This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
- To work, backed up mail plunging; GSOC mentor survey,
pleased with Ricardo's progress - hopefully we'll do some demos at
OOoCon. Back to iogrind - distracted by mail, IM, bugs, backlog:
- Short day somewhere here, slept a little on the flight;
but got iogrind using disksim with a simple disk model; encouraged
that my fairly moronic simple simulator gave very similar results
- Trains home, picnic with the babes in the garden, slept,
new UVC model arrived - very much sweeter. Some iogrind hacking in
- Up early, phoned the wife, Myriam's 1st birthday today.
Breakfast with the lads & lass, packed etc. to the office. Call
with Fridrich, chat with Florian, gabbered at Myriam on the phone.
- Out into town for lunch & a trip up the CN tower -
certainly a towering tower; fun. Taxi to hotel, on to the airport.
- Up early, more training, team meeting. More training,
poked at calc, good catch-up with JP, call with Miguel.
- Off to JP's palace for dinner, lovely to see the family,
and have everyone for a barbeque, and get to know the team better.
- Up early, not sleeping well. Dropped hire-car back with
Florian, across to the Novell Office, people started arriving for
breakfast, good to see some of them again. Let them get on with it,
took Hubert & Jon off for 'training' - an extended detail fest
on OO.o - how it got like it is now: a tragicomedy in 8 hours.
- Fascinating ESC phone call. More training. Out for
dinner in the evening with the ECMA team, drinking & fencing
until 1am, friendly & fun.
- Up extremely early; sigh. Shower, breakfast with Florian
& Mahren, found a car-hire place, and headed south to see the
Niagara Falls - beautiful, cf. Psalm 93
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the
breakers of the sea the LORD on high is mighty.. Recently I've been
rather pleased with the Sons of Korah's of the same.
- Lunch overlooking the falls, drove back around lake
Ontario. Met Jon in person for the 1st time, and sat around in the bar
collecting ECMA & other people. Some fascinating insights on the JCP.
- Up with the sun, walk to the train station, to Cambridge,
to Kings cross: caught up with mail; Heathrow express - interestingly
my home mount went read-only after a write-failure on the drive: fun.
- Hacked in the airport, sent mail, poked at yast2, disksim,
filed bugs, fun. Took a snapshot of the file-system immediately post
install of OpenSUSE B2,
still appears substantially fragmented, hmm.
- Poked at yast2-gtk on the plane, watched the large shared
(but de-focused) screen: Air Canada appears worse than BA amazingly.
- Arrived, incredulous at the $CA 55 trip to Jody's lasting
only a few minutes; met Jody, Nomai & Ryan, Maya in the flesh
good to see their place, JP, Tara, Emily & Abbie came past too,
good food, good company & catch up. Jody drove me to the Holiday
Inn; checked in. Forgot to phone J. - bother.
- It seems my screensaver bug turned into an L3, customer
issue, ideal to fix it before Rodrigo can wake up then. It turns out
that the DPMS level switching (on some hardware) likes to create multiple
simulated key events [ literally Fn-End to decrease brightness on my T60 ],
which (apparently) immediately wakes-up the screensaver (on key-press); fun.
Back to bed at 5am - 2 hours work done already today.
- Up later, poked mail, chat with Fridrich, then Pavel. Filed
startup performance snafu for Federico. Dinner with the wife, call with
Tony Hodge. Back to E-mail, chat with Patrick McBride.
- Mail, bug pokeage. A few nice calc patches to review
from Kohei & JonP, neat - Jon nailed a 3 year old memory
corruption in calc. Hacked at iogrind, got pieces together for a
demo, substantially improved the file-system view.
- All hands, IPD call, fixed yast2-gtk issues.
- Couldn't sleep in the night, up hacking again.
- Up early, to the mail. Some nice chap 'muppet' pointed
git-fetch http://..../ followed by
git-diff HEAD FETCH_HEAD does what I want, allowing a
- Should the world try to save the name Moonlight for a
large-scale income tax avoidance project ?
- Poked ESC bits, reviewed Kohei's nice calc speedup,
team meeting. Hacked away at iogrind - discovered a nice buglet
wrt. block collation, missing some blocks out, and polished
- Worked on iogrind late, while J. stitched curtains,
dealt with N's sticky disaster. Bed.
- Up; to work. Poked at a nice slow spreadsheet in calc.
Still struggling to git-diff a remote repository's changes easily
before pulling them; of course after (perhaps a disaster)
git-diff HEAD^ HEAD works well.
