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
Up early, off to the local CofE church for the Easter service,
a queue to get in 10 minutes before the start - not seen it so packed in
recent memory; wedged into the childrens area. Back for an easter-egg hunt
in the garden, followed by a fine roast lamb
lunch. Out to sizewell beach with the babes, and attempted to build a bridge
to the Netherlands from drift-wood; not a great success - but an interesting
engineering challenge with the babes; got rather wet. Home for tea.
Up earlyish, cooked breakfast, spent a while getting Anne's
new Windows 8 computer setup - a very encouraging process: a pretty
terrible out-of-box experience, first-time setup flow crashed after
completion with part of it's work done (eg. Microsoft Account creation),
and part not done (eg. stopping the wizard from re-running on next boot).
Tons of frustration, re-entering of data, appalling usability glitches
all over the shop. One example would be installing and paying for the
MS Office 2013 download (sadly bought by my in-laws in a moment of
absent-mindedness); the install flow had whole minutes with no visible
indication that anything was going on - no visible window, hunting
through task-bars, process-managers etc. revealed nothing - before up
it would pop - 50 minutes to download something that could/should have
been pre-loaded Free Software: sad, yet marginally encouraging. From a
usability perspective, there are very significant regressions from the
apparent use of a bespoke clutter-style toolkit for things like text
entries. Trying to explain to an experienced user that yes 'To' and 'Cc'
have a nice rectangular surround denoting a field, but 'Subject' and
mail body appear ethereally dis-connected from everything and are
(apparently) an insensitive-grey-color but yet can be clicked was
interesting. Also vanishing scroll-bars on a screen with plenty of
pixel-estate for them lead to: "where did the top of my E-mail go,
and how can I get it back", sad.
Up earlyish, packed off to Bruce & Anne's for an Easter
break. Arrived, unpacked - slugged variously inside while it snowed
Up, mail chew, poked at stats generation variously. Call with
Karl about the upcoming edition of his book, ESC call, Vojtech's staff.
3.8 released, and looking forward to updating to openSUSE 12.3 after Easter as
Up early, chewed mail. Document Freedom Day today - free
your documents ! Of course, if you're a GNU/Linux user you're prolly doing
well here already by using ODF & LibreOffice.
Early lunch, partner call, fixed button group navigation, made
logerrit setup rather more automated. Lunch, worked until
cell group, bed late.
Up early, mail chew, code reading around a new feature or
two, built ESC bug metrics. Plugged away at bugs, patch review etc.
Added more code pointers etc. to our Google Summer of Code Ideas
page to flesh out some tasks a little better.
Lydia & Janice over for dinner, worked late on misc.
Up early; mail chew, patch review - great to see lots of good
work happened over the weekend. Up-loaded
from my talk in Budapest. Poked at Javier's nice python / wizard porting
work. Lunch. More hackery, call with Jan, Kendy, Thorsten. Dinner, read
stories to babes, worked late while Laura gave input on improving the
house saleability in photos to J.
Off to NCC, Tony spoke well on the last of fourty acts. Home
for a fine roast-lamb lunch, out to play snow-balling outside at some
length; Back inside to get warm, bid 'bye to Dave; sat by the fire
trying to burn through the back-log of accumulated firewood before
moving. Bit of workshop tidying, bed early.
Up earlyish, out for music group practise at NCC; returned
to meet up with David over for the weekend; good to catch up.
Snowing outside, so slugged variously inside - lunch - jigsaw
puzzling while babes watched a movie. Scratch programming with
H. and N. before bed; stayed up enjoying the company by the fire.
Up late; mail chew, lunch, more mail chew - a big backlog of
good things going on left & right it seems. Lunch. More mail chew,
bits of admin. Chased a bug much of the afternoon.
Up early; quick breakfast with Andras, off to the venue -
lots of hacker types around the place. Arrived, unpacked, chewed
mail quickly, finished slides - insert Florian's photo. Gave his
talk (in absentia) with some of mine slides tacked-on. Gave my talk
and some demos of the latest fun things, back to the booth. Hybrid PDFs
with slides for Florian's talk are here, and my talk:
Talked with various passing people, wrote a status report. Fixed a
silly with rsc producing random heap garbage in it's output, caught
up with Krisztian Pinter. Out for dinner with the lads, before being
kindly dropped back to the airport by Andras.
Up early, train to airport chat with Vojtech, plane etc.
to Budapest - wrote slides. Zsolt kindly gave me a lift to the
office, caught up with Andras & Miklos. Presented to the
SUSE / Hungarian sales team - a great set of guys to get your
LibreOffice / NOWS / any support from. Out for a fine dinner
with A. & M., and back to A's home for some mail chew
Up early, intense music practise with the older babes for
their exam today. Built ESC bug stats, back to calc hackery. Got
some demos going for Thursday. Bible study with Dave in the evening.
Up early, mail chew. Did some fruitful digging through the
calc core - lots of interesting stuff there, got working on some
grouping optimisations; plugged away most of the day at that.
Steve over in the evening to have (his) Windows 7
installed: Linux "too technical" - meaning he couldn't install
Windows software easily: fair enough. Worked late.
Up late, off to NCC, did the kids work downstairs - which was
fun, great to meet some of the new people in the Church. Home for a fine
roast beef + yorkshire pudding lunch. Tidied up.
Read the Economist, some house prettification, significantly
cleaned up the workshop with a new tool-rack; mended H's bedside
reading lamp with a new (wooden) grip.
Up earlyish; drove into Cambridge, bus from the park & ride;
took the whole family to the Cambridge
Science Festival which was fantastic as normal. Went with Helena, James & Rose,
note to self: don't mention any side-effects of a medication for which your friend
is the corporate a lawyer (created an un-necessary trip to work to log it at the weekend).
