Wednesday Jul 01, 2009

Desktop Summit - Here I come!

Desktop Summit which is made up of GUADEC and AKademy will be held this year in the Gran Canaria from 3rd-11th July. This is by far the biggest events on its nature, FOSS and totally Desktop oriented.

I will be arriving on the 2nd July evening with the whole bunch from the Desktop group in Sun. Now that some of the people, Alberto, Luis are native Canarians. I am looking forwards to their local hospitality :) Also we meet up hackers old and new.

Many of the exciting talks including GNOME Shell, GNOME 3.0, Mobile Development are so exciting topics that I look forward to hear and see! I will be there until 9th July.

Friday May 01, 2009

My first git commit

I did my first git push yesterday (30/04/2009() since GNOME has moved from svn(1)to git(1). First of all, I really do appreciate those who worked on getting git(1) into OpenSolaris; save me having to build them from Spec Files Extra.

Looking at the my bash shell history, I issued the following commands:

git config --global "user name"
git config --global "email-address"

# That set up my basic identification.

git status
git clone git://

# First mistake, I checked out with read-only permission.

git clone ssh://"username"

# Checked out properly. Make code changes

git diff

# Look at code diff

git commit gnome-session/gsm-manager.c

# Commit code to local git clone

git push --dry-run

# Tried to push in dry run mode

git push origin HEAD

# finally pushed to master repository.

All the commands use are essentially nicely documented here

After making the commit, received a link from maintainer in how to make commit message more meaningful and conformance.

Just for future commits:

Lots of useful information can be found here
But I find this one is all that I need for doing my first git push! :)

Tuesday Jan 13, 2009

Accessible Relation - how to specify it using Glade-3

While I have been working to get a new printing application to work on OpenSolaris, QA has logged an accessibility bug which got me going to learn something about accessible relation. When a visually impaired person requires the use of speech program such as Orca to navigate around the GUI, it needs some context as to what a particular GUI element is supposed to do. In GUI we often have the label and text fields pairs to understand the context. When one is totally relying on audio, that label/text pair has to be closely associated. That is, when a input field is entered, the speech program not only have to tell the user what is the type of the input field and also what it is for based on the corresponding label.

If you are using glade tool to specify your GUI, this accessible relation can be easily specified by the following steps with glade-3:

1. Find out the name of the label, as the picture shows its value is 'label200'

From Accessibility relations

2. Find out the name of the related input field, as the pictures shows it to be 'cmbentNPTLpdHost'
From Accessibility relations

3. Express the label-for relation for the label, as the picture shows 'label200' is for 'cmbentNPTLpdHost'
From Accessibility relations

4. Express the label-by relation for the input field, as the picture shows 'cmbentNPTLpdHost' is labeled by 'label200'

From Accessibility relations

Once these relations are expressed using glade-3 (similarly with glade-2), the accessible technology tool such as Orca will speak out correctly when the user navigate to the input field.

Friday Jan 09, 2009

Poor quality fonts caused by nvidia driver on Nevada

My old metropolis workstation, z2100w have been given me so very poor quality of fonts since I upgraded to nevada 103. I cannot have it display to its full 1900x1200 for the 24" monitor. As it turns out, it has to do with the nvidia driver that comes nevada is not working very well with Xorg. Thanks to Giri Mandalika and his adventure I now have the proper resolution for the 24" monitor :). Happy Friday!

Monday Jul 14, 2008

GUADEC 2008 - My Impression and Experience

GUADEC 08 in Istanbul is the fourth GUADEC I have attended. My first GUADEC was in Dublin back in 2003. Second one is in Kristiansand, Norway in 2004. Third GAUDEC in Vilanova, Spain in 2006. I totally enjoyed this GUADEC for a number of reasons.

Meeting up interesting people over the years and now we now seemed well acquainted, Luis, Jonathan Blandford, David Neary, J5, Micheal Meeks, Vincent Vuntz, Davyd Madeley, new acquaintance like Lucas, Reinout van Schouwen, Don Scroige, Peter Sikking and many other I have not be able to remember their names. Such as the conversation about only paying 1MB price for 12MB internet service in Spain at 2 a.m. (Identify yourself if you know that it is you). Though this year, we missed the presence of Jeff Waugh, Glynn Foster, Havoc.

Of course celebrity-like figure, Mark Shutterworth was even briefly queried about the printing BOF, and remarked that it has to work for CUPS, :(. Mark made my celeb list not so muh of Ubuntu, but his venture into space with the Russian.

