A program’s obsolescence

In 2005, I had a crazy idea upon which I started the Specto project. Initially, I thought I’d call my revolutionary piece of software WhileYouWereOut (continuing the world’s tradition of ill-chosen project names), because it really was about solving a core “want” in my life: to leave my computer alone and catch up with events when I’d come back in front of it.

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0.3.1: a small bug fixing release

I just released Specto 0.3.1, not long after 0.3 (in terms of commits), after having addressed some bugs myself. The changes are minor and I don’t expect regressions, so it should be pretty safe to upgrade from 0.3. Maybe I can start a habit of actually releasing stuff more often, if we don’t again plunge into a huge refactoring endeavour like the 0.3 release was.

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Notify-OSD compliance

After much bikeshedding, I delved in Specto’s code for a few hours this morning to get it working with Ubuntu 9.04’s controversial notification system daemon. The ability to set notification durations is now gone, and Specto only displays actions in the notifications if they are “allowed”. This should not impact users of vanilla libnotify. If people complain, it’s all Ubuntu’s fault now :)

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Specto 0.3 release candidate 1

Since hell is freezing over today, I’ve been nailed to my chair to prepare a new Specto release, at last. Uploaded packages, checked release notes, and reworked the website. Now, 0.3 RC1 is available for the masses, go test it! If no significant problems are found, this will become Specto 0.3 final. Special thanks to Wout Clymans for working so passionately on this release for over a year.

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Profiling Specto (and whole Python applications in general)

A few months ago (when we still thought we were about to release 0.3 “real soon now” ;), I noticed that Specto is noticeably slow to start up, even on warm starts (when it is not the first time you launch it). It always takes at least 6 seconds to paint the list of watches and start refreshing them. During that time, there is a notably high CPU usage spike (surprisingly, no noticeable hard drive I/O), as shown below:

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