Wednesday 19 December 2007


Before I'm leaving for France tomorrow, just wanted to let you know that, after Thomas uploaded the GUADEC 2007 videos to the FTP, I uploaded them to Google Video, the OGG-friendly video site using their automated upload tool. Thanks to IcedTea, I didn't have to go scouring the net for random Java bits.

Watch my fave video and follow the "same user" links on there to see the GUADEC vids.

Friday 7 December 2007

Remix your brain

Yesterday, I was trying to help out someone who was having problems using his Bluetooth mouse with Fedora 8. Turns out he's got a Toshiba laptop, and the Bluetooth adapter wasn't showing in Linux. You need some sucky code to get it working.

Hobbling to the ToshBT website, I noticed a PS3 theme extractor. Grand!

In between cleaning up my backlog of bugs and TODOs, I implemented setting your ~/.face as the icon for Rhythmbox' UPNP shares.

PS: Best pangram ever: Sex-charged fop blew my junk TV quiz

Wednesday 5 December 2007

Fashion victim

Something much more fun than ImageMagick security errata.

From Sam's page. Thanks Ezio :)

Monday 3 December 2007

New Totem

Mathias blogged about one new feature in Totem, the playlist sharing. This allows peer-to-peer sharing of the current playlist using libepc.

I've done 2 releases of Totem today, 2.21.3, the old-school Totem, and 2.21.4, the new Totem depending on the split totem-pl-parser.

This means I can finally commit my big patch for Rhythmbox.

Next up, the big gnokii automake patch.

Saturday 1 December 2007


I showed Thomas Ninja Gaiden, he showed me XiaoXiao. Yyya!

PS: Fun song.

Friday 30 November 2007

Podcasts in Rhythmbox

I mentioned this work a couple of times in the past. It's in Fedora Rawhide, although without the browser plugin. A screencast (as is now the tradition) speaks a thousand words.

For the people using other distros, you'll need the latest devel version of Totem, and the big patch in bugzilla.

Update: Blogger seems to have broken GIF files uploading. Don't open it in EOG. Download it, and open it in your browser. Next time, I'll upload in a format that Blogger actually accepts...

Of old age and diseases

Old age...

After doing my ankle about 6 weeks ago (trying to be all youthful rollerblading in Hyde Park), I thought I'd knackered my back on Tuesday. Turns out it was probably a knock, or a bit of muscle tenderness as it seems to have died down on its own after 2 days. When is science giving me new body parts then?

I also did my birthday dinner in London, in advance, with Mr. Burtonini, and he's feeling the old age just as well as I am: he didn't know the young band I got him a mixtape of, despite them being in the Guardian's guide 6 months ago. And it's all MP3s on there, no crummy DRM'ed audio formats.

...and diseases

Thanks to the Italian man mentioned above and his lovely (and young!) wife, I caught Ninja Gaidenitis. The game is hard as hell, but sometimes I'm a dumbass, which makes the adventure parts a bit trickier. I remember when it was just a bad Shinobi on the SMS.

I'm at level 3 after a week of play, in contrast to the great, but too easy, Ratchet and Clank which I finished in 4 days (that's not continuous gameplay by the way).

Update: My local team beats your new-age web-based communist/capitalist idea of a football team's butt.

Monday 26 November 2007


Now you just need his mother's maiden name for some old-fashioned ID theft. Thanks Danny!

Sunday 25 November 2007

New Totem feature(s)

Totem got a few new features recently, courtesy of new contributors (which is a nice thing to see).

The first one to get committed was the tracker-powered video search sidebar, by Javier Goday. Unfortunately, I don't have any nice screenshots as tracker seems to want to index everything but my videos directory.

The other one is a long standing feature request, with the patch provided by Kamil Pawlowski, adding a menu item to select a text subtitle for video files. This means you can get subtitles for your legally downloaded video files, with the typos free of charge.

Update: Everybody loves screenshots. Here's one for the video search feature:

Friday 23 November 2007

Ross is stripey!

Lapo will be happy, Ross is using his stripey icon theme!

And captured for posterity.

Thursday 22 November 2007

libgweather split

Federico was lying. Took me 25 minutes as the SVN logs can attest ;)

Shame SVN can't copy across repos, we'd have been able to carry the logs as well (yeah, I guess I should have asked...).

Wednesday 21 November 2007

Le Tango PS3 theme

The nice people at have updated their copy of the Tango theme to link to this blog, and credit me properly (thanks Jason).

I'm not too fussed about being credited as it's mostly work by the Tango artists (special mention to Jakub and Ulisse for the Sony hardware related icons) appearing (took me 2 evenings to do, still), but rather the fact that people don't get the whole story going to a resource website like that one.

No updates, no copyright information, no links to sources.

FYI, the source code is:
  • Under the GPL for icons copied from gnome-icon-theme-extras and gnome-icon-theme, as well as the background derived from gnome-backgrounds
  • Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License for the icons copied from tango-icon-theme and tango-icon-theme-extras
  • Composite icons are under the most restrictive license of the icons used as sources
  • The left-over icons are under whichever license Sony released their sample theme (unused in the final theme)
Feel free to ask for more information about specific icons. I'll also make sure to include this information in future releases (ie. when I know how to replace the missing icons).

Tuesday 20 November 2007


Richard, Matthias, no need to speculate. Just search for cancel in the gthread bugs. Redirect comments to the mailing-list posts mentioned in the bugzilla. Easy.

