Together with the next version of the Eye of GNOME, the oldest open bug to date (coming from 2002) will be finally fixed. This bug, about adding a copy action to the Edit menu, somehow got unattended and slipped between all the other features that we and the previous maintainers of eog have been working on during the last 9 years.
This, until the last days of 2010. Then, out of the blue, we received in bugzilla a patch coming from Adrian Hands, implementing this feature. Felix had a look at it, the usual way, and seeing that it was almost there he pushed it to the master branch and resolved the bug fixed. We were happy to see this long requested feature finally added, but the full story would not unveil itself until a few weeks ago, when Ian Hands, son of Adrian, dropped by in bugzilla to let us know that his father had passed away. He had ALS and one of the last things he did, by means of a Morse-code mouse and when he was almost unable to control the computer anymore, was to write the aforementioned patch and to attach it in bugzilla. And about two months later, he would pass away.
If you want, you can read Ian's message, which is very touching to say the least. I talked to him privately and he was open to share this story with the GNOME community, for which I am grateful, so here you have it. I believe that there are many things to learn out of this, not only for each one of us at a personal level, but also at the community level. In the rush of the industry we've chosen to work on, sometimes we forget that there are people behind the patches, emails, and lines of chat that we exchange every day, and that behind each one of us there are different stories, motivations, and feelings that make us to actually be here, right now, doing this. How can we, as a community, make sure that we don't forget that the main reason why we're here in the end is to deliver something for people? That we are here because of people? I don't have the answer but, for certain, knowing what Adrian did for eog brings me back to earth from my bubble, at least for a while, and makes me feel proud to be part of a world where, if we don't forget about it, people like Adrian, you, or me, can make a difference.
Thank you, Adrian, for this wonderful gift.
So, now I am a Finnish resident. It took around a year of paperwork to get the permit but it finally happened and I got a self-employment work permit. So I can now officially move from Spain and stop being in the Spanish-resident-but-in-Finland limbo.
All in all, I am amazed at the Finnish way of doing things. It took time, yes, but their willingness to get the stuff done and not to put ridiculous obstacles in the way is remarkable. Also, their good faith in foreigners is something I never saw before. In order to get a self-employment working permit, I had to submit a complete business plan, including sales and profitability estimations. Seeing that the numbers were sound and the business would be profitable, they just saw no reason why the permit couldn't be granted, so they just granted it. I wonder whether there are many other developed countries where self-employment permits are granted to foreigners just when they could be, but I don't think there are that many. I've heard bad things about the US on this regard, for instance.
What comes now is getting started with my one-man business. That way I will continue doing cool stuff with Igalia but with all my life going on in Finland, as it's been for some time already anyway. It's a great thing to be part of a company where this kind of things are possible.
By now, you start wondering why on earth would I want to stay in Finland? Well, if you should know, you would know already, after all, it's been two years. If you don't, you can just keep wondering.
I had a post pending since last week, but a flu put me down and lagged me behind the world.
Last week Carlos and I started working in the GTK+/MeeGo integration project. He already wrote about his ongoing work on the pannable area and has received very interesting feedback. Thanks to everyone for keeping an eye on it.
From my side, I spent the week getting a recent image of the Handset SDK up and running, and getting a grasp of the current Input Method status in MeeGo. For this, Michael Hasselmann and Jon Nordby have been more than really helpful. I met Jon in Brussels during FOSDEM and he was kind to put me up to date to what Michael and he believe are the most relevant points to take into account to get a good IM integration. Thank you, guys.
In a nutshell, one of the integration points for GTK+ applications in MeeGo is the Input Context that needs to communicate, through DBus, with the IM UI Server. There are currently two implementations out there, targetting the MeeGo 1.1 platform, but the DBus interfaces have changed since then. Trying to get the parts to agree, have one single GTK+ input context for MeeGo, and updating the DBus interfaces seems the most logical starting point for this side of the project, so it's what I'll be doing now that I'm not going to die anymore. There are, of course, other parts that also need to be worked on (related to the UI part of the IM), but we'll talk about that later.
Last October, I went to Chile in holidays to spend some time with my family. I had not visited the place for almost two years, so I was very excited about the travel. It was a beautiful time, albeit short, with a lovely spring, and also an occasion to see first-hand the consequences of the February earthquake. More than seven months later, there was still plenty to experience, including a couple of heavy tremors in the middle of the night waking me up, with the fear only a person who wasn't there for the earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks can experience.
My visit coincidentally happened at the same time than workers from the biggest drugstore chain were on strike because of highly unfair and abusive salary conditions. This didn't make it to the mainstream media, not even after the strike was over, thanks to the influence a big chain, and all the money they can inject in the media in the way of advertisement, can have.
