Older blog entries for louie (starting at number 86)

2 Apr 2004 (updated 2 Apr 2004 at 15:17 UTC) »

I was pleased to discover last night that my alma mater has purchased the public domain. Take that, Lessig.

Been a long week, but had a lot of fun last night at the release party. Good to see the RH guys, and good to hang out some with Joe and Robert, who I don't hang out with enough. Dave I see too much of. :) Nothing quite like 20ish slightly drunk gnome hackers crowding into Tosci's in harvard square. Very surreal, lots of fun. Hopefully Joe and Robert will post pics sometime tonight. We need to organize boston@gnome.org or something like that so we can do these at least monthly.

Good day. Duke men and women won in the tournament, Krissa and her mom cooked a great dinner, and we had dessert at finale, a spectacularly decadent dessert-focused restaurant. The chocolate and ice cream martini was the least outrageous thing we ate. I'm still on the border of exploding, an hour later.

I had a fun day today, doing more bugzilla stuff. I can't claim to have fixed all of these but I had my finger in a number of them. Just very nice to be able to do concrete stuff, going through a bug list and actually fixing stuff myself. Been too long.

The future possibilities for the codebase are pretty exciting, too. For example, William McCann has been working on TODO export in bugzilla- when we get to 2.17 (or possibly earlier if we can backport) you'll be able to click on a webcal link on any query you run, and just have it *poof* show up in evo 1.5. (William has also been hacking on the evo end; kudos to him for tackling both large and sometimes fairly grody code bases :) And hopefully we'll get the XML-RPC stuff from RH going soon- it would be sooooo much better to use that for bugzilla than the current crufty mail stuff, for example, and being able to use jrb and alex's bugtool will be a big plus. I know I'm looking forward to abusing it. :)

Weekend should be nice; some basketball tonight and Krissa's mom in town. Hopefully I'll still get to watch the basketball :)

I'm not going to say I really 'hacked' today, per se, since I didn't even write any perl, but it was still fun to mess with things, commit changes, and have them show up live. Bug tracking still has lots of inherent suckiness, but hopefully now that we're working from a better base we'll be able to fix some of them more quickly.

Sort of long, frustrating day yesterday. Worked part of it out of my system by posting my pictures from Nuernberg.

Today was more productive; not able to do much for xd but was able to hack a bit and test on gnome's new bugzilla. Everyone owes aes a huge debt of gratitude for pushing this through, but lots of other people have helped too- jrb, aldug, elijah, and davef (way back in the day :) It has some changes that will be a little hard for a very old hand like myself to get used to, but overall it is hugely better, with better searching, improved cleanliness in the UI, and some improved custom fields. We could probably stand to nuke a few of the old ones- hopefully we'll be able to do some of that soon.

Spent part of the afternoon working on the release notes memorial page. It's not easy- they deserve a true wordsmith who grokked who they were. I think I qualify for the second (at least for chema and ettore) but not for the first, at this point. Very frustrating.

Rest of the release notes are shaping up nicely, though. It's not an earthshaking release, but it is nice to get something out. And some of the incremental upgrades (like the file selector) are really great. Murray has done awesome work getting this together; everyone buy him a virtual beer wednesday night.

Not incredibly looking forward to going home from the office tonight- I think every dish/plate/bowl I own is dirty, and nearly the same for my clothes. Cleaning night it will be. :/

BTW, Havoc, you should fix the timestamps on your blog posts so that every set of posts in a day don't all show up as one agglomerated mass :)

Guilty pleasures: real chorizo and manchego cheese, with the NCAA tourney on couple hour replay-tv-delay.

By the way, for the record, I've told rml that he doesn't have to impress me by cheering for the forces of good and light. I like him anyway. Snorp, on the other hand, could use the karma points, at least until he gets his wireless applet working in my distro. :)

I'm writing this on the plane; I know I'm going to feel like ass when I get off, but I probably shouldn't complain- as far as I can tell, I'm next to the only empty seat on the entire plane.

Nuernberg was pretty much a blast, despite the agonies of travel and the cultural bits. It's weird, I don't think I've ever traveled to a place where I didn't speak the language, didn't speak anything close to the language, and had no basically full-time guide/translator. I also had very little time to page through the phrasebook in the back of my guide. :/ Obviously, plenty of Germans speak English- one of the YaST guys was actually the first non-American I've ever heard say 'oh, learning English is easy.' But it was still sort of awkward for touristing... even wandering into fairly touristy shops still felt really awkward for me, like I was being rude by making them listen to me. If I go back, I must take the time to learn at least basic phrases of greeting, ordering, etc. Unfortunately, my local travel book store had no Rick Steve's for German. I (heart) Rick Steve's, for the record.