(I did ask that question a number of years ago for Totem)
(Matthias, I sent a mail to Richard months ago telling him his blog sucks for not allowing anonymous comments)

Making rhult happy

This morning, I committed support for MacOS X's icns icon format to GTK+, including support for the new 512x512 format from Leopard. This is useful for applications that want to port from MacOS X to GTK+, such as Handbrake, or Transmission.

Monday 19 November 2007

gnapplet support

Thanks to Zaheer, who provided me with a Nokia 3650 some time ago, I've added support for gnapplet for the phones that handle it. This means better support for extended functionality, as the AT interface is severely limited on a number of those phones.

Saturday 17 November 2007

gnome-bluetooth kill kill

Last week, I did more work on the Bluetooth device selector, to avoid some of the problems we saw with the one in gnome-bluetooth (mainly the "I work with loads of nerds and there's 500 Bluetooth devices in the vicinity" use case). The patch is available on the bluez-devel mailing-list.

It looks pretty good, but would require some work before it's something bluez-gnome can export as public API.

Anyone fancying some cut'n'paste fest for gnome-phone-manager?

Friday 16 November 2007

Poor Fonz

Talk about fallen icons. Vicky reminded me that I saw a poster for panto Peter Pan yesterday.


You could also go check out Starsky in Bromley.

Being a stars's wicked, innit?

Thursday 15 November 2007

Tango PS3 Theme

Sony recently released a tool that goes along with the 2.00 firmware for the PS3, allowing users to create and set themes. Despite the original application being written in Python (you can see that by not passing any arguments to the application, and seeing that they forgot to check for the length of the ARGV before trying to poke at it), the converter to their home-grown image format (GIM) isn't written in that language. A wine install and a couple of DLLs later, I can run the tool on the sample theme.

It's been done before on the PSP. So here's my take on the Tango icon theme for the PS3:

Kudos to the Tango artists for their nice looking icons, and particularly Jakub who provided me with some icons that weren't readily available. Sources are here. It's still missing a few icons, can't say the theme format is well documented...

Wednesday 14 November 2007

New gnome-phone-manager and Telepathy

I just released a new tarball of gnome-phone-manager, version 0.40. New in this version is the Telepathy backend. It's still a work-in-progress. But it allows you to send and receive messages from any number of phones.

Here's a little screencast:

There are obviously a number of bugs, including the fact that none of the contacts from your phone show up in the buddy list, so you can't send new messages. Try using gnome-phone-manager itself for now, but the future lies here.

PS: Get your distros to update gnome-phone-manager. Fedora has the latest versions in rawhide and Fedora 8. Some distros *cough*buntu*cough* still ship ancient versions.

Ross is offically evil

Bastien so owns this now

Just because I committed a few patches.

Sunday 11 November 2007

30 Days of Night, 29 Days Of Plot Holes

Went to watch 30 Day Of Night, and it's so bad that it needs to be mentioned as such. People looked very pissed off coming out of the cinema, and multiple mentions of the word shite were heard. A DVD of that film is, in fact, shit-in-a-box. If you have to go watch it, ingest large amounts of recreational drugs, and laugh when it looks most inappropriate.

The pedant in me found that in the "You wants to win £100" sketch, on the Peter Serafinowicz Show, the answer to "Which city is the capital of France" question was wrong. Vichy was the capital of France during most of the second world war, even more so during the London bomb raids. Still a great show.

Watch O News.

Friday 9 November 2007

Dear lazyweb

Do you know where I put the charger for my piece of crap Motorola phone? I'm pretty sure it's not under the pile of bills on my desk, and I can't find it in my cables drawer (but I found out I have a spare Nokia charger, a DKU2 cable and a USB-powered hoover).

Update: I found it in the cable shoebox in my bedroom, after looking through my cable plastic box. Did I ever mention I hate cables?

Monday 5 November 2007

Films list is back

Rather than pollute and bore people with films list in my blog (I'd rather do that with useless trivia, and self-deprecation), I thought I'd use IMDb's My Movies feature.

The hardest part was getting all the films from a variety of sources into the database, without having to click through all of them. Here comes the Mechanizer (in US English in the text). Given a list of @imdb_ids:

my $mech = new WWW::Mechanize;
$mech->get( "" );
$mech->success or die "Can't get the login page";

form_number => 2,
fields => {
login => '',
password => "mypassword",

my $id;
foreach $id (@imdb_ids) {
print "Adding $id\n";
$mech->get ("$id");

I used my old code from code to grab the IDs from blogs, and various types of files. HTH.

Sunday 4 November 2007

Dear Corey

So, there were questions a couple of years ago, but right now, I'd like Corey to get in a train wreck.

Will you please stop looking like me!

Anyway, my last DVD release went well, thanks.

Saturday 3 November 2007

Ross was right

It didn't take too long before people took offense from an idiot at the BBC saying there were 400 to 600 Linux users accessing BBC sites in the UK.


After the Bluetooth interview a couple of weeks ago, another one popped up about codeina/Codec Buddy, starring my good friend Thomas.

In other news, I want to stab Nokia and Sony Ericsson (I stabbed Motorola a long time ago) for their inexistant proprietary protocols specs, and their sub-par AT protocol implementations. Look at the recent commits in gnome-phone-manager for proofs.

Update: I forgot to mention the interviews were the work of Jon Roberts. The interviews make a very good read if you're interested in what's new in Fedora 8.

Monday 29 October 2007

Thursday 25 October 2007

Better workflow

I just finished writing the code for better Podcast handling in Rhythmbox (feel free to test it). The only thing we're missing is a way to tell the iTunes detection pages that we already have iTunes installed.

