Older blog entries for mpesenti (starting at number 13)

16 Mar 2004 (updated 16 Mar 2004 at 01:25 UTC) »

I really hate when someone define mindless users that doesnt want, need or care to learn unix filesystem or shells. Maybe it's just because I'm that sort of person myself ...

I was reading Seth piece on usability tests and focusing on a somewhat marginal point. "Producing a good design requires more art than method". I agree that creativity has a very strong role in interaction design. Though I was wondering how this art could be better communicated and teached in the free software context. While theory can be easily transmitted by books, essays, or blogs entry, artistic skills are problematic. Like crafts they could probably be better learned by working with the "artist" (the designer). Free software is probably the most succesfull example of collaborative work nowadays, which make me think we have a great opportunity but we are mostly missing it. Why ?

Oh btw. Epiphany 1.2 is out ... let's hope everything is ok.

I've been doing some work to add a gtkmozembed backend to yelp. There are a few issue but they seem to be solvable. What I dont really what to do is to add yet another wrapper script to setup LD_LIBRARY_PATH/MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME. Mozilla embedding really need to be fixed. I wonder if blizzard would mind some help on the GRE port while he is busy with other things :)

It's snowing crazily here. Never seen so much snow in my country before.

What happend in Spain is terrible. I have really no words.

I had a one month unexpected delay with my thesis work. Though finally things are shaping up again and I'm not far from finishing. I hope everything is ok this time.

We had strong bug submission attacks in the last week but we managed to resist. It's fun to be able to start working on bugs as they are submitted because of the challenge feeling. Actually Christian usually fix bugs 15 minutes before they are submitted, so all that I need to do is close them :) I think 1.2 quality will be good but we will have to wait Beta 1 release to have a confirmation.

I've been sucky lately with my private mail. If you wait for a reply do not give up yet, next week I should be able to go through my queue.

24 Feb 2004 (updated 24 Feb 2004 at 11:27 UTC) »

I've got Where the action is from Amazon. Had a fast read and it looks cool, now to find time to read it for real. I'm also reading Norman's Emotional Design that my gf gave me, lots of interesting points there too. I must say I envy Edd to have listened Norman talk :)

I feel sad about the problems translators are having with string changes since I personally "contributed" with two strings (one of which was really really silly). Sorry guys.

Glad to see the new file selector design. I especially like the behavioral rationale. Gnome 2.6 file management is going to rock with this and spatial nautilus !

It have been snowing pretty heavily here in the last few days. Today I have no civil service work, so I plan to go out skying in the afternoon. Or maybe I should fix some bug ... nah ;)

5 Feb 2004 (updated 5 Feb 2004 at 10:32 UTC) »
Curtis, maybe your problem is something like bug 132361. I couldnt find an emblems directory in default-icon-theme.

I got approval for my thesis. Yay !!! I have a bit more work to do but the hard part is finally gone :)

23 Jan 2004 (updated 23 Jan 2004 at 23:07 UTC) »

Damn, I managed to break my concentration on university again. IRC and hacking has a bad effect on it ... I wonder if I should keep reading gnomedesktop comments. The flames there has a bad effect on me. I either feel pressed to run away and stop wasting my time, either to stop working on something that is not positive for the community. I usually react in a positive way to criticisms (try to find solutions, feel urged to fix problems etc ...) but I cant stand the sort of "criticisms" in those comments. I wonder if that's my fault... Oh well they made me find a bug at least ;)

20 Jan 2004 (updated 20 Jan 2004 at 10:58 UTC) »

I've been forced to stay mostly out of the loop for the last two months to be able to complete my last univ project. Hopefully I'll get out of there soon ;) I'm grateful to Christian that has been doing a great work maintaining epiphany in this period.

I finally managed to get some time to look at a solution for the problems in new downloads design. I think we reached a good compromise and we have plenty of space for improving in next releases. We need to fix the rhough edeges of the implementation ASAP. Feedback on usability list was useful, especially Alan and Clarck feedback (thanks guys). I'll certainly look at implementing more of Alan suggestions in the future, they are very interesting.

Bye Mark!

The first memory I have of Ettore is a chat with him and Chema. I like to think to them that way, still together. I was in Milan today and everything remember me of him: talking with other gnomers, looking at bug mail and thinking of his bugs I havent fixed, discussing the downloader and remembering his mail about it ... It hurts. My heart and my thoughts are with his family and with Ximians. Keep up guys, for him !

Wow long time not posting here. I have to try out John Perry Structured procrastination theory.

I was looking at Epiphany 1.2 plan, in particular to the "Aspects to improve" section.

Better communication with GNOME teams. Good. I like the fact that we have been able to provide feedback on menu/toolbars/combo gtk new widgets. GTK people are being very very open about suggestions/bug reports and we really appreciate it. (Btw I'm impressed by the improvements made to gtk 2.4, it's taking some more time than planned, but it's damn worth).

Better communication with testers. Good. I've been surprised by the good feedback we got for 1.0, after the gnomedesktop flames. We are getting a lot of bug reports and productive feedback on mailing lists. (We are still at 200 bugs. Yay ! Christian is doing a great work.)

I think we can do a better work avoiding regressions. Not too bad, we had a few regression but it's acceptable given we need to concentrate adding/reworking fetaures now.

Connection with Mozilla people. Improving, we got in some fixes we needed pretty fastly (Christian established the new record, only 1 day !). Though some really bad, old, embedding bugs are still there.

Design should not block on me. This is where I'm not satisfied. I tried to get people more involved in the design of new features/improvements, but the situation is still exactly the same as 1.0 development, things block until I have the time to make them moving. This slow down development quite a bit, because it blocks possible contributors to code.

The alternative is to make interface changes without thinking to them much, hoping they work and trying to fix problems when they show. But I dont think I like the idea.

The worst is that I dont quite understand why it's so hard to get contributions in this field. Maybe lack of interest (I guess most prefer code to human interface design) or lack of a documented methodology. Maybe a bit of both. It's really frustrating for a maintainer.

In practice. In practice I'm generally happy on how we have been progressing. I'm keeping track of the work done in the Plan itself, deleting items we completed.


I have been not able to do any work on Storage for a few weeks. Luckily I see Seth is rocking on natural language. I must be back on it soon !

We fixed/closed several bugs today and we are finally back under 200 (enanchements included). It would be good if we could keep them at this level but ... that will be hard ;) I found an uninitialized variable that could cause the "reappearing location entry" bug. I really hope it's that, the bug is hard to reproduce (impossible for me recently).

Email viruses are getting me crazy. I get like 7-8 message of 100 Kb per hour now, I'm sure soon my mailbox will start to get full again during the night ... Sucks.

I'm trying to hack an html importer for storage. It should walk the DOM tree and extract informations like title, links, keywords ... Open Text Summarizer is going to be useful. I want to solve the authentication issue in libstorage-translators before though.

And finally I remember to say ... gnome-blog rocks !

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