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
Lie-in; up late, last day of holiday (for now). J. out
taking M. shoe-shopping (apparently also has a collapsed arch
Poked at repsnapper some more - Jan Schmidt is doing
some great Windows porting work it seems. Dug into slicing,
seemingly we get poisoned by a number of -nan's causing serious
grief, tried to avoid that variously.
Claire & babes over for lunch, fixed up some wooden
stilts for them to play with - remarkably no real injuries
sustained. Emily came for lunch as well. Tony dropped into to
pick up God's Chosen Fast which on deeper inspection
turned out to be missing, drat.
Watched The Secret of Moonacre in the afternoon
with the babes. More work on repsnapper getting temperature
polling working - looking good finally. Printed out an
inadequate felt slide bearing - annoying - much too small.
Up early, pottered around cutting and drilling bits of
brass for reprap nozzle heater blocks: struggled to tap the
holes (a larger pilot hole presumably required - but no metric
drill set). Brute force, ignorance, and grinding a larger flat
on the tap seemed to work.
Lunch. Hacked away at repsnapper a bit fixing and
improving a number of sillies in the gcode generation breaking
felt slide-bearing printout.
Watched Night at the Museum 2 with the
smaller babes on my knees, to avoid overmuch scaredness.
Early dinner, bathed little people, stories.
Lydia over for dinner & time with J. Dave over to
study Colossians - spent another hour on five verses - and got
a fairly reasonable grasp of them it seems.
Up early, Miriam's birthday: present opening in bed. Lots
of Lego to play with - set too assembling some of it in bed. Down
for a bacon sandwich breakfast.
Packed; off to Brandon country park for sliding etc.
enjoyed a fire-juggling act in the rain. Lunch. More playing on
various toys - including some interactive musical forest walk.
Drove home; babes watched High School Musical
Three (happily the last in the series), sigh. Ham, Eggs,
Chips & Birthday cake for dinner.
Lie-in; off to St Lukes - perhaps for the last time,
given the anticipated parental move. Sparse congregation,
curious preach, home for lunch.
Packed variously, chat with Ben Ford & Fiance
clapped babes into the car, and drove everyone home.
Slugged studiously, movie in the evening with J.
Up, quested in the garage for good things; got a new
pillar drill from Father with a sensible chuck & decent
bearings - great; lithium grease for tapping holes too - nice.
Got babes dressed up in pretty frocks, and set off to
Barbara & Colin's for Colin's retirement party. Met and
gret misc. family, good to see Andrew & Olivier again.
Help fed babes, played games with them.
Out to the local playground for fun on the swings
and slides, and (strange) rubberised side-less roundabout:
essentially just a big disk.
Home, put tired babes to bed; chatted to the parents;
watched Shot in the Dark, sleep.
To work, chewed mail; tried to get access back to novell
bugzilla; followed the instructions, no joy, re-read the instructions,
no joy, changed passwords, helpdesk, went around the same ineffective
all keystrokes including tab-switching etc. (though not doing anything
with them) - annoying.
Worked away at palette embedding; got it working reasonably
nicely at least on load. Dinner. Admired the parent's success in
improving the house on the eve of leaving it.
Watched The Pink Panther in the evening with the
parents; interesting how the pace of movies seems noticably more
frenetic these days than in times of yore.
Up, packed, drove south to the parents' with the babes:
leaving J. to go to her parents to help out. Arrived, unpacked,
lunch; to work.
Team meeting, an interesting LibreOffice conference
planning / scheduling call - Charles has done some good work there
it seems. TSC call.
Listened to the all-hands call; encouraged by progress
variously, and our new SUSE jobs page. Dinner.
Dead impressed to see Dave Malcom & David Tardon's gdb
pretty-printing python goodness land in master - at last, easy
debugging, and examining of libreoffice's strange string classes,
even inside stack traces; horay. Pleased too to see Noel removing
6k LOC of redundant code he found / factored out.
Worked late; isolated and filed the groupwise crasher
causing mail filtering problems: some ingenious spam. Enjoyed
Brians' (more accessible) write-up of the API
copyright issues Oracle are creating.
Prodded mail, dug at some Matus' nice linking optimisation work
and did his final GSOC evaluation. Tested the compiles, pushed it. Lunch,
chat with jrb, worked at a proposal. Desktop call. Booked hotel for
Poked at a sales pitch, SC call, dug into an odd splash linking
To work, mail chew, reviewed / back-ported / merged misc.
nice patches. Expense filing admin etc. Plugged away at LXF column.
Lunch. Fixed up the voting repo for Thorsten.
