Recent Hacking

Lately I’ve been doing some random Gnome hacking. I’ve been a bit bored with what I’ve been working on recently (SRPM hacking — I hate this stuff) so I’ve cast around a bit for other things to do.

At first I was playing with frysk, but I promised myself that I would be a dilettante and hack only the fun bits. Unfortunately this means I’m now stuck waiting for other folks to write some important infrastructure, and also to fix a few mildly contentious bugs. (The bugs would be fun, but I’m also not interested in navigating the controversies in my spare time…)

So, I inconsistently turned to hacking on gnome-session — something both un-fun and contentious. I’m not always sure what I’m up to…

I’d forgotten exactly how awful XSMP is. It pretends to be policy-free, but when you look deeper you see that it makes many implicit assumptions about how things will actually work. It also uses the egregiously nasty ICE. And, of course, gnome-session’s implementation is no great joy, either, which is more than a little my fault.

Anyway, I fixed a number of problems and now I’m waiting for patch review.

Gnome hacking has gotten better since the bad old days. The documentation (glib in particular) has improved, for one thing. The newer APIs are also more well thought out.

I looked a bit more into a minimal implementation of my state-sharing idea. Gnome seems to already have most of the bits I’ll need: I can lift some encryption code from gnome-keyring, and gnome-vfs allows easy access to remote sites (the latter isn’t perfect for my purposes but will do for a proof of concept).

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