What Really went well
Apart from meeting all the interesting people, I think the following things that
made GUADEC 2008 such an enjoyable one:

o Turkish Cushion/Raki/Water Pipes
These are unique to Istanbul and also such a powerful community building and
binding 'weapons', it is almost magical. Let me explains, around the corner
of the recommended hotels, there are these brightly coloured cushions laying
along the streets provided by the hotels, restaurants and bars that serve foods,
beers, Raki and Water pipes. Everyone can sit or lay down on these extremely
comfortable cushions/bead bags bare footed. Drinking beers or Raki which is a
local 40% alcoholic drink. Water pipes essentially is smoking fruit favoured
tobaco but filtered through water before it reaches the smoker's lungs (okay,
to keep the record straight for my children, I didn't smoke any :-)). You can
imagine the coziness, everyone is relax sitting shoulder to shoulder, taking
about GNOME, hacking ideas, FOSS, nice places in Istanbul, everything and
anything that comes into mind. I saw people who was passionate argued about
software development, etc. All is FUN!

o Boat cruise
The best social event is the boat cruise. It is perfect in a community
building/binding event again with the 2 similar key important elements:
o it started on time at 9.00 p.m. as that the time the boat left. Effective use
of times.
o Once you are on the boat, you can't go anywhere for 3 hours. You just got to
socialize while many cans of beers are served.

Of course the Ice Scream Death Match and SMASH added significant participation to the occasion. I joined in the Ice Cream DeathMatch in promptu. Shamefully to say, I managed only to eat one third of the 2 Litter box of ice cream, but that is a personal best :). Other enjoyed SMASHED mini-conference. SMASHED stands for the Single Malt Appreciation Society for Hackers, Engineers and Developers. I can see this mini-conference will be an integrated part of future GUADEC.

The beautiful night scheme of Istanbul subtle encouraged people to immersed into social participation.

o Helpful volunteers
I could not say more highly of the friendliness of the conference helpers
over the 5/6 days. They tried everything the could to help, at one point
when I was trying to set up access to the wifi, there were 3 or 4 volunteers
come to help.

o Istanbul
Such a beautiful city, the straits, the bay, all the history, beautiful
building, friendly people, nice restaurants convenience public transports,
infinite number of taxis.

What didn't go well
o Some of the BOF sessions were not run as well as it could be. It is a
combination of poor preparation of the speakers, or the lack of attendant from
the right group of people. I think we all owned to the community to play our
parts to the best we could. This is not meant to be a criticism, but seriously
for us to bring GNOME community to the next level, we need to do our parts
seriously and at the same times have FUN :), work hard, play hard! (My apology
to all who attended the printing BOF, the demo didn't go as well as it should.
I am too part of the problem).

o The University has blocked some ports which meant I can't read my company's
e-mail and which meant I have to spend more times at the hotel to reply
some of the more urgent mails.

o Lighning talks are excellent, in fact it is some well done that the other two
parallel sessions fell victim of it. So to the future organsing committee,
please do not have other parallel sessions when lightning talks is on.

On the whole, I consider the conference a BIG SUCCESS! Lots of interesting
works going on, GTK+ 3.0 and GNOME 3.0 are exciting news. GDM development shown the solid engineering works happening in the community. PackageKit are all encompassing and shown the important of user's experience.

The venue of GUADEC 09 will be in the Grand Canary. I really amused at the way the decision was made, it was voted in by a show of hands and a shout of hurray during the foundation member meeting. (Update: I read from the mailing list that it was actually decided by the Foundation directors before hand, hmm I am confused here).

Thursday Jul 03, 2008

GUADEC - Istanbul

I will be flying out to Istanbul on Sunday mid-day with the whole bunch of Sun people from Dublin. Should arrive late Sunday night. Stay in one of the recommended hotel, but do not have the details as I will be relying the other guys like Matt Keenan to figure the details when we arrive. This is a fairly big gang from Sun this year, I think it is 18 people all together, from Dublin, Hamburg, beijing and other places.

I will be doing the BOF on printing tools,
really looking forwards to people who are interested working in this area for GNOME. Will talk a bit about GTK+ Print dialog as well as I think this is an area printing tools will touch on to make better integration

Friday May 09, 2008

Conferences Over the Summer

I had submitted two abstracts in April to two conferences over the summer. The good news is both of them have been accepted!
o OpenSolaris Developer Conference, June 25-27, 2008 Prague, Czech Republic.
o GUADEC 2008, July 7-12, 2008, Istanbul, Turkey.

The schedule for both conferences have now been published OSDEVCON 2008 schedule and GUADEC 2008 schedule.

