{July 30, 2009}   gsoc week 10

whee! thursday evening and I’m done for the week. I made the desktop menu configurable, so that most standard plasma actions could be chosen. this means that I can check off the zoom actions, and have my preferred way of zooming back again. :)

tomorrow I’ll do some cleanup of various little things – need to get the API in better shape so it can go into trunk. after that I’m going to have a busy weekend (parties, fireworks and chores) and probably won’t be online much (yet somehow I always end up in irc despite saying that ;)

[update: I got *all* my cleanup tasks done on friday! yay! now the code’s up on reviewboard.]

well, the laptop thing took up half my week, so I decided I wasn’t going to get that kmenu plugin done. I’m just going to skip it; either I can implement it after gsoc, or someone else can.

instead, I spent a bit of time on scripty – making it possible for amarok’s translations to stay in extragear while amarok itself moves to git. the code still needs to be tested, but yay, amarok should have translations again soon. :)

I also turned the paste feature into a plugin today; it still behaves the same by default, but you can turn it off the same way you turn off any plugin. :) I cleaned up the code a bit while I was at it.

it’s hard to believe there’s only three more weeks of gsoc. wow.

{July 23, 2009}   dell is *fast*

so there was a bit of confusion on monday (some twit told me fedex would arrive that day and take the laptop, when actually it was purolator sometime in the next two days giving me a box and asking me to call back for pickup), but tuesday morning I had a box to put my laptop in and tuesday afternoon it was on its way to toronto. I was told 7-10 business days, but thursday morning the laptop was back. :) they just replaced all the faulty stuff, yay :)

all was not perfect… the dvd drive wouldn’t play movies, and I’m still not sure whether it was testing it in vista (my very first time using it! god it’s annoying) or upgrading libdvdread, but it works again now. the sound issues are reduced but not totally gone – I have to pull my headphones out a bit or the sound gets this weird underwater effect. the good speakers seem to go in further, though, past that weird spot. good enough for me. :)

so, yay! I have a laptop again! :) I’m quite impressed at the speed. maybe it helped that I had a post-it on the keyboard saying “thank you” ;)

now I just have to decide whether to spend nearly $300 on another year of support, or take my chances and put the money towards getting a new laptop when this one eventually dies…

{July 19, 2009}   temporarily away

so, I finally got tired of all the little hardware problems with my laptop. I called dell. I jumped through their hoops. I backed everything up. and tomorrow they’re sending a box for me to put my laptop in.
it’ll be back, without the hardware issues (I hope), in 7-10 business days.

this means no laptop for two weeks. :/ sucky, but it was the least painful time of year to do this. and the warranty is only good for another month anyways.

I do have my n810 and my ancient desktop machine, and pete says I can borrow his laptop if I need to – but getting a proper working environment set up always takes time. and effort. and I hate doing it. so I’m going to have to cut one or two plugins from my gsoc project. perhaps I can get them done after gsoc, or perhaps someone else can write them – they’re really not that hard. :)

it’s funny… I love packing and unpacking *things*. moving is fun for me. but moving to a new *computer* is something I hate. I just want my computer to stay the same and stay working, and there’s always a ton of little details that don’t Just Work or are different or something…

I cleaned up the plugin config thing from last week – it’s not pretty but it works. I also, implemented all the API review stuff. the only thing I’m unhappy about is having one function that takes a QEvent – the problem is that it has to be as generic as possible because I can’t add more virtual functions later, but this results in the same boring code being copy&pasted into every plugin to check which kind of event it is and send it to an event-specific function. :/

anyways, I got away from all that today and had some fun writing new plugins. :) there’s one to switch activities that’s implemented almost the same as switching desktops. it’s so much easier to use actvities now… although it highlights the inconvenience of setting the same plugin on every activity…
I ran across a few bugs related to containment types, too – hopefully we can get fixes for that into 4.3.

I also started on a zoom plugin, but got annoyed when I found out Containment’s zoom functions were actually Q_PRIVATE_SLOTs, which means I can’t use them… and all the zoom stuff is implemented in DesktopView anyways, and I’m not sure how I’m going to find out the current zoom level… I mean, I’m sure I could hack something in, but it feels icky. so I’m probably going to sleep on it, and finish that plugin in the morning.

ahhh, it feels nice to be back on schedule. :) hard to believe there’s only a few weeks left, though.

