Tue, 31 Aug 2004

Freeciv moves to Alioth

Last night, I opened up the pkg-freeciv project in Alioth and moved my freeciv stuff to a SVN repository. Just before that, I fooled Kyle McMartin to join the team. It was quite easy, actually.

17:19 < Oskuro> I think I'm ptting freeciv up on alioth right away.
17:19 < kyle> yay freeciv.
17:20  * Oskuro adds kyle to the project.
17:20 < kyle> sure. :)
17:20 < Oskuro> really? :)
17:20 < kyle> sure.
17:20 < kyle> i've got time. :)
17:20 < Oskuro> heh, we have a customer :D

I wish it were always so easy. :D Jason Short, from Freeciv upstream, has also joined, as he had always been helpful with patches and advice for the packages. A few others might join too.

We have split the big Debian patch into smaller bits, and will make our first upload coming from SVN soon. It'd be cool if it makes Sarge, this way the Freeciv package in Sarge will have the mailing list in the Maintainer header, and I won't be getting all the bug reports directly.

Thu, 26 Aug 2004

Spanish triathlon disaster

This morning I met with a few of my team mates before going to work to watch the Athens triathlon on TV. Spain had a nice team, Iván Raña, Eneko Llanos and Xavi Llobet, and specially Raña was called to fight for the medals. There had been a bit of controversy in the Spanish triathlon world about Xavi's participation in the team, as many people thought Javi Gómez-Noya should have been selected instead of him, but Xavi's mission was exclusively to help Iván in the cycling segment so he could save his legs for the run.

The swimming segment went very well, and the three of them came out just a few seconds after the leader. Everything looked promising, until Xavi got to the steep ramp in the cycling circuit. The 22% slope made him lose contact with the group of his team mates, and he couldn't do his job at all. Iván didn't have his greatest day either, and the gap between his pack and the leading group started to get bigger and bigger, until they started the run with around two minutes lost. Even so, Iván should have gained a few positions, as he's one of the best triathletes in the running segment, but again he sunk and lost more time with the leaders, two Kiwis and a Swiss. Eneko ended a few positions in front of Iván. We know triathlons are many times a roulette and many things can happen, but this result was totally unexpected.

So, with this deception we went to our working places, and when I got back home I was able to see how the Spanish basket team was beaten by the Dream Team, which isn't close to a dream team anyway. Lovely Olympic Games...

Athens 2004

The week I was in Oxford I couldn't follow the Olympics at all, but since I've come back home, I've been tracking them quite closely. On Tuesday I saw one of the best handball games I remember. Spain vs. Germany, which ended with the latter winning on the penalty round, after two extra times and lots and lots of emotion during the last 25 minutes of play. That same day, El Guerruj finally won his gold medal in the 1.500 race, a result many people were hoping for, as he's a living legend and had deserved the medal two times already. And to end the day, Isinbayeva's great pole vault jumps winning the gold medal and breaking her previous world record. Olympic days like these are great.

Today was the women's triathlon in the Olympic Games. Spain had some chances of being on the podium, but the cycling segment was too tough for Pili Hidalgo, and Ana Burgos couldn't do much about the big gap the leading group made in the swim. With such hot temperatures and that very tough cycling (there's a ramp of 23% or so), the men's triathlon tomorrow promises to be very open and interesting. Let's hope Ivan Raña is a bit lucky and can be at the top positions.

Sun, 22 Aug 2004


We're back from Oliva, where this morning took place the XVI edition of the Triatló d'Oliva. Despite my bad feelings about this race, I'm quite happy with the result, having in mind I hadn't done any swimming in the three weeks before, and no cycling in two.

The day started with me not waking up at the correct time (5:45AM) as it seems I hadn't activated the alarm clock. Or it could be that it went off, I stopped it and don't even remember. In any case, I couldn't get asleep when I went to bed, and in the middle of the night my brother came in after going out and started snoring, which didn't help me either. In total I guess I might have got 3.5 hours of sleep or so. That's what you really need before a tough competition.

So after getting up late (woke up thanks to my mobile phone ringing - it seems to be useful after all), I had to do many things in about 15 minutes while my team mates waited for me. In the rush, I forgot the camera, and hoped Súper would bring his. We got to the meeting place in València half an hour late, quickly introduced the 5 bikes in the two cars and headed off to Oliva, which is about 75kms away.

