Older blog entries for Uraeus (starting at number 473)

Bankruptcy looming

Some of you may remember me posting a link to a World of Warcraft spoof commerical in my blog last week (9th). Well it turns out a lot of people looked at it and linked to it. So today the ISP called saying that my site was using bandwith like crazy. I removed the file, but I still have to pay now for the 124 Gigabyte of bandwith used. Our estimates is that it will cost my around 400 Euro, which is painful, but surviveable. So let this be a warning to all who considers posting a movie clip on a hosting service where you will be charged by bandwith usage and there is no throttling possible :)

What to respect when

When I travelled in Borneo last year there was one question that popped into my mind which I have pondered on a bit since. And that is the question of 'showing respect' when abroad and what that means. The reason the question came up was that one of the first things the tour group was told was that women should dress in a certain manner in order to show respect for local culture. In theory this seems a fair request and similar to what I experienced many times before, like requests I got when visiting a church in Greece about not going into the church with wearing shorts, but wearing long pants.

When it comes to buildings and other special areas I can accept this, but when it become a general rule I started wondering about it. The thing is we do many things every day that may or may not agree with everyone around us. There are many of these issues ranging from the trivial (you wear to bright coloured shirts) to more the more essential (coloured people shouldn't be in here).

Everyday we fight a battle over what is right and what is wrong. And everyday people give in on some issues (ok, I will wear a different shirt) and stand up and fight for other issues (of course coloured people have a right to be in here).

The thing is that as soon as you do give in on any issue the people making the demand will naturally strenghten their belief that their viewpoint has a higher moral standing than yours, and assume you agree since went along with it. So to go back to the initial issue that got me pondering, it was that if we accept that when we go some places women in our group need to cover their hair, we to some degree validate those requests and say that our beliefs are somehow less moral or worthy than those of the people making the demand. That the people making this demand are justified in making the demand.

Especially since these things seldom tend to be two-way street I feel it comes out wrong. Because if it is only about showing respect for local tradition, then shouldn't we make the same demand when people come to us, that women do not cover their hair when coming to our countries as it is seen as offensive and as a symbol of female oppression?

So to put this into a GNOME community context I get quite irritated when I feel that people in the community want to enforce their own values on the way that the rest of the community act and behave. To me GNOME have always been a socially liberal community, not in the sense that everyone's a liberal, but in the sense that those with more conservative inklings on an issue have respected that not everyone agrees with them and that they have no more moral right to make demands upon the more liberal parts of the community anymore than the liberal parts of the community have a right to make demands upon the behaviour of the more conservative members. As an atheist I am not especially thrilled about people putting Bible and Quaran quotes in their blogs which go on planet.gnome.org, but that doesn't mean I feel I have the right to ask people doing so to stop.

Mission statement for GNOME

On a semi-related issue I have also been thinking about what a mission statement for GNOME should say. The issue where brought up during GUADEC and I was not to excited about the direction it seems to go. A mission statement need to contain some form of value statement in my opinion to have any real use. It needs to be something people can rally behind. A mission statement that goes along the lines that 'GNOME is about making the most usable GUI buttons in the world' is close to being a waste of bits to me.

So if I where to compose the mission statement it would instead be something like this:

We take free speech from granted in large parts of the world today, but ensuring that the infrastructure of communication remains free and available for all to use, free speech will start to dissipate. The goal of the GNOME project is to provide a part of that infrastructure in a digital world, under terms ensuring that no single person, organization, company or government is controling it. To accomplish this goal we aim to make the GNOME desktop so usable and good that the desktop becomes transparent to the user, enabling them to use it as a tool to express themselves as they see fit.

I spent a full 5 minutes coming up with the text above, so its not meant as a exact proposal, more as an example of what kind of mission statement I would feel actually conveys something. It clearly states what the difference is in values is between GNOME and other desktops like Windows, MacOSX and KDE.

Ok, enough ranting for today.

People coming and going

Been a busy time lately with Ralph Giles, Conrad Parker and Michael Smith visiting us here in Barcelona. Conrad's stay got prolonged quite a bit by managing to loose Wim's apartment keys on the beach while skinny dipping (I am not an actual witness to this event). Luckily Wim have been away on vacation so it didn't impact him directly, and after a lot of back and forth it seems we managed to find Wim landlord to get another set of keys. So when Wim is back on Sunday he can get back into his appartment and Conrad can travel onwards tommorow.