The OSDEVCON is also about Printing Tools, it is primarily concentrated on Presto on OpenSolaris Desktop. While I have been looking forwards going to Prague (never been there before) to talk about Presto and also meet face to face with many of the OpenSolaris developers. Despite all the good reasons to go, I could not make it due to unforeseen family circumstances. So to this end, Michal Pryc has kindly agreed to present the paper on my behalf. Thanks Migi!

The GUADEC session is a BOF on Printing Tools, so in order to make it to work well, I need input/involvement of the communities. So I really look forwards to see everyone who is interested in printing or your applications have printing elements in them to be there! I plan to provide you an update on the GSOC project that I am mentoring on Integrated Printer Management. So Rui, pressure is ON! :)

Monday Apr 28, 2008

Mentoring GSOC on Printer Management

I have meant to write this up last week. I am mentoring for the first time ever for GSOC. His name is Rui Tiago Cação Matos, a final year of Computers and
Telematic Engineering at the University of Aveiro [1]. He will be working to improve the GUI for system-config-printer. The broad goal is to make it ready as a candidate for printers management to be blessed by the GNOME release team :)

Welcome Rui!! Looking forwards to work with you!

[1] It is in Portuguese, another little thing in life that I have to start learning :).
Though I am glad Rui's English is actually very good.

Monday Apr 07, 2008

GSOC 2008 - Integrated Printer Management for GNOME

Even since I expressed my interest in a BOF session to talk about tools for printers management in GAUDEC 2008, a number of things have happened since:

\* I have volunteered myself to be a mentor to the GNOME GSOC 2008 for Integrated Printer Management
\* I have also received a couple of direct inquiries from students who expressed interest to want to work on it. Both of them show great potential to make this project a success! I really hope that this project do get accepted, this is something really need to tackle head on, a GSOC project will help tremendously to make a head start!
\* Google has extended the student submission deadline from 31st March to 07 April, 5:00 PM PDT /00:00 UTC April 8, 2008. That is less than 8 hours from now. Hurry Up if you are interested in this project.
\* I have some very helpful comments from last BOF post. Thank you All! Keep it coming.

Still, I am looking to hear from You who are working in printer related tools! (Hints, hints, fedora folks, ubuntu folks, OpenSUSE folks, BSD folks, Debian folks ... and those I have not mentioned :-)).

Tuesday Mar 25, 2008

BOF proposed for GUADEC 2008

As I will be on vocation for the next 3 days, so I thought it is best that I submit my BOF (bird of feathers) proposal early. So below is the abstract I have written up.

The GNOME community has not prioritized printing since the last gallant efforts by Alex Larson and John Palmieri back in 2006. With the gradual adoption of GTK+ printing, the GNOME desktop has finally got all its components to use GTK+ print dialog in 2.22.0. With the unified application print dialog at hand, it is about time to move on to the printing tools. Currently, various distros come up with each unique solutions. While the existing tools are usable and are making steady progress, there is no such printing tools endorsed by GNOME as such.

The author proposes the following area for discussion:
\* printer management tool that support major print systems such as CUPS, Windows and LP (with pluggable modules)
\* examine the existing tools to enumerate the major must have and separate into nice to have features. The possible tools for evaluation include, gnome-cups-manager, gnome-cups-add, system-config-printer, and ospm-pm [1].
\* consolidate the (possible) GSOC work on integrated printer management if the project does go ahead.
\* create opportunities for the interested parties to work together.

[1] Most people are familiar with gnome-cups-manager, gnome-cups-add and system-config-printer as these have been around for sometimes. ospm-pm is at an early stage and there are useful features worth sharing.

If you are interested in involving with this work, please drop me a line regardless of whether you are going to GUADEC or not, here or post me a comment :) THANKS!

Friday Mar 14, 2008

GNOME 2.22 Released

GNOME 2.22 was released on schedule on 13th March 2008. The list of new features are here. The speed of announcement by the GNOME hacker, this blog entry literally is yesterday news. It is amazing how the community managed to pull it all together even when there was some doubts about the viability of the release back in December 2007. Well Done to All there!

GNOME 2.22 release on OpenSolaris is not official due until Nevada build 88 according to the current plan. The preview of that is actually in vermillion devel 86 if you know what I am talking about.

Update: Damien just sent out and email saying vermillion devel 86 is DOA . Workaround is on the way, but given many are on holidays over Paddy day and Easter. The wokaround is unlikely to be available until the holidays is over. So better off waiting for Vermillion 87.

