Older blog entries for RossBurton (starting at number 13)


"I left gnome-games to RossBurton now..." -- hadess

Well, it's official then. I am the new maintainer for gnome-games. It's all very exciting, getting cvs commit access to gnome.org and committing my first (2-line) bug fix for gnome-games 2.0.1.

Speaking of which, I just found out that GNOME 2.0 RC2 has just been announced. Getting close... can't wait until Ximian release packages so we can roll it out across the office. I just can't stand using GNOME 1 any more...


Recently I finished The Two Towers, and cannot wait for the film to be released this Christmas. Last week I started reading Neuromancer, a book I read every few years forgetting how good it is...

6 Jun 2002 (updated 7 Jun 2002 at 09:30 UTC) »


So hadess looked at the gnome-games patches I sent him over the weekend. Damn, they sucked. A simple task I set out to do and I totally forgot to fix several cases of the problem. He finished the fixes and committed, but I still have some uncommitted changes on my checkout. So now I am going to run through my other changes and make sure that I can play at least one round in every game, dammit. I can make a good patch.


I just installed the Ximian Evolution development snapshots... and damn are they nice. Many lovely 1.2 features and lots of new bugs. Something about me likes a mail client which crashes now and again... I must be mad.

Bank Holiday

Now, I'm not what you would normally describe as a Monarchist (the whole 'as chosen by God' thing, where God changes over time -- see Henry 8th -- pisses me off a bit), but a 4-day weekend is really great fun.

I feel much less stressed now -- I think I can even stand upright against a wall again without aching, which is always a good sign.


...is frozen for 2.0.0! Yay! Another yay is for the panel padding, which got removed at the last minute, thank goodness. I just hope that gnome-terminal will be able to copy+paste multiple lines by 2.0.0, as its currently broken for me with libzvt 0.117.0. :(

Recently I've been using more software from GNOME2 on my desktop at home, which has an interesting setup. As a result software which makes assumptions like 'libgnomeui prefix == my install prefix' breaks. As a result I fixed these bugs in eog and gnome-games. At the same time my anal-ness resulting in me filing patches calling gtk_window_set_transient_for() more so that dialogs don't appear in the top-left corner of the screen under Metacity, but centered on the parent window where they belong.


Dear God... my GNOME2 setup is now a cocktail of Debian Sid packages, Debian Experimental packages, garnome, and jhbuild. This is getting silly but it is much faster — as I don't have to build the core libraries myself but simply use the Debian packages. Details of this procedure are on my web space. (well, will be when I put it there)

GNOME2 is really looking polished now — Gman, Calum et al are really working hard in #ui-review cleaning up the interface.


My DebianUpdate script is complete UI-wise but is missing one function — the ability to analyse the apt repository and decide what updates are required... Has anyone out there used Python with the apt libraries?

Web Space

I finally managed to get one of my ISPs to turn on my web space, so http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/burtonini/ is finally live. Highlights include PyGTK and gtkmm files for Garnome, and a Debian on the IBM ThinkPad X22 installation guide.


My small tool to assist in Debian upgrades is ready for a 0.1 release. Basically it lists the packages for which there are upgrades (it currently processes an apt-get dist-upgrade command) and lets the user select which upgrades he wants to apply. It will then generate a script to download/install the selected upgrade (either directly with apt-get, or a script using ncftpget.

I find this very usefull as I can generate scripts at home (dialup connection) to download package upgrades I want (ignoreing ones I don't) which I can take to work and run there (256K leased line). Hopefully I can get this online over the weekend.


I've checked out Garnome from CVS now so I can generate patches adding GTKMM and Gnome-Python support. These patches are trivial but they will help spread the word as it were, and help get stuff ported. Expect them online over the weekend aswell.

GTK+ in Python

Python and GTK+ so rock. I've been working on an adapter class which makes a GtkTreeModel look like a Python list. There are some major limitations (its not a tree, just a list) but it's very handy being able to treat a GtkTreeModel as a list:

for item in model:
  # Here item is the object which represents
  # the row in the model. How cool is this!

I'm using a descriptor object which tells the GtkListModel class how to map between rows/columns in the tree and attributes on an arbitary object. Very groovy.

