by Miguel de Icaza

According to Joe Jacob has some kind of crush on the girl at the burrito place.


Nick Walker came to the office today. He seems like a very good programmer. The concensus was `Lets get him, and we later figure out what for'. He does not want to do UI coding, but I think he will get used to it.

Jeff came with us to lunch, and we had a chance to discuss broken IMAP protocols. And lamented the state of the standards world.


He is working busily on the new file-sel, there are a few screenshots here and there. We got a feature list for file-sel-1.0 and file-sel-2.0 done.

He is also running into a few problems in ETable, but isn't everyone?


We are doomed! We are doomed! Another reporter with the vision of a profet has predicted that Linux on the desktop does not stand a chance. I wonder what he expects to achieve with those articles (maybe he just wants to be regarded as a `pundit' or a `visionaire').

Which reminds me of a story from Jamie Zawinski: "I always delete mail messages that begin with `I am what most people call a visionaire'". We know what follows that.

GNOME got its own breed of those people in the early days in the GNOME UI mailing lists. Discussion threads would frequently shift towards debates like this: `We have to ask ourselves: what is a file anyways, and more importantly, do 8-bit bytes make any sense? Lets rethink computing'.

Most of the GNOME hackers were actually visionaires and abandoned that mailing list for a full year. When we came back a year later, it seems like a completely different culture had evolved there, a whole different civilization. People are taking UI more seriously these days, specially after reading the stuff from `Joel on Software'.


So today I made my little contribution to make GNOME more usable by humans. The problem is that when normal humans download software on Linux, the software does not get the executable bit set, so there is no way you can launch those programs without changing permissions (which is way annoying for someone who has never dealt with Linux in the past).

So I wrote `gnome-exe-handler' and put it in gnome-utils. This program will handle ELF and a.out files and set the permissions bit on demand. That is CRAZY! I know. I know. No applause, just throw in the money.

My original idea was pretty hacky, but Yakk came up with the idea for the current implementation.


Chema and his hackers got a lot of momentum from the announcement last week of the XST. Now they are working furiously into getting more ports of the XST and bug fixing and pushing a new release out.

Contributions seem to be pouring in, and it seems like we will be working with some developers that want to build a KDE user interface.


Dietmar was right about configuration bits: I think it makes sense to have individual configuration elements of applications as global programs that set values on the global configuration space, and have every application listen to that.


That stuff needs to be a bit maintained. Those games are not even using the latest and greatest widgets. Man, so many things to do.


After the recent announcement of the GNOME Love project on the GNOME weekly news, a flood of people joined the mailing list, and we are trying to help contributors to become full fledged hackers.


Season Finale for that 70's show. SPOILER: Eric and Donna break up. Terrible. I know, I know. The good news is that Jackie and Kelso made it to the end of the season.

Fez is always funny. And Hyde a Zen guide. Oh, and of course Kitty.


I swear I must have pieces of that killer potato on the lungs, because I can not get into shape.


Alex today released for the first time Soup (a SOAP implementation) to the public in tarball format. This is good, as we can start using Soup in a few applications here and there.


The debate over how to correctly assemble OAFIID's is back alive. Owen was porting gmc to use OAF instead of GNORBA and we ran into a debate on irc on unique component ids.

The thread that will not die. At least we were not claiming we were technology pundits.


Told Jacob that I chit-chatted with the girl at the burrito place and told her about `my friend that has a crush on her'. He did not believe me. So I had to take further measures.

Jacob later went with Joe to get some food, and I tagged along. I pretended to call the restaurant and talk to the girl the Berk has a crush on and say `My Friend with the crush on you is on its way and is wearing a hat'.

Jacob got annoyed at me.


Been reading `The Manufacture Of Consent', I guess this is an article version of the interview on `Propaganda, the American Way'. It is a very sad reading. That and my Howard Zinn `On War' are just too sad to be true.


I have introduced a new keyword in my diary system that `hides' entries when I generate the text file, so I can keep a log of my inner thinking for the future. So my conclussions after reading Chomski and Zinn are kept hidden, you will have to get the books, read them and form your opinion ;-)


With Memorial Day coming (and me finally figuring out what it means), I am not sure I am going to watch the Pearl Harbor movie. I keep thinking of the trailers `A day that will live in infamy', and then I think of Zinn and Chomski's text on the two million people assasinated in Vietnam, the victims of Korea, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Irak and Cambodia.

Posted on 22 May 2001


by Miguel de Icaza

Cleaned up the office. You get to wonder how I can convert a room into a pig hole in so little time.


Got the new typeref system in place. Now have to figure out whether I want to use my own internal -and large- parse tree types as the internal type representation, or bite the bullet and implement a Type interface, and access both the Reflection types and my internal types through this interface.

I need to research what other compilers do.

Did some massive all amateur printing action today.

I discovered today that my compiler is designed in the very same spirit as Guavac is. Funny.


