Present Perfect


Picture Gallery
Present Perfect

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 2:22 pm

2:22 pm


Spent most of my weekend struggling with RefDB, a database to manage bibliographical references. My dad’s doctorate thesis is due Friday, and he didn’t use the program I installed 20 months ago. Now, in his final days, I get to put the pieces back together.

But I never really thought xml/docbook was an intuitive toolchain to get running, and RefDB doesn’t help much either because it’s so completely untransparant. Tools fail silently on bad input, or fail generically without saying where something was wrong, so I spent most of my time trying to figure out what exactly it was not parsing.

In the end it turned out that the RIS file my dad gave me contained garbage control characters, and it also looked like RefDB didn’t really like names with accents in (like, all the Irish guys and some Dutch guys). I also started my use of RefDB with a simple FILE* non-cleanup patch. I’m not entirely sure though I want to go through the pain of sending all stuff I find upstream for a package I myself have no use for.

Then I started thinking, man, this is probably exactly how some people feel about GStreamer. Some stuff I consider natural is completely nonintuitive to them, and things break in mysterious ways when they are run slightly differently from our local setups. I mean, I’m pretty sure the RefDB author has everything running very smoothly on his home machines…

Anyway, after 30 hours of fighting with docbook, xml, RIS files, unreadable C code, mysterious options, and unforgiving configuration files, I sort of cooked up a RefDB-based xml file containing my dad’s bibliography. I hope he gets back to me soon on whether or not it’s ok – you can just know he’s going to want to have everything fixed on Thursday when I don’t have any time for it…

Inbetween, we watched Grosse Point Blank and Antitrust. I recognized Miguel right off the bat in that very short flash. The movie wasn’t too bad, it just made my toes curl a little at points. Let’s just say it wasn’t very believable. Grosse Point Blank was very good on the other hand.


Picked apart the Fedora 2 test rpms to check for patches. I just don’t get why people don’t submit their packaging patches upstream. The spec looks really ugly without it having to be. It also has the docs disabled, while they build fine here in a clean root. Why aren’t we getting bug reports for this ?

Anyways, I guess I just have to mail and prod and make people aware that we care.

The build bot setup is starting to look nice now. We added the powerpc machine on my desk in two minutes. I’m sure the other GStreamer developers are starting to get irritated at all the random commits we’re doing.

I’m sure Ronald is going to kick my ass some time soon too, but it just had to be done.


I got a mail from someone asking about it, so I went back to check and noticed I had some stuff to change in my savannah checkout. After resubmitting keys and changing config files, I could check out my project again. It still works, I guess that’s not a bad start. I have no way to develop on it anymore however as I don’t have any RDS encoders lying around :)


Man, our company logo is so unbelievably sexy as a favicon… I just keep staring at the tasklist at the bottom and the cute little cartwheel.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.