richard dale 

Akademy Qt5 QtQuick course and Nokia N9 fun

Wednesday, 4 July 2012
I went to the day long course on Monday given by KDAB, about QtQuick for Qt5, and it was excellent. I had used Qt4 and QML for a Symbian phone project earlier this year, and the combination worked very well. Read More

Akademy 2012 Tallinn beer survey

Friday, 29 June 2012
I can't say I done a lot in the past year with advancing KDE bindings, but I'm hoping to reboot my efforts here in Tallinn. An important part of getting enthusiastic about KDE again is meeting the people, and of course drinking the right beer whilest doing so. Read More

Tizen or Tizen't?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011
I'm not sure really. We have been discussing this question on the Codethink irc channel today, and I think probably Tizen't. I think the main point of HTML5 is that it runs everywhere and is platform independent. Read More

KidsRuby running on the Raspberry Pi

Thursday, 22 September 2011
I've been following the development of the Raspberry Pi computer, which is a small ARM based device costing only 25-30 euros. It is designed to plug into TVs, and is targeted at teaching kids to learn programming. Read More

Self Reproducing Machines at the Berlin Desktop Summit

Wednesday, 24 August 2011
The Berlin Desktop Summit was great, and I think it is about time I wrote something about my thoughts. I look forward to software conferences because you can never tell which ideas will excite you most. Read More

Screen Locking in Fedora Gnome 3

Thursday, 4 August 2011
I wanted to try out Fedora 15 with Gnome 3 running under VirtualBox on my iMac before I went to the Berlin Summit. I've already tried using Unity-2d on Ubuntu, and I thought I if I had some real experience with Gnome 3 as well, I could have a bit more of an informed discussion with our Gnome friends and others at the Summit. Read More

Multiple everything - using VMWare, VirtualBox and Multisystem usb drives

Monday, 1 August 2011
Recently there was an post on Hacker News about collective nouns for birds in English. I run loads of virtual machines on my computer and I wonder what they should be called - 'a herd of virtual machines'? Read More

Gtk Hello World in Qt C++

Thursday, 14 July 2011
Recently I've been working on the smoke-gobject bindings in the evenings and weekends. Although I'm working on other things for my job at Codethink during the day, I'm sufficiently excited about these bindings to be unable to stop spending my free time on them. Read More

Keep Calm and Hack On

Sunday, 19 June 2011
I've just got back from the Qt Contributor's Summit, and I had a really good time. I arrived on Wednesday evening and we had arranged to meet in a bar called 'Brauhaus Lemke' in Hackescher Markt which is quite near Alexanderplatz. Read More

GObject to Qt dynamic bindings

Tuesday, 14 June 2011
A couple of years ago I started on a project to create a Qt language binding using the Gnome GObject Introspection libraries to generate QMetaObjects, so that it would be possible to base a language binding on a dynamic bridge between the two toolkits. Read More

QtRuby 3.x refactor/rewrite started

Thursday, 28 April 2011
I've been neglecting QtRuby recently, although I've wanted to do a major rewrite for some time. I finally bit the bullet last Thursday, and decided that I was going to take time off work and enter a hacking frenzy until the new version of QtRuby was well underway. Read More

Codethink is hiring!

Sunday, 19 December 2010
Alberto Ruiz asked me to post a message on Planet KDE about Codethink is hiring! He says: "Codethink is currently looking for bright university graduates looking into joining a young open source company. Read More

SPARQL queries in QML with QSparql

Thursday, 14 October 2010
We've been working on QSparql for a few months now, and I feel it is starting to be something that could be used by a wider audience. It is a simple QSql-like library for accessing various RDF stores such as KDE's Nepomuk data in Virtuoso, SPARQL endpoints on the web via HTTP, and Gnome or MeeGo Nepomuk data in Tracker stores. Read More

Defending Free Software against Oracle's attack

Monday, 16 August 2010
I've been fascinated by the Oracle attack on Google's Android. I don't follow sport and just couldn't understand why so many people were getting excited about the World Cup at Akademy. Read More

QtRuby forked on github

Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Ryan Melton announced on the kde-bindings mailing list that he had set up a project on github called 'qtbindings' with the aim of doing cross-platform gems for QtRuby. This is great news, and congratulations to Ryan for making it happen Read More

Microsoft ditch IronPython and IronRuby

Sunday, 8 August 2010
By and large I don't really care about what Microsoft do - I don't use their software, and I actively avoid making my career dependent on them. But I am a fan of the C# programming language and think the Qyoto/Kimono bindings for the Qt and KDE apis are pretty neat. Read More

Two Tribes

Friday, 30 July 2010
It's official the combined KDE Akademy and Gnome GAUDEC conferences will be held in Berlin in 2011, next year and this is great news! I played a small part in organising the joint conference in Gran Canaria in 2009, and really enjoyed working with the Gnome guys most of whom I hadn't meet before, as well as the familiar KDE people. Read More

Bangarang has no menus or toolbars!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010
I have a bit of a depressive sort of personality, usually seeing the cup as 'half empty' rather than 'half full'. And lately I've been a bit depressed about the state of the KDE project despite an awesome Akademy in Tampere. Read More

GSOC 2010 Idea - Language Bindings Documentation Extractor

Tuesday, 6 April 2010
I've just added an idea for a Google Summer of Code project to the wiki; a Language Bindings Documentation Extractor/Generator tool. For last years GSOC Arno Rehn wrote a tool called 'smokegen' which parses Qt and KDE C++ header files and generates language independent 'Smoke' libraries that are used by several bindings projects for Ruby, C#, Perl, PHP and JavaScript. Read More

