All posts by Erik

About Erik

Honestly, I have no idea how I got here.

Helpful Users Redux

I want to go into detail about one of Brian’s points. I don’t think that most users understand how much that they can improve Xfce even if they can’t code.

Documentation has to be written, bugzilla has to be managed, user questions have to be answered. I thnk that many people get the impression that by writing documentation they’re not really helping. After all, no one uses the docs, and they’re not taking the load off of anyone.

Totally not the case! If the docs were well written and up to date, then people wouldn’t ask so many silly questions. Devs do write docs, and it eats up time – time better spent fixing that segfault. So if you want Xfce not to crash, and you can’t program, the best bet is to write good docs so that we can do the job.

And people will praise you and love you forever. I certainly will. And if you are good enough, maybe the good docs will become one of the selling points of Xfce. There are projects out there who has the extensive availability of documentation as one of its selling points (Linux distros for example, whose use of man pages blows the mind of many a former Windows user).

Want us to fix your pet bug? Help us keep bugzilla clean! Have a killer feature you’d like to see? Stay active in the mailing lists answering questions! If you are good at your self appointed job, then it doesn’t take much till your part of the team – and isn’t that what you really want?

Good little boys and girls might even get a shiny @xfce.org email address . . .

Blarg

So, yeah. I don’t do a lot of engineering, and interestingly I have lots of ties. And right below the ties is the theatre, which is where I grew up.

You scored as Engineering. You should be an Engineering major!

Mathematics

92%

Engineering

92%

Psychology

92%

Sociology

92%

Theater

83%

English

75%

Dance

75%

Journalism

75%

Anthropology

75%

Linguistics

75%

Biology

67%

Art

67%

Chemistry

58%

Philosophy

58%

What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with QuizFarm.com

Xfce

I went through and moderated a whole bunch of comments. Sorry if your post took a long, long, long, long, long, long time to show up ;-)

That said, several people wanted to be sure we were all here. Short answer: Yes. Xfce development is still happening. Long answer, I’m tired and my butt hurts from sitting in an office chair all day, so Dev News has slacked to an all time low.

DRM for Cars

DRM for cars.

Seriously, no joke, this system is as bad as DRM.

The trouble with DRM is that it essentially treats content owners as criminals, restricting their use of property they own, even when that use is legal.

I don’t know how it works outside of the USA, but you own that car, payments or not. A contractual defaulting of that property to someone else in the case of failure to meet payment does not make it any less your car.

Presume this: you buy a house with a loan from the bank, using the house you are purchasing as the collateral – a mortgage. What if the bank made it so that the key to your house doesn’t work? It’s not their house! Yes they loaned you the money, and yes it is within their legal right to create a contract that makes your life a living hell (by not letting you into your own freakin’ home) if you don’t pay. But it ain’t ethical.

Status

I just quit my job. Whether or not I’ll wind up with a new job in the technology sector remains up in the air. I would prefer not, but it just pays better than any other job you can get with a high school diploma.

That said, I’m hoping to free up some energy for programming efforts I actually like. The problem with working a job in a field that you consider your hobby, is it saps your energy to pursue your real life, and to pursue your hobby as a hobby. Perhaps now Mousepad will get back into shape.

I have a roadmap of sorts for Mousepad. My goal is to get the Mousepad rewrite up to the functionality of the last release. The only real difference should be that Mousepad will be more maintainable than the old Leafpad mess, and potentially faster. This should only take a day or three, should I find the time. This will become the 0.3.0 release. The 0.3.0 “series” (har har) will be the last of “classic” Mousepad.

The goal for the 0.3.0 series is to have a text editor that opens fast, provides no real frills, and has no dependencies outside of those provided by or required for the current stable version of Xfce.

0.3.1 – recent file support. I have a half finished little lib that handles the spec, which I will likely polish off.

0.3.2 – session support. If 4.4 is out, we can just depend on libexo outright, if not, we’ll probably want have a little “miniexo” inside the Mousepad tree.

At this point, I’d like to begin taking Mousepad in a somewhat more feature heavy direction. That may upset some people, who are just looking for a Notepad clone. These people may fork with my blessing. They can move to requiring libexo for session support, using the recent file support that will appear in Gtk+ 2.10, and maybe even using D-bus to keep all Mousepad windows shoehorned in the same process. Up to them. I need a little more from my text editor than that.

The new goal of Mousepad is to be a fast and slim general purpose text editor, much in the vein of BBedit (the classic Macintosh editor) and Nedit (the greatest editor ever that doesn’t use Gtk). Tentatively this is the direction at that point.

0.4.x – Syntax highlighting (with GtkSourceView, or possibly Scintilla)
0.5.x – Tabs.
0.6.0 – Miscellania – templates, open as copy, revert to saved, yadda yadda. The tiny little time savers release.
0.7.0 – Scripts. Little snippets of code in any language which can either process the whole document, or just a selection.
0.8.0+ – The future! GtkSpell, maybe? Toolbar perhaps? A real plugin system? A function browser?

Syntax highlighting and tabs are no brainers as features, and will likely be simple to implement. After that, I’ll need a little input from users, so all of this is subject to change.

A real concern I have is that by adding features I lose what makes Mousepad appealing now (speed, simplicity) while not bringing enough to the table to be useful relative to older text editors (Vi, Emacs, Nedit, or my console editor of choice, Joe), thus bringing the Gedit hell to Xfce. I think I can walk that line. We’ll just have to wait and see.