As with everything else, I'm going to finish this off soon and push it online somewhere. Damn I need some good webspace.

Flamage in gtkmm-list

There has been some heavy bitching in gtkmm-list for the last few days. Nothing as bad as the "viewports/workspaces" threads in desktop-devel which have been very annoying, but it was amusing watching the definition of "a C++ progammer" used as flameage.

25 Apr 2002 (updated 3 May 2002 at 13:43 UTC) »


Oh My God. Last night I left the office at 17:15 which normally means I walk into my house at 19:00... except last night it was 20:45! :( There was a fire at Cambridge Heath (barrels of oil or something burning in the arches) which meant all trains were diverted. The trains were packed and slow so I got a bus to Stansted Airport which was supposed to be fast... of course I found myself sitting in traffic, crawling our way out of London. That sucked.

Of course, the trains are still screwed today so at least I get a Work At Home day out of it! Luckily today is Makefile Hacking Day so I can do this at home...


Just finished the Armogeddon series of books by Robert Rankin. Excellent stuff! Weird and wacky with lots of sex, violence and gratuitous running gags. Now what to read next...

I still have Heliconia by Brian Aldis sitting on the shelf — but I couldn't get into that last time. I dunno.


Still waiting for beta 4...

My Programming Python book finally arrived — all 1250 pages of it. Now at last I can learn Python without having to read other peoples code and the language reference.

Thinking about re-writing Jeroen's Bugzilla-Buddy in Python for two reasons:

  1. To learn heavy-duty GUI Python
  2. To try and make it work for me, as it crashes dramatically at the moment
Obviously it does work for Jereon so (2) should be sorted out, but (1) is still a good reason as far as I am concerned.

In Dire Need Of Webspace

I have a domain name of my own, and web space on many British ISPs. However, these ISPs are either terrible, slow, or put advertising on the sites. Anyone willing to host my domain (it will only be a small site -- a diary and some small programs I've written) or know of a free/cheap hosting service? Thanks!


Python is now my new favourite language, I'm about to order the O'Reilly book to complete my knowledge. I love the loose OO it allows, and the relaxed code it lets me write. It will never replace Perl for my string manipulation (c'mon, =~ rocks), but as a language for writing quick GUI applications (import gtk) it is fantastic.

To top all of that, jamesh has written a Bugzilla module for Python... finally I have the tools to write the Bugzilla backend into Evolution I have always wanted (it been on my personal To Do One Day list since I first saw Evolution, back in the days of Evo 0.6). All I have to do now is get bonobo-python running without passing null pointers everywhere. Damn and blast.


Decipher turned out to be an interesting novel — lots of what-could-happen-if situations applied to quantum gravity (ha), particle theory, the history of humanity etc etc. The bibliography is long (~6 pages I think) so the man had done some research at least. Just don't read it if you are doing that sort of thing for a living...

So my next book is an oldie which has been sitting on my shelf for a long time: Armageddon 2: The B-Movie by Robert Rankin. Its the usual stuff — people from the future who are married to Jesus' twin sister; Elvis from the past with a talking time sprout called Barry in his head; etc etc.


Some time this week Vicky and myself are off to see K-Pax — is this a thumbs up or thumbs down I wonder? I've seen very mixed reviews, but personally I like Kevin Space (American Beauty was brilliant) so I think I'll like it.

What else have I watched recently? Evolution was a laugh, The Commitments was brilliant, and Ghostbusters is still sitting on the shelf in its shrink-wrap, waiting to be played.


Well, haven't I been good. I've applied the GTK+ 2.0.2 patch onto Garnome so that it builds sane GTK+ libraries, and have added gnome-python and gnomemm. jdub already has the GTK+ patch and I'll mail him the Python patches in a few days — i.e. when I know they work. Speaking of which...


...I've started looking at Python again. Many thanks to jdahlin and MCArkan for putting up with me in #pygtk.

Python has its oddities (only one constructor per object), but it also has its nice sides (supplied documentation web server). On the whole I'm not sure about it yet — I'm learning by writing a small GTK+ application. Once I've read the language tutorials and written more than 20 lines I'll be able to comment.


Today I finished the Rediscovery of Man and started on Decipher which Allen dropped on my desk Saturday.

4 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!