Older blog entries for jamesh (starting at number 65)

Doing a bit more work on libglade2. It is still broken, but getting less broken as time goes on. Should get it so that the build completes to keep Sander happy :)

Since we are starting to get a number of functional free web browsers, I had the idea that it might be a good idea to create a Certificate Authority for free software projects and people and get its CA cert preloaded in browsers like Mozilla.

Why do people use CAs like Verisign? Because people trust them (rightly or wrongly), and their certs are preloaded in almost all browsers so users don't see a disturbing dialog pop up when going to the site.

The free software community is probably in a better position to verify the identity of people requesting certificates. A group like Debian which already has a strong web of trust between developers could set up a CA. Requiring that certificate requests be GPG signed by a debian developer who has positively identified the requestor before issuing a certificate might provide a good balance between security and ease of acquiring certificates.

Having the CA certificates preloaded in free browsers such as mozilla, konqueror, etc would place them on an equal footing with the existing CAs. Debian as a CA is just an example, as they already have some of the infrastructure in place for identifying people. It shouldn't be difficult to get CA certs added to free web browser's databases. It probably shouldn't be limited to just free software related CAs either.

Another interesting idea would be to setup (or adopt an existing) alternative root zone that included a number of TLDs related to free software (eg .gnu, .bsd, etc) along with the existing ICANN and country code TLDs. If the major distros shipped their nameservers pointing at this alternative root, those TLDs would be usable (and not just to Linux/BSD boxes -- think about how many windows boxes just forward all DNS requests to a Linux or BSD box for resolution).

Both ideas would take quite a bit to get off the ground, so probably won't happen unless someone is really motivated to do it.

Put out another development pygtk snapshot. I actually released it yesterday, but my computer's clock was out by 12 hours when I made the release, but didn't notice it (something weird must have happened when bringing all the computers back up after the brownout on sunday), and the ntp server on the gateway didn't start up correctly so it didn't correct itself. I hate clock skew.

I have some ideas on how to decrease the amount of handcoded stuff in pygtk even further. The beginnings of this code is included in the latest snapshot (the GBoxed type). I haven't gotten round to converting any of the existing boxed types over to this new code or adjusted the code generator yet though.

Cyrille, Lars, Steffen and Hans have been doing great work on Dia. They are responsible for most of the work on the recent 0.88.1 release of dia. There will probably be a 0.89 release soon.

Chema posted an initial tarball of glade v2. I will have to look at it a bit closer. Libglade will have to be ready for the gnome 2.0 API freeze, which will probably be before glade2 is usable. The Sun guys want accessibility support in glade/libglade, so we will see how that shapes up.

At the office, I was attempting to get the amanda backup client agent to compile under cygwin (with the aim of adding some NT boxes to the network backup system). After patching it to take into account ".exe" suffixes on some programs and commenting out some of the fstab/block device code, it finally compiled. By hooking it up to cygwin's inetd, the amcheck, amdump, etc programs on the backup server could talk to the client agent on the NT box. Unfortunately, the backup was really slow and was using 100% CPU :( It sent the dump to the backup server, but then had to create an index or stats for the dump, or something, which was taking a long time and caused a timeout :(

Cygwin is a very useful tool on windows boxes, but it has its limitations. I found out about an Amanda Win32 client which I might try. It uses yet another POSIX emulation layer.

First entry for 2001. A lot of things have happened.

I went on a holiday to Paris for a week and then Oxford for a week with the rest of my family. It was good, but a bit cold. I got to meet Mathieu while in Paris which was good.

A few days after I got back, I was back on the plane for Sydney (where I am writing this) for linux.conf.au. It starts on Wednesday, and should be a lot of fun.

Have been hacking on pygtk recently, and a small amount on glib HEAD and framebuffer gtk (which is looking really promising). I did up the first cut at allowing arbitrary GtkTreeModels to be defined in python code. It leaks badly, and it will probably be near impossible to fix correctly :(.

The glib patch was to add some convenience functions for the GSignal code, as it is so difficult to use the existing functions people are still creating GtkObjects because of the gtksignal compatibility wrappers. Still waiting on feedback from Tim about it

Yesterday night alex asked me to try compiling pygtk with the framebuffer port of GTK, which he is working on. After adding a single missing function to the framebuffer gdk backend, pygtk compiled with no source modifications, which was good. I was having trouble with the "ms" serial mouse driver in GtkFB and my mouse. I put together a patch to make finding the start of mouse packets a little smarter, and to fix up the mouse button handling for that driver. The level of functionality in GtkFB is quite impressive.

Last Sunday, I went to the reconciliation walk in the city, which went quite well. Lots of people turned up. Also, on the way there I noticed a big banner on the old Swan Brewery (which has been a sore point, because it was an Aboriginal sacred site) saying "sorry". I don't know if anything different will happen with the development at that site though.

Haven't posted anything here in over a month. I just finished my last exam today, which was good.

It was interesting hearing about the formation of the KDE League, especially after Kurt Granroth's original comments after then announcement of the GNOME Foundation. I did an interview giving the perspective of a GNOME hacker on the League.

The Python bindings for GTK 2.0 are coming along nicely. I have wrappers for the new text and tree widgets mostly written, and they are very nice to use. Combined with python's unicode support, python makes a very nice environment for GTK programming.

Wrote some code to convert arbitrary elliptic arcs to bezier curves for the gnome-print driver in dia. This should stop people sending bug reports in about that problem. The output looks very nice, so no one should notice that it isn't real elliptic arcs. I was talking with Chema about adding support for arcs in gnome-print itself, possibly using my code as a fallback for drivers that don't support them.

I went to see The Dish at the cinema last night. It is a very good movie, and I recommend watching it. Apparently the release date is next week, so this was an advanced screening. They also had advanced screenings in Perth for Chopper back when it was released.

People have started putting in their nominations for the gnome-foundation board elections. We have enough candidates for an election to be necessary. None of the Sun guys have nominated yet. Maybe they will now that the OpenOffice source code has been released.

I handed in my dissertation today. The due date was Monday, but I got a one day extension, which was really helpful as it meant I could polish it a bit more. I feel much less stressed now that is out of the way. Maybe back to a bit more hacking now :-)

As I have been pretty much house bound for the past two weeks, working on my dissertation, I ordered a few cd's from 78s (one of the best music stores in Perth) over the internet. Very good service, and the much faster than other places I tried.

Got a copy of the new Turnstyle record Geek Party. It is a good compilation.

Looks like they sold Fatso for AU$80,450. Eric Moussambani's goggles sold for a fair amount as well. There is a nice quote from him on the auction page at ebay.

working on honours dissertation.
due in on monday.
roy and hg's coverage of the olympics was good.
fatso was a much better mascot.

56 older entries...

New Advogato Features

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.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

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!