So, if you have a Windows machine with Firefox and iTunes installed, could you please attach the output (pertaining to iTunes) of "about:plugins" from Firefox to the bug?

Tuesday 23 October 2007

Body popping

Apart from making plenty of security errata in the past week (thanks FLAC...), I've finally started on porting Rhythmbox to the new features of the Totem playlist parser, including using it for Podcast parsing.

What it means is:
  • Atom support
  • ITPC and iTunes Music Store podcasts support (thanks to PenguinTV)
I'll also try to make sure that those are better integrated into Rhythmbox, eg. when one launches Rhythmbox with a RSS or Atom feed. More on that when the full feature's available.

I got Flash working on Fedora 8 (on my x86-64 desktop), thanks to the integration work that's gone on with nspluginwrapper. And I can now listen to my songs and scrobble even when I'm hacking on Rhythmbox. Throat hurts from so much singing.

On a different note, my ankle problems have subsided (still a minor twinge), and I scored hat tricks on my last few outings, and a goal Thierry Henry would have been proud of (left side of the box, bent shot in the bottom right corner). Yay!

Sunday 21 October 2007

Website are old fashioned

Out with the website, in with the hosted blog. If you manage to read this, the old is no more, and you'll see the blog. Most of the stuff will move to appropriate websites, especially the pictures. If you see this, then it must have worked.

Many thanks to Rob and Ross for their help.

Thursday 18 October 2007


The great José has dodgy tastes in films. Very dodgy. Following a mention of Amazon UK's sale on scary movies for Halloween, he admitted to wanting to buy: The Refrigerator.

The best bit is the plotline:
A couple move into a bad apartment in a bad neighborhood in New York. The apartment contains a refrigerator, which is the only thing they like in the place. However, they slowly discover that the refrigerator is a monster which kills people in gruesome ways and then sends them to hell. The refrigerator is already gaining mind control over the husband. What will happen?
José now officially has the worst taste ever.

I fixed it! I swear!

It looks like some pretty simple issue was keeping gnome-phone-manager from working with non-Nokia phones. And it should all be fixed in 0.20!

As an added bonus, you should be able to send and receive text messages with international characters. It's only lightly tested, and there's not really any ways to calculate the length of the message using gnokii. So whether your super long message in Arabic will work is anyone's guess. Stick to short messages.

Tom, I also had some vivid dreams recently. One was about being the owner of Aston Villa, and the "Philadelphia" basket-ball team (yeah, I know they're the Sixers), I kept waking up in a black cab somewhere near a park on the East Coast of the US thinking I should go back to England to check if I really owned that team. I need to stop the crack before going to bed, bad trip.

Zoom zoom zoom!

Tuesday 16 October 2007

Audio preview

After gentle poking by Matthias, I cooked up a patch that allows the sound preview to work again for Fedora 8. It will hit rawhide shortly.

Make sure Enable software mixing is enabled in the Sound preferences, and that sound previews are enabled in the file manager prefs. Obviously, you'd want pulseaudio running rather than esd, if you
don't want to tear your hair out when playing video.

Friday 12 October 2007

Let go?

Cameron at a Google conference? Is this like a fox in the chicken coop, or rather John Major at an Halliburton board meeting?
Hopefully, he hasn't got access to the search results.

Thursday 11 October 2007


I'm sure that article's gone around already a fair bit, and the geek jokes that go around with it. Yesterday, I went with my ex to watch an NBA game at the O2 (né Millenium Dome).

It was about 10 years I was playing (and interested) in basket-ball, when I was still in lycée. The feeling was the like of a party I didn't really want to be at (Why did you bring me here? I don't know anyone.). But it was pretty fun, although the "Irish" mascot wished England good luck against France in the rugby would certainly be considered a faux-pas by real Irishmen. I enjoyed the timeout shows though.

Quote of the day:
- Did you used to play basket-ball?
- Yeah, that's how I broke my wrist the first time.

Wednesday 10 October 2007


Now, that wasn't funny. I asked for nice souls to send me stuff via my Amazon wishlist. Braindead and American Beauty DVDs, great. But this:

is sick. A copy of This is Anfield. Liverpool's Kop songs. I'd have preferred a ManU CD. The jury's still out on the fate of the CD, and the constables on the identity of the culprit(s). Call your local police station if you have any evidence on the perp, or your Daily Mail correspondent for possible punishments. Or leave a comment either way.

Update: The perpetrator has been identified. Comments included:
«Of course...if you send me a tom jones CD... I will retaliate» (the accused)
«Frankly after sending mr jones, you are lucky you only got dvds and cds, and not shit-in-a-box» (his defence attorney).

I found a new home for the CD. Will be on its way when Royal Mail stop striking.

Monday 8 October 2007


Tell me we're not going that way! That's why Totem is just a movie player. I hope we can manage to keep it simple and fast (although the Python plugin support does nothing for its startup speed I've been told).

ITMS and the podcast parsing

I'm currently putting the finishing touches to Podcast parsing in Totem, so it can be used for some plugins, such as my favourite Quicktime trailers sidebar feature, as well as giving Rhythmbox Atom parsing.

After finishing Atom and RSS parsing support, I set out to add support for itpc and itms links, as used by iTunes, and supported in PenguinTV. I re-discovered the inadequacies of old-style Unix libraries (when they don't work as advertised, at all).

If you live in NYC, or Seattle, and have a Starbucks at hand, you might be able to help with this potentially nice feature. Clicking on the song would add it to a personal wishlist (a feature which would also be useful for streaming radios as well).

