Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ia Ora, GNOME, photography

Ia Ora:
During last month, I've been working with our graphist on a new theme for soon to be released Mandriva 2007.0, since our previous theme (Galaxy) needed to be refreshed a little (it was already 3 years old). So, we prevent Ia Ora (which means hi for french polynesians). And because different people have different tastes in colours, we will provide it in 4 colors : dark blue, light blue, yellow/orange and gray. GNOME/GTK 2 engine is already available in Mandriva 2007.0 beta2 (beta 3 should be available next week) and KDE engine will be available soon. And of course, mandatory screenshots are available here. Dark blue version is considered almost final, other colored versions will be tuned next week, they are not dark enough for controls.

As part of release team, I did RC1 release of GNOME 2.16 (2.15.92) last tuesday. I must confess it was quite painful, mainly because it was the first release I managed (even if I'm part of release team for quite some time) and getting a complete build to succeed and work from scratch using tarballs is not easy at all (we are using jhbuild for that, not GARNOME whose maintainers take care of the various caveats of building a entire stack). And doing that when you are working in parallel on fixing bugs for next beta release of your distribution is really stressing. Anyway, release is out, please test it and reports bugs as early as possible, so maintainers have enough time to fix them before 2.16.0. (Subliminal ad : 2.15.92 is already available in Mandriva cooker and will be available in 2007.0 beta 3 released next week ;)

Since last GUADEC and my visit of Barcelona, I've been doing a lot of reading and research about my photography needs. Trigger was this photo and Kathy Siera keynote about passionate users. You can clearly see a nice but unwanted) distorsion which made me release I needed to learn a little more about photography basis and maybe change my camera (my Canon S60 is still nice but not as powerful as a digital reflex). So, I bought and read both "National Geographic Practical Photography Guide" (a small and good guide you can take even when travelling) and the excellent "New Manual of Photography" from J. Hedgecoe (a must, very complete and understandable). And I've been trying to apply some lessons learned from those readings since then in two walks in Paris. And now, I've almost convinced myself to buy a new camera. Initially, I thought about Canon 350D (aka Digital Xt) but with Canon 400D announce this week, I'll probably wait a little and buy this one. The though choice will be lenses one, since I mainly shoot landscapes and town building (in this case, often some details). If you have some hints (and please, don't tell me to buy only Canon EF L IS lenses, my budget is not infinite ;), feel free to comment. And to test this soon to be bought camera, I plan to visit my native neighbourhood (something I never did as a tourist) next October, ie la Lozère and probably Montpellier too, since I never went back there since I was a student.


  1. Comment from Jure Repinc:

    I like the new theme a lot and can't wait until it also comes to KDE. It is nice and clean. I only have a few small comments about it. Would it be possible to make the sliders (like those for volume controls) a bit wider. Now they give the impression that it is hard to target them with the mouse. Also it would be nice if the center of this slider was a bit more visible and the slider handle shorter. I also think it would be nice to have a thin line visible in the panel separator (in addition to the three dots). Other than that it looks great.

  2. Comment from Thiago:

    don't use X to select the check box, X means NO in some languages and can be very confusing. use the check mark, it's a lot more usable.

  3. Comment from Alan Horkan:

    I had a suprisingly strong response to those colour schemes. The strong blue is a good progression from Galaxy, the light blue really did feel cool and more relaxing, the gray slightly more serious and "professional". The orange was striking and just too damn bright, I may need to adjust my screen.

    I knew something was a little off but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. A checkbox should definately use a tick/checkmark, using an X is interesting but confusing. I realise it makes it harder to distinguish between check and the ambigious state but I dont think you should use the X.

  4. Comment from Fred’s blog » Blog Archive » Ia Ora follow-up:

    [...] I must confess I quite happy getting comments and suggestions on our new theme. Funny is to see nobody gave me known issues (well, Reinouts did give me an almost complete list three days ago . I’m going to list all of them with some explanations : [...]

  5. Comment from Carsten Niehaus:


    I am also thinking about buying a dSLR. My favorites are the Nikon d70s and the Canons 350d and 400d. The d80 is to expensive...
    Both Nikon and Canon have very good glasses and also you can select from a lot Tamron etc glasses.
    The Canons don't have spot-metering which sucks and are quite small... I really don't know yet how to decide. I will wait for the Photokina in 20 days and see what else will be announced.

  6. Comment from Martin:

    In Sweden, a "check" mark means "WRONG!". One always uses crosses when filling in real life forms.

  7. Comment from Martin:

    In Sweden, a "check" mark means "WRONG!". You always use X:es when filling in real life forms.

  8. Comment from Mårten Woxberg:

    I think X is fine, that's what we use here in Sweden, but all the gradients just threw me off.. Yuck!

  9. Comment from Nonnano:

    Nice theme. It would work well with Compiz I think, very well. Especially the blue version. Clear and aesthetically pleasing. Good work.

  10. Comment from Aigars Mahinovs:

    I own a Canon 350D for almost a year now and I must say that for a start you will be fine with either the kit 18-55 Canon lens or with the Canon 17-85 IS USM lens, which is a great next level lens to replace the kit lens with. If you are really concentrated on landscape photography and have a bit of money left, then I would strongly recommend looking at Canon 10-22 EF-S USM lens. It has a really, really wide angle with surprisingly almost no distortion. As for the camera - both 350D and 400D should be fine for you.

  11. Comment from JrezIN:

    Ia Ora: Looks very good. But I think a warmer version would be pleased too. The Yellow may look "too warn" for some and still the predominant colour a "bluish-gray", so what about something warmer too? I'm sure a lot of costumers would like that. (may the other colours to be released next week will include warmer ones... I hope so!)