Older blog entries for bolsh (starting at number 104)

21 Apr 2005 (updated 21 Apr 2005 at 08:50 UTC) »
Elijah asked me a question on why I thought the 6 month cycle was too short.

I've discussed this with a few people and have been reminded of a Joel Spolsky interview - the grandmother story ("the process is overtuned") on page 2 caught my eye. Basically, he explains that over the years Microsoft has picked up so many good habits (by correcting their mistakes) that the process (testing, validation and so on) has become more important than the actual *thing* - the product being created.

When you're on a 6 month cycle, you're in feature freeze for 3 months. That's 6 months a year that we're not focused on new features.

Now, if you move to a 9 month cycle, you still have a 3 month feature freeze per cycle, but you're only spending 4 months a year in freeze, so you've gained 2 months innovation/breaking time. Experiments can happen right in GNOME.

If we stay in the 6 month cycle, the breakages happens outside the main GNOME tree (as Luis said). That's risky for some young gun to take on in his garage.

As an alternative to the "clean break", the leap of faith that Luis is talking about, perhaps we can just have a little more madness in GNOME devel. Doubling the feature addition period, moving the focus from testing and bug fixing to innovation for 1 quarter a year more, might be a way to do that.

Luis made a couple of points I agree with about an eventual leap to 3.0.

One of the major reasons for what he calls the fear to fail is the fact that the 6 monthly release cycles, which were necessary to stabilise the 2.0 work, and have been a huge boon overall for GNOME, are not suited to 3.0 work. They are just too short. For a platform as big as GNOME, to get any big user-visible features in a release cycle, it needs to be at least 9 months, and perhaps a year.

I know I'm not the first one to have said this, but I'm more & more convinced that the 6 month cycle has outlived its usefulness.

Having been shamed by Edd, I spent some time today on the GUADEC wiki, organising things into sub-pages that made sense.

As always with wikis, your help is needed to make the wiki a useful resource. We need more people offering lifts, accepting lifts, more Stuttgarters, and more information on sleeping, eating and drinking in Stuttgart.

Thanks for your support.

15 Apr 2005 (updated 15 Apr 2005 at 16:00 UTC) »
Wiki update

Several people recommended the C based Didiwiki (although I must admit that coding a wiki in C is not something I would have considered): http://didiwiki.org

potwiki (a VIM based wiki) also got a vote, and will be tried: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=1018

Christian: The point of the whining isn't that a change has been made. The point of the whining is that a change has been made (1) which sucks, and heavily imacts the user experience (2) two weeks before a release, and (3) in everyone's new favourite distribution. Oh, and (4) from the looks of the bugzilla comments, as a unilateral decision by the boss.

I would have preferred if they had added a toggle in the preferences, and defaulted to the other "standard" Nautilus behaviour of the browser. In addition, that would probably be much more pleasing to the vast tracts of Windows and KDE users out there who seem to expect that and find Spatial annoying. Then I could just switch on spatial, and be done with it.

15 Apr 2005 (updated 15 Apr 2005 at 14:16 UTC) »
Personal wiki solution

I'm looking for a wiki-like program which has the following characteristics:

  • Easy - I don't want to spend time on the program
  • Just for me - not publically available on the web
  • Persistent - I've been using sticky notes, but they are just not persistent enough - not versioned, and they really feel like they should be thrown out regularly
  • Works everywhere - Windows at work, Mac and Linux at home
  • Hierarchical - I want to link from "stuff to do" to "how to do task X"

Really, a wiki is ideal, except all of the wikis I know need a web server, and what I really want is more like a cross-platform Tomboy. Does such a thing exist, and I just don't know about it?

Update: Thanks to Emmanuel Touzery and Stewart Smith for quick answers - Emmanuel reccommended Instiki (which I believe Nat mentioned a few weeks ago too). 2 clicks, and I was away. Exactly what I was looking for. Bummer that it doesn't use the same wiki text as moinmoin, but you can't have everything ;)

Paul Graham on high school

What you'll wish you'd known

Particularly amusing are the footnotes:

If a bunch of actual adults suddenly found themselves trapped in high school, the first thing they'd do is form a union and renegotiate all the rules with the administration.
13 Apr 2005 (updated 14 Apr 2005 at 09:01 UTC) »
Dissipation

One of the problems of free software is dissipation. Because of its success, there are many avenues of communication, many projects. It has become hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, the signal from the noise.

This works both ways - developers feel they're not getting quality feedback, and users often don't have any way to know what's good and what's not in terms of applications and communication channels.

We also have more blogs, planets, user communities, news sites, and on & on.

The enthusiasm in the free sofware world is not constant, it's growing all the time. But it is limited. And as time goes on, the average temperature of our universe is going down.

GNOMErs in Stuttgart

Here's a special request to Stuttgart GNOME people - could you sign up to guadec-list, and declare yourselves on the wiki, please? We really need more people with local knowledge to help people figure out stuff like where to stay, how to get around, and what there is to do.

This is hillarious. My favourite bit of the pamphlet is point 4, where he says "notice the breasts are violently pierced".

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