Saturday 6 October 2007

Go! Package!

Thanks to work by Olav and others, I've been able to create a new SVN repo easily, and I've committed the Nintendo DS Rom thumbnailer to SVN, and made a release.

Good mojo for the person that'll get it in Fedora.

Update: And obviously, there was a bug in the Makefile which meant that the release didn't work. 1.0.1 is out. Thanks Laurent :)

Another Update: Third time's a charm. Trying to put garbage in GConf really isn't fun. I'm done for today, don't care if it's broken again.

Friday 5 October 2007

Hmmm, networking multimedia

After working around (read: that's not a proper fix) some stupidness in MythTV's frontend, my DVB-T experience just got a lot better, as I can finally watch the stuff I record. That includes recording all the Match Of The Day shows (just in case), as well as the kinky Secret Diary Of A Callgirl.

After switching the Mac Mini to wired, the network is fast enough for the MythTV sources in GStreamer to stream to Totem, as well as streaming via UPNP to the PS3. The UPNP framework in MythTV doesn't export a lot of the things it could, such as a thumbnail, the length of the movie, etc.

Just like chpe, I've been getting increasingly frustrated at the Web going to Flash Video for streaming, instead of sticking to the embedded movie player. I guess that targetting one platform (Flash) as opposed to the big three (WMP, Real and Quicktime), is a boon for Web developers. And that's how EA pushes the online replays from FIFA.

And to the PS3 again, with Frank's help, I've fixed up Rhythmbox' UPNP source.

So, on the TODO list:
  • Better UPNP in Rhythmbox
  • Finishing MythTV support in Totem
  • More work on the browser plugin
Feel free to help, or send me stuff from my wishlist. It's just like writing code.

Free work?

While I can only applaud Greg-KH's Linux Driver Project, you have to wonder about the projects on offer. It seems to me like most of the work to be done is on embedded drivers, with companies skimming on driver development costs. I hope we see more offers for consumer hardware in the future.

Saturday 29 September 2007

Simple additions

I got my copy of FIFA08 this morning, and I'm having plenty of fun. The gameplay is much less robotic, and pretty flowing once you get used to it, the online play doesn't lag on bit (unlike the mode tacked on the FIFA07 PS2 version). PES fanatics should try it before they knock it. For music lovers, the EA Trax include stuff like Yonderboi, Travis, CSS. I particularly like The Hoosiers and Wir sind Helden. The Play like a Pro mode, where you play a single player in a game is also quite something. Get sick like in an FPS when the screen starts shaking and your view narrowing when you're sprinting the ball at your feet.

I've been playing with the rest of the PS3 as well. Rhythmbox' UPNP plugin doesn't work yet, seems to be something related to the way Coherence sets up its mainloop, but I've been able to play a few recordings direct from my MythTV machine (although the MPEG-2 decoder of the PS3 seems to be sub-par for slightly broken streams).

I'm hadessuk on there, if you fancy a game of FIFA, or a conversation typed at the speed of a tortoise.

Tuesday 18 September 2007

Zonbu does run Totem

The guys at Zonbu finally fixed their multimedia page to mention they use Totem for DVD playback, after I e-mailed them a couple of months ago. And obviously, they don't use KDE but XFCE. Mr. Fourdan told me so himself... a couple of times.

Friday 14 September 2007

14 years ago

Just like Thomas, I can remember when I bought my first CD. 14 years ago, I was 14 and bought my first CD (a single) with my hard-earned money (ie. pocket money), in the supermarket near my new school.

I can still remember the beautiful words and the great bass. So beautiful I could cry.

Thank you Culture Beat.

I know what I want and I want it now
I want you 'cause I'm Mr Vain

Monday 10 September 2007

More website videos and sports

This week-end, I added yet a bit more functionality to our NarrowSpace plugin (ie. the QuickTime compatibility plugin), implementing another bunch of missing Javascript functions.

If you have a website where some buttons don't work, take a look at the output of your web browser (using firefox -debug for Firefox, mozilla -debug for Mozilla, etc.), and you might see things like:
** Message: WARNING: Site uses unimplemented function 'totemINarrowSpacePlayer::GetRate'
Then file a bug against Totem's browser plugin component, with the debug output messages, and the URL to access the page in question. Hopefully, we'll be able to implement the missing functionality, as we've done for the Apple site above.

As for sports, I caught the France - Italy game on Saturday in a local French pub, after having watched England - Israel. And my cousin has made the Solheim Cup team this year (it's the Woman's equivalent to the Ryder Cup). Starts on Friday, I hope she does well.

Monday 3 September 2007

5 years ago

I found this e-mail in my Inbox today.

Dear Bastien Nocera,

Commitment is a core value at Red Hat because our success depends on dedicated individuals. We would like to thank you for your expression of commitment in achieving 5 years of loyal service. Congratulations on reaching this milestone in your Red Hat career.

Thank you

When I was 16-17, I wanted to work with Linux, and Red Hat was the Linux company, and it still is. And I'm glad I spent 4 years working for the support organisation, I learnt a lot, even though I'm still nodding my way through when Bryn or Jose explain some intricate device-mapper or PAM stuff they've been working on. I don't think I'm done learning.

Sunday 2 September 2007

MythTV setup

I spend a bit of time yesterday and today, in between watching footie games, setting up my Mac Mini as a MythTV machine, after having tried it out successfully on my laptop.