I had the most innovative idea that would change the way we think about the web. Alex claims my idea is lame, Jeff thinks I am a genius!


I saw Aethera from the Kompany in action. Not much in there, only a few menus work, and the rest seems to be a lot of GUI, but there is not much being done in there.


Found a few problematic areas that could be improved to enhance the user experience. So much to do.

Contribute to GNOME! Look at

Posted on 21 May 2001


by Miguel de Icaza

I have been reading a few other books, the first one is Drugs: Should We Legalize, Decriminalize or Deregulate? a number of essays from the various people involved in the war on drugs; pro-war and anti-war. An interesting reading to get the whole picture.

My fully unbiassed opinion summed up in three word is: it is dumb. The whole explanation really requires you to read a lot more (John Gilmore's initial statement that caught my attention, followed by a story on the War on Drugs Smoke and Mirrors : The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure.

I have also been reading Howard Zinn's On War, a collection of articles he published in various magazines talking about the US Governments involvement in War. Mandatory reading for everyone.

I first was introduced to Howard Zinn's books by my friend La Mancha who suggested I read A People's History of the United States : 1492-Present. Chilling book.


Ok, I figured what to do about handling the internal and external types --pretty much-- so I am going to fix the breakage I introduced last week, and get the thing in shape.


I need to understand XSLT so I can become a productive member of XML society that keeps all of its stuff in XML rather than this ugly combination of text files with Perl scripts that generate my horrible web pages.

Posted on 20 May 2001


by Miguel de Icaza

I left Nat and Taylor talking about which t-shirt to take to their trip to Bahamas around 4am.

Going to sleep at 4:30 is really bad, because the birds start to sing really loud. So I have a hard time trying to sleep. Who would have thought that the beautiful sing of a bird would be so stressing when you are trying to sleep.

Although I woke up at 3:30pm, a combination of people calling on the phone to check on what I had for breakfast and Michael's alarm clock going off at 10am, I had a bad sleeping experience.


Went quickly to the office to check e-mail, nothing really interesting, but a few emails from rms asking me to say `gnu/linux' in a place or two.


Went to visit my friend Daniel to the Media Lab, where I got a demo of a bunch of cool things. I got to see the electronic ink, and a nice piece of software for kids to program little robots. And a lot of little robots. Pretty slick.


Went with Daniel to Vivian's birthday party, met a bunch of people. Had some nice mexican and spanish food for dinner there.

I got really tired around 10pm, so I went back home to sleep.


Did some e-mail reading, and some more reading of the system.reflection api. Trying to achieve the nirvana here.

Posted on 19 May 2001


by Miguel de Icaza

Dear Berkster, the code I had in file-sel for loading directories was a quick hack, and you should probably drop it all in favor of a full gnome-vfs aware piece of code.


Michael Meeks has got ORBit2 generating some tiny, tiny stubs and skeletons. Which is good for the platform. He also added a CORBA "strace" like facility, so you can see all the calls being done as he is now using a typecode-based generic marshaller.


Paolo has done a great job in making the Perl Bonobo bindings move along. The nice thing is that with Perl there is no need to create any stubs or skeletons, things just plain work.

He has a number of nice demos in his gnome-perl module in the GNOME CVS. Vladimir used this to write a quick Next-like file browser built all with Bonobo components in Perl in an afternoon. Very very slick. Vlad also made use of his media player component.


Urquijo reports from the EU meeting on Open Source that things are moving nicely over there.


He has been working on the supporting the GNOME 2 platform with Bonobo-Conf as well as the current platform. Of course Bonobo-Conf rules (the "ideas" behind bonobo-conf were first explored in the Monikers for Bonobo document.

Some documentation for the new bonobo-conf system are available here.


Today's Mozilla snapshot is nice as it does completion as IE5 does, which is good. But the snapshot crashes when downloading files, so I had to move back to 0.9.

Mozilla is amazingly fast these days.


Later that night, Iain, Alex and me went dancing on a pre-21 thing for Alex birthday. Of course, both Iain and Alex wear snickers. And not those of the discrete kind. They wear those blind-me white snickers (that Alex for some reason thinks are a sign of individual uniqueness), so we managed to not get into the Roxy.

So we ended up in a small, not that classy place with horrible R+B place. Which Iain and I could tolerate, but which triggered Alex's sensitivity i-am-too-cool-to-listen-to-anything-but-elite-music sensor, so he enganged in moaning, complaining and bitching. I should have known better from last week's experience with Alex.

He is cool on the outside, but in the inside he is even more picky than my most snob friends. So he left, and we came back to the R+B place to finish. Later apparently he felt guilty and made up some story and we ended up at the Blue Dinner again, where I enjoyed some nice pancakes.

Posted on 18 May 2001


by Miguel de Icaza

Alex and Cheridy dragged Nat and me to the Axis for another night of lame music. Apparently today was the day where the `good music' plays. We discovered again, that the music was as bad as always.

