I’m addicted

And it took only a day and a half — I went to the Maemo Summit and got one of the N900 loaners. And I’m not sure what I’ll do when I have to give it back in six months. It’s great… Let’s compare it impartially to the E71 and N810 I used before:

  • It’s got a better keyboard than either
  • It’s thicker than the E71 but smaller than the N810
  • The webbrowser of the E71 crashes on maemo.org, the N810 or N900 browsers don’t, but they are a bit slow.
  • The email client has a bit of a problem with large inboxes, but the E71 email client doesn’t want to connect at all to some of my email accounts.
  • Plenty of free memory
  • Plenty of free software, compared to nearly none for the E71
  • Open for any kind of hacking — can even play ogg! — which impressed Rebecca no end.
  • Worst thing: the battery goes flat after only eight hours of continuously running ssh to my home server, the media player, the  (great) mauku identi.ca client, email checking, browsing and gaming — and it can run only about six to seven apps at the same time before the music starts stuttering when when I connect it as a mass storage device to my laptop. Shame!

Er, well… I just love this device. Doing without in in half a year will be a bit wrench. And it even runs KOffice, or rather FreOffice, the KOffice-based office document viewer KO GmbH and Nokia have worked on. And even the current GTK-based software is super smooth and usable. The integration of various services is great.


I lent my E71 to Naomi, and she immediately discovered that it can actually use our home wifi network. And Irina got my N810.

It’s a pity I was too tired (I’ve just been ill, and not completely recovered) to be around at the Maemo Summit for more than a day and a halef. In fact, I was so tired I kept making stupid mistakes, like not recognizing some people I should have known in In de Wildeman at the first, informal party (where there was the excellent Jopen Stout  on tap). I attended an hour on Friday, and most of Saturday, but on Sunday I stayed at home.

Nokia did us extremely well indeed: lunch was uniformly satisfactory, there was always some fresh fruit or candy to nibble on, as well as coffee to correct any mishap caused by any of the parties thrown in the evenings (which I did not attend, on account of being too tired, more’s the pity).

There was plenty of space for relaxed hacking in the very cool, very hip Westergasfabriek. The combination of awesome industrial architecture, kindergarten, soccer fields and a park made for a unique surroundings.

Many of the presentations were really interesting, though there were some duds as well, and the keynote by Ton Roosendaal from the Blender Foundation was inspirational. Starting with the content and then adapting the application to make it possible to create that content seems like a good strategy for Krita, too.

I missed the most interesting (after Ton’s) presentation, though:   Suresh Chande presenting the KOffice-based viewer application, actually using the KPresenter port on the N900 to give his presentation. How cool is that? And he had an interesting bit of news, too: Nokia have contracted KO GmbH to create KOffice filters for MS Office 2007 files — which are somewhat similar to the formats defined in OOXML. And the coolness doesn’t end there, I’m told. KOffice 2.1 is going to rock because of all the bug fixes. Last night we went out for dinner to Padi at the Haarlemmerdijk 50. We had some amazing food… Vegetarian and extra chicken dishes no problem. And really, living near Java House in Deventer, where they cook like royalty, I like to think I have acquired some discrimination in Indonesian food, and Padi cooks extremely well. All the eleven or twelve dishes were just right, balanced to a nicety with no skimping on the peteh beans or trassi, and there was enough of everything. And it was not just us: all evening people were arriving (and leaving because it was full), and just when we were ready to leave, another group of Maemo-summit goers were wondering whether to enter, a course of action we could whole-heartedly recommend!

And for added atraction, there’s a a big, fat restaurant cat.


Oh dear…

The usb harddisk for backups has arrived. The usb dvd player has arrived. The extra memory has arrived. But my new laptop (a hopefully-spiffy X61 tablet thinkpad), which was in stock with Misco when I ordered it there, is still not even en route — what’s more, the moment I ordered it, the “in stock” note changed into “wait 3 to 10 days for new stock”.

Without a new laptop I cannot do any work on KOffice or Krita: the webserver is way too underpowered to even try developing helloworld.c on, let alone a million loc software suite. My Pismo powerbook now makes the most disquieting noise when it’s plugged in — Naomi stumbled over the powerlead and made it crash. I’m struggling to make a backup now, on the aforementioned usb harddisk.