So Conrad is now leaving and Michael will probably be traveling for a while around Spain before returning to Barcelona for a few more days.

So two people leaving and Wim and Edward coming back from vacation.


Happy to see the weekend now as this week have been rather intence, tons of stuff happening businesswise so tons of decisions to be made, offers to be written, mails and calls to do. Combine that with having visitors here and the timetable have been filled to the brim. I am not the only one of have been feeling the pressure, Thomas have been a bit stressed out over the last few days too it seems.

Anyway need to work on my tan this weekend so I look dashing for LUGRadio live. On the other hand considering how much those guys talk about manlove I should probably keep a low profile :)

9 Jun 2005 (updated 9 Jun 2005 at 18:16 UTC) »
Flash aka swf

Noticed tnt blogging about open source flash, due to a Slashdot story about gplflash. I hope as many people as possible look into swfdec instead, as its LGPL licensed (as opposed to the GPL of gplflash, and David have been working almost fulltime on it for some time now to make it really good. Also due to the optional GStreamer relationship we should be able to offer good mp3 and flash video support down the road too, in a way shipable for distributions.

On the topic of Flash, Daniel Fisher is currently working on getting Flash video streaming going with Flumotion so people can use Flumotion to stream to flash clients.

World Of Warcraft

As mentioned earlier I quit my WoW playing due to it consuming all my time. This little video shows the issues with WoW very well.


Seems Jeff is intent on showing that Ubuntu does not have a dark backside.

Great news, Apple have decided to put their customers through another painful hardware architecture change. I am sure a lot of their remaining customers will re-evaluate their options in the wake of this and be more open to considering switching to GNU/Linux and GNOME. Of course taking away Apple's marketshare only gives us a couple of percentage points, but still, its a start.


GUADEC pretty much rocked this year. The number of people and the energy was incredible. The number of things happening out there both from the companies involved, but also the stuff that is being doing by private members of the community like the Gnumeric and Abiword guys is just amazing, think the collaboration stuff underway will rock insanely.

The people rocked too as usual, but the problem of knowing more people than I can even hope to have a real conversation with for the duration of 3 days is there of course. Didn't bother me as much this year as earlier years though as I guess I had come to terms with the fact that no matter how many people I try to talk to during GUADEC there will be some people I will not be able to talk to who I know.

Talked to a lot of people though and it was wonderful to catch up to both old friends and new friends like Jono Bacon.


There was also the launch of the Nokia 770 and Maemo which was a blast. People really love the little device. The patent issue of cause came up, but for me it is a non-issue, I think Nokia's stance on patents going forward will actually depend on the sucess of Maemo and this device. If its hugely sucessful I think it will lead to Nokia's viewpoint aligning more with ours and if its a failure it will mean that Nokia will consider the free software route and ideals of little interest. Its rather logical actually, they have made a lot of money doing business the 'old' way and if they are shown that they can make just as much money or more doing business this 'new' way then that will of course have an influence on their opinions. Large companies are like oil tankers, it takes time to turn them.

Anyway, if was also great to meat up and talk with Yannick and Makoto again in person, the work they have been putting in at Nokia to create interest in Linux and free software and getting the project for developing the 770 and Maemo going is simply amazing. I remember when I first went to Helsinki to talk with them I was expecting a group of people who's primary objective was to use as much opensource software as possible while giving as little as possible back. I was very wrong, in fact they where pushing very hard to make as much of the stuff opensource as possible and all non-free parts where there mostly because there where no non-free solution ready or usable. But they where already talking about how to replace those parts of upcoming versions of Maemo as free software alternatives had matured during the development cycle for the device. If you ever get to meet any of them you should thank them for the effort, cause whatever you think of Nokia as whole the Nokia Linux guys have their hearts and minds in the right place. They truly get it.