Nurnberg is a neat 'little' town- was one of the last old cities in Europe to have a complete city wall, before we leveled the entire downtown during WWII. They've rebuilt it all, and it is pretty cool (especially the castle) but it doesn't have quite the same feel that an 'authentic' ancient wall/castle (like in Sevilla) has. Our hotel and the SuSE offices were on almost exactly opposite sides of the old city, so every morning and evening we were forced to walk through the old city. I think I actually have a grasp of it now- I'm not exactly ready to be a Nurnberg tour guide or anything, but if you dropped me down anywhere in/around the old town I could probably get you to the center of town and some of the major tourist points. And definitely to the SuSE offices.

The beer is great- we went on the last night to the Landsbierparadis, which is basically a bar which 'imports' small village brewery beer in honest-to-god wood kegs into the city. I don't recall exactly how many of the local beers I had- 4 or 6, maybe? They were all good, though as one of the SuSE guys pointed out, most were fairly simple- not complex. Just hearty and shockingly smooth. And they serve it all out of these great ceramic steins- very satisfying clinks after rousing toasts to World Domination and such. Dave and I ended up taking a set home. We also had a great evening at the local Irish bar on St. Patty's- great fries, good Krug, and wonderful basement-of-ancient-building pub feel. The other nights (only four nights total, unfortunately) we pretty much crashed- turns out trans-atlantic travel, long working days, and closing out pubs the night before does that to you. It's funny, the Germans talk about Tucher (which I like) about the same way we talk about Bud. :) Oh, and the beer-related cost of living felt very reasonable- drinking last night was only about 35 euro, including sauerbraten, my own beer, and a round of beer for the whole table.

The SuSE folks were really cool and helpful- the goal of the trip was to talk to people, meet them, and figure out the 'how do we get the XD team integrated into SuSE so we can start making their GNOME kick ass.' I think we got a lot of data for that formal goal, which is great, both of the 'this is how we should do it' and 'this is how we actually do it' variety. We touched on virtually everything at some point- from build system to i18n to docs to planning to security. And so forth.

Informally we met a fair number of people and have a much better feel for who SuSE really is. The KDE guys were very cool- I had a couple really good talks with some of them, especially with Stephan Kulow, who maintains the KDE bugzilla. They've stolen and improved some of our reporting code, and I plan to steal back some of the improvements they've made, some of which are very cool. I think I disagree with some of their specific bug reporting philosophies (probably a post for another time ;) but in general they've done even more nice stuff than I realized, and I thought they'd done a lot :) Holger Hetterich, their GNOME guy in nurnberg, is pretty cool too- he'd already been really helpful over IRC and email, but it was great to meet him in person and hang out a bit. Thanks for the bratwurst, dude. :) I hope we can get him and Stanislav (from suse.cz) to come to GUADEC. Heck, Nurnberg wouldn't be a bad choice for the next GUADEC- we'd certainly get a lot of freedesktop love, if nothing else. And it certainly fulfills the 'lots of places to go and drink' requirements, and given that it seems to have a fairly decent convention industry, probably lots of cheap places to stay. (We ended up at the Smile Hotel, for about 40 euros a night- not bad.) Of course, organizers on the ground probably trumps most things, and I'm not sure the KDE guys like us enough to volunteer for that :)

Besides wandering around the old town and trying to eat local food bits (bratwursten and other such) we did indulge in a few other things. I got to talk to a couple of the guys about the reunification of Germany, which is something I'm personally curious about because of Cuba. That was really neat- talking about how the world just sort of ended at the border, and then it didn't. And because our original hotel was supposed to be 70 km away, we had to rent a car- which gave me a chance on the last morning to now say I've driven 200 km/h on the autobahn. That was sort of cool, though the car did start wandering a touch at about 190 km/h so I didn't really stay that fast for very long. Still, is sort of cool to be able to say I did it. And god, I'm /so/ jealous of Germans- not only does their public transit kick a lot of ass (subway, tram, and bus) their highways are just great. Even in overcast weather, they seemed to be cruising at 85-90 mph and passing faster. I've never felt safer on the road, actually- I was totally focused and not going to get bored with driving, that's for sure :) I also watched a touch of German TV (no net in hotel :/) and was surprised to see Fresh Prince of Bel Air. In German. Seems like the mild racial humor wouldn't translate well- but Dave pointed out that much of the class stuff probably comes across fine. Oh, and their area code is 911- totally undialable for a repressed American such as myself.

The one thing that definitely sucked is that I'm drastically behind on email, including release team, which sucks. Hopefully I can catch up on monday- tomorrow is Krissa's birthday so the computer is likely to be off most of the day. :) It was cool to see that Dave's proposed release party is catching on, though- hope to see lots of people there.

Oh, my German history lesson for the week:

(german to another german) Your state took over my state 200 years ago. You suck.

(me to germans) I'm sorry, I had pretty good European history in school, but pre-Bismarck all they said was 'lots of little states that fought each other.'

(germans) That sounds about right.

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