The low-down:
  • I needed to buy a USB keyboard with a proper cable. My 2 wireless USB Logitech keyboards weren't kicking off early enough to be able to press 'C' to boot from the CD.
  • Colin's guide to installing Fedora on the Mac Mini is still up-to-date, pretty much.
  • Getting the display to work (ie. outputting to the TV) was a real pain. The DVI-to-HDMI output didn't work under Linux (and even if it would, it would have clipped the image to the 720p resolution, 1280x720, when the full resolution is 1280x768). The manual only advertises 1024x768 as a resolution for the VGA input, but a lot more got listed when using my laptop with the XRandR 1.2-capable drivers. 1280x768 works.
  • Wireless works, given the right version of the firmware.
  • MythTV is pretty easy to install if you follow Jarod's guide to the install (the RPM is mythtv as opposed to mythtv-suite).
  • I already had the firmware for my DVB-T tuner, I don't remember where I got it...
  • I wondered what the reason for no menu items was when starting MythTV, but a quick Google fixed it.
I'm sure there's plenty to be done still. I'll probably switch to a different recording solution, if Sony's PlayTV ends up being any good. Now to get recording and fill the HD up a bit.

Does anyone know where I can get screen quirks added, so that people don't struggle like I did setting X up?

Random links

Jeez, I'm bad at blogging.This afternoon's footie game brought up some interesting new connections. But after watching MOTD, Philip pointed me to this bug. Peculiar choice of videos to watch.

I've also written a small bookmarklet so that I can swarm (mugshot parlance) with Epiphany. And my VAIO's gone.

A year-old picture, FIFA isn't quite tuned up for my first season as a manager

Wednesday 22 August 2007

Behaving like a kid (Part 1)

Thomaschine sucks at FIFA :)

PS: Behave you start leaving messages here, I wholly expect tonight's results to be quite different...

Tuesday 21 August 2007


I came back nearly two weeks ago from my holidays in France. Very relaxing, 4 barbecues with merguez each time. Wicked.
I brought back a few things though, and pictures of it!

Ezio "Stripes-guy", wearing a (too small) gift of mine

Noddy made it to France. Stop nodding already!

There's frogs in France. Who would have guessed.

I got to watch Le Viager, as Michel Serrault passed away shortly before.

Next post is about behaving like a kid.

Thursday 16 August 2007

Lazy^WWindows web, can you help?

Trying to fix a little Totem bug, could anyone with a Windows machine and Windows Media Player 11 copy the output of this page in the comments (of the blog, or in the bug)?


Note that I tried to install it with Wine, but no luck, at all.

Monday 30 July 2007

New releases

bluez-gnome 0.10 was released, and now includes my patches for the "Browse device" functionality. I also released a new shared-mime-info and Totem devel version today. Everything's nicely sitting in rawhide now (or it will be if my last build worked).

Now, I'll go back to doing nothing, as I'm supposed to be on holidays.

By the way, the Simpsons movie was really nice, go and see it. That was my Wednesday morning AFK :)

Wednesday 25 July 2007

All merged

I bought an M3 Simply for my Nintendo DS, to avoid carrying around the tiny little cartridges, especially when I travel (as per last week's GUADEC where I didn't bring mine). After downloading the ROMs for my games from some shady websites (uhuh), the filenames were less than helpful, but I realised all the sites had nice little icons. Sure enough, they can be thumbnailed. Shame I can't move my Final Fantasy III or Mario Bros saves to the micro SD card...

The Browse Device functionality is now all merged in bluez-gnome, thanks Marcel! Now to clean up the widgets, and finish off the wizard.

g-p-m/g-p-m integration

Richard sent me that little screenshot, showing off the gnome-phone-manager/gnome-power-manager integration, now in SVN of everything.

Yay! Integration! D-Bus! Buzzwords!

Hope I'm not stealing your thunder, but for once, you showed up on IRC after I did :)

Tuesday 24 July 2007

Olivier! Ca va pas! (la tête)

Yesterday, Olivier Fourdan, of XFCE fame, was busy "compressing" pistachio shells into one metal can, and smoothing the aluminium covers, instead of porting XFCE to libwnck.

Compression in progress

Olivier, all happy with himself

Also, I've been told that Harry says Abracadabra! followed by Expelliadontcare! and that Voldemort is then kaput. But then again, that's just the Catalan speaking. Oh, spoiler. You're too old to read that anyway...

Monday 23 July 2007

I's got some links

A bunch of post-GUADEC random linking.

Dieguito got me a new hackergotchi photo. He also sent a proper hackergotchi, which I won't post until I can get some vendetta photos of him being carried off the pitch by 4 people after getting real bad cramps. 4 people! Have you seen the size of the guy? Clearly a geek footie game.

Plenty of floods all around the south of the country meant I had to get the train through Euston instead of direct through Reading/Oxford. It was pretty fun seeing all those groups of GUADEC people in different locations: Birmingham New Street platform - "Hey kids", Euston tube station - "Hey kids", Tube to Waterloo.. well, you get the point. That also means I got to see Kate Silverton in wellies.

I kind of fell asleep, that really horrible kind of sleep when you're just feeling as tired and punch-drunk after waking up, and dreamt that I had to organise GUADEC again. I'm sure Paul and Thomas' similar nightmares will be much more vivid than mine.

The online desktop talks also meant I got to put into action (bug filing action for now) my ideas from last summer's "GNOME and Freud" talk. Feel free to comment on the ideas, in bugs 459505 and 458133.

Thanks to Vicky for:
I should mention that it was pretty fun picking on Xavier with vuntz, filing dozens of bugs against Empathy: Xavier! Ca va pas!

Wednesday 18 July 2007

Still drunk?