- Checked out Ricardo's latest work on the layout editor:
starting to come together nicely, though still a little raw usability
- Wrote column for LXF, and discovered while trawling that
the 2007 Linux Desktop Survey is here via a helpful link on the
Poked conferencing for team-meeting Wed. Slogged at a write-up, very
little real hacking today sadly.
- Out for romantic dinner with the wifelet in the evening,
lovely to spend some time with her.
- Up lateish, off to NCC - Tony speaking, large line dancing
feature (?). Back, babes to bed, read about 'Fathers for Justice', their
too-flashy website demands payment for their manifesto: extraordinarily
sympathy dashing. Presumably reading the relevant legislation would be a
- Lunch; read with the babes, H. read some of "Goose on the
loose" to me. Watched 'Barney' on the wall (with pop-corn). Myriam's first
attempt at singing grace at dinner (very sweet indeed) - ~1000 sung graces
so far appear to have some effect.
- Watched the world is not enough with the wife in the
evening; dead pleased I don't have to perform hundreds of death defying
stunts to get the woman of my dreams.
- Up early, dealt with the babes while J. slept. Fine cooked
breakfast, and out for a wander along the Aldeburgh beach to the
- Back, babes to bed, slugged before lunch. Afterwards - much
fiddling with satelite dish, receiver etc. to try to get a good enough
signal: no luck whatsoever; something badly wrong somewhere careful
positioning gave a maximum signal, but not high enough apparently; hmm.
- Out to part of the Aldeburgh carnival thing, a lolly-pop hunt
on the beach, followed by a Punch & Judy show, back, packed, a bite
to eat & set off for home.
- Up late: read My
Harddrive Died! - lots of pretty pictures & catharsis for
those with the click-of-death. Wrote some notes for Kohei wrt. fixing
really stupid performance problems in calc; fun.
- Poked at the libicudata.so.36 included in OO.o - interestingly
this has grown from 3.8Mb in OO.o 2.1 to 6.4Mb in OO.o 2.3: progress
indeed. Apparently it includes locale information for hundreds of
locales; of course most users use only one. Perhaps it's ripe for a
localedata type split.
- Pleased to see the Sun / IBM
announcement - and (of course) the associated rise in Sun stock.
Apparently the markets knew what was already obvious to outsiders:
that these guys share a common enemy; and finding management willing
to re-evaluate Sun's traditional totems represents "a tectonic shift"
and one that is long overdue. Of course the really interesting
question is, when will Sun fix the OO.o structures such that IBM (and
others) can invest in it with confidence ? The idea (even necessity) of
collaborating with your competitors during product development
needs to take firmer root there it seems.
- Managed to spill coffee into my Thinkpad T60p laptop,
(thank God) from the right hand side (over the DVD drive). Pulled
the plug on IM midway through a conversation; unplugged, mercifully
(thanks Calyx) I had experience with keyboard disassembly from the
Icelandic keyboard I received initially; wipped it off, wiped
everything, blew the rest out with compressed air: and it still
works, wow; an improvement over my previous keyboard/coffee-killing
experience with a vt220.
- Also great to see Gnome's 10'th
Birthday. Digging back, it seems my earliest commit - solubility.c for
gmahjongg was Jun 11th, 1998, in good company with Federico, jrb, Erik
Troan, even Tom Tromey.
- Dug at some twisted OO.o / Gnome / a11y / threading issue:
already fixed in HEAD it seems. Pulled up to m225. Fixed relocate to
remove .dpobj dependency files: yet another, obvious 1 line patch that
has to go through the CWS process: nice.
- Burned the CPU build/testing the new vcl virtual sizing
API, and discovered an interesting bug in the svtools/ AWT
implementations, dug at them a bit.
- Call with Zaheda, out for a run with Julia, fixed a brace
of layout bugs afterwards, 'zoom' looks incrementally much better.
- Up early; badly need a generic UNO proxying service that
allows overriding of just a few methods - manually constructed one at
some considerable cost of time/effort. Drove to Bruce & Anne's.
- Created fixed (proxy) 'ok' and 'cancel' buttons. Lunch.
Poked my strange power management issue. Back to the hackering - annoyed
with the broken & twisted toolkit/ getPreferredSize logic: set
about pushing it down into vcl/ where it belongs.
- Network flakiness to start the day. Carried on banging
head on Uno bootstrapping process. Eventually discovered that
type thing is necessary. (of course, re-using the existing install
& setup is the only hope: it's way too complicated
- More head scratching,
(libfileacc.so - a classic, < 1000 line shared library implementing
XSimpleFileAccess) buries an internal exception - "No content broker":
neat. Implemented 'InitUCB' - another 10 lines of twisted wreckage.
