Identity crisis

I have to fill in a form now to renew my passport and I should put my occupation. It sucks that they have an exhaustive list with 50+ occupations, including specific stuff such as “Music and precision instruments assembler”, and I have to mark “Other occupation not previously specified”.

Evince’s annotations: “final” report

Google Summer of Code is officially over and it’s good to look back and see what happened during the summer (even if the work is not over yet!!). I will go ahead and do the list-based post which helps me keep things clear.

These were nice features that were implemented or fixed and that are already on the latest evince release (yey o/):

These are patches which are currently under review:
And there is a branch in which I am finishing developing highlight annotations. After several iterations, we decided to make it work with highlight first, so that adding strike out, squiggly, and underline is trivial afterwards. Here’s how it is working:

You can see that there is a big delay between dragging the cursor and updating the view with the highlight. It is precisely this problem that I am trying to fix at the moment, thus “final”, in quotes, as the title of this post.
Among fixing/reporting bugs and coding, I’ve met great people along the way and got to know an incredible community. The whole experience was great and I hope it lasts more than this summer 🙂

GUADEC 2014: the aftermath

It’s been more than a week since I am back from GUADEC in Strasbourg, and I must say it was an amazing experience! I went there in the middle of a chaotic time: I had just finished my PhD defense, was helping organize a huge logic conference and, because of this conference, had many friends around and even one at my place. This did not leave me much time to think, which was in fact good. Because if I stop to think about it, I was going to this place I did not know, alone, to meet people I met only over the internet. It sounds like something my parents would strongly oppose, if it was 1999. But it was not, and so I went.

I must say that, coming from a very technical conference, the talks at GUADEC were refreshing. There I was, a complete newbie, able to follow a lot of interesting stuff. But what made me most happy was in fact the people. You know when you are among a group of very cool people and everyone is so nice to you that you just think “I have to be part of this!”? This is how I felt. I got there and I did not know one soul, still people were very friendly and integrating. There was always company for lunch and dinner, and there were always programs for the evening. And in the meantime, I could even program 🙂

Evince’s hackfest on the days before GUADEC was very cool. Not only did I meet my mentor and all the other evincers, but also had progress on the annotation handling. I have a branch now on which annotation works, and we are currently working on optimizing it and organizing the code. Since I found out KaL is the only maintainer, I am trying to make my patches as easy to understand as possible to try and facilitate his work. It is almost certain that these will not be ready to be pushed to master by the end of gsoc, but honestly, I don’t even see this as gsoc anymore. I will continue working on it until it is ready, then I will go trolling for other bugs 😛

It’s funny how things happen sometimes… I enrolled on gsoc because of a career mishap on the beginning of this year. I wanted to prove something, for myself, at least. I listed some projects, some more academic, and gnome, just because I thought it would be so cool to contribute to something I have been using freely for years. My head was already full of science stuff, so I decided to go for gnome. Although academia-oriented people would say it is a waste of time, I do not regret one second. It was a very fulfilling experience, that went way beyond the point I wanted to prove, whatever that was. Maybe it took me some time from research, but I feel like I was doing something that mattered. I felt useful. It feels good 🙂
I wouldn’t like to let that go.

I hope to see you all in Sweden next year!

MacBook Air + fedora

Apparently I don’t have enough projects on my hands, so I decided to install fedora on a MacBook Air to see if I can get the best of both worlds. I am sure you are thinking “are you crazy? OS X is the best system ever and you want to ruin it?”. Well, I’ve seen people install window on macbooks, so much for crazy huh?
Jokes aside, I have tried using OS X. It is indeed an awesome system, but nothing beats Linux for programming for me. Especially since I have started contributing for gnome, I could not really consider abandoning Linux for good. So I have two laptops, one old sony vaio with linux where I do most of the work and a fairly new macbook, that works like a charm, is quiet and has a battery that lasts forever which I use for… presentations… videos? sometimes… hmm I tried programming, but installing the tools is annoying and the terminal is kind of slow. I wondered for some time (too much time!) whether I could join forces and have a decent running linux on the macbook. I even installed a virtual machine with debian to see how it goes. It worked well, but a virtual machine is not a machine, and it was eating the battery up. In the end, I was too afraid of going through the process of partitioning disks on some non-standard hardware and messing up a perfectly functioning computer for good. (Yeah, I know this would not happen, but I wouldn’t want to spend a week trying to fix stupid installation mistakes).
Anyway, I was in GUADEC and the amount of people running linux on their apple machines encouraged me. I decided to install fedora 20 with gnome 3 (dual boot, of course) and I’ve been happy so far. I only had problems because I decided to be funny and create an HFS+ shared partition for my files, but it was not so hard to fix that. Basically, the steps were:
  1. Install rEFIt
  2. Partition the disk using OS X’s Disk Utility: 50 GB for OSX, 150 GB for my files (HFS+, not journaled) and 50 GB for Fedora (free space)
  3. Download fedora’s Install DVD 
  4. Create a bootable usb from the dvd image (again using Disk Utility)
  5. Reboot the computer with the usb connected.
  6. Install Fedora 🙂
I had to install TLP additionally because of overheating, but that was easy enough. I also had to force mounting the 150 GB partition with rw permissions, as it was read-only by default. In the beginning I was having some reading problems on this partition. Fedora randomly stopped reading some files and directories. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened since I upgraded to kernel 3.15. I have installed everything I need and I am programming on it since yesterday. Everything looks good and I am very happy with my new computer! Also, gnome 3 is awesome 🙂
Ah, you might have noticed from the picture that it has a German keyboard… nothing is perfect 😉