Saturday, November 26, 2005

Fast user switching, Accessibility and Reviews

I had a somehow scrappy but full week at work :
Fast User Switching
It started by a simple test : see what was the current state of fast user switching in cooker with GNOME. Unfortunately, it freezed X server and VT switch. After digging in gdm source, I discovered and fixed a bug introduced in latest gdm release on VT detection. This leds me trying to get one of our patch (settings X background with gdm graphical greeter) ready for upstream merge (it has been in our package for 18 months and I never found time to merge it) and while doing this, I started to clean GDM code to have less (if not none) warnings and it founds two real bugs while doing that (fixed in CVS now), which were hidden in the previous warning flow of gdm...
So, now, fast user switching works in cooker but after discussing with our ergo specialist in the office, I'll try to propose some improvements for both fusa and gdm to James and Callum.

Dogtail and Accessibility
I also found some time to package dogtail for cooker. And of course, while testing it, I found a crasher in gnome-vfs file chooser backend when using gedit with accessibility enabled. I hope enabling accessibility by default for 2.13 will help finding those kind of crasher for 2.14. I demoed dogtail to some people in the office and they were quite excited, because it will allow us to focus on fixing accessibility on the desktop and Mandriva tools (which are perl-Gtk2 based), improve testing and maybe improve user documentation by being able to do take control of an app in help system.

I'm usually not a huge fan of distro review, mainly because they are divided in two categories : either "this distro sucks because it didn't install or this part is broken" or "this distro rules because it installed without any problem and I didn't encounter any bugs so far". As explained by Claudio, distros should be juged on the long term, where you can see (or not see if there are well done) the various changes done by distributions in order to smooth user experience (I hate that expression). Anyway, I was quite pissed off when I read latest ZdNet distro roundup because Mandriva review reports false facts (Ximian Connector is in the distro, I'm taking care of it) and empathises on one particular problem (configuring a remote printer, which could be improved, I agree). I guess I'll stop reading reviews for some time...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

bye pybloxsom, hi Wordpress

So, after a long time not blogging (as always, because of lack of time, urge to post something worth reading by other people), I've decided to switch to Wordpress, to allow easy posts (I'm becoming more addicted to web applications, when they are done properly, like Flickr for instance) and to reduce load (pyblosxom was causing a new python process to be started for each access) and improve security on my personal web server (I got hacked earlier this year by awstats vulnerability, fortunately, I noticed very quickly and no harm was done) by reducing the various web components running on it. Modifying Workpress template to get the same look and feel wasn't very difficult and I have even added some javascript magic to integrate Flickr and in the Wordpress sidebar. BTW, if you were using RSS feed, new url is now . Each time I changed my blog software, I said I'd blog more. Each time, I failed. Let's see if I can do better this time ;)

Bouncy balls
Bouncy balls
While writing this post, I just saw Sony latest TV ads which was covered last summer in San Franscico on Flickr (check also there ). I really love flickr..

As a lot of developpers, I ordered my N770 three weeks ago and I'm enjoying it a lot. I did some photos to compare it with my Palm T3 (no need to comment about the photo quality, I know some of them suck). Now, we are 5 in Mandriva Paris building to have a N770 and 3 in the same office as me (Sam and Arnaud, stop hacking your N770 and say hi ..). It was quite funny to notice N770 was already out of stocks for french and german version in the afternoon it was available for public purchase. Since then, it is out of stock for ALL european countries. Let's hope it means it will be a success. I did a french review of it on "Le Refuge" which can be read here. I plan to summarize and translate it in the near future.