Older blog entries for sisob (starting at number 90)

Luis: How do I keep informed about Gnome News? Well I used to read footnotes, but now that that is agregated into Planet Gnome, I just read Planet Gnome.

I'm also subscribed to loads of mailing lists: desktop-devel-list, usability, nautilus-list, gnome-announce-list, rhythmbox-devel, gossip-devel, foundation-list, gnome-bugsquad and maybe a few others. I'm also CCed on lots of bugs, and I've created quite a few myself. So I get plenty of Gnome related e-mail.

Last but not least, I spend a whole lot of time on irc.gnome.org so pick up a lot there from talking with hackers and users.

2 Quick Thoughts

1. Eclipse is a reallly sweet IDE. I'm doing a group Java Project for Uni and it's going to be damned useful for that. Even handles CVS :)

2. Gnome 2.5 is looking super sweet. HAIL To the Capt'ns! Cant wait to test all the Gnome network stuff too.

Fast User Switching

There was a whole lot of comments on the fast user switching, and so I've filed a GDM bug. The xscreensaver stuff would be nice too, but IMHO no totally necessary at the onset, and would of course probably require a fork of xscreensaver.

I built a new sane-backends rpm from Andy's Source RPM which includes Micheal's Patch. Now my scanner works a charm :) Thanks guys.

Eugenia: Good point, I'll try to get to looking at that other scanning program. The general idea is to write a gnome scanning library, with my UI being a frontend and with other applications being able to use the lib too. I hope we can make it possible to make this library not totally dependent on Sane if that is the right thing to do.

Fast User Switching
Every now and then someone mentions that it would be nice to have fast user switching in Gnome. The fact is that we already have it, it just isn't gooey yet. Right now you can run `gdmflexiserver` and use that to log in as a new user. Then you can use ALT+F* to change from one user to another. If you want security you can turn on screen locking.

So how to make this nice and gooey? We could add an "Actions -> Switch User" menu item that would run gdmflexiserver. Then we would need to make gdm aware of users currently logged in, and make it switch to an already open session before creating a new one.


Eugenia: The idea is that the scanner program would be the epiphany not the galeon of scanning. I'm afraid that the target audience is not photographers and advanced users, at least not at the start anyway.

Andy: I'm also having some trouble with sane:

[sisob@sisob sisob]$ scanimage
scanimage: open of device gt68xx:/dev/usb/scanner0 failed: Error during device I/O
[sisob@sisob sisob]$ dmesg
usb-uhci.c: interrupt, status 2, frame# 1655
scanner.c: ioctl_scanner: control_msg returned -75
usb_control/bulk_msg: timeout
scanner.c: ioctl_scanner: control_msg returned -110
usb_control/bulk_msg: timeout
scanner.c: ioctl_scanner: control_msg returned -110
usb_control/bulk_msg: timeout
scanner.c: ioctl_scanner: control_msg returned -110

The scanner does work on other Linux PCs with the same hardware, and it did work once or twice on this PC, but then it stopped. I've even tried resetting my BIOS, but I still get his. Even with multiple distos the same thing ...

re: Eugenia

Eugenia: Sorry, should have been more clear, the scanning program doesn't exist yet. It just a Ui design. The idea was that it would be a frontend to libsane, so it would have what ever features are avaliable with xsane, but with a much prettier interface. Ross said he was thinking about putting some code behind it.

Programming Languages

I know that "every progamming language sucks, each in it's own special way". But I have to say that since I've been learning about object orientation in java it's struck me how UGLY object orientation is in C. Appart from anything else C/Gtk+ is just really hard to read, which to me is a signifigant barrier to entry to hacking.

I was delighted recently to discover how similar C# is to Java. I mean check out gtk#'s hello world, it's just sexy:

	using Gtk;
	using GtkSharp;
	using System;

	class Hello {

		static void Main()
			Application.Init ();

    			Button btn = new Button ("Hello World");
    			btn.Clicked += new EventHandler (hello);

			Window window = new Window ("helloworld");
			window.DeleteEvent += new DeleteEventHandler (delete_event);
			window.Add (btn);
			window.ShowAll ();

			Application.Run ();

		static void delete_event (object obj, DeleteEventArgs args)
			    Application.Quit ();

		static void hello (object obj, EventArgs args)
			Console.WriteLine("Hello World");
			Application.Quit ();

That was taken from the mono handbook. There are some hideous C/Gtk+ hello worlds online too. I always knew I hated trying to hack C/Gtk+, but now I know that there is something better.

