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 late; watched the royal wedding, beautiful. I was glad to hear
Parry's beautiful anthem at the entrance (sung many a time in the
C.H. Choir). Some obvious over-emphases possible when associating
one's nation with Jerusalem, the city on a hill etc. but at least
congruent with singing Blake's Jerusalem:
the answer seems to be no to all its questions.
Bite to eat, and out to Noughten Park for a picnic, and
wandering through the tree maze, and fine grounds. Why is it that
park management feel they have to lop all low-hanging boughs from
trees to avoid children climbing them: the children do not
Spaghetti dinner, popped babes to bed; played with my new
violin a bit - reviving Robert's skills, and played Cashflow in the
evening - Monopoly for the (more) modern era, with an added
micro-lesson on inflation (the numbers seem a tad low); fun.
Up early; quick breakfast, today is Royal Wedding day. Despite
being a fan of the royals, took advantage of the day to pack the babes
into the car, and set off for Wickstead (an amusement park). Arrived -
sunny in patches all day despite the morose weather forecast.
Babes have put some good effort into growing taller since last
time, allowing N. to go on some of the more nail-biting rides as well
as H. lurched around the place variously, roller-coastered etc. Robert
& Ilona arrived for lunch.
More spinning on nauseating machines, fake-ice skating, pirate
shipping, fake-helicopter pedaling, excessive log-boat riding, and so
on - with much fun for all. Home, eventually via the Fish & Chip
Up late talking with Rob & Ilona - lovely.
Prodded mail, hunted down several pieces of prototype hardware
that are needed back; including my reprap controller - hmm. Lunch, misc.
Conf-call, finished the TSC call early (for once) - turns out
not sending meeting reminders out in advance reduces attendance. Finally
got to finishing my LXF column, and sending that off. A royal wedding
national holiday tomorrow: nice.
Up early, poked at mail, responded to this and that. Off into
Cambridge with Mike for ministry course; excellent, simple pair of
presentations on the Trinity. Lunch, another on Malachi, then giving
Home; flurry of texting - apparently Attachmate completed
their acquisition of Novell - good; direction returns, along with
opportunity. Dinner. Listened to the jolly webcast, read mail,
caught up with some debugging, patches etc. researched a work plan.
To work, started on mail - pleased by the amount of elbow-grease
put in by Ryan, the down-side being an inbox stuffed with desktop summit
paper mail. Chewed other mail, Clarity, status reportage.
Great to see Norbert, Dtardon and others working hard at
gnumake-isation, with the growing tail_build module - which can build all
of writer, calc, impress, and chart2 fully in parallel - as a big
Set too building the latest stable and development branches of
libreoffice. Amused by my inability to decipher Louis' latest blog.
Could it be that I've been promoted from a purely malign entity, to an
unwitting pawn of other evil powers ? perhaps that is progress.
Presumably my sub-concious desire to crush small animals while stroking
a white cat is so subtle that even I am unaware of it - thinking instead
that I'm working hard to try to sustain, grow and improve Free Software,
at the same time.
Chewed through some bug reports; started on LXF column. Put
babes to bed, dinner; back to work - valgrinded an odd unit test,
Up earlyish, breakfast. Off to Sizewell beach, dug happily
in the sand. Met a set of un-reconstructed hippies protesting (peacefully
thankfully) in general against Nuclear power. Having said that, they
admitted their own radiation measurements showed the beach by the power
station is no more radioactive than any other beach. Chatted to the
police keeping an eye, in the sun. Sand castles, stone throwing at
Back, for a large roast lamb meal; washed the car for once
(somehow removing the accumulated moss from the windows), collected
good things from Bruce's collection: 8mm diameter rubber piping for
plastic printer rollers, drain for a bespoke sink I have planned
Bathed babes, watched nonsense TV, tea, drove home.
Up lateish, off to NCC, family service for Easter Sunday.
Off to Bruce & Anne's with lunch in the car afterwards - leaving
Leanne for a barbeque.
Arrived, pottered around a lot, and enjoyed an evening
with the inlaws. Stayed up unfeasibly late reading Pride and
Prejudice, which is excessively good - see what free Google
books, and the ability to easily read until late without a light
to disturb the wife do to you.
Up early, made movies of the babes singing from the tablet,
they seem less able to detect it being used and clamour to see
themselves in advance. Lazed suitably.