Wouldn't it be nice to have an
methods that 'just worked', and allowed an app to run from anywhere
inside that context.
- Called Nildram wrt. the net connection - 15mins in, got an
answer, 5 mins later, got forwarded to someone else - who 2 mins later
put the phone down. Luckily of course the connection had come up again
by this time; hmm.
- Chased down the new yast2-control-center background
bug - apparently a trivial theming silly; good. Poked at the
build service - looks
interesting, nice and responsive too.
- Dug at layout, tried to get images loading for buttons,
unfortunately that means the protracted joy of UNO bootstrapping -
again, more hours poured down the toilet of UNO inspired
initialization dysfunction. Apparently
is necessary before you can think about loading images. Still no
images, but the churning debug suggests they're closer to loading.
- Mail treadmill. Poked bugs, poked at yast2, did
IPD training: "Clarity" - scientologically correct resource
portfolio gubbins. Interesting mail from Chris Mason from an I/O
related perspective. Robert's book arrived, and interesting
though it is, didn't answer my question, bother.
- Interesting to see btrfs: must
remember to extract head from sand every now & then to look
- De-stodge-ified an abstract for UKUUG, more kernel
code reading to unwind inode caching; still some screw loose in
the mental model I think.
- An intense round of running about in the garden with
the children (Emily & Naomi over), stuck-in-the-mud, hide-and-seek
etc. Gave Chris some waterproof membrane for his patio moving
exercise. Lasagne dinner, hacked while the wife stitched curtains,
- Small lie-in, off to NCC - Helen speaking, though
much of the time devoted to constructing egg holders from straws
and jelly-babies in teams; hmm.
- Back, babes to bed, tried to sleep. Up, played 'Shrek'
with H. (which apparently, mostly consists of discussing the plot
outline of the movie at length, then briefly running around the
- Watched Jonah with the kids; in the evening watched
(part) of 'Troy' - apparently (and unfortunately) it seems the
Amazon DVD rental scheme is in fact a ruse to get customers to
weed out defective DVDs. Of 3 DVDs thus far - the first worked
without problems, the subsequent 2 both had serious damage. When
you try all combinations of wiping, 2 different DVD drives, 2
different operating systems and it's still substantially un-playable,
it's clear there is a problem. A longer experience with Blockbuster,
while irritatingly placing 'Misty Mundae' and 'Muffy the Vampire
Slayer' amidst run-of-the-mill movies reveals that they manage not
to bulk-transport their media interleaved with sand-paper.
- Up early, J. lie-in, marshalled children, off to the
market, heavy duty shopping action; back home. J. awoke later.
- Out to Chris & Cheryl's to help fell largeish
prickly tree: amazed to discover that full-grown trees can still
have thorns sticking out of their foot-diameter trunks. Got most
of it down without incident, with the last piece unfortunately
mangled the central heating flue - drat.
- Barbeque in the garden, talked until late; dug about
in the partially filled well in the garden. An amazing experience
(as a serial, frustrated deep hole digger) to see as you dig the
hole deeper the soil falling in to fill the hole, disappearing
through into the invisible depths below filling some vast
invisible void, instead of the hole. Back, bed.
- Started evaluating video-conferencing / record/playback
solutions. Huddle, Elluminate, Istanbul, Xvidcap; no outcome. Of course,
as should be no surprise for software designed before the on-line
desktop era. it's impossible to stream/screen-cast from free-software
apps without a server.
- Eventually got the mail-box under control (mostly). Booked
conference bits. Poked at yast2-gtk bugs, I guess it's flattering to
some degree that people associate deliberate .ycp behaviour (also present
in the qt frontend) with yast2-gtk bugs.
- Burned OpenSUSE 10.3 B1 DVD, rsynched things across to the
other box: once again watching
~/.beagle chew a huge whack
of bandwith, bother, excluded that for next time.
- Dug fruitlessly at yast, ended up installing B1 to undo my
breakage to the system, re-compiling ycp is risky apparently. J. out
with girl friends, washed up, hacked on iogrind.
- Up early, prodded mail gingerly; cleaned up loose ends a
little. Off into Cambridge to pick up Ricardo; a happy day talking over
& hacking on OO.o layout code.
- Played with the babes in the garden a little, dinner,
dropped blacksheep off at the station, and back, pottered around in the
evening. Ordered Robert's Kernel book from Amazon.