Fortunately we arrived on time, when everyone was still setting up boxes, and didn't have to rush too much to be ready at the beach, although we had little time to warm up (in fact, I didn't have a chance of doing a few hundred metres to warm up, I couldn't get into the sea at all). And a few minutes after the women started their race, we started ours.

Oliva's triathlon is olympic distance, with 1.500m of swim, 45km of cycling and 10km of running. The swim is different to the other olympic triathlons around València, because you have to do two laps of 750 metres. Whoever came up with this idea should die, because it adds a bit of difficulty to the swim: after the first lap you have to run inside the water for a few metres, get out, and get in again, with some more metres or running against the waves. When you get down and start swimming again, you're completely out of breath and suffer for a few minutes until you recover a bit.

The first swimming lap was, as always, hard in the sense I got more blows than a boxer in the ring; I got a very nice one in my stomach when going round the second buoy. During the second lap I swam better, and managed to advance two team mates, as I learned later. I accidentally drank salty water a few times though, which is always bad. Back in boxes, I did a somewhat decent transition and went out with the bike.

The cycling segment takes us out of Oliva and heads towards Pego through a flat road. Once you get to Pego, you have to climb a mountain with a few very tough ramps, and go back to Oliva crossing the mountain through the other side. A few people passed me in the flat area, but as soon as the ramps started me and my team mate Rafa (who had come from behind) managed to recover a few positions.

In Oliva, as in Vinaròs, drafting is not permitted, but reality is quite different. As soon as we were back in the flat segment, a big peloton of around 10 triathletes came from behind, and not only they were drafting, they were also chatting and mostly relaxing. It sucks when this happens if it's banned... Of course, Rafa and I joined the group as we had no other choice, and a few kilometres later we were back in boxes, ready to start the 10.000.

The running segment goes through Oliva's promenade, after crossing a few streets inside the town, in two laps of five kilometres. Given my bad condition, I just wanted to complete the first five and abandon, remembering how much I suffered last year with the sun and the heat wave. But this morning, after kilometre 3, I saw it was going ok, and when I crossed the finish line for the first time I decided to continue, as I was feeling well (except for my periostitis, which was cursing me down there). The organization was providing bottled water every kilometre, which was quite welcome as we constantly needed to refresh our heads. There was a shower where you could refresh a bit too, but we tend to avoid it because if your running shoes get soaked, you're in big trouble for the rest of the run. At kilometre 8 I started to feel a bit of weakness, but I managed to continue more or less at the same pace for one kilometre, where I even found strength to speed up my pace a bit for the last kilometre.

I finished in 2:40, which is an acceptable time for me, when some team mates didn't even expect me to finish, and even after doing 48 minutes in the run. Other team mates, who always finish ahead of me didn't even finish, so I guess the result is pretty cool. I'm happy, at least. :) The results aren't up at the website yet, but the pics we've taken will be up at our gallery soon.

Now I just have to deal with my burned skin for a week or so, while I decide if I stop training for this season, or continue a bit more to do the last sprints of the season. My periostitis insists that I should stop now...

I can't wait to see the Athens 2004 triathlon on Thursday. GO, RAÑA!

Sat, 21 Aug 2004

Busy translating GNOME 2.8

After today's lunch, I managed to sit and start translating GNOME 2.8 to Catalan. I still don't know exactly how much is left, but I think I lots of important bits done today. I hope to have most of it done by the end of next week, which would give us a few days for polishing before the final release.

It disturbs me that in the last few months (probably when I started my job at Lliurex), I've had little time to coordinate the Catalan GNOME and GNU teams properly. I really hope I can change this a bit in the near future though. The lack of volunteers to help with translations in these two realms, lately, isn't making things too easy. The Translation Project is getting more and more apps registered for translation, but the Catalan team isn't getting more translators. Actually, some of them have gone missing, even. I guess it's time to call for help again in the different Free Software forums in Catalan.

After coming back from England I upgraded my devel box to GNOME 2.7 from experimental. First I got hit by the gnome-vfs2 bug which would hang nautilus, but after fixing that, it's running smooth. The changes with respect to GNOME 2.6 aren't too big, but fix many of the things that annoyed me in the previous version. I guess the biggest thing in GNOME 2.8 will be the new official apps like GNOME System Tools, GNOME Volume Manager or Evolution.

They say it was about time...

On Friday at 13:00 I gave up and bought a mobile phone. For years, everyone was urging me to do this, because "they couldn't contact me when they needed to". Well, I guess there were other ways before mobile telephony was introduced, because people managed to date and do stuff normally without them.