{July 14, 2009}   RMS’ emacs “virgins”

so… I didn’t comment on this little incident, even though I knew I should. I mean, it’s RMS, I don’t really expect him to change. and it’s easier to just ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen.

thankfully, lefty tackled the issue for us. ok, publishing private mail is rude, but I’m glad he did. the comments section makes me sad…

btw, I have never heard of this “cult of the virgin of mary”. I interpreted RMS’ speech the same way lefty did, I was just too shy to speak up about it. if knowing about this cult makes the whole thing have a different meaning, then maybe RMS should explain that first because it’s not common knowledge. or just skip the “women” part. actually, I probably would find it uncomfortable even if I *did* know all about how it was intended to be taken, because it still reminds all the women that they’re different and haven’t had equal rights for all that long.

oh, and one question: *were* christians offended by the religious part? I’m used to people making fun of christianity (hey, you’re not a minority by any measure, and there’s been a *lot* of cruelty in the name of Jesus over the centuries), so I’m not particularly sensitive to that.

[ok, I’m tired of this backlash, the arguments have been done to death many times before, so I’m turning off comments. if someone still wants to discuss the religion thing, find me elsewhere.]

{July 13, 2009}   gsoc week 7

so I did get that rightclick stuff compiling the day I last blogged, and included a bit of code for the panel’s rightclick. :) yay.

later in akademy I spent an afternoon hacking on plugin-specific config, and got some API review. on the way back to vancouver I set aside the half-implemented API review and went back to making the plugin config thing work. airplanes are a good place for getting myself to write code I’d rather avoid; so few distractions. :) of course, git is a must for that. it’d suck to manage all that stuff without local commits.

I now have a configurable title for the menu from my test plugin, yay. :) there are still several bugs in the code, so I need to do some cleanup, but being able to actually use it and see things happen makes me happy. :)

wow, akademy’s over. I miss you guys already.

{July 12, 2009}   …and home to vancouver

the last two days in las palmas were fairly relaxing for me. :) after all the writing friday I went to riddell’s place, where there was food and people. a beer bottle was dropped, and then I was wondering why my food had crunchy bits… yes, it was glass in my food. but I don’t think I swallowed any. :) there were some interesting discussins about what people liked/disliked about the conference that night. saturday morning… urgh. construction work on saturday mornings should be illegal. :P eventually I gave up on sleep… I got out to the beach, and actually went swimming finally. :) I also discovered that my legs are refusing to be any colour but white, even without sunscreen. got a very mild burn on my stomach, though.

I wandered between hotels for the afternoon, trying to organize taxi stuff and find out what was happening in general. I got some german movies in exchange for some music :) but realized that there’s someone I was supposed to trade music with, and we never got around to it, and I don’t even remember his name…

anyways, there was more food at brisamar that evening – everyone who’d been cooking was trying to use up hte last of their food, and I never did open my bag of pasta – and then there was pancakes at blauzahl’s place, and eventually at 2am I stumbled over to fataga and spent two hours being half-awake. at 4am it was taxi time, and we headed off to the airport… where I met up with several people I’d said goodbye to earlier that night :)

the flights went fairly smoothly, although it was hard not to worry – I had to re-check-in in madrid, which was confusing, and I had to collect my bag for customs in toronto, but I had plenty of time between flights. one sad thing, though – it used to be that veggie meals on planes were always better than the regular meals. that’s no longer the case, at least not for air canada. the meals seem to be getting steadily worse… and they don’t actually have vegetarian, just vegan, which means no chocolate :( still, for one of the meals on my long flight I managed to get the veggie option from the regular meals, yay :)

now I’m back safe and sound, yay :) vancouver’s grey, but it’s home. :) but I don’t sleep well on planes, so god am I ever tired. and it’s going to be a busy week, so I probably still won’t be online all that much.

