November 2005

libview 0.5.5 released!

Another release to talk about. As promised, libview 0.5.5 was released. It’s mainly a bug fix release with a couple of API additions. The highlights are as follows:

Release Notes:

  • Fixed a bug in UIGroup where Merge wouldn’t call Unmerge if the group was already merged.
  • Fixed a bug where deactivating the AutoDrawer while it was moving would not do the right thing.
  • Added support for keeping the AutoDrawer open while the focus is inside it.
  • Added support for setting an alignment in the Header widget.
  • WrapLabel now wraps properly when being passed text in its constructor.

VMware Workstation 5.5 released!

It’s official. We’ve released VMware Workstation 5.5. I could go on and on about how cool a release it is, but instead I’ll provide a short, non-comprehensive list of the changes:

  • 64-bit guest support (on 64-bit hosts)
  • Experimental support for Virtual SMP (make some use of that HT-enabled processor!)
  • Much improved USB support.
  • Improved support for bridging to a wireless networking device on Linux hosts.
  • Auto-detect device support. Set your floppy, CD-ROM, etc. devices to auto-detect, and Workstation will make a best guess attempt at finding the device on the system. This allows VMs to be a bit more portable, as device paths and names no longer have to be hard-coded. For now, this is off by default for backward-compatibility reasons, but it’s easy to turn on on a per-device-basis.
  • Far better support for auto-resizing Linux guests.
  • Official Ubuntu Linux support.
  • Improvements in If your kernel version and your compiler version don’t match, the script will attempt to find a compiler that does work. For example, if your kernel is compiled with gcc 3.4 and /usr/bin/gcc points to gcc 4.0, but you have /usr/bin/gcc-3.4, will use the 3.4 version.
  • The Snapshot Manager now allows for multiple snapshots to be selected at once. This is useful for deleting.
  • First release to use libview, VMware’s Incredibly Exciting Widgets, our MIT-licensed GTKMM/GTK+ widgets. (Linux-only, of course)
  • User interface cleanups on Linux. Specifically, we have improved the UI on many themes. The theme now renders the pages and headers on the pages. This dramatically improves the feel of the program on many themes.
  • Includes VMware Player.
  • Lots of bug fixes.

It’s a very nice release. If you’re a licensed user of Workstation 5.0, you have a free upgrade to 5.5. For all those lucky people who received a license at the Boston GNOME Summit, go nuts 🙂

As always, there are screenshots available. If you look closely, you’ll even spot a familiar nick.

Oh, and expect a libview 0.5.5 release within a couple of hours. This was unofficially released a couple of weeks ago, but was never actually put up. Woops 🙂 Stay tuned.

One whole year!

Wow. Today (Sunday, Nov. 27th) is Jamie and my one year anniversary. How time flies. It doesn’t feel like more than a few months ago that we met and nervously started going out. Unfortunately, I spent the day travelling back home (I was visiting for Thanksgiving), but we had a nice lunch and dinner yesterday, and she’ll be coming to spend some time in a couple of weeks. And despite the annoying distance, we’re still doing just fine. Yay, go us!

Nokia 770 – Romance in your pocket

I was cuddling up with my girlfriend tonight and we decided to look up some info on the net that we were talking about. The problem was that my laptop was inconveniently out of reach, and would require us to go outside into the cold and leave the nice warm room. It was then that I realized that my Nokia 770 was sitting in my coat pocket. I pulled it out and fired up the web browser, and soon we were Googling our way to knowledge. It was so convenient that I think for the first time it just really made me realize the potential of this type of device. While looking at the pages, we decided to jump back to the Home screen and stream some nice classical music, which we left on for the next hour or so.

The only problem we ran into was that some sites were popping up ads in other windows, which at times stole the focus and also slowed down the browser a bit. There may be a popup blocking feature, but I haven’t looked yet. Anyhow, we were both pretty happy with the convenience of this. No need to go out into the cold to fetch the laptop, and more time to spend with each other in the warmth.