So, why the need? Well, I don't really know, but people just started buying phones and at some point, about 2 or 3 years ago (in Spain), everyone seemed to have one, and if you didn't you were annoying, because people would have to call to your fixed line, which is more expensive.

At some other point, the percentage of people with point was so big, that the few of us without a mobile phone would actually expend quite a lot of money when calling people. I find 70% or 80% of my calls were to mobile phones, which is quite expensive. And if I was out, it was really annoying: all the public phones in València are either a) vandalised and broken, b) just not working for some reason, c) charging 1€ just for establishing a link. That, and everyone telling me "dude, get a mobile phone!" provoked my defeat, and now I'm one more.

At least I can say I resisted 6 years before it got too expensive not to have one. The only other friend without a mobile phone is also getting one in the next few weeks.

The little thing doesn't take pics, is not a video camera, doesn't play FM radio or anything real nifty, but I can receive calls. My father got it from free from the telephone company, so I didn't use a single euro to get it. One nice surprise was to find that Alcatel (unlike, AFAIK, Nokia) supports Catalan in the phone's UI. :)

I'll mail people around to distribute the number to my close friends and relatives. If you're reading this and think you want my number, mail me, in case I forgot you in my list.

Thu, 19 Aug 2004

Oxford, 8th, 9th and last day

Ah well, I'm back in València, with no air conditioning, no long sleeve t-shirts (actually, no t-shirt at all) and some very nice 30ºC at midnight. LaMont, you'd pay to be here.

Monday 16th

As I said in my last entry, Lu, doko and I would meet at 7:30 in the morning to go for a run. The mobile phone made its very weird alarm-clock sound (it tries to sound like a rooster, but it quite doesn't get there) at 7:10, after I've had a veeery long and bad night. At some times, it seemed I was melting, and at some others I was very cold. I remember waking up and looking at the TV's clock at least 4 times. I also had a quite stupid and obsessive nightmare involving one of my eyes being crushed and my mother not caring at all, which kept coming back as soon as got asleep again. Anyway, I was very tired, but managed to get out of bed and get dressed with the running stuff. When I went into the bathroom, still more asleep than awake, I found that my eye was quite ok, and I remember being quite relieved about it. When I went down to the reception, I just found enrico, who was waiting for his taxi to go back to Italy, but no other runners.

Fortunately Lulu appeared, but Matthias seemed to be stuck to his sheets. Instead of going to the Thames Path, we went Lulu's way, which was a smaller path near the closest canal to the hotel. After going below the highway's bridge, the path led us to a smaller trail at one side of the small canal. Every now and then there were boats moored to the sides of the channel, which as Lu explained to me, are used by people to spend their vacation, as if they were doing camping. Very cool! After some 15 minutes, I left Lu behind for a while and following the trail I reached a urban area, which looking at multi-map would be Stratfield, Kidlington or whatever. I saw a sign that said something else though. At that point, I turned over and went back to where Lulu was, and both continued until the hotel. After a weekend of no physical activity at all it felt quite good.

Went for a quick shower and breakfast, and I was up at Cherwell ready for Monday's group session, which was pretty short. At 10AM, I started getting IRC and Jabber calls telling me to "come to your BOF, dude", and guessing it could be a good idea, I did. :) The BOF went very well, and after discussing the convenience of UTF-8 in a default install, we went to see how a Warty install coped with zillions of different language scripts and stuff, using two cool docs Mako had prepared. Pretty ok, except for some quite omissions which could have left without support just a few users in Asia.

Spent most of the morning ordering the notes of the BOF and preparing them for being included in the wiki. Also, seb128 kept telling me there was about to be a revolt in #gnome-debian if I didn't upload nautilus 2.7.3, but I certainly was quite busy with other stuff to deal with that. XMame being installed in my laptop didn't help either and just before lunch I found myself playing Bad Dudes vs. Drangoninja, and pumping up the volume of the speaker so everyone could hear well the awesome "I'M BAD!" sound after I killed a stage boss. Mako seemed to approve this every time I did it.

At lunchtime, we found out that they had arranged the tables in a weird way, joining all the tables into a very long one, leaving just a single one at the sofa area, and another small one in the big space left by the rest of the tables. Mako and I decided it would be cool (soo cool!) to sit alone in the single table, because it looked as if we were conspiring. And we certainly did! But that's a secret, until we have a webpage for this VERY EVIL PROJECT we're about to start. Warthogs will be assimilated unless they are bad enough dudes to help Ronnie.

