Older blog entries for alvaro (starting at number 29)

Today I have started to work in modification tasks in Evolution from a Planner project. Finally the Project Planner concept is in Evolution a Calendar. In the Calendar you will have all the tasks in the Project with the resources in them.

With the last work you can change tasks from evolution but for the moment, Evolution add a new task whe you modify other task in the task editor. I need to check why. The new task is added to Planner also and save in the Planner file/database.

I have some question to ask before translating all the concepts in Planner to Evolution and also, to close in my mind the full management process, but I feel that we will reach a good end. Things like drag and drop tasks between calendars and sending emails to the task resource when something changes start to show me the powerful of the integration. And also, you can send tasks (todo) as email attachment so for example, you can send the tasks for a week to a person using this system. Several things to think about the best solution to manage projects. It is clear that when you desing the general plan of the project, Planner is the right tool, and to following the progress, Evolution seems to be a good friend. Need to take a close look to GnoTime.

Next things will be to complete the ECalComponent to MrpTask conversion and complete the write support in Evolution. Then, I will check the GUI for adding new calendar sources from Evolution for Planner files.

As always, the link to the backup of the actual state of the backend.

11 Sep 2004 (updated 12 Sep 2004 at 09:51 UTC) »

Sweet news about Planner and Evolution integration. After 2 hours of working this morning the Planner Task to ECalComponent conversion has advanced a lot (curious to see that the two files are in 1.4 CVS version ;-)). Now you have in Evolution Task the start and end date, the name of the task, the description, the priority, the percent complete and, learning from the groupwise connector ECalComponent conversion, the atendee list for the task, that could be the resources for the task in Planner. This is a great advance because now I think that for the moment, the resource list for a task could be modeled in Evolution as an atendee list.

As always, the screenshot for the integration. The code is in a "tgz" file only for backup purposes. It isn't clear where this backend will be (e-d-s or planner), but first, we need the babe working completly;-)

The next target will be to change from evolution the data and save it in Planner ;-)

Today we have bought in the company a new Laser printer. We have selected the cheaper one (we were in a hurry) and in Media Markt this morning they have the Samsung ML 1510 for 107€. It comes with drivers for CUPS and the install program changes CUPS filters so that you can use the printer, but they don't backup the changed CUPS files and what they do is a sure problem when you update the CUPS system. First tests has been good. The driver that comes with the printer seems to be a closed one, so not ideal for free software community.

7 Sep 2004 (updated 7 Sep 2004 at 04:15 UTC) »

This morning finally I have code for the Planner backend for e-d-s that shows dates from Planner tasks in e-d-s. I need to check carefully how the dates are converted but it seems at first sight to work. Then I will finish adding all the other information for a Task and then, I would like to start working in making the backend writing enabled.

Then, I will need to work in the UI so the user can add a new planner source from the add calendar dialog.

It is time to create a TODO file with all the things I will work in the near future so I don't forget anything and people can give opinion and maybe, help :)

6 Sep 2004 (updated 6 Sep 2004 at 05:42 UTC) »

Today I return to my normal way of life after holidays. Yesterday I was working in the Planner backend for Evolution and I am starting to think that we will need also a Contacts backend so the resources in a project can be also imported in Evolution, as a new Contact book, and resources could be assigned to tasks. I am not sure if the same backend could be a Calendar and Contactas backend, or if I will need to sync this two backends.

I am finishing converting from Planner dates to ECalComponent dates. It isn't too hard but you have to do it carefully. I think we use in Planner mrptime that it is like time_t but bigger, but I need to check it.

It is great to hear that Andersca is going to work for Imendio.

I finally make a little better the backup of the system so I don't lose anything. Normally I work in chroots because in my machine I have the Linux Lux distribution that doesn't support GNOME 2.6 development, so I have a chroot with something very similar to Debian sid (LinEx Empresa) to develop with. Now, my HOME is the same in all the environment so I backup all the devel :)

5 Sep 2004 (updated 5 Sep 2004 at 14:49 UTC) »

Today I have bought a new laptop for my uncle. She wants a cheap laptop and finally we have found a very nice laptop for 1.199€, the LG LS M50 desktop (not sure 100% about the model). It comes with Windows XP Home preinstalled and I plan to install fro her Mozilla browser and email client, with OpenOffice suite. Also, I will install GNU/Linux in the laptop to test the hardware. I think it has been a great buy. The laptop seems to be very new in the market.

I am very happy. I have modified the CVS e-d-s with the patches and new code that I sent before holidays and now I have a development environment that works very well with last e-d-s, evolution and the planner backend (configure.in patch doesn't work completly with new CVS code, but only minor changes).

I have fixed the first bug I had: reopening the Planner project calendar from Evolution open a new project in Planner and things get confused. Now if a Planner project has been opened one time, it isn't reopened anymore. Things start to work nicely. I have to complete the planner task to evolution component task conversion and start testing more and more everything.

I think the harder time has gone because now I can see all the advance and the integration directly from Planner and Evolution so it is very motivating. Things are going better than I hoped.

