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
Dug through the overdue mail mountain from last week's
exertions. Clarity, status report writing. Boggled at Amazon -
apparently so eager to get reviews they stop people being able
to do them quickly by demanding that you write a textual review
in addition to a quick and easy rating; sillies.
Decided I couldn't cope without being able to merge and
test patches to master (given all the great work flooding in).
Had a cleanout of the SSD, and got a master build and merged a
patch or two.
Dinner, put babes to bed, met up with Jerry and the
other PCC lasses, over for a meeting; back to work until late.
Up earlyish, breakfast, off to NCC - Tony preaching on Town
Pastors. Back for lunch with DT & Zoe - rather tired.
Pottered with the reprap later in the cold (ABS makes such
a stench, there is no other option than lots of airflow). Eventually
got some PLA extruding nicely. Bed.
Up early. Expanded and laid out memory foam mattress,
with incredibly unpleasant smell to match, worse than burning
ABS. Off to Church to clean the toilets etc.
Home, for lunch with Bruce & Anne, great to see
them. Played with turning Bruce's boat's old acrylic skylight
into a truly flat bed for the reprap.
Off to Oak Hill for Stella & Nicky's birthday
party with Chris & Joy. Really fine time, excellent food,
great company, most enjoyable. Left late with car packed with
sleeping babes, bed late ourselves.
Up early, shower, dressed, off to the train: not there,
bother. Back home, internet now working, discovered the next
train time & caught it. Off to Maidenhead for the ODF
plug-fest, hacking on the train.
Arrived at the plug fest; as normal lots of wonderful
words about the joys of ODF, from the usual suspects - the
audience seemed to be 80%+ choir. Lots of LibreOffice goodness
Good talk from Adam
Afriyie the local MP, on open standards and open data. Quick
interview, caught up with Andrew at the pub at the end for a
swift pint followed by an over-long train journey home, via a
missed station, and lost ticket.
Read mail, booted off the network by some clowns at the
Newmarket telephone exchange (apparently down); recieved a
consolation prize from Google - a lovely green blanket / throw
the kids will love it.
More merging plod, and got a few test apps running
nicely. Lunch. Quick peek at the net via 3G, interested to read
a write up on Nokia
and open source at the H-open.
Team meeting, call with JP and Norbert, back to merging.
J. out with Miriam for a girly drink in the evening, more merging.
Another day of merging. Poked at the reprap in the
afternoon, got the extruder assembled, mounted and wired -
ready for some testing action tomorrow.
Up; fetched mail, poked IRC; lost my internet connection. Fixed
a silly in bootchart2 with
--crop-after. After a while got
back on-line; must return home really. Sad to hear Keith Stribley, the
Graphite guy died recently on the eve of Graphite2 integration, created an
account for Martin instead.
Unwound another reverse hostname DNS lookup that crept into our
startup path in LibreOffice. Got on with merging fun, spent much of the
afternoon on that, dense, RSI provoking, etc.
Up, cooked breakfast; dug through mail: encouraging to see
other people reviewing, merging patches and that process scaling
nicely. Clarity, chewed through more queued tasks, wrote status
report. Switched my phone to new UK corporate standard: T-mobile
(away from O2), hopefully it'll be cheaper for data. Created another
Fixed a slideshow race condition, buried under a load of
UNO-ized nonsense in sd/ no blank slides on start now. Spent a
while doing some misc. merging, only to discover Thorsten had
already done it; shame.
Up, packed up, breakfast, more packing of the car, off
to NCC; gave sermon; lunch in the car, drove to Bruce &
Anne's. Much applied relaxation; children much more able to
entertain themselves without breaking everything these days.
Watched Antiques Roadshow, and South Riding in the
Up earlyish, J. off to a training day. Bathed and treated
babes in the morning. Admired the wonderful quality PLA Wade's
extruder print-out, kindly sent by Rhys - sharp corners, smooth
Lunch; babes watched The Slipper and the Rose for the
umpteenth time, while I assembled and tested the geared extruder:
looking rather good. Cooked (well mostly heated up) dinner for the
babes, and enjoyed it, with J. arriving eventually.
Packed babes off to bed, worked away at sermon on a single
thread running through Daniel 1 for tomorrow.
Up earlyish, breakfasted the babes, and set off for Epping.
Central line with babes, push-chair to Holburn, and changed to South
Kensington - their first time on the tube: seemed to enjoy it.
Wandered the Natural History Museum - packed with school
parties, noise and confusion. Information so dense, that very little
was taken in I suspect. Lunch in a convenient underground picnic area.