Booked flight for the openSUSE
conference early next month in Nurnberg - which should be fun.
Dug through a lot of admin, blurb writing, etc.
Lydia over for dinner, met up with Dave in the evening.
Read mail, reviewed patches, encouraging to catch up with
the hard work on LibreOffice being done over the weekend, and by
those in other timezones. Late lunch.
Someone pointed out that Oracle's most recent (desperate)
position in their action against Google (judging from their
filing) is that: GOOGLE'S WHOLESALE COPYING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF
JAVA API SPECIFICATIONS IS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.
As I pointed out in Why
Oracle's copyrights might matter (when the case came to light, IANAL
etc.) this is the most novel & interesting piece of the case.
Their amended complaint had more
API copyright nonsense to dislike - are they really claiming that
almost every Java program infringes their copyright - by implementing
their published interfaces ? Now we have even more detailed oddness.
start to pick this up it is interesting to consider: have Oracle, or an acquired
subsidiary ever reverse-engineered a file format, or implemented a compatible API ?
My knowledge of Oracle products is mercifully extremely weak, but at
least in the area of OpenOffice.org - Sun, (now Oracle) engineers
implemented VBA compatible APIs - to help build out interoperability
with Microsoft office. We even had some contributions from
IBM engineers working on the same task. I would
imagine that this effect is replicated everywhere that Oracle's products
have competed in an existing market. Lots of this has gone on over time, a
hundred years ago Oracle (né Sun né Praxsys) was touting Wabi (amazingly
yet-another product meaning 'Harmony'). Sadly in a world of aggressive
API copyright assertion - everyone is poorer: there is no
interoperability, there is pointless re-implementation and
duplication of APIs, and perhaps some exciting new anti-trust issues
too. Why would Oracle want to make everyone poorer, when it inevitably
will afflict itself at the same time ?
Up earlyish, off to NCC for breakfast; practised & played,
family talk from Janice. Met Emily, Dave's new wife. Home, cleaned
house, finally affixed misc. 'new' bits in the shower-room securely.
Fixed up flaked ancient old / moblin beta on the kids machine for a new
openSUSE 11.4 - much better.
Put babes to bed; Emily & Dave over for dinner - enjoyed
some time with them, bed late.
Up earlyish, tried to replace battery on violin; spent
some time glueing the holder back in; drove to church for more
practise with Mick, Daniel & Tim before the service; got
some new batteries. Fine service, so lovely to see Miriam so well
married after years of prayer & anticipation.
Dropped babes back with Sandy & gave Tim a lift to
the reception, attractive location, much fine food, wine, company,
conversation. Moving speeches, my refusenik dancing, everything
you want in a wedding.
Back somewhat early to relieve Sandy of her charges, bed.
More mail digging, nearly cleared the backlog, reviewed
patches, read Federico's nice
slides on design patterns. Found a systemic problem affecting
linked incremental builds, and fixed it. Re-worked some legacy
UNO wrappers (removing lots of cut & paste), added more friendly
exception printing for fatal startup / loading errors. Lunch.
Chat with Thorsten, plugged away at palette loading
issues, not the most elegant split between
sd/ but functional for now. Discovered another
couple of big rats nest of cut/paste coding of bulky code - set
too dunging them out.
LibreOffice -really- needs someone to test / explode the
mind of their trendy/new cut/paste coding detector; I wonder what
the state of the art is there.
Out in the evening to practise the music for Myriam &
Ben's wedding tomorrow, back to chat with Mary Rogers.
Prodded mail variously; reviewed a patch or two, set to
work on embedded palettes for an internal issue.
Called up by
clueless BT guy - kept repeating that he worked for BT - and was
trying to save me money: couldn't tell me anything about my call
history, or what the best plan was for me - but insisted on
trying to explain several complicated package options to me:
why?. If the company were 1/2 clueful they could tell me
which the cheapest plan for me for the last year would have been,
and I'd pick it - it is highly unclear that that is in their
interest though. Why would they genuinely want me to pay them
Lunch, team meeting, TSC call. Back to palettes. As
normal the vast majority of time is wasted at the UNO interface
- picking some new and innovative way to mangle what is necessary
through a hole that is the wrong size and shape.
Dinner, back to work, worked late.
More mail chew; sync. call with Caolan, created a freedesktop
gitdm-config to make our stats more accessible to
feature/gtk3 onto the new onegit repos.
Lunch. Merge Xapantu's initial gtk3 native widget theming work.
Burned through a couple of k of spam. Reviewed Ricardo's nice,
cleaned up new VCL layout code.