{July 10, 2009}   looking to the future

the other day there was a group of KDE people in the hall, waiting for the buy ticket guy to return, and ade started asking us to answer questions… things like “describe kde 4.4 in one sentence”… trying to get us to think about where we’re going with KDE and what our goals were. the results were… sad. really sad. I think eventually after a while a couple of people managed to come up with something for one of the future kde releases each, but it was a real struggle.

this is something I’ve always had a lot of trouble with. I live very much in the present; the future and past don’t quite seem real, except when I’m worrying about them. :P but I care about KDE, and I understand that it’s important to know where we’re going so that we can work together better and end up with a coherent desktop instead of a jumble of useful features. I’m just not really sure *how* to approach this… it doesn’t help that I’m feeling shy and quiet now.

I was somewhat distracted thinking about this yesterday… this morning, when I left my hotel, I sat at the edge of the street and stared at the blue ocean, hoping to find inspiration there. this is what I wrote (plus a few updates from things I learnt today):

There’s so much water here. I’m not used to actually seeing a horizon; in vancouver no matter where you look there’s mountains eventually. Usually all you can see is what’s near you.

With 4.3 we release… Um.. Well, i forget. But aaron made a screencast. I’m already taking for granted everything that was done for 4.3.
For 4.4 we’ll see the social desktop begin to take shape. Sure there’s that one plasmoid in 4.3, but that’s just a teaser. We’ll have applets being shared, we’ll have a shiny new netbook experience, and another huge list of soc projects. oh, and more location-aware stuff, too (right now the weather plasmoid can guess where I am but the clock can’t. anyone looking for an easy feature to write? ;) We’ll also see some apps stabilizing – amarok, koffice, kdepim… When 4.4 is released i expect to use all of those with ease (my requirements for koffice are pretty simple, though). We’ll also have a git migration going on, hopefully. :)

So what of 4.5? Well, we won’t have an army of gsoc students; a lot of us will be in school. But if we’re on git, and the branch layout is what i hope it’ll be, then perhaps i can focus on bugfixing while the rest of kde is doing features, then start my features when they’re in feature freeze – because that’s when i’ll have *time* for features. Of course, that means any feature i write over xmas break will be in 4.5…

For plasma, i’m hoping to see a better zui in 4.5, then. some new window-management concepts in kwin, too. I’m sure the socialdesktop revolution continues. I’m betting konqueror will once again be a browser i want to use (something only kde3’s konq has accomplished so far). The web will be integrated into the desktop and apps, too.

I expect koffice will have a real end-user release by then (their 4.2 in a way). Kdepim will be using akonadi for everything. Nepomuk will start popping up all over the place.

Then 4.6 will come along next summer. Another flood of gsoc proects… The desktop will organize itself for you. Collaborative editing everywhere. Who knows, maybe even plasmoids on your phone ;) QML may be sneaking into things then too; shinier interfaces, less code.

Since we only got up to 3.5 last time, maybe 4.6 will be a good time to start thinking about kde5 too. All the new experiments in kde4 naturally leave behind some api cruft as people learn what works and what doesn’t. I’m not talking about another revolutionary mega-release like 4.0, just a break of binary compatibility in order to clean up API and make some changes that can’t be done in 4.x.

so… that’s what I’m hoping to see in the next year. social/collaborative stuff, the computer paying attention to context, small-formfactor stuff, a better web experience (and that doesn’t just mean the browser), applications becoming stable and taking advantage of the pillars of KDE. I want my computer to *help* me instead of just sitting there waiting for instructions.

what about you?

so, when did I last blog? tuesday?
ahh yes, then I went and ran into the ocean and they wouldn’t let me back into the room until someone gave me a towel. :P I still haven’t actually been *swimming*, per se, but I at least got into the water a bit.

the e.V meeting finished in record time after lunch, and a bunch of people stuck around to hack or discuss the browser situation. that evening we had an aikido lesson from one of the kde guys… ingwa? (sorry, I really am that bad with names). that was great fun, and I discovered that the beach is the perfect place to practice falls and rolls. :) I’ll be back in my arnis class next week. looking forward to that. after sitting around hacking all day it’s a great way to unwind.

