Older blog entries for louie (starting at number 87)

Just read Havoc's post on usability. I don't think there is any challenge in building a closed organization that churns out usable code that happens to be GPL, which it sounds like is what RH is planning. I think the challenge (and I hope Ximian and RH's design teams can work with the community on this problem) is creating an open community where design is similarly top down- or at least where user-centric design is the dominant paradigm. We got a long way- lots and lots of people come to #gnome and say 'I want to make my program HIG-compliant.' But we sort of stalled there. The HIG covers only spacing and look and feel- it isn't a GNOME Usability Design HOWTO, and it seems like the people who could write such a doc are getting hoovered up and into the relevant companies. That's not bad- I'm happy for them, and I hope both ximian and RH can write great software based on their skills. But we won't be successful as a community if all our best people are working purely on internal projects- we need some resources working on something better than Havoc on Preferences to educate newcomers about the GNOME design philosophy and the GNOME design process. Obviously documentation can only do so much; it isn't a replacement for real training. But having something to point people at is really important, IMHO, and it doesn't sound like the direction anyone in the current usability community is pointed at. And that's too bad.

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. :)

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