Back to work, started reading the mail mountain backwards,
slowly; apparently no fires started during the vacation: nice.
Lunch, nearly down to the thousand most important unread mails.
Call with Kendy & Thorsten, more mail chew. Put babes
to bed, dinner with DT, dropped him back to Mildenhall.
Up earlyish, off to Parc Asterix - somewhat staggered by the
price and number of people queueing to get in; you would imagine one
would offset the other.
Wandered around queueing at length for everything, indeed
having queued for 30+ minutes the one minute ride seems almost a
relief; an applied, repeated, and extended exercise in character
building patience it seems. Enjoyed several rides, and an excellent
Set off driving to Calais, couldn't find a supermache open
in the evening - only innumerable wine outlets (with English signs
and name) odd. Caught the ferry, fine crossing, both France &
England concurrently visible again. Long drive home.
Up early; drove into Saint Junien with Ron to meet with their
(Assemblies of God) fellowship. A familiar setup, if not a familiar
language: Blanc, plus blanc que neige, La vé dans le sang
de l'Agneau, Je se rai plus blanc que la neige (words),
and unfamiliar bisou culture.
Left after communion - I had always thought that the typical
Baptist approach of having lots of little cups was to avoid problems -
since they typically use a non-alcoholic wine. Interested to see the
combination of real vin rouge with many small cups.
Much driving, to a very cheap, but (exciting for children)
hotel north of Paris, succumbed to the 'McDo' (with childrens
playground) opposite, sigh. Bed early.
Up late; lazed around the house and garden. Out for a walk
in the forest with Iris, climbed a tree with H. Packed up in the
Another excellent spread - I begin to wonder, if I squeeze
myself, whether soft cheese will come out of my ears. Up late talking
and praying with Ron & Iris.
Up lateish, out with the family to Rochechouart to visit the
castle, and wander the town. Enjoyed the asteroid museum - fascinating
that the area was mostly molten / vapourised by an asteroid impact
~200m years ago, made mental note: not to get in the way of an asteroid.
Enjoyed wandering the castle, shame about the modern 'art'
exhibition; played with some children's building blocks at some length,
Back for another fine meal, and bed earlyish.
Up lateish; played in the garden, and talked until
a fine lunch, played the mandolin a little with Ron's guitar
until E. fell backwards onto a concrete step necessitating some
Out to a nearby lake (with sandy beach) to swim. Swum
at length with the babes, getting the eldest out to the floating
raft and back a couple of times. E. just paddled.
Back, dinner, babes to bed late; up playing mandolin /
guitar with Ron; bed late.
Up early; more car packing, desparate hunt for missing
keys, eventually abandoned hope, locked the house & left.
Drove to Angeloueme, briefly assisting broken-down driver +
family on the way.
Lunch at a small town on the way; eventually arrived
at Marval, and then La Nadalie, Ron & Iris' home. Admired
their fine home variously.
Learned new round for pre-dinner singing:
Pour ce repas, et toute joie, nous t'louons seigneur
Dinner, sat up until rather late talking and enjoying
each other's company.
Up early, TGV to Angeloueme, re-united with beautiful
wife & mass of babies - many hugs; breakfast.
Off for a canoeing expedition on the nearby river,
at Fleac - fine, surprisngly stable canoes, a lack of dunking,
and good fun even for the smallest.
Home for lunch, slugged a little; then out into town to
buy plasterboard fixings to mend the mess the babes had made.
Eventually found one of the best hardware stores I've seen in a
long time - how can the tiny town of Matha out-do Newmarket for
diversity and depth of supplies. Returned, fixed curtain rail
Misc. packing, put babes to bed, prepped the car for
travel tomorrow, and enjyoyed our last day in Massac.
Somewhat exhausted, up lateish; breakfast with Jimmac
& Hylke. Wandered to the conference, misc. talks &
people to talk to. Lunch with Collabora. Enjoyed toaster
Drinks, caught up with Rob's news. Off to the airport,
planes variously, slept a little, hacked a bit, lots of mail
triage. Eventually ended up in a hotel opposite Bordeaux
Up early, quick breakfast with Colin, frantic hacking
at LibreOffice slides (and code) for talk later. Taxi to the
venue, setup, spoke - bit tired, but got a few jokes in:
publicly demo'd my pet project: LibreOffice on-line for the
first time; video to follow as/when I'm back from vacation.
Slides (as hybrid PDF - ie. load in impress to edit as slides):
NB: Broadway is Alex Laarson's baby, and will ship as
a feature in gtk+ 3.2 (the next release). I hope to have a
high-quality gtk3 port finished for LibreOffice 3.5 - this is a
prototype that is unfinished. To get it working, you will need
the old (pre-one-git) LibreOffice, and the libs-gui feature/gtk3
branch. You will need master gtk3 compiled with
exported, to enable
in your browser, and so on.