If you want to see how the integration will look just take a look.

Yesterday I finally finish my development environment using a special version of Debian Sid using components (LinEx 2004 and LinEx Empresa). Then I take from GNOME CVS Planner, Evolution and Evolution Data Server (e-d-s), compile them and install. Now it is time to recover my backend for e-d-s for Planner and continue working in it so you can access Planner tasks from Evolution.

In the Debian work, my Application Manager have resent me (lost the email in the hard disk lost) the questions for Tasks and Skills Check and I hope next month (maybe 2 or 3 weeks) I finish all the work with my AM.

Next week I start working in LambdaUX another time (I have been working a little this week also). I am very happy to be working in this company.

Today I have bought a new stereo system. The old one doesn't play CDs anymore and it only worked as a radio tuner, too big for that ;-)

We have gone to Media Markt because there you have a lot of options between to choose and finally, we select a nice Panasonic system, the SA-PM9. After reading and thinking a lot about human interfaces design, I have built a filter in my brain and I can't resist fo analyze the desing of every object that takes my attention, like this new stereo.

Here you can see the front size of the stereo. No more user interaction with the stereo is in other side execept the up size with 1 button for the cassette and a plug for the phones. There are 15 buttons and a nice wheel fro the volume control.

The 4 central and bigger buttons are the mode buttons to change between CD, Tuner, Tape and a strange Stop button here, that breaks the user mental mode. When you select any mode, the button also is the Play for that mode so designers decide to put a common Stop button for all the modes here. Not very nice but effective. Also the Stop button has a hidden feature that is activated when you push the button for several seconds: a Demo mode in which the display changes between all the features of the system. By default Demo is on and when you shutdown the system, the display start to show you different features. This is the first time I discover why it is doing that. Yes, I haven't read the manual because I am in discovering mode for user.

Up from this for central buttons you can find a row of four buttons labeled "album" and "track" with back and forward labels. To the left of this row is the "MP3" label, so it is easy to think that this four buttons are for playing mp3 music. When I bought the system, I want one with MP3 and in the shop, you have all the main marks with this kind of system. With track buttons you also change between normal CD tracks, but the album bottons only work for the MP3 music.

To the right of the for main buttons you have the great wheel to change the music volume. It is so nice to change the volume with the wheel. If you rotate and reach the lower level, 84 dB (people won't understand this dB thing), you can continue lowering the level with the wheel, but it will remain in "-- dB". If you change the rotate direction, it inmediately start to upper the volume level. There isn't a fix point for max and min music levels. It is very nice.

To the left of the for main buttons you have the power on/off button, very easy to find because its red light. It is always with the red light, no matter the system is on or off. Not sure if maybe, it could have a green light when it is on and a red light when it is off, but the user has other signals that the system is on.

Down the four main buttons you have another row of 4 buttons. They are all located uniformly but there is clearly 2 groups: the two buttons to the left are for starting the surrond filter and changing the sound bass and treble (you have to push the button to find the features :( ). In the Sound button there is also a hidden feature that it is shown when you push the button for several seconds: the equalizator. In the demo I have seen that the machine has an equalizator so I play a little and found the feature, something impossible for a user without reading the manual.
The two buttons to the left are for rewind and forward (tape and CDs), and to find the channels in tuner. I think these four buttons will be better grouped together in the two pair as you have the for buttons for album and tracks.

Finally we have two buttons in strange places: in the right border of the system. One is for opening/closing the CD tray and the other is for start recording. The open and close button maybe will be better place over the CD tray, as in computers, and the record button ... I think desingers haven't found a right place for it. The same location for this two buttons could be found in other Panasonic systems.

Now it is time to take a look to the remote control. It has 34 buttons and put all together like a table with 2 entries. The for buttons central in the front side of the machine are also found in the central zone in the remote control, a good desing point, but the remote control is more complex and hard to find things in it. I will talk about it a more in the future but guys, you can desing better remote controls, I am sure.

I think the remote control is like the toolbar in a GUI application, where you can find the more used features in the system without using menus, but it is horrible that in some system, there are features only accesible from the remote control.

2 Sep 2004 (updated 2 Sep 2004 at 08:36 UTC) »

Yesterday with a bad installer interface and doing things without thinking a lot (my first day after holidays), I remove all the data in my hard disk.

It was great because I have a real test case of my DVDs backups. I have used them and recover all the things I backup. Also, some bits that I haven't backup in DVDs (from chroots) I normally backup them using machines in Internet.

I have only lost about 2 weeks of email from my holidays, not a great lost thinking in the worst situation like problems with the DVD with the backups. Some DVDs I have recorded have problems being reading in other DVD units different from the one that recorded it. But my DVD+RW DVDs with backup give me no problems.

It is time to recover all my working environment so I can start hacking another time.

Also, I use the full system reinstall to install Windows XP in the laptop. I have a license for it and I am starting to think that we need free software that runs in Linux and Windows if we want a real change in a few years. So I will try to probe development environments that let me create cross platforms applications for the desktop, mainly Python and Mono.

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