Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Sunday 31 December 2006

libopenraw experiments

This use the upcoming GdkPixbuf support in libopenraw.

Click for larger version.

Monday 25 December 2006

libgphoto2 2.3.1

btw, a quick note: libgphoto2 2.3.1 and al. got released yesterday. It just fixes some bugs.


Saturday 23 December 2006

Why I won't buy Thinkpads any more...

Since Clare is looking for a new laptop to buy (part 2), I thought it should give my opinion. It just happen to be related to a currently unsolved problem of mine.

In the past I have always had a good success with IBM Thinkpad laptops and everybody in the Linux community were praising them for how well they ran on Linux (more or less some details as usual), including with the consistent ACPI bios and the quality of the keyboards.

Exactly a year ago I bought a Thinkpad Z60t to run exclusively Linux. This laptop caries an IBM logo and you get IBM Canada on the phone, but it is a Lenovo. This would all be okay, but no. Here is the list:

  • they don't refund the unused software even though the country they sell the computer in has something about that. I guess that's like every big corporation they just take the law as a guideline, and the government just don't care. They also charge for you to get the media that would erase your hard drive to allow you to get back the original software that was preloaded (this is not specific to this brand).
  • they are unable to provide the proper product description: they said Intel wireless and I end up to have to compile a binary driver. At that point I should just have returned the laptop. After all the advertised Intel Wireless took part of the process of choosing the laptop. (picture proof)
  • they changed the AC adapter and the battery. So you can't use standard IBM replacement or at least the old one. Apparently all new Thinkpad seems do be like that. So be it, but you lost one of your advantage.
  • there is a screw to hold the AC adapter, that I ended up "losing" (I found it every time). That shouldn't just happen to have to screw things back.
  • the battery is now dead. By dead I mean it say it is charged, and if you unplug the AC adapter, the laptop just turn itself off.

But what makes me so angry? The battery. I called the IBM hotline, and once we addressed the warranty expiration (because they didn't get the information from the reseller), they were supposed to send me a battery. In short, I call Tuesday, fax the information on the Wednesday, and from that they were supposed to ship me a battery. On the Monday still nothing, I call in, and got told that parts are "on order" and won't be shipped before the Wednesday 20th. It take 1 to 2 days to get them, so on the Friday I called and still nothing. WTF? Don't promise to deliver something you can't deliver. I call that dis-service.

One thing is sure is that I won't be buying IBM/Lenovo anymore. This issue is simply ridiculous (unfortunately I don't know what I will be buying, but unless I have to replace the current one, it is unlikely to happen anyhow).

Thursday 14 December 2006

git usability

So I hear that git is a usability disaster....

I recently moved from CVS to git for libopenraw. So far so good, efficient and productive. But, I just lost a bunch of changes... because of bad usability.

Here is how to not proceed (proceed if you want to lose changes).

From a master git repository, create branch A and branch B in two different directories using git clone Do some changes in A, and leave them there. Do some changed in B. Commit. Push. Changes in B. Commit. Push. Preferably some change are made in similar files as the uncommitted changes in A. Now return to A and pull. Wrong! It will let you do that, but it is dangerous and might end up reverting some change pushed by committing A. Why doesn't git tell me? Big usability problem. (hint, hint. AFAIK bzr allow it, eventually causing merge and conflict (no biggie). bk, the proprietary tool that git is supposed to replace just prevented doing a pull with uncommitted changes).

I would report the bug but couldn't get ahold of the bug tracker. Even the kernel have one...

Saturday 9 December 2006

libopenraw 0.0.1

I finally released the first version of libopenraw: 0.0.1. It is far from being complete, but it provide some functionnality and do it well (at least I hope). Release early, release often.

Read the announcement.

Sunday 3 December 2006

gphoto 2.3.0

gphoto2 and libgphoto2 2.3.0 are out.

Thanks to all the contributors for the excellent work.