Personally I believe that this provides a great path
towards a full feature web office suite. Better: any
size, space, collaboration etc. work in this direction is useful
(via. 100% code-sharing) both for the thick client, and the web
(necessary for off-line use) is that this is fundamentally
duplicative, wasteful and un-fortunate.
Chatted to misc. people afterwards, out for lunch with
the Lanedo guys, Lennart etc. Left in a hurry to inject my reprap
slides into the lightning talks:
Wandered around, gave a few demos to some great guys of
LibreOffice on broadway, lots of interest, and a quick interview
on the topic.
Misc. other interesting talks, poked Marc's SPICE talk's
LibreOffice / projecting goodness; we rather need some hooks into
impress' presenter view to allow easy switching to cloned mode for
demos, and to swap the outputs too I think.
Met up with Mike and Bradley, out with some foundations
guys for dinner and interesting discussion. On to the party,
much chatting with various people, synched with JRB, before
heading back to the hotel with Rosanna too, and up rather
Checked mail - amazed to get my first ever patch as a
.docx file (from some budding reprap hacker).
Up; to the conference venue to catch Dirk's talk. Caught
up with Lanedo guys, sculled around the hallway track catching up
with people left & right. Lunch with Guy, Dirk & Stormy.
Amused by the annual, irreverant GNOME update talk;
pleased by Robohash magic -
it seems I need to attack the hashing, to work out how to adjust
my deed-poll form to get the best robot look.
Fun, out with Guy, Jake and some Intel chaps for ice-cream
& smoothies, quick prep; (C) assignment panel with Mark - barely
scratched the surface of the problem space, but perhaps
Out for dinner with Lennart, Federico & co. Met up
with the rest of the team later, up late talking to Dave &
Up early, quick breakfast, drove to Angeloueme to get the
TGV to Bordeaux, bid a sad farewell to the lovely wife &
babies. Hacked up reprap slides for a lightning talk on the train,
18 slides in 180 seconds; fun. Discovered that (somehow) wine+IE
had managed to associate themselves with image files - interesting.
To the hotel with Alex Laarson, on to the registration
party, up late talking to all & sundry.
Lie in until woken by littlest fighting over a colouring
book. Breakfast, set out to Saintes for the day - enjoyed the
remains of the lovely Roman amphitheatre and had lunch.
Wandered around a nearby ancient church, with its cold
crypt - fun; into town for a merry-go-round ride, played naughts
and crosses by the river.
Trip to the nearby archeological museum, and fantastic
ancient stone carving exhibition. Eventually ran out of ability to
interest small tired girls in stone-masonry.
Drove home, prepped dinner, fed babes, packed them off to
bed. Packed & planned tomorrow passably.
Up earlyish, read stories to everyone while M. slept on
beautifully. Packed ourselves into the car, raining: to make us
feel at home, clearly. Admired the Blois bridge while eating
croissants, and drove south.
Lunch at Matha, and finally arrived at Massac, and the
Heathcote's fine holiday home, opened up, followed the
instructions in order: turn on water before water heater etc.
Explored house, unpacked, slugged a bit.
Back into Matha to navigate the hypermarket, and try
to learn a little French (and matching, obscure English words)
from toy shelves (packed with tat as everywhere). Surprised by
how many anglicised toys were present: "Hello Kitty", "G.I.
Home, made dinner & cleaned up while J. cooked;
fed babes, bathed them, put them to bed. Drank rosé
and planned trips with the wife.
Up rather early, drove to Dover, ferry across on a wonderfully
clear day, France and Britain clearly visible concurrently. Lots of
driving, experienced the joys of the prepherique without incident.
Landed in a cheap family hotel in southern Blois. Out to 'flunch' for
some rather reasonable French fast food.
To work, tried to clear the decks for the next two weeks off.
Created account, reviewed misc. patches, fixed up the build, sent
out a status report. Lunch.
LXF column writing, weather oppressively hot. Tried to
persuade Air France to drop a single leg of a one-change flight,
passed over the bargin at only £175.
Lots of packing action in the evening.
My content in this blog and associated images / data under
data/ directories are (usually)
created by me and (unless obviously labelled otherwise) are licensed under
the public domain, and/or if that doesn't float your boat a CC0
license. I encourage linking back (of course) to help people decide for
themselves, in context, in the battle for ideas, and I love fixes /
improvements / corrections by private mail.
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)