After much fun at lunch time, we went back to the conference rooms and as soon started coming in, the activity partially was paralised by a very unfortunate happening at the conference rooms which made the rest of the day suck quite a bit. I hope it gets solved as we all want. :| After dinner Mako led a keysigning session. I got a nice list of fingerprints, and I hope I start getting signatures soonish. I'll try to sign my part soon. Went to bed quite early not knowing if we were supossed to run in the morning.

Tuesday 17th

After a long (8h, long for the WartyConf standard) sleep, Tuesday started with a few cool things. The Rosetta dudes had a long meeting with Mark, while I started fixing nautilus (which required eel2 and gnome-vfs2 updates, too), and at 11, I went to the security BOF, which ended being both very interesting and funny, with elmo saying "fuck" every 3 fucking words while defending the rights of debian admins. :) Shortly after I uploaded nautilus and deps, hopefully making people happy. gnome-vfs2 ended up with HAL support enabled, in an attempt of breaking things a bit more in experimental.

At 7PM it was running time again, this time with doko really joining us, and me leading the way to the Thames Path. Soon after getting in the path, doko got a bit tired and stopped, and I continued forward, with Lu following at a slower pace. The idea was to get to the bridge and come back, but once there I couldn't help reaching Oxford again. The segment after the bridge is very nice and I wanted to see it again before leaving. Not surprisingly, I didn't find doko and lulu until I got to the hotel, where they were stretching.

I went up to the restaurant to get a key from Carlos, but he wasn't there. mako and daf scared me telling dinner ended at 8, so I stayed to have dinner with my running clothes and not having a shower. Shortly after we were joined by doko and lu, and laughed with some of Mako's crazy stories again. And following dinner, swimming pool, with seb and Carlos, until we were kicked out by the gym dude.

And from there, directly to the Trout Inn again, after being showered by the not-so-light rain in our way there. After a while sitting under one of the large umbrellas in the terrace, it started pouring and my tired head couldn't think of anything else than how soaking wet I'd get to the hotel. Luckily it stopped, but that didn't change that a bit after 11, the pub closed and we were again kicked out. Back in reception, Lu proposed more running at 7:30, and I accepted too happily, knowing I had to pack up and stuff. I managed to go to bed at 1AM, which was a pain the morning after.

Wednesday 18th

Again the rooster woke me up and I didn't even know were I was. We went to the Thames Path again, but to the North side, which ended up being ok, but not near as good as the south route. There were many cows in the middle of the path which would only move away if you asked gently. That segment seemed to be a lot less used by travellers, etc. because at some points you barely could see the track.

Got slightly late for group session, but just in time for Jane to announce it was my last day. "Last ten minutes", I corrected. Mark thanked me for the stuff done during my stay, which was quite cool, but it really was nothing compared to what I learned throughout these ten days. I met many Debian and non-Debian people which I really wanted to meet some day: elmo, daniels (don't cry, little daniel!), mako (dude post your booklist!), daf, jdub, joeyh, fabbione, mdz, seb, lamont, thom... I really can't list everyone, you were too many! Also the first contacts with people I didn't know at all were interesting, with Mark and Lu being prominent. Mark's involvement in the Canonical projects was really surprising, I just didn't expect he would be allocating so much time on it. Lu was a surprise, because she ended helping me getting some training done throughout the week, and her travel stories at the Inn were superb. I really hope to see them again soonish. Thanks for the opportunity, it was a different, but worthy way of spending this year's vacation.

At 9:30 I started saying goodbye here and there, when elmo offered to give me a lift to Oxford's bus station. The offer was well received, as I had no pounds with me and was already exchanging euros with Mako to get some for the taxi. We left in a hurry (as I had to cancel the taxi the hotel had ordered for me) and forgot to say goodbye inside Wooton. Sorry guys. :) James drove me to Oxford, and dropped me just at the corner of the station at around 9:50, after having a nice chat with him. As soon as we said goodbye and he left, things started to turn against me.

