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
Mail; poked disconsolately at the build-service; base system
bootstrapping and build-loops are really uninteresting and slow. Lunch.
Committed an Evolution tweak.
Jared's staff, train to Cambridge, bus to Collabora's office
fortuitously meeting Daniel on the way. Caught up with Rob. Out for
a fine dinner in the evening & train home.
To work. Double take on Intel's just announced
their re-re-re-write of bootchart,
sadly not re-using the bootchart2 work. Intel have some exceedingly sharp hackers -
it would be nice if they slowed down just a little, in order to work well (and
more effectively) with others. In this case, we end up with a new toy tool, in
parallel to the existing (more capable) cardboard-cut-out boot-charting tools,
instead of a single, better, more polished & bullet-proof tool everyone can
Clarity prodding, more mail reading, tried to chase up a new
laptop; a five weeks seems like long enough to purchase and deliver
one ? what with all this global emphasis on 'Emaciated'
supply-chains and 'Just Too Late' manufacturing.
Poked at a gnome-breakpad memory corruption bug; just a bit
concerning. Manager cadence call. Prodded at the build service with
Rudi's kind assistance.
Packed the babes off to school with J. & Mother.
Flushed the mail queue, pushed evo changes, poked at packaging,
chat with Chen. Prodded at adding status updates to the wiki.
Did some Intelligent Workload Management training, and
quiz. prodded at an imap-x crasher with Chen.
Eventually got my packages submitted that I was trying
to get done this morning to have some time off with the parents
at 6:05pm, urgh.
Up in the night with a repeatedly sick Miriam - working
her way steadily through the laundry cupboard; and feather duvets:
cleaning and drying them should be fun.
Up early, lost an hour ! dealt with the babes. People
awoke slowly, packed Meeks + Mansergh into the car, and set off
for Church. Tony spoke well, missed the shared supper & home.
Roasted blow-out with the parents, played in the garden
a little & re-located a plastic play-house to it's new, very
rough concrete base. Bid a sad 'bye to David.
Applied book reading & slugging much of the afternoon
and evening - cough travelling down to the chest and voice
Up earlyish. Pottered around cleaning up the house, J. off
to dig the front lawn. David arrived, good to see him, toured the
recently re-assembled house. Fine lunch.
Much of the afternoon digging the garden - to re-seed the
lawn, with much back-breaking help from David; while trying to
stop the children getting squashed as they learned to cycle in
the road - lovely afternoon.
Dinner, chatted for a bit, and played with the rep-strap
prototype in the workshop for a while, finally coming up with a
pinch-wheel solution after some collective thought.
Parents arrived, un-loaded and got them installed.
Up early, dropped the kids at school, train to London,
tube to Aldgate. Met up with the Intel lads at their office.
Enjoyed the company, hospitality, discussion. Lunch.
UI call with Matthew Barnes, Paul and Claire. Out with
Tariq and the lads for dinner, much Indian food and fun. Trains
home variously, with misc. hacking. Bed late.
To work lateish, prodded mail. Did some file-system analysis wrt.
boot-time; wow the situation is really not good. Accepted OSCON slot,
sadly missing the SUSE Labs conference in the process.
Tested & committed misc. Evo bits, send Rob patch for
libsocialweb to match. Call with Paul & co. to sync. development.
Recalled I forgot to blog the sexy SUSE / Moblin video
from earlier in the year - soon with added MeeGo.
Plodded a bit; stayed up rather late for a MeeGo IRC meeting -
now I remember why I don't like IRC meetings. Got sucked into youtube,
and trying to reproduce a QDBus problem instead.
Got side-tracked by Facebook. I keep seeing things these days
about the important business uses of social networking: sounds like a
skivers charter to me. Anyhow, impressed to see an old friend and
fellow String Quartet member: Jeremy
Dawson doing some amusingly crazy things with Extreme Cello on eg. Ben Nevis.
Humbling things, like that, make me realise I probably put too much
into my work.
Back to mail and fixing Evolution's UI conditionals. More
poking (indirectly) at the ext3 file-system layout algorithm. Prodded
the release team for a couple of Evo fixes for 2.30.
Feeling really grotty, almost completely lost my voice -
perhaps an improvement overall.
Took the remaining non-poxed babe: Miriam to school, admired
the foundations of the new building work. Back, prodded mail, Clarity,
misc. beginning of week admin. Scanned and E-mailed the gas safety
certificate to the building controller.
Poked at Evolution packaging. Lunch. Discussed
linking with Ryan, it seems he had done some rather careful research for
the galias code, and been mislead by someone - but
hadn't realised that the linker is clever enough to re-write the
assembler to avoid un-necessary indirections for internally bound
symbols, and as-such the galias heavy lifting is not needed; good -
objdump -D is ultimately your friend.
Dinner, J. had counselling supervision meeting; I prodded
erratic builds, intltool bits - hacking around needing changes there,
and caught up with Federico & Matthew.
Up early, J. lie-in, stayed at home to deal with the
babes variously. Cooked the Sunday dinner, babes' Bible study
with H. & M. (as requested), cleaned up.