I've ordered a GuruPlug

Thursday, 18 March 2010
I read an interesting blog this morning Freedom vs. The Cloud Log where Glyn Moody interviewed Eben Moglen. Eben Moglen was General Council of the FSF for 13 years and helped draft various versions of the GPL. Read More

Implementing C++ implicit type conversions on method arguments in Smoke based language bindings

Monday, 1 February 2010
I'm sorry about the unwieldy title to this blog - I couldn't think of a shorter snappier way of putting it, but I'll try explain the tricky problem with 'C++ implicit type conversions' that I've managed to solve. Read More

Introspecting Smoke libraries with the 'smokeapi' command line tool

Tuesday, 19 January 2010
I've recently added a handy command line tool for introspecting the methods in Smoke libraries. Although it is mainly aimed at people using Smoke based language bindings, I think it might be more generally useful and worth describing to a wider audience. Read More

KDE Bindings in KDE 4.5

Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Aaron wrote an interesting blog about scripting and dynamic language support, and I thought I'd like to add some comments of my own about where we're heading with non-C++ languages in the KDE 4. Read More

My take on the last decade

Saturday, 2 January 2010
It seems a long time ago, but in early 2000 I had just submitted my first patches to the KDevelop project and KDE. I had wanted to port the version of Squeak Smalltalk that ran under Apple's 'Rhapsody OS' to GNUStep, and I needed some sort of development environment to do that. Read More

JSmoke bindings KDE hello world working

Tuesday, 8 December 2009
The Smoke based QtScript bindings are progressing well, and are now called 'JSmoke' in the style of 'JQuery' the JavaScript library or 'JScript' the .NET JavaScript implementation. In KDE promo-like words, I hope this will 'raise the brand recognition' of the state of the art KDE Smoke dynamic language bindings technology. Read More

The PySide Effect - work begins on Smoke based QtScript and Python bindings

Monday, 12 October 2009
I was most surprised when the PySide Python bindings project was announced a few weeks ago. Simon Edwards wrote that "To be honest I'm not all that happy with the current situation. Read More

Ruby Bindings are now in the default Kubuntu install

Monday, 10 August 2009
Using the Kubuntu distribution, I've been a bit envious of the Python bindings guys, because the bindings are installed by default and frequently get updated. So it made my day when I recently did an 'apt-get dist-upgrade' to get KDE 4. Read More

Writing Plasma PopupApplets in Ruby and C#

Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Several people have wanted to be able to write Plasma PopupApplets in scripting languages. I'm pleased to announce that for KDE 4.3 you will be able to write them in Ruby and C#. Read More

Lets move to git pronto!

Sunday, 19 July 2009
The release team made a decision to branch the KDE svn for 4.3 in advance of the actual release. From the point of view of kdebindings I am finding it a highly error prone messy pain in the arse. Read More

GCDS Moblin talk: "We don't have menus, we think they're useless.."

Sunday, 12 July 2009
At conferences like the GCDS there is so much going on, and you get bombarded with information from all the talks one after that other, and that means that sometimes it takes a while for the meaning of it all to sink in. Read More

GSOC 2009 Progress - Smoke Bindings Generator

Friday, 10 July 2009
Yesterday I wore my GSOC tee-shirt at GCDS and got together with Arno Rehn to review his smoke bindings library generator tool. It turns out the project is going great and is pretty much finished. Read More

Should Qt and KDE apps written in C# be considered Free Software?

Monday, 29 June 2009
Richard Stallman is giving a keynote talk about Free Software at the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit and I am very much looking forward to hearing what he has to say. However, I just read this short post Why free software shouldn't depend on Mono or C#, and to me what it is saying seems incoherent. Read More

Selene - Cross-Toolkit Dialogs in C#

Friday, 12 June 2009
When you develop a language binding you never know what sort of thing people will develop with them, and it's really fun when people turn up with something. Yesterday I was chatting with Tobias Kappe on irc and he mentioned his Selene project that allows you to create dialogs in C# that are toolkit independent. Read More

Running KDE4 with KWin/Plasma compositing effects on the HP 2133 mini-note

Wednesday, 15 April 2009
I've read various stories about how people are having problems with the KDE4 compositing effects. So for a change, I thought I should describe how I'm a very happy KDE4 user, after I got KWin and Plasma effects to run pretty satisfactorily on the low end VIA7 cpu/gpu combination in my HP 2133 mini laptop. Read More

QMetaObject::newInstance() in Qt 4.5

Thursday, 19 February 2009
Yesterday I was getting the smoke bindings lib to build with Qt 4.5 with krege on irc, and one of the errors we were getting was with a private class called 'QMetaObjectExtras' that was failing to compile. Read More

QMetaObject/GObject-introspection inter-operability progress

Sunday, 15 February 2009
I've been hacking on deriving QMetaObjects for GObject-Introspection data as I described in a recent blog and am making good progress. I've now built a complete heirarchy of QMetaObjects from the gobject-introspection Clutter module which I've been using for testing. Read More

Creating QMetaObjects from GObject Introspection data

Wednesday, 4 February 2009
With the next Akademy and GUADEC being co-located in Gran Canaria, I thought it would be nice to do a bit of 'cross-desktopping'. My Gnome friend, Alberto Ruiz, is organizing the Gtk+ 3. Read More

