All Posts

GPG Key Transition

As an Ubuntu Core Dev, my GPG key effectively has root privileges on millions of physical machines and a very substantial number [1] of public cloud instances. Although there are safeguards in place - I'm notified by email of any uploads signed by my key, and all uploads to stable releases get a layer of manual review - I'm still aware that my key is a valuable target. I also need access to my key to get any uploads done, which means I need to have access to my key wherever I'm working.

Mathematics education

In response to Jonathan Lange poking me with Lockheart's Lament. It seems that I haven't addressed that in any public space yet. We looked at this essay in passing in the mathematics portion of my teaching degree. I agree with some of it. Parts of it match my understanding of the Australian mathematics curricula and teaching practice, parts of it don't; these parts may match American curricula and praxis, but I can't speak to that.

XMir Performance

Or: Why XMir is slower than X, and how we'll fix it We've had a bunch of testing of XMir now; plenty of bugs, and plenty of missing functionality. One of the bugs that people have noticed is a 10-20% performance drop over raw X. This is really several bits of missing functionality - we're doing a lot more work than we need to be. Oddly enough, people have also been mentioning that it feels "

Artistic differences

The latest entry in my critically acclaimed series on Mir and Wayland! Wayland, Mir, and X - different projects Apart from the architectural differences between them, which I've covered previously, Mir and Wayland also have quite different project goals. Since a number of people seem to be confused as to what Wayland actually is - and that's not unreasonable, because it's a bit complicated - I'll give a run-down as to what all these various projects are and aim to do, throwing in X11 as a reference point.

Server Allocated Buffers in Mir

…Or possibly server owned buffers One of the significant differences in design between Mir and Wayland compositors¹ is the buffer allocation strategy. Wayland favours a client-allocated strategy. In this, the client code asks the graphics driver for a buffer to render to, and then renders to it. Once it's done rendering it gives a handle² to this buffer to the Wayland compositor, which merrily goes about its job of actually displaying it to the screen.

Mir and YOU!

This is still based on my series of G+ posts But Chris! I don't care about Unity. What does Mir mean for me? The two common concerns I've seen on my G+ comment stream are: With Canonical focusing on Mir rather than Wayland, what does this mean for GNOME/Kubuntu/Lubuntu? What about Mint? Does this harm other distros by fragmenting the Linux driver space? What does this mean for GNOME/Kubuntu/etc? The short answer, for the short-to-mid-term is: not much.

For posterity

This is based on my series of G+ posts Standing on the shoulders of giantsWe've recently gone public (yay!) with the Mir project that we've been working on for some months now. It's been a bit rockier than I'd hoped (boo!). Particularly, we offended people with incorrect information the wiki page we wanted to direct the inevitable questions to. I had proof-read this, and didn't notice it - I'm familiar with Wayland, so even with “X's input has poor security” and “Wayland's input protocol may duplicate some of the problems of X” juxtaposed I didn't make the connection.

A grab-bag of annoyance

I've been meaning to write more, or indeed at all, on this blog. In the interests of making this easier, I'll try to ease my way in with a bit of a gripe post. Always easier! So this will be deliberately more extreme than my actual views. With that said... The concept of "definition" Why does it seem that education academics find this so difficult? This morning's 5500 lecture featured a slide titled "

The Will to Macros The excellent MapTool full of useful features. One of which is the ability to associate macros with tokens - particularly useful it 4E D&D, since the maximum number of different attacks a character can have is less than 10. Sadly, the documentation is somewhat sparse. Let's remedy that, with a worked example: writing Graham Tom's basic attack macro. So, at its simplest, a basic attack is d20 + Str modifier + 1/2 level + proficiency vs AC, with [W] + Str mod damage.

Adventures in future upstream nightmares I clearly need to move "Write a 'How to be a good upstream' Ubuntu wiki page" closer to the top of my TODO list. This piece of wrongness seen in #ubuntu-motu: (20.24.31| screennam)) folks, I am sent here 'cos I have a bit of software to release under a modified gpl (20.24.53| screennam)) and I guess I've not done this before so I'll need some advice on making it publishable