The work on PDF 1.4 transparency goes well - I have almost all of the low level pixel crunching done, including all of the blend modes (in RGB, anyway), and some of the nested two alpha channel modes. lpd and I are a bit stuck on some of the integration with Ghostscript, but we're meeting this evening and so hopefully will be able to resolve some of this then.
My open letter has gotten almost entirely positive responses, but a few flames from people who think I'm favoring Gnome too much. One such email came from somebody I now think of as the archetype of clueless free software people - in response to my email asking him how he'd reconcile wanting to have a really high quality GUI with trying to be desktop agnostic, he begged off volunteering, saying he's helping a friend with an instant messaging app. Woohoo! I bear him no ill will, though. With luck, he will get a passing score network application programming 101 and may someday become a productive member of our society.