What a Summer!

22 Aug 2006

Wow, it’s been one hell of a summer. I was pushed back into reality when I had to start my new semester on July the 22nd. But then, it hasn’t been all that bad since the beginning of the semester!

First off, my two-part article on PHP-GTK 2 was published on php|arch in the months of July and August. Pretty neat, both the articles turned out to be amazing thanks to Steph’s fantastic editorial work. Steph is also scheduled to give a talk at the International PHP Conference this November, Kudos to her! Scott and Christian have also planned to attend the conference; I can’t though, Frankfurt is just too far! On another note, I began some work on the PHP-Gnome bindings. I found the GnomeVFS and Bonobo to be a little ambitious, so I’m going to put those two on hold until I wrap up the rest.

My introduction to Mario Đanić through the Summer of Code, resulted in us starting out pykix.net (a common blog for both of us) and pykix.org (a project hosting / repository for our projects). I’m quite excited about both; Mario relaunched the unmaintained libburn in a new avatar. Anyone interested in replacing the ominous cdrecord with this new library, get in touch with Mario or me ASAP! After trying my hand at contributing something to libisofs (and failing, I know nothing about hardware programming!), we decided that I must stick to application programming. I’m going to be developing the Python modules for libburn, a much more down-to-earth task for me!

The all-great LH from Google had replied to my earlier roadmap for Banyan Tree. I’m very excited about that too, and hope that we can make something out of it. Now that the Summer of Code is finally over, I’ll be able to spend more time on Banyan Tree. Speaking of the SoC, it was just great. I learnt quite a lot about all the AJAX hype, met a lot of new people, had a lot of fun with the cool folks at Gentoo AND Google, and was able to churn out Beacon, a nice editor for GuideXML. There are some screenshots of the editor in that post as well. As mentioned on my other blog, Beacon is not limited to GuideXML alone, it can easily be extended to include other XML formats too (I hope!) There’s a lot of improvements that can be made to the editor, and I intend to continue developing it. Any help, of course, is greatly appreciated!

On the college front, things have been going good so far. The subjects are great and the assignments are fun to work on. The college administration, however is upto its usual gimmicks. Apart from banning motorcycles in the campus, they also suddenly seemed to be against us maintaining our LAN networks in the hostel. The situation was resolved quickly though, to the relief of the students. My friends and I also made a trip to the mountains nearby and made a day of it. You can check out the photos at FlickR, a service which I only recently started using. I found it to be quite nice, it’s all filled with AJAX, which is a good thing! Wordpress on the other hand, has a new look, and so does Yahoo! What’s with everyone changing looks? Whatever happened to the good old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”.

There was a sneak peak of Leopard at the WWDC. All I can say is, Vista, watch out! I was especially impressed with how Apple tends to make their desktops look the best. As a developer, I’m also really looking forward to the ‘Core Animation’ library that they’re rolling out with Leopard and XCode 3.0. It’s also a good thing that Leopard finally implements the workspaces concept (Gnome/KDE had that concept forever!). Apple calls it Spaces, yeah, whatever.

I also watched a lot of movies this month. I was most impressed with 3 of them; ‘V for Vendetta’ is a bit like 1984 but with a nice, happy ending; ‘The Pink Panther’ is a real nice timepass-humourousfilm, while ‘The Inside Man’ takes the cake with amazing direction and screenplay. Of course, you can’t expect anything lesser in a movie that stars Denzel Washington.

The best thing about the movie however, was the intro-extro music; I loved it, and so do millions of Indians. Yeah, ‘The Inside Man’ features ‘Chaiyan Chainyan’ in its soundtrack. In case you didn’t know, the original song is pictured entirely on the rooftop of a train!