QtRuby, Korundum and Wt::Ruby ported to Ruby 1.9.1

Tuesday, 3 February 2009
The implementation of the Ruby runtime in the new 1.9.1 release is a complete rewrite based on a virtual machine, YARV, instead of interpreting the AST directly and slowly like the previous version. Read More

Dr Seigo cured my ruboids

Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Have you ever been a bit irritated by a wart on an API, that gives you a slightly uncomfortable feeling when you think about it, and an itch to try an fix it? Read More

Introducing Wt::Ruby, a Qt-like api for developing web applications

Friday, 16 January 2009
Before going to last years Akademy I had planned to use the week to try and start helping out with Ruby support for KDevelop4. In the end I got sidetracked by two things; playing with the Nokia N810 and finding out about a web application development library called 'Wt'. Read More

Kubuntu on the HP 2133 Mini-Note

Monday, 12 January 2009
It seems at the moment everyone is looking out for netbooks, Richard Johnson

Writing Plasma Data Engines in C# and Ruby

Friday, 28 November 2008
I feel a bit stuck in a time warp, having already written blogs with much the same title and subject as this one, back in April. The difference is that it is now possible to use the Plasma Script Engine api and associated packaging mechanism, as opposed to the earlier bindings, which were based on the C++ plugin api. Read More

Use of casts in the Plasma code

Friday, 21 November 2008
Recently I've often been amazed by the ingenuity and the lengths that some people seem to want to go to, in order to be rude about KDE4. One example was a guy on Aaron's blog about the new system tray who claimed that Plasma had 'too many casts' especially dynamic_casts. Read More

Running TiddlyWiki on the N810

Monday, 6 October 2008
One of the nicest applications I've found for the Nokia N810 is a single html page! TiddlyWiki consists of a page called 'empty.html' that you download and copy when you want to create a new Wiki. Read More

Writing Qt and KDE apps in Mono Visual Basic

Tuesday, 23 September 2008
I just wiped a partition on my laptop that had Mac OS X Tiger on it - I haven't used Mac OS X for a while and the disk space was just being wasted. Read More

The Swaporific N810

Wednesday, 10 September 2008
I only discovered today that the n810 doesn't have any swap file turned on by default. It has only 128Mb of memory, which is quite easy to fill up. And when you fill up the memory you don't get a 'consumer friendly dialog' telling you that your machine is full. Read More

Building Ruby on the N810

Wednesday, 20 August 2008
I really enjoyed Akademy this year, and blagging a Nokia N810 right on the day of my birthday was one of the highlights of a great week. I'm very keen to port the QtRuby bindings to the N810 as it should make a nice development environment for quickly developing small free standing apps and Plasma applets. Read More

My 30th Anniversary as a Programmer

Thursday, 7 August 2008
I started my first programming job on August 7th 1978 as a graduate trainee in the 'Advanced Systems Sector' of a company called Dataskil, and today is the 30th anniversary. Read More

Ich bin ein Bindinger

Saturday, 12 July 2008
I've been in Berlin since Thursday, where we're having a meeting and hacking session about language bindings and Kross scripting. I like Berlin - it's a bit like Amsterdam - plenty of hippies on bicyles although without the canals, the Dutch or the narrow buildings. Read More

Writing Plasma Applets in C# and Ruby

Saturday, 12 July 2008
I got some Ruby Plasma bindings working a while ago. They wrapped the complete C++ api and allowed you to write a Plasma KDE plugin entirely in Ruby, which just looked like an ordinary C++ plugin to the Plasma runtime. Read More

Gran Canaria Desktop Meeting 2009 - the Beer Problem

Tuesday, 17 June 2008
For the past few months we've been working on getting our bid to host GUADEC and Akademy in Gran Canaria for 2009. Agustin has done an amazing job in pulling it all together, and Alberto has been relaying his enthusiasm about the idea of co-located conferences to the Gnome guys. Read More

A Ruby Plasma Data Engine based on DBPedia SPARQL queries

Thursday, 17 April 2008
I've been playing with using KIO::get() to make queries on the DBPedia SPARQL endpoint, parse the XML result set and convert it to be used by a Plasma Data Engine. I'll explain how it works as I think it is pretty useful and makes it very easy to link up applets with Semantic Web/Desktop data. Read More

Writing Plasma Data Engines in Ruby

Monday, 14 April 2008
It sounds as though exciting things are happening at the Milan Tokamak Plasma sprint, with an api review and the Widgets on Canvas changes happening at the moment. Meanwhile, I've been having my own 'mini-sprint' this last week in Gran Canaria. Read More

Ruby Clock Plasma Applet

Saturday, 5 April 2008
We can't have too many plasma clocks in KDE4, and I'm pleased to say that the Ruby analog clock is now working pretty well. I've been using it to time brewing a pot of tea this morning, and there is certainly a more delicate taste to Earl Grey timed with a Ruby clock as opposed the the slightly coarser and more acidic flavour that using a C++ based clock applet as a timer, can give to your cuppa. Read More

Soprano SPARQL Queries in Ruby

Tuesday, 18 March 2008
I've added bindings to the KDE 4.1 trunk for using Soprano with Ruby. It allows you to add and remove statements from the Soprano RDF database and to make SPARQL queries over D-Bus. Read More

Adobe Flash on Linux is crap, will it damage the brand?