If I had been a bit more observative, I would have seen the big yellow sign talking about the station being closed on Wednesday and Thursday before elmo left. But no, I just walked past it, went to the waiting area and as there weren't any buses parked at their places, I started reading the signs to see where the Gatwick bus would park when it arrived. But... wait a moment.. no buses at the station? WTF, it is always packed with buses. Noticed another of those yellow signs, which directed me to some street I of course knew nothing about. At the bus company office, I was informed that the station was closed, yes, but there was a shuttle bus which would take me to the auxiliary station at Oxford's outskirts. Went "round the corner", and found a guy with a walkie-talkie, and I asked him about the shuttle. "Yes, it's here, but you just missed one, next one in 15 minutes". Ok, calm down... it only makes sense that the bus either waits for the shuttle or leaves somewhat after the official time at the central station, at 10:15... right... asking the dude dragged me out of my perfect world bubble, as he replied "yeah, it's possible that you miss it. Actually, it's quite certain." FUCK! The bus arrived early but my luck ended right there, as we stopped in EVERY SINGLE TRAFFIC LIGHT in Oxford. When we arrived to the station, the bus couldn't turn right to enter the station because a bus which was coming out had preference -- MY BUS!

I then had an entire hour to think what I would do after arriving to Gatwick with just 45 spare minutes to check in. My little experience in air travelling told me this wasn't enough for an international flight. To make it better, it started raining quite hard, but at that point it didn't matter too much. I found 4 girls from València which I recognized because one of them was wearing a polo of my club. Talking to them killed 10 minutes of the 60 I had to consume somehow.

Finally, at 11:10 the bus arrived and it filled up with travellers. Being the same driver as when we came to Oxford, I could expect an air-conditioning hell inside, so I put on my long t-shirt. Well, after the first 10 minutes, the bus was so cold that LaMont's aircon setup at Flinstock would have seemed good enough to remain naked all day inside. LaMont, I swear you would have wanted to borrow my long t-shirt in that bus. This circumstance made it quite hard to sleep, even if I was just collapsing. I tried to read my book, but if I stopped and tried to think what had happened in the previous paragraph I wouldn't remember, making it quite a futile effort.

After two hours we arrived at Gatwick, grabbed my bags and ran randomly trying to find where to check in. I finally found my flight in a panel, and at the end of the hall spotted a large "International Flights" sign with a massive queue in front of it. I ignored it and went just to the front of the desk. After telling them I though I was a bit late for my flight and my destiny, they immediately opened a desk for me and I checked in my luggage. Wheeeew! I was the last to enter the boarding area for my flight, and 10 mins later I was in the queue to get into the BA airplane.

After having the same crappy airplane food as 10 days ago, I tried to read a bit more, but I kept falling asleep, and my head would fall forward every few minutes, making a very nice picture of me. I just couldn't help it. When we were near Valencia and started descending, the temperature in the plane's inside rised quite a bit and before I had a chance to take off my long sleeves, I was feeling a bit dizzy already, with the help of the 20 minutes of turbulences that acompained us until we landed. But at least I was back home at last.

The temperature is nice and warm again. 35ºC at the airport at 17:30! Most importantly, no more air conditioning!

Mon, 16 Aug 2004

Oxford, day 5, 6 and 7

Argh, just two days left for me at the conference.

Friday 13th

Friday was a slow day, after the great stuff going on on Thursday. There were talks on the status of hardware support in Debian, laptop support and jamesh did a quick demo on PyGTK programing.

When work ended, people started doing fun stuff. Some went off to drink a bit getting prepared to swallow Antitrust. Others stayed at some rooms hacking and generally wasting time. Mako and I started to do plans for a great xmame game, but faced some problems (like a *huge* compile and total lack of roms) and postponed until some time later. Went to bed way too late, after not training at all.

Saturday 14th

On Saturday, breakfast ended at 10AM, which was a pain. I spent most of the morning in zombie mode, while Colin took a few dudes to Cambridge to spend the day. Those who stayed at Oxford had a quick lunch at the bar, consisting of hamburger (my first shit-food-like hamburger in about 5 years) with bacon, while I made arrangements with my friend Graham from Loughsborough to meet in Oxford. Around 15:30, Graham appeared and we went down to town, where we parked his car (I was horrified by the parking fares in England) and started walking around the city, after rejecting the idea of taking a tourist bus, as most of the interesting stuff is actually in the pedestrian-only areas of the city centre. We visited the University area, with the old library and church, which were very cool, and then went down to the Cathedral, which was interesting because it's so different to a common Spanish cathedral. In Spain, they tend to be tall but not so large. Oxford's isn't tall, but it occupies a very large block. Furthermore, it's located in one of the ends of the city, so just outside of it there's just countryside, with large areas of grass where people can stay. Looks a lot more friendly to me than the evil church in Spain at least. We didn't go inside the Cathedral because we had to pay, and most of the stuff seemed to be closed anyway. Back at the centre, we had a tea somewhere, and then decided to stay to have dinner, and managed to find The Turf Tavern, near the Bodleian Library, and just off the Venecian arch, very well hidden in a tiny alley.

