Older blog entries for snorp (starting at number 19)

I've permanently moved my poor excuse for a blog to http://www.snorp.net/log. Yes, I am Lame.

I've been pretty busy since my last entry. I graduated college, got a job, and moved to a new apartment. And that was just the last month! Haven't done a great deal of hacking. However, I did finish the file monitoring system for school, and I hope to have time to polish it up and make it suitable for public consumption. I want to hack on GNOME proper too, though, so we'll see how that turns out.


Since my last post, 2.2 was released, and it totally rocks. I can't say how proud I am of all the gnome hackers, translators, and testers. Some really great improvements were made, and I think it turned out really nice. This was the first time I was involved through the entire cycle. Lots of fun. I'm still hacking, though not as much now. Contributed some small things to epiphany. It's a pretty sweet browser, even if it's early in development. You should try it.

So, the shit hit the fan on gnome mailing lists the last couple days over D-BUS. Basically, a lot of people are upset that another (non-standard) IPC framework is being created. It's easy to understand that position, as you would think the world would have enough of them by now. However, people are largely ignoring the fact that the KDE folks are willing to use D-BUS (apparently, it's very similar to DCOP). It seems there is also a high chance of using it in systems-level stuff on linux, which would be really great as well. There are some incredibly talented hackers working on it, so if people can get past the knee-jerk reaction of "new IPC mechanism?! eeek!", I think it will be a huge success. That said, I'm using it for my FAM replacement, so I'm putting my code where my mouth is, so to speak.


The "foundations" CS class that was kicking my ass so hard at the beginning of the semester is getting easier for me now, so that's good. I'm really enjoying my math class, which is a first for me (maybe it's because I get to code in it). Also, the course listings for next fall came in the mail this week. It feels totally weird that I'm not going through it planning what I'm going to take.


Had a bit of time to do some hacking last night. Fixed nautilus in multihead so icons only appear on one screen (instead of all of them, like it was). Much nicer to use now. I've a list of stuff I want to do over Christmas break (which starts saturday). We'll see how that goes. Lots of bug fixing to do before 2.2 goes out.


The hell that is exam week is nearly over. I have one more tomorrow, but it should be easy. Finally got all the formalities done to do the independent study thing. It seems my prof would like us to speak at a seminar when we're finished with it. I agreed, because it sounds like it could be cool. I haven't done any public speaking in a long time though (never?), so that should be interesting. I am attempting to write design docs for the FAM replacement (I think I will call it "watchdog", at least for now), and realizing I suck horribly at it. I suppose I should have taken the "software engineering" class.


Finally got off my ass and did a bit of hacking. Fixed a couple small bugs in gedit, and also a couple in nautilus that were really annoying. I also tried out thomasvs' new audio properties tab, and jamesh's font stuff for nautilus. It's great to see people doing really kick-ass stuff like this.


I have this portable mp3 player that I've been fighting with lately to make it work in Linux. Apparently, the thing is using a scanlogic chip to do the usb->ide stuff. There is a driver for said chip in the kernel. However, something is screwed up with the firmware in my player, and I have to flash it if I want it to work with Linux. Of course, the utilities they provide to do this are totally crappy, and only work in windows 98 (not 2000 or XP even). I am not happy.

I am meeting next week with a professor in the CS dept. about my independent study project. My goal is to basically create a replacement for FAM. There are some difficult issues to deal with, but I am really looking forward to giving it a shot. I will probably hack on it a bunch over christmas break (I get about 3 weeks), but I would like to get a bunch of GNOME stuff done in that time too (I am feeling deprived).


Wow, no diary all month.

Finally finished up the nautilus context menu and property page stuff. Also, added a context menu handler to file-roller, so we can finally trash those scripts.

I messed around with jamesh's new bonobo/pyorbit stuff. Totally cool. I was able to use the gedit CORBA bindings with just a few lines of code. Way nicer than doing it in C. Sadly, I couldn't create a working bonobo control, but that was probably because I didn't know wtf I was doing. Once I get it working, though, it will be a really great way to add context menus/property pages to nautilus.

School stuff has really put a damper on recent hacking. I have 3 weeks off in december/january, though, so looking forward to that.

Uraeus: You do an excellent job with the summaries. It's a really important contribution to GNOME, and I hope you keep doing it!


Now that the property page stuff for nautilus is done (well, mostly), I decided to also add support for mime-type-sensitive context menus. Michael Meeks had a great idea about how it could be done, and it seems to work pretty well. At this point, the only problem is that there is no way to translate the menu items. Of course, that's unacceptable. Michael has made a suggestion on how to fix it, but it requires hacking bonobo-activation-server, and I am too afraid/lazy/busy-with-other-stuff to do it. I need to get to it soon, though, since the feature freeze for 2.2 is approaching quickly.

