Oh how I just needed it! The good thing about having vacations in the second half of September is that you can make summer last a bit longer. The weather in the entire southern Europe was much more rainy than usually at this time, but it was still much, much better than in Poland. The result is that I came back very well tanned and obviously relaxed and full of energy. The city of Laganas located on the Zakynthos island was indeed a very nice place. I wouldn't recommend it if you prefer peaceful and quiet places, especially with all that young Englishmen having access to all-inclusive alcoholic drinks ;), but I personally don't mind it. As always I uploaded a few photos to the photo gallery.
Just after returning, a few hours before the deadline, I made the final submission of WebIssues to the Qt Center Programming Contest. I want to make the final release of version 0.9.3 as soon as possible and immediately start working on the next version; there are a few cool ideas to put into life. Autumn and winter somehow make me more motivated to work on various things and to look for new opportunities, so I think that by the end of the year a lot of things may still go well.
It's quite a curious period now because last week I returned from Canada and in two weeks I'm going to Greece, so I'm spending more time abroad than here in Poland; which is obviously a good thing ;). So first a few words about the last trip - or if you prefer to see for yourself, you can go straight to the photo gallery. It was really great time for at least two reasons. First, I finally met all the guys I've been working with for the last three years. Second, seeing America for the first time is really an amazing experience. The scenery in Vancouver and Whistler is simply beautiful (when the weather is good). The variety of food styles was great, after all it's a very multicultural place. Besides I had a chance to taste a little bit of the "high life" - an exclusive hotel, houses worth millions of dollars, expensive cars and all that cool stuff that in Poland is still reserved mostly for gangsters :). Well, they've got the product and the market; they get the fruit. I have at least an honest satisfaction of well done job and feel a little bit ahead of my Hindi and Chinese competition ;). Besides I really appreciate the fact that I had a chance to be there.
Shortly after arriving back to Poland a girl that I've been seeing a few times told me that "we can be friends"; but that was actually a big step forward compared to the misery of the past two years. I'm using the online dating service simply because I don't have anywhere else to look, but I'm not really convinced that it's a good place for me. Let's be honest, it's a goddamn marketplace; and it's the XXI century, so nobody cares too much about the contents, it's all about the packaging. And I realize that's not my strongest attribute. It's not that I have a low self-esteem, actually my personal opinion is quite different, but the extrapolation of the past experiences seem to well confirm that. Or did I just take a wrong sample of the population? :>
So now it's time to work a little bit, in the meantime releasing another beta version of WebIssues, and then finally have some vacation from work. I'm going with my friends to a Greek island Zakynthos, a four-star hotel, maybe not as exclusive as the one in Vancouver, but at least it's all-inclusive :). So it's gonna be just two weeks of doing nothing except eating and drinking, and trying to relax; that's what I need most now.
The second Qt article is available, called Simple XML-based UI builder for Qt4. It's a component which allows to merge actions from multiple components and define the layout of menus and toolbars using simple XML files. I wrote it for WebIssues when porting from KDE to Qt4 to replace the KXMLGUI components that I previously used; however this new solution is much simpler and it doesn't depend on anything else than Qt.
Soon I will publish one more article with the graphics style for Windows used by Fraqtive. The style used by WebIssues was based on a Qt Solutions component, but the new one was completely rewritten by me, so when I remove the remaining pieces of GPL-ed code I will probably re-license it to a BSD-style license as well. Then if only I have some time, I'm going back to work on the next version of the WebIssues client.
A little side note: my recent post about moving from Gliwice made my boss panic a little bit, which is actually a good thing, because I got a pretty decent argument to think through this decision :). The truth is, if I had one argument of, let's say, more non-material nature, I would immediately buy a flat in Gliwice and, you know, live happily ever after and all that stuff. But unfortunately life is much more complicated and sometimes we have absolutely no influence on some things, so all I can do now is wait a bit more.
Actually more than a weekend - four whole days. Enough time to see the most interesting places and to feel the climate of the city. It's amazing, I must admit. It's really big and full of different cultures, but somehow it makes you feel like home. It's also beautiful, not just the few places most crowded by tourists, but the entire center of the city has a consistent and elegant look. And it's calm, full of parks and gardens, nice restaurants and pubs, you almost don't file the usual rush of the big city. As always I uploaded some photos. By the way, you can notice that I recently cut my hair and changed my "image" a little bit :).
This trip also made me realize the sad truth about the place where I live. Well, it wasn't the only reason, because I've been thinking above moving to another city for some time already, but that was the drop that made the glass overflow. Now it's not a matter of "if", but "where" and "when". I'm not really intending to go abroad just now (although from Gliwice it's not much farther to Prague than to Warsaw), so I'm probably going to decide between Wrocław and Kraków. The "when" is something between six months and a year, realistically speaking. I don't want to think about it during the summer, besides finding a job that would fully satisfy me will also take some time.
February wasn't the best time of my life, I was sick a few weeks, but the good side of this was that I finally had time to put my hands on Fraqtive. The engine is finished, the application already looks very impressive and I just have to bring the UI to a usable state. I will release the first version by the end of this month. Then I will continue adding new features and releasing new versions in 2-3 weeks periods.
Some work is also being done with WebIssues "behind the scenes", but don't expect new versions sooner than in a few months. Maybe I will work on both projects in turns once Fraqtive reaches a certain level of completeness, maybe I'll start doing something else, time will show.
The beginning of March looks much more promising, mainly because it's warmer and there's more sun, feels like spring, more energy and motivation. Recently I started playing an MMO game, something I thought I would never do, but I got sucked in :). I also started using an online dating service, also something I thought I'd never do, without any effects so far, but well, I've already waited so long that I can wait a bit longer. At least no one can say I'm not trying. Last but not least, last weekend I was at the Metalmania festival and I enjoyed it very much. So at least I'm not bored and that's not going to change in the nearest future.