The Turf Tavern is awesome. It's a very old, historic pub located in a building dating the 14th century, and it really feels like a traditional English pub (I guess, anyway ;). Graham said I should try their cider, which was very cool. The pub's backyard has a few ilustrations which talk about what famous people like Bill Clinton did there when they were young. Clinton assures he "didn't inhale", just filled his mouth with some, let's say not legal substance. Let's believe him... Those that are staying for the rest of the week in Oxford should not miss this place. Try the cider, too (but only if you don't have to drive back)!

We finally had dinner at some Italian restaurant near the bus station, as Graham's foot injury was starting to hurt again and we preferred not to walk too much more. The pizza was great, but I can't remember the restaurant's name. We briefly visited a pub in the same street, which was full of people quite older than us (30's/40's). I liked the music a lot more than the music you find in a normal pub in Spain, which kinda sucks. Graham objected though, as he said it's always the same music from the 80's. I guess it can get boring, yes. Not much later we were back at the hotel, where I showed him the conference centre a bit and where all the Canonical stuff is taking place, and finally Graham left at 23:00 or so, as he had a bit more than one hour of car to get home. I'm glad we managed to meet, I hadn't seen him in the last 3 months since he left València and we had a great time at Oxford. Oh, I got a very nice British Triathlon T-Shirt too, with long-sleeves. Perfect for the air-conditioning freezing hell here at the hotel.

Sunday 15th

Slow day again, after getting little sleep. After going down at 10 for breakfast, I went up to the room again to see if I could catch some interesting Olympics stuff on the BBC, but after gymnastics finished, they started doing boxing, which I fucking don't understand why it's an olympic sport. Bleh. It sucks that I'm not following the Olympic games at all, I don't even know when the nice swimming stuff is, or when athletics start. I just know the Olympic triathlon is next week, which should be perfect for me to watch on TV. Learned that not only Greece lost their two better athletes under doping suspect, but they also got beaten by *Mali* on football. Fun...

Went to the mini-pool just before lunch, when everyone else were stuck to the bar's TV sets watching F1. Of course, Schumacher won again, what a surprise. I tried getting some swim, but it was quite hard, with just around 12 metres of swimming pool. I got quite tired as I only could do around 6 strokes before turning around and going back, losing much breath, so after a while I just ended having fun or doing some short technique exercises. When I went out I was quickly reminded that the changing rooms at the gym are the maximum example of air-con hell in this hotel. There is air-conditioning inside the changing rooms, with a quite cold setup, which just makes you freeze when you get out of the shower all wet. This is just crazy. Thom says the hotel is just trying to show off. Well, it shows off stupidity. :) After more hamburger for lunch, Mako and I finally started playing some X-Mame, as he finally found the needed roms. "Man, this game's great" or "I'm... Batman!", he kept saying. We started a Captain Commando game, which we didn't finish, as we were called by Fabio to go down to the swimming pool again. We had a nice time there, doing races and stuff. Shortly after Enrico, Teo and seb128 joined.

We went to the Trout Inn after dinner (instead of looking at what we wanted to do with the i18n BOF on Monday morning), which is just at the opposite side of the Thames Path, just along the road to Wytham. The inn is huge, and we had a few beers and a nice time, until we were kicked out at a ridicolous time, bah! Lu, doko and I agreed to go running at another ridiculous time, 7:30AM, next morning, but that's another story.

Fri, 13 Aug 2004

Oxford, day 4

I'm half-way into Friday and it seems I just arrived yesterday. I'm having a great time at the conference.

Yesterday was the most intensive day until now. As expected, I overslept a bit, just around 30 minutes. :) The program for the morning was interesting. It started with a one hour Desktop BOF which ended up lasting for around 4.5 hours. It was great to see the Desktop team discuss every single detail to an extreme, with some people saying "absolutely not!" and others "anything else would be un-con-sis-tent!". There are very cool ideas being thrown into this area of Ubuntu. I hope they can implement them all, it will plainly rock if they do. This BOF let me make up an idea of how the teams work at Canonical, I think I learned a lot just in this meeting. A website BOF followed, and Lulu and limi seemed to have things under control and very well thought. And at that time it was past 18:00 and I intended to go running. As I was heading to the stairs, Daf and Lulu grabbed me and I found locked up in another room, for the Translation BOF. Of course, I had entirely missed this one on the schedule, so I ended cancelling my plans and staying. The BOF involved all kinds of Debian translations, so I guess I was a bit helpful there.