My old server, which I’ve slowly been moving away from over the past few months, was hacked just a couple of days ago. I found this out tonight and though I think I’ve cleaned it, I have been busy moving the final things to my Linode box, namely mail and one website owned by my grandpa. I’m really hoping that this goes smoothly, but if anybody can’t reach me by e-mail for a while, this is why. At least now I have a good excuse for moving the remaining things.


Tagging craze

It’s funny how a simple concept ends up just exploding in a short amount of time and becomes the new craze. One example of this is “tagging.” Tagging was something I’ve wanted for years but never really thought of it as being something that everyone would be getting all excited over. However, now that a number of services are offering tagging support, I’m starting to see why.

For the uninformed, the concept of tagging is that you apply a word or two to a webpage, a photo, product, or whatever for later searching and for grouping. Instead of using some existing organizational structure, you create your own on the fly. The item you’re tagging can have multiple tags in it. Think of it like a magic filing cabinet, where you have photos, documents, and CDs. Some of the photos may be tagged “vacation,” some may be tagged “bbq,” all may be tagged “photo” and the “bbq” tagged items may also be tagged “work.” The documents may also be tagged “work” and the CDs may be tagged “games” and “recreation.” Now imagine that you want everything from your magic filing cabinet that has to do with work. You pull open the “work” drawer and all work-related photos, CDs and documents appear. You then decide to open the “vacation” drawer and everything vacation-related appears. Open “bbq” and you just get the BBQ photos. Those items may exist in multiple magical drawers at once. Okay, that’s a silly example, but hopefully it makes sense to some.

So I’ve been looking into what services support tagging. The two big ones I’ve heard about for ages but never really gave a shot have been, a bookmark site, and Flickr, a photo management site. I’ve been converting all my bookmarks to, and it’s really quite cool. I’ve all but stopped using bookmarks in my browser simply due to the lack of organization (do I put this in “algorithms” or “game design?”). However, now I have two buttons on my toolbar, one that takes me to my bookmarks, and another that posts the current page to my bookmarks. It’s very clean and very useful, and I just love it.

I’ve opted not to use Flickr, just because I’d rather host my own gallery, but the tag features in it are arguably even more useful for photos than for bookmarks. Rather than having to duplicate an image of my sister in a Vacations category, Birthdays, and People, I would be able to just tag that photo with those three things. This is a feature that I really hope Gallery gets in time.

Amazon recently announced that they are going to support tagging for items listed in their store. I’m curious as to how I’ll be making use of this, as it does seem a bit less useful for a site like this, but I’m sure I’m wrong 🙂 Either way, it’s very cool to see a big site like this start to experiment with tagging.

The big one that I only found out about today was Google. You can actually tag search results that you have clicked on and store them in Google-hosted bookmarks. To enable this, you’ll need a Google/GMail account. Log in on and then click “My Account.” From there, click “Personalized Search” on the left. You may have to log in again after this. Anyhow, it will then be added. From now on, your search results will have an extra item next to “Cached” and “Similar pages” called “Remove result.” Using this, you can prevent the particular page from ever showing up again.

Useful, but let’s get on to the main feature. Click the new “Search History” link at the top of the page. You’ll be taken to a page that contains a list of everything you’ve searched for since enabling this feature and the sites you’ve actually clicked on. If you star a result, it’ll appear in your bookmarks on the left. Click “Edit bookmark” and you’ll be able to set the tags for the link. Very handy. I just wish it integrated better into the Google search results. It’s a pain to have to first search for something in order to add it. But it’s new, and I haven’t seen any real buzz about it yet, so I’m sure it’ll mature in time.

Those are all very neat, but now we’ve ran into this problem of too many sites with tags. What I’m hoping to see (and maybe I’ll write it) is a site where you can log in, set up links to your Google, Flickr,, Amazon, etc. accounts, and aggregate all the tags. Click “vacation” and everything you’ve tagged “vacation” in each site you’ve set up will appear. This will of course require an API of some kind from each site. I know provides this, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google provide one, but I don’t know about the other two.

