Older blog entries for mikehearn (starting at number 1)

Life

Friday was our farewell do here. I've been living in Great Malvern for about a year now, at this gap year job working for an R&D firm. We're all starting to drift away now the year is almost over (I leave in a week), so last Friday for our goodbye night seemed like a good choice.

It was a lot of fun. We went to a very nice Italian restaurant and took over most of it (there were about 20 of us), then off to the pub for a bit, then some of us went to Tramps which is a rather dire but nonetheless enjoyable nightclub in Worcester. Needless to say, I slept in the following day :)

Work

Well, the app I'm porting using Wine no longer crashes, or hangs. We're so close! Unfortunately, typing in the page editor is far too slow, the cursor lags behind heavily and what you type isn't rendered until you stop typing. I have no idea where the bottleneck might be. Time to investigate profiling tools. For the first time, I'm starting to feel confident about making it work before I leave.

Once I've left, I have a couple of weeks before me and Ken go travelling around Europe, hopefully I'll at least be able to manage a patch dump of my work, if not actually being able to merge it all in.

Play

Work has started on the GUI front end to autopackage. You can see actual screenshots here and here. There's a mockup of a different UI design that we're going to try here.

I haven't had much time to work on this lately, but fortunately there are several really hard working contributors now, which is fantastic. I'm psyched about this project, we have a clear direction and goals, and I think we're going to make them, even though they are pretty ambitious.

So, this is my first entry on advogato. I've been vaguely aware of the site for some time, but seeing the GNOME guys blog here made me think maybe I should too. I share a non-geeky (mostly) blog with some friends, but one devoted to my free software work seems fun.

Wine

I join this site at an interesting time - I'm engaged in a race against the clock. I have precisely 1 week, and 1 day left to make my companies app (a groupware product in development) work completely under Wine before my contract is up and I leave. If it doesn't work before I go, the porting effort will be abandoned, as I'm the only one there who can do it.

I've been working on Wine for about a year now, no real area of specialisation yet. I've worked on the common controls library, core window handling, I wrote the XEMBED/freedesktop system tray integration code (currently working its way through the peer review process), and at the moment I'm battling with COM/OLE. Hopefully the results of my work (which builds on work done by Ove at TransGaming) will soon be meaning a major COM/OLE upgrade to Wine.

Seeing an opportunity to get paid to hack on Wine full time was great, and I've been having a fun time for the past few months. As I reach the end though, I'm getting pretty tired, both mentally and physically - the areas of Wine/Win32 that I'm currently working in are poorly documented, partly incomplete and deal with parts of Windows that are old, rickety and generally massively baroque, even moreso than usual.

Stay tuned to find out who wins - Microsoft, or free software. It cannot be both :/

What else do I do?

I am the principal designer, maintainer and author of autopackage. It makes packages. They are kind of unique, in that they are distribution neutral, can do interactivity etc. If people are interested, I'm going to blog more on autopackage, how it works and why it's so important in future. I noticed there was an articles system, perhaps I'll submit something there in future.

OK - compile over. I have to get back to work, no time to lose. Rock on my friends.

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