I'm about to return to Canada after being away for a couple of weeks. I went to Pisa, where the slowly-falling-tower lives, and on the way Al Italia lost my bag. It arrived a day or so later. We had XML Query and XSL Working Group meetings in Pisa, and then I flew to Glasgow, where British Airways lost my bag. I've been at the Text Layout Summit, which was interesting and I think useful. It was co-hosted by aKademy, the KDE conference, although I didn't get to any of the aKademy sessions unfortunately. Tomorrow morning I go home, but my bag still isnt' here. Maybe I can fly naked. Calling the British Airways lost luggage number has been a very expensive and unpleasant affair: I think I've spent over an hour on hold, and I'm using a Canadian mobile phone with both trans-atlantic and roaming fees, yay. I kept hoping the bag would arrive soon and didn't go and rent another phone. Sigh.
HarfBuzz is interesting, and it appears that it will be used by both Qt/KDE and Gtk+/Gnome as the text shaper. So applications in the open source/Free world will start to have access to more advanced AAT and OpenType features, and internationalization will take a big step forward.
I'm also still working away at my scans from antiquarian books, and at least partly as a result, the GIMP image editor is now significantly faster: I routinely work with images that are hundreds of megabytes in size, say, 10,000 pixels on a side. The GIMP developers are very receptive to (sufficiently specific) comments about performance. And today someone offered to help with lq-text, the Unix text retrieval package that I first released in 1989. So that's pretty cool. Oh, and at LGM2 in Montreal someone offered to donate some scans of some old Russian books of alphabets, but unfortunately I lost the person's address (an SK1 developer from the Ukraine) so if you're reading this, sorry, please email me, e.g. liam at holoweb DOT net!)