Tag Archives: GUADEC

End of year thoughts

Inspired by others, I thought doing a retrospective on 2017 would be an interesting thing to look back on in a year’s time and see what’s changed.

Work things

December 2017 marked a year of me working for Endless. It’s been twelve months of fixing small bugs, maintaining some OS components, poking my nose into lower parts of the OS than I’m used to, and taking on one or two big projects. I spent a significant amount of time on a project to add new distribution features to libostree and flatpak. That’s something which will hopefully be rolling out in early 2018. It was good to be able to get fairly deeply involved with a new component at a lower level in the stack. More of that in 2018!

I also spent some of my time in 2017 picking up a bit more of the GLib maintenance workload. I’m not sure how much of a difference it’s made to the bug backlog, but it’s kept me occupied anyway.

Hobby things

For most of my working life, I’ve had the luxury of being able to work on FOSS software (mostly in the GNOME ecosystem) as my day job, and as a result, quite a few of my hobby projects are actually maintained during the day. The ones which aren’t have suffered during 2017, because time and energy are limited. I’ve been thinking of ways to ensure that code gets maintained, but haven’t come up with any good solutions in 2017. That’s one to carry over into 2018.

Trips

2017 was a bit less of a plane-heavy year than 2016, but some trips still happened:

  • FOSDEM, catching up with old friends and colleagues, and where the start of the current phase of GLib maintenance started.
  • A week of caving in South Wales, including a trip down the fantastic Dan-yr-Ogof cave (the short round), which included floating down an underground canal on an inflatable swimming pool ring.
  • A week of walking in the Glencoe area, where the weather was uncharacteristically cooperative, and the views were, predictably, pretty good.
  • A party in London to celebrate Endless’ 5th birthday. As always, it was good to spend quality time with my Endless colleagues in endless pubs.
  • Two weeks of caving in Austria, finding some new cave, and exploring further into existing cave. This is something I’m hoping to repeat in future.
  • GUADEC in Manchester, right on the back of the Austria trip (including some fun in posting a laptop to myself so I could have it at the conference). I gave a talk, which some people listened to. We also went on a walk in the Peak District, which was good fun (even if the weather was a bit grey).
  • Two weeks of long-distance trekking in the Svaneti region of Georgia. An excellent destination, with excellent cheese bread. We derived continual amusement from the guide’s dry humour, and the ‘helpful’ comments left by others on the trek information we were using. I did not get struck by lightning.
  • A long weekend in Stockholm to explore the city and catch up with friends. Stockholm has good running!

The outdoors

2017 has definitely been a year of taking advantage of living in the north of England.

  • Around 40 caving trips on weeknights and weekends, which have been interesting and (mostly) fun.
  • 12 fell races, a fun run along with a friend for part of their Bob Graham round, and my first ultra.
  • Running really took off for me: around 1300km run in total (and 57km of ascent), and about 150 hours of 2017 spent running.

Reading and listening

Gigs were a bit thin on the ground: despite there being plenty on in my local area, I always had something else to do. Despite that:

  • Insomnium were good, though I had to leave before the end because of trains.
  • Breabach were very good, and a band I hadn’t heard before going to the gig. Now a favourite.
  • Kreator sounded uncannily like their last live album, but were otherwise enjoyable.
  • Opeth were pretty fantastic, playing a good variety of new and old stuff.

I managed to read only 13 books in 2017, though that number is largely padded out by some short stories I read just to reach my yearly target. That’s not quite fair, though; I read 3250 pages in total. Most recommenable: Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang; most disappointing: Hiroshima.

GUADEC 2017: sun, rain, Coverity, walks

GUADEC 2017 has ended in Manchester. It’s been great; thanks to the organisers and sponsors for a fun conference (this year’s highlight: a preponderance of Tiki bars).

We’ve had sun and heat, and we’ve had rain and more rain. Often within the same hour. On the final day of the conference, a group of us went out to Edale to do some walks to see the Peak District, a national park area near Manchester. This is an area I’ve visited many times before, so it was fun to be able to show it to GNOME people.

This year I gave a talk about the Coverity scans I’ve been running on various GNOME and freedesktop modules for the last year. The slides are online and the video will be up with the rest of the GUADEC videos. If you have a security-critical (or other) module which you’d like to be included in the scan set, let me know. Coverity’s good at finding bugs in complex control flows, but you do need to put some time into triaging its reports. I’m happy to provide guidance about using it.

I spent a fair amount of time during the unconference days reviewing Simon McVittie’s D-Bus work to add support for app-containers into the D-Bus specification and dbus-daemon. This is the first part of an effort to improve support for exposing unconfined D-Bus services to confined app-containers safely and efficiently. The rest of my time was spent working on exciting support for updating flatpak over the LAN for Endless OS. I’ll blog about this more in future.

Thanks to the GUADEC team for organising a great conference, the conference sponsors, and to my employer, Endless, for sponsoring me to go.

GUADEC trip report

Another year, another GUADEC. Brno this year was good, and well organised. The intense heat was bearable by eating lots of ice cream (though there was no ice cream deathmatch — what happened to that?) and drinking lots of excellent Czech beer. A number of the usual faces were missing this year for various reasons, which was a great excuse to meet the new contributors and GNOME OPW/GSoC students! They were a big presence at this year’s conference, and it was interesting to see their project lightning talks. I’m looking forward to seeing all the work land in git.

