Another beautiful day

It's been a while since I last blogged, but things have been really busy lately. It seems like the GNOME 2.14 ARC process is wrapping up here at Sun. That's the Architectual Review Committee which reviews the interfaces exposed and imported in the GNOME stack before we can integrate with Solaris. ARC found a number of pretty serious issues with our work which we were able to address before integration. I think this is a first. Historically the GNOME ARC process has a been much more like a hectic last-minute fire drill.

So after integration, when you type "man gnome-interfaces" you will see the following interface table, which I think captures the state of affairs fairly well. Why did this take so long to figure out? :)

     ___________________________________________________________________
      INTERFACE NAME                        CLASSIFICATION
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libIDL-2                              External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libORBit-2                            External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libORBitCosNaming-2                   External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libart_lgpl_2                         External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libatk-1.0                            Stable
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libaudiofile                          External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libbonobo-2                           External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libbonobo-activation                  External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libbonoboui-2                         External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libcspi                               Stable
     ___________________________________________________________________
      /usr/include/libspi/Accessibility.h   External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      at-spi                                Stable
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libesd                                External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgailutil                           External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgconf-2                            External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgdk-x11-2.0                        Stable
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgdk_pixbuf-2.0                     Stable
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgdk_pixbuf_xlib-2.0                Stable
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libglade-2.0                          External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libglib-2.0                           Stable
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgmodule-2.0                        Stable
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgthread-2.0                        Stable
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgnome-2                            External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgnomecanvas-2                      External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgnomeui-2                          External
     ___________________________________________________________________
      libgnomevfs-2                         External                     
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      libgobject-2.0                        Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      libgtk-x11-2.0                        Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      libpanel-applet-2                     External                     
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      libpango-1.0                          Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      libpangoft2-1.0                       Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      libpangox-1.0                         Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      libpopt                               External                     
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      gnome-vfs-mime-magic                  External                     
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      gnome-vfs.applications                External                     
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      gnome-vfs.keys                        External                     
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      scrollkeeper.conf                     External                     
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      /usr/bin/update-desktop-database      Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      /usr/bin/gtk-update-icon-cache        Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      /usr/share/applications               Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      $HOME/.local/share/applications       Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      /usr/share/gdm/defaults.conf          Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 
      /etc/X11/gdm/custom.conf              Stable                       
     ___________________________________________________________________ 

You'll notice that the base libraries are considered "Stable" which, I think, reflects the great work that the GNOME community has been doing to keep things in the GNOME Platform stable. You'll notice that also the interfaces required to interface with the Desktop and MIME database are also considered Stable by Sun, since these are supported by FreeDesktop specifications. We would also like to add the icon integration specification as "Stable", but the fact that the FreeDesktop Standards website makes a weak stability claim by saying, "freedesktop.org is not a standards body" makes us a bit unsure which specifications should be considerd Stable. It would be good, I think, if the FreeDesktop community could make a stronger claim about the specific specifications that are needed for desktop integration, such as those recommended for use in the GNOME System Admin Guide, and they should probably be referenced on the GNOME Developer Standards page as well.

Aside from helping (along with Gman and Irene Wang) getting the Sun GNOME team through the ARC process, I have been doing a bunch of work with GDM. Just added some new theming features with some help from Erwann Chenede. Now GDM themes can work with real GTK+ buttons, which can be themed and work better with accessibility. GDM themes also support a pam-error-logo which is a logo that gets displayed when a PAM error message is visible (so you can display an "attention" logo or somesuch), and the "Cancel" button is now named as "Start Again" because people pointed out that the button doesn't really cancel anything, but just lets you start over. Also, GDM now supports per-display configuration so that multi-display configurations can more easily configure the GUI to behave differently on each display. You can also now specify the PamStack GDM will use for a given display, to better support PAM modules that interact with SmartCards, or other devices. Just in the past day I released new versions of GDM 2.14.6 and 2.15.2, so have fun playing with the new features.

I've also been working with the HAL developers here at Sun. They have provided the Sun GNOME team with test libraries and I have been busy testing it, adding the new gnome-volume-manager and gnome-mount packages needed for GNOME to work with HAL, patching the code so it works reasonably, and helping the HAL team find bugs in their code. Now things seem to be working pretty well and CD drives and removeable media seems to work much better than ever with Nautilus and the system in general. I believe the HAL team will provide some packages for general testing at some point in the near future, and it will integrate into OpenSolaris in the not too distant future, I believe.

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