Older blog entries for Telsa (starting at number 8)

I dunno why I bother. Twenty-five new accounts and eleven have "No personal information available". Several more have links to company pages or Lynx-unfriendly sites. Will people please stop doing this? Pretty please? bagder's stats page shows a rise from observers being 57% of the total to 66% now...

Oh, I know why I bother. Just found the synaesthesia author in the list. (One of those programs you just find, and think "oooh. Pretty!")

Someone was complaining about #gnome ignoring auto* questions and the lack of auto* docs. They too have a link to their home page and I can't find an email address, so in case they didn't know: the ORA-published auto* book is also online. Hope it helps. I tend not to answer questions I don't know answers to on #gnome. Sorry. :)

Justification for current journeyer status: um. I dunno. Broke some more GNOME. Answered some more questions. That's about it.

There's twenty-five new accounts mentioned on the front page. Of those:

  • nine have no personal information filled in at all.
  • two have websites which are unreachable
  • four have websites which have no information about software or which are unreadable in lynx
  • one has a link to a project website and I can't find his name mentioned anywhere in it
That's more than 60% of the people. Of the remaining, found about four I could reasonably certify, since I was able to find free software or docs or something on their pages. I am not qualified to judge 'em, so sorry if the certifications appear low to you.

Now back to beta destruction.

Um, RyanMuldoon, I can't email you as you suggest because I see no email link on your page or from your company webpage.. :) But stuff about clipboards and X for Gnome off the top of my head:

That's the best I can do, and not being a coder means I am not even sure whether that's the kind of thing you want: but "How do I use selection in GNOME?" comes up a lot on IRC and more or better examples or doc pointers would be very welcome.

Damn. I really must update the Gnome FAQ stuff. I took a list of it to Austria with me, and got sidetracked bug-dinking (categorising and speculating and stuff).

Tried to certify a few more people, along the same lines as last time. Yet again, a good half of the Observers have no personal information and no link to look for such information. I can't certify people who put nothing. It would be silly.

1 Nov 2000 (updated 1 Nov 2000 at 18:50 UTC) »

Let's see. What have I done in the free software world to justify that scarily long list of certifications recently? Um.

  • More GNOME Users' FAQ stuff. Needs more work. Much more. I have a bunch of additions on my machine, but jade is being a pest about some of it, and I have this thing about commiting DocBook which will pass jade first time.
  • Alan and Malcolm did loads of work on gnorpm, whose bug reports were getting a bit out of hand. I went though and closed a lot of bugs with the aid of other people's scripts. Malcolm worked out we'd closed over 900 of the things. I got about five responses, one to say that the URL I suggested for an update didn't exist. Ho hum. Only 800 to go.

Saw someone making a valiant attempt to certify people languishing at observer level. They said they'd got tired towards the end, so I started from Z and worked my way up the list. Found several names I recognised. Please don't be offended if I put apprentice and you think you deserve more: I can't judge other people's code, and some things were in C, javascript, C++, php and all manner of languages. If I could find the sources of a program off someone's homepage, I put apprentice for now: one or two got more because they were people of whom I knew more. I also decided that "How I got this working" documents were contributions and included those. I got to the top of the 'w's, and stopped there. The number of people who put no contact details and no home page (or a home page consisting of one gif in one case) was quite incredible.

Not that I can talk, having to have it pointed out to me that I didn't close a tag on here :) Edited to correct.

21 Aug 2000 (updated 13 Sep 2006 at 08:04 UTC) »

Updated the GNOME FAQ. 21 names in the contributors now. Woo! I really need to sit down and work out how I mark up and fill in the right bits for the GNU docs licence, and then it goes into maintenance mode, with luck. Because it's not currently on the main GNOME pages, just in CVS, shoved a version onto my [edited to remove dead site] pages, and started weeding out potentially useful threads from a far-too-full folder of messages saved from gnome-devel-list so that someone else can provide the answers and drake can do the developer FAQ.

Talked to jdub and terral about whether developers and users have any shared understanding of what makes a useful bug report (frankly, I just guess) or how much work you can actually expect a "switched new computer on, started exciting free OS up, something broke, now what?" person to do digging for relevant information. Wondered whether getting a bunch of people who fix bugs, resolve them in the BTSs, or send in patches and people who find them and try to report them together in the same room would help, and considered attempting this in Australia (because I'm going there, apparently, in January). Started thinking about ways to get some useful info before that. This is mostly spawned by a thread about "help! bugs.gnome.org is feeling full!" on one of the GNOME lists and the different attitudes to different... um... styles, shall we say, of reporting bugs.

Saw glenn's comments about "some people were a bit rude but I coped" and it reminded me that I need to flame pointlessly about people flaming pointlessly. Or something. Another on the to-do pile. Basically, I don't like a lot of the forms of what pass for communication on the web and net today, and I think more people need to think about how they are coming across and whether someone who is paying by the minute for their access really needs to be flamed when they ask a question. It's possible to explain "this is the wrong place for this" without some of the more obnoxious comments I see. At least, I hope it is. If this is the example we set people arriving now, we're going to regret it when they pass it on to the next generation to arrive and we'll be complaining about "youth of today... no respect...grumble grumble..." and next thing it'll be "bring back national service" and I'll be voting for the tories or something. And that would be bad, really it would. Especially because the aforementioned next generation will outnumber us substantially...

Lots of people are talking about LWE, which apparently claims it's the biggest Linux show. Not that I have seen reliable numbers, but I suspect this will surprise the LinuxTag folks. LinuxTag actually sounds to have been more fun, and that's not just because of the parties, truly.