Or is there another reason, Danilo?

My 3 GUADEC tasks

I had 3 main tasks when I came to GUADEC.

1. The USB keys
Mandriva provided us with 500 USB keys with a live distro, the usually-printed booklet, and loads of data provided by the sponsors (I quite liked that AMD chose to have compilers on there). If you didn't attend GUADEC, the booklet and data are available in the SVN repo. Shame they only arrived on Tuesday.

2. The football game
Apart from loads of bruises (and a huge nosebleed for me, thanks Glynn for ducking) and a map reading snafu to get there, it was great. For posterity, if you were there, please add the scores from your team and amend the teams if you got moved to another team. (My team finished second again, just one goal in it...). I should add that 3 hours of football is a bit too much.

3. Bluetooth and GNOME talk
Here's my slide, and the intro sound.

Slide 1

It was great not having any slides, but the video should be available very soon. As promised, here's a link to the use cases we have for Fedora.

More GUADEC-y stuff soon.

Saturday 14 July 2007

Tune In, Check This

Bad idea of the week. I went to jump up and down in a field park, in Guildford, to watch the Freestylers (of Raw As Fuck-fame, nothing to do with the Bomfunk MC's that sang Freestylers) at Guilfest.

I enjoyed myself, and talked a load of shite, but I'm knackered, and need to pack to head off in 3 hours for GUADEC. Bleh.

Ed the Duck, I've got your light.

Wednesday 11 July 2007

FreeFA tournament 2007: teams sent out

The teams for this year's FreeFA tournament have been sent out by e-mail. You can check them out on the Wiki.

I've tried to balance the teams out, and the worst team in last year's tournament got nearly completely wiped out, which spells good things for the survivors (yeah, it was the whites, 20 to 1 isn't such a good result for your first game).

Be ready at 1 at the Conservatoire, or 1:30 at the ground
(It's on Monday by the way)

If you haven't received a mail, it's probably because you haven't entered your e-mail properly, or have a shite spam filter, so you found it fancy to omit characters in your e-mail address in the Wiki.

If you can't make it, please send me an e-mail, and I'll readjust the teams.

Tuesday 10 July 2007

Bemused support in Totem

Should have been a one-day quick hack, ended up taking 2 or 3 if I include the research into the (poor) alternatives.

Behold! Totem now includes a plugin allowing it to run as a Bemused server. This means you can connect your phone/PDA/Palm to Totem, and use it to control playback.

First you'll need Totem SVN trunk, and compile with the Bluetooth library headers installed. More importantly, you'll need a client:
Install the application (left as an exercise to the reader), connect to Totem, and voila! Ready to control.

Now, a comment on the protocol and the code of the different implementations:
  • The protocol disagrees with the native Linux implementation (INFOACK, or INF2ACK for INF2 requests? Null-terminated strings, where?)
  • Doesn't handle Unicode properly, all over the place, the protocol uses NULL characters strings as end of strings, which breaks UTF-8
  • More protocol problems, what happens with empty playlists is a mystery
  • has problems handling empty playlists, and truncates movie titles when not.
  • JAMSE isn't open source, and seems hell-bent on using skins, and different clients for different mobile phones ("skin" size)
  • The Totem code is horrible, doesn't handle directory listings (the protocol for directory listings is utter shite, and unworkable), leaks all over the place, and is a security risk (seriously).
That said, the competition isn't that great either, as it doesn't even run (although I just notice that my e-mail was actually answered, but didn't get to my inbox). I guess I'll be looking into Remuco soon.

Monday 9 July 2007


Some toys I've had in Ephy tabs for a while:
At least the Sony Ericsson and Samsung phones would be useful for gnome-phone-manager testing.

Totem has made it on System76's list of recommended apps for their laptops. The laptops look quite nice on their own right.

After running into some problems with FC6's Firefox, I'm filling in this blog with a copy of Opera with static Qt (quick download, fast install), and noticed their new Speed Dial feature. It's neat, and if someone managed to integrate the HTML version of it in Epiphany, they'll get plenty of free beers at GUADEC.

Thursday 5 July 2007

GUADEC: No smoking

Not me, silly! (last year's diet didn't work out, and I kept my bad habit).

This is just a quick note to say that from the 1st of July this year, you won't be allowed to smoke in pubs, train station platforms, or other places of work.

  • Visit the official website to know more about the smoking ban
  • Follow the ban (unlike the law makers)
  • Bring me packs of cheap fags from abroad (it's about 5 quid for a 20-pack of brand cigarettes, or 25g of tobacco)
I know some of you will appreciate the heads-up.

PS: Thanks UncleGogo for the image

Friday 15 June 2007

Browse device

A complement to the gnome-vfs-obexftp work (most of which is already in James' tree).

All that is in my git repo:
git clone git://
Which you can view via the web:;a=summary

I have no idea how git works, so don't be too surprised if it's broken.

Wednesday 13 June 2007

Who wants leg surgery?

Thanks Benoît for the link to SUN's JDS patches.

If anyone ships this Totem patch, they get to fix all their bugs themselves. As if X worked that well with threads, they're making all the display locking no-ops. If it hangs, your libraries are broken, and you're just 4 years late fixing it.

Update: Damien kindly posted a link to the original bug report. And it confirmed my above assumption. They have a broken libXi. For reference, the original Totem bug report.

Monday 4 June 2007

MacOS X can suck loads too

That's what I got when testing QuickTime's helpers when a codec isn't supported (which happens fairly often). It doesn't ooze ease-of-use.