For me, the best talks were Lennart’s talk on sandboxing GNOME applications, the panel discussion on Wayland, and Stef’s talk on security in GNOME (or why we should destroy all security question dialogues). My talk was a little shorter than expected, but a few people seem interested in the idea, which I’ve released as uhttpmock; my slides are available online.

Thanks to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my stay in the Taufer dorms. It was reasonable accommodation, and nice to have (almost) all the conferencees together in the same building and able to hack together in the lobby.

I’m now off to Honduras for over a month. See you on the other side!

Testing online services

I’m at GUADEC! The conference has been great so far: a nice location, good organisation, interesting talks, and Czech beer. Thank you to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring me.

I’ll be giving a talk tomorrow (Saturday, 11:35, room E112) about testing online services. It’ll be a short presentation about some work I’ve started recently on mocking web services so that unit tests for client code can be run offline. This is an area with quite a lot of potential, and what I’ve done so far has only just scratched the surface, so if you’ve got ideas about this kind of thing, please come along and we can have a good discussion.

Update: Thanks to all who attended the talk and gave their input. My slides are available online (and the source files are in the same directory).

A GNOME Foundation sponsorship badge.

Obligatory post-GUADEC post

Many thanks to the local team for this year's GUADEC, which is definitely the best organised one I've been to. They were really hospitable, and had
sorted everything out, down to the last complementary apple.

I had some great evenings with friends at the Rialta and on the beach, and even got some hacking done (on automake macros, of all things). It was great
to see everyone again and, as always, meet new members of the GNOME community.

Thanks to the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my accommodation at GUADEC. It was really nice to have so many of the conference attendees staying in
one place (with its own cheap bar), and to have the pre-registration party there.

GUADEC!

I've arrived at GUADEC! I'll be giving two talks this time: one on Bendy Bus, at 16:15 today (Thursday) in Room 3.2; and one on libfolks at 18:15 tomorrow (Friday) in Room 3.0. Come along if you've got nothing better to do.

Bendy dissertation, Bendy GUADEC

Hot on the heels of Daniel Siegel, I've recently submitted my bachelor's dissertation to my university about the development of Bendy Bus. It's a much less impressive piece of work (and not bound as nicely) than Daniel's, but I too will be giving a talk about my dissertation at GUADEC, titled “Bendy Bus: fuzzily impersonating D-Bus services”. Come along to it to learn how to use Bendy Bus to fuzz test D-Bus clients. I might even prepare some slides, or something.

In time for submission of my dissertation, I released version 0.1.0 (and then the inevitable 0.1.1 and 0.1.2 brown paper bag releases) of Bendy Bus. You can get the source on gitorious, and the 0.1.2 tarball on my website. The manual's also available online (as well as in the tarball). Have a play!

(I'll also be giving a talk about libfolks, “folks of the future: more contacts everwhere”; more details to follow later.)

The last GUADEC post?


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GUADEC's over (and has been so for a while) and was great. The talk videos are up, and still I haven't blogged about the conference. Naughty me.

The conference was great: it was good to meet up with friends (old and new) again, get a bit of hacking done and hear lots of discussion about the future of GNOME. My thanks to the GNOME Foundation and my summer employer, Collabora, for sponsoring my accommodation and travel. Thank you to the local team for organising a brilliant GUADEC in a nice city, and here's to a successful GCDS 2011 in Berlin!

In other news, I've finally got fed up with forgetting to add new files in my project to either the project-wide header file or the documentation index, so I wrote some `make check` rules which will check for my braindeadness:

This one goes in the Makefile.am in the directory which builds your public header (such as gtk/gtk.h), and assumes a list of all the headers you're going to install is in public_headers, and that your main header's path is in main_header.

check-local: check-headers
check-headers:
	@any_missing=0; for header_file in $(public_headers); do \
		if test "x\(\)header_file>" $(main_header) >/dev/null; then \
				echo "$(main_header) doesn't appear to include \"\(\)any_missing"

This one goes in the Makefile.am in your gtk-doc directory (e.g. docs/reference), and only assumes the existence of DOC_MAIN_SGML_FILE, which needs to be defined for gtk-doc anyway.

check-local: check-xml-includes
check-xml-includes:
	@any_missing=0; find $(srcdir) -name "*.xml" | while read x; do \
		xml_file="\(\)xml_file" != "x$(DOC_MAIN_SGML_FILE)"; then \
			if ! grep "\"\(\)xml_file\""; \
				any_missing=1; \
			fi; \
		fi; \
	done; exit "$$any_missing"

I've filed bgo#627920 about adding the second rule to gtk-doc itself. I'm not sure the first rule is general enough to be put anywhere common.

GUADEC's nearly here!

Less than a week from now GUADEC 2010 will have started: a week of talks, work and partying in The Hague! This doesn't happen by magic, though, and we're still looking for volunteers to help the week run smoothly. We need just a few more heralds, particularly for Thursday and Friday, to announce each speaker, keep time, ensure that the speaker has what they need, and help out with the changeover between speakers. Volunteering to herald for just one morning or afternoon would be a great help, and the only requirement is that you can spend the entirety of that morning or afternoon in one room. With the interesting talks on this year's schedule, this should be possible!

If you want to help out but don't fancy heralding, there's always more which can be done! In either case, please leave a comment below or e-mail guadec-list {at} gnome(.)org with your availability.

I am attending GUADEC