April 30th, 2007


Hi-dilly ho-dilly. Time for another semi-regular update from the Life of Don.

First, thanks to all the people who responded to my previous blog post. The results were most useful. But more on that in a minute.

Second, (belated) congrats to Buddhika and Szilveszter for being selected to work on FoieGras for the Google SoC. They both have some great ideas and seem enthusiastic to get started. They'll be working on different parts of the application, with Buddhika working on the WYSIWYG widget (mentored by me) and Szilveszter working on the application framework surrounding it (mentored by shaunm).


I'm off on my jollies soon. First stop, Sevilla for the Ubuntu Developers Summit. Thanks to Canonical / whoever volunteered me to receive sponsorship. I leave on Saturday from Gatwick at 4.10pm, for those wanting to form a fan-group holding signs for my departure (personally, I'd like a "We'll miss you Don" sign and several crying girls to make me feel like a rock-star ;) ). My return flight is at 1.55pm the following Saturday from Sevilla, for the same again (although, can I request the signs be in Norwegian? Just to be slightly odder). Alternatively, if anyone is on the same flights let me know, since I have no idea what's going on (although, this is a more general problem in my world).

After that (a couple of weeks later), it's off home for a few days to do the graduation thing (yay!).

Then, in July it's off to GUADEC, where I shall be giving a talk on Sunday about Project Mallard. I haven't a clue what I'll say (yet), but I'm sure it'll be a brilliant talk, possibly the best there, that will be talked about for years to come and analysed in detail in talks entitled "The way presentations should be done".


Labyrinth work hasn't stalled. I'm still working on it, it's just going slightly slower than I'd like due to the perennial lack of time. The new release (which will be made Real Soon Now) has support for zooming, infinite canvas, text attributes (bold, italics and underline), link selection. Before release, it'll also have support for rudimentary keyboard navigation (working on at the moment). Right now, there are a few "nice" bugs that are posing problems to track down, but I'll get there.

I really should figure out a list of love bugs for it. It is quite nice to see it being recommended to people though. I'm also quite impressed that people are coming up against performance problems in it already. Figured I'd have another couple of releases before things began to get slow.


We (I use we liberally, I really mean the Fearless Leader, shaunm) have been hard at work reworking the internals of yelp to fix a few long-standing bugs and give us some more performance. My own little part in this has been to work on meta-data (Spoon). This work is progressing and I now have a table 'o content working with the fantastic new yelp internals. Though, it doesn't quite work in yelp yet, just the test program (since the hooking up of the new system will require some serious re-engineering).

Project Mongoose

erm, nothing to report. Oops. Ignore this part.

Other, possibly interesting stuff for someone

There's apparently a pub near me called "The Mallard", which made me smile and made me look like an eejit in public yet again, when I stopped and laughed at it. Also, walking back home yesterday, a mother was teaching her (4 year old) son the word "Mallard". Again, a grin from me made her think I was crazy.

Work at Imagination is really quite cool. Won't say too much (as I don't know how much I'm allowed to say), but I am learning quite a lot and discovering a few new things to make me cry. Suffice to say I'm working on device drivers for graphics chips which is really cool, if a little strange. Will point out that they're always looking for more people that like programming in C, and it is a great place to work. If you want to learn the low-level details of device drivers, I'd recommend it.

Now that I've written all of this, I have to go back and add in appropriate links. 2 minutes. Done. Well, that's it from me. I'm off to find some food / commit work to SVN / watch telly / pace / try to discern the exact colour of the sky / hunt for a small piece of lint / all of the above.