I took last week pretty easy, since I was still kind of wiped out from being sick. This allowed me to be refreshed and ready for my weekly Thursday rock climbing. This week our usual group was supplemented by new friends and some friendly geeks (it was almost a BarCamp reunion). I had a pretty good climbing night, and then we went out for dinner at Shakespeare's Pub which is always fun.
Dinner with a big group is interesting and fun because there are usually two or three main conversations going on, and the center of those conversations may shift around the table. What was weird at this dinner was that any time there was a lull in the conversation, the geeks produced their smart phones and (presumably) caught up on email, feeds, and general internet happenings. At the other extreme, if somebody made a particularly witty comment, these same geeks raced each other to Twitter it.
It was kind of surreal...I generally consider myself too plugged-in, so I avoid highly-addictive services like Twitter. During the recent San Diego fires, I did find Twitter the best source for fire news, but in general I've made a conscious effort to *not* join that community. I really wonder what these services do to a person's attention span. When spending time with tweeters, I get the feeling that if I am not a constant source of interest or entertainment, they will be quickly drawn back to the web via the nearest terminal.
Previously I've thought about how convenient it might be to have a cool smart phone that I could develop software for, but now I fear that my addictive personality would quickly fall victim to these pitfalls.
I kind of get the feeling that hyper-plugged-in people are not so much the creators of Web 2.0 as they are the "product" for some weird Web 2.0 economy. Although, they could just be geniuses with much more time and energy than I have... ;-)
In other news, I made some good progress last week. I have a hacky little patch to winforms that initializes the providers via reflection, and exposes a FormAdded event to get notified when forms are created. I really want to stress that this is just a proof-of-concept to get the pieces connected for UIA, and is not ready (for various reasons) to be proposed for inclusion in Mono. Anyway, this initializes our new UIAutomationWinforms assembly so that it can create providers as Forms are created. I also made a little more progress on the WindowProvider and ButtonProvider, but they haven't been my focus so they are still incomplete. I wanted to work more on our "core" that will connect the UIAutomationProvider assembly with the winforms provider and the UIA<->ATK bridge, but ended up getting stuck reading a lot of documentation about the Microsoft implementation.
Andres has done some awesome work to get the bridge working, so I'll be working with him to get the end-to-end model working. It will be very nice to have a thin vertical slice of our entire infrastructure working, so that we can at least see winforms windows in Accerciser. I'll be working on the core and improving providers this week.
Summer of Code Deadline Extension
Also, the deadline for submitting proposals to GNOME for Summer of Code 2008 has been extended by one week. I spent a lot of time this weekend reviewing the proposals we have received so far, and plan on spending next weekend in much the same way. There are some really great proposals in there, but it will be good to see what another week brings us. I don't expect to do any mentoring (I didn't propose any Tomboy ideas this year), but it's fun to help out with the whole process. My main role this year will be getting on people's backs about deadlines and overall status. ;-)