Out to Reach in the evening, caught up with Hannah, Nick
& Jonie - but all too briefly; back for a fine dinner with
Long lie in, up, discovered I was nearly late for the Easter
walk of witness through Newmarket. Quick breakfast, and sauntered down
into town. Much singing, processing etc. with many brothers &
Home, lunch, conference call, poked some software and chased
some admin, with some more applied slugging to flavour.
Up early, poked at mail, got a nice new toy in the post: an
Android tablet to port LibreOffice to (perhaps), be nice to get the
gnumake work finished first, obviously.
Lunch; Joy and girls came up to see us - garden crawling with
lots of tiny people having fun, sliding into paddling-pools and so
on in a spectrum of shades of pink outfits. Picnic lunch outside, good
to catch up.
TSC meeting, followed by SC meeting; more mail.
Disappointed at OStatic's summarizing of the tdf
entry apparently they didn't read the we are always willing
to include new members and partners section. TDF should always
Wedding anniversary - nine years of marriage, and still it
Encouraging mail, admin, call with Holger, reviewed a nice
vcl fix, and Andras' template shrink and fix. More mail beat-back.
Leanne arrived to stay for a bit, dinner with her and Lydia.
Fixed a number of problems with libreprap causing grief with the
latest repsnapper to relax.
Started re-scaling the E-mail mountain; reduced the backlog
of freedesktop account admin; call with Thorsten & Kendy. Lunch.
More mail reading, fixed a bug in the dbaccess port to
gnumake (great to see that on-going), and more mail.
Out for a drink and meal in the evening with the lovely wife -
for once in a long time,
After a slight rush; headed out to music lesson. M. first.
Suitably 'cello playing, and then took M. out on her ~annual trip
with her Father.
Visited Bury St. Edmonds in the sun, admired the somewhat
macabre museum for a bit, M. more terrified by the "pretend people".
Dressed up and played in the fine children's area.
On to Cafe Rouge for lunch, lots of sitting on the knee and
talking, while waiting (endlessly) for food. Ice cream, and drove
home. More playing in the garden.
Up late, trying to book the ferry for the next trip
(to France) in the summer.
Off to NCC for breakfast, gave talk, chatter afterwards;
home for lunch. Bid 'bye to David.
Applied slugging, tidied the house a little, wondered
where the holiday went a bit.
Up early, dealt with babes while J. slept. Worked away
at my talk.
Breakfast, and off to Thetford Forest for a fun time
with the babes in a very English state of sunny
not-quite-raining-ness. Conference call sheltering by the
toilet block (which appears to be a (not very effective in the
rain) solar power showpiece as well.
Back to the monster pyramid slide for a picnic lunch,
then more wandering between various monsters to climb / clamber /
Home for dinner. David: introduced to openSCAD,
~immediately produced a replacement plastic clip for a door
spring, which, when subsequently printed and fitted solved
our malingering cupboard problem.
Printed out a souvenier for David. Finished off talk,
and sat up chatting happily,
Up earlyish, off to Ickworth house to help test their tour
of the gardens, servants tour (dressed up), and so on. Picnic lunch
and play in the playground.
Home picked up Phoebie (over for a sleepover in lieu of
baby sitting). Waited for David, sadly delayed by the M25.
Worked away at a sermon on Daniel
2 - mostly focusing on the failure and charlatanism of
magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers when compared
to the wisdom of God (rather than the second key point: the
impermanance and fragility of human Kingdoms).
Interrupted by a surprising call from Simon. Distracted into
E-mail / IM, though managed to return to thinking & researching
after a bit.
Got the babes dinner down them, David arrived, packed
them off to bed, and enjoyed our meal and time together.
Up lateish, out shopping with E. Removed, and re-concreted
the septic manhole cover in the workshop to make it somewhat less
odiferous (the burning ABS smell has some uses it seems). It seems
the real key to that, is the consistency of the mix - managed not
to damage my hands this time.
Tried to finish the model/view split in repsnapper: I'm coming
to rather like the C++ sigc:: templated signal fun - although compile
times of (fairly trivial) C++ apps are simply staggeringly bad even
with fast modern machines: odd.
Transcribed Gordon's Daniel 2 talk, to provide bits to
re-use at the weekend, bed.
Up, played in the garden, after some practise jumped the
stream, and accidentally triggered a quest for long-jumping prowess,
the ~five feet, somewhat far off from the Olympic's thirty.
