Older blog entries for bolsh (starting at number 82)

24 Feb 2005 (updated 24 Feb 2005 at 14:32 UTC) »

Especially for Federico, here's a recipe for a croziflette - it's like a tartiflette, but with crozets rather than spuds.


  • Crozets - about 60 to 100g per person
  • Lardons (cubed bacon) - to taste, around 20-30g per person
  • Onions - 1 per person, or less if you like
  • Fresh cream (about 50ml per person)
  • Reblechon (stinky French cheese from Savoie) - a big reblechon will do for 4 people easily


Daniel Veillard pointed out that I was being stingy with the ingredients. For the benefit of the people who really want to pig out, here's what we used for 2 people last night: 200g crozets, 100g lardons, 200ml fresh cream, 2 onions, half a reblechon. Yes, that's a bit more than the reccommended portions above, but we expected that to do 3 people.


First, boil the crozets in salted water for a few minutes - they're a bit like pasta, and al dente should be fine.

While they're boiling, brown the lardons and onion together, then add the fresh cream. Season to taste (a bit of pepper is nice, but I don't know herblore).

Drain your crozets, and put them in an oven dish (lasagna plate type thing). Cover with your thickened sauce, and mix roughly with a spoon.

Cut your reblechon in two along the short axis. You end up with 2 big round chunks of reblechon. Put these gooey side down on top of your dish, and put it in a pre-heated oven (about 200°C) for about 15 or 20 minutes (go with the flow).

Take it out of the oven, and while it is still hot, pull off the skins of the reblechon which will stay on the top while the cheese melts and infuses the rest.

Serve hot, with a nice white wine (de Savoie), and don't count the calories.

Wake up the following morning, and go skiing.

21 Feb 2005 (updated 21 Feb 2005 at 16:41 UTC) »
GUADEC progress

So I managed to get the GUADEC acceptance mails out over the weekend. If anyone was expecting a mail about a GUADEC presentation, and didn't get one, please let me know. It's entirely possible that I missed one or two.

Some people have queried why there is a proceedings for GUADEC, and why authors have to submit papers. The explanation is two-fold.

First, writing a paper beforehand helps the presenter organise his material and gives attendees a support for the conference, which allows greater participation, and a more coherent presentation. Writing slides in the train before a conference is a practice that should be discouraged.

Second, several attendees can get funding to attend if the conference is an academic conference - which means having a proceedings. The Norwegian guys were really great with this last year, especially Janis who took care of all the administravia, and several people got to the conference on college grants thanks to that proposal. Since funds are typically tight, any help that we can give to attendees is a good thing.

Finally, we're not asking for a formal oeuvre. You're not going to have your article submitted for a Pulitzer. A couple of pages presenting the major concepts you want to present, essentially a long abstract, is fine. And if you don't have time, or just don't want to, let us know at guadec-papers, and we'll sort something out.

That said, I encourage everyone presenting to write a paper, at least 2 pages, at most 5, since it will really help the GNOME Users and Developers in Europe, who are, after all, what the conference is about.

17 Feb 2005 (updated 17 Feb 2005 at 14:04 UTC) »

Will people never learn?

Twice in the past two days, people have proposed using the wiki for art competitions (splash and theme) for GNOME 2.10.

Please don't use a wiki for an art competition. It doesn't handle concurrency (at least moinmoin doesn't), and it will die under heavy load. If the art contest gets slashdotted (and art contests, because the LCD can easily participate, tend to get slashdotted), you can kiss goodbye to the wiki for a couple of days, and you risk losing some good submissions lost simply because they got over-written.

The GIMP splash contest started out there, and I think that the GNOME sysadmin team will testify that that was an absolute and unmitigated disaster.

We moved to a CGI based solution on the GIMP web server pretty quickly (which yosh, Helvetix and carol had put in place, but which had been disabled around the time the website changed). This guaranteed that static pages were going to keep getting served, art submissions weren't going to get lost, and when traffic died down, there would be no problems. Sure, some of those CGI requests failed when we were under slashdot load, but the webserver kept on ticking along.

That code is in the gimp-web CVS module, in the programmatic /contest directory, if anyone is interested.

