My grandfather used to play a game with me when I was a baby. He would take an object, like a building block, and then hide it and say "Gone".


a few days

May. 12th, 2009 11:42 pm
marnanel: (Default)
On Saturday we went to help a friend of ours move house; then we went and ate at a diner called Tom Jones, which was rather good really. On Sunday we went and played D&D again at Bae's house; my elven cleric used up several saving throws against dying in battle. And today I made dinner: it was spaghetti.

The Mutter maintainers have decided that Mutter will henceforth be a proper fork of Metacity and that the projects will go their own ways. This means, of course, that Metacity will not ship as standard in GNOME 3. I am wondering what should happen to Metacity now; I have a couple of branches to merge, and then I think I would really rather work on Mutter than carry on with a project that practically nobody will use. It would be good to work with a team of others again, too: I've been mostly alone on Metacity for a while now.

I have modified the Shavian wiki so that the metadata is held on article pages instead of talk pages. It looks like this. I have been discussing some ideas about this wiki with some people, and I am wondering whether it would be generally more useful if the data was held in IPA format and the Shavian text was produced using a transformation on that data, just as Unifon and so on are now. I am also wondering whether allowing anonymous editing would increase participation enough to be worth the risk of vandalism.


marnanel: (Default)

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