As I Avoid This Sleep

Package virtualbox is virtual

Boring screenshot is boring

This reminded me of a local meme ((“local meme” is a private meme referring to recurring joke forms that are local to a couple people. If you pay close attention you can track local memes as spreading from person to person, waning and dying, ressurecting themselves, etc. The meme meme sure does seem to describe them as phenomena. )) in my office, based on the blank cat is blank global meme.

But while I have your attention, I want to talk about my software plans.

  • One thing I’ve meant to work on for a while is the “sessions” situation in Gnome. The fact that it’s not clear from the name what this is is the first indication of a thoroughly broken user interaction. If you want an application to start up whenever you log in you have to know to open the “Sessions Preferences” application, which looks like this:
    Sessions Preferences

    What is this?

    You actually have to type in the application name twice and know what options to pass to the program. Anyways, I’d like to come up with a complete solution for doing this the right way. In MacOS you get an option to add an application to startup just by context-clicking on it (I think xfce lets you do this with menu items in the menubar). There might be two parts to this. First would be some utility to encourage applications to offer to register themselves for startup. For example, Pidgin should ask if you want it to startup on login, duh (( Let’s see, Miro does this, but somehow in an annoying way. Gnome-Do has an option in its preferences to add itself to the session preferences. )). The second part might be an “application pool” that would be used to select applications (with sane defaults supplied for parameters) to have in startup (( For some reason I feel this program should be named Menagerie. )). This information is surely collected several times over in the system, but what seems to be missing is a single sortable, selectable list of all the applications, including non-gui commands, with relevant icons and descriptions. Something like this would be necessary to fix the above session preferences window.

  • I keep meaning to jump into developing on Tracks, a nice hosted todo manager I use. Tracks needs todo sharing and delegation and also something like NowDoThis.
  • My most recent contributed opensource code has been to ViGedit, doubly ironic because the code is in Python and because I still use GVim for everything.
  • One of these days I’ll renew my commitment to Alexandria. I inherited this project from much more competent and dilligent Ruby programmers back when I didn’t know much Ruby. If I took a look at the codebase today I could probably hack on it much more quickly and effectively than I could a year ago.

Probably I shouldn’t even think of anything else.

Update (2/21/09):

But I should mention some other ideas I’ve had:

  • Add a notification mechanism for the game Wesnoth. This is a turn-based game where it’s tempting to minimize the window and do something else until you hear the bell for your turn. Popup notifications would be useful in case someone is trying to tell you something important.
  • Create a GUI for Boodler. I recently made use of this command-line tool to generate an hour’s-worth of pink noise so I can (occasionally) tune out my officemates’ music in order to concentrate.

Update (2/23/09):

  • It’s surprising if you think about it that there isn’t a simple revision-control system available in any text editor that I know. I could be totally wrong about this. Thought about this again when I read about this: boingboing. Have to look at this: wizbit. I might try something with Gedit and bzr.
  • Also, I’ve actually started playing with implementing Menagerie.

2 thoughts on “As I Avoid This Sleep

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