Update Jeff - OK, whatever you think. I suspect that people will attach stuff inline anyway, and possibly that external material will change during the contest. Having data locally has lots of advantages, and having it remotely opens up a couple of cans of worms. But I guess it could work.

Moving Granny to the Penguin

I found an inspirational story by someone who migrated their grandmother from her old Mac to a new GNU/Linux based system. This should be required reading for anyone who is hoping to expose newbies to the joys of Linux.

15 Feb 2005 (updated 21 Feb 2005 at 16:03 UTC) »

A friend of mine (Hi Emmet!) wrote something in a mail to me recently that I thought was worth sharing. He has an annoying habit of coming up with pithy epigrams, which makes me very jealous (and a slightly less annoying habit of flogging them to death afterwards, but let's not get into that).

Beginners are, by necessity, task-oriented. It is very hard for us techies to understand beginners, not because we know the stuff well, but because we're professional learners who have evolved a highly efficient personal learning methodology without even thinking about it. Our tendency is to present facts and examples. We structure information the way we would like it, not the way the user needs it.
GUADEC, again

In the interests of letting people know as quickly as possible the status of their GUADEC papers, I sent out the first round of mails letting people know that their papers weren't accepted. It's a really hard thing to do, because some of the people in that list had topics I would have loved to see.

By way of explanation, this year we have tried to avoid talks which present latest developments/features in a program. Talks were selected if they had one of two characteristics - either they were intended to show off how cool GNOME is to new or casual GNOME users, or they are intended to be "important" sources of brainstorming on the strategic direction of GNOME.

This is in line with the philosophy I talked about a couple of months ago. We want GUADEC to be jaw-dropping in the coolness of stuff presented, and really inclusive, with lots of hands-on experimenting, tutorials, BOFs. But we also want it to be thought-provoking and productive for hardcore developers, who have different needs. We want to have a conference that is a facilitator on all levels, and it's a hard thing to do. But we're doing our best.

GUADEC papers update

Several people have contacted me and the guadec-papers list over the last week a little worried because the due date for written papers is coming up (1 March), and we still haven't told people whether they have been accepted or not.

Because of an unforeseen delay (which we are working hard to resolve), we will not be able to tell people for sure that they are accepted until the end of next week. So we have decided to extend the deadline for submission of papers to March 15th to give people just under 4 weeks to submit papers after being notified.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

On a side note, the quality of presentations we have received this year is excellent, and due to space constraints, we have had to be hard on a great number of high quality presentations. This year's GUADEC should have the highest quality of talks of any so far. We have reduced the number of parallel streams, to have even more time and space for the stuff people really expect from GUADEC - fun, and in-person brainstorming and team building. But we also have a good mix of presentations and tutorials for GNOME newbies, to get people loving GNOME even more, and even faster. It's going to rock.

Federico: Thanks for the tip. So - what's the secret to developing B&W film over IRC?

On gimp-users today someone asked a question about the availability of panorama tools for the GIMP.

I had previously searched for and found such a plug-in, but it had been a couple of years, so I went on a quick web search to see if I could find the one I remembered.

I uncovered this massive community of people interested in stitching tools, with a very active mailing list and several applications (some GIMP plug-ins too) - I must admit I was surprised, since I had never heard of most of these applications before.

Here are the results of that "quick" search, for posterity.

  • The original set of tools I remembered was pandora. It has its own webpage with a more recent version to download: http://www.shallowsky.com/software/pandora/

  • Or it might have been Panotools. The home page for Panorama tools is http://panotools.sourceforge.net/ and it is GIMP 2.0 compatible.

  • However I found a whole mailing list which is *very* active on panotools frontends - http://www.email-lists.org/mailman/listinfo/ptx

  • There are many programs mentioned on that list, among them hugin seems to be the most reccommended: http://hugin.sourceforge.net/

  • And the enblend program: http://enblend.sourceforge.net/

  • And finally autostitch: http://user.cs.tu-berlin.de/~nowozin/autopano-sift/

The ptx mailing list has about 100 mails a month, primarily from hugin developers. This is a great model for "themed" software - different packages whose functionality complements each other.

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