And finally, it was 19:00, or dinner time. But I really wanted to go running, so I asked if I would be given food if I got back late to the restaurant, got a yes and rushed to change clothes and go out. Scott had suggested me that I went down the Thames Path which I had also spotted in my return during Tuesday's run. So I went out, barely warmed up and started running from the hotel road. Went down to the Trout Inn and the smell of nice food made me reconsider my decission of postponing food. I managed to defeat my stomach and continued. When I crossed the bridge, I understood that many of those gates I saw on Tuesday are actually not private property, and I could just open them. A few minutes after running along the canal I learned there's a zillion gates to open, actually. Every 200 metres. Luckily that was just at the beginning and soon I found myself running on a very nice path, after going past an old, abandoned church, with the Oxford Canal at my left. There were many people rowing in the canal, and others having walks or running too. The path was full of huge puddles, so I found myself practicing some obstacle jumps for Athens 2004. At some point the path widened and the grass was filled with lots of rabbit warrens. Lovely wabbits! I kept going on and on, delighted by the amount of animals that basically don't give a shit about you passing by half a metre away from them. There are cows, horses, ducks, some other aquatic black bird which is quite dumb and insisted in running ahead of me, and of course rabbits, which every now and then you found in the middle of the path before they slowly got out of the way. You don't see things like this in Spain too easily. Ahead of me there was a church tower which I decided to explore. I must have misscalculated the distance, because when I got there it was probably after half an hour of running (and after getting slightly lost, when I missed a signal saying that the path continued at the other side of the canal, going over a bridge), and the sun was nearly gone.

I went into the "town", saw it was probably bigger than a simple town (e.g, it was some part of Oxford, actually, but I didn't dare ask anyone "Excuse me, which town is this?", I prefer to spare the odd looks), found myself near the Westgate Hotel and The White House pub. This latter establishment made me think that if Mr. Let's Invade Another Country was inside I really wanted to get my ass out of there, so I started going back to Wolvercote. One hour after going out and 5 or 6 miles later I was back in the hotel, quite hungry, but it pays because discovering the Thames Path was great. It's perfect for running, as it's not a hard surface -- kilometres of soil and grass. I discovered the rest of people had either not started having dinner (Carlos' version), or were waiting for the second plate (Rob's). but in any case, I had a quick shower and joined the dinner, and managed to catch up with the rest as they started the dessert. A nice strategy to get rid of the waiting at dinner time. :)

After dinner, mako, jamesh, daf, Enrico, seb128, Carlos, fabbione and me started the tetrinet contest, which lasted for several hours, with seb128 winning, closely followed by me. For the first time, I went to bed at a sane hour, allowing me to get up in time for the 9AM meeting.

GNOME 2.7 problems in Debian experimental

Sorry, I should have written this more than one day ago, but time flies at the Canonical conference.

As the GNOME team seems to have GNOME 2.6 more or less sorted out for Sarge, it was time to break something else. As breaking unstable is not the greatest idea now, the obvious target was experimental. :) It's not a "oh fuck, my desktop died entirely" problem, but it could affect Nautilus users quite a bit. Two days ago, gnome-vfs2 2.7.90 was uploaded, thus switching Debian's GNOME 2.7 to Free Desktop's MIME type format. Applications need to be updated to use the new system (which needs some registering in postinst) before nautilus will recognize the MIME types they provide. So the biggest problem you'll find is that stuff like gedit doesn't open when you click on a text file in nautilus, etc. This is being fixed right now, but it'll take some days to have it done. Fortunately, we have the patches Ubuntu has kindly provided, which will ease this task a lot.

On a related note, and as I said above, Sarge is now only missing gnome-games and eog to complete the GNOME 2.6 transition. These are blocked by the exif/tiff transitions right now, but are not considered critical for the Sarge release. That means, if they don't make it in in time, they won't block the Sarge release. Anyway, we hope it'll be solved soonish, still. What we do probably want to stick in Sarge whatever it takes is GIMP 2.0.x. The current version in testing is quite unacceptable.

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