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gravityboy's Journal
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Input Hotplug Guide

gravityboy's Journal - Sat, 18/04/2009 - 9:58pm
There's been a lot of questions about the new input system (referred to as "input-hotplug" or "i-h") that we've enabled in the latest X upload. Questions range from "how do I configure my keyboard now?" to "why are you making me install all this other stuff I didn't have before?" While the XSF has been dealing mainly with bug triage for the software itself, we've also been wanting some documentation on the system so people can understand it.

How To Follow Major X Issues In Unstable

gravityboy's Journal - Mon, 13/04/2009 - 12:32am
It's been a long time since I've done any reasonable work on X stuff, so it's also been a long time since I've blogged. But Julien and Brice just finished off the major task of getting 7.4 in to unstable, and I've been trying to help out with some of the inevitable fallout from that. Overall, the transition has been relatively smooth, although we've had a few major classes of bugs that have popped up.

I Didn't Think I'd Ever Be Celebrating This Victory

gravityboy's Journal - Fri, 19/09/2008 - 4:58pm
This is a wonderful day. The various non-free bits of X donated by SGI have, thanks to the efforts of those at the FSF, been relicensed under the MIT/X11 license. Congratulations to the FSF for pushing this very difficult task through. I've been told numerous times whenever I tried to take a stab at the issue that it was "tilting at windmills," but the FSF persevered and made the impossible happen.

Goings On

gravityboy's Journal - Wed, 16/07/2008 - 3:21pm
I've been rather disconnected lately, trying to finish my PhD, find a job, etc. I got permission from my committee to start writing my thesis a few weeks ago, so I've been trying to get that in gear, as well as finishing up data for publication. This should all be done by November, if all goes well, so I can get back to spending more time on the things that I love.

Things To Do When You're Busy Trying To Graduate

gravityboy's Journal - Thu, 26/06/2008 - 12:35am
I've been too busy to do any serious free software work lately, but here's my "low time commitment TODO list":
  1. Give xconq some serious love. That includes bugfixes, updating to the new tk, and a total repackaging with more standardized methods.

  2. Write more docs for X. I think we badly need a simple well integrated user's guide, followed by better high and low level internals documentation.

The Cognitive Load Of Web Development

gravityboy's Journal - Sat, 07/06/2008 - 6:55pm
The most dynamic segment of the software industry that I'm aware of is web programming. Flamewars rage about frameworks and browsers and standards and whatnot, and the openness of the whole thing feels like some of the things that made me fall in love with computing as a whole and Free Software in particular. The problem with all that openness is that it's rather difficult to navigate. Aside from the obvious issues with browser incompatibilities, there's an enormous amount of software solutions on the server side, spanning languages, libraries, and frameworks.

Ruby Stuff

gravityboy's Journal - Sat, 31/05/2008 - 3:09pm
So Avi Bryant finally showed off the work he's been doing with the Gemstone folks at Railsconf, and it's made quite a splash. With performance improvements like that it shouldn't be a surprise. The most interesting thing about it to me though is that it's the first time in a very long while that we've seen a proprietary implementation of a major tool absolutely destroy all the Free implementations.

Card Games

gravityboy's Journal - Mon, 26/05/2008 - 10:17pm
A few months back, keithp introduced me to Treehouse/Icehouse as a generic system for gaming, like playing cards. Recently I realized that I didn't actually know many card games, and most of those that I did know I'd forgotten long ago. So today I spent a good chunk of the afternoon learning a few new games and playing them.

Upside Down

gravityboy's Journal - Sun, 04/05/2008 - 11:55pm
Things have been strange lately. I've been taking an official indefinite vacation from Debian due to real life priorities making it impossible to participate in the project at the level that I want, which just led to frustration. Mainly, I just haven't had the time to work on X properly, so I'm leaving it to the rest of the XSF for a while. This makes me sad, but they've grown in to a fantastic team so I know they'll keep doing a killer job while I'm away.

Little Things

gravityboy's Journal - Mon, 24/03/2008 - 11:50pm
Still putting most all of my brain and time in to trying to graduate. This has left me shockingly little time for things like working on Debian.

Part of the reason why I haven't been working on more visible things (X, Debian) is that I haven't had the solid blocks of time to devote to reading email. I think I need to unsubscribe from all but two or three lists so I don't end up paralyzed by the email onslaught the way I am now. I need to get back to slinging code.

Random Bits

gravityboy's Journal - Sat, 15/03/2008 - 6:01pm
I've been extremely busy with labwork lately, trying to get a second paper ready for submission in the coming months. It's taken an obvious toll on my free software work, but that's life I guess. The upside is that the other night I realized why a year and half's worth of experiments kept turning up with negative results that seemed to contradict our other results. It turns out that this experiment was conceptually flawed, and even though I wasted a year and a half on this I did learn something even from those negative results that should go in to the final paper.

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