Lunch; enjoyed the sunshine in the garden; mended
leaking guttering, played with babes, disassembled an old
electric shower to extract some nichrome
wire to make my heater element for the reprap; hopefully it
has a nice high resisitivity, a 7kW element yields only
a 1m wire it seems.
from Ravi Zacharias, 'Who are you God', bed.
Awoke at midday: phoned for the wife and babes to return
from Laura's. Lunch.
Struck by a spurt of initiative and energy, set off to
buy grass seed, and the correct size angle grinder cutting disk.
Home, and off to Daniel & Michelle's to collect our garden
roller: good fun making a ramp for that, and getting the cast
steel behemoth up into the car, and out of it safely again.
Played with the angle grinder: whittling steel fence
posts, amazed by how corrosion resistent they appear. still
shiny some weeks after the last action. Played games with the
babes in the evening, story reading etc. early bed.
Avoided mail by re-building evolution master. Poked at
a mono uri parsing crasher, odd. Prodded other bugs; system
recovery's impact on boot performance etc.
Horrified by another d-bus threading issue until I
noticed it was one more instance of not initializing the library
with threading enabled; why do we even need to do that ? with a
demand-launched I/O thread we can have it on all the time with
~no performance impact (like ORBit2).
Plugged away at obscure mono problems on Atom; nurgh.
Looked after poxy babes while J. took the others swimming.
Dinner at desk, worked late - stayed up for a MeeGo meeting
that (on arrival) turned out to have moved; nice. Worked on
Eventually, after a day of pouring over the code with
Paolo, Miguel, Rodrigo and Aaron, and however much hair lost:
Miguel located the cause of the apparent deep mono brokenness:
nothing to do with mono, just some genius 'optimisation' in
memcmp so it returns incorrect values in some corner cases.
Implemented and checked in a trivial memcmp replacement, and
went to bed.
Fasinating progress of the pox across the two babies,
we're hoping the other two get it too, to avoid later-in-life
problems; but no signs.
Amused / saddened by some encouragement from H. (age 7)
- "I'm so pleased that you havn't left Mummy yet".
Having spotted no signs of impending disaster myself, I imagine
this is the over-flow from her peers' repeat horrific experiences
of Fatherhood. Tried to re-assure her that no leaving is planned,
(beyond sadly hard-to-avoid business travel).
Sync with Arjan; J. back late from counselling, off to
cell group, later.
To battle, mail perusal; prodded Evolution, and some banshee
pieces. Lunch. Chased and fixed broken rpmlint patch ignoring my
rpmlintrc. More misc. mono piece packaging.
Helped by misc. friendly GNOME hackers as to why my
git pull --rebase origin master was not working,
or at least why the
git diff master..origin/master
after that was showing me rubbish. Apparently my local
origin/master was not really fetched.
made everything consistent; good stuff.
Dinner, two of four babies getting Chicken Pox; lots of
'Poxy' jokes; smitten by 'ePoxy' (a not very good 'virtual' software
version of the same). Bathed, applied camomile lotion, read
stories, bed. Lydia popped over to talk with J. Back to work.
Chatted with a cool Mozilla hacker (Taras Glek) working
on (cold) startup time performance optimisation, discovered
-freorder-blocks-and-partition and compared notes
on lots of different esoteric possible speedups. Chattered
happily with the system-tap guys and Federico, prodded Evo some
more, bed late.
Up early; prodded mail, wrote to my MP about the scandal that
is the Digital
Rights Bill - it would be great to loose my connection to the
internet, and livelihood to someone abusing an open wireless connection
to download some copyrighted material - seems proportional. Hopefully it
will run out of parliamentary time.
Clarity. Discovered my zypper / C++ bug is in fact a prelink
with UNIQUE variables.
Somewhere in the night it turned into Monday; more flight.
Hacked up a fun way to get bootchart2 to do it's logging. Instead
of using files that we have to get access to - we can instead
abandon the process to it's own isolated world of chrooted madness
in some initrd bubble; and then use some ptrace cunning to suck out
all the data later - (I guess like gdb but automated). Got a nice
prototype working quite well, good.
Train, tube, train, wait - picked up by wife & babes,
much joy, returned to the family. Dinner, put the babes to bed.
Calls with Federico, Aaron, JP, Jared in the evening, sleep.
Up too late to go to Church - bother; jet-lag just worn off
as I need it. Off to the airport, listened to a sermon or too on-line.
Flight, wait, more flight.
Up lateish; breakfast, . Pushed
misc. Evo pieces. Spent an hour merging, and re-merging
branches with git - with tens of highly dumb, irritating
conflicts, all of my own creation. Apparently
merge is not what you want to do, particularly several
git pull --rebased - which is
marked as dangerous and bad in the man page is what you want.
This brings back the darkest days of trying to track and
update a large, long running cvs branch: but worse.
Incompetant git use: no doubt.
How can it be, that a
git pull --rebase
would want to apply the same changeset twice ? apparently
nonsensical but after skipping a number of such sillies, the
diff to the original merge tag evaporated: near victory.
Annoyingly Matthew's identical merge went with, apparently
no problems, amazing. Dinner, bed.
