Older blog entries for sisob (starting at number 95)

Weblog Spam

My Blog is getting seriously spamed. 66 ad-comments posted since this morning. FFS

It's the little things...

Dennis Cranston recently posted patches that HIGify the ell/nautilus error dialogs. This has been one of my pet pieves for quite a while.

Here's a before and after example of one of the dialogs:

<img src="http://sisob.tuxfamily.org/screenshots/Screenshot-nautilus-error-old.png">

<img src="http://sisob.tuxfamily.org/screenshots/Screenshot-Nautilus-error.png">

The only thing I can say against it is that the ... would be better placed closer to the start of the location string so that one can see the filename. This really is a great improvment. Thanks Dennis.

File Sharing in Linux

File Sharing in Linux has taken a pretty decent step forward recently:

<img alt="mldonkey.png" src="http://sisob.tuxfamily.org/archives/mldonkey-thumb.png" width="294" height="214" border="0" />

This is G2Gui, a new Ui for mlDonkey, which is a client for pretty much any P2P network you can think of. It's still in Alpha, and is still a bit fiddly to set up, but the UI is a whole lot better than anything I've seen on Linux(or Windows).

Evolution 2.5

Could Evolution 2.5 _be_ any sexier? It may not actually be useful yet, but it's going rock our worlds when it's done. It has my vote for inclusion in Gnome 2.6.

<img alt="Screenshot-Evolution-1.5.png" src="http://sisob.tuxfamily.org/archives/Screenshot-Evolution-1.5-thumb.png" width="355" height="273" border="0" />

Re: Matrix class

Kez: Here's my Matrix Class and an example program to use it. I'm afraid that I haven't really cleaned up or documented it very well, but hopefully it will speak for itself.

Don't know if it will make learning matrix multiplication any easier tho' :)

Have been really busy of late. College work is really building up. I'm learning Assembly, Computer Architecture, Digital Logic Design (Designing Circuts) , Electrotechnology, some Physics, Maths(Matricies and Logic) and Programming. It's all really interesting, but yeah, takes time.

Got bored today and wrote a Java Class to do matrix multiplication. I wonder can I make it do gaussian elimination. Writing programs to do other parts of my course seems to be a good way to revise.

I'm trying to get Kernel 2.6.0 up and running so that I can test Gnome 2.5 on it. The changeover to alsa is probably the biggest issue. I've installed the fedora rpms and I'm gonna reboot now and see how I go.

The Gnome menus need some tidying up, but I'm not sure if I should mail the list about it or not. There have been loads of bugs about the menus, but some of them have been there since before 2.0, *sigh* it just takes so long to get some things done. The problem as I see it is that no-one really ships Gnome with un-modified menus. Well none of the big boys anyway. Sun, Ximian, Redhat, Mandrake, SuSE(I assume), Dropline etc... all change the menus. Debian and Gentoo are probably the biggest users of the default configuration.

So naturally as a result of this, there is less motivation to get the menus sorted out than there is other parts of the desktop.

I've also been thinking about how to do a better new launcher dialog. Must get some MS Windows and kde dialogs to look at. The current one has way to much crap in it. The "Advanced" Tab and the "Generic Name" and maybe even the "Type" widgets shouldn't be there. We can now auto-detect urls and stuff so Name/Comment/Location should be all that's needed. But what term can we use to describe the fact that you can use a uri or app name?

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.

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