Packed up, and set off to Wendover Woods with Sue, Adam
& James. Made a bivouac to have lunch under, played on the
children's equipment - and made some good progress in tree-climbing
with H. and N. achieving a good height up some trees.
Drove home; bouncing on the trampoline, unpacking and
feeding of babes; took H. swimming and met an interesting
psychologist parent, and interrogated him. Back, put babes
Up earlyish, breakfast, drove off to Leighton Buzzard to
admire Clive's carboard tube manufacturing business, machinery,
team etc. Big spinning rolls of cardboard, plenty of glue, and
lots of interest there, with some fun machinery.
Back for lunch, pottered in the garden a bit; Georgina
Stephanie and Isabelle arrived, out for a walk with them, nice to
catch up with the wider family.
Excited to get Thomas VS interested in repraps, and
gaining another skilled pair of hands to help out with our
feeble software situation. Dinner, James sad in the night
with an ear infection.
Up, poked mail, tried to get the inbox further dunged out
and the task queue down for a week of holiday starting tomorrow.
Status report, Clarity, merged patches.
Watched Italo's talk, and another Flourish panel -
interesting analogy greeted with some acclaim beteween assignment
based open-source business models and cancer.
Spent a chunk of the afternoon ranking Desktop Summit
talks, prodded Bjoern wrt. TSC meeting admin. Prodded away at
python trying to create UNO message dialogs. Poked a friendly
Packed up and drove to Suzannah & Clive's, popped
babes to bed, fine meal, sleep.
Up late; off to NCC - J. spoke nicely about the PCC; Tony
preached on the resurrection. Dropped J. and M. off at a party, and
Lunch, played with the babes in the garden in the sun for
the afternoon, tidied up. Dinner, put people to bed. Poked at
repsnapper fixing a number of annoying bugs - still didn't get to
fixing the shell-only mode I need.
Fine lie-in; entertained children, tried to attach 12V car-pump
tyre first to Molex connector for PC PSU, and second to paddling pool
in order to inflate it. Failed at the latter - pump apparently
inadequate; disassembled, lubricated etc. - some nice castings, while
J. manually einflated it.
Looked after the babes, occasionally spraying them with water,
bouncing on trampoline in the sun etc. while J. went shopping. Lunch.
Knocked up a 'cello
spike holder using openscad to print to stl (my first 'thing' on
Out shopping for bread and mortar. Back, to print it out,
dinner, tested contraption on Miriam's 'cello - a perfect fit. Sometimes
I despair of the craziness of the US patents system as applied to software,
but ... while searching for the perfect angle for a 'cello (at a guess
~60degrees), by accident I discovered that the world of live music is utterly mad as
well. How can something this mind-blowingly trivial be filed in 2002 ?
the base claims seem banal to me, and prior art is (surely) rife.
Up early, discovered my pleas for students have sunk along
with my blog underneath all the new Gnome 3 prettiness; hopefully
t'will return soon.
Light mail-load allowed me to dig back into the deep past
and find some of those things I'd forgotten to do, managed to get
the backlog under a thousand items. Did a little work on the
freedesktop account admin queue, chased a deadlock. Lunch. Nearly
managed to get the mail queue under 500, but failed.
Booked travel to
LinuxTag, arriving early on the 11th, leaving evening of the 13th
some great talks & speakers lined up there it seems. Prodded my
gmake speedup a little more.
Nice chat with Federico. Helped put babes to bed, back to
fix some at-spi2 memory leaks while J. out for a run with Sue.
Prodded mail, and chased nasty kernel wedging issue at
some length. Turned out I wasn't starting icecream, and running
~60 g++ processes concurrently makes the machine perform terribly,
and the OOM killer doesn't do a good job; not such a surprise,
but annoying in itself.
Pleased to see GNOME
3.0 out, with some great images to download and play with, was
somewhat scared previously by the reaction to Vuntz' april
Finished the mail triage; prodded at removing more obsolete
patches from the 'build' module. Lunch.
Plugged away after lunch; Novell LibreOffice team meeting,
the first with Andras. Registered as a GSOC mentor finally. Chased
a comedy writer crasher with redlining.
Tomorrow is the deadline for GSOC submissions - please
get your LibreOffice goodness in soon; I just added an extra sexy
slide-sharing task too, that is crying out for someone to work
Mail prodding; caught up with Julian, who is doing great stuff
with helgrind it seems. Fixed an evo deadlock on start in a test patch
for the sqlite lockup I'm suffering.