Saturday, 8 March 2008
I recently upgraded from Kubuntu Feisty to Gutsy, and all went well apart from one thing. Konqueror began putting up a crash dialog everytime it accessed a site with Flash, making it pretty much unusable. Read More

Loading KParts in KDE4 Korundum

Thursday, 15 November 2007
Last night I was discussing how to load KParts in Korundum with CapitalT on the #kde-ruby IRC channel. It took me a bit of googling to work out what to do, and I eventually realised I'd left the KDE::PluginLoader class out of the Smoke library that the KDE4 version of Korundum uses. Read More

MPs urge action on Galileo costs

Tuesday, 13 November 2007
I was just completely amazed to read that British MPs think that the Galileo project is unimportant. To me the combination of accurate and cheap global positioning systems, combined with the infrastructure to determine the relative position between one thing and another, and a semantic web that allows that GPS meta data to be annotated ubiquitously to all information on the web, is so important that every 21st economy will depend on it. Read More

Software Libre in La Laguna

Friday, 21 September 2007
This week I've been at the Jornadas de Software Libre conference in Tenerife. One thing that struck me was that the Spanish don't have a word for 'Open Source', which would be something like 'Codigo abierto'; they always use the term 'Software Libre'. Read More

Showing active/inactive windows in KDE4

Saturday, 15 September 2007
There has been some discussion on the kde-core-devel mailing list about a change to how the active window should be distinguished from the inactive windows, where different color palettes are used for the widgets inside inactive windows. Read More

Who cares about document formats?

Tuesday, 11 September 2007
I've loved reading the articles about whether or not the Microsoft OOXML document format should be an ISO standard, as opposed to the ODF ISO standard for word processing documents. In particular, Miguel de Icaza's heroic defence of his position against over 500 rabid anti-microsoft Slashdot posters. Read More

UK Makes Science easier

Wednesday, 29 August 2007
I love the practical way the neo-liberal UK government make things happen to create a more 'business friendly' environment. The latest idea is to simplify science exams to allow more people to pass GCSE physics - what could be wrong with that? Read More

Get Semantic with DBPedia and ActiveRDF

Sunday, 12 August 2007
I'm quite excited by the things that the Semantic web will make possible, and one very interesting project is DBpedia, which aims to extract structured data from Wikipedia, link it with other datasets and put everything in an RDF triple store that you can either download or query via a 'SPARQL endpoint' on the web. Read More

Hexperides educational distro code hits launchpad

Tuesday, 19 June 2007
The mEDUXa Canary Islands schools Linux project was based on Free Software, and we've finally got round to setting up a community version of it that people can hack. You can read about it on this KDE Dot News story and follow the link there for screen shots and more explanation. Read More

Comparing colliding mice in C++, Java, Ruby and C#

Wednesday, 13 June 2007
Now that there is a final release of QtJambi, I've downloaded it and had a good look at the sources. I'm happy to report that it looks very well written, very thorough and with much attention paid to issues such as performance tuning and working well with Java threads. Read More

KDE4 Korundum hello world working

Friday, 20 April 2007
I've just got hello world working with the KDE4 version of the ruby korundum bindings. Here's what it looks like: require 'korundum4' aboutData = "tutorial1", "Tutorial 1", "1.0", "KMessageBox popup", KDE::AboutData::License_GPL, "(c) 2006" ) KDE::CmdLineArgs. Read More

Broken OpenOffice Java config

Tuesday, 10 April 2007
I've recently been working on a little Rails app that manages foreign exchange handling, and prints reports. I'm converting an existing Excel based app that does the same thing, and I needed to get data from a spreadsheet to use as test data. Read More

Building Qyoto and QtRuby on Mac OS X with cmake

Wednesday, 21 February 2007
I read this recent article about Mono on the Mac and thought why don't I try building Qyoto on Mac OS X and see if it works. The article talks about GTK# using X11, although a native port of it, along with System. Read More

Using custom C++ classes with QtRuby

Friday, 16 February 2007
I've recently been having a discussion with Eric Landuyt on the Korundum site help forum about wrapping custom C++ classes in QtRuby. I told Eric that you just needed to create a QObject derived class with the slots and properties you wanted to expose, give it a name via a QObject::setObjectName() call, and create it with qApp as the parent. Read More

RESTful CRUD with Rails ActiveResource and QtRuby

Tuesday, 13 February 2007
After I wrote about how to use an ActiveRecord model with a QtRuby Qt::TableView, Silvio Fonseca sent me a nice improvement where he has written a generic Qt::AbstractTableModel that will work with any collection of ActiveRecord instances. Read More

Stunning essay by Jonathan Lethem

Sunday, 11 February 2007
Via slashdot I read this essay by Jonathan Lethem. It is a stunning, jaw dropping piece of work. I don't know what to say to add to it. I love vintage country music and he even mentions the similarity between Kitty Well's “It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels

Using QtRuby with Rails ActiveRecord based Qt::AbstractTableModels

Thursday, 8 February 2007
I do Ruby Rails development as part of my day job, and one of the nice parts of Rails is the ActiveRecord Object-Relational Mapping framework. Today I've been playing with QtRuby using a Qt::AbstractTableModel based on ActiveRecord, and it's really simple to implement and works really well. Read More

Explaining Qyoto - QtDBus, generic types, properties, cmake and Qt Designer support

Tuesday, 6 February 2007
The Qyoto project has made some good progress over the past few weeks. We've now switched to the .NET 2.0 gmcs mono compiler, with support for generic types amongst other neat features. Read More

Why no haptic feedback in the iPhone?

