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
Up, breakfast, piano & violin practise with the
babes; prayed - off to the train. Read and sent mail there
via the miracle of 3G goodness. Met an interesting girl - Becky
at security - a trancendental therapist trainee off to India
for the first time; discussed life, theology etc. with her and
a passing Ben, also off to the plumbers conf.
Really sad to see Stormy go
from the foundation, she will leave a big hole; I wish her
all the best at the Mozilla Foundation.
Interested to read Roberto Galoppini's blog offering
buckets of technical advice.
Personally, I like Roberto, who has many skills, and much to
offer in many areas; however I don't believe that details of
coding and growing a hacker community are core competances; lets
look at some of the detail:
Clearly Roberto makes some good points about self selection of
the LibreOffice steering committee - bootstrapping is hard, as is working
out whom to include so that things can be moved quickly (StarDivision are
past masters at endless rounds of stalling - eg. the 'Corporate Advisory
(Delaying) Board'). Thus far we have made a good start in my view. We will
have elections and a membership in due course. This however is a fairly
normal process - many projects start out as an informal coalition of
friends, and like minded people, and eventually incorporate into
something formal. In summary some reasonable points amidst some less
- Concerns about code cleanup: - He
is concerned about removing the fourth(!) boolean type (FASTBOOL)
a change that is already included in LibreOffice, kindly
done by a contributor (Norbert) - who has since proved to
be a super-star: removing the obsolete VOS library, and
digging 'Solar' mutex threading nasties out of the code.
Is it really -so- dangerous to remove a single obsolete
boolean type ? is it bad and silly to just clean up old
- Problems merging up-stream changes: -
Roberto makes a good point, that the more changes we do,
the harder it is to merge Oracle's contributions purely
automatically. Having said that - this is true of any
change: and being restricted to only small localised
changes was a major failure of the past we don't wish to
repeat. Better to have more contributors, than restrict
and exclude useful changes in my view. Finally, automatic
merging should not be the norm no matter who contributes
- technical debt: - this is a great
concept and a good point to raise: Roberto says: coding it
is good only if it doesn't increment project's "technical
debt". Completely agreed ! However there is an obvious
conflict between demanding reduction in technical debt, and
criticising cleanups of dirty code. The
on technical debt, has this good advice:
"Refactoring is like paying down the principal" -
agreed, but if even the most basic re-factoring:
operations such as cleaning up legacy cruft (like FASTBOOL) are a
cause for concern, what then for anything bigger ?
The argument is self-stultifying here. More good advice might be:
"Maintaining an application without any unit tests is like
borrowing money each time you add or change a line of code."
Problem is OpenOffice has few-to-zero working unit tests. LibreOffice
is making adding them a priority, despite the structural problems,
and we already have some working properly.
Personally, I believe LibreOffice has inherited a vast
technical debt from its parent, that we are finally, starting
to pay down. A good blog though, worth reading.
- Copyright assignments: - Roberto says:
"While individuals may prefer to avoid the burden of
copyright agreements, corporations and companies tend to like
them more." - to which I can only respectfully disagree.
I am sure that some individuals can cope with assigning
rights - since they don't (yet) see why that is dangerous.
Corporations on the other hand are really waking up to the
problems here. Of course, in general, they desire other people to
assign all of their rights to -them- - that goes without saying;
but assigning their rights to others: that is a much, much
- Corporate domination: - again there are
real risks here; it is fairly clear that Oracle dominates
OpenOffice.org - to an extraordinary extent. By having many
more companies and (ideally) encouraging and empowering
masses of volunteer contributors to dilute them - I hope we
will avoid this risk for LibreOffice. Having said that -
creating a structure where technical decisions are driven
by FUD from non-developers is not a desirable outcome.
Eventually arrived in the US, after hacking up a nice new
kernel boot-graphing feature for bootchart2, and prodding at my
slides for tomorrow. Chatted with Thomas, and got somewhere to
sleep setup; bed.
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)