A few project updates

I’ve been putting off several posts for a few days now, due to just being busy with things. So, here we go.

Notification Framework

I just put out a couple of good releases of notification-daemon and libnotify. A few days ago, I released version 0.3.2 of both components, and tonight I put out notification-daemon v0.3.3, which contains a few nice bug fixes such as a fix to prevent notifications when the screen saver is active or when something is running full-screen. The style of the notifications has been changed to resemble the look from notification-daemon v0.2.x. It now supports theme engines, so that other looks can be developed. The protocol has improved and stabilised a bit, and the API and general code of both components have been cleaned up, thanks to J5’s work.

Galago

Galago’s been on hold lately due to work and trying to get the new notification-daemon and libnotify ready for distros. Development has picked up again, and I’m hoping I have very little to do before I can put out the 0.5.0 releases of all the components. Finally, libgalago will be GLib/GObject-based, and the API will be a lot more sane. Plus, Python bindings! Yay!

Oh, and I’m moving to Trac for our bug tracking (see trac.galago-project.org). This is real nice, because I can now reference bugs in commit messages and they’ll close automatically with the commit message. It’s also quite clean and easy to use. I’m slowly moving some bugs over, but I’ll continue to monitor the bugzilla for a while.

Leaftag

Remember those screenshots of our tag integration I posted? It too has been on hold, but it’s far from vaporware. We’re calling it leaftag, and I think our logo is somewhat cute :). I have very little left to do before the library is released, and I should be able to redo the Nautilus support quickly. I’ve been using the tagging almost every day. Now I just need to find the time to get this ready. Maybe at one of these upcoming hackfests I’ve been doing (and really hope to do more) with friends.

VMware

Busy busy busy, but good. I’m working on some pretty exciting stuff. More about this later 🙂

Oh, and someone needs to remind me to put up a picture of our cool new Workstation 5.5 sweaters featuring Mario!

Tagging and the GNOME Desktop

Just a little preview. It’s not done yet, but will be shortly. What you see below is a small python module, a useful command line utility (well, that’s not shown, but if you check the gallery these are in there will be a full-size screenshot showing one), and plugins for Nautilus, GNOME-VFS, and Deskbar. There are plans for Beagle support in the near future, and to make the system more robust.

Stay tuned. There should be a release soon.

Tags in Nautilus lists

Tags in Nautilus lists

tags URI

Deskbar Integration 1

Deskbar Integration 2

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!).

Galago

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.

Chippy’s first Boston trip

I’m finally heading to the Boston GNOME Summit! I’ve wanted to go for years, and people have asked me to attend, but due to school and such it was just never possible. However, this year VMware is sending a few of us to go. Alex Graveley, Philip Langdale, my girlfriend Jamie, and myself are all going, and will be there Friday night.

We might give a small talk on our experience in integrating our product with the GNOME desktop, and I’ve been asked by a few people to give a quick talk and demo of Galago with Tomboy, Beagle, Gaim and Evolution integration (and hopefully Gossip at that point too).

I look forward to going and meeting all these great people who I’ve only talked to through IRC and e-mail. It should be a fun weekend.

I can’t see.

Let there be light!

Now then, I’d like to say that I applaud bringing awareness to this issue, but we’re preaching to the choire. Preventing users from getting support and reading gnome.org and Planet GNOME will only serve to piss off the users. They might read the message, but I doubt they’d be any more receptive to it. Everyone who does care probably already knows about it.

The message at the top is good, and we should draw attention to it, but please, let’s let people actually see the sites. This does not look professional.

I’d like to point out that there are some good blog entries about this subject on Planet GNOME that people are missing due to the blackout.

And with that…

Back to the dark ages!

(This is directed to Planet GNOME. It doesn’t make sense anywhere else.)

Various Updates

So a few things have taken place lately, and I haven’t blogged about them because I’m just really busy (or lazy, depending).

