GXml, fewer features, more stuff

A summary in bullet points for busy days!

  • git.gnome.org: GXml's development is now hosted on git.gnome.org under gxml.

  • libxml2: Patching libxml2's VAPI file.  This is hand written rather than generated normally, so I've been adding bindings for functionality I want exposed for gxml.  I should clean it up and post the patch to bugzilla soon, to make sure that I'm making changes appropriately :)

  • I/O: Thanks to the above VAPI work, we now have Stream and File support for I/O operations.  For future I/O work, I might add asynchronous support.

  • configuration: Spent time figuring out pkg-config and how to generate a .pc file for GXml.  Turns out I just had to hand-write it.  Struggled with passing variables from WAF unless I started guessing.  Hooray!

  • documentation: The amount of todos and personal notes in the source code have grown enough and most code is there, such that I started to prioritise documenting stuff this week.  I want to use valadoc, but honestly, I haven't been able to correctly generate the documentation using it yet.  I'm going to start asking for help next week :)  This has had the added bonus of revealing deviations from the spec, which have been being fixed.

  • porting libgdata: I'm grateful for all the projects that volunteered their code.  Based on scope of usage, and a bit of nepotism, I'm writing patches for libgdata, a GNOME library primarily used to communicate with Google services.  I contributed to libgdata over a few months in 2009, working on PicasaWeb support, and I still use the library myself.  I asked Philip Withnall if I could just make a branch in the official repository for it, and he said sure.  I spent time this week figuring out how to include libraries compiled from Vala directly into C code (hence the pkg-config work) and have been reviewing its libxml2 usage and playing with changes to figure out what I need to do.  There are features they use that we don't support yet since they're not strictly part of the spec, like getting a string representation of an XML node structure.  I'm starting to realise that I should provide porting guidance once I'm done with this for other interested projects.

  • intimidation and quality control: To be honest, having work hosted at gnome.org is pretty intimidating.  It took me a little while at first to get comfortable with committing imperfect changes frequently to my gitorious repository, but my good mentor Alberto Ruiz encouraged me to, to at least demonstrate progress as it was made.  However, previous efforts to submit patches to GNOME projects have generally gone through careful review and revision before being committed, so I've been reluctant this week to commit and push changes like documentation and libgdata toying until I was happy with it.  This won't work, though, as the week is over and because the documentation work still doesn't generate correctly and because I'm not sure whether libgdata changes I'm toying with are what I'll want to keep, code hasn't been pushed for a few days.  I do care about the quality of GNOME's code, and once GXml is sufficiently mature, I'll be much more conservative with the changes I push, but for now for the sake of transparency, I'm going to have to push things even when unready.  Sorry!

  • GSoC midterm evaluations: Despite having personal issues this past month and losing productivity for a couple weeks, I've passed my midterm evaluation, indicating support and confidence from my mentor, for which I'm glad.  While life still isn't smooth yet, it is great to be trusted and allowed to continue this awesome project.   Hooray!

This post brought a day late thanks to J. K. Rowling. 

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