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...