So we stood there talking about Ximian while Alex danced and Cheridy watched Alex look like a compact squid dancing.


Came back the day before from work at around 3am with Michael. And we did some debating on the kitchen.

Later I did some reading before going to sleep of a book called `Drugs: should we penalize, decriminalize or regulate'. A set of articles from all the sides involved in thew war in drugs.

So again I went to sleep around 5am.

At 6am Nat's alarm clock woke me up (Nat just will not wake up, so I have go to his bedroom and kick him to turn the thing off).

He likes to press on the `snooze' button instead of turning it off. I figured `maybe he has a meeting', but I figured wrong, he was just trying to `start the day early'.

Of course the alarm clock went off another two times, and each time I had to leave my bed, walk to Nat's room and wake him up. After the third time I could not sleep anymore, so I took a shower under the false impression that it was 9:30am.

Little did I know that it was 7am. It will remain a mistery why I thought it was 9:30am. So I came to work, and found the office empty, and only then I noticed it was 7:45.

Later that day, I felt bad for not sleeping and was not being too productive, so went back to sleep at around 3pm hoping to be woken up by Amanda at 5pm, but I did not. So instead I woke up at 7:30m, ready to watch the Season Finale of Friends.

RACHEL IS PREGNANT. Yes, Rachel by the end of the episode is pregnant, but we do not know who the father is. I just hope it is not either Tag or Ross. I hate them. I would be ok if the father of the baby is Joey.

And of course Chandler freaked out about marriage, but Ross saved the day with his Karate knowledge.

I also seem to have gotten dumped.


I started a rearchitecture of the type handling in the compiler, just to find a few hours later that rearchitecting the type handling during a period of sleep deprivation lead to too many warnings. So I took the hint and went to sleep as described above.


We have a new Canon photo copier in the office that acts also as a network postscript printer. So I printed the new drafts from the ECMA standard.


Nat aka `Commander Flibbity Gibbits' together with AssBarn productions sent out the invitaion for the party at our place.

Posted on 17 May 2001


by Miguel de Icaza

I am an idiot.

That pretty much sums it up for the day.

Posted on 16 May 2001


by Miguel de Icaza

Eazel officially shut down today.

A number of people wonder what this means to GNOME and whether this is the end of free software.

Ximian will of course contribute to Nautilus in the future, as it is part of our desktop strategy. It is sad to see Eazel go, and we will miss the guys, but we will continute working with their code base.

Andrew posted bits of my reply here


Jacob is currently working on the new file selector for GNOME, using the gnome-vfs and wondering what this means: GLib-ERROR **: could not allocate 2080374800 bytes

Posted on 15 May 2001


by Miguel de Icaza

Woke up really late, and kept reading `Smoke and Mirrors' a fascinating book on the history of the war on drugs in the United States.

I was prompted to read this book after I read the chilling description from John Gilmore on his web page.

After reading the book, there are few things worth mentioning:

  • The US begun as a very idealistic country with a set of very idealistic core rights for every citizen that seems to have been dismantled by either political agendas, corporations, lobying and a few individuals in strong positions. Like various ammendments gave people a number of rights that no longer exist, which brings into consideration why would you even keep them if they are not valid.

  • That corruption happens everywhere, and that Mexico is not alone here.

  • Propaganda is used in a different form in democratic countries, as it needs to improve over the simplistic Orwellian basics (cool Chomski article on the topic here: I wish I could find the original link, but I cant right now.

The reading triggered some interesting discussion with Michael Meeks at the office yesterday and we did some looking around the web, there are a number of interesting sites discussing various pros and cons of marijuana and advocating its legalization or its complete banning. NORML is one. There is also some interesting reading here::


I have been reading The Noam Chomski Archive and the Bad News: Noam Chomski web sites.

I also got my hands on an interview with Richard Stallman on Copyrights and Globalization. I have been trying to remember where I got the link to it from, and I can not find the article again, but I will post it here when I have a chance.


Today Daniel Kornhauser and I cooked mexican dinner at home, and invited a bunch of friends over. We did some meat with adobo which was just absolutely tasty as well as black bean soup and had nice tamarindo water and crepas con cajeta.

Posted on 13 May 2001


by Miguel de Icaza

Ok, finally finished the Linux Magazine article, and I am pretty happy with the results. Now I need to bounce it back and forth a few times until all the rough spots in my written english are gone.

I have been listening to some nice Indian rock that I bought a year ago in Mexico at Mix Up.


Around midnight I went dancing to the Axis with Alex and Iain. The music was so-so as usual, but we can not go anywhere else as Alex is not 21 yet, and wears these white "please watch that I am wearing" sneaker anywhere.

Later when the club shut down we went to the Blue Dinner and had some cheese omelette. Ran into a friend, and Chris Lahey joined us as well.

Came back to the office, tried to keep up with e-mail, tried to keep up with my web reading experience, and ended up going to sleep at 6am again.

Posted on 12 May 2001

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