Older blog entries for pbor (starting at number 15)

gedit

I really wanted to see gnome-vfs support finally make it into gedit, so with the help of paolo I picked up some of his code and beat it into shape. This also required looking at some of the gnome-vfs internals and get a couple of patches accepted there (thanks teuf!).

If anyone thinks (like I did) that saving a darn text file is trivial, he should probably take a look at the code: it isn't rocket science, but dealing with all the small details (create a backup, fail gracefully, symlinks, persmissions, etc) requires definately more than open(), write(), close().

Modulo some FIXMEs the code now works fine, however at the end we decided to not include it in 2.10: we were not comfortable enough with the reliability of some of the vfs methods and we didn't investigate yet how to work out some UI and code details to integrate it in gedit. It's much better to wait for 2.11 instead of changing such a central part of the codebase just before the feature freeze: this way it will get tested for a whole developement cycle.

Since we didn't want to hit the feature freeze empty handed, during the night I hacked up a plugin which lets you save a copy of the file to any remote locations through gnome-vfs (saving a copy is less tricky than real save since you don't have to care about backups). paolo instead hacked up current line highlighting in gtksourceview and added support for that and for bracket matching to gedit. Not bad if you consider we didn't have any new feature till two days ago!

GtkMenuToolButton

Yay! I've just committed the GtkMenuToolButton widget to GTK+ HEAD. Thanks to the help of federico and maclas I even managed to defeat the documentation build system vodoo and commit the basic docs for the widget... the widget should be straightforward to use anyway.
Having the widget in HEAD means that it will be in gtk 2.6 and thus it is available for Gnome 2.10 (or should I say 2.A?).
Now I only need to make some various projects use it.

LinuxWorldExpo.it

With a friend I went to the italian LinuxWorldExpo.
It wasn't particularly good: the conference is focused toward business and the few techincal workshops required expensive fees. Not so disappointing, that's pretty much what I expected. There was also a .org section with some stands of debian, fsf etc... obviously they were relegated in a sort of basement, below the main exposition room.
The nice thing is that I finally had the chance to meet paolo and we talked a bit about gedit, choosing a few priorities that we need to attack during the next devel cycle. If time permits.

18 Sep 2004 (updated 18 Sep 2004 at 12:58 UTC) »
Find Dialog

clarkbw discusses ideas for a better UI design of the find dialog to use in GNOME apps. In particular in gedit, the subject has been in discussion for some time.
While I agree that the current design has problems (the most annoying to me is that often the dialog covers the results), I am not convinced that the new proposed design is the way to go.
In particular it does not cover a particular aspect of searching in an editing app: how would "serach & replace" work?
I also have some doubts about the interaction described, in particular:

  • "The focus is transferred to the results window": in an editing app I would prefer if keyboard focus was left on the text, so that I can right away type in the point I was looking for
  • "finally ESC closes the results window": while I would be totally ok with this, it seems to me that the same rules used to say that ESC should *not* close the find dialog apply. If ESC is bound with the concept of undoing the changes and thus it should not be used for the close button of the find dialog, why is ok to use it to close the output window?


Foundation

I'm now a member of the GNOME Foundation. Yay!

16 Sep 2004 (updated 16 Sep 2004 at 15:25 UTC) »
GNOME 2.8

GNOME 2.8 is out! Congratulations to everyone involved.
In this devel cycle we didn't manage to work a lot on gedit, just bugfixing and maintainance work... we'll see if we get a bit more time for it in the next months, otherwise we may get replaced by the NEW PROGRAMMING TECHNOLOGY.

I also decided to apply for for membership in the GNOME foundation... I already wanted to do it last year, but then I forgot... we'll see if I'll get accepted.

DropdownToolButton

I submitted a bugreport to gtk requesting a simple widget which provides a ToolButton with a dropdown menu (like the Back and Forward button of a browser) since many apps in gnome have their own implementation of such a widget (gedit, epiphany, nautilus, evolution, etc)... my secret plan was to simply submit the bug and see someone implementing it like it happened for GtkAbout, but I ended up working a bit on it myself today, we'll see how it goes.

Sunday afternoon I was a bit bored so I hacked up a simple puzzle game: glightoff. Source code can be checked out from gnome cvs. It's really simple, but not so easy to solve!
Yesterday I even added svg graphics to it: they look like were drawn by a five years old child, but keep in mind they only take me ten minutes and it was the first time I fired up inkscape. By the way, inkscape is really wonderful.

In the other news I spent a nice and relaxing summer, but now it's time to get back into the swing of things

Thesis
Thesis work has been a bit slow... in part it is due to the fact that I've been distracted by other things and in part it is due to the fact that I have a bit too much on my plate: not only this whole kind of work is new to me, but also the platform on which I have to work is experimental and little documented, it's modelled in SystemC, which I have to learn about and SystemC in turns is based on C++, with which I'm not that familiar either... Lack of people showing me how to get started and able to answer my questions doesn't help.

GNOME
Managed to get a bit of work done, some patches here and there. I'm helping out with the stable branch of gedit: not much stuff, but I managed to screw up anyway, committing a little patch that broke the string freeze. I reverted it as soon as menthos made me notice.
Since I'm not a native english speaker, I'd like to underline how much I appreciate the amazing work done by the team of translators in GNOME.

Long time since last post... lots of stuff happened.
Among other things (some of which sad, like having a car accident in which a friend of mine got injured) Gnome 2.6 and Fedora Core 2 have been released: congratulations to everyone involved!


Thesis

I finally started my thesis work: it's about StepNP, an architecture platform aimed network processing systems... it involves NPUs (Network Processing Units), MP-SoC (Multi Processor System on Chip), NoC (Network on Chip) and other buzz words and strange acronyms I still have to learn about :-)
It's modelled in SystemC, a system level description language that leverages c/c++, making it easier to concurrently design hardware and software (the so called co-design). Nice thing: it's open source!.

5 Feb 2004 (updated 5 Feb 2004 at 19:23 UTC) »

UART

Finished the UART and presented it to the teacher: went well. A UART is a simple piece of hardware, but I must admit that seeing it run and work fine on a *real* FPGA talking to a *real* microprocessor was great. I mean, describing the behaviour (mainly a couple of finite state machines) in verilog wasn't that hard, but dealing with the fact that it's hardware and not software requires to take into account lots of things (clock timing, latches, etc): seeing the right signal displayed on the oscilloscope felt really good!

Patches

Managed to get other patches included in some gnome projects :) (jhbuild, gnome-system-monitor).
I even submit my first GTK+ patch into bugzilla, waiting for review...

Evolution

Sent a couple of simple patches to Evolution... they said me that they're mostly OK, but to get them in I have to sign the copyright assignment.
I have no problemem doing that and I understand it's a general policy, but it's a bit annonying, especially considering the fact that mine were just a couple of simple "boring-sunday-afternoon" patches and that I don't plan (lack of time and skill) to become a regular evolution contributor.
I wonder how many contributors are put off by this hurdle... not the copyright assignment per se, but the fact that you have print it down and send it to the US by regular mail.

Would a click-through agreement when submitting a patch in bugzilla hold any legal value?

Anyway Evo 1.5 is shaping up really nice, it's a still a bit raugh and unstable but running cvs HEAD you can really feel the improvement day by day... You almost can hear the noise of bugs being squished ;-)
Thanks to Ximian and to all the Evo hackers!

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