Older blog entries for edd (starting at number 59)

Behind the Times -- I've finally bowed to pressure and started my own weblog. I had various places where I wrote before (I've had a weblog at O'ReillyNet since 2000), but none that I "owned." Despite my misgivings about the blogging world at large, weblogs have undeniably become a forum for getting your opinions and ideas heard. Various friends have reacted well to my new site, so I suppose for now I'm doing the right thing.

I'll try hard to continue posting stuff related to open source and hacking here, though. In that vein, a few words about setting up my weblog. I used Zope, which I use for all of the usefulinc.com site. There's a neat product called BlogFace, which takes content you already have stored and catalogued and puts a blog-like interface on top of it. That suits me down to the ground -- I don't want to get my content locked into only one system or presentation method. With a little hacking, BlogFace has proved very suitable indeed.

16 Jun 2003 (updated 16 Jun 2003 at 10:29 UTC) »

Here at GUADEC until Wednesday morning.

Last week I made a nifty hack for sending email into my ZWiki installation. I often find myself writing email with ideas I want to preserve, or point other people to at a later date, and unfortunately you can't rely on mailing list archives, they tend to come and go.

You can find the hack here: EmailToZWiki. I used the 'log' field of ZWiki to put the first 150 or so characters of the mail -- this can then be extracted via an RSS feed, like this one from my wiki. (Googling for 'RSS and ZWiki' yields reasonable results for adding RSS to ZWiki, as long as you figure out you need to Catalog-enable your ZWiki.)

I used WebDAV to get the content into my ZWiki. You need to have a trivial PUT_handler in your ZWiki to make it set the type of new documents properly. Again, Google is your friend here.

One day, it'll be simpler :)

Released version 0.5 of The Daily Chump IRC bot. This is a bot that produces a collaborative weblog site from IRC input. The major change for this version is that the bot understands UTF-8 input from IRC.

Got my GU4DEC slides done. I'll be showing a lot of Bluetooth demos, which I sincerely hope go well :)

Late night hacking and long term feelings of guilt led to the release of version 0.5 of FOAFbot. FOAFbot's an IRC bot that acts as a community support agent, helping people to get to know one another through information they provide in their FOAF files.

It can also do some nifty stuff like find codepictions and read the RSS output from chump bots.

The brief story on this is that I last made a release of this software in August 2002, but it had become very slow due to lack of native support for context tracking in Redland, dajobe's RDF framework. Dave has done great work in implementing contexts since, and so I have been able to revive the code, simplify it considerably and make it a going concern once more.

Released another version of my prototype GNOME Bluetooth Subsystem. Implemented Bluetooth file push (OBEX PUSH) and a gnome-vfs plugin for discovered devices. You can now send a file to your phone, PDA, whatever, by dragging and dropping in Nautilus. I wanted this feature complete before I show off the work next week at GU4DEC.

New Epiphany release, 0.7.0. After a little bit of tweaking uploaded it to Debian sid.

Played a bit with SMan (warning, weird frame script on that page, to find SMan go to the 'Droll Software' link on the left first). It's a nice set of hacks for the P800 phone.

Mad update time.

Debian. Put a lot of time into the packaging of Epiphany recently. Dealing with the bug reports now takes more time than the actual packaging work itself. The advent of gcc3.3 in Debian has brought with it a few issues, too.

Conferences. Just got back from WWW2003. Lots of ideas and renewed enthusiasm to resurrect some of my semantic web work, but first need to concentrate and finish my paper for GUADEC.

walters, I hope you'll continue to post here on Advo. I've no got time to hare off to individuals' web sites, but I enjoy reading the advo diaries to get an overview of what my favorite hackers are doing.

28 Apr 2003 (updated 28 Apr 2003 at 08:04 UTC) »

Now back with my head just above water following the inevitable catch-up operation that comes after a vacation. I had a great time in India, but it took a week to recover afterwards!

Conferences. May to July is the busiest season for conferences. The biggest event on the horizon is XML Europe (5-8 May), for which I'm programme chair. There have been several last-minute dropouts so I've got some juggling to do. (Ankh -- I really hope you can make it, despite the SARS uncertainty.) These are not easy times for running conferences, unfortunately. Even if you get over the nervousness about travelling, there are budgetary constraints to overcome. Many conferences have gone to the wall in the last couple of years. Happily, we seem to be on track compared to last year, and I'm really excited about the programme. Later in May I'm going to WWW2003, which from what I hear has also been finding it somewhat difficult.

Hacking. I managed to fit more time in with gnome-bluetooth last week, and added a primitive OBEX server, so I can now send photos and other files from my shiny Sony Ericsson P800 to my PC. I'm busy hacking on support for sending files the other way now. My talk on Bluetooth and GNOME has been accepted for GUADEC, so I've got quite a lot of writing to do on this topic.

Debian. Just after I went on vacation, Marco released epiphany 0.5, so I also had to find time to update my Debian package last week, as folk were already clamouring for the new release (give me a break, people, I only had 10 days vacation! :) I built it against Mozilla 1.3, which seems to have various issues, but at least this means epiphany builds against a few more architectures. Roll on, Moz 1.4....

A day of some small achievements. Got external video working on my iBook (500 MHz model) thanks excellent help from some LinuxPPC kernel hacker types. Booked flight and accommodation for GU4DEC. Started work on a GNOME OBEX server so I can properly send stuff from my phone to the computer over Bluetooth. Hope to have most of that done by the end of the week.

Keeping it brief: been very busy due to XML Europe work. However, managed to package four new upstream BlueZ releases for Debian. Also did more SyncML-related work. I had been going to junk my XML/WBXML translator in favour of wbxmllib, but found that while wbbxmllib is excellent, it wasn't suitable for my one, very specific purpose. So I'll press on with my work but won't bother generalising it too much, as those who want a general WBXML toolkit can't go far wrong with wbxmllib.

Finally got a few moments to do a bit more hacking on my phone manager applet. There's something rather satisfying about having it reconnect automatically to my Bluetooth-enabled phone when I wander back into the house. Anyway, I got message sending going now, too. The remaining task to make it really useful is hooking it up to one or more addressbook sources.

Finalised the picks for the Apps track of the O'Reilly Open Source Convention. We've got 14 talks, spanning desktop, hacking, sysadmin and standards. The quality of submissions was excellent, and I'm very pleased with the way the track's looking.

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