I should be a pretty decent Java coder by the end of this (college) year, maybe I'll pickup some C# coding this summer if I'm not working. F-Spot looks very promising and would be great if combined with Original for web publishing, and a Gnome scanning program.

James: ahh, I couldn't see a changelog entry in bonzai but I had the changes locally so I assumed that they had been there for a while. Obviously the changes just hadn't synced to anon-cvs yet.

Nice work on the wiki page...

re: Havoc

Havoc: Seems that then freedesktop X has been in jhbuild for a while now....

<code>jhbuild build xserver</code>

Gnome does need direction

This is something that the KDE boys do better than us. We really need both per-release goals, as well as goals for the 2.x series.

I know that stuff only get's done when there is someone to code, but having a list will make it easier for people.

I also think that we need a methadology for starting new programs. Something closer to the way it's done in "Designing from both side of the screen". ie. The UI and functionality would be designed first on the lists and then the coding could begin..

Now to Haloween...... *witches cackle*

Gnome, the Universe & Everything

I have to say that I'm surprised(and maybe a bit worried) that it was Seth that brought up this whole lack of motavation/direction thing. Why? Because he is/you are one of the biggest injectors of new ideas into the Gnome project. Storage and SystemServices are two of the most promising new projects that I've heard of in the last few months, maybe even this year. On a purely practical level I'd try and get these two into the world - people's interest and maybe even contribution tends to be highly motavating.

As for where Gnome is going, this is how I see it (and none of your damned metaphors either ;) ):

Gnome 2.x Is about filling holes and making what we have at the desktop level really usable without any major changes. This is a pretty big list, but some of the areas are pretty interesting. This includes Multimedia(gstreamer, totem, rhythmbox etc..), Networking(network browsing, desktop sharing, file sharing), Desktop usability (menus, mime system, nautilus, control center), Digital Imaging (as yet we have very little really but there is some movement, need photo managment and editing, scanning, ocr), Internet (IM, IRC, Web Browsing, E-Mail: lots done, lots still to do), Printing, System Configuration, etc.....

The list goes on, and IMHO they are all areas where we have opportunities to excell and "be the best". But also IMHO we need to have a lot of these holes filled before we can really see a lot of popularity within the hacker comminity...

Gnome 3.x This is when the fun starts. As I see it we will have new technologies like storage to blow the user away, and Gnome will get closer than ever to the system with help from HAL, SystemServices and friends. Mono will be nice and mature making C# development for Gnome a breeze, opening up Gnome development to the seas of Uni students who have been tought Java/C#.

This might also be the age where we see freedesktop really come into it's own, and maybe we will see more code sharing between projects..

... I don't know if we really need a "grand plan" at this stage :/ there are so many un-grand things to be done... (eg. Making gnome-vfs reliable and useful for things like menu editing, ftp, ssh, smb, nfs)

Re: Computing facuilities

I'm told I'm in an "enviable situation" with respect to the computing facuilities in my Uni so I thought I'd elaborate on what we have...

Maths Network
8 FreeBSD and 4 (unsupported) Redhat 8 X servers connected to 3 or 4 labs of thin clients. FreeBSD Machines run Gnome 2.2 and Mozilla 1.2. Redhat machines are running Gnome 2.0. Because you can log into any of the servers with the same home dir, and because they have different versions of Gnome on different Unixes, one's Gnome config tends to get pretty wrecked.

I'm hoping that they will upgrade to Fedora and update to Gnome2.4 onthe BSD machines over Christmas.

This is a single Solaris Machine that is run by one of the student societies. Any student can get an account and access is via ssh. Gnome is Sun's version 2.0. Most software is generally pretty out of date, but this server has un-proxied access to the web so it's pretty useful.

CS Computers
There are 3 computer rooms reserved for the Use of the Computer science department. Half of one of these rooms (about 20 machines max) run Mandrake 9.1. The rest run Windows XP Pro. The XP machines have mozilla, and a windows X server so once can run Gnome etc.. off netsoc or the maths department.

Not bad overall I guess :) God bless Ireland
General College Computers
Windows XP Pro accross the board. No X servers or mozilla on most.

Linux in the College
Linux is pretty popular here. All Maths and Science students are required to use the Maths network, and CS students tend to learn about it from eachother and from netsoc. It's not uncommon to be told the wonders of Linux from an excentric maths lecturer in the middle of a Calculus lecture.

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