Older blog entries for shawn (starting at number 9)

After some more pondering, I think we will need to add in a tag to the XML files that simply causes HTML from another file to be inserted. This will clean up stuff a bit. Something like:

<insertfile name="foo.html"/>

This however, will not allow substitution in the html file, which gets us back to the point of using XML for templating. This may not be a large issue at all, but then again...

I'm also completely unhappy with the stuff I implemented two days ago, as it won't really allow adding non-standard modules to mod_virgule, which was kind of the point I started out with. Basically, the system needs to allow appending or prepending functions to handle XML tags. This will allow hooking things in from other .so files or whatever. Then we can add in a modules/ directory into the database and load in anything that is sitting there when advogato initializes. The second attempt is always better.

Spent a lot of time last night hacking on a local version of mod_virgule. I have two XML templates now and a more generic methodology for rendering the XML into HTML. This is perhaps not as impressive as it may sound. Unfortunately, these modifications are of little value without changing a lot of other code as well to use the framework.

Interesting quirks about coding on mod_virgule: XML files must not begin with an empty line or it's a parse error. Parse errors are not handled well right now and looking at the header files for gnome-xml, it's not apparent how to get the parse error which occurred when a document is created. I'm not sure what a Pool is in the code, but I intend to find out sometime. If your code sigsegvs, it sucks. Java wins by a few orders of magnitude for actually giving you an valuable exception upon these type of errors.

I looked at the mailbox I filter all gtk.org and gimp.org webmaster/admin mail into... ugh. I can't keep up with it, never have been able to. If only there was a request system for such a thing, so we could make sure all things got responded to. We don't even really try to keep up with it anymore, 90% of the stuff gets ignored completely. There has to be a solution that doesn't take up a lot of time.

It pains me that gimp.org's content is growing stale. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to get anyone else to work on it; even if they had 100% content control, etc., how do you find that person who is willing to do the work? Unknown.

www.gtk.org will get revamped again by myself soon. I really want to switch to a model which allows other developers to help update content on the site. Perhaps mod_virgule code can be used for this; it's an interesting idea in any case.

I wanted to redo content.gimp.org, because I think there is a need for it's existance, but since I haven't gotton a chance now I don't think it's going to happen. I'm kind of losing interest in the idea.

Ok, bought and put together R2D2 unit which is in the Druid Mindstorm book. Pretty cool. I've been more successful putting together stuff from the books than creating anything original. I can't program the controller yet as I don't have a computer at home capable of such a thing. Well, I could use my notebook which has Linux on it, but I want to see the included software first so I have to find a machine with Windows on it.

Haven't put a lot of time into work for about a week, but we have a large deadline in two weeks so it's about time to start working on stuff again.

I watched "You've Got Mail" today while I was putting R2D2 together. It was not all that great, but the DVD was sitting there so it had to be watched.

I got the "Highlander" DVD for my birthday and watched it this weekend... it sucks so much, as far as quality is concerned. It somehow got the THX certification which I now assume means the creaters of the DVD are doing sexual favors for some of the people on the THX certification board. (Does that even exist?) Without a receiver with a center channel, the DVD is unwatchable because the music track is really loud. I have to really crank up my center channel to hear the voices, and then the audio is OK. However, the video has a huge amount of artifacts in it. Even the opening credits, which are simply a black screen with red letters have artifacts around the letters... and some of the scenes in the movie trick you into thinking you are watching a TV station and that you need to adjust the antenna because it's gotton all full of static. Whoever was in charge of the conversion to DVD should be fired outright or reassigned to another department.

I woke up my roommate last night because I was playing with my legos too loudly.

This is the first diary entry I've written on the Palm V. The wireless modem has been fixed. Perhaps this is the first wireless and keyboardless Advogato diary entry... dunno.

The wireless modem is having problems connecting to the service provider, so the pilot has been a bit less fun for about a day now. I have to report it and see how quick it gets fixed.

The software I've been working on at work is being demoed and all seems to be going very well. Now I need to do up a recommendation for changes that the system needs to have to make it more maintainable and scalable. We did a pretty OK job, but there are a few wierdnesses in the design that can be cleaned up pretty easily. Then we are onto implementing more features.

I've been thinking about making major changes to www.gtk.org. I am currently wondering if we can somehow leverage Advogato code to allow more than myself to update the site.

As it turns out, ssh on the pilot is actually quite usable if you run screen. It seems screen intelligently handles tgtelnet term and everything works wonderfully. Actually have had a use for it too - I was in a parking lot waiting at night after a building closed and I checked my e-mail to find someone's phone number. Kick ass. And today I was at the Science Museum of Minnesota with my girlfriend and was reading at my email in mutt several times. Not sure this is a good thing, actually.

I checked out and set up mod_virgule today; pretty spiffy, as expected.

I now use gnome-terminal instead of xterm. I like the right-click on URL feature a lot, has been completely stable, and acts very much like xterm in all noticable respects. XChat now also has the right-click on URL feature. These are both excellent programs.

Havoc ported the Tk Text widget to GTK+. That is amazing. A long time ago I ported the Tk Packer (included with GTK+ as GtkPacker). With the porting of Tk's Packer and Text widgets to GTK+, I think it's safe to say we have accomplished an amazing amount of software reuse in the toolkit area, something people talk alot about and you rarely see happen. It's probably good to note that it is because Tk's license is extremely flexible. That's also something that seems to be going away in software as we see more MPL and non-GPL compatible licenses. Of course, if Tk was GPL, it would have been useless too since GTK+ is a LGPL licensed library.

I just got a IP Wireless Modem for my Palm V. Sorry, they are not accepting any more Beta testers. There may be a lack of a good free ssh client for the Palm Pilot. The only one seems to not have very good terminal emulation, so it might not be useable. I need to play around with it some more. It's also requires a lot of typing to connect, which sucks. However, it is free software so these things can be fixed and probably will as this type thing becomes more popular.

I was impressed by my ability to surf the web using my Pilot at Fudruckers earlier today. Of course, I ate too much and thought I was going to die, and now that's all tied together as one cool event. Sigh.

We have had deadlines at work every day for the last 2 weeks. It is very stressful and we miss about every other deadline. ;-) But we are making good progress and hopefully it will lighten up a bit next month.

I want to start working on a free software project again next month (see above paragraph about how I'm hoping things will lighten up a bit work-wise). I do not know what project to work on. It seems to me that all projects are pretty boring or overly-complex. ;-(

One possibility is to try and enhance theme support in GTK+ so that we can make it emulate other toolkits with perfection, or close to perfection. This would require adding some things to gtkrc parsing so that we can have per-widget class attributes. This would allow us to do some things like write the scrollbar code to allow moving the scrollbar buttons to different positions without a hack.

Of course, I want to get that port of GTK+ to BeOS integrated into the CVS tree sometime soon. Someone actually sent something to me saying they wanted to *use* it.

There are other ideas I have, but they are create-a-new-project ideas, and I think finishing or enhancing something would be better. What I don't want, is to be working on more than one project at a time. Tends to result in nothing getting done.

I did up a new release of GLib and GTK+ today. That didn't take long because once again Tim Janik did most the work creating the NEWS files, etc. Still plenty involved in doing the releases, but it's so automated now it's just time consuming stuff I do in the background.

On the job front, today I did a release of the Java servlet-based software that we are writing for a client. That was a few hours of work to migrating it from development to a staging area. I've already noticed several bugs... ;-(

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