This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
SUSE 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
Woken early by M. talking of 'school trips', back to sleep.
Up, and off to Thetford Forest with M. for her annual day-out-with-daddy,
Go-Ape Junior - for the over 1m tall's. Lots of fun and bravery on
display from a small person high above the ground. Lunch at the cafe.
Played on more machines, home.
De-briefed M. with the family, read stories to the other three,
slugged variously. Bit of mail chew, thrilled by J's office tidying spree.
Bathed babies, tea. Watched LOTR #3
part 2 with H. until Lydia arrived: locked out. Set off with H. and a
ladder to get through a window, and got the door opened - a triumph
Up early; mail chew - plugged away at windows build
issues: the cl.exe /EP flag generating pre-processed output
without embedded line-number markup is great.
While playing with the Android build - hacked at the
Java viewer a little. More code audit pieces. Out for a run
before dinner, caught up with some google-IO-ness. Watched
LOTR #3 part 1 with H. & J. later.
Up early, mail chew, more auditing and re-basing work. Lunch.
Normal round of meetings, Team meeting, ESC meeting minutes.
More plugging away at helper tooling. Dinner, worked late while J.
Chewed mail backed up machine, and upgraded hardware.
Crunched some stats. Lunch. Spent a while re-working our use of
cppunit to simplify that.
Emily, Dave & his charming family over for dinner,
had a fine evening together, bed late.
Analytics work, mail chew, clawed back through some of the
queued up patches in the inbox. Built ESC bug stats etc. Lunch.
On the subject of offense; thankfully it seems Jewelfox got
less concerned; and Jono posted a longer but useful post
pointing out that causing offense is not per-se harrasment. I rather
agree. I've mortally offended a much loved survivor friend simply
by offering my opinion ('basically a bit liberal') on a Christian
music festival - and (apparently) ruined her week. It appears impossible
to simultaneously avoid everyone's PTSD triggers: simply
being male and being behind someone can be enough to make some feel
unsafe, nevermind having a loud voice. Some people have such tragic
experiences that you can only thankfully marvel that they did survive.
Having said that, some form of proportionate harm minimisation has to
be good, even if it is impossible to please everyone.
Re-reading the policy, I think an immediate, helpful band-aid might be the
insertion of a 'can' (of worms?): Harassment can include offensive
verbal comments... making it more of a useful guideline than a hard rule.
I'd also love to see verbal comments that people find offensive de-coupled from
their juxtaposition with stalking and worse. Thinking around this I've learned
a lot - particularly reading the meta-derailing
literature. Invoking derailing sometimes seems to me to have a rather malign
side-effect of simultaneously asserting victimhood, expert status, and thus
exclusive competence: an argument by authority. No doubt some people are just
thoughtless trolls, but many are not and get confused by a siege mentality,
no matter how justified. I also discovered that my profound moral dismay
at the act of prostitution
- take for example it's effect on the intimacy, exclusivity and mutual self-giving
of marriage - has a new name: "Whorephobia", an amusing label indeed:
how did we end up here ?
Prodded the Android build some more, I should try the Intel
target overnight I think. Dinner with Lydia, worked late.
Mail chew, reviewed and cherry-picked misc. patches. Tested a
performance fix, only to find that the performance bug was already
fixed, at least it made things no worse. Wrote status report.
Lunch, more mail, call with Kendy, wrote LXF column. More
analytics, dinner - J's PCC meeting, worked rather late.
Left J. sleeping, off to church to play the violin; the
on-the-park version cancelled due to excessive rain, fun. Shared
indoor-picnic afterwards. Home, slept much of the afternoon.
Meal, bathed babes & read stories - Puck of Pooks Hill
with H. Bit of repsnapper multi-settings hackery, bed early.
Up lateish, dressed & set-off for Tim's 50th birthday
party, lots of family, fine food, mixed weather: fun. Back for a
quick tea, put babes to bed, watched LOTR #2 2nd part with H.
Up early; mail chew. Patch merging action, more book-keeping
scripting, and re-basing work.
Mail chew, slogged away at some auditing work. Lunch. Team
meeting, ESC call, posted minutes, Vojtech's staff call. Tried to get
the sexy new gerrit instance
(which should help further simplify the flow of patches into LibreOffice)
to do my bidding. Re-read the instructions
to discover that setting up the username is rather important; good.
Continued to poke at dependency reduction around .hdl and .hpp
files - which make up some ~50% of our dependency weight after the huge
chunk of boost-ness is removed. Discovered my Android build was being
scuppered by an unwanted -Werror, good.
