Life update, winter of 2009

Maru and I spent Christmas in Norway this year, and I’ve stayed on a bit to get things organized for our impending relocation here. Circumstances have delayed us, so instead of arriving ahead of the local recession, we’ll be setting up right in the middle of it. One can only hope that Norway will weather it as well as the media will have one believe.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of things to do besides worrying. For instance, there’s work, which at the moment consists of a kind of snow-shoveling exercise. Then there’s literally shoveling snow - oddly satisfying after so many years in the tropics. Between that and the access to (suitably tame) nature, I might work off the Christmas pounds yet. Apart from that, I’ve gotten to spend some quality time with my grumpy friends - notably, Johannes turned 30.

View from my workspace View from terrace Front porch Maru skiing Johannes turns 30

ENLi 2008

My talk, La comunidad GNOME para principiantes (The GNOME community for beginners), seems to have gone over well here at ENLi 2008 (the 2008 National Linux Meeting in Puebla, Mexico), with a big audience and interesting followup questions. The slides are available as a collection of plain PNG and JPEG images in a zip archive (use the link above).

I’m having an excellent time. Will post some pictures from the conference later.

Update: Pictures.

Audience

My wonderful audience

openSUSE discs

I clearly didn’t bring enough openSUSE discs

Not so much a nightmare as a non-dream

Since absolutely everything seems to be about the USA lately, here’s a paranoid little snippet from good ol’ Burroughs to go with it.

America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.

— William S. Burroughs, The Job

Don’t read too much into it.

Evolution goodness (and some badness)

My laptop went south a couple of days ago, so I’m having to make do with a screen that is bigger but endowed with fewer pixels. This has been a source of frustration, especially in Evolution, where I depend on the efficiency afforded me by the tri-pane view. Crank down the resolution a bit, and it’s suddenly not so efficient - there isn’t enough space to display the subjects in the message list anymore. The problem is compounded by useless mailer “Re:” and mailing list prefixes.

So, since I don’t need to see the mailing list and reply status repeated for every single mail, I cooked up a little patch to trim the subjects in the message view. When applied, it makes available a new column in View -> Current View -> Define Views… -> Edit -> Fields Shown… -> Available Fields. This column implements the trimming, and can be used instead of the traditional Subject one:

Evolution, traditional subjects Evolution, trimmed subjects

Traditional

Trimmed

The patch applies to both Evolution 2.22 and 2.24, although unfortunately, a couple of nasty, new bugs are preventing me from running the latter. If you happen to be running openSUSE Factory like me, and Evolution 2.24 is preventing you from getting work done, you can get my unofficial 2.22 build for Factory from the build service. It includes the above patch as an added bonus.

Taking out the trash

A friend of mine, Vegard Munthe, works for FAIR, an aid organization that ships used but working computers from rich (or industrialized, or first world, or whatever you want to call it) countries to poorer countries for re-use in school labs there. As part of the deal, the computers are shipped back for reprocessing when they are no longer working, to avoid them piling up and causing all kinds of environmental problems. Not so long ago they received their first return shipment - according to Vegard, getting the permits to ship and import what basically amounts to a pile of toxic waste was quite the challenge.

FAIR’s first return shipment

Fun fun fun! Congratulations to Vegard & crew on this important milestone.

Tick tock

As of yesterday, I have survived to 31 years of age. That is all for now.

Maru and Federico on my 31st birthday

Maru and Federico preparing to eat Moros con Cristianos

GDK indirect rendering backend online

I just finished touching up that GDK backend for rendering toplevel windows to Cairo image surfaces I briefly presented at GUADEC. It now compiles with the latest GTK+ trunk, and it even has a page with instructions for how to check it out and build it. There are some examples too.

With time, I can hopefully get this to production quality levels.

I has a face

I’m wearing it on my head. Looks good on planets!

More GUADEC, Istanbul

A day and a half left of the conference. Some pictures from the awesome, Collabora-sponsored Bosporus cruise, sightseeing, etc. below. Everyone seems to be having a good time.

Bosporus cruise Istanbul bridge Castle Mosque Another mosque Cats everywhere Clemens and Federico

Fun at GUADEC 2008

Tram in istanbul

At GUADEC 2008. Istanbul is a fun and interesting place, and the talks aren’t all that bad either. Not much time to write or code, though.