Another thing: I won’t be available on IRC much from 8:45 AM to 7:15 PM CET for the foreseeable future. If you need to know something about Krita, don’t try IRC, try mailing me personally, or the KImageShop mailing list.

Now what

Now what

Is fire engine 26742 doing outside my window? And all those chappies in yellow vests and white helmets? I don’t smell fire…

And Krita, it was compiling.


When you read this, your provider has already received the DNS update for valdyas.org. We not only moved house, but also ip address. We’re now living in the town centre of Deventer — look at the lovely Waag, which is just a minute walking from here:

This is what the living room looked like before we moved in:

By now we’ve not only got internet again, but most of the books are out of the boxes, too:

And this is what our old living room looked like before

and after the movers took most of the stuff:

Anyway, KOffice is compiling again!

Moving house

Next week we’re moving house. So valdyas.org will in all probability be down for a week (or more, depending on how fast our ADSL connection is moved), and I will not only be incommunicado, but I also won’t be working on Krita.

Which is a pity, because after reading Dan Sawyer’s July Linux Journal article on Deep Images, I feel extremely motivated. It’s a pity the article isn’t available on-line, except for subscribers, but it’s very enthusiastic and positive. Indeed, the first word that came to my mind was “panegyric”…

Paint Mixing

I hadn’t time to blog about it yesterday — much too busy attending the extremely interesting BOF track — but, hey! Emanuele Tamponi has checked in his very first version of the color mixing palette. Using Tunde Cockshott’s Wet & Sticky code as a guideline, he made sure that when you mix blue with yellow you get, indeed, green. Likewise red and blue gives purple!

I’m on my way home now, in Glasgow’s airport. Yes, it still smells of  fire in places. The security checks took much less time than I’d thought, though, so I could conceivable have attended the first track of today’s BoF sessions and still been in time. And wifi at aKademy might be patchy, but it is free. Here, I’m paying 4 or 5 pounds per hour.

Looking bad, I’m so glad I went. I finally met with Bart Coppens and Emanuele Tamponi in person. I had a lot of fun, learned that we did the right thing in our use of Interview in the Krita layerbox and how to handle gdb in Emacs. Great stuff, great people — many new faces, which I think is great, too.

Monday — and e.V. meeting

Still no luggage — I went out to Burton’s yesterday and bought new shirts, trousers, jacket, underwear, socks and shoes. Also proper shampoo. So I’m once again the spruce and natty hacker that I always strive to be.

The conferences track is over. Several conferences were extremely striking: Zack Rusin has basically implemented something very like Gegl and demoed it. It already does all kinds of hardware optimizations. On the other hand, there are certainly bits that are quite alpha. And just like me, Zack hasn’t got the tiled-convolution working correctly yet.

I really learned a lot during the specially added Sunday Morning Nepomuk talk. This was a great thing: Tudor Groza from the Nepomuk project can speak at a free software conference. It’s the kind of cross-pollination I love to see. Jos’ Strigi talk was pretty interesting too, and I’m really looking forward to the semantic desktop bof next morning.

Emanuele Tamponi (Thrain) arrived at one o’clock in the night, by taxi from Edinburgh, and we met up yesterday. We skipped the afternoon talks — sorry Sander! — and did a preliminary Krita meeting. We improved the design for the painterly features — I guess that Cyrille will be posting the meeting minutes soonish — and today in between the two parts of the e.V. meetin we’ll continue with the tile-backend, layer/node organization and action recording topics. High bandwidth, lots of decisions and fun hacking ahead!

Jim Zemlin from the Linux Foundation (who have sponsored this aKademy) did a keynote on “The Linux Desktop — the Next Phase”. I got the impression that Jim is maybe a little parochial in his outlook — very USA-centric. He wanted Linux to appear on smartphones and other gadgets. I mean, the smartphone I won at last year’s aKademy runs linux already!

