Sunday, 12 December 2010


I just couldn't resist posting a gratuitous eye-candy shot..

Sadly, static screen-shots just don't do this branch justice, as they can't capture its rendering speed, or just how natural it feels to navigate the board. Perhaps I'll have to produce a screen-cast at some point.

gEDA development

There has been a lot of talk recently about how, as a community, gEDA (including PCB), has failed to make best use of its community contributions. The standard excuses have all been made for why we have not been better at integrating patches:

  • Developer bandwidth
  • Unfamiliarity with the code, so I can't review it
  • Submitted code quality not high enough
  • Sumbitted code not confirmat to our (non-existant) formal coding style.
  • "I hate SourceForge" - Ok, that one was just me!

All of the above are true for various cases, but as a community we need to do better. As such, I've been trying to devote some spare cycles to doing what I can to improve the situation.

For me, the SourceForge trackers are a real productivity drain when reviewing code. I've been doing some of the groundwork to trial Canonical's Launchpad as an alternative. This has meant exporting a dump of data from SourceForge, and applying various scripts and manual editing to convert this data into a format Launchpad admins can import into their database.

There have been a few snags along the way, mostly just requiring customisations to the python script which converts the SourceForge export into a Launchpad import format. I have added custom code for mapping release targets assigned to our bugs, cleaning up various auto-generated headers from comments, and tagging the imported bugs to specify which of the SourceForge trackers they originated from.

The results look promising, and in a few days I hope to be able to show people an editable demonstration of the import (for PCB), on the Launchpad staging server.

An example of an imported feature request

Long time, no post!

I just noted that it has been over two years since I wrote anything here!

Whilst I've been constantly encouraging other people I know to blog more about interesting projects they have been working on, I have not been writing anything myself.

Interesting projects have been happening though - mostly afforded by the fact I've had to take some time off from my PhD work in order to overcome some personal problems with depression. I'm pleased to report that I'm feeling a lot better now, and that addressing the issue was what needed to be done.

Anyway, on to the fun stuff..

I've been trying to slowly persuade the PCB+GL branches I've been maintaining into a shape suitable for being pushed back upstream. This effort is taking shape, and a number of commits have already been pushed.

I recently had a cleaning spree, pushing over 30 new commits to make PCB compile without warnings. We now stand a chance of seeing new warnings as and when they appear, and hopefully not letting bugs hide in the forrest that was until recently, our compile output.