Tried to unwind BCD's to my mind rather misleading passive
approval system which requires approval it seems.
Watched The Italian Job with the wife to see if it is
suitable for the babes.
Poked at mail, a set of concerns from
It seems my brief
critique of the vagueness of 'offense' as a yardstick
for harassment is itself sufficiently offensive that (sadly) it makes some
feel that people like me don't belong here. That is emphatically
not my intention, but remarkably similar to my feelings when reading the
policy I was discussing. Sigh, that's why I think we could have a clearer
and better (longer) policy that makes everyone feel safe and at home. For
what it's worth the short and medium versions of the suggested policy
seem fine to me:
So in conclusion, I still believe there is a serious risk in creating
this sort of semi-legal enforcement structure in an unclear area of great
complexity - which is also land-mined by many tragic and emotive experiences of
rejection by family and worse. I'd like to clarify, and proscribe in a more
case-based way what is unacceptable and acceptable, preferably in a pleasant
atmosphere. I'm not eager for a right to persecute, far from it ! I hope instead
for an expectation of open, interactive, sensitive, deep discussion on any
topic: including private discussions that can be overheard if sought out.
Certainly it is easy to critique the policy
(which has raised these issues and gone a long way towards helpfully stating
the obvious), but to be constructive I should try to write such a set of
pattern and anti-pattern pairs - oh for the time to do so.
Interestingly, it seems we share quite a lot of common ground.
There is a concern about harassment on both sides. Even more
encouraging, there is some exemplary casuistic presentation.
Who can deny that an extended, un-solicited harangue
as from a bus driver ranting at someone about going to Hell is
harassment whose equivalent has no place at a conference ? Personally,
I think that that is an unloving, profoundly counter-productive and hostile
presentation that could easily be codified as a good case of what is
unacceptable, in a form that all can enthusiastically agree with.
Counterbalancing that I enjoy being part of a community of
intellectuals - delighted by and interested in diverse ideas. Accidentally
forbidding the full exploration of these in dialog seems like it benefits
no-one, yet that is how the verbal offense policy reads to me. Mandating a
'politically correct' monoculture, where no differing views are
expressed seems both extraordinary and to require adjudication to
tax Solomon to work out what is 'correct'.
I think that Daniele captures what I'd proscribe rather well
with: "You can willingly consent to discuss your religion, but you
don't have to accept being verbally abused because of it." -
I totally agree. If the harassment policy read: "includes verbal
abuse" - or somesuch, to cover the pernicious, unsolicited aspect.
However I still think a case-based approach with clear examples of
unacceptable and acceptable behaviour is much more likely to
provide a useful guide for the poor organisers who get to adjudicate,
and more likely to get common support from participants than a
precise / language-lawyer approach.
As an example, I agree that sexually explicit imagery and
discussion in presentations is completely inappropriate -
hopefully that's something that's easy to preclude.
Yet, on the other hand - I occasionally show a sample
of my wife & I on our wedding day in my presentations, sometimes I make
a tame related comment on the obvious aphrodisiac qualities of hacking
on XYZ project in relation to it. No doubt, if you seek it, there is plenty
of potential offense to be found - yet I fear a bland world where
celebrating one's beloved wife in public gets forbidden in the name of
I'm certain that just being me also offends plenty of people;
perhaps also common ground. What I don't expect is for people to
advocate attempts to censor others (like Gerv) who carefully
express their political views - even if they happen to disagree with
Dropped the car off for servicing in Cambridge. Plugged away at
various compilation, dependency size, and rebasing issues.
Dave & Emily over for dinner, had a fun time with them.
Chewed mail backlog much of the morning, generated ESC bug
stats, wrote weekly status report. Lunch. Tried to book the GUADEC
flight, prodded gitdm with Dave.
Unfortunately, the lame BCD travel planner shows only much
more expensive flights that take five hours and require one change,
an expensive call to a manual agent finally guarentees the same
direct flight kayak would find you, but costing more, and with a
booking fee on top: cost saving in action.
Registered for GUADEC, a smooth flow - modulo the general
sense of revulsion at the Attendee Policy; no doubt discussed to
death elsewhere - but pretty aggravating to me at least. Fair enough
getting aggressive against stalking, groping and such horrors; but
encouraging censorship of "offensive" verbal comments related to sexual
orientation, religion etc. looks like a persecutors charter in the making.
What is offensive ? and to whom ? the fear being that -very- quickly such
good aspirations slide from "applied common sense" into a militant denial
of a basic right to reasonably critique others' world-views. Put another
way I'm really happy for people to tell me how wrong-headed I am on
any number of engaging topics, and to discuss them in an animated
and friendly fashion. I loathe a framework that will discourage
people from coming and saying: "your Christian faith seems
incomprehensibly stupid to me" (for example), or "the crazy
English always fall down the stairs", or whatever.
