I might have to change editors now…

  • August 31, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

The biggest gripe I’ve had with emacs — alright, besides the finger-breaking key combo’s ;-) — is that it is just plain ugly. It just doesn’t fit with my beautiful gtk desktop with anti-aliased truetype fonts. Gvim got this right a long time ago.

But, no longer does this have to be true:

Emacs-gtk with xft support.

I already knew about the gtk interface, but I never heard of the xft support. I got the instructions from EmacsWiki:

$ cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.savannah.gnu.org:/cvsroot/emacs co -remacs-unicode-2 emacs
$ cd emacs
$ ./configure --with-gtk --enable-font-backend --with-xft
$ make bootstrap && make && sudo make install
$ emacs --enable-font-backend --font "Bitstream Vera Sans Mono-10"

More 4.6 panel thoughts

  • August 24, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

In this blog entry Aaron Seigo talks about Plasma, the panel/desktop framework for KDE4. The ideas about data engines and data visualizations are really interesting.

I have been thinking about this for Xfce as well: it would be really cool if we could provide plugin writers with data sources and display widgets to easily write status monitors for the panel.

The idea I had is that the display widgets could be in-process, so it would be an internal plugin, but the data to display would be obtained and processed by an external process, through a DBUS protocol or whatever. This has the shared advantage of in-process widgets, which are a lot easier to handle (no more XEMBED, yay), and out-of-process data handling (no GUI blocking or crashing of the panel).

Of course we really should get Xfce 4.4 out before even considering the possibilities for 4.6…

Maybe something to look at for Xfce 4.6?

  • August 22, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

Here’s a post by Ryan Lortie, who has been working on a (possible) new API for GNOME applets. The work was done as part of the Google Summer of Code and it looks very interesting.

It would be kinda cool if we could support the same API for Xfce 4.6. Most of the GNOME dependencies seem to have been dropped… or maybe, by the time we release 4.6, we simply switch to using the GNOME panel, who knows?

Or maybe I should be nice to our plugin writers and not change the panel API every major release :-)


  • July 24, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

Here’s some trash talking from benny:

“…,but that should be a minor problem as long as people don’t try to use the trash as primary storage for their documents.”


Let the sun shine

  • May 19, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

Just wanted to say that Nick Schermer is my hero, because he fixed the weather plugin!

So, for good measure, I’ll throw in a new screenie, because I see the last one dated from January: Screenshot .

The background image was shot on our holiday in Italy, where we went hiking in the Alpi Liguri. I can recommend it to anyone — if you aren’t afraid of a few blisters, that is… ;-)


  • April 27, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

No, not the memory footprint of Xfce. My ecological footprint according to this site.

    FOOD  / 1.5
    MOBILITY / 1.7
    SHELTER / 1.7

Not too bad, you would say, considering Brian got 24, but…


I don’t know where they got this figure, but I have a very hard time believing that. I have a small car, a small house, produce little waste and usually don’t fly. That should be below average, except maybe for the 130km a day I have to drive, so let’s say average, not 1.5 times higer.


Oops ;-)

Getting up on time

  • April 27, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

Brian, I thought the way to make sure you get up when the alarm goes of is to put the alarm clock somewhere you can’t reach from your bed ;-)

panel startup

  • March 19, 2006
  • Jasper Huijsmans

We not very good at keeping this blog updated, are we? Previous post was Februari 5.

Anyway, I added some code to the panel to use a very nice trick by Frederico Mena Quintero to get a pretty graph of startup performance. Benedikt already did this for Thunar.

The first graph is here: http://www.loculus.nl/xfce/files/panel-startup.png.

Interestingly, I defer so much of the actual work until the panel is actually shown, that all most of the time is spent in the gtk_widget_show() call and handling of the signals that are involved in this.

I guess I need to add more mark points to conclude anything at all ;-)

“Use KDE” — Linus Torvalds

  • December 14, 2005
  • Jasper Huijsmans

He-he. That’s just funny. Ah well, it may even get some bugs fixed after lots of discussion. In the mean time there is still the entertainment value, from comments like this one.

Now, back to fixing the panel customization dialog… I’ll have an alternative implementation available for testing/criticizing soon.

Re: Monty Hall

  • October 25, 2005
  • Jasper Huijsmans

Erik, I presume what you call the Monty Hall problem is in summary this:

  1. You’re in a game and you have to choose one of three doors behind which there may be a prize (apparently in this case a donkey, hmm, maybe not a prize then ;-)
  2. After you have chosen a door, the game show host opens one of the other doors behind which there is no prize.
  3. You get the chance to change your choice of doors.

The correct answer is that you should switch your choice without thinking, because it doubles your chance to get the prize. Is this the problem we are talking about?

Most people will intuitively feel that there is now a new situation where you have a 50% chance of getting the prize, because there are two doors left and one of them has the prize.

The reason this is not the case is in rule number 2 above. The important part is that the host chooses one of the other doors and never the door you have chosen. Now, this gives you two possibilities:

  1. You initially chose a door with the prize: (33% chance) -> This is easy for the game show host, he can chose any of the other doors. The other door has 0% chance to contain the prize. Switching will give you the wrong door.
  2. You initially chose a door with no prize (66% chance) -> The game show host has no choice. He has to choose the remaining empty door. Now this is interesting. The other door has 100% chance of containing the prize. Switching will give you the right door.

See, because the chance to choose a room with no prize initially is twice as high, you have a bigger chance that the game show host is forced to open the other empty room, which gives a bigger chance for the third room to contain the prize.

Does that help? Or were you talking about something else entirely? ;-)


Maybe this is a better summary:

If you choose right the first time, switching will never give you the prize. If you choose wrong the first time, switching will always give you the prize. There’s a much bigger chance you choose wrong (2 out of 3).