Friday, 19 January 2007
The highlight of our Foton company Christmas party was playing with a Wii for the first time. We got one rigged up via a projector onto the wall, so there was a nice large image, and then put the sound through a little stereo so it had a bit of punch. Read More

English Spelling a Design Disaster

Thursday, 7 December 2006
On the #kde IRC channel tonight there was some discussion about how bad english spelling rules were. I found out via google that there is a 'Simplified Spelling Society'. From the site, here is a description of how English spelling was invented: Read More

Novell/Microsoft invent the 'Hobbyist', forget what 'Community' means

Monday, 6 November 2006
The recent Novell/Microsoft agreement purports to give what they call 'Non-Compensated Individual Hobbyist Developers' the rights to use unspecified Microsoft patents. The terms are given in this Community Commitments - Microsoft & Novell Interoperability Collaboration. Read More

Ralph Griswold Icon Language designer passes away

Saturday, 21 October 2006
I used to use my trusty original Macintosh in the 80s to learn new programming languages. Every year or two I'd get some a Mac version of something like Lightship Scheme, Allegro Object Logo or AlphaPop Pop-11 and a few books about them, and then work my way through learning stuff. Read More

Sun go Through the Looking Glass

Saturday, 14 October 2006
I was interested to read this article on how Sun have set up a pavilion in Second Life, and are using it for virtual meetings: Tuesday, Sun became the first Fortune 500 company to hold an 'in-world' press conference to show off its new pavilion in Second Life, the popular 3D online world. Read More

QtRuby DBus progress

Sunday, 8 October 2006
This week I've been converting the QtDBus examples from Qt 4.2 to Ruby, and getting the various Qt::DBus* classes working. Now QDBus support is pretty much complete and it will be fun hacking up some interesting apps like bridges to web services like I tried with DCOP. Read More

Prolog as a Ruby DSL

Tuesday, 19 September 2006
I just read Pat Eyler's blog Reading Ola Bini writing about some interesting discussions on Ruby metaprogramming and how it compared with Lisp macros for writing Domain Specific Languages. In one of the references Why Ruby is an acceptable LISP, amongst other things people discuss how to implement prolog as a DSL in Ruby or Lisp. Read More

Using blocks as slots in QtRuby/Korundum

Thursday, 14 September 2006
On the #qtruby IRC channel kelko thought up a simple way of adding blocks as targets to Qt::connect() calls. After some more discussion rickdangerous suggested also adding a simple method that would work like 'signal_connect()' in ruby-gnome, which just takes a single signal name argument and a block. Read More

Spinboxes are useless

Sunday, 10 September 2006
One of my pet hates in GUI widgets is the 'spinbox', and I especially dislike the idea of a floating point spinbox. I think for technical reasons I had trouble wrapping the KDE3 floating point spinbox in korundum, and couldn't get particularly worked up about fixing it. Read More

Sun hires the JRuby developers

Friday, 8 September 2006
Charles Nutter writes in his blog The two core JRuby developers, myself and Thomas Enebo, will become employees at Sun Microsystems this month. Our charge? You guessed it...we're being hired to work on JRuby full-time. Read More

Why aren't scrollbars configurable to be on the left hand side?

Thursday, 7 September 2006
A left handed person asks on Slashdot about the difficulty of using a touch screen when the scrollbars are on the right hand side. When Alan Kay and others developed the original WIMP interface at Xerox PARC in the 1970s their systems always had the scrollbar on the left. Read More

Eric Raymond is wrong about the importance of 64 bit OSs

Thursday, 31 August 2006
I usually find what Eric Raymond has to say interesting and entertaining, and I enjoyed 'The Cathedral and he Bazaar'. But in this recent interview, he talks about the importance of the transition from 32 to 64 bit OSs and how it creates a 'window of opportunity' to make the Linux desktop popular, that will only last until 2008. Read More

Tom Ball on 'Is Writing Code a Career Limiting Move?'

Sunday, 20 August 2006
I found this blog entry on coding as a career limiting move interesting, how could being really good at writing code possibly be a 'career limiting move'? I've been a professional programmer for a very long time, and I've come across very, very few people who are brilliant at writing code - maybe a handful before I came across the KDE project where they seem to be all over the place. Read More

Trolltech Greenphone Lust

Tuesday, 15 August 2006
I've just read about the forthcoming Greenphone with a Qtopia development kit. If I can port Qt4 QtRuby to it, I want one right now! I could hack together custom apps to access web services like google via GPRS. Read More

Gnome bindings discussions

Wednesday, 19 July 2006
I thought the discussion on the Gnome developer list about C vs C# vs Python etc for writing desktop apps was very interesting. A lot of it could equally well apply to the KDE project. Read More

Api simplicity and design in QtRuby/Korundum

Thursday, 15 June 2006
Michael Larouche writes about the new KDialog api, and how it is simpler to understand than the old KDE3 one. It reminded me of one of my favourite talks at the 2004 Ludwigsberg aKademy, when Mathias Ettrich discussed similar usability improvements in Qt4. Read More

Qyoto custom slots and signals are working

Thursday, 8 June 2006
The Qyoto C#/mono bindings are getting quite close to being useful. I first started on them about two and a half years ago, and so it's taken forever to get going. Read More

QtRuby D-BUS Hello World

Tuesday, 6 June 2006
I've just got my first Ruby D-BUS app pretty much working, it starts up, outputs convincing looking messages, and then crashes kdbus. I only started yesterday and so it hasn't taken long to get the D-BUS api pretty much wrapped. Read More

