Making Harvest awesome! (My GSoC 2010 project) — Week 1(ish)

It is time that I babble about my project for Google Summer of Code 2010!

Over the summer, I will be working on Harvest with Daniel Holbach as my awesome mentor. Harvest is a neat web service, built with Django, that brings together opportunities (things that need doing), from many different places on the web. Those opportunities are all neatly linked to source packages, which are, themselves, nicely described by package sets like ubuntu-desktop, unr, xubuntu and kernel.

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Yet another reason why menu bars are evil

Seif Lotfy posted excitedly about Ian Cylkowski’s in-depth Nautilus redesign mockup.

I found it very nice and refreshing, too. However, I noticed one strange thing: the menu bar just up and vanished. Ian`s incentive intrigued me:

Hidden Menubar: I’m not going to take sides here on whether we should still be having a menubar in applications or not; it’s another minefield of opinions and flaming. I’m personally fine with a menubar inside the application, but I also happily use applications that tuck away the menubar under a single icon (think Google Chrome). But I do think that we should have the option here. In my mockup, all the menubar settings can be brought up with the settings icon (first icon after the pathbar). But if you would like to see the menubar permanently then this, too, should be an option.

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Word clouds

I discovered an awesome new toy:! It gave me an interesting urge to generate vaguely inter-related word clouds from the current stories on some major free software related blogs. I think it would spoil these to add commentary; I just found them kind of interesting :)

I guess a really adventurous person could do a meta-Wordle of all these…

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UDS Day 1 (only a day late)

So, yesterday was the first day of my first UDS!

Arrived at the airport around 8:30pm local time. The plane was scheduled for 30 minutes earlier, ruining my rather harebrained scheme to meet up with Andrew SB there and share a taxi. (I later met him at the hotel and apologized profusely). Ended up getting to the hotel around 9:30 pm. Somehow, my room-mate and I managed to be completely invisible to one another. For that night and the next morning, the only trace I had of the fellow was his laptop computer. (I’ve been racking my brain for a particularly apt “lucid lynx” metaphor to describe the behaviour).

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Another reason why free software works (if there aren’t enough already)

I was really pleased with how my little forum post worked out, so I’m dumping it here as well!

Here is the catch that makes the free software platform so awesome: No one entity owns the whole of an end product like Ubuntu or ever will. (Same with all the individual projects it mirrors). There are contributions from everywhere, including groups that conventional businesses would label competitors. Heck, the sudo program is sponsored by DARPA and the USAF. It gets used by governments around the world.

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