Friday 1 June 2007


Way late on that one, so plenty of films.

  • Zodiac: very good, if a bit long, closure definitely not up to par with All the President's Men, or similar journalistic investigation films.
  • Ma petite entreprise: funny, little French film.
  • Tenacious D: just as I would have expected it, plenty on fart and rock jokes, for the fans.
  • The Kind Of Comedy: I was disappointed, hostage situations should have more to them, and we don't feel like De Niro and Bernhard are quite as psycho as they're supposed to be.
  • Laputa - Castle in the Sky: funny title, way below Howl's Moving Castle in the fairy-tale business.
  • Goal II: shite, but there's not many footie films about. Goals were ludicrous (anyone remember Olive et Tom?), and plot is more straight forward than an episode of Neighbours.
  • Sicko: he should do television, it's a thoroughly enjoyable documentary, as usual, but very caricatural in its handling of foreign matters (like the visit of the NHS hospitals, or the discussions with bourgeois American expats in Paris, not mentioning the falling standards and rising debt of those medical systems).
  • The Last Boy Scout: one of my all-time favourites, one-liners and broken noses.
  • Shrek 3: I think I laughed once, not sure if it wasn't an acid reflux from the dinner.
  • This Is England: an interesting view into what the Falklands, Thatcher, and skinheads brought to England in the '80s.
  • Une Liaison Pornographique: intimist French film, definitely a good late evening film, if you want to question the nature of relationships.
  • Ghost Rider: Marvel is scraping the barrel, let's hope there's no sequel.
  • Knocked Up: feel-good comedy, they get together at the end (as if you'd expect it any other way).

And quite a few TV series as well:

  • ATHF: I want to see the film now!
  • House MD: went through Season 2 and 3, although the latter muddles a bit in the weird/not so interesting medicine (and probably inaccurate at times), but the dry-wit and soap hold it together.
  • The Smoking Room and The Book Group: two great sitcoms, without the canned laughter. As per usual, short series, and only 2 seasons each.
  • Monkey Dust: onto season 3, the Paedo-Finder-General gets on my tits though. Dobsky is still wicked.
And, finally, if you want to see some good films, that nth Channel 4 best stuff or other countdown show is nicely accurate: 50 films to see before you die. Time to fill your Netflix account.

Mo' Bluetooth

In Bluetooth++, I showed the cups bluetooth backend enhancements. Marcel is currenly reviewing those, and should merge the code upstream next week. In the meantime, the code is available in bluez-utils-3.11-2.f8 in rawhide.

I've also been working on James' gnome-vfs-obexftp code. While the old code needed you to make hcid launch with the -x option to enable the experimental features (in this case the now-defunct RFCOMM service). Marcel told me it should be using RFCOMM sockets directly, and we now have a version of gnome-vfs-obexftp that works without any tinkering, and is also more reliable, and quicker.

It's also available in the repos for Fedora Core 6, Fedora 7 and rawhide under the name gnome-vfs2-obexftp.

Thursday 24 May 2007

Paul Smith isn't that stripey

A couple of weeks ago I went to a leaving-do. It was Paul's do. I play football with the guy, and I didn't realise the event it was until I saw his name on an e-mail. He's Paul Smith!

And he isn't that stripey.

We also have a running contest. We need to lob him when he's in goal. I'll have another go tonight at the old-timers' footie match.

More stripes from everywhere.

The Italian fridge by excellence.

And the stripes generator. Fabulous.

Wednesday 23 May 2007


Bluetooth (and Bluez especially) is such a pleasure to work with compared to old crummy non-standard protocols. With this little patch, the printers show up directly in system-config-printer, and in the CUPS web interface. Whoohoo!

Tuesday 22 May 2007

Je devrais avoir su mieux

Thanks John for providing me my pickup lines (via Google's translate feature).

I did watch some half-decent, and some crummy films:
  • The Aristocrats, some pompous unknowns, but also some very good actors/stand-up comedians. For the late nights in front on the sofa, with the laptop where it should be (that's on your lap).
  • White Chicks, I'm afraid to say I laughed, it's funnier than anything Eddy Murphy wish he'd done in the past ten years (minus Shreks). Actually, I looked at the filmography and it's 19 years since Coming to America.
  • Babel, I remember being torn between this film and Blood Diamonds when both came out at the same time at the cinema. The latter was a better film to watch at the cinema, but Babel stands up on its own as a character movie. I think I set my expectations too high, still good though.
  • Idiocracy, I can see why it went direct to video here, it's not worth showing in the cinema. This is no Office Space. Time for Starbucks!
  • Spider-man 3, oh the expected disappointment. I was pressured into watching it by a super-hero lover that didn't read the reviews. Read the reviews, kids! It's for your own good!
  • L'Empire des Loups, a horrid pile of crud. Looks like a Luc Besson-produced film, and certainly smells like it (but isn't one, despite how the saying goes). Ewww!
  • The Krays, just a film to polish my accent, a half-decent cock-e-ney gangster film. You're no Italian Job, mai love.
  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend, a film for the evening, with a few good belly laughs. At least, unlike Eddie Murphy, Ivan Reitman made something half-decent after the eighties with this one.
  • And the best for last, Flushed Away, during which I felt just a little bit of wee come out. Especially when the frogs are called into "Action". I just love it. Rent it, buy it. I think I'll watch it again now. No I shouldn't. But I COULD! It's that good...

Sunday 20 May 2007

Yay, less code

GTK+ now contains the old BaconVolume widget, called GtkVolumeButton. I hope we get GTK+ 2.12 for GNOME 2.20, so that Rhythmbox, Sound-juicer, Totem, Banshee, etc. can use the widget without cut'n'pasting bacon-volume.[ch].