A startup script to use Ruby irb with Korundum

Sunday, 21 May 2006
I've been playing with irb today to work out how to add an interactive Korundum or QtRuby command line. I've come up with this script that allows you to type 'start_kde' in irb, and it displays a KDE::MainWindow. Read More

Miguel de Icaza on Open Source Java

Saturday, 20 May 2006
I thought Miguel de Icaza had some interesting comments to make on the 'should Sun Open Source java issue'. I spent a couple of years working on the Qt/KDE java bindings but never achieved much success in spite of a lot of effort on my part, and I don't think the failure was entirely due to the technical quality of the QtJava bindings. Read More

Adding a Ruby Interpreter menu to Konsole

Wednesday, 17 May 2006
I've recently added a 'Ruby Interpreter' menu to start an irb shell in Konsole. Just create a file called ruby.desktop in /usr/share/apps/konsole with the following contents: [Desktop Entry] Type=KonsoleApplication Name=Ruby Interpreter Comment=Ruby Exec=/usr/bin/irb And that's it! Read More

IV Jornada Software Libre, Las Palmas

Friday, 12 May 2006
Yesterday, I went to the IV Jornada Software Libre conference at the Universidad de Las Palmas sponsored by the Canary Islands government. There were some interesting talks, and much discussion in between. Read More

Should KDE choose Pop-11 over Algol 68?

Wednesday, 3 May 2006
Some things never change, and the recent discussions about a possible 'new VB' for the Linux Desktop reminded me of this excellent article by Aaron Sloman (my philosphy/AI professor from 1976 to 78 while I was a Philosophy undergraduate at Sussex University). Read More

Qt4 QtRuby windows port progress

Tuesday, 2 May 2006
I've recently been working 'over on the darkside', and have been getting QtRuby working with the GPL'd Qt 4.1.2 and mingw on Windows 2000. Several months ago Ryan Hinton got QtRuby working be generating the code for the Smoke library on Linux, and then hand hacking it to get it to build on Windows. Read More

A Ruby spanish translation DCOP server

Monday, 1 May 2006
I've been here in Gran Canaria for nearly six months now, and my spanish hasn't progressed as fast as I hoped it would. Learning another language is really hard! It makes me realise how tough it must be for non-native english speakers to contribute to english based Free Software projects such as KDE. Read More

Ruby KDevelop RAD demo in Tenerife

Monday, 27 March 2006
I've recently been working on 'Meduxa', a Kubuntu based version of KDE for the Canary Islands schools. Last week I went to the Medusa HQ, just north of Santa Cruz in Tenerife to meet Agustin Benito the project director to work with him trying to decipher the XDG menu spec in order to customize the KDE menus. Read More

James Gosling just doesn't get it

Monday, 13 March 2006
It really does seem that we're beginning to emerge from the 10 year long Java nuclear winter, when excellent dynamic languages such as Objective-C or Smalltalk were kicked out of the mainstream. Read More

Steve Yegge on the rise and rise of Ruby

Thursday, 12 January 2006
I've just read a couple of Steve Yegge's blogs about why he thinks certain languages have succeeded while other technically superior languages have failed. He has spent most of his time in the last year or two programming python, but recently has got into ruby. Read More

Qt4 QtRuby Windows port working

Friday, 16 December 2005
Congratulations to Ryan Hinton for getting a Windows port of the Smoke library and Qt4 QtRuby working. We just need to do a bit more to sync his version with the kde svn, and get it packaged. Read More

Qyoto "hello world" working

Tuesday, 13 December 2005
Below is a Qyoto/Kimono C# bindings 'Hello World' program written by Arno Rehn. Arno has done some quick performance measurements and he says Qyoto runs faster than a QtJava app running using IKVM, which is encouraging. Read More


Friday, 11 November 2005
I've just spent my first week working at Foton Sistemas Inteligentes in Gran Canaria. I've been learning some Spanish, trying out Ruby on Rails and helping with translating a tourist information site to English. Read More

JWZ on 'Enterprise Software'

Tuesday, 8 November 2005
I've been quite taken aback by all the recent fuss about some default install option for KDE changing on a single distribution. I thought it might be a good time to post this quote about how Enterprise Software is boring. Read More

Howard Stearns on Immersive 3D

Friday, 28 October 2005
I been reading Howard Stearns blog on wetmachine about Croquet and the Brie widget framework he is writing for it. They're all worth reading, but I especially liked this one. Read More

Qyoto and Kimono C# bindings

Wednesday, 26 October 2005
I started working on some C# bindings a couple of years ago called Kimono, and got it to the 'proof of concept' stage. It uses Transparent Proxies to funnel every call to the Qt api to a single SmokeInvocation. Read More

Trolltech's Qt-Java bindings

Saturday, 22 October 2005
Aaron writes: haavard announced that by Q1-06 they'll be releasing a tech preview of java bindings for qt4 that will be officially supported. wow. I'll be interested in how the java bindings are implemented, and whether they are auto-generated or not. Read More

Interview with QtRuby book author Caleb Tennis

Tuesday, 18 October 2005
/\ndy Hunt one of the pragmatic programmers interviews Caleb Tennis, author of the new book Rapid GUI Development with QtRuby in this podcast. Caleb has just done a long overdue new release of Qt3 QtRuby and Korundum on the RubyForge site, although we haven't announced it yet. Read More

LanzaOS 05

Tuesday, 18 October 2005
I spent last week in the Canary Islands seeing a company called Fotón Sistemas Inteligentes in Santa Brigida, Gran Canaria. I stayed with Gonzalo, Marianne his girlfriend and their 11 cats and their very 'woofy' dog. Read More

Java reflection vs Ruby respond_to?