Great to see Simon Scott and family there enjoying things, meet some
Raspberry Pi enthusiasts, see a series of amazing experiments, and simply
extraordinary detail on things like ATP
synthase - self assembling electro-mechanical machines: your body has
it all by the billion.
Lunch at Pizza Express, back for more goodness; home in the evening,
babes to bed; watched the midwife serial of the day.
Quick mail chew, dug at PDF oddness. Back to style chasing,
plugged away at the brokenness, re-factoring here and there - eventually
got something I'm happier with. Worked late. Bed early.
Dug through mail, poked at styles some more - wrote a unit
test to get my head around the problems. Meetings: Team, ESC etc.
back to styles, finally removed all the
relics. More scratch hacking with H. and N. in the evening.
Nice interview from Jon at ArsTechnica on
LibreOffice / Android
glory hounds / GSOC students apply within.
Up early, chewed mail, wedged my kernel thrice with oprofile
before giving up - hmm. Chewed at a particularly annoying issue around
styles. Couple of interviews. Worked late chasing a regression.
Up early, chewed mail; thrilled to see that an awesome member
of our community: David Ostrovsky has fixed up my somewhat lame library
dependency graphing tool and turned it into a cleaner module graph (modules
can contain several libraries). That starts to look beautiful, and useful
for learning the structure of the code (thanks David):
Sync. with Kendy, built ESC bug stats, wrote a LXF column.
Merged Jack's liblibreoffice work to master and did some testing, knocked
up some sample code, partner call.
Lydia over for dinner, Bible study with Dave in the evening.
Up early, mail chew, more mail chew - what a day; tons of
patches going in over the weekend - most encouraging. Fixed an
impress remote bug.
Christian published the lovely (now sub-titled) video
created by my lovely wife on how to setup the Android Remote for
LibreOffice 4.0.1, checkout the howto
page, and/or the video:
Plugged away at some code reading & design, feeling
rather groggy, some caulking, cutting up of scrap firewood, bed
Up earlyish; breakfast - off to church at St Peter &
St. Paul's - met Sandy
Millar there in passing, what a parishoner to have. Back for lunch.
Packed sofa & two chairs into the van, drove them home, and
mavouevered them variously on-end, on M's skateboard. Took an older sofa
to Maria's, dropped the van back. Home, tea, put babes to bed, sleep.
Up lateish, breakfast, hired a van and drove to Bruce &
Anne's lousy weather - played 'scratch' with H. and N. to much
excitement in the afternoon (a great programming / learning
environment). More applied slugging indoors, fine food, rest.
Up early, mail chew, misc. analysis, patch review etc.
Installed openSUSE 12.3 on Steve's laptop in the evening - after
he had got to the end of his tether with Windows 8 and managed to
burn some recovery-DVDs. It seems that even the UEFI BIOS managed
to boot Linux if there truly was nothing else on the machine; good.
Had to switch to GNOME / fallback-mode to avoid 3D driver bugs (to
To school to accompany M. in the music assembly, back; mail chew.
Meetings all afternoon as normal, team, ESC, Vojtech. Worked late.
Mail chew; dug around at module deps some more, rather addictive
producing pretty graphs, will have to drop it now. master's 'make dump-deps'
produces graphviz output by using the new gnumake work that renders:
There are some interesting things to note here:
- The bottom is very wide - tons of pieces of code depend only on
cppuhelper (and usually some external libraries which are elided in the graph);
that means there are a good number of 'pure' UNO components in use. Naturally
there are lots of run-time dependencies on this lot, but they are broken by
- Looking a little higher up, some components use 'comphelper' - a
richer set of UNO component helpers also provides enough for another large set
- While the picture is a little crazy - many of these libraries being
required nearly permanently, gnumake also enables a 'merged-lib' mode of building
where we compact very many of these libraries into a single object.
- There is a lot of nice prettification
possible though for anyone interested in a little hacking
and no doubt some debugging of perl.
Booked a flight to speak at a ComputerWorld conference in Hungary
21st March. Good to get 4.0.1 out
with 120+ bug fixes and more - including some great CMIS and Android Remote
Picked M. up from Beavers - her first time; cell group in the evening.
Up early; mail chew, fixed a nasty with PNG reading, built ESC bug
stats etc. Jack Leigh came over for lunch, poked at some prototype
liblibreoffice pieces together during the afternoon.
Worked late; by playing with custom runs of make, encouraged it to
spit out enough data to turn into a nice (prototype) graphvis dump of our current
inter-dependencies for the soffice.bin executable at least; good.
Up early, mail chew, crunched some stats, reviewed and merged lots of
patches queued over the weekend. Poked Richard's copy-left-next project which
looks rather interesting.
Ciaran over in the evening, while J. had a meeting.
Off to NCC, band practise; played; Tony spoke. Back for a roast
chicken lunch. Out into Cambridge to visit Grace Church - and to see
what they're up to. Accidentally crashed their 1st year anniversary service
+ meal; had a great time.
Intrigued to see the results
of ABS treatment with Acetone vapour, I wonder if there is an equivalent PLA solvent
to avoid the horror ABS smell / warping issues.
Back to put babes to bed; spent time piecing together
Cambridge school catchement areas on a map.
Up late; more house tidying, spent a while wielding the polyfilla
at every available imperfection in the plaster-work while E. and M. went
to a party with J. Lunch. Much applied slugging in the afternoon.
It feels like there ought to be more days in February. Mail
chew, read and tested dictionaries and spell-checkers variously.
Misc. patch review. Out into Cambridge to visit a consultant - positive
Dug through conferences and travel opportunities variously.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)