Admired the susbstantial animatronic T-rex
(terrifying three of four girls), and the enormous (to scale)
blue-whale model, fondly remembered from my youth (and apparently
unaltered since then).
Walked the tired babies to a local Pizza Express, to expend
Tesco vounchers for dinner with Lydia, fun. Tube trains, and drive
home, popped babes into bed, slugged exhaustedly.
Poked mail, continued merging modules misc. more mail,
added an easy hack or two. Lunch. Novell / LibreOffice team
meeting, analyst call, Libreoffice Tech Steering Group meeting.
More working through the mail backlog; discovered a whole wodge
of un-answered-over-FOSDEM mail; urk.
Downloaded and burned chunks of MSDN to get new Win32
build machine & Office 2010 analysis underway.
Researched trip to London tomorrow with the family,
printed out maps, booked restaurant with the wife, read the news.
Amused to see some bearded idiot giving a talk on video about
at FOSDEM. Oh ! and if you feel scared of contributing to improving
the code-base, if you can't translate, or program - there is a great
way to make a significant blow for Freedom by helping us
to get a foundation setup in Germany - we have a deadline in around
a month after which time it will be UK based (which is obviously
inferior, and means I have to do lots more work); so ! if you are a
German tax payer, you can help reduce the federal tax take by deducting
income tax from your donations too.
Up prodded mail quickly; off early to TEAM to see Tom
Chapman, and enjoy his sessions on Evangelism. Lunch, great
childrens ministry talk from Rich Newman. Home with Mike.
No family, apparently they've abandoned me. Worked
until dinner time - still no-one, eventually they returned after
a lot of build / merging / admin progress. Bed early, tired.
Up; misc. patch fiddling, build fixing, chat with Norbert
and Thorsten; misc. patch review. Made some stable test builds,
oddness with the incremental stable build griping thus:
config.status: error: cannot find input file: `bin/repo-list.in'
which is down to (somehow) the
cache getting out of step with configure.
JP staff meeting; lots of misc. admin. Misc. calls; amused by
the idea that it is cheap to staff up rapidly "at a single geographical
location". I don't believe you can hire the very best people if you
also require them all to be co-located; not everyone will move -
particularly to some locations.
Up early, produced the valentines day card to make the
wifelet happy; N. ill in bed poor dear. Clarity, long overdue
status report writing.
Up-loaded my FOSDEM talk slides
essentially an extension of my Plumbers talk. No slides for the
Hacks dev-room talk, just talked through the wiki page.
Worked away at git merge / meld much of the day, had some
interesting issues with git master, not present in the stable release;
reported that, no doubt not in that helpful a form. Worked late.
J. lie in while I dealt with the babes; off to NCC, J.
helped with kidzone, while I creched; home for lunch with
Simon, Claire, Tally & Phoebe - good to catch up with them.
Puzzled, and watched Jacob in the evening - in the same
mould as Prince of Egypt but slightly less catastrophic.
Put babes to bed, listened to When
God Says No More, on Judges 10, interesting; then some
Yes Prime Minister, sleep.
Lie in, pottered about, got the reprap going trying to print
out better Z axis couplings, but sadly the extruder is too intermittent
to be able to cope with printing solid objects; badly need a geared
extruder, mercifully have an offer of one - in due course.
Peeled potatoes for tomorrow while waiting for misc. printouts,
baby sat E. while everyone else departed for parties and friends houses
Worked a little in the evening, listened to Graham's take on
Daniel 1 - encouragingly similar, and yet incrementally useful. Bed
Poked mail, listened to parts of the Nokia charge into
Windows Phone 7. Sounds like a sad day for the Linux ecosystem, or
at least a lost opportunity. Things like "We have moved some
future MeeGo device designs and re-purposed these for Windows
Mobile 7" (though still committed to releasing one MeeGo
phone), "R&D as a %age of revenue is too high ... significant
job reductions ... v. substantial use of out-sourced talent".
On Qt "We will evaluate the role of qt at the low end ...
[ MeeGo / Symbian ], but we are not going to put Qt on the windows
mobile phone, as an indication of our sincerity ... introducing
another dev platform on windows phone could serve to fork the
platform ... silverlight, XNA, and other capabilities.... Qt will
not be a single technology that abstracts all of the Nokia devices
going forward. [ quotes potentially somewhat mis-redacted, my
typing is not that fast ]. Elop also extremely bullish on Windows
on tablets too it seems, sad.
By some fluke happenstance, gtk3
got released today.
