Older blog entries for Uraeus (starting at number 272)

2 Feb 2004 (updated 2 Feb 2004 at 22:36 UTC) »

So it seems Steve Lhomme is making good progress on porting GStreamer to Windows with it compiling today, curious to see what will be the effect of that port in terms of developer interest and similar.

Meanwhile there has been a great deal of general bugfixing done today in preparation of a new GStreamer release. Seems a lot of stuff is really starting to come online now, so while 0.7.4 will not have every format working there will be enough for us to feel confident that the basics work.

I also managed to get my system upgraded to latest Fedore Development tree. Lots of nice improvements in GNOME 2.5, I am especially impressed by the speedups in yelp.

Spatial Nautilus is going to take some time getting used to. The lack of the sidebar doesn't really bother me since I never used it anyway, but the removal of the navigation buttons will take some getting used to. It was very fast though so I guess I will get to like it after a while.

And of course seeing the SVG'ified games made my heart sing with joy :)

And not to be forgotten I am happy to see Planet XFCE online. Some people see XFCE as a GNOME competitor, but personally I see them as an asset to GNOME. They use GTK+ too and they offer a good alternative to GNOME for people who want a lighter alternative or who just like the way XFCE works. Alternatives that help promote and develop the platform is only a good thing. Keep on blogging guys!

So I spent much of the day at my mothers place trying to get her wireless network up and running. The SMC Barricade Wireless router worked as a charm and so did the CNET PCI card. The hard piece of the puzzle was the standalone SMC Wireless Print Server. Having experience with the Barricade I figured it would be a piece of cake to configure using the webinterface, but no. The print server is definetly not the big volume products that the barricade is for SMC and the interface showed it. It took me quite a long time to actually get the wireless part of the print server to work to begin with. Part of that was both the obscureness of configuring it and the fact that it seems you need to cycle the power of the print server frequently as part of configuring it.

Having gotten that working evertually I was on to the job of getting the printing to work. My mother uses WinXP on her machine, and the SMB based printing I got working after 30 minutes of fiddling, seemed to freeze the computer while the printing was going on. The docs suggested I use LPR based IP printing, but the tools included did not really work at all. One more hour+ of fiddling and suddenly it started working. Sad part is that I am still not sure what I did in the end that made it work, but now it prints fine without freezing the windooze gui so hopefully everything will be fine from here. Not sure I am ready to recommend the print server to anyone. I mean it definetly works now and hopefully will keep working, but it was a pain to get there. Both the web gui and the included windows GUI tools seemed half developed and many of them simply did not work. I think that if SMC want to start shipping those things in numbers the price need to fall with at least two thirds and make the setup smoother.

The next step in the masterplan is to get the linux based laptop at her place working within the wireless network. Then she we hopefully use that to get aquinted with Linux and GNOME and I will also have a solution where I can get sure that moving her to Linux will not give me an increased support burden.

My GStreamer article put me back in a writing mood and I have some more stuff on my table I want to do now. Including some interviews and a couple of feature articles. Hope to get started/done with at least some of it during this upcoming week and also mail thomasvs to arrange stuff for leaving the crap web hosting service I use today.

Had a discussion with cinamod and donscarletti over my previous blog entry on SVG and how to handle it. My solution of not implementing something which when used reduced speed was not so popular :). Instead we agreed to try and write some documentation for artists as stuff got implemented with suggestions and advice about the cost usage of certain things. So when an artist want to make a icon theme he/she can check out this doc and get some ideas about what to do/not to do to keep GNOME humming along at top speed when people use their theme. Writting this docs will also hopefully push me into writing some more full docs on icon themeing in general. But for now I am waiting on GTK 2.4 as stock icon themeing will change there. So I want to see how that works out before making the docs.

Now on to apt-getting myself latest Fedora development packages :) Thanks hadess!

31 Jan 2004 (updated 31 Jan 2004 at 18:02 UTC) »

Good developments on all fronts these days. donscarletti is busy adding filters to librsvg. Coming from my 'icons' angle I am a bit worried about performance though. To be supporting more SVG features is only a boon if they doesn't detract from the excelent performance of librsvg. Personally I think that long term we probably want two SVG rendering engines. One 'limited' but fast for icon and other GUI graphics rendering. And one full featured, but naturally slower for web stuff etc. So when the time comes and we want a full featured SVG engine with support for everything I think GNOME should use KSVG or xsvg instead, at least if they are possible to integrate with Mozilla. The final solution could of course be that we use KSVG for the instances where we want the full featured stuff, like the web and replace librsvg with xsvg as the fast 'icon' renderer. Time will tell, when you live in a world of darwinistic software developments the landscape tends to change under you when you do long term planning :)

KSVG seems to be heading in a good direction though and it could turn out to be a good example of how things should be done in the future with a mix of both 'KDE' and 'GNOME' technology since it will be using both libxml and libcroco.

Things are also looking good on the GStreamer front. Over the last week many of the bigger bugs has been squashed and dolphy managed to get seeking back online which was the last major regression in my view compared to the 0.6 branch. There are still some major bugs that needs ironed out, especially in regards to video playback, but I feel very upbeat about the current situation. thomasvs has been doing lots of really great work on improving underlaying technology of the new website so hopefully we can switch our domains over to the new location soon. I am also pleased to see wingo looking at how we support pro-audio needs and where we need to improve. And there are also lots of patches rolling in from all over, from both new and old contributors.