File selector flameage has apparently started again, which is always nice. Especially since hadess and I seem to be the target of some of it. People are screaming "listen to the users", but the "users" are all saying different things and just being rude in general. Seriously people, it's just a freaking file selector. There are a helluva lot more important things, even within GNOME. I don't think the current one is all that bad, really. Of course, it's missing the all-important recent-files integration, but whatever :)


I've modified the nautilus properties dialog so that you can add mime-specific pages to it, using the existing NautilusView stuff. It seems to work pretty well. I created a quick and dirty hack for testing it which shows mp3 and ogg metadata (title, artist, album, etc.). I think I'll try to get jorn to put it in monkey-media when I'm finished with it. I made a very small modification to the notes sidebar, which makes it also work as a property page. Also, Alex has already started on an image properties page (sweet!).

I saw that there was a story about this on gnomedesktop.org. I expected to see constructive comments about it, but sadly, it seemed like most people felt like flaming instead. Why can't people just say "thanks"? It's so much better to hear that instead of "konqueror already has this", or some such nonsense. I was especially saddened to read the stuff people posted in response to the excellent interview Dave and Alex gave. These guys really do work very hard, and they have always been helpful to people like me. Sigh.


I sign up for spring classes next week. Wow, my very last semester . I have to take 3 CS classes to graduate, but I want one of them to be independent study. This will be great, since I could conceivably do some project for GNOME and school at the same time! I have no idea what I want to do, though. I have to decide before Tuesday, so I'd better hurry up. Suggestions?


The egg-recent patches have now been committed to nautilus and gnome-panel, which is pretty cool :) Also, it seems that file-roller is now using it. So far, most of the feedback has been positive, however, people who don't have FAM installed aren't seeing the panel menu update properly. I expected this to some degree, but apparently I've underestimated the number of people who don't have FAM (the recent-files code uses gnome-vfs to monitor the XML document that the list is stored in (gnome-vfs uses FAM for this), and when it changes it updates the menu). I thought an easy way to fix this would be to just make FAM a non-optional dependency, so I suggested this to some mailing lists. This didn't go over very well. In fact, some people had nearly violent reactions to the idea. Sigh.

So, in light of this, I've begun implementing a different monitoring backend for the file method in gnome-vfs that will use polling instead of FAM. Right now, it only works for files. This sucks, since I think the primary consumer of the gnome-vfs monitoring stuff is nautilus, and it uses it to monitor directories. I probably need to make that work if it's going to be useful.

Did some more hacking on the emblem sidebar. Now you can remove and rename emblems through a context menu. This is nice, since I don't think you can do these operations with any of the other emblem browsers. I should probably add it to them too.

So, I've switched from Debian unstable to RedHat 8.0. I am pretty happy with it. I think the availability of apt for RH is what eventually pushed me over the edge.


Mark reviewed my recent-files code, and gave me some good comments/criticism. He even did some cleanup/optimization work for me. So now, hopefully, he will accept my panel patch adding the recent docs menu. I'm starting to get a little nervous now about the recent-files stuff actually making it in to 2.2. It still hasn't been moved to a stable library yet, and also the feature freeze for 2.2 is coming up rapidly. AFAIK, only 2 apps are using this code, and that's only because I patched them myself. If it doesn't make it, it's only my fault, but I've been working on this for like 6 months so it's kind of pathetic. :/

I implemented a sidebar for nautilus that displays the available emblems, and lets you drag them to files/folders. You can also drag random images from the file manager to the sidebar to add those images as an emblem. Alex helped out a lot with this....he is so cool. Today, I made it work with web browsers (so you can dnd an image or a link to one to add it as an emblem). This limited amount of nautilus hacking was really fun. I want to do more, something less trivial, but haven't really thought of much yet.


I've added some cool stuff to the recent-files code. alex has converted nautilus to use the icon theme spec, and has also written some code that lets you get the properly themed nautilus icon for a given mime type. This kicks ass, since now I am able to have icons in the recently-used menus. I have to wait to commit this, though, since there is a pending GEP to get Alex's code moved into libgnomeui (sigh). Also, I've moved a bunch of stuff from eel-vfs-extensions into gnome-vfs, so now I'm able to use all the nifty string URI manipulation functions to (hopefully) fix the nasty UTF-8/unescaping issues I was having.

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