Spent much of the day merging branches. Worked late,
while J. did some work for Tim.
Practise, packed babes off to school in the car; mail
skim. Pleased to see a movie about FOSDEM movie
featuring the wonderful LibreOffice booth with Cor Nouws (1:30) and
Vuntz (2:55) among others.
More digging through the accumulated backlog of FOSDEM
tasks. I wonder what you are supposed to do with end-users who
insist on mailing you personally, with blindingly obvious suggestions
for improvement, and who when you politely point out that there
is no shortage of good ideas only developer time (which they
are wasting right now), and can they go to the discuss list,
instead reply with yet another set of time wasting waffle; sigh.
Lunch, call with JP. Installed a debug LibreOffice Windows
version to have a poke at some windows specific nasties. Submitted
LinuxTag talk, a tad late, but - lets see. Created several
Dinner, read stories to babes, up late poking at staging
repositories and merge tooling with Norbert.
Up very early, couldn't sleep; prodded mail, worked away
at the backlog tenaciously. Breakfast; off into Cambridge for TEAM.
Great morning on the Theology of mission, followed by talk from
a great Christians in Sport chap from STAG. Bible study, and home.
Dinner; read mail, boggled at the news. In particular
analysis of Nokia - which bears a remarkable similarity to my
personal (perhaps unduly pessimistic) take; but then, apparently,
I have no business sense. I was particularly saddened by:
We have some brilliant sources of innovation inside
Nokia, but we are not bringing it to market fast enough. We thought
MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However,
at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo
product in the market. [supposed Stephen Elop quote]
That this should be news is itself rather silly; I wrote of my sadness
at the demise of the N900 in Linux Format, December 2009:
Finally, Nokia released its (incredibly pretty)
N900 - a lovely Linux / GNOME based handset, although it is sadly
being pointlessly re-written with lots of delay to use Qt instead.
But then, apparently the whole world is about to be pointlessly
ie. fair enough adding Qt, but doing a project reset ? that was just
madness. And not the first Maemo / MeeGo project reset, with another
two coming afterwards: more resets than releases. I griped on about
the same issue in June
2010: Time to market ? or are the times changing ?
As strategies go for Nokia, for those who understand
code re-use, collaboration and time-to-market as key engineering
and business concepts, I can
see only two options: fork, re-brand, and make Android their own
(a winner in my view), and/or get deeply into Windows Phone 7. Of
course, I hope to be
mistaken - some sexy wild-card (open source) option such as a
Windows 7 compatible (via Mono) based on the more open MeeGo
stack, with added Android compatibility would be do-able and
sexy. Sadly that is more complicated than can be easily explained
in a single slide to a financier. Staying tuned with some
apprehension for Friday.
Up late; less exhausted. Breakfast, a day of rest; set too
at the missed husbandly tasks of the weekend - repaired the fence
that blew down overnight: great angle-grinding some old steel
pipe-work into supports and driving them in.
Lunch, call with Simon. Repaired the hoover again; impressed
not only that youtube has a video of how to get the hoover open; but
also that I can find it (youtube search is unutterably terrible in
Quick triage of mail; and sent some out, worked away at this
and that. Took the girls to their music lessons - then home for dinner,
Up later; prodded mail very briefly, checked out valgrind;
to the train. Poked at a simpler / cleaner trap-door mechanism using
weak symbols for valgrind; but frustrated by non-functioning weak
symbols when used from non-fPIC executables; bother.
Brain dumped into the TODO, reviewed / worked at adding more
easy-hacks, arrived at Cambridge with a ~hour to wait for the train,
thank God for 3G, poked mail. Got home; submitted OSCON paper,
flushed mail again.
Babes and wife arrived home, played happily with them until
dinner, and got stuck back into the bed-time story reading routine
with some satisfaction. Bed early, exhausted.
Breakfast, with (a newly married) Gerv; much slideware hackery,
sadly missing several dev-room talks. Taxi to the campus, caught the end
of Caolan's great writer internals talk, some rather good attendance -
pleasing to see people who want to learn about, and get involved in the
real guts of the project.
Gave a talk on our easy hacks, just going through them one by one
from most easy, up-wards to a great audience of developers; encouraging -
we are going to need many more easy hacks soon I think. Hopefully some
people got the git repositories from the passed around USB keys too.
Helped out with Charles's status talk, while snatching lunch.
On to give Office track LibreOffice talk, slides to follow; great
audience, some good questions, overran a little though.
Back to our dev-room, more sticker distribution, discussion etc.
