Older blog entries for jamesh (starting at number 75)

More investigation of the slow processing speed for my document. It seems like the slowdown is somewhere in libxslt's chunking code.

With chunking turned on, xsltproc took 4 minutes to process the document, while without chunking (ie. producing one large file), it only took 1:30 minutes (less than half the processing time).

In comparison, using Jade to process the document took about 2 minutes with chunking turned on. With chunking turned off, it took 4 minutes.

I wonder if this means that xsltproc's performance with chunking turned on can be improved to be faster than its nochunks performance? Either that, or the DSSSL stylesheets for Jade can be optimised for the non chunked case :-)

22 Dec 2001 (updated 22 Dec 2001 at 02:59 UTC) »

I was updating my documentation generator for pygtk (the one that tries to make the C reference docs for GTK look like docs for Python). It was taking a while to process with db2html (which uses Jade to convert from SGML to HTML), so I thought I would look at using DocBook/XML and DV's xsltproc, which I had heard ran a lot quicker.

Unlike other people's experiences, the docs ended up taking over twice as long to process with xsltproc compared to jade! I suppose this was to do with the size (about 1.9MB of of XML source), and the number of cross references (the doc generation script added a lot of xrefs). On other docs I tried, xsltproc seemed noticably better.

I also found out that White Christmas made with coco pops tastes pretty good.

Assuming that the initial count is correct, /me is on the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors! (as soon as the results are verified).

As board members are evenly spaced around the globe (I am in +800, Telsa is in +100, many are in -500 and George is in -800), board meetings are going to be at inconvenient times for some people. At the moment, it looks like it is George who will be getting up at 8am for meetings, and at midnight for me. As I said I would make meetings difficult to schedule in my candidate statement and George voted for me, I can't feel too sorry for him :-)

Congratulations to all the other new board members.

My arms are still a bit sore when I straighten them from the kneeboarding. I guess I need to get a bit more excercise.

I was setting up an Adaptec 2400A RAID card today. It came with a bootable configuration CD, which was pretty convenient. I put it in the drive, and see a LILO prompt, and it booted Linux, and started X.

There was a little program that gave access to the RAID config program, documentation, the ability to set up driver disks for various operating systems. The last option was to start an RXVT, so I chose that. Looking at the ps listing, I noticed that the GUI was actually a python program using PyGTK, which was a nice surprise. It is nice seeing my code being used in small applications like this.

26 Nov 2001 (updated 26 Nov 2001 at 12:57 UTC) »

Working at ActiveState was a lot of fun. It was interesting working on Komodo, and learning about the Mozilla code base.

I got to feed the useful mozilla fixes back upstream that was good. I got bug 107651 - Handle multiple file drops on mozilla (gtk build) using the text/uri-list target into the 0.9.6 release (which is not as useful as it could be, due to many mozilla dnd observers not being set up for multiple item drops).

I have a few other useful patches pending:

Hopefully some of these will get into 0.9.7.

The weather was great on the weekend. Went out kneeboarding with some friends. We put together a two metre tower high on the back of the boat built from two spars lashed together. It looked a bit dodgy, but it worked pretty well. It made getting up on the board a lot easier (it was my first time kneeboarding in over a year, and I was expecting to fall off almost immediately).

In Melbourne for a month working for ActiveState on Komodo, which is pretty interesting. I am supposed to be fixing linux/gtk related bugs. It is quite difficult to work out where in the mozilla source code things are happening though :(.

Komodo is a very interesting project, and should mature into a good IDE (it is already usable under windows). Some great free software has come out of Komodo already (even if Komodo itself isn't), such as PyXPCOM.

From what has been happening, it sounds like Air New Zealand had been siphoning money out of Ansett by charging fuel and catering costs against the airline and possibly doing so after it knew Ansett was bankrupt. This has caused Ansett workers to call for a boycott of Air NZ, which the NZ PM doesn't like much.

To save money, the .au Government allowed the two domestic airlines (Qantas/Australian Airlines and Ansett) to build the air terminals themselves. At almost every domestic airport in australia, you will see a Qantas half and an Ansett half (usually with different architecture, etc). Separate checkins, separate bagage collection, separate arival/departure gates, etc. Now half of every domestic air terminal is left closed. Those people who happened to own shops inside an Ansett terminal can't open for business. I really hope some of the smaller airlines (such as Virgin) will finally be allowed to use Ansett's space in the domestic terminals, which will allow them to compete more evenly than before (before they often had to use other buildings round the airport or the international airport terminals).

The ACCC is going to toughen the rules for airlines so that this change doesn't make it even more difficult for new airlines to break into the business.

In news on the Tampa refugees, the courts are going to rule on the Government's apeal today.

It is really sad hearing so many people in the US out for blood (I have no way to tell how many people feel this way -- the internet+media can give a very skewed perspective on things). The terrorists killed many innocent people in the WTC, most likely because of issues they had with the US govenment and foreign policy. If the US turns around and kills innocent Palestinians or Afgahns (or where ever they happen to be based) in order to get the terrorists, that would be just as bad an act of terrorism.

In local news, Ansett has stopped flying, which means the only interstate domestic airline serving Perth now is Qantas. I hope the ACCC keeps air fares in check.

It seems that even though Judge North ruled in favour of the Tampa refugees, they are still going to Nauru until the government is finished apealing the judgement. I don't know anyone who approves of how the government treats boat people.

I have been converting a lot of the boxed types in pygtk over to my new PyGBoxed code. So far, this has resulted in about 1000 less lines of non generated source code, which is helpful. It will also help wrap other addon widget libraries that have boxed types (provided they are registered with glib). I will have to submit a few patches for GTK to register the last few types that aren't already registered.

The development version of libglade got support for container child properties recently (thanks to the new GTK APIs from Tim), which means that most container types can be handled by libglade without any extra code, which brings us closer to a stage where no new code would be required to support new widgets. I also started work on a simple converter to go from the old file format to the new one. It still has problems, but it is better than nothing, and should help test my code.

Recompiled devel gtk+ and its dependencies today from scratch, and gtk-demo still segfaults :-(. Tim committed my g_object_newv patch, so people should be able to build devel libglade. He also checked in the child properties stuff, which will allow me to handle that generically in libglade (once he adds a few missing APIs).

Once I sort out the gtk+ issues, I can get hacking on pygtk a bit more.

I am sure most people have heard about the flame war on the gnome-hackers list over the weekend. Things have settled down now, and there is talk of creating some procedures for introducing changes to the platform. Some people have argued that it is introducing too much bureaucracy, but I think it will work out quite well. Similar schemes have worked well for Python, TCL, Perl and even the internet. All have varying levels of formality, so we should be able to find a process that suits GNOME well.

Unfortunately, the flame war was picked up by various news outlets such as Linux Today who posted some fairly one sided editorials. Judging by the comments, the maturity of LT's readership is dropping to slashdot standards. It pisses me off when people blow things like this out of proportion. Looks like they did something similar again today in an editorial about a KDE disagreement.

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