Amused by Bruce's GNOME 3.0 review, apparently no-one can find
the force-fallback setting to get the old-style GUI, presumably that
is by design, but it makes the reviews tediously predictable: Control
Center -> System Info -> Graphics -> force fallback mode is
Bruce & Anne over for lunch; quick call with Italo; preload
staff meeting; more hackery. Solomon around in the evening with various
quotes for work. Poked at the reprap fitting new stepper motors that
Ollie left rather early in the morning.
Up, to work, poked at mail, and got stuck into trying to work
out why an incremental make in writer does 700k stat system calls.
After some digging, it turns out
glob is the culprit,
always statting, knocked up a near doubling of performance there in
twenty lines or so, still more to go I'm sure, but parsing 50Mb of
dependencies (just for writer) is going to take at least -some-
time I suspect.
Chewed through the rest of the mail queue. Preload staff
meeting; got stuck into Linux snapshot builds, and re-wrote the
nightmare of ninja shell that was autogen.sh. Then dug into making
relocate cope with the new gnumake deps.
Bed early, feeling awful - the next round in the cycle of
coughs & chest infections no doubt.
Up, to work; pleased to read an interview
with Petr Mladek - who does such great working packaging
LibreOffice for openSUSE, and of course helps to run the LibreOffice
tagging / branching / release process.
Dug through bug spam, apparently lots of my reports are now
old, and thus hopefully fixed already. Wrote weekly status reports,
Clarity etc. Reviewed a patch or two, fixed a crasher. Dug out the
(setq tramp-mode nil) to make new emacs' responsive
around file opening / completion.
Read over the discussion about how to improve the LibreOffice
hacks page which is a victim of its own success size-wise, some good
ideas there to improve things.
Fixed some broken image theme paths, reviewed some more nice
patches; prodded some python filters/ goodness.
Poked at gnu make to try to work out why it is statting the
same files hundreds (over a thousand in some cases) of times. Surely
one make instance shouldn't need to protect itself from random other
processes updating files (other than itself) while it is running ?
Surely the Makefile rules should specify what each command touches and
might dirty ? Interested to see, that despite my thesis that syscalls
are fast, a warm set of 700k stats to some deep path, take 2 seconds
on my machine in the kernel.
Fixed up some help dialog problems in master. Out for a goodbye
dinner with our American missionaries at All Saints, up late talking
Up; fed and dressed babes, played for a while; off to All
Saints for school / family service. More fun, stayed for shared
supper afterwards - had another couple of extra baby girls over for
lunch - which took some herding home. Much trampolining in the sun,
and a Barbie DVD.
J. returned from her retreat, good to see her again; dropped
babes back to their parents, and home to put ours to bed. Poked at
repsnapper, merged the gtk2 branch to master, and fixed a few bugs.
Mini lie-in, kindly assisted by babies not disturbing their
(hard to rouse) Father. Slugged variously, set off to All Saints for
the kids Easter party, Saddleback ranch DVD / songs, puppet show,
food, easter-egg hunts, good stuff.
Home, via the library and DVD store; watched some Tom &
Jerry, fed, bathed babes, read stories; hacked on repsnapper a bit,
dropped libconfig++ dependency, and gtkglextmm which seems like one
dependency too many.
Ollie home, talked until late.
Up early; took babes to school, to work, poked mail; and worked
through some more 'build' patches that needed merging, interacted with
a couple of promising students wanting to do LibreOffice GSOC stuff:
Lunch, out to do a questionaire with our crosslinks
friends in town on people's religious thinking; some fascinating
answers - eg. a Muslim that believes in re-incarnation; or a Lady
who believes in God, but not an afterlife. Collected difficult
questions for the town's pastors to deal with on Saturday (All
Saints 6:30pm - I suspect some vandalism of C.S.Lewis' nice boolean
consequence tree in the title).
Back; fixed Evolution local addressbook integration issue, and
back-ported to libreoffice-3-3.
Julia home early, and left for a weekend retreat with Louise.
Fed the babes sausages for dinner, put them to bed, read stories, and
back to work. Fixed a glyph fallback crasher, and enabled a number of
filter components that hadn't got their XML component descriptions
sorted out yet. Bed late.
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 (email@example.com)