Caught up with Mechtilde, just as we were dismantling everything. Off
into town for Pizza with Caolan and co. Caught up with Aaron & the
Mono mob, joined by Lennart and Kay too. Onwards to Delerium, to get
some time with Kohei, until rather late, then snatched some sync. time
with Kendy before his flight. The tragedy of FOSDEM: packed full of
great talks, and excellent hackers is that of extreme brevity.
Up in time for Eben's interesting keynote on open software and
devices enabling freedom. Back to the booth to help out, wandered around
giving out hundreds of stickers while Cor and many others stuck at the
booth and encouraged potential developers, sold T-shirts, and did a great
job of being present.
An extraordinarily wonderful vibe around LibreOffice, lots of
spontaneous congratulations from unknown well-wishers, and so on, most
encouraging. Caught up with Bjorn, really great to have him on the team.
More wandering of the hall-way track catching up with old friends
and acquaintances, eg. great to meet the bootchart2 hero: Riccardo
Magliocchetti. Somehow ommitted to eat lunch, solved by some generous
chip sharing action with Kendy.
Out in the evening for the speakers dinner, and then on
to meet up with the burgeoning LibreOffice (and friends) team at
dinner. Back to work on slides, bed.
Up early, helped babes to school; packed, and set off early
Interested by the concern and uncertainty being created
around the mistaken idea that there are some security fixes present
in OO.o that are not in LibreOffice. This is not so. LibreOffice
contains all the security fixes in 3.3.0 and perhaps more. Why more ?
simply as side-effects of our code cleans, application of cppcheck
etc. Many 'security bugs' are really just bugs, and we're working hard
to improve our code quality.
To improve code security many projects do code 'auditing', a big part
of which is careful reading of the code with this in mind. In
LibreOffice code review is the norm, so we aspire to a higher quality
from this perspective over time. Sadly, of course there are always
human errors, but as and when they are found, we aim to create fixes
and get them to our users more quickly via. our rapid monthly stable
Nice to hear that SLES11 provides the foundation
for the IBM 'Watson' Jeopardy playing computer; encouraging for the
openSUSE from which it is based.
An insightful article from Bruce Byfield on OpenOffice.org
vs. LibreOffice - nice to read his well researched take ie. it
is clear that he did some detailed tests on both bits of software.
Reviewed patches on the train, and chewed through older
mail, great to see Thorsten doing the new icon cutting and dicing
for 3.3.1 (RC1 / code freeze Monday).
Eurostar to FOSDEM, fewer hackers on the earlier train;
instead some 'dubstep' DJs off to Antwerp to perform. Read Amanda
Brock's latest article on Project Harmony with some interest.
Worked on slideware while people arrived; and out for
dinner with Julian, and the LibreOffice lads (with some honored
additions). Back to the Cafe Delerium, too much crushing, so
moved onto La Morte Subite, for Kriek, and back to
Delerium later with Kendy (finally arrived complete with
more T-shirts than you can imagine). Bed at 5:30.
Up too early; train, with Cheryl and Rachel into London.
Tube to Cloud Expo at the Barbican. Spent some time turning David
Nelson's beautiful website / screenshots into slides, before
realising (belatedly) that perhaps a LibreOffice talk wasn't
entirely the best fit, so spent half the time plugging
Kiwi + SUSE Studio, and the rest on the joys of LibreOffice.
Caught up with the usual suspects manning booths, and
home. Quick lunch with J. and E. set to work burning USB keys
full of git repositories for FOSDEM.
Pleased to read Max KA's write-up
of his research in growing communities; Removing the barriers
to entry etc. - all the obvious stuff, nicely stated and
backed up by survey data.
Off to Cambridge with Mike; continued the Bible overview
through Samuel, into the prophets - lots of interesting stuff.
Lunch; talk from Friendship International student's
ministry leader, and managed to prep my Bible study to lead
just in time.
Home, bathed and read to babes; worked late on talk for
tomorrow, and triaged mail quickly.
To work; plodded through mail, merged a few patches; researched
a few more. The FOSDEM organisers asked me an insightful set of
shame about the answers; really looking forward to FOSDEM.
Lunch, chat with Guy, JP's staff call. Prodded at a crasher, and
back-ported a fix to help valgrind it, failed to find it - apparently
windows specific. Got the LXF column done, polished and out.
Prodded briefly at the new Gnome 3.0 live-CD
of Frederic's - interestingly, had to manually launch
gnome-shell --replace, but it seemed to work reasonably
Call with Andrew; then LibreOffice tech steering call, setup
some staging git repositories with Norbert. Worked 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)