Back in Barcelona

So I am now back in Barcelona and moved into an appartment in the part of town called Gracia. I am renting this room for June since Ralph Giles, of Xiph, Ghostscript and Theora fame is renting my place for himself and his family. Its quite packed here atm actually as in addition to Ralph we have Conrad Parker from Annodex and Brian Cameron from Sun visiting.

Not sure why Thomas have been spreading rumours about Havoc having a baby or Glynn getting married, esepcially since he have tried to keep a very low profile with Kristien's pregnancy. While twin pregnancies are more risky than normal ones, I would shout it out on the rooftops if I where them.

Leaving Barcelona

Will be a busy month this. GUADEC and the Nokia launch created a lot of buzz and created many new business leads. I am already scheduled to go to the US later this month and then of to LUG Radio live followed by a extended London stay , first crashing with the legendary Bastien Nocera then visiting a beautiful girl in conjunction with her birthday.

Nokia 770

The Nokia 770 seems to have gotten a very positive response on its announcement which I of course is very happy about. Really looking forward meeting Yannick, Makoto and the rest of the gang at GUADEC in a few days.

GStreamer 0.9

So we are working on doing the first development releases of the new 0.9 branch today. To make sure people have something to play with after hearing Wim's talk at GUADEC. Really nice stuff going in there, looking forward to seeing this go into mamoe, GNOME and maybe even KDE eventually.

Lessig's ghosts

The article where Lessig releveals he was a victim of abuse is powerful reading. Not going to comment much though as Julie Leung have a very good blog entry on it which says whatever I would have liked to say so much better.

25 May 2005 (updated 25 May 2005 at 13:10 UTC) »
Nokia and GStreamer

Was finally able to send out the first message about our work together with Nokia on GStreamer. Looking forward to more details about it being announced to the community at GUADEC and through upcoming press releases.

Update: Nokia have now put up a page for the device and also there is a development page. Cool stuff, as its using GTK+, GStreamer, GConf and dbus.

GUADEC postponed by a week
Ok, since we are leaving for GUADEC on friday I am getting a bit stressed about getting everything ready for GUADEC that I want to. So is it ok for everyone if we postpone GUADEC for one week?

Wingo's welcome home party

We had a big barbeque at Wim's place yesterday to celebrate Wingo's return from the US. Unfortunatly Wingo didn't arrive until today.

Project Olivine
Started writing on my Project Olivine document for what GNOME 3 should be about. The general ideas are not written down, but unless the document is to be just another opinion piece on a already widely debated subject I need to make it much more detailed and implementation roadmap styled. Not being a hacker there is of course some limitations to my level of technical details, so at some point I guess I need to find some hackers to co-conspire with :)

Electrical screwdrivers
For some tasks an electrical screwdriver is close to essential, it is not being lazy. Ceiling tropical fans are one such area.

glib love
Wim's patch to get glib to use GAtomic for refcounting was added today by Zaheer to the Gentoo glib ebuild. Hopefully this means we get wider testing of it in order to push it forward in terms of getting it included upstream. This patch is really important for GStreamer to get included. Tim Janik had some objections to it, so hopefully he will be at GUADEC so he and Wim can discuss it and hopefully resolve his objections.

Flumotion 0.1.8 release
We did a new release of everyones favourite streaming server today. Most noticeable new feature is a little docklet which displays the current stream status. That means that if you have the admin tool running on your machine you don't need to check the admin gui itself to verify that your stream are still behaving nicely. A quick peak down at the panel is enough. A big thanks to Zaheer for making this.

- Got an email from my boss at Oracle asking me what my plans where yesterday. My one year unpaid leave is up at the end of June so she needed to know if I where planing on coming back or not. I had almost forgotten about the whole thing, so I need to send her my official letter of resignation now. Can't quit Fluendo now that we are standing on the brink of world domination :)

Saw a link on Lawrence Lessig's blog today to some organisation calling itself 'International Intellectual Property Institute' (a fancy name for some bought lobbyists), who had published an article on why software patents in Europe would make the world a better place. The main argument seemed to be that the main reason some people and politicians might not want such patents is because the issues involved are to complex for these people to understand. Brilliant argumentation... I am sure they will get a lot of goodwill with the European members of parlament with the argument that said members of parliament are to stupid to decide on this issue.

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