Recent blog entries for jdub

1 Aug 2004 (updated 1 Aug 2004 at 08:42 UTC) »

xf, Spotlight may have been inspired by Beagle, a descendant and outgrowth from Dashboard. Nat Friedman demonstrated it at GUADEC in Kristiansand, Norway last month... SIX HOURS before Steve Jobs demonstrated Spotlight. At least we got to make it public first. :-)

I guess this is one of the challenges of having ex-GNOME hackers working for Apple. :-)

Herbert's resignation demonstrates why GNOME doesn't ship flags at all. Herbert is a reasonable guy, who lives only a few kilometres away from me in Sydney, and happens to have a more personal, deeply-held perspective on the China/Taiwan issue than many of us. I guess I don't share his belief, but it should not affect our shared vision here — the progress of Free Software.

If your Free Software project only has a single, global release — and that's pretty much all of us — you should strongly advocate the removal of flags and other national symbols. These are not logical right-and-wrong debates. They're personally and nationally held beliefs that we simply can't solve as Free Software contributors.

Live on, fight the battles you can win.  #

Computer World gives GNOME the thumbs up: "But I'm finding that Linux, especially with GNOME, is a lot more user friendly than the Unix I remember. [...] There are probably people in your organization right now who could become more productive with Linux and GNOME on their desktop. Maybe you need to find out more about it."

IBM is expanding their Linux Technology Centre in Canberra. More geeks in our capital city is a good thing.

Hooray, Tridge is toking the LDAP pipe! First things I think about when hearing this are Evolution and GPE... "As many of you know Samba now has a new database system called 'ldb'. ldb is like a half-way house between LDAP and tdb. [...] Of course, ldb can already act as a front-end to LDAP, presenting a LDAP database via the ldb API, so admins will have a number of flexible options for how to configure Samba."

Both Luis and Seth found this summary of Fedora's first year worth pointing out. When Fedora was first announced, I was so excited - I thought Red Hat had their strategy sorted, and were going to roll out the project like a blitzkrieg red carpet... But it seems they're still struggling. I hope they can pull it off.

I only have a few name-clones around the web, and I certainly have the best Google-juice of the lot, but here's one particularly surprising Jeff Waugh I found on Google Images. A beefy afro-american footballer... If he's not Bizarro me, I don't know who is. Hi, Jeff!

In February, the ACS came out with a hasty and ill-conceived response to the US/Australia Trade Agreement, but has come to its senses after consulting with the OSEG crew. The Australian picked this up with ACS flip-flops on FTA. Hopefully a bit of PR stick will encourage them to be more informed next time.  #

30 Apr 2004 (updated 30 Apr 2004 at 04:07 UTC) »

So, we've been joking for ages about putting 'branded' hackergotchi icons up on Planet GNOME, for a day's irony-riddled prank value. However, I get the impression that this new I am "campaign" was borne more of a sugary sweetness-like-corn-syrup than gonzo-style sweetness-and-light... :-)

The above link has a very U.S. oriented analysis of corn syrup, by the way. The rest of the world mostly uses real sugar. The corn subsidies are a huge problem for the U.S., another corporate-interest travesty.  #

Friends, lovers, partners and warriors... We are engaged to be married. :-)  #

Who you gonna call?

So there was some joking around on IRC about XUL and Ghostbusters... Without any reflection on ZUUL being the ultimate enemy, just that XUL was a cool name. ;-) But it reminded me of a thought I had during the meeting, when the word was being thrown around a lot...

We're crossing the streams. We're crossing the streams!

Egon: I have a radical idea. The door swings both ways. We could reverse the particle flow through the gate.
Peter: How?
Egon: We'll cross the streams.
Peter: Excuse me, Egon, you said crossing the streams was bad.
Ray: Cross the streams...
Peter: You're gonna endanger us, you're gonna endanger our client. The nice lady who paid us in advance before she became a dog.
Egon: Not necessarily. There's definitely a very slim chance we'll survive.
Peter: I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it. Let's do it!
Winston: This job is definitely not worth eleven-five a year!
Egon: Hurry!
Peter: See you on the other side, Ray.
Ray: Nice working with you, Dr. Venkman.

And for the record, I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it. Let's do it!  #

So, I get the impression that Sun's own human metal grinder, Jonathan Schwartz, has been knocking back the bong water with his new pal Spliffy, the in Education project mascot. Sun's new President and Chief Operating Officer has "called Red Hat 'a proprietary Linux distribution [and] enterprise customers will find 'better Linux compatibility by shifting over to Solaris rather than sticking with Red Hat Linux.'"  #

26 Apr 2004 (updated 29 Apr 2004 at 23:57 UTC) »

The precocious little snitch is right. Pull your finger out and put your code into something modern. Like a safety deposit box in Zurich. At least that'll keep her skanky mitts off it. *click!*  #

Quick hack on a cool Planet feature today, letting us 'merge' items from the same source in the html output (though I'm sure there'll be other clever uses). So now on Planet GNOME, adjacent items from the same source will only have one face and header. Yay! Great for bloggers like John Fleck, Alec Muffett (on Planet Sun) and I, who tend to post a bunch of entries at once.

