Random Update

Because I don't have enough to do [1], I've been looking at the SoC projects, known as FoieGras. For those not bothering to click the link, FoieGras is supposed to be a WYSIWYG editor for Mallard XML files. This poses a few interesting problems. The first is that the Mallard XML format isn't completed yet.

Anyway, enough rumbling. The SoC projects for FoieGras was split into 2 parts: The textbuffer and the appshell. The textbuffer ("Tags") concentrated on parsing Mallard XML and blatting (a technical term) it into a textbuffer to display. The appshell concentrated on building the actual UI which would house the buffer and deal with interaction. Both these projects worked spectacularly and the results have been sitting in GNOME SVN for a while, in 2 separate branches. Not any more! I spent a few hours last night playing with things and produced the first mating between the 2 components:
The first merge
(The first merge, scaled down)

It's pretty rough around the edges, but it's a start. The code is now merged into the trunk of foiegras for those wanting to play with it [2]. Oh, and a while ago we decided to rename the project. You know what to do...

Coincidentally, we had a visitor into #docs today looking to help out on FG, which is nice. As always, if you want to help out on this, or any other GNOME doc team project, let us know... [3]

Finally, to the person that shouted "GNOME sucks!" at me in the middle of London on Saturday (!), I forgive you ;) Though El President may wish a few words. Until next time, stay groovy maaaaannn!

[1] Plus, a full-time job
[2] build and install using "setup.py install", run from the src directory using "./start-foiegras". This will load and show the "testing.xml" doc.
[3] email the list: gnome-doc-list gnome org, IRC: irc.gimp.org - #docs

Random samples of my random life

1) Dear Lazyweb: I'm feel the need to listen to new music at work. Right now I've got a combination of Billy Talent, Rage Against the Machine, Smash Mouth and various others. From that random selection, can anyone suggest some music I might like to listen to? (It doesn't need to be new, just something new to me). Loud music is good to code to.

2) Some days I look at things that don't make sense and I say "There must be a reason for that". Other days I look at things that don't make sense and say "What the heck? What were they thinking?". Other days still I look at things that don't make sense and I say "What was I thinking?". Today is the first type.

3) Reducing yelp bugs by 100-odd is fun.

4) I've pulled a muscle in my neck, so currently I'm walking around with my head slanted to the left. It's not nice.

5) I wish all the doors in the world were ~ 10 cm taller. That way I wouldn't have to duck so much. On top of that (excuse the pun) I wish all beds were ~ 30 cm longer. I don't like cold feet.

6) My job has taught me to love 2 tools. The first is a visual debugger. The second is a visual differ.
a) Visual debugger: GNOME has Nemiver, which rocks. Except it's painfully slow to step through. And sometimes symbols go missing (compiled out, but not mentioned).
b) Visual differ: GNOME has Meld. Again, it's pretty cool, but it's missing 1 very important feature (for me) - loading a patch and showing how it would apply to something. If it had this, it would make patch review rock so much more.
[EDIT] I've spent some time discussing my problems with nemiver with the developers (who are exeedingly helpful and friendly) and the slowness comes from missing libc symbols. Installing these makes nemiver so much faster, faster than my previous visual debugging experience. Now, I am ready to take over the world with my visual debugging expertise. Just a note for future generations.

I'm done. Stay tuned for more random samples of my thoughts.

My system

My hackergotchi:
my hackergotchi
put here for everyone to see.

Anyway. My system currently has been running for 43 days. On the desktop, there are 88 items including 1 folder of what used to be there containing 44 more items. Of these, 65 are patches and 7 are pdfs. It has 4 copies of emacs open, 3 gnome-terminals with a total of 7 tabs. In addition, it has 7 epiphany windows with a total of 37 tabs, an xchat-gnome window and an Evolution window.

With all this, the memory usage is at 55% programs (~ 560Mb), 38% cached and 33% swap in use. Epiphany has been restarted 3 times to reclaim memory from Mozilla and Nautilus has been restarted once. Random bug time for nautilus: restarting it kills all hope of getting video thumbnails (they all fail) and spatial nautilus can't open more than 1 window at a time. There are 99 updates sitting in my notification area and a "restart required".

So, what's using all the memory? Top ten memory chewing apps:
1. Epiphany - 135Mb (no flash sites)
2. Evolution - 86Mb
3. Nautilus - 62Mb
4. gnome-panel - 40Mb
5. xchat-gnome - 35Mb
6. drivel (which I'm using to write this) - 25Mb
7. gnome-terminal - 22Mb
8. emacs (1) - 20Mb
9. gnome-system-monitor - 20Mb
10. emacs (2) - 20Mb

After a nice reboot, the same (long running) apps have memory of:
Evolution: 58Mb (67% of previous memory)
Nautilus: 24Mb (39% of previous memory)
gnome-panel: 21Mb (52% of previous memory)
xchat-gnome: 20Mb (57% of previous memory)
Plus, nautilus can now thumbnail all my videos and use spatial windows properly again.

What's the point in all this? Absolutely nothing. I just thought I'd document a reboot for posterity. Plus, I'm waiting for something to happen.

The Book of Don

"and so it was, that on the 2nd day of December of the year 2007, the magnificent and wonderful Don did commence his 27th year on the Earth. There was much rejoicing and revelry, as the kind and benevolent Don was not afraid of some fun. And he did look around and witness that things were good."
- The Book of Don, chapter 19.

