Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The cost of doing your own shell on top of GNOME

In this post, Dave Neary writes:

OLPC had many teething problems with the Sugar desktop environment. Bugs, stability and performance issues plagued the project for many months, to the point where they abandoned the development of the stack as the primary target platform for the devices. The project lives on in Sugar Labs, thans to a broad and vibrant developer community.
-- snip --
There is another possibility which seems to me more plausible: building a rock solid and functional desktop is hard. Really hard.

Just wanted to mention that the Sugar team never had more than 4 full-time paid developers (and most of the time far less than that), and this is relevant to this discussion because shows that with the right approach and knowledge in the team, the challenge doesn't need to be so insurmountable. As a comparison, I would be very surprised if the other GNOME-based shells mentioned would have had teams with less than a few dozens of engineers.

Now, Sugar as a project and its architecture were set up by the Desktop Team at Red Hat, composed by long-time and well-known GNOME hackers, of which most of them are now involved in the GNOME Shell, maybe not by chance.

With this I want to say that maybe Canonical has in their Unity team people with equivalent experience, who have shaped the GNOME project since its inception and thus know how to take this challenge. If that's the case, then I think they would have a bigger chance than what Dave concedes.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Now moving for real

In January I tried to move from Sugar to other projects, but Collabora prevented it by hiring me to work on Sugar and Telepathy integration.

Nine months and a release cycle later, I'm doing it for real. During the next months I will be switching to work on totally different stuff, involving Clutter and WebKit hacking.

Also plan to keep hacking a bit on Telepathy, would be a pity stop using what I learned during most of this year.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Notes on porting a Python application to GNOME 3

For you, GNOME Planet readers, Jordi is porting Naufrago! from PyGTK to GNOME 3 (so PyGObject + introspection) and has posted in his blog some notes that will help others doing the same.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lost email

My email client just permanently deleted a message marked as spam before I could open it, but had time to glance the subject line and it seemed to be a request for contacts in LatAm related to the OLPC deployments there.

So if the person who sent it is reading this, just send it again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Get the latest PyGObject and introspection bits!

So people are starting to port their apps to introspection from the about-to-be-obsolete PyGtk+ bindings and I'm getting questions in #python @ GIMPNet about how to get the latest and greatest version without having to build stuff.

For those in Fedora: you can get it already from F15, will be backported to F14 after it's out.

For those in Debian: watch experimental for updated packages soon.

For those in Ubuntu: update to Maverick and watch the telepathy PPA for updated packages soon.

Update from comments:

For those in openSUSE: you can get it already from openSUSE Factory, and will be backported to 11.3 as part of the GNOME 2.32 backport.

For those in Microsoft Windows: no binary packages have been built at this moment and nobody is currently known to be working on it.

If anybody has corrections or additions, please comment and I will update the main post.