Say Hello To Henry
Last Friday we went and collected Henry, an incredibly cute Labrador. He is quite a bundle of energy, so here is a picture of him falling asleep.
EDS DBus vs CORBA
Ah, Novell have released an initial report comparing the DBus and CORBA ports of EDS. As the author of the DBus port, I should make some observations.
The incorrect reporting of large numbers of contacts in a book view is very odd, and I've not seen that before. I'll try and replicate that locally, I did change some message limits so maybe they are being hit.
Occassional dbus_g_proxy_cancel_call assertions are known to happen. I've a potential fix locally, but it requires a patch to DBus, which hasn't been committed yet.
Now to the benchmarks. The primary optimisation target for my work has been in the book views, as these are the primary bottleneck in a real-world application. This is visible in Test 1, where the DBus port takes 17 seconds compared to 72 seconds for CORBA. A number of the optimisations I've made can be applied directly to the CORBA code too, and are currently sitting in Bugzilla.
Test 2, calling e_book_get_contacts() is interesting. It may be that verbose mode is enabled in DBus, which has a serious performance impact on large messages (and this is a very large message). Alternatively this difference may simply be due the message bus, which adds a layer of IPC (and thus string copies) which CORBA doesn't have. As very few real-world applications (I'd say none) use this function (it blocks the interface unlike book views which are asynchronous), this isn't a very meaningful benchmark in the scheme of things.
For the calendar, there has been no performance turning done at all. It's known that the calendar port to DBus isn't quite complete, and needs cleaning up and performance work.
We've just open-sourced Contacts, our light addressbook that uses Evolution Data Server as a backend. Although it was designed for handheld devices, its very usable on desktops too. Chris Lord, who wrote it in the summer whilst interning at Opened Hand, has more details and screenshots.
I'm currently trialing VMWare 5.5 on my laptop, to run Windows XP so that Vicky can use iTunes to manager her iPod (no, gtkpod isn't an option, and neither is SharpMusique). However, it's not working. :(
I've installed iTunes, but when I plug in the iPod XP detects first an iPod and then a USB Mass Storage device. It appears that the Mass Storage device is overriding the iPod drivers so iTunes doesn't notice the iPod. And so I ask the Lazyweb: has anyone else seen this, and is there a way around it?
Update: looks like the problem is caused by VMWare exposing my USB 2 controller as a USB 1.1 controller, which iTunes refuses to support as it would be too slow. Dammit! Any known workarounds?
Update 2: there are suggestions that this may be fixed by using an older version of iTunes, so does anyone have a Windows iTunes 5 installer to hand? Apple are only providing the latest release on their site.
NP: Laika Come Home, Space Monkeyz vs. Gorillaz
There is something quite satisfying about Mail Watch auctioning a Daily Mail Christmas Carols album on eBay, with the proceeds going to Asylum Welcome, an asylum-seeker support charity based in Oxford.
Let the bidding commence!