Update 2: Good man, Damien has spent beyond his holidays and uploaded the HAL packages to make sure that vermillion devel 86 is working on download. Extra steps in the instruction is here. Kudos to Damien!

Wednesday Sep 19, 2007

GNOME 2.20 Released Today

19-09-2007. Today GNOME 2.20 is released. The GNOME community just amazing!! Since the release of GNOME 2.2 in a six monthly cycle, the community and the release team have consistently working to a very well-defined schedule and have not missed a single release date. Congratulations to the community and the release team!

Murray Cumming, Jorge Castro, Andreas Nilsson and others have also written the most extensive and beautiful release notes here. Whoever going to do the release note for GNOME 2.20 is going to face a BIG challenge!.

Tuesday Jul 10, 2007

SUN Patch Day

Laszlo Peter who is better known to be Laca has just announced 11th July 2007 to be Sun Patch Day in an effort to work with community members to upstream all these (skeletons in the corset) patches! Granted there are abut 500 patches, but lots of these are branding patches which means they are included for Sun's specific branding or features.

I personally am responsible for the following patches and I just jolt down some comments to help with community members and maintainers should they want any of these upstream and those should not upstream:


# date:2006-10-20 type:bug bugster:6228176 owner:gheet
Patch7: gnome-vfs-07-audio-cd-show-icon.diff
# date:2005-04-13 type:bug bugster:6243507 owner:gheet
Patch8: gnome-vfs-08-trash-skip-copy.diff

GTK+ Backend for PAPI (OpenPrinting Standard Printing API). Would like to see this upstream and some tidi`y -up is necessary.
# date:2006-09-17 bugster:6494571 bugzilla:382676 owner:gheet type:bug
Patch11: gtk+-11-printing-papi-backend.diff

# owner:gheet date:2006-04-23 type:bug bugster:6418204,6194525
Patch1: libgnomeprint-01-papi-print-dialog.diff
# owner:gheet date:2006-08-10 type:bug bugster:6437235 bugzilla:345012
Patch2: libgnomeprint-02-evince-crash.diff
# owner:dcarbery date:2007-03-14 type:bug bugzilla:418595
Patch3: libgnomeprint-03-guchar-pointer.diff
# owner:gheet date:2006-04-23 type:bug bugster:6418204
Patch1: libgnomeprintui-01-papi-print-dialog.diff

This is a patch I believe may be due to the different between the Solaris and Linux signals system.
I have reported this in but have never seen this in Linux.
#owner:gheet date:2004-06-03 type:bug bugster:5052479
Patch2: GConf-02-daemon-hanged-solaris.diff

This is a patch used by Sun's legacy applications which may run a GNOME GUI should the property GNOME_SM_DESKTOP is set. A useful hack though was refused may be harmless to include.
owner:gheet date:2004-08-06 type:bug bugster:5025823 bugzilla:98481
Patch1: gnome-session-01-gnome-atom.diff

This patch simply changes the purge warning delay to 30 seconds as according to the man page of gnome-session(1).
#owner:gheet date:2005-01-14 type:bug bugster:4978659
Patch4: gnome-session-04-reduce-purge-warn-delay.diff

This is the Trusted JDS patch based Trusted Extensions Framework, this requires some more coordination and review for this patch to be upstreamed.
owner:gheet date:2006-11-03 type:feature bugster:6393728
Patch6: gnome-session-06-trusted-extensions.diff


Branding patches, none of these should be upstreamed.
# date:2006-11-23 type:branding owner:gheet
Patch1: gnome-vfs-01-default-url-handler.diff
# date:2005-04-26 type:branding owner:gheet
Patch2: gnome-vfs-02-mime-info-file-path.diff
# date:2005-01-31 type:branding bugster:4951431 owner:gheet
Patch6: gnome-vfs-06-socks-version.diff

Sun's specific metacity Key binding
#owner:gheet date:2003-07-17 type:branding
Patch2: metacity-02-ctrl-esc-mod4-r.diff

These are patches that we created to deliver a Solaris print manager
# date:2007-02-06 type:branding owner:gheet
Patch1: printman-01-menu-entry.diff
# date:2007-02-06 type:branding owner:gheet
Patch2: printman-02-help-dir-changed.diff

Sun hipped a version of libgnomeprint-2 in GNOME 2.0 and we have to continue
shipping this set of libraries to maintain backwards compatibility.
# date:2007-02-06 type:brandisng owner:gheet
Patch3: printman-03-pkgconfig.diff

I will on the irc, irc:// on 11th July 0900-1800 Beijing time.


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