Since ultimately enforcing whatever policy ends up in just the same
organisers making a decision, I'd prefer -much- less specificity
in a casuistic set of rules. Those would proscribe those genuinely
awful things that are within the range of plausibility
and are not acceptable, without accidentally forbidding normal,
robust, wide-ranging discourse over say fourty or fifty shades
Plugged away at tooling.
Up early, breakfast with the babes - turns out that, after a
year of thinking I was 35, today is my 35'th Birthday - perhaps that's
good news. An assortment of tools, plastic-printing related goodies,
and obligatory socks.
Triaged mail quickly, booked the day off, call with Kendy.
Out on an extensive shopping trip: glass merchant, electricians,
plumbers, garden centre etc.
Off to Falmouth St' to scrub mould from the house for sale,
not ventilating the place: a bad idea. Removed cruft from the loft
etc. Home - pottered around attaching mirror'd glass to an (as yet
to be heated) bed, and adjusting the Y axis variously.
Toilet filling mechanism re-plumbing action; spent much of
the afternoon poking at repsnapper advancing the multi-machine
settings support and trying to re-netbook-compress the GUI.
Out in the evening to Pizza Express with the lovely wife,
Sandy kindly baby-sitting.
Up early, off to NCC dug into the text variously.
Progenitor B's day (or is it A?), RIP Fatherhood. Home for a chunky
pork roast. Slept while babes to James' party.
Ate tea with them, read stories, and watched LOTR #2 part
one with H. and J.
Up early, E's party preparations today. Strung up flags in the
garden, scrubbed the climbing equipment too; considered party games etc.
Influx of large number of fun-sized people, and parents. Much
fun, weather: clement, competitive pass-the-parcel playing etc.
Cleared everything away, tea, put most babes to bed. Back to
Daniel 7 until late at night.
Up early; chewed mail, patch review, more work on perl tooling,
fun. Slogged away at that cheerfully. James & Kate over for lunch
and a lovely afternoon together, played an ad-hoc violin / piano duet
with James, enjoyed their lovely presents; got to understand Chinese a
bit better: no tenses eg. good.
Dinner, put babes to bed - back to work, more scripting action.
Worked away in the evening at Daniel 7 take #2.
Up early, E's fourth birthday - presents at breakfast, fun.
To work, chewed mail, filed a random gdb
issue, amused and pleased while filing to see a suggested potential
Message "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that." should be removed
marked WONTFIX - neat (but unrelated).
Misc. admin, lunch, more re-basing during team call.
Call with Vojtech, wrestled with purchasing system, breakfast.
Mail chew, more auditing and rebasing work, misc. patch review.
Call with Bjoern, Board call, interview alongside Charles with
FLOSS weekly - rather an
unusual and interesting format.
Worked away researching Daniel 7, Revelation 13 and more for
a sermon this Sunday, fascinating.
Up early, mail chew, built ESC bug metrics. Sync. with Matus.
Got my windows build going again, it seems restoring the previous config
and running a plain VirtualBox command without a path to a vbox file
Lots of code auditing and incremental rebasing; Lydia over
for dinner, worked late.
Up early, music practices with the girls, packed them
off to school, to work. Sync with Norbert, chewed mail etc.
Wrote status report, did more admin, filed LinuxTag expenses.
Fixed an annoying 3.6 presenter console bug. Lunch,
poked at misc. other bugs. Wondered who was using the noisy
machinery outside all day, annyoing.
Struggled variously with reprap softare & hardware
in the evening, call with Father, bed.
Up lateish; off to NCC, Tony spoke on Philippians.
. Home for lunch, bid 'bye to Leanne,
practised some singing in Harmony with H. and N. - lovely.
Played fighting games with M. and N. variously.
Dinner, put babes to bed - bit of python / game programming
with H. call with M&D, bed early.
Up lateish; J. out, chewed mail quickly. Babes arrived
back. Pottered around until lunch time. J. and Leanne out into
Bury St Edmonds.
Entertained little girls, more cycling training with
E. and M. in the road - a little progress.
Poked at FreeCad
and after a lot of random frustration managed to get something
like what H. needs to replace her broken light grip modelled
Mail, admin, posted ESC minutes, amazed at the unsual suspect's
uninformed backlash to RedHat's (to my mind) rather sensible approach to
the (horribly problematic) UEFI / secure boot issue. Of course, it'd be deeply
preferable to have eg. the well resourced Linux Foundation, or similar body
step in and run a signing program and evangelise it instead IMHO, but if
they or similar others don't want to do that, this like the next least-bad
thing to me. I'm rather impressed by the progress made by Matthew on this
front to safeguard users' ability to choose to manage their own keys.