Useless screenshot (you have to try it to believe it)

Many thanks to Ronald for writing the widget in the first place, and Matthias and Christian for the code reviews.

Monday 14 May 2007

Licences and copyrights

A couple of problems have recently cropped up in the latest development of Totem, and we've tried our hardest to solve them.

One problem was that some files contained the exception to allow the linking of proprietary GStreamer plugins, but the addition of that exception wasn't agreed upon by the copyright holders.

This was the case of the plugins system (fixed), and the sidebar widget (fixed as well). The nautilus properties page was a draw. If we make it GPL with an exception, it wouldn't work anyway, as nautilus is GPL, and the properties page is linked directly in nautilus. The plan is to write a D-Bus helper, which would allow us to avoid hangs when checking the properties of some file.

Those relicencing was what kept me from making a release for 2.19.x, but it's sorted now. Many thanks to the copyright holders that allowed this to happen.

Friday 11 May 2007

Ooh, free games

Totem bug reports had mentions of free games that look of good quality. There's Tremulous, and Battle of Wesnoth. Look neat, and both are in the Fedora repo.

Stripey #... huh, I forget...

Andy Burns sent me a (unrequested) picture of this pair of Wellingtons. Thanks Andy.

Ezio is green with envy, but just replied "You guys are obsessed with stripes ;-). Yeah, right, that's all our fault now, is it?

Fittingly, I watched the Italian film Malèna. Some reminescence of Cinema Paradiso, that I haven't seen in a long while.

Tuesday 8 May 2007

Well stripey week-end (aka stripey #5)

Lapo Calamandrei went a bit mad, and produced a clever piece of artistic genius.

I'm sure he'll post the full icon theme somewhere soon for all of us to enjoy (he sent me a copy, but it didn't install properly).

Another little computer gets on the market (where you at Jeff? missed the Zonbu?), runs some form of Linux with KDE, but uses Totem for their movie player. Can I get a free one, guys?

On Friday, I managed to solve that really annoying problem that made the browser plugin with the xine-lib backend just not work at all.

Good and bad things this week-end:
  • Cello, creepy, although not the best of the kind
  • Man United finally won it! After the debacle of last Wednesday against Milan, we'll get a row of honour against Chelsea on Wednesday evening.
  • Pan's Labyrinth, a special fairy tale. Beautiful. Narnia is for weenies.
  • Ma Mère, a couple of tits, but horrible French art-house malarkey
  • Arsène Lupin, pretty shite
  • Michel Vaillant, pretty fun if you remember the comic from when you were a kid
  • Les Poupées Russes, where you see that Romain Duris can be a good actor
  • Shite results in the French elections (not that the alternative was much better, but it still was). Berlusconi, I'm sure Nicolas can show you how to be a better crook, his predecessor has quite some experience too.

Wednesday 2 May 2007

Stripey #4 (aka #3 bis)

We're still going stripes crazy. As I was (trying to) cleaning the patio, I realised that the crappy foldable chairs I have were of that kind. Stripey!

Now I have Ezio going absolutely bananas, and bidding 500 quid for my crappy camping chairs.

Sunday 29 April 2007

Guess what I did this week-end? (with stripes)

I watched another nerve-wrecking performance from United. I didn't yell that much though, as I was watching the game with Everton fan Gareth. I'm not one to rub it in.

We also went to said Gareth's girlfriend's birthday party, and had very little luck getting the Kärcher going. The hose keeps popping out under the pressure from the tap (ar, ar).

I've also spent some time trying to get both my laptop and my desktop to suspend. The laptop was fairly straight forward. No hacks, no quirks, just echo mem > /sys/power/state, and you're done. But I'm still hitting a weird bug when using gnome-power-manager to do it.
The desktop (a Dell Optiplex GX620) is a bit more problematic, as pm-suspend doesn't seem to use vbetool at all (despite having an Intel video card in
there, but being an older FC6 install...), and the video is completely screwed up (yellow lines, and a lot of flashing blue and red) when resuming under X.

Watched Filles perdues cheveux gras (stopped after 20 minutes, French variété is only below some of their TV shows in things I hate about France), 300 (stopped after about 30 minutes, and finished some weeks later, why would Spartans behave like they were Gulf War I vets), and a Journey Through Porn (stopped 10 minutes near the end to watch Match Of The Day, not great, but still the best docu about pr0n I've seen).

PS: What on earth is going on with them stripes? The window of the local JJB Sports shop. Could it be the metrosexual influence of David Beckham?

Friday 27 April 2007

More plugins, again

This time, the hero is Jan Arne Petersen, who added activation failure support to the plugin API, and then ported the GNOME 2.18 media player keys support, and LIRC remote control support to plugins. He also ported a lesser known functionality of Totem to the plugin system. The Gromit plugin allows "telestrator" mode. A picture speaks a thousand words.

It's not that well integrated into Totem itself, but the default configuration is still pretty good for Paul to have used it with his tablet to show american football moves.

On Tuesday, I received my new work laptop, a Dell Latitude D420. It's a shame I received it the day before they announced they were doing flash-drive versions. The latch sucks, the right of the underside gets pretty hot, and the screen is not as good as on my Sony laptop. But I didn't pay a penny for it, it's very light, and has cool shit like an ambient light sensor and a fingerprint reader, so it's all fine by me. I started filing a good bunch of bugs about making it work better, which will hopefully get fixed in due time.