So, we’ve been joking for ages about putting ‘branded’ hackergotchi icons up
on Planet GNOME, for a day’s irony-riddled prank value. However, I get the
impression that this new I am “campaign” was borne more of a sugary
sweetness-like-corn-syrup
than gonzo-style sweetness-and-light
:-)

The above link has a very U.S. oriented analysis of corn syrup, by
the way. The rest of the world mostly uses real sugar. The corn subsidies
are a huge problem
for the U.S., another corporate-interest travesty.

Who you gonna call?

So there was some joking around on IRC about XUL and Ghostbusters… Without
any reflection on ZUUL being the ultimate enemy, just that XUL was a cool
name. ;-) But it reminded me of a thought I had during
the meeting
, when the word was being thrown around a lot…

We’re crossing the streams. We’re crossing the streams!

Egon: I have a radical idea. The door swings both ways. We could
reverse the particle flow through the gate.

Peter: How?

Egon: We'll cross the streams.

Peter: Excuse me, Egon, you said crossing the streams was bad.

Ray: Cross the streams...

Peter: You're gonna endanger us, you're gonna endanger our client.
The nice lady who paid us in advance before she became a dog.

Egon: Not necessarily. There's definitely a very slim chance we'll
survive.

Peter: I love this plan! I'm excited to be a part of it. Let's do
it!

Winston: This job is definitely not worth eleven-five a year!

Egon: Hurry!

Peter: See you on the other side, Ray.

Ray: Nice working with you, Dr. Venkman.

And for the record, I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it. Let’s
do it!

So, I get the impression that Sun’s own human metal
grinder
, Jonathan Schwartz, has been knocking back the bong water with his
new pal Spliffy, the OpenOffice.org
in Education project mascot
. Sun’s new President and Chief Operating
Officer has “called Red Hat ‘a proprietary Linux distribution [and]
enterprise customers will find ‘better Linux compatibility by shifting over to
Solaris rather than sticking with Red Hat Linux.'”

The precocious little snitch is right. Pull your finger out and put
your code into something modern. Like a safety deposit box in Zurich.
At least that’ll keep her skanky mitts off it. *click!*

Putting out another call for hackergotchi heads, if anyone’s
inspired to bring out The GIMP… We’re missing heads for: Marco, Rodo,
Rodney Dawes, Jordi Mallach, Julien Moutte, Shaun McCance, Matthew Garrett,
Mariano, Danilo, Christopher Blizzard, Kristian Reitveld and Bryan Forbes.
The standard image size is around 65×85 pixels, usually on the smaller side.

Work and "Play"

I figured I’d blog about my trip to the UK pretty quickly after coming home,
but I had a quadruple-knockout-punch of vicious jetlag, mental exhaustion,
seething inspiration and a small dose of niggling fear. Messily intertwined
and difficult to resolve, as always. The last few weeks have not been kind
to anyone hanging on items in my todo list.

I was in the UK for the first face-to-face meeting of a new company I’ve
agreed to join. As soon as my contract is finalised, I will announce this
change of affiliation to the Foundation. Although it’s not required, I think
this is the right thing for any Board member to do, should they change their
employment status mid-term. Foundation members deserve to know, and we have
important by-laws regulating affiliations (even though Board members do not
represent the companies they work for).

The small dose of fear is due to an intermingling of two previously separate
areas of my life: Work and Play. Although this new job will only be
tangentially related to GNOME (at least to begin with), it will certainly be
active in the greater Free Software community, which is where I spend a fair
chunk of my “play” time. Of course, I take my play time quite seriously…

So there’s a lot of personal and professional interplay between these roles,
and not just in the short term. I want to get it all Just Right, but where I
don’t, I want to recover gracefully. :-) If nothing else, I’m lapping up the
challenge.

Crazy linkage action!

  • Bob Metcalfe on The Visionary Thing: “Now, to be sure, there are visionaries who don’t end up poor and bitter, or at least haven’t yet.”

  • Read some really cool articles on some email feature wishlists for high-volume mail usability. EmailUsabilityWishlist links to a discussion about how “heavy mail users use incoming mail as a to-do list and appointment tracker”. Mmmm. Another nice idea would be a “way to concatenate messages conversations with the redundant quoted material stripped out”, as suggested in The Perfect Email Program.

  • Bram contrasts recent and historical comments by Brendan Eich, for humour value. Haw haw. Meanwhile, here’s the Mozilla vision email everyone’s talking about.

  • With everyone raving on about Longhorn, competing with .NET and XAML and so on, Cringley came out with a very timely pulpit titled, The Only Way to Beat Microsoft is by Ignoring Microsoft: “The central point was that paying too much attention to Microsoft simply allows Microsoft to define the game. And when Microsoft gets to define the game, they ALWAYS win.”

  • Amused by some recent flames of the Ximian dudes, claiming that they should get off their arses and code instead of blogging all the time. But hmm, perhaps it’s true? (See jpr’s closing statement.)

  • Finally getting some personal insight into the Columbine protagonists. “Psychopaths follow much stricter behavior patterns than the rest of us because they are unfettered by conscience, living solely for their own aggrandizement.”

  • Colin Walters released his exceptional Grokking GNU Arch presentation, which is an awesome intro to the fundamentals of Arch – a globally distributed revision control system built on neatly layered simplicity. Yum.

  • Colin also released gnome-gpg, a really sweet passphrase caching agent which integrates with gnome-keyring. Very tasty. Since he has gone to work for Red Hat, I decided to keep it warm until he gets back. :-)

  • eWeek reviewed GNOME 2.6 and mentioned GARNOME again. Cool.

  • Luis knows what turns me on. He kindly pointed out this fully-working replica of the Back to the Future DeLorean. For sale on eBay. Funnily enough, Pipka recently mentioned something about wanting a new car…

“You agree to take reasonable steps to promote your presentation through means accessible to you. This includes adding your presentation to any public schedule of your teaching engagements that may be published electronically or in print. It also includes adding a link to the O’Reilly conference home page to your public web page if you maintain one.”

Fulfilling my contractural agreement (!!!) to co-promote the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), which I will be speaking at this year. I’ll give an updated version of my To The Teeth: Arming GNOME for Desktop Success talk. I think they’ve put me on at the same time as a Java Desktop System presentation…

Update: I’ve just been going through the other bios, and found that they are all stunningly serious and boring. rml likes cheese, though. I am glad we are keeping up the GNOME spirit of partying hard in the face of oppression by the politically correct (who seem to be ably represented by the French, these days).