Saturday, 8 October 2005
I've recently been making some rubbish attempts at fixing a bug in the QtJava bindings. The problem is here in bug #112409, it meant that an event handler method in QtJava could only be a direct subclass of a QtJava widget, like QWidget or whatever and not a sub class of a sub class of QWidget and so on. Read More

New QtRuby/Korundum book

Thursday, 6 October 2005
Dave Thomas, the Pragmatic Programmer, made a recent announcement on ruby-talk about a new book by Caleb Tennis called 'Rapid GUI Development with QtRuby'. It is about 90 pages long and costs only $8. Read More

The Future is Obvious!

Friday, 2 September 2005
Lately I've been thinking about both my past and my future. What strikes me is how easy it is to predict the future (not necessarily the same as being personally able to make it happen). Read More

Greetings from Kiev

Saturday, 2 July 2005
Alex Dymo has organised a KDevelop Developers conference, and I'm here in Kiev for a week with other KDevelop hackers. We gave a full day of presentations yesterday about all aspects of KDevelop and our future plans. Read More

Qt4 moc format and Smoke v2

Saturday, 11 June 2005
Over on the kdebindings mailing list Ashley Winters has started thinking about doing a version of the Smoke libary using the Qt4 meta object system. My best summary description of Smoke has been 'a moc on steriods', so designing a better Smoke by extending the slots/signals idea to cover an entire api does seem a logical step. Read More

Rich Burridge is a fellow walking antique..

Wednesday, 8 June 2005
Rich Burridge talks about how he first started working in the computer industry 30 years ago for ICL computers. Hey! That rings a bell, I started my first programming job in 1978 as a graduate trainee in the Advanced Systems Sector of Dataskil, which was a software house subsiduary of ICL in Reading. Read More

Prolog interpreter in Objective-C

Tuesday, 7 June 2005
Here's a blast from the past - I just found this on an old backup disk. It's a prolog interpreter in Objective-C that I wrote in 1993. I was unemployed and bought a NeXSTation with the small amount of redundancy money I got after the company I worked went bust. Read More

Qt 4 QtRuby hello world working

Friday, 3 June 2005
I've just got hello world working with QtRuby and Qt 4: require 'Qt' a = hello = Qt::'Hello World!', nil) hello.resize(100, 30) #a.mainWidget = hello a.exec() The setMainWidget call is commented out because that method doesn't exist anymore. Read More


Saturday, 7 May 2005
I've pretty much got my dynamic DCOP to SOAP bridge working now. There is a DCOP interface called 'SOAPGateway', and it has a addService() slot which takes two args; the name of a DCOP service and the URI of a . Read More

Dynamic DCOP Server

Tuesday, 3 May 2005
I've been messing with with idea of dynamically adding DCOP slots to a running DCOP server program. I've got a little server with a slot called 'eval()' which takes a string of ruby code and evaluates it as a sort of 'compile command'. Read More

RESTful pasting

Saturday, 30 April 2005
I found this great little ruby program on isaac's random rants blog - it takes the contents of the klipper clipboard, sends it to which is 'code snippets temporary storage' site. Read More

Korundum Ruby To Do List

Monday, 25 April 2005
Aaron was interested in what I thought needed doing with KDE/ruby and I mailed him this to do list the other day. Here it is in case anyone else is interested. Read More

Woman suckles tiger cub

Thursday, 7 April 2005
I read this article in today's Guardian. Call it a touching act of altruism or a curious assertion of maternal capability, but the bottom line is 40-year-old Hla Htay is breastfeeding a Bengal tiger cub. Read More

Rails, the Ruby tipping point?

Tuesday, 5 April 2005
Everywhere I look on the web these days there seem to be enthusiastic articles about Ruby on Rails, the web application framework. On Slashdot, with nearly 500 comments posted in a matter of hours. Read More

Cannibal flesh donor program

Thursday, 31 March 2005
I like to get my head round the latest and greatest in 'shiny new ideas', but I'm having trouble with umm 'digesting' this one. I can't think of any rational objection. Read More

JWZ on Groupware

Wednesday, 16 February 2005
I thought this was a brilliant blog by JWZ explaining how Netscape fell apart, and why writing 'corporate groupware' driven by specs from faceless managerial types is absolutely not the way to develop anything people would actually want. Read More

Learning KDE programming

Saturday, 12 February 2005
Hans Oischinger talks about how he found it hard to learn about programming the Qt/KDE api. All of his comments apply to ruby Korundum programming; in ruby you can use slots/signals, KConfig XT . Read More

Are Cockroaches Conscious?

