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    Blog entries for August, 2003

    2003-08-28 (THURSDAY)
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    Got back from Europe last night. 22-hour trip door to door; which sucks up a whole day, but then Prague to North Carolina used to suck up half a year not so long ago.

    Czech was really beautiful, I had no idea it was so nice. Met lots of new people hacking on the Linux desktop, which is always fun. I collected a solid set of feedback on D-BUS, and I think I know what needs to be changed to have a first cut at using it in KDE. I also understand some aspects of DCOP a bit more. My slides from the conference: and D-BUS.

    Some interesting things I heard about:

    • unsermake replaces make but still uses the format; it does global dependency analysis rather than recursing directories. Written in Python.
    • Kolab server based on the idea of using IMAP as the datastore for everything, rather than a database.
    • Not new, but I was newly interested in Qt's moc (meta-object compiler). In GLib terms, you could think of moc as a code generator that would scan your GObject implementation source file, and generate the class_init() function and other boilerplate automatically. It is not a preprocessor (doesn't modify the original file, just creates a new one) and is not an IDL compiler (no IDL, it uses the original source file).
    There were other interesting things too but I happened to remember those things right this second (it's 7am).

    I also spent a lot of time on the plane reading LDAP Directories Explained by Brian Arkills, this is a really helpful book if you know nothing about LDAP and want to get started. I had the following wacky idea: what if the desktop could rely on an LDAP data store, because we had a per-user one replacing gconfd, or always ran a machine-local one? I'm not convinced but it's a line of thought.

    2003-08-21 (THURSDAY)
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    What a tiring day - meetings and paperwork and so forth. Leaving for the KDE conference tomorrow. I hope to meet lots of desktop hackers I haven't met, and gain firsthand knowledge of Czech beer so I can authoritatively argue with George.

    2003-08-19 (TUESDAY)
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    Frustratingly, I still can't quite figure out how to make the size/position constraints in metacity work properly. I wonder if I'll end up having to do one of those "constraint solvers" other window managers seem to have.

    Why aren't more desktop hackers coding support for managing desktops? Improving gconf, integrating with Kerberos/LDAP to support user policies, fixing up integration with file/print servers, this type of thing. Lots of the coding here is pretty fun, at least I think so.

    2003-08-17 (SUNDAY)
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    Yesterday did much hacking on D-BUS to switch from naming messages with a single string to naming messages with an interface name + interface member (method, signal). Didn't quite finish. Trying to get things to work approximately as I think they should to help with hacking/discussion at the KDE conference next week.

    Also slowly building GNOME on my crappy laptop, which is complicated because you have to delete the already-compiled source trees as you go in order to get enough disk space to compile the later packages.

    Today watched a bunch of "That 70s Show" saved by my PVR cable box, and tried to buy some luggage. All stores seem to have exactly the same pieces of luggage, with 15 different brand names.

    2003-08-15 (FRIDAY)
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    Got my account on the new server today, so that is slowly getting set up. We probably won't migrate the existing stuff until I return from Nove Hrady, unless I do it while there.

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    A classic web log starting point: funny picture of the cat.