On GNOME 3.27.90, time management, and a goodbye

Greetings GNOMErs,

It’s been a long time I don’t write here. These past months were excruciatingly busy and intense, and lots of things happened but I didn’t manage to keep up with the blog posts. I’ll try to condense everything that happened and is still happening and will happen here.

Calendar & To Do

I spent a good part of January polishing and fixing bugs in Calendar and To Do. Just to name a few:

  • GNOME Calendar
    • A huge memory leak in Calendar was fixed.
    • The support for weather forecast in Calendar was polished.
    • Calendar’s codebase was modernized and cleaned up. This has no user-visible side effects (except, of course, the bugs that are avoided because of that), but maintaining a clean and modern codebase is absolutely essential to keep the project healthy, the maintainers motivated, and the new contributors excited.
    • Many warnings and crashes were fixed.
  • GNOME To Do
    • The Todoist integration was reworked, and is much more stable and functional now. More improvements will land before 3.28, but this was already a remarkable rework.
    • The Todo.txt integration also received some attention, but is not yet where I want it to be. The support for subtasks was temporarily dropped until we figure out a way to implement it correctly. If anyone knows something about it, please comment below.
    • The Flatpak support matured a lot in the past few days, and now the Flatpak Nightly version will enable tracing by default. This will simplify the lives of users that want to test it and report bugs; and maintainers (read: me) that want to fix stuff before the stable release.

I’m feeling a bit pressured to put these apps in a good shape for GNOME 3.28, specially To Do, since it was selected to be installed by default on Ubuntu and I don’t want the new users having a bad and unstable experience. I also don’t want to deal with hundreds of possibly bugs after the release.

Settings (aka Control Center)

I’ve been working a lot recently on GNOME Settings, and reviewed (quite literally) more than a hundred patches in the past couple of weeks. Lots of interesting stuff landed:

  • GNOME Settings switched to Meson. The build times were cut down by a factor of 5, it is amazing!
  • A new Background panel is in the works, and appearently reaching a good state. Hopefully it’ll be ready before 3.28.
  • A new privacy option is about to be added (we’re just figuring out the wording) that blocks phoning home to detect the network status. Privacy-aware users will enjoy that new option.
  • Lots of smaller cleanups and code refactorings.

Now, something happened to Settings these days; it lost its maintainer. I’ve been trying to act as a maintainer during this blackout, and I’d be happy to continue doing that. Fortunately, there are many other heroes involved (shouts to Bastien Nocera, Debarshi Ray, Robert Ancell, Julian Sparber, Ondrej Holy,  and many others for your contributions and being great maintainers.)

Hopefully Settings is already in a good shape for 3.28, and will get even more solid in the following weeks.

A New Master

Big news: I’ve finished writing my Masters’ thesis, and it’s over now. It was a hell of a ride, and seeing in retrospective, I think enrolling a Masters did me more harm than good.

I’m finishing it with a bittersweet taste in my mouth; I’ve learned a lot, but, for many reasons, it was a bad experience overall that led me to a few burnouts and episodes of night terror and depression. I made the mistake of not stopping when I should, and advancing in this shitswamp had pretty catastrophic implications, including physical ones (in one of these nights of terror, I cut my own hand with a knife, and it was painful to use the computer for a couple of weeks.)

It is now over, and I’ll need to recover from the past 2.5 years. Which leads us to…

A Goodbye

But hey, it’s only for a month! I’ll be taking some weeks off and disconnecting from everything (including GNOME, Endless, family and everything else), a time that I’ll spend backpacking through some places around the world. I’ll refrain to tell where since I want to avoid being recognized (it’s not like I’m famous, but who knows!). I’ll be with my wife, and only her, during this period.

I just hope my apps don’t fall apart during this time. For someone who is routinely connected and helping others on IRC channels, disconnecting will be an interesting experience; perhaps agonizing in the first few days, but only time will tell.

So, see y’all in a month I guess? 🙂

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11 thoughts on “On GNOME 3.27.90, time management, and a goodbye

  1. I am just discovering gnome-todo. Nice software!

    You are mentioning todo.txt integration. I suppose you are talking about storing gnome-todo contents in this format and maybe allows importation/exportation of todo.txt files (sorry if you are talking about something totally different).

    I think you can support subtasks in todo.txt format with the help of artificial projects (+) or context (@).

    Example:

    Repair door +house @perso

    buy some tools to repair door +house @perso +subtask1

    Hammer +subtask2
    screws +subtask2

    do the repair job @house @perso +subtask1

    Repair other door +house @perso

    Of course, it is not ideal. Another solution is to add some technical code to indicate the level of the task.

    I am also using the calendar. Very nice also! One issue (or feature request) I have is to not see, in month view, the events for other months than current. If I have a very important event the 1st of the next month, I do not see it but I see the day (in light gray). It played with me some time where I forgot some events. I think it would be nice to have at least an option “continuous view”.

    Thanks again for all the work.

    Like

  2. P-S : the htmlization messed up with my example to do list. +subtask2 means “is a subtask of the task 2” but you don’t have the number because of htmlization.

    Like

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