I have also started pondering pushing for GNOME to move to using SVG icons for GNOME 2.8 as the default. Glad to find that Jimmac feels the same way, although we do differ in how to approach it. Or actually I guess I could fall down on the same approach as Jimmac if I feel it is really feasible to have completed in time for 2.8.

My hope is that GNOME 2.8 could be a 100% SVG version which is why I am really happy to see the work being done to convert all the GNOME games to use SVG. This conversion has of course uncovered some more bugs, which once again reminded me that there is a huge gap between saying you support something to actually doing so. GNOME basically got SVG support with GNOME 1.4, but it has taken many iterations to make it as good as it is today, and I don't mean just in terms of rendering quality, but all the little issues and bugs that needs to be fixed for the desktop to treat SVG images in an intelligent way instead treating them as bitmaps. Even if the libs in theory supports them, there are always many assumptions made by application developers which simply doesn't hold true when you throw scalable vector graphics into the ring.

Ok, so I was a bit frustrated with the lack of progress in my relationship with this girl I met before Christmas. She seemed interested in the begining then after new years things just kinda died. I figured it was due to her wanting to take things slowly after to her breakup with her ex-boyfriend, so I didn't really push it. But as the weeks has gone by I have to admit being a bit frustrated by her not getting back to me etc. when promised. Ok, so today I find out why, seems the boss at her workplace has been sexually harrasing her and making her life hell. She couldn't take it anymore and has now quit her job. The experience has really drained her and she is currently really feeling down and just staying by herself at home. Not sure what happens from here, but I think it is clear that little will be happening between us before she gets this experience further behind her.

And I who had a good feeling about the prospects for this as there was no husband or fiancee living with her as has been the case with some earlier involvements of mine :(

Wonder if there is some pattern here I should start seeing

So it is official thomasvs thinks I am a slacker. Not sure what to do about it though :)

Tried writing of a little mail to gst-devel today asking for status reports. While things are moving fast in CVS with lot of fixes being commited, I felt we needed some sort of public airing of plans going forward as I was kinda feeling everyone was sitting in their own bubble working on their own issues without a clear understanding of the big issue. Teoretically every major issue is being handled by someone, but until we speak up I felt that it was a bit in the air what everyone was doing. And the timeline is so tight that I felt that letting things sort themselves out over time was not an option.

Who said there isn't native ports of great games to Linux :)

21 Jan 2004 (updated 21 Jan 2004 at 13:25 UTC) »

Happy to see donscarletti on advogato know. I hope Jeff ends up adding him to planet.gnome.org, but I guess he have to considering that Caleb is a fellow Australian :)

Been spending the first part of this week installing the Oracle E-Business Suite on Red Hat 3. Some troubles getting things going but a combination of these steps and unsetting the LANG variable made things hum along just fine.

Merged the updated NAS plugin into CVS this morning. There are still some issues with it, but hopefully some of our caps masters can figure out why the NAS plugin has some issues still. A big thanks to Arwed for getting the job done. The recent switch to using the ChangeLog file in GStreamer has worked out just great. Personally I think being able to go to the Changelog to see what has happened recently is so much easier than the old 'use the CVS web changelog'.

Happy to see David Schleef and Benjamin Otte hacking on the new autoplugger. The current autoplugger, called spider, has been known to have issues for some time, but time restraints and other priorities in the codebase has postponed the issue until now.

I also got this running to have GStreamer join the Linux Audio Consortium, think the goals of the Consortium are still a bit vague though, but hopefully being members we can both influence the development of the consortium or at least get a clearer understanding of what they are about.

I watched Wing Commander on DVD last evening, all I can say is that this movie really sucked. Many things pulled this movie down; like horrible sets and a some horrible secondary characters, but once the main quality killer was an enemy that was made toothless and gigantic logical flaws in even the core elementes of the movie.

Yay!! I have finally gotten the 'new' toilet installed. After having it standing in the hallway for almost 2 years now I finally got a plumber to come and use it to replace the old one for me. It will be strange to both have a new toilet in the bathrom and also to finally not have a toilet standing in my hallway. No matter what people say, toilets do not look that decorative :)

I am really excited about how things are going with GStreamer these days. A lot of long standing issues are being sorted out, with a new autoplugger being developed, proper Ogg and Vorbis plugins (not using vorbisfile), new and improved error system, DVD playback being polished, gstplay design. I am also very curious to see how our now 11 person non-linear video editor team will manage. Having 11 people work almost fulltime on this for almost a year makes we believe they should be able to get something started that is truly usable and something which will continue to be worked on afterwards.

Ok, sometimes I do something and I wonder how I could possibly do such a thing. A couple of days ago I reported back to someone at work that the tar.gz files he had uploaded to me was broken. Turns out they are ok, the reason they 'appeared' broken was because I tried to run tar -xvf on the tar.gz file. Consider I have unpackaged a gazillion files over the last few years I honestly feel it should be impossible for me to do such a basic mistake, but the facts here leave little room for any other explanation.

It also seems I might have been a little rash in my characterization of Everaldo the other day. Turns out the reason the icons are not released are because they are made using an illustrator extension that hinders conversion to SVG. So I appologize to Everaldo for calling him petty. That said I can't help but feel that there is some irony to something being marketet as 'Crystal SVG' when it is not even possible to easily convert the images to SVG....

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