wednesday was our first day at the uni (aka the greenhouse). kinda lacking in air conditioning. but miracle of miracles, they have enough bandwidth for all, and power and wires at most desks. :)
the git bof went pretty well; we got a list of things that need doing, and then got people to volunteer for doing them. :) the room was packed, and even after we asked anyone just hacking to go to the other room, we still had people sitting in the aisle…

after that bof was lunch. after discovering plenty of nice food near the beach I’d let down my guard and not packed any lunch… but at the uni we were directed to a single cafeteria, where I spent a long time trying to talk my way into getting a vegetarian sandwich, and instead somehow ended up with a plain salad and a bread roll while my friend got a sandwich that may or may not have had tuna. :/ I’m glad I had one last energy bar lurking in my backpack.
after lunch I basked in the glow of teh interwebs, hacked on my soc project, and got some API review. :) once I have the config thing done and the api changes implemented, I think it’ll be time to get this code into trunk.

eventually we left the uni, after some confusion about who exactly was handing out bus tickets where, and went for tapas. and ice cream. the ice cream here is pretty damn awesome. we then attempted to walk to the party – see sebr’s blog.

there was an open bar at the party, which meant I could actually order drinks I *like*, yay :) there was much drinking and chatting and dirty jokes, and eventually dancing… I spent about half my time hanging out with random gnome guys who were fun to talk to. after all, it was our last party with them (and I missed the other joint party), and the alcohol really helps with all that awkwardness… in some ways this conference has been kinda like those old highschool dances, where the guys are in one corner and the girls in another, and eventually someone has to go up and ask someone else to dance. ;) it seems like there’s been plenty of collaboration anyways, but I’ll bet there’ll be a lot more when/if we do a second joint conference as it’ll be a meeting of friends instead of strangers.

still, I do wish the sponsors had given us more free food and less free beer. social lubrication is great, but when people spend over half an hour deciding what to eat and finding the place and then discovering it’s closed and having to find another place… well, it all leaves less time for hacking and talking. and when I don’t get good veggie food and end up hungry it’s hard to get much of anything done :/

anyways, thursday I somehow still got to the uni in time for the plasma/kwin bof. that went well, too; we got through the agenda (except for one thing I completely forgot to bring up), basically agreed on lots of stuff, and talked about how to accomplish it. :)

for lunch that day a few of us went off in search of an actual restaurant, and ended up finding a different cafeteria. a bunch of gnome guys showed up too, so we ended up chatting – most of them were tracker guys, and they told us about how tracker and strigi are working together, and how it’s going to use nepomuk stuff, and then they went off into technical discussions with notmart and ruphy that I didn’t really follow. :)

they seem to be generally enthusiastic about making stuff work together and making it easy for whatver components from either desktop to be used at will. yay standards :) by the end they’d persuaded me that I should write a proposal for sharing session-restore stuff, so that documents open when you log out of kde will be reopened when you log into gnome and vice versa. :) neither of us actually knows anything about the technology behind that, but I guess I have to learn now. ;)

oh, and if you haven’t yet, find leinir at the uni and sign our inflatable FLA. ;)

thursday afternoon was a hacking session at fataga (where they have air conditioning, and lots of nearby food). I was feeling tired of talking to people, so I’m not sure what they were working on, but I’m sure they can blog themselves. :) I tried to register for courses, then found out that my enrollment time was still several hours away (damn timezones). we found a wonderful taiwanese restaurant for dinner – more food than we could eat for less money than the tapas place, and it was delicious, and I got to practice my mandarin a bit speaking with the waitress. :)

friday morning, I slept in. :) oh sleep, how I’ve missed you…
now I’m back at fataga and everyone’s hacking again, and I’m… writing. and I still have more writing to do – notes to type up and send off to people. we discussed ZUI and window managemnent again over lunch, and sebas told us about some web integration plans. someone’s made a wikipedia runner. announcements are being proofread. code is being written. :) sebas really didn’t want to leave (he’s probably arriving at the airport right now).

oh, and here’s some email about kwallet and gnome keyring working on a common API. :) yay, collaboration!

et cetera