Dug at holiday entitlement - some kind HR person reminded us
suitably in advance of loosing it: neato. Chewed through perl scripts
& auditing work. Chat with Kris, dug through VCL meta-files funkiness
Read the new corporate expense policy; apparently sticking reciepts
to A4 sheets is now fashionable instead of stapling them together.
Spent a while threading my git blame double checker, somehow
spawning 16 git's in parallel works really nicely on an 8 CPU machine,
great to do thirty minutes of work in under five.
Talked with Leanne & J. until late, missing H. out for
a sleep-over with Charlotte.
Up earlyish, to work, sync. with Norbert, chewed mail - added
bugzilla components etc. Patch review, etc. worked away at some careful
auditing all day.
Poked at git tags as notes; wow git notes are unpleasant to
use, merging (non-conflicting) changes with others is really non-intuitive,
git notes show can't show the note text easily, etc. etc.
Had Dave & Emily, Kerry & Cathy over for dinner,
Chewed mail, several days of catch-up. Call with Vojtech,
knocked up bug stats for ESC call. Looked over Matus' nice work with
Telepathy / Collaboration.
It seems that Riccardo did a nice bootchart-2.14.4
release with misc. fixes and python3 support. I suspect that systemd
makes bootchart2 increasingly pointless by booting fast enough, becoming
ubiquitous and by having built-in charting.
Pleased to see Brennan Vincent's Google Summer of Code project,
as well mentored by Fridrich, and Valek, and their blog entry showing off
the Microsoft Publisher import - which seems to be going well thus far:
Nice to see the LibreOffice 3.7 feature pipeline starting, as the 3.6
Lunch, Laura over - analysed some stats, call with Norbert.
Out for a run, dinner, Janice & Lydia over for a call, talked to
Leanne (who is staying for a bit), bed.
Up, scrambled egg for Breakfast, got sucked into Four Days
in June rather a gripping account of the Battle of Waterloo.
Out to the substantial tent for the Jubilee 'Street Party' on
the warren - fine food, interesting company, what a celebration etc.
Helped to pack everything away in the afternoon.
Drove home, potted around machining the brass heater block,
mounting it etc. in the evening; bed early.
Packed, off to Bruce & Anne's via West Suffolk Hospital
for an anti-tetanus shot; how long can one twenty second injection
consume in paperwork and waiting ? hacked in the waiting room for a
On to B&A's for a fine lunch; played machining brass in
the workshop for a bit - discovered that my tap set is not tapered
enough, which no doubt is a large part of one problem there.
Bit of work in the afternoon, closing out misc. issues
for the 3.6 feature freeze today.
Up early, kindly given a lift to Church by Jackie & Peter.
Played the violin & latterly the guitar variously; fun. Claire spoke
on stealing & covetousness.
Home for lunch, re-hash of the movie, poked at machining some
brass - with mixed success - drilling sub-mm holes through larger ones
at an angle is a great way to break small drills; you can try drilling
the small ones first, but drilling through them tends to annoyingly
J. arrived back to much applause; bathed babes, tea; bed.
Up earlyish, bid 'bye to Rob & Ilona. J. already left to
Brighton. Spent time with the babes, disassembled washing machine to
mend inadequate plastic spring backing the start button; unfortunately
fell down the back step and into a bag of firewood (contining some
nice rusty nails) and got a fine puncture wound to the right thumb
Lunch with four babes, out into town to admire their work
displayed at the library and get 'Monsters vs. Aliens' for them
to watch. Met a chap 'Mike' distributing Jack Chick pamphlets, it's
been a while since I met one of those. Played in the playground with
Back home, watched movie, lasagne tea, put them to bed,
exhausted myself - how does J. do it ?
Up lateish, great news from Google around
copyrightability - no doubt the GNU Classpath & Wine guys will
be celebrating tonight.
Posted the ESC
minutes lots of nice features racing the feature-freeze just now,
everyone rather busy. Tor and Iain seem to be making good progress with the
Android viewer tangles too, encouragingly. Quick call with Mike.
Claire over to interview J. in the evening; Rob & Ilona popped
in to stay for the night, checked out their flashy new car. Nice to catch
up with Ilona until late.
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 SUSE, Novell, The
Document Foundation, Spaghetti Hurlers (International), or anyone else.
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)