That brings me to the last topic: I presented the aKademy awards last night. We, that’s Laurent, Alexander and me, selected Sebastian Trueg for K3B (best application), Mathias Kretz for Phonon for best non-application and Danny Allen for his commit digest and all the other work he’s doing. Danny was present, so he got away with the Kitware-sponsored swag :-).

Rounding off the evening in a nice imitation-Irish pub (Waxy O’Connor’s) with good food, beer and whisky left me in fine fettle for this meeting!


My bag is back! I’ve got my bag back! Not that I didn’t look spruce and suave and everything I should have looked at the Lord Provost reception in the town hall tonight — being clad from toe to crown, from outer crust to inner underwear in Burton’s best — but I’m glad to have my pocket knife, my good shoes and everything back.

Today was the e.V. meeting, an exercise in unavoidable tediousness. And when there’s finally something riveting happening, I can’t blog about it, because it’s e.V. stuff!

I had a very, very encouraging talk with Claire and Anne Oestergaard and some other people at the reception, though, about meshing research, funding and open source. It’s a bit of a problem for institutions like the European Commission to fund research and innovation executed by loosely-knit organizations like the KDE project. They know that, we know that, and tonight we discovered that there’s lots of knowledge within KDE and the wider free software world to at least start working on that. I’m so looking forward to Claire’s bof tomorrow! (And also to the semantic desktop bof — a prime example of really, really working cooperation between research, business and free software. And then Till is going to explicate Interview for us, and there are many more really interesting things to attend.

So it’s a good thing we’ve finished our Krita design meeting tonight, in Waxy O’Connor’s (again). We also lunched there… It’s a grand place, because the food is good, the beer is decent (I haven’t discovered a real ale pub in Glasgow, and I’m dying for a pint of bitter!), and the music is quiet enough that you can discuss the right location for pyramids in Krita’s architecture without needing to shout. Bart is going to leave for Belgium really early tomorrow, and I’ll be leaving on Wednesday.

With my luggage!

Hugin and camera distortion

On Sunday, Pablo D’Angelo, lead developer and maintainer of Hugin, presented his application to the LGM crowd. Cool stuff in itself, but the really cool thing was this:

Pablo proposes to develop a database that would contain characteristics for lenses like distortion and vignetting. Every lens is subject to those problems, and they are specific for specific types of lens. There’s even a commercial company that sells a database with this information for lots of money, and there used to be a free database, too, but that was taken proprietary.

Together with that database would come a small library that applications like Digikam, Gimp or Krita could use to fix distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration — based on the lens used for the input image. Applications could do that at the import stage, or, in the case of Krita, as an adjustment layer or effect mask.

Hugin, because it uses large numbers of shots and analyzes them, can provide the necessary information. There would then be a web app for photographers to upload the data, which could get checked and coordinated by volunteers.

Pablo is going to get this jumpstarted real soon now by getting the CREATE community involved. And as soon as we’ve got a prototype, Krita will add support. This is exciting stuff!

Lecturing on Krita

Fabrice Mous had asked me to give a presentation on Krita and KOffice at today’s NLLGG (the Dutch LUG) meeting. It went quite well, all in all, I think. My text and my slides diverged fairly soon, so it became more of a lecture than a presentation. Especially because there was a whiteboard, so I could sketch out concepts like brush simulation and so on.

I’ve touched on the history of Krita development, the way painting can be simulated, color management, krita-as-part-of-koffice and more. Usually I finish much too early, but this time I overran by about twenty minutes. Nobody seemed to mind, and near the end, when I talked about the user survey we did a while ago, a gentleman in the public told us about his use of KOffice in the school where he teaches and delivered a ringing encomium for KOffice!

Afterwards there were drinks in a restaurant close by. I went, had a
nice chat with people who had only just discovered Krita (a  surprising number, actually, had only heard of Krita in the past month), but left really soon. The room was very smoky and it turns out that my tolerance level for tobacco smoke has dropped more than I thought. After all, I used to smoke a pipe regularly (that is, about once a month) and I grew up in a house filled to the rafters with a permanent blue haze.

Another observation: SuSE is still really popular as is KDE. I had not realized how strong SuSE has been in the Netherlands, probably because at Tryllian there has always been a strong Debian culture with a Mandriva undercurrent.