Got a Linksys WRT54G? You’re the proud owner of Disruptive
Technology
! Don’t have one yet? Here’s a buyer’s
guide
to the hardware versions available.

The vestiges of community work on alternative firmware images is pretty h0rked
though. Between basic misunderstandings about licensing and a propsensity for
flamewars, there’s basically no really cool stuff happening. (I still
can’t understand the oft-spun yet entirely idiotic claim that flamewars in FOSS
communities are ‘healthy’.) The most promising projects so far are EWRT, OpenWRT and the almost-maybe-half-open
Sveasoft firmware releases.

Fun hardware to hack on though!

28 Simple (and not so simple) Things to Improve in GNOME 2.8

In one of the strangest acts of delegation I’ve seen in GNOME to date, Jonathan asked me to publish a list of Cool GNOME Hacks, originally authored by a secret keiretsu of Ximian and Red Hat hackers — ten in all, the usual names — who met in Boston recently.

I get the distinct impression that I’ve been marked for secretarial work… Anyway, this is a righteous list — put your hack pants on and check it out!

  1. Add a preview widget to the file selector for the ‘Select a background’ option in the Terminal’s property page. Bonus points for other notable file selectors (hint: Desktop Background).

  2. After selecting files in Nautilus, and hitting the Run Dialog keyboard shortcut, bring up the Open With dialog.

  3. Let anything be deleted if dragged to the trash… Applets, toolbar icons, anything!

  4. Then create a Trash applet or figure out more clever scheme so that the trash is never obscured by windows (much like the Trash on the dock in OS X).

  5. Change the drag icons throughout GNOME to be the actual item being dragged, and leave a ghost behind. Starts with Nautilus, but could be extended elsewhere. (The HIG would need updating for this, too.)

  6. Transparent DnD cursor for item (needs GTK+ work).

  7. Update GTK+ drag icons. There are two patches sent to the list to update this — pick one.

  8. Create a per-panel “Configure Panel” dialog instead of menu.

  9. Remove gnome-panel-properties global dialog — all 3 options!

  10. Session Properties dialog clean up.

  11. Put current session information in gnome-system-monitor.

  12. Connect to server dialog cleanup.

  13. Per-directory view hidden-files support in Nautilus (see nautilus-list for recent posts about this).

  14. .hidden file support in gnome-vfs file chooser backend.

  15. Make sure that the file chooser is used everywhere.

  16. Sanitize volume control throughout GNOME.

  17. Drag sftp links to desktop and have them work!

  18. Clean up the launcher properties dialog in gnome-panel.

  19. Add a command line option to nautilus to bring up a folder with certain files selected.

  20. Quick launch dialog (like Launch Bar on OS X).

  21. Update location dialog in Nautilus to use GtkEntryCompletion.

  22. Move ‘Connect to Server’ to the “actions” menu.

  23. Change the default background image.

  24. Modify the Background, Font, and Theme dialogs all to have a similar look’n’feel.

  25. Get one of the Menu stripe patches (from Sun, Ximian and maybe others) into gnome-panel, but turn it off by default.

  26. Either kill the shell in gnome-control-center, or take the Ximian one and fix it. Either way, the preferences:/// uri in nautilus has to go.

  27. Go on a frame shadow fixing streak through GNOME. The obvious offender is the ‘find file’ dialog, but there are more.

  28. Logout dialog needs cleaning up. People have been interested in binding it to C-A-Delete. Additionally, looking into user-switching would be good. (Ed: James Cape is hacking on this.)

Haven’t wet your pants over the AdTI (Alexis de Tocqueville Institution) paper,
Samizdat, yet? Martin Pool has written a thorough analysis on his
blog, along with some humourous background. Google-say AdTI!

Steven Garrity’s blog was the
inspiration for my Planet
subscription keywords hack. I read an article about GNOME on his site a while
back, noticed that he had a search box, and found all his previous articles
about GNOME. Disappointed that I couldn’t subscribe to the results of my
query, I realised I could do the same thing with Planet after a little
hackery. Rocking.

But that’s not the important bit!

Today, Steven proposed
a GNOME Outliner
application, which looks very much like a beefed up figment. One of the
commenters points out Mike Taht has already started beefing it
up
.

Outliners are way cool. Have a read of Steven’s GNOME Outliner spec.

Homework for Mary

Mary is taking Spanish
lessons
but finding it tough because there’s very little in the way of
daily exposure to Spanish here in Australia. This morning, while dreaming, I
concocted a plan for her educational salvation (and advancement of Free
Software in general, as a cunning side-effect)!

  • Read Barrapunto every day instead of
    Slashdot.
  • Chatter with the Spanish GNOME hackers on #gnome-hispano on irc.gnome.org,
    or one of their mailing
    lists
    .
  • Jump on Hispalinux IRC and mailing
    lists.
  • Change your system locale to es_ES.UTF-8. GNOME has a first-class Spanish
    translation.
  • Visit all the GNOMies in Spain when you get there!

Herbert’s resignation demonstrates why GNOME doesn’t ship flags at all. Herbert is a reasonable guy, who lives only a few kilometres away from me in Sydney, and happens to have a more personal, deeply-held perspective on the China/Taiwan issue than many of us. I guess I don’t share his belief, but it should not affect our shared vision here — the progress of Free Software.

If your Free Software project only has a single, global release — and that’s pretty much all of us — you should strongly advocate the removal of flags and other national symbols. These are not logical right-and-wrong debates. They’re personally and nationally held beliefs that we simply can’t solve as Free Software contributors.

Live on, fight the battles you can win.

Computer World gives GNOME the thumbs up: “But I’m finding that Linux, especially with GNOME, is a lot more user friendly than the Unix I remember. [...] There are probably people in your organization right now who could become more productive with Linux and GNOME on their desktop. Maybe you need to find out more about it.”

IBM is expanding their Linux Technology Centre in Canberra. More geeks in our capital city is a good thing.

Hooray, Tridge is toking the LDAP pipe! First things I think about when hearing this are Evolution and GPE“As many of you know Samba now has a new database system called ‘ldb’. ldb is like a half-way house between LDAP and tdb. [...] Of course, ldb can already act as a front-end to LDAP, presenting a LDAP database via the ldb API, so admins will have a number of flexible options for how to configure Samba.”

Both Luis and Seth found this summary of Fedora’s first year worth pointing out. When Fedora was first announced, I was so excited – I thought Red Hat had their strategy sorted, and were going to roll out the project like a blitzkrieg red carpet… But it seems they’re still struggling. I hope they can pull it off.

I only have a few name-clones around the web, and I certainly have the best Google-juice of the lot, but here’s one particularly surprising Jeff Waugh I found on Google Images. A beefy afro-american footballer… If he’s not Bizarro me, I don’t know who is. Hi, Jeff!

In February, the ACS came out with a hasty and ill-conceived response to the US/Australia Trade Agreement, but has come to its senses after consulting with the OSEG crew. The Australian picked this up with ACS flip-flops on FTA. Hopefully a bit of PR stick will encourage them to be more informed next time.