Oh man, when I get around to writing my memoirs, they are going to rock so much.

Not getting involved

Nope. No words on the hot topic of the day. Instead, I'll comment on something else.Chris you reckon "anyone who codes in anything higher level than C is clearly a sissy". I'll go you one better. Anyone who programs in anything higher than assembly is clearly a sissy.

In other news, tomorrow I shall rejoice. The greatest show in the universe is returning from the grave. Hurrah! I declare that from now on, 27th November shall be renamed "Futurama Day" in tribute. Of course, I'll still have to wait for ... whoever is in charge of these things ... to get their act together and offer it for sale over here (in Blighty).

*This post brought to you from a day spent wrestling with a bug that may or may not lay deep in asm code which is uber-cool but can send someone slightly mad.

Little help

Dear lazyweb,

I long (-ish) time ago, someone pointed me towards a website that compared various help browsers for different {applications|systems}. Does anyone know where that website went? I've spent the last 2 hours on Google trying to find it again, but I can't. Yes, I'm am foolish for not bookmarking it.

On a related note, it's almost that time again. That time when we start looking at the design of everyones favourite help browser's table of content. If you have ideas (no matter how outlandish - we have the power now) for what the yelp TOC should look like, let us know [1]. Bonus marks for anyone coming up with html, instead of my crappy gimp-ised drawings. For those that are interested, the TOC is the "front page" you get when you start yelp without any arguments.

[1] gnome-doc-devel-list gnome org or via a reply to this or via Don-pgo Scorgie org


(2 blog posts in 1 day? I think I need a lie down).

Just perusing p.g.o, I realised I still don't have one of those new-fangled hackergotchis. Therefore, if someone wants to make one for me, there are a couple of photos available: Source 1 and Source 2. I'll start earning my keep now.

Long time, no blog

Wow. Long, long time since I've written anything. Been busy at work. This work thing - it still surprises me how much it takes out of me every day. Spending all day every day hacking is really cool, but it really does drain you. Other than that, myself, my brother and a mate visited Poland (Krakow), which was ... heavy and resulted in a spectacular injury (not me, my brother). Other than that, it was pretty rocking. I like Poland.

I shall also introduce a couple of small laws (?):
1. Anyone that's ever written anything for Windows is an idiot.
(Note: This isn't flamebait, it's an observation. That wasn't even made by me. I just like the wording and the misanthropy of it. If you think I'm flaming, try writing Windows drivers and see what people do, then argue with me.)
2. Any and all software will lie to users. No, really. Unless you wrote it yourself, assume the software is lying to you.

And on those notes, I'll depart and try and get back into hacking again.

Reading '07

Back from a weekend at The Reading Festival, which was pretty awesome. Short summary follows...

Good stuff:

  • Ash. Absolutely rocked. Forgot how great they are.

  • Nine Inch Nails. Monster.

  • Billy Talent. Never heard of him before, but my mate insisted. Glad he did.

  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Always nice to hear. And for other reasons I'll not go into.

  • Kings of Leon. Not a huge fan, but fun.

  • Random people. They were getting free beer. They gave me free beer. Yay!

  • The fact I didn't break any bones this time (not even my nose), despite mosh pits abound

Bad Stuff:

  • One of my mates losing his wallet. I assume this was bad. I found it quite funny despite him mentioned his identification for his flight was in it.

  • The wonderful "Lets put all cars on one side of a river and everyone on the other". Net result: 4 hours of queues to get out. Combined with mad dash to deliver friends to airport meant Monday was fun in a "I want to a shower and then die for many hours" type way.

  • Generic unknown bruising. AKA UDI or unidentified drinking injuries.

  • People making me feel old and Irish. Everyone seemed to be there to celebrate their GCSEs and thought I was Irish. Way to make me feel old and strange [1].

  • I can no longer speak. My voice has been going all day and is now at the ragged whisper level.

I would provide photos if a) I had a camera and b) I had a time travel device to go back in time and utilise said camera over the weekend. I'm off to recover somewhat. Peace out y'all.

[1] I'm not saying Irish is bad. In fact, it can be (and often is) very good. It's just that I'm not Irish.

Dear Lazyweb...

Edit: This is now fixed. See below.

Some help please:

yelp distcheck results in:

Making check in po
make[2]: Entering directory `/home/don/Work/gnome/yelp/yelp-2.19.1/_build/po'
INTLTOOL_EXTRACT=../intltool-extract srcdir=../../po ../intltool-update --gettext-package yelp --pot
rm -f missing notexist
srcdir=../../po ../intltool-update -m
The following files contain translations and are currently not in use. Please
consider adding these to the POTFILES.in file, located in the po/ directory.


If some of these files are left out on purpose then please add them to
POTFILES.skip instead of POTFILES.in. A file 'missing' containing this list
of left out files has been written in the current directory.
if [ -r missing -o -r notexist ]; then \
exit 1; \
make[2]: *** [check] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/don/Work/gnome/yelp/yelp-2.19.1/_build/po'
make[1]: *** [check-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/don/Work/gnome/yelp/yelp-2.19.1/_build'
make: *** [distcheck] Error 2

yelp.desktop.in doesn't exist in SVN. Adding it to POTFILES.{in,skip} results in exactly the same thing. Someone want to enlighten me? I think I can fix the other warnings, but this one flummoxes me.

Edit: With dobey working miracles on IRC, this is now fixed. Thanks dobey :)