LinuxPower: Interviewing GNOME Hacker Michael Meeks

“After our tremendous success with the Christopher Blizzard
interview we are now back again with another great developer
interview. Even though he has a busy schedule with a large workload
at both University and with Helix Code, Michael Meeks was
kind enough to set of some time to answer our questions. He is
one of the most productive talents among the GNOME hackers and has
acquired a lot of respect and admiration for his work on projects
such as Gnumeric and Bonobo.
In addition to that he is the
main architect of the gb project. I think many of you will be
surprised when you learn what that is.”

LP: How long have you been involved with the
GNOME project and what got you involved originally?

[MM:] I started playing with free software,
particularly DJ’s port of gcc to DOS, at age 17 or so. It was
rather a heretical move from assembler for me. I soon found that
profiling, rather than the ouija method of optimization, yielded
better results. In a similar vein, in June 1998, I started on
mahjongg writing the solubility code. Then I took on Excel import
in gnumeric, this project consumed rather more time and was a very
formative period. It was an amazing experience to work with like
minded hackers and benefit from their criticism and experience. It
also gave a huge amount of satisfaction to craft, and re-craft some
of the internals of gnumeric each time adding more finesse and

LP: You recently started working for Helix
Code, how has that experience been?

[MM:] Absolutely incredible. Helix Code is a
big group of friends who get together to support people who want to
make GNOME happen. We believe in truly free ( as in freedom )
software, and all our software is produced under the terms of the
GNU GPL. We also hope to make both current GNOME hackers and users
fabulously wealthy. Whilst we do it we also happen to have a great
deal of fun and an amazing sense of achievement.”


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