Galago and the fd.o desktop notifications reference implementation that Mike Hearn and I wrote have been proposed for GNOME 2.10. As I’m still new to this whole process, I don’t know exactly what to expect, but time will tell.

For the first time in a long time, I actually wrote up birthday and Christmas wishlists, as I usually get asked by everybody every year. I figured I might as well post them, as I find it useful to look at other people’s for ideas. I have them on Amazon, ThinkGeek, and NewEgg.com.

At sri’s constant urging (it’s appreciated!) I’ve been working on a couple of articles for GNOME Journal. Hopefully I’ll actually be happy enough with one of these and have it finished by tomorrow.

And I guess that’s it for now.

Adventures with the MS Office Keyboard

For the past few years, I’ve been using the Microsoft Office Keyboard. It was a gift from my mom, as my previous keyboard stopped working one day. Now, I’m sure a lot of people’s first thought is that this keyboard sucks because it’s from Microsoft, but so far, I’ve really enjoyed it. I have the Application Left/Right buttons mapped to switch desktops quickly and easily, and the Cut, Copy, and Paste buttons for making a window sticky, shading it, and launching a terminal. Works well enough.

Until just the other day, I had this all configured through .xmodmap and my window manager settings. However, in GNOME 2.5.x, the keyboard settings are apparently supposed to be controlled by the Keyboard control center applet, and my xmodmap settings are now ignored. My latest build of gnome-control-center CVS even shows a dialog saying that the xmodmap settings will be ignored.

So, I launched the keyboard control center applet and selected my MS Office Keyboard from the list. Perfect, I thought. That is, until I learned that my End key no longer worked, and none of the shortcut keys on the keyboard did what they were supposed to. I put it away for awhile and started manually using xmodmap and resetting the shortcuts every time I launched GNOME, until I had time to actually fix it.

The other day, I decided to fix this. The problem was actually in XFree86’s inet keyboard symbols file, in the Microsoft Office Keyboard definition. After poking around and learning how these files were constructed and what the <I#> and <E#> codes meant, I finally patched up my definition. It was an almost 100% change, so I’m assuming that either the guy who wrote this entry was on crack, or that it was for an older version of this keyboard (unless it’s a newer one, but I kind of doubt that).

I’m mostly writing this so that if any Linux users with this keyboard want it set up properly, they’ll have the information available. I have a replacement inet file available that works with my keyboard. I’d be curious to know if there are MS Office Keyboard users out there that have their xkb settings set to use this keyboard who aren’t experiencing problems.

Productivity Shattered!

I was given an invite to Orkut yesterday. For those of you who don’t know what Orkut is, get out from under your rock 🙂 It’s a rather interesting waste of time, and it’s delayed a lot of my development. I think I’ll be getting back to that in a few minutes though. Just.. just five more minutes.. then I’ll code.. Promise.

My copy of Dream Theater – Change of Seasons and Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York came yesterday, and I spent the better part of today watching/listening to them. Excellent stuff.

While on the topic of that, it’d be nice to see some kind of CD ripper integration in Nautilus. Right-click an audio CD and get a Rip To Music entry or something, which brings up a dialog allowing ripping to wav, mp3, ogg, flac, etc. Maybe multiple ones at once? I wouldn’t mind flac and ogg copies. For now though, Grip is my friend.

Another Sad Day

The first news I read when I woke up was the passing of Mark Finlay. Unfortunately for me, like Ettore and Chema, I didn’t know him personally or talked to him online, but I have kept up with his blog. I had respect for him. He seemed like a really good guy, something that is backed up by all the people praising him on Planet GNOME.

I’d like to take a moment and say thank you to all of the people who bring what I use every day to reality, keep it maintained, and provide support for it. They don’t have to. None of us do, and I know open source developers see “Why haven’t you fixed my bug yet?” more often than “Thank you.” To any users of any software reading this, thank your developers. It’ll make their day, and sometimes it helps to be reminded that what they’re doing is wanted, and you never know how long they’ll be around…

Good bye Mark. Thank you.