I need to deploy a wiki. We are using phpwiki for our design group at Novell, and it seems to be really nice because you can edit subsections of a page instead of having to edit the whole page at once. Freedesktop appears to use MoinMoin which has nothing obvious to recommend it.
I’d like something which stores the content in an easy-to-extract way, in case I decide to switch to some crazy new DHTML wiki. The main issue, though, is that this site will receive a lot of traffic, in bursts, will need to survive multiple simultaneous slashdottings, etc. It will need to scale.
I am on an airplane and I feel like rambling.
Tuesday night I arrived in Utah and went straight from the airport to Brewvies (featured prominently in the Nat Friedman City Guide), only to discover that they had some kind of very strange film festival going on called Tromadance.
To say that Tromadance features “independent films” would be a gross understatement of the facts. My friends I invited seemed alternately amused and horrified.
Utah continues to bowl me over with its sheer physical beauty.
Those demos I made whilst apartment-bound by the blizzard generated a lot of traffic on my web server, but not as much as they would have generated if they hadn’t been Flash files. One of them is 2 minutes, 31 seconds long and only 730k. Also, Beagle had a new release this week which you should try.
Federico and I have been talking about how nice it would be to have an X compositing manager that can write SWF files for you, instead of having to create a separate server to run vnc2swf. Then you could just hit a ‘start recording’ button when you’re ready to record. This would probably make bug reports a lot more informative too.
Also, if anyone is interested in improving vnc2swf, it never disposes of the Flash objects that it creates in the generated SWF file (two objects for each damage event: one for the bitmap, and one for the shape). With long recordings, you hit Flash 7′s 65,536 object limit and it starts recycling the old objects, which causes the playback to go haywire and be useless. As an example, check out my attempted Evolution demo, which collapses after about two minutes. If you look carefuly, you can see the exact way in which it fails: early screen tiles from the first few frames of the recording are reused to paint the mouse cursor, new windows, exposed regions, etc.
This should be easy to fix. If there were a general bounty web site, I’d put money were my mouth is.
Some of you may have seen the recently-resurrected photos of Bill Gates posing for Teen Beat magazine. Well, let’s just say that things get a little crazy at the Novell offices after hours. And so I offer you the modern, open-source alternative.
I’m glad he’s married since people no longer spread rumors that we are gay lovers, but I hope everyone can see from these pictures why Miguel’s my best friend.
(These pictures are copyright me, so ask to use them).
Boston got another 10 inches of snow this week, so I’m going to spend the weekend in San Francisco. The bad part is I won’t get to hang out with Miguel and continue to deliver humiliating beatings to him in chess, which we have been playing every night since I got a chess board and one of those fancy clocks that we ignore but which is fun to hit everytime you make a move. We are both pretty terrible at chess so the game comes down to whoever makes an idiotic mistake first, but it’s still pretty engrossing.
Robert expressed concern at the state of the Cambridge office’s breakfast bonanza this week. This is the second time he’s complained about the new tradition of having free breakfast at Novell in Cambridge. The first time was when I woke him up at 7am on a Monday morning using our special “Fortune 100 customer emergency” pager code to get him to help me carry all the groceries into the office.
When he got to the car and saw the back was filled with boxes of cereal, he was very angry but I think the hunger overcame his rage and he did help me carry the groceries in. The next day, I got even more breakfast materials, and the following day the only way to trump the previous day’s performance was to wake up really early and make waffle batter and bring it into the office with a waffle iron and syrup and jams and so on.
I spent some time this weekend playing around with vnc2swf, and made some demos of simple activities in Beagle and Mono. These are demos I usually give at LUGs, conferences, etc, so it’s nice to make them available online where more people can see them.
VNC is a little slow and jerky, and sometimes a key gets “stuck” down, but otherwise they turned out pretty well, I think.
Some simple searches in Beagle, using the “Best” user interface. 1 minute 24 seconds. A gripping demo of Beagle’s “live query” functionality. Jon Trowbridge guest stars in this one. 1 minute 43 seconds. A quick run-through of a few of the command-line tools that come with Beagle. 1 minute 27 seconds. We write a sample program that uses the Beagle APIs to perform a search over D-BUS. 2 minutes 31 seconds.
Jon Trowbridge on Newbury Street.
Evolution for Windows
I am thrilled to announce that we recently hired Tor Lillqvist into the Novell Desktop group. Tor is famous for his work to port Gimp and the Gtk+ toolkit to Windows, and these days he helps keep Gimp running on Windows.
For Novell, Tor is working along the same lines, making Gtk+ and various parts of the Linux desktop stack run better on Windows to improve the experience for cross-platform developers. He is currently working on a dbus port to help complete Fredrik Hedberg‘s port of Beagle to Windows.
After that is done, however, his major project will be to port Evolution to Windows. The scope and difficulty of this work is currently unknown, so we don’t have a timeline (or even a “development plan” to speak of), but you will be able to follow his work on the various mailing lists and on Tor’s blog (once he starts one). The Evolution porting will be discussed along with all Evolution development topics on e-h.
If you’re interested in helping, I’m sure Tor would welcome you with open arms. It’s a big project.
Good luck, Tor! We’re all really happy you joined!
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