Friday, 14 January 2005
I enjoyed reading the answers to the question "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?" here. My favourite was by Alun Anderson, Editor-in-Chief New Scientist. His topic was how he thought insects were conscious. Read More

KSpy Object Inspector

Wednesday, 12 January 2005
The other week I wrote about the 'Object Inspector' features of the KDevelop Ruby Debugger that make use of the various sort of Qt runtime metadata and show it in the debugger's Variable Tree. Read More

Qt 4 and language bindings

Monday, 3 January 2005
I've downloaded the Qt 4 beta 1 and briefly played with the new Qt Designer, and had a look at what the code generated by the moc looks like to see if there might be any problems integrating slots/signals with bindings. Read More

Ruby OO Debugging

Monday, 3 January 2005
I've been working on the QtRuby and Korundum bindings full time for nearly a year and a half now, and I'm really pleased how well it's turned out. It's been my ambition to create a development environment for about 20 years or so, and it's a great feeling to have to think 'how an earth could I ever top this? Read More

Fidel is my Hero

Friday, 22 October 2004
I've just posted this as a 'Story', but I think it's more of a blog. So please take down the story, or I launch my assault.. :) I've read recent news that Fidel Castro is getting very old, and has broken his arm, that's sad because he is one of my great heroes. Read More

Bollocks R Us

Sunday, 17 October 2004
I love interesting articles about the implications of global collaboration via the Internet, and what effect it will have on working patterns. So when I saw this article The Blacksmith and the Bookkeeper I thought it would be just up my street. Read More

KDE to Gnome - we exist!

Friday, 15 October 2004
I've no problem with multiple toolkits on Linux, but I really don't think there is any point in innovating on File Dialogs, or Button Orders. I don't care about whether the Gnome dialogs are better than the KDE ones. Read More

Chris Studies Computer Science

Friday, 8 October 2004
Chris Howells talks about how the computer science tutor on his new course made an unpromising start by asking "Has everybody used a computer before?". Finding someone aged under 25 in the UK who hasn't used a computer before must take some doing. Read More

UK under-graduate syllabsus's

Friday, 8 October 2004
Chris Howells posted a synopsis of his CS syllabus, and it sounded really dull to me. If someone has been making useful contributions to KDE like Chris, what is it that they need to learn from their teachers? Read More

Ruboids Artificial Life

Thursday, 30 September 2004
On today's ruby-talk there was a post by Michal 'hramrach' Suchanek entitled "ruboids (on mac os) - singleton instance() returns nil?". I thought he was refering to the rubyists as 'ruboids', which seemed slightly rude to me. Read More

Lypanov Announces Rubydium

Tuesday, 28 September 2004
It was a pleasure to work with Alex on QtRuby/Korundum. But I haven't heard much about what he was doing since aKademy. There he talked about how he'd made a start with speeding up the ruby runtime with JIT techniques. Read More

More Ruby blocks

Wednesday, 22 September 2004
Michael writes more about ruby blocks: What I have yet to do, however, is find a way to get braces to work with if, while, or other flow-control type statements. For example, the program yes implemented in Ruby: Read More

Ruby blocks

Wednesday, 22 September 2004
Michael Pyne is learning ruby. Call me stubborn, but I am so used to { and } for forming blocks of code that I don't even want to go back to anything else. Read More

Who needs managers?

Sunday, 19 September 2004
Two of my favourite books about computer programmers are 'The Psychology of Computer Programming' and 'Understanding the Professional Programmer' by Gerald Weinberg. So I was interested to read this short interview with him. Read More

Is client side Custom Application development dead?

Saturday, 18 September 2004
I recently had this email exchange with my friend Geoff. I don't need to add any further commentary, but I've personally bet the farm on custom application development. Hmm.. He's what we said anyway: Read More

Instiki instant wiki

Thursday, 2 September 2004
After reading this blog I thought I'd try out Instiki - it's a simple to set up wiki which can also export to an html website. Recently I've been using KJots to handle 'random notes' and todo lists, but what I really like to have is an outliner like 'Acta' that I used to use on my Mac a few years ago. Read More

Rubyists hit the aKademy - day 2

Wednesday, 25 August 2004
Sunday started off early at 9:00 with Avi Alkaday's talk on the Linux Registry project - he had some very nicely done slides and graphics, and explained it all pretty clearly. Read More

Rubyists hit the aKademy

Monday, 23 August 2004
I decided to come to aKademy about a week and a half ago, and am so pleased I did. But travelling there was a disaster; I tried to save 10 UKP by flying with KLM Read More

KApplication or KDE::Application?

Wednesday, 5 May 2004
There's been some discussion on the kde-core-devel list this week about whether or not the KDE classes should be renamed for KDE 4.0. Should the class KMainWindow become MainWindow inside a KDE:: namespace for instance? Read More

C# override and new inheritance directives

Sunday, 25 April 2004
I've been learning about C# over the past month or two, and mostly I haven't found anything too much to get annoyed about. Maybe I'd prefer it if the method names started with a lower case letter. Read More

Hiring jugglers

Thursday, 22 April 2004
Here's how I learnt that every programmer should have their own software portfolio from one of my favourite books about professional programmers 'Peopleware' by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister. From HIRING A JUGGLER, Chapter 15 of Peopleware: Read More

Bafflin' Smoke Signal - History

Monday, 19 April 2004
After a period of obscurity, it seems the KDE kdebindings module's time has almost come. So I thought I'd start a series of Bafflin' Smoke Signal blogs about what's going on, and specifically I'd like to try to explain how Ashley Winter's SMOKE library works. Read More

I'm really unexcited by dialogue boxes..

Tuesday, 6 April 2004
On this article presents the latest and greatest in Gnome GUI improvements. Do our users love this sort of 'pissing contest' between file save/open dialogs or whatever? Do they prefer to admire the subtle differences between the dialogs in Swing/Gnome/KDE or even Windows file dialog boxes? Read More