Lots of people seem to have completely missed the point of the GNOME Foundation. But then, I had the advantage not only of the press reports but of seeing raph type in the summary of the RA broadcast of the thing for we bandwidth-challenged types. (Wow, he's a fast typer.) The press missed out Miguel's comments about GNOME being about people, and by individuals all over the world, completely. Of course, I could have missed the point of the Foundation, too, but my take's at least more optimistic :)

I was going to applaud thomasq for his mention of rugby, but I just saw that he missed Wales out of great rugby nations, so I'm going to sulk instead.

Long entry, but then I seem to be making them once a month, so you can live in peace for a bit. I do actually have a couple of potential article/rambles in the pipeline, but most things in that pipeline seem to get stuck half-way along. Oh well.

If Russ has not yet finished that book, I suppose I should probably not discuss the ending. Paah. (Boglet, indeed!)

Have done very very little to justify apprentice rating, let alone journeyer, over the last few weeks (busy, away, busy, guests, away, busy). Hmm. Now, if this keeps up for a year (I hope it doesn't!), it's really going to screw the ratings up, since they're supposed to be based on the last year. I think Advogato needs a time-out system. When you login, you could get, "Note: your rating of the following people has expired. Recertify?"

Just a thought.

I can't think why someone whose entry has now scrolled off the recent diary entries thinks I'm so good with DocBook. I still haven't figured out tables or the CDATA stuff. But it was kind, if not accurate :)

Steven Rainwater was asking about FidoNet. I remember that. All those poor posters to Usenet talking about "Mind your language, this echo is moderated!" when posting to alt.* :) More seriously, I have several friends who used it, and one who was looking at it as a simple way to get younger siblings onto the net since they had such happy memories of it. And this was last year.

I found the Godel, Escher, Bach book really hard going, but I am going to have to look at this stuff that schoen mentions. Um. I hope it's the same author or I'm about to look stupid. On the subject of authors, I see there's yet another person here who's read David Brin's "Earth" and is making connections and comparisons.

I suppose, that since this is a developer-type site, I should say what I've actually done recently, but there hasn't been a lot, largely because I am not a developer... But anyway, sent a bunch of bug reports in -- and one got bounced by one BTS and others were to GNOME's bug-tracker, which is apparently down. So that was productive. Solved a friend's woes getting Linux installed and set-up correctly, which was a mistake, because now he thinks I know more than I do and I shall have to find out more when he hits the next snag. Whoops.

Oh yes. Someone said "Telsa, if you're reading this..." in their diary a while ago. Only problem is, I forget who that was, and what they wanted. Email would be good: the diaries are getting a little too numerous to go through everyone's to find something.

17 Apr 2000 (updated 13 Sep 2006 at 07:50 UTC) »

So apparently jamesh and sad share a birthday. Still I know no-one with mine. The closest person is Dick, who, fortunately lives in the same town, so joint celebrations are easy. And JennV shares one with my sister, but they live about as far away as sad and jamesh.

I'm writing here because I think putting Advogato-related thoughts in my diary will confuse the people who read that. Oh dear, two diaries. How ostentious.

The whole certification thing: loads of people have certified me, and I feel a bit rotten not certifying them back. My problem is that much of the certification looks to me like I would have to make judgements about things like -- well, code. Yeah, right. I could probably decide based on other things: many of the people here are people who have spent time and effort fixing bugs, explaining things (everything from fonts to find syntax) or rescuing me from near-disaster at very short notice from mailing list woes, DocBook travails, and CVS horrors. That's certainly something I can comment on :)

"anti-"certification: yuk. If you don't think someone does anything positive, then don't certify them, or certify them as Observer. I've seen loads of comments about the colour ranges: reading Advogato mostly with Lynx, I have managed to miss that, so my impressions of people are based on the info they provide about themselves, the links to their projects (wow, there's some cool ones about) and what they write. It's fun like that. If ever the day comes when diaries are too many and voluminous to read all of them, I won't be selecting on the basis of certification anyway. Like Ankh, I'd want some kind of random element in addition to the list of diaries I read regularly. I think I'm the one who first mentioned the connection with David Brin's "Earth" book to him (brilliant book: read it!) after seeing his mention of a "buggy algorithm".

roguemtl's article: Nice to hear from the other side. Some of the comments refer to saying thank-you being enough. It's quite true. There are plenty of people who don't reply to feedback, and plenty who reply with, well, fairly off-hand comments that make me disinclined to approach them again. But there are also dozens and dozens of people who say thanks if you contact them about their program, (even if the comments are rubbish!) and it really does make a difference. I'm not alone in this. I get email from people who foolishly think I can help with something and I talk to people at shows, and I see and hear "I did tell them, but I heard nothing back, so I stopped using it/am switching to the rivals" quite a bit. And as for seeing your name up in lights: I dunno. I don't entirely subscribe to the ego-inflation thing that esr wrote about. The first time I saw myself being referred to as having fixed something (in a ChangeLog after I sent some corrections to a manual), I was actually embarrassed, because it was in there with all the people who Made It Work and stopped it core-dumping and so on. But seeing "fixing Telsa's weirdo bug" in CVS commits is rather... well. Yes. That's fun.

I have heard that previewing can do dangerous things to HTML tags, but here's hoping it all survives...

[Edited quite some time later to remove dead links: if it's going to get archived, they had better go]

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