Older blog entries for cinamod (starting at number 64)

Public Servants

Yesterday, the City of Cambridge decided to jackhammer in front of my window at 0700, and then immediately fill the newly-dug hole with dirt.

Today at 0700, they jackhammered the dirt...

4 Aug 2005 (updated 4 Aug 2005 at 12:06 UTC) »
Librsvg news

We've been working on modularizing the rendering pipeline of librsvg, the Gnome SVG rendering library. In the process, we've gotten close to exposing the library's innards as a DOM object, which will hopefully lead to some neat hacks in the gnome 2.14+ timeframe.

In the recent past, Caleb Moore did a lot of work to support pluggable renderers (amongst a great number of other things... he rocks and definitely is underappreciated). Over the past weekends, Caleb and I split up the library into several smaller ones and I stubbed out a Cairo-based renderer. With that in place, Cairo's main man, Carl Worth has come along and filled in some of my stubs, and I've filled in a few pieces he'd left missing.

The end result? A gorgeous Tux that'll draw directly to GDI+, PDF, PS, PNG, X11, Quartz, OpenGL, you name it. And by the looks of things, (slightly) faster than libart did it, too. Of course, this all still needs a lot of work and testing, but it shows a lot of promise. Great job, Carl and Caleb!

Uraeus, you might want to tell Michael Benes that his code probably doesn't have any problems with the GPL. From what I've seen, the code borrowed from MPlayer is:

  • very small in both size and scope
  • rote boilerplate that one simply must write for DirectX to emit sound

These 2 facts taken together are pretty analogous to copyrighting "the" - it simply can't be done. IANAL, but that's just my $0.02

Morten, well, that all depends on what the definition of "is" is...
Christian, it's likely that Senator Clinton is doing what's called a "rush to the middle". That is, she is trying to appear more conservative and "moral" than she really is in order to appeal to the more conservative folks. This is probably a PR stunt leading upto her widely-rumored 2008 Presidential campaign.

Just my $0.02

Tomas, that's because in the US you get branded a traitor (or worse) if you suggest that the terrorists are anything other than whackjobs. The terrorists couldn't possibly have *any* legitimate gripes against us. They must hate our freedoms. Yeah, that's it. Our shit doesn't stink. We most certainly haven't done anything to upset them. Pesky questions like "why do they really hate us" are certainly not important, and are likely to get you into trouble.

  • No, we never gave WMDs to Saddam during his war against Iran...
  • The current war in Iraq is totally justified. So long as you're using whatever justification the administration is using this week...
  • No, we don't support the state of Isreal...
  • No, we never gave Osama and his Afghani army money, arms, and training during the 1980s...
  • No, we don't have military bases on Muslim land...
  • No, those female GIs walking around in non-Muslim garb on those military bases definitely don't upset some Saudi fundamentalists...
  • No, we never left depleted uranium shells in Iraq after the Gulf war, causing countless birth defects and other complications...
  • No, we didn't blow up Iraqi infrastructure (including lots of soft targets like acquaducts) during the Gulf war...
  • No, the sanctions against Iraq were a good idea, even though it's estimated that a million people died as a direct effect of them...
  • No, we don't ever try to manipulate political and social regimes in the middle east...
  • No, we don't support opressive regimes in Saudi and elsewhere...
  • No, Saddam and Osama definitely weren't our buddies in the 1980s...

I don't condone attacks against civilian targets, be they done by terrorists or the US military. I don't necessarily think that all of the things we've done above were "wrong" decisions. And I don't think that non-involement in the region will be a panacea either. But I won't pretend that those actions weren't controversial. Try walking a mile in their shoes. If I were in a Saudi's shoes, I might want to blow shit up. I'd imagine that most people would feel the same.

Our might does not make right. Our present and historical invovlement in the mideast is conveniently unknown or forgotten. Effects and causes are disjoint.

The West Wing's Toby Ziegler might be right - maybe they will like us when we win. But maybe they'll like us if we simply stop doing everything within our power to fsck with their lives. There's a good New Testament quote to the effect of "they will know you are a Christian through your actions and good deeds." Let's spread freedom through our good example instead of our tanks.

As you mention, it's the same way with crime. The only solution the US population will stomach is bigger prisons and offender databases. Criminalize everything. Issue Amber alerts. Run 24-hour coverage of blondes missing in Aruba, 40 days after they've disappeared. What you end up with 3+ million Americans in prison. Nevermind vicious cycles of poverty, inadequate education, lacking health care, broken homes, and all the other root causes. You don't solve crime by locking up everyone. You only breed more poverty, more broken homes. More criminals. The UK understands this. Why can't we?


7 Jul 2005 (updated 7 Jul 2005 at 14:40 UTC) »

My heart and deepest sympathies go out to everyone in the UK. Goddamn acts of cowardice.

If there are any Gnomies in the Boston area this 4th of July and you don't have something to do tonight or just want to stop bye and say "hi", Ruth and I are having some people over. Relevant info here:


Zawinski's Law , in honor of JRB's recent evince work:

"Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.''

This weekend, I've been busy hacking on gtk-wimp, GTK+'s native Microsoft Windows theme engine. A lot of things are coming together nicely. What's especially nice is that someone has been submitting nit-picky bugs - things that make a theme author really pay attention to detail. Bug reports are always good. Or as Jody prefers to say, "Anal is good."

/me ducks

Things that work (or work better now):

  • Menu/toolbars have a gradient applied to them
  • Better handling of menu/toolbar shadows, even tracking how the theme is using them
  • Sliders (GTK+ calls them "scales") now use WinXP theming
  • Apps with status bars now get the WinXP status bar grippie drawn properly
  • Toolbar grippies are drawn nicely too
  • Notebook tabs now get that orange stripe across their top
  • A host of scrollbar bugs are fixed

There's lots of room for improvement, of course, but things are looking a lot better these days. A screenshot for interested parties. Please file bug reports at sf.net.

I have some requests for GTK+/GNOME application writers, from a themer's perspective:

  • Set gtk-button-images=0. Make sure that no dialog buttons have images in them.
  • Set gtk-menu-images=0. Make sure that your menus don't have images.
  • Play with gtk-icon-sizes. Tweak the toolbar and menu icon sizes. Make sure that your toolbar and menu icons respect those sizes.
  • Please set each dialog's alternative button ordering.

These all make a big difference in how "native" your app looks and feels, especially on Win32 as gtk-wimp tweaks a lot of these settings. I'll be pushing these changes upstream to GTK+'s CVS later today or tomorrow.

I'd also like to congratulate Damien and Jonita! I wish you two a happy marriage :)

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