"Why are you writing a developer's guide to GNOME 2? I thought you were a translator . . ."
A somewhat stunned colleague asked me something like this at the GNOME Project booth as the plans for this book began to take shape at LinuxTag (Linux Day) 2001 in Stuttgart. And because I had the insolence to undertake this task without any actual extensive GNOME programming experience, I should probably prepare for a series of sleepless nights.
When I started fooling around with GNOME in 1998 (around version 0.30), I don't think that I would have dreamed it would go this far. Apart from curiosity , the main reason that I started using GNOME was that it was the only modern user interface that the slightly outdated hardware on my Linux system could deal with, if only barely .
One thing led to another: Sometime or other, I decided to subscribe to several mailing lists, translated GNOME software into German, spent day upon day compiling the latest GNOME source trees, demonstrated GNOME at trade shows, did some talks about it, and wrote articles. The one thing that I hadn't done yet was to program GNOME, not just because I didn't have the time, but because I was somewhat lacking in inspiration.
Therefore, writing a comprehensive GNOME 2 programming guide was quite a daring undertaking, and it would have never gotten to this point without the support of Judith Stevens-Lemoine. Judith deserves my special thanks ” I couldn't have hoped for a better editor. Without her, this book wouldn't exist, and the compromise of content breadth versus limited space and time wouldn't have come out so well.
The same thanks go to Jens " triqster " Finke, Christian " chrisime " Meyer, and Thomas " chip " Ziehmer, who reviewed the book for correctness and clarity. I have them and a large number of other members in the GNOME community to thank for motivation; their expressed desire for this book ensures that it indeed has the practical value that I had strived for.
I hope that you share this view. If you have some constructive criticism or ideas for revisions, feel free to send them directly to me.
And now I'd like to use this opportunity to make some further remarks and thanks:
The names in Chapter 2 come from a Usenet posting by Peter Bouillon. Many thanks to him and the founders of Netdigest ( de.alt.netdigest ) who have archived his posts. [tr.ed.: The terms in the German edition are Flippe and Qwurxel; these have been "translated" into Flipper and Slop.]
I have my sister (Iris) to thank for many more things than are possible to mention in this preface.
Tuomas "Tigert" Kuosmanen, GNOME's "head artist," gets thanks not just for his wonderful images, but also for providing me with several special versions of the GNOME logo.
Jeff " jdub " Waugh has not been the release coordinator of GNOME 2, but also saved me a lot of time with his GARNOME system that allows an entire GNOME build with just a few commands. Before this, a new system could take days to build, and I was happy to invest the time that would otherwise be spent installing GNOME in writing.
This book's work was also supported by music from (among others): The Alan Parsons Project, Amorphis, Antrum Nequam, Tori Amos, Ayreon, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig von Beethoven, Black Sabbath, Blue –yster Cult, Bluescream, Eric Burdon and The Animals, Eric Burdon and The New Animals, Eric Burdon and War, B. Where, Miles Davis, DDT, Deep Purple, Derek and The Dominos, Dio, The Doobie Brothers, The Doors, Ekseption, Duke Ellington, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Peter Frampton, Herbie Hancock, Iron Butterfly, J.B.O., Maria Jo & pound ;o, Billy Joel, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Massive Attack, John Mayall and The Blues Breakers, Meat Loaf, John Miles, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Carl Orff, Pink Floyd, Queen, Sergei Rachmaninov, Seal, Arnold Sch nberg, Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Jimmy Smith, The Specker Davis Group, Star One, The Steve Miller Band, Toto, Uriah Heep, Van Halen, and Hannes Wader ” and let's not forget the people who have shown that you really can find friends of music in the Internet: the wonderful collection of musicians in de.rec.music.machen .
XXX percent of the proceeds from this book go to the GNOME Foundation.
I hope that you have as much fun working with this book as I had writing it.
Matthias "mawa" Warkus
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Korborn, July 2001-October 2002