Now I should convert everything I’ve ever done to AJAX, because it’s just the new cool thing to do. 😉 (I kid, I kid)

New website goodness

I’ve finally moved, my blog, and my gallery to my linode server from a fairly slow and now saturated DSL connection back home that my whole family uses. The main move happened last night, though today I realized I forgot my blog. Oops. I took the opportunity to install WordPress instead of Movable Type, and then imported my existing blog entries and set up a nice redirect setup for old blog entries. So far, so good! 🙂

The next step for me is to finish the layout I’m working on and slowly apply it to the gallery, wiki, and blog. This should be a real fun exercise.

Update: I apologize to Planet GNOME for taking over the world. Hopefully we can get this fixed soon.

There comes a time…

I read this blog entry from a hard-working former Gaim developer today. It’s sad, yet so familiar…

I’ve been holding back this blog entry for a long time, but given that I’m not the only one who has been mistreated, now might be a good time to describe what happened to me in what used to be an awesome project. It’s also a way to hopefully clear my name, so to speak, as some have been told some very negative things about me as of late.

As many know, I was a developer on Gaim for many years and wrote a bulk of the framework that it’s made of today. At least for a time, I was respected, and my work was appreciated. At one point, a number of users started messaging me asking why the lead developer or other senior developers were saying such negative things about me behind my back. I wasn’t sure I believed it at first until a trusted friend told me what was said to her about me. It was after that that things took a sharp turn downhill, and while I won’t go into details, it was enough to make me never want to contribute a line of code to the project again. I’ve been informed since that my name is synonymous with crap code, according to a couple senior developers. It was really hard to hear this.

Now, I know this has happened to other people. Users and developers. A number of people in the past who have wanted to contribute to the project have been strongly rejected. I hope I was never the cause of any of that, as I tried to work with most people and help them along. My apologies to everyone out there who has had a bad experience with the Gaim project.

I don’t know what Gaim’s future holds, but in the past year I’ve learned not to care. My work on Gaim has helped me to establish connections in the open source community, and for that I am grateful. It has also helped me to get a job that I absolutely love.

I’ll forever miss the project as it used to be, and hope someday it’ll reach that stage again.

libsexy 0.1.4 released

I just put out a release of libsexy 0.1.4 tonight. It’s a bugfix release that fixes some UTF-8 problems in SexySpellEntry, and also a compile issue some people have had regarding sexy-marshal.h.

Also, libsexy now has a webpage set up! Woot! About time, really. A little directory containing tarballs and a few blog entries just wasn’t enough, as I’ve quickly come to learn by the number of packagers linking to my blog entries 🙂

Goings Ons

Hard Day in GNOME

All day long, people have been talking on IRC about the Novell lay-offs. It’s been sad to see, and as hard as it was for the people who were let go, I’m sure it was just as hard for those that had to let people go. My condolences to everyone who’s been affected by this.

I’ve talked to a few people individually about this, but it’s been recommended to me by a couple of people that perhaps using Planet GNOME would be the best way to reach everyone interested…

I’d like to offer to anyone affected by this who is looking for a job to send me your resume if you’re interested in a job at VMware. I can make sure it goes to a human being who will actually read it, rather than in some queue somewhere. We’re looking for good people, and the company is nice to work at. Although the Palo Alto offices are where all the interesting things happen for the Linux desktop development, some jobs are available at our new Cambridge office. So if you’re looking for a fun job where you can do interesting work with good people, and this interests you, even a little, we can try to get the ball rolling. To everyone else, best of luck. I don’t doubt that you will all find good jobs soon, and everyone appreciates what has been done so far by everyone in the Ximian team.

Nokia 770

My Nokia 770 came today. I haven’t had much time to play with it, but it’s quite nice so far. Cute little device, and I’m eager to hack on it. I have a couple of games I’ve written or PDAs that I hope to port. Taco would be fun to port to it, if it had cairo (which I don’t believe it does? Correct me if I’m wrong!).


A lot of work has been done in Galago SVN the past couple of weeks. A lot of the code has been cleaned up and the API is in the process of being fine-tuned. Python bindings are being written. libgalago is moving to glib. All neat stuff. I’ll post more when I get closer to being finished, but this is very cool:

for service in galago.core_get_services():
    print service.get_name()
    for account in service.get_accounts():
        print account.get_username()

Just so easy. That’s not the final API, though. The core_get_services() part will change. Anyhow, fun stuff.

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