[GNOME] GSOC, GNOME Documents/Tracker, and Tablets

GSOC "Pencils Down": GObject Serialization with GXml

Yesterday was pencil's down (joke with friends of yesterday: What's a pencil?  Is that like a stylus? O_O).  I pushed the changes I'd been working on.  It was a bit of a wrestling match with automake trying to get my devhelp pages to successfully generate via valadoc, but I prevailed in the end.  A hearty thanks goes to the Folks developers and Philip Withnall who have essentially been the template I followed.  In the end, the biggest obstacles seem silly in retrospect, though.  Sigh. I want to write up a quick guide for future people after my semester ends.  I want to do a lot of things.

Also, deserialisation handles multiple references to the same original object correctly now, hooray!  There is one issue with it in some cases, where there might be an ID collision on the serialised objects.  I have a few ideas for solutions, but for now, that's it.

I have work to push on automatically serialising collections, but it's a bit too buggy right now.  If I can't finish it this week, I'll put it in a branch and push that.

GNOME Documents and Tracker

Sam Thursfield the other day asked if I could try Tracker 0.14.2, after I noted that Tracker's subjective impact on interactivity was preventing me from using GNOME Documents.  I found a package in Fedora's koji for 0.14.2 (after vainly trying to install git to ~/.local/; I gave up on trying to get tracker to load from ~/.local/libexec/).  I'm not sure if it's any better?

It initially stalled twice.  (0.14.1 was stalling while mining the file system sometimes, according to tracker-control.)  The first time was just when it started, it got 2% of my file system done and just never progressed beyond that.  No CPU activity, though.  I restarted, and it made some more progress.  I then tried to preview a file it had indexed, and LibreOffice document, and then resulted in soffice consuming all my CPU for over 5 minutes before I killed it.  tracker-control indicated no further progress for a while, so I restarted again.   I don't feel I have enough reproducible information from either instance to file a bug, sadly.

It's been going for over an hour now.  Performance on my desktop is intermittently laggy while it runs while I'm trying to interact with it, sadly, but I think it's better than it used to be over a year ago?  It was slowing down my system for a while when I started using my browser and a terminal 15 minutes ago, but after about 5 minutes of sluggishness, it seems to have backed off, though still using a very small amount of CPU.  I hope it hasn't stalled again.  I will let it finish its initial indexing and then monitor its behaviour after that to see whether I can live with it turned on.  Heavy I/O and CPU use while I'm trying to interact will be a big no-no.

UPDATE: one of the issues seems to be large memory usage causing programs I'm interacting with (e.g. Firefox) to have to swap a lot.  I have 2GB RAM.  Hopefully when it's done it's initial indexing, that won't happen.

Can anyone else comment on Tracker 0.14.2 and up, and their experience with interactive performance while it's running?

GNOME on Tablets

"No auto-rotate, no swipe to scroll, no two-finger zoom or resize aren't

The real and only issue is that no part of GNOME is better on a tablet
than iOS or Android. So the issues you pointed out are really non-issues
since the product, by design, isn't a good one [for this form factor]."

This is a comment on my previous post about testing GNOME on my tablet.  I find it a bit weird.  Despite all the ways in which GNOME is not yet great for a tablet, there are several things I already prefer about it.  One is having a completely Free software stack operating my machine.  Another is familiar software and features.  Another is that by having a desktop-background, its applications have options and features available that aren't provided on other tablet systems and their apps that simplify UIs beyond what GNOME does even in 3.x; I don't have to compromise functionality.  I'm not sure, but do other tablets have things like user switching yet?  I also like having normal control of the system underneath, even if I have to use a terminal to access it: it makes running sshd and rsync a lot easier.

A nice thing about GNOME is its design can evolve and adapt.  GNOME 3 is much more touch-friendly than GNOME 2 was.  Having always used tablet PCs (the stylus variety) for laptops, I like having direct interaction with the screen, and look forward to many touch-enabled computers in the future.  A lot of the considerations that would go into making GNOME on a tablet a more enjoyable experience wouldn't subtract from using GNOME on a laptop, so I think the noted deficits are valid issues.

So, why should GNOME not be nicer to run on tablets?

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