15 Jan 2003

Sarcastic Elitism and GARNOME

mbp and mjs commented on one of my less humourous posts on the GARNOME mailing list. Bummer that mjs seems to have taken it out of context.

On one hand, “it’s my project and I’ll post how I want to”. On the other hand, no other mailing list inspires this level of sarcasm from me (or elitism, but I’d disagree with that anyway)… I never wanted to be a sarcastic elitist, but here I am. :-)

So, what is it about garnome-list that inspires this madness? I’ve joked for a while now that I built it (blindly and stupidly) without realising its appeal to the one audience I wanted nothing to do with, let alone assist: LFS, Gentoo and Slackware users (I’ll leave my discussion about this lot for another time). It also appeals to mostly-non-technical, non-contribution and non-testing oriented people who just want the coolest new thing. You can choose your projects, but you can’t choose your users.

The point behind GARNOME was to provide a build harness for GNOME, so that testers could have easier access to the most recently released code. It has succeeded enormously in that role, which is great. But it has also brought pain and horror with it.

Thankfully, next month I start on a new project that will render GARNOME (as it currently stands) obselete, thoroughly please all of my good users (who care about testing), and thoroughly piss off all of the annoying ones (who only care about the act of compiling software – I shit you not). Rock on. :-)


I’m so glad that GNOME isn’t as much of a pain in the arse as GARNOME. :-)

12 Jan 2003

The XFree86 Discussion

I mailed mharris, Jim Gettys and the GNOME Foundation Board [1] to offer my time to set up bugzilla for XFree86.org again. There’s no lack of machine or bandwidth – just interest and elbow-grease.


We’re on the final lap to the GNOME 2.2 Desktop release, with RC1 coming out today. There have been a few worries about some modules, but it all seems to be pretty good right now. No huge standout bugs, but still quite a bit to fix.

It will be great to get this release out of the way – some modules have already branched for 2.4, and there are already a few new, useful and stable modules ready to roll – check out fontilus, nautilus-cd-burner and nautilus-rpm if you’re keen.

[1] I’m now a member of the GNOME Foundation Board. The first two conference calls have been interesting, mostly because they’re very different to release team conference calls. It’s not quite as… action oriented, so it feels a kind of stuffy and even shrewdly politic at times.

It may sound strange, but the board is almost in the same position as “GNOME 2.0″ back when I started on the release team… not really getting a lot done, or going to new places fast. That sounds unfair, but most of the board members from last year would probably agree. It was successful, but a bit quiet. Perhaps it’s another opportunity to blow the doors and windows out of a jammed process. It’s certainly going to be an interesting year, anyway.


Argh! So close I can taste it. Bdale will be in Sydney next week, hanging out at SLUG’s Debian SIG; I’ll by flying to Perth with Pipka on the Sunday. My talk is on the last day, and I’m fairly pleased with the scheduling. It’s just a bummer that I’ll miss out on mbp and malcolm‘s talks – they’re both good speakers with interesting topics. GAR! Of course, you should see my talk anyway. ;-)

We’ll be taking along the new SLUG DV camera, for vox-pops and interview purposes – we’ll probably video some talks too, if the speakers and organisers let us. Watch out!


So I’ve “met the parents”, and they rock. Pipka’s sister came back from a year in Denmark this weekend, so now I’ve met everyone – including the two wildly different grand-mothers. Pipka has had a very different family life to mine; parents still together, good friendships with siblings (I’m an only child – couldn’t you tell?), and a lot of love to share around.

We went down to Yass to have a family Christmas, attempted to attack her parents with massive water-squirters (but they teamed up with a hose and kicked our butts), and went shooting on ‘The Farm’. I haven’t had any practice recently, but did quite well. They’ll probably make us shoot things that bleed next time. Ugh. Never really enjoyed that.

I started seeing my Dad again, and left a message on Mum’s answering machine on Christmas day… I’m definitely under the influence.