Rant .gvfs & gnome-clock issues

Hi all,

Free Software is a work in progress (WIP) most of the time. While some things get fixed, some others for some reason or the other do not. I’ll be taking couple of issues which cause me grief personally, putting them across in the hope that if somebody can fix them, would be nice.

The first one is the ‘Superuser cannot access ~/.gvfs folder when mounted’

This one is due to the fuse people at the kernel levels  it seems as shared by GVFS developer Alexander Larsson’s comment

This is all unfortunate, but its a decision that has been taken by the fuse people at the kernel level (user others than the one who mounted the fs can’t access it, including root) and there is nothing we can do about it.

Now this is bad, really bad for guys like me who like to take backups of their home directory . Something like

$ sudo ls -l .* >> ll.txt
ls: cannot access .gvfs: Permission denied

It really is a pain if I want to take a backup of all directories and stuff. Useful to do if and when you are updating/upgrading to a new release of a distro. Mostly when most of the .files have user configuration.

The only option is not to use fuse, but that not being an option for me I have to live with this bug till it gets resolved.

The other bug is not having weather forecast in GNOME-clock. It took me some time to figure out, that the GNOME-clock is based on two components, gnome-clock itself and a library libgweather

There are issues with both the things and both may or may not be related to each other.

The first thing I had to do is figure out where I live. This is in GNOME 2.24.1

Clicking on the Clock in the panel gives Dates and Locations. Clicking on the Edit button takes you to an un-named untitled window where one has to choose the Timezone Locations-addition
Choosing-Location One has to fully scroll-down, one cannot just use the keyboard and do “I” for India to come
Add the information about the city including the Longitude and Latitude, for Pune it is 18.32 N and 73.51 E . AddingLatitudeLongitude
Worldmap Finally the worldmap shows Pune in the right place

Why is this so complicated? Why does the user have to remember obscure longitude and latitude when he just wants weather notifications. The whole process is not intuitive at all.

Digging a bit further came to know the Locations are kept in a Locations.xml file which is at /usr/share/libgweather/Locations.xml

Now again there are two problems, one there is no xml-editor I know which are packaged in Ubuntu. There are couple of needs-packaging requests but none existing afaik

XML-copyeditor and XPontus XML Editor

Both are not packaged in Debian and hence not packaged in Ubuntu.

Also the way the xml file needs to be written, atleast some part is a mystery to me still :-


The reference is again of a bug

Now while everything else I can understand, what does the


stand for? From where did a certain arbitrary value come from?

Also should a user have to know this if all he wants is his weather notifications 😦

That I hope gets solved till GNOME 2.26 comes out.

Update 30/10/08 21:15 :- Dan shares that putting India in the Location names does give some listing and indeed it does, but this seems to be not so intuitive, it might be wrong to compare oranges to apples but if you go to Google Maps or Yahoo Maps one gets the right answer with ‘City, Country’ rather than vice-versa. Anyways, even after choosing the nearest city I don’t get any temperature stuff so I’m still stuck in the same soup 😦

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3 thoughts on “Rant .gvfs & gnome-clock issues

  1. Hi Dan,
    Thanx, while that works, its not really a solution. For if I am entering details or looking for details, I’m looking for my specific city, not the nearby city.

    I put up a bug about the same at GNOME bugzilla

    The weather station code ‘VAPO’ is most probably a weather station (some tell me its inactive) which is part of METAR

    So I learnt something new today as well.

  2. If you type “India” in the location entry, it will pop up a list of matching cities, and then you can select one, and it will fill in the details.

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