According to Daniel, I've nicely de-Malkovitched Planet GNOME. Snoogens.  #

Putting out another call for hackergotchi heads, if anyone's inspired to bring out The GIMP... We're missing heads for: Marco, Rodo, Rodney Dawes, Jordi Mallach, Julien Moutte, Shaun McCance, Matthew Garrett, Mariano, Danilo, Christopher Blizzard, Kristian Reitveld and Bryan Forbes. The standard image size is around 65x85 pixels, usually on the smaller side.  #

Work and "Play"

I figured I'd blog about my trip to the UK pretty quickly after coming home, but I had a quadruple-knockout-punch of vicious jetlag, mental exhaustion, seething inspiration and a small dose of niggling fear. Messily intertwined and difficult to resolve, as always. The last few weeks have not been kind to anyone hanging on items in my todo list.

I was in the UK for the first face-to-face meeting of a new company I've agreed to join. As soon as my contract is finalised, I will announce this change of affiliation to the Foundation. Although it's not required, I think this is the right thing for any Board member to do, should they change their employment status mid-term. Foundation members deserve to know, and we have important by-laws regulating affiliations (even though Board members do not represent the companies they work for).

The small dose of fear is due to an intermingling of two previously separate areas of my life: Work and Play. Although this new job will only be tangentially related to GNOME (at least to begin with), it will certainly be active in the greater Free Software community, which is where I spend a fair chunk of my "play" time. Of course, I take my play time quite seriously...

So there's a lot of personal and professional interplay between these roles, and not just in the short term. I want to get it all Just Right, but where I don't, I want to recover gracefully. :-) If nothing else, I'm lapping up the challenge.  #

Crazy linkage action!

  • Bob Metcalfe on The Visionary Thing: "Now, to be sure, there are visionaries who don't end up poor and bitter, or at least haven't yet."

  • Read some really cool articles on some email feature wishlists for high-volume mail usability. EmailUsabilityWishlist links to a discussion about how "heavy mail users use incoming mail as a to-do list and appointment tracker". Mmmm. Another nice idea would be a "way to concatenate messages conversations with the redundant quoted material stripped out", as suggested in The Perfect Email Program.

  • Bram contrasts recent and historical comments by Brendan Eich, for humour value. Haw haw. Meanwhile, here's the Mozilla vision email everyone's talking about.</i>

  • With everyone raving on about Longhorn, competing with .NET and XAML and so on, Cringley came out with a very timely pulpit titled, The Only Way to Beat Microsoft is by Ignoring Microsoft: "The central point was that paying too much attention to Microsoft simply allows Microsoft to define the game. And when Microsoft gets to define the game, they ALWAYS win."

  • Amused by some recent flames of the Ximian dudes, claiming that they should get off their arses and code instead of blogging all the time. But hmm, perhaps it's true? (See jpr's closing statement.)

  • Finally getting some personal insight into the Columbine protagonists. "Psychopaths follow much stricter behavior patterns than the rest of us because they are unfettered by conscience, living solely for their own aggrandizement."

  • Colin Walters released his exceptional Grokking GNU Arch presentation, which is an awesome intro to the fundamentals of Arch - a globally distributed revision control system built on neatly layered simplicity. Yum.

  • Colin also released gnome-gpg, a really sweet passphrase caching agent which integrates with gnome-keyring. Very tasty. Since he has gone to work for Red Hat, I decided to keep it warm until he gets back. :-)

  • eWeek reviewed GNOME 2.6 and mentioned GARNOME again. Cool.

  • Luis knows what turns me on. He kindly pointed out this fully-working replica of the Back to the Future DeLorean. For sale on eBay. Funnily enough, Pipka recently mentioned something about wanting a new car...


"You agree to take reasonable steps to promote your presentation through means accessible to you. This includes adding your presentation to any public schedule of your teaching engagements that may be published electronically or in print. It also includes adding a link to the O'Reilly conference home page to your public web page if you maintain one."

Fulfilling my contractural agreement (!!!) to co-promote the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), which I will be speaking at this year. I'll give an updated version of my To The Teeth: Arming GNOME for Desktop Success talk. I think they've put me on at the same time as a Java Desktop System presentation...

Update: I've just been going through the other bios, and found that they are all stunningly serious and boring. rml likes cheese, though. I am glad we are keeping up the GNOME spirit of partying hard in the face of oppression by the politically correct (who seem to be ably represented by the French, these days).  #

serious problems with Mr. Michlmayr

Congratulations Martin, we knew you could do it! Well... Okay, so we had our "doubts". Thank you and good luck for this year!  #

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