20 June 2009

I voted, did you?

Friendly reminder: the days left to vote to select foundation board members are running down!

Make it happen here: http://foundation.gnome.org/vote/vote.php?id=13

Photo (cc) by caribb: a typical sight during elections in Montréal, Québec.

It is my first participation in a such an online election, non national election.  Of course I am exited to be part of it.  Unfortunately, electronic voting makes a quite boring “Election’s night”.   I am used to the 3 or 4 hours of febrile waiting before the people’s choices are announced.  Where are the exit polls? :-)

15 June 2009

Geolocation in Empathy: now real

Last January, I announced Geolocation in Empathy.  All pending branches have now been merged and released in Empathy 2.27.3.

It took quite a lot of time to finalize it because we were quite busy and quite frankly while this is sexy, it isn’t a very important feature in Empathy :-) .  In the following screenshots, you’ll discover that things have changed a lot since the original announcement.

First of all, the markers now include more information about the contact.  This uses the new markers in libchamplain.  It works nice for now (as I only have 3 or 4 contacts publishing their location), we’ll see with usage if the markers are just too big.

The map is now interactive: right clicking on a contact will bring up the same context menu you get on the contact list.

The Preferences UI was reworked to be simpler.  The previous UI left space for an hypothetical Manual address mode which was dropped.  The rationale is that Empathy shouldn’t have to care about addresses.  If you want to change the address, change it in Geoclue.

This is new since January: the tool tip now include your contact’s geolocation information.  This is the only part of all the geolocation changes that are present even if you don’t build with Geoclue or libchamplain.  It was impossible to display a map there as ClutterGtk doesn’t seem to like such windows hehe. We already know it is partly ugly and contains duplicate information :-) It will be improved before final release.

Finally, the contact information dialog now displays a map and the detailed information about the contact’s location.

Don’t miss the FAQ that I populated with questions I was often asked during development.  Report bugs on the Geolocation component of Empathy (you can also see that we have work left to do).

I am not the only one who worked on this exiting feature, here are the details:

  • Alban Crequy worked on the XMPP support and reviews;
  • Dafydd Harries did the early work on the XMPP support;
  • Guillaume Desmottes wrote the XMPP PEP code (the same used for OLPC) and reviewed the code;
  • Pierre-Luc Beaudoin did the UIs, the libchamplain and geoclue integration and pursued the XMPP support;
  • Xavier Claessens reviewed many times.

I can’t wait to see more people using this and show up on my map!

8 June 2009

Introducing geoclue-properties

While deploying Geoclue with friends, I came to the conclusion that we need a GUI tool for end users to setup Geoclue.  Geoclue-properties was born.  gstreamer-properties was an inspiration (for the name, and part of the visual aspect).

I started the project only last Monday night, but you can already do this with it:

  • See your current address and postion according to Geoclue
  • List installed providers and their provided services
  • Set an address on the Manual provider
  • Set the address for the current network on the Localnet provider
  • List previously configured addresses in the Localnet provider

Just the last items save the user of having to use dbus-send incantations.   For the screenshot lovers, here’s your dose.

The project is still quite embryonic.  It is my first attempt at using Python for such a task and I lack knowledge (and quite frankly time) on how to create the project’s infrastructure (almost as if I am missing autotools — scary!).  If someone is willing to contribute that or point me the doc I’d appreciate!

Try it!