Now that my sister lives in Concepción, I took the chance to visit her at the same time than the Día GNOME took place there. We walked around the city and I got to see some of the remains of the Alto Rio building, the only one that completely collapsed during the quake, killing a couple dozens of people. The building was brand new and most of the people who died there had just moved in. If there weren't more casualties, it was only because many apartments were not inhabited yet.
The Día GNOME was a nice event, a bit too rushy to my taste, but it was nice to catch up with plenty of old pals and to meet the new ones who are driving all the community efforts nowadays. Thanks to all of them and also to the GNOME Foundation for making it possible.
When I was there, I had the chance to attend the Rush concert at the Estadio Nacional. I thought that I wouldn't see the band ever and this presented itself as a unique opportunity, that I couldn't resist. Funnily enough, later it was unveiled that they will be playing in Finland later this year, so I got tickets for the concert here as well. Strangely, tickets for the concert in Chile were more expensive than for the one in Finland, even when Finland is a country where people have a much higher purchasing power. I guess we can blame economic inequality for that.
On the culinary side of things, I can say that all my efforts on carrying a healthy diet with mostly organic food, high in vegetables, and low in fats and meats went to hell during the weeks there. Empanadas, chacareros, churrascos, mechadas, asados, choripanes, lomitos, and similar delicatessen took me back to a quite relaxed diet, from which I still can't recover. Also, by the time I visited Chile I had quit coffee and caffeine in general for around three months, but I couldn't help it going back to it (although now I drink coffee only once every other day or so).
In any case, I enjoyed the time there a lot. Any feelings of being a stranger at home lasted for the first days only and soon I was feeling comfortable again. Coming back to the northern winter wasn't easy but as they say, home is there, where someone is waiting for you.
I made quite some pics, but not that many anyway since I didn't feel that confident to carry the camera around all the time. However, a handful of them are in the corresponding flickr set, in case you are curious.
Carlos and I will spend the next months trying to bring the best from the Hildon user experience to upstream GTK+, to make sure that the good old Maemo applications can be easily ported to GTK+ and that GTK+ benefits from all the years of work that went into Hildon and Maemo-GTK+, improving this way its support for mobile applications and environments.
Also, to ensure a good integration of GTK+ applications into the MeeGo Handset platform, we will need to make sure that the platform's window manager works properly with GTK+ windows and to get one of the existing input method bridges to work properly with upstream GTK+.
As we want to make sure that we our work is well aligned with the interests of both the MeeGo Handset and the GNOME Mobile communities, we will most likely be settling in #gtk+ in gimp.net and hanging around in other related channels. Also, we'll be publishing updates in our blogs. Any feedback you can have will surely improve our results.
Last but no least, thanks a lot to the GNOME Foundation for trusting us this task.
Once again, I'll be attending FOSDEM this year thanks to the kind support of Igalia. I wasn't planning, though, to be in the GNOME Beers event, but now that I heard that the venue will be smoke free, I have changed my mind.
This is a last call for the people interested in attending the GTK+ hackfest in A Coruña, in October. Please sign up at latest tomorrow and include your arrival and departure dates. Only that way we'll be able to book the rooms for you. Afterwards, you'd be left to the mercy of the hotels in the city. This has been a public announcement courtesy of your fellow hacker.
Over the last days, I ported eog to use libpeas for its plugin engine. If you are a plugin developer or are interested in extending eog through plugins (Iván, I'm looking at you), you might want to follow up this thread.
It is not without surprise that, with an increasing frequency, people keep confusing me with Garnacho and the other way around. We have been struggling with this, since despite the similarities (both being Spanish speakers, long haired, using a beard most of the time, and being known for playing guitar at GUADEC), we consider a few facts to be good enough for people to be able to distinguish between us. So here it is a rule of thumb for all of you who are still confused about who is who.
The guy with glasses and the camera is Claudio; the one without glasses nor camera is Garnacho.
To help you get the rule straight, here is a picture that Berto made of us during the party yesterday.
I'll be attending GUADEC again this year, arriving on Sunday to Den Haag. I'm specially glad because of the bunch of Chilean friends that will be coming, allowing for some catching up on how things have been in the country during the recent time.
I'm also glad because Berto and I will be taking part on the GNOME developer training of Monday and Tuesday. We've been preparing a really nice session and I hope it will be productive and enjoyable for all the participants.
Last and not least, this will mark my 4th time in the Netherlands (third in less than a year) and the second in Den Haag, so I'm pretty excited about getting more acquaintance with the place. After having been in the Museé d'Orsay last week, I'm also tempted to have a quick escape to Amsterdam for a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. Let's see what happens.
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.
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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!