Up early, excellent bacon and eggs for breakfast; switched
hotel & wandered into town for more discussion & a bit of
hacking. Experienced a somewhat amazing bug in g++ with private
template class constructors used in static initializers.
Pleased to see Colin merge my dbus fix.
Up early, good to see JP & Greg. Discovered a
bus-load of MeeGo E-mail in my SPAM / Quarentine folder which I
~never look in: that would explain the eerie quietness of the
mailing list. How is it that I suddenly, simultaneously started
getting tons of spam coming through, and missing critical things.
Wrestled with Pay-Pal, which seems intent on demanding my
Bank details, and completely unwilling to accept money from my
credit card to pay for things. How can it be so extraordinarily
unpleasant to send someone money ? who in their right mind would
want to attach a bus-sized extra security attach surface to a
bank account with any money in it ? and who wants to open a bank
account with no money in it just to please some (apparently) dumb
payment software ? Spent a frustrating time fruitlessly reading
Pleased to see a nice bootchart2 patch from Frederic for
Mandriva integration, neat; need to do some MeeGo integration too.
Up early, great talks and discussions with Guy &
Aaron, up very late. Interested to see Simon's leaving blog
Simon has to be one of the friendliest, persuasive(ist) and
most personable people you could hope for to be a front for
your community strategy: particularly if it is one that
really makes sense.
Up earlyish, quick breakfast bid 'bye to wonderful wife
and kids; endless series of trains, planes, etc.
Watched District 9 and loved it, and Up in
the Air - which was much sadder. Dug deeper into how dbus
manages it's bindings and affairs for Colin.
Chewed mail, fixed a bug or two, bed horribly late.
Slept a little better; prodded mail, chat with Noel, Thorsten
& Kendy. Prodded at admin, Clarity status reports, flight checkin
etc. Forced to change all internal passwords, reminding me of the
cartoon of the stumped theif with 39 friends outside the magic cave:
I had to change the password, and now I can't remember what it is.
Tried to chase my cups bug some more, only to discover that
now (for whatever reason) it decided to work; bother. Prodded at
Xapian and notmuch briefly.
Packed for Portland in the evening, and bed early.
Off to church, did the crech with Dave - interesting man;
strangely although Linus is not convinced that Demons
exist, my friend working (for many years) with the criminally
insane is of the other opinion; though the precise locus of such
behaviour is perhaps arguable, and postulating odd things in every
corner is inadvisable.
Home for lunch; pottered around in the garden - sunny for
once, had Helen over for tea, played with plastic printing mechanics
while the babes watched a DVD.
Up earlyish, packed the car, and set off to see Suzannah,
Clive, Adm & exciting new nephew James. Lots of driving, cooed
at the baby, lunch of sorts.
Left early to avoid over-loading the exausted new parents.
Out for a walk up the hill to the Coombe Hill War memorial on the
hill above Chequers.
M. decided she was going home 1/2 way through, and wandered off.
Eventually after (apparently) loosing her parents over the horizon,
repented of her folly with much wailing; only to be caught by her
Back home; J. immediately called out for an emergency
leaving me to feed the children over-cooked bacon bagels. Had
a friend over to stay the night.
Up early, prodded mail etc. Poked at dbus & threading
some more, mulled my fix - it seems to fix things, but investigated
it more, and with more luck; perhaps it's as easy as changing a
single digit, neat.
Chatted with Carl about notmuch, looks like some interesting
things happening there, perhaps we could re-use some in Evolution
Fired off my dbus analysis; prodded Evo. some more. Pottered
around in the evening fixing this and that around the house.
Up at a saner time; packed babes off to school; prodded mail.
Reviewed a nice paper from Saad Aloteibi and Wei Ming Khoo, some
great work they're up to on OO.o & valgrind.
Lunch with Lydia, prodded at dbus threading evilness;
side-tracked by a call with Kendy, and chat with JP. Stumbled across
some more odd code in the groupwise calendar backend, and fixed it.
Up extremely early, and to work - cleaned up the Evolution
express mode state propagation to a very small change, and made it
work for EPlugins (via discovering intltool was chopping off my foot
by discarding comments).
Interested to see more speculation
at least backed by a concrete offer
this time (Elliot's explanation).
Also interested to read Jeremy's RIP article for Sun
How Sun's need to control
the code cost them the company - Amen.
Call with Paul, Matthew, Ross, Chen etc. to discuss MeeGo
Another early morning, packed the babes off to school; got
sucked into the Economist, Bruce & Anne arrived on the way past
to see James - Sue & Clive's new baby - tinkered in the workshop
with Bruce a bit; to work late.
Prodded Evolution master's address-space leakage, (via an
un-joined thread I suspect). Interested to see Ross' sister
planning to cycling from
London to Melbourne; fun.
JP's staff call, and a very late lunch. Got LXF column
written and sent, sent off minutes.
Up early; prodded mail; got my Camel patch merged, booked
holiday, filed Clarity, etc. One to one with JP. Chat with vuntz,
hacked away at Evolution.
Out for a drink in the evening with Chris, Max (the local
CofE vicar) rolled up too after a bit; a fine evening; 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)