Status update, February 2020

Published 2020-02-15 on Drew DeVault's blog

Today I thought it’d try out something new: I have an old family recipe simmering on the stove right now, but instead of beef I’m trying out impossible beef. It cooked up a bit weird — it doesn’t brown up in the same way I expect of ground beef, and it made a lot more fond than I expected. Perhaps the temperature is too high? We’ll see how it fares when it’s done. In the meanwhile, let’s get you up to speed on my free software projects.

First, big thanks to everyone who stopped by to say “hello” at FOSDEM! Putting faces to names and getting to know everyone on a personal level is really important to me, and I would love FOSDEM even if that was all I got out of it. Got a lot of great feedback on the coming plans for SourceHut and aerc, too.

That aside, what’s new? On the Wayland scene, the long-promised Sway 1.3^W1.4 was finally released, and with it wlroots 0.10.0. I’ve been talking it up for a while, so I won’t bore you by re-listing all of the cool stuff in this release - it’ll suffice to say that I think you’ll enjoy it. The related tools — swayidle, swaylock, swaybg — all saw releases around the same time. The other release this month was scdoc 1.10.1, which was a simple patch release. Beyond releases, there’s been some Wayland development work as well: wev received a simple bugfixes, and casa’s OpenGL-based renderer rewrite has been completed nicely.

aerc progresses nicely this month as well, thanks to the support of its many dedicated contributors. Many bugfixes have landed, alongside contextual configuration options — so you can have different config settings, for example, when you have an email selected whose subject line matches a regex. A series of notmuch patches should be landing soon as well. himitsu has also seen slow progress — this pace being deliberate, as this is security-sensitive software. Several bugs have been fixed in the existing code, but there are a few more to address still. imrsh also had a little bit of improvement this month, as I started down the long road towards properly working UTF-8 support.

SourceHut improvements have also landed recently. I did some work shoring up our accessibility standards throughout the site, and SourceHut is now fully complaint with the WCAG accessibility guidelines. We now score 100% on standard performance, accessibility, and web standards compliance tests. SourceHut is the lightest weight, most usable forge. I recently fixed a bug report from a Lynx, user, too 😉 In terms of feature development, the big addition this month is support for attaching files to annotated git tags, so you can attach binaries, PGP signatures, and so on to your releases. More cool SourceHut news is coming in the post to sr.ht-announce later today.

This month’s update is a little bit light on content, I’ll admit. Between FOSDEM and taking some personal time, I’ve had less time for work this month. However, there’s another reason: I have a new secret project which I’ve been working on. I intend to keep this project under wraps for a while still, because I don’t want people to start using it before I know if it’s going to pan out or not. This project is going to take a lot of time to complete, so I hope you’ll bear with me for a while and trust that the results will speak for themselves. As always, thank you for your support, and I’m looking forward to another month of awesome FOSS work.

Have a comment on one of my posts? Start a discussion in my public inbox by sending an email to ~sircmpwn/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht [mailing list etiquette]

Are you a free software maintainer who is struggling with stress, demanding users, overwork, or any other social problems in the course of your work? Please email me — I know how you feel, and I can lend a sympathetic ear and share some veteran advice.


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