This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of any of my employers or customers.

Except if stated otherwise, all the code shared is reusable under a MIT/X11 licence. If a picture is missing a copyright notice, it's probably because I'm owning it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Unleash your (F-Spot) toolbox

Rumor has it that, during latest UDS, Ubuntu planned to drop Gimp from the default distro and the LiveCD. I won't comment this decision as 1) I have no clue if that's a rumor or more, 2) it was already commented too much, 3) I'm not a whiner, 4) there's a rationale behind that decision and I think I understand it, 5) the full Gimp is only one apt-get away.

But some were concerned about the lack of basic image editing. Enters F-Spot, the loved Photo Manager and his little brother, the --view mode. The --view mode is a standalone application, which, on top of F-spot loaders and widgets, provide a simple (ala eog) image viewer, which only view the images, and let you browse the metadata. This is it. Or was it 1h30 ago. With very few code, I plugged the main F-Spot editors inside the single view mode. And that worked quite well !

Of course, F-Spot editors are nowhere close to Gimp's, and don't even aim too. But they cover 90% of your daily usage and are (probably) simpler to use than Gimp. And even more, you can write (read contribute) some additional ones in very few lines of code. e.g. the BlackAndWhite extension is 120 lines long with the UI, despite behing optimized to run on Simd !

Expect this to be available soon on git, and a bit later in a release !

Friday, November 6, 2009

Multiple branches and translations

Fellow Package Maintainers,

How are you dealing with this ?

I guess f-spot is not the only project maintaining multiple parallel branches, a STABLE one, from which the releases and bugfix releases are created, and a master, open for business, new stuffs, and experimentations.

When we need to correct something on the STABLE branch, we push a new commit over there, then merge the STABLE back to master so it gets the same fixes. That works fine.

But it gets harder with translation commits. Most of the (awesome) translators (well, all except of one) translates the master and commits right there. Then, when it's time to release, I either ignore those translations (and that's seriously annoying for translators who pushed soem work in the .po), or I blindly backport (cherry-pick) the translations back to the STABLE branch and hope that no strings was removed in master's code. Then I merge the STABLE back to master. Both solutions are seriously suboptimal. Really.

I know how this problem is "solved" in most of the GNOME projects by putting deadlines and code freezes, and string freezes, but I guess we're not the only project around with this kind of issue.

The ideal workflow would be to have the translators (hey guys) aware of the STABLE branch, make them translate that branch, have them merge it back to master, and then, optionally, translate the missing/changed strings and commit that to master. I said ideal, cause I'm NOT gonna ask any translator to understand and follow this, be able to maually merge if something goes wrong, etc...

Translators (did I say thanks for your job lately) are already doing an ant job, most of them with no tools but a text editor, and we can't really add any pain to the process.

So, what are you doing in that case. How could we improve the process ?

Comments are open.