- Poked at mail, Petr Baudis most helpful wrt. my git
problem. Apparently the trick is not to do
that fantastically breaks your repo, in an odd way such that when
you commit you (seemingly) loose data. Rumour has it the checkout
command has been made safe in newer versions to mention this.
- Got another machine / build going for Ricardo, due
tomorrow. Poked at large assembler blurb generated by lots of
exception heavy C++ Kendy found in svx, sadly it all looks
- Lunch, tweaked yast2-gtk trivially. Wrote a 'page-cache'
emulator for iogrind; affects how sector fetching works, unfortunately
though the API looks better, builds 'BIO's etc. still ended up with
a block-cache: need to unwind how the kernel caches inode &
- Dug at iogrind - ~finished the file-system image
sub-setter. Poked away at layout, knocked some slides up for
the team, will present them at OOoCon (if our talk gets approved).
- Back to iogrind. Worked at the tax return (with the
help of the incredibly more organised wife) in the evening.
Managed to get everything filled out in one evening: amazing.
- Mail chewage. Poked at DiskSim some more, really need
characterise my disk accurately I guess. Poked the disksim author
directly, and spammed list with some patches.
- Poked at iogrind much of the day, dug at a yast2 issue
with mvidner - an extraordinarily odd.
- Up early, herded babes through breakfast while J.
slept. Off to NCC early, short, early family service with
breakfast lead by Jon & Mel, fun.
- Back, tried to sleep, lunch in the garden - very hot
& sunny. Encouraged to do some energetic plant destruction by
the wife. Played with the babes in the paddling pool etc.
- Sue & Clive popped through bringing our pew for
the hall (a present from Bruce & Anne), had tea with them.
Tidied variously, bed early.
- Up early, breakfast with Bruce & Anne. Took the
children into town to get out of the way for party preparations.
Wandered down the Aldeburgh seafront, admired the life-boat (again),
ice-cream on the front. Back, babes to bed.
- Helped set tables etc. People started arriving - the
whole Griffin/Heathcote family modulo Georgina & co. Beautiful
sunny day, lovely meal, various present openings.
- Drove home, unpacked etc. bed.
- Up at 4am, 3 hrs work on iogrind (and persuading git to
work; apparently git-pull via ssh doesn't like me, but via http://
(to the same files) it works ok: amazing): got DiskSim finally
working, and generating (hopefully) more useful numbers. Good to see
Federico back from vacation. Added a gradient in the disk block
view to show ordering. Breakfast.
- Filed bugs, chased bugs. Set off for the Griffin's,
hacked a little in the car - surprisingly good contrast on the T60p
even in the sun. Hacked the valgrind piece - dump file descriptors
not just names to handle multiple opens of the same file correctly,
dump cwd changes for correct relative path lookups.
- Hit an amazing bug in the car - the random screen-save
kick-in while CPU is busy seems to be a side-effect of the clock
jumping ~30mins forward while under stress: clearly compiling
valgrind makes time fly.
- Untangled some ext2dump problems & dump file-sizes
too (for edgy reverse-seekers). Stupidly did some optimising before
profiling, of course - no discernable win. Then callgrinded
valgrind itself (cf. README_DEVELOPERS), unfortunately no obvious
sillies; bother. Wife arrived to drag me from the keyboard: the
weekend has arrived, apparently.
- Woke before the children, odd. Chewed mail, reviewed
nice patch from Florian. Worked slowly through other tasks. Battled
git, there is clearly some horrific user-error issue lurking here,
sent details to kendy. Worked on a write-up. Lunch.
- Burned OpenSUSE10.3 Alpha 7 to have a play; backed up
the data, and did an install. Kelli's staff. Unfortunately missed
part of a VPN + VNC + phone meeting shortly afterwards with the
machine still thrashing. Filed Alpha7 bugs left & right.
- Up early, to work. Poked at disksim some more - evil API,
started a new, clean, glib-like wrapper interface, imported into git
repo. Auto-toolized iogrind.
- Had a surreal experience with iogrind - wrapping a C
interface (my first time really) with some PInvoke goodness: amazingly,
at first run, it all worked - even the function pointer / callbacks,
the works: wow. Surely that was supposed to be hard ?
- Started on the other half of the problem - the disksim
code; oh dear, oh dear. Managed to hide much of the evilness behind a
nice-looking (at least) API, albeit the impl. has to set the various
global variables before calling un-namespaced functions etc. Spammed
the (somewhat unresponsive) mailing list with questions.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)