Performance vs usability

I had an idea to make Evolution display more human-readable/stuff-I-care-about-only sender information, but it was scrapped. It is sad when you hit technical roadblocks in technology (here, performance considerations) that trump usability (well, that and the fact that the devs were not too enthusiastic about the idea to begin with).

PiTiVi 0.13.1, Twitter

So, after many days of messing around with re-recording my screencast, I finally published the final version of my “PiTiVi 0.13.1 Release Demo” (also on Youtube), complete with clean sound recording and music.

Edward just blogged about the release, so this will probably create a surprisestorm on planet GNOME, or so I hope. To complement Edward’s “over 700 commits” statement, here is my commit graph for all of PiTiVi’s history up to this day:

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Specto 0.3 release candidate 1

Since hell is freezing over today, I’ve been nailed to my chair to prepare a new Specto release, at last. Uploaded packages, checked release notes, and reworked the website. Now, 0.3 RC1 is available for the masses, go test it! If no significant problems are found, this will become Specto 0.3 final. Special thanks to Wout Clymans for working so passionately on this release for over a year.

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Son 5.1, Ubuntu 8.04, PulseAudio

Zalors, maintenant que j’ai une carte son intégrée décente (chipset Intel HD audio, ICH9) avec six prises, j’ai donc installé, enfin, un kit de hauts-parleurs 5.1 sur ma machine. Étonnamment, avec PulseAudio, c’est pas difficile. Il suffit de lui spécifier qu’on a six canaux (par défaut, sa configuration considère qu’on en a deux), en modifiant le fichier ~/.pulse/daemon.conf et en mettant ceci à l’intérieur:

default-sample-channels = 6

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Profiling Specto (and whole Python applications in general)

A few months ago (when we still thought we were about to release 0.3 “real soon now” ;), I noticed that Specto is noticeably slow to start up, even on warm starts (when it is not the first time you launch it). It always takes at least 6 seconds to paint the list of watches and start refreshing them. During that time, there is a notably high CPU usage spike (surprisingly, no noticeable hard drive I/O), as shown below:

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Sunbird 0.9 et la situation des logiciels de calendrier

Sunbird 0.9 est sorti, avec son petit lot d’améliorations (une version précompilée est disponible sur getdeb. Même les dépôts d’Ubuntu 9.04 ne possèdent pas la dernière version). Si vous ne connaissez pas Sunbird, eh bien c’est la réponse Mozilla à la prière de ceux qui voulaient une application de calendrier dédiée (à la iCal) qui est utilisable pour quelqu’un dont l’horaire est en constante révolution (c’est à dire qui permet de déplacer/étirer des événements simplement par glisser-déposer). Croyez-le ou non, circa 2005, il n’y avait pas un seul logiciel dans le paysage Linuxien qui pouvait le faire. À ce moment là, l’apparition de Google Calendar était un rêve. Mais Google Calendar est une application web, donc pas bien pour les geek mobiles.

Dates est apparu et remplissait la tâche, mais souffre de bugs majeurs [1, 2] dont j’attends l’écrasement depuis maintenant deux ans. En fait, ces bugs sont réglés dans la branche “jana” (version openmoko de Dates), mais n’ont toujours pas été transportés à la version GTK/GNOME. Je pense que les glaciers seront fondus avant que ça se fasse.

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The state of video editors 4 years later

I started using Ubuntu Linux as my desktop near the end of 2004 and tried to help the PiTiVi project, because it was the most promising video editor project out there. Not a lot has happened since. Well yes, a lot has happened on the gstreamer front. PiTiVi is a nice video player now (sorry). But it can’t even be used for the most basic stuff of video editing. Sadly I am not a programmer by trade, or I would have made it happen.

It is a pleasure to see that my mockups I did about a year ago for PiTiVi were noticed and mentioned somewhere in planet gnome. I would also heartily recommend Eugenia’s excellent mockup (and similar to mine somewhat, in the sense that we both ripped the ideas out of Vegas Video’s excellent user interface)

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