Older blog entries for Acapnotic (starting at number 38)

Back from travelling adventures. The pictures are currently with the supermarket's photo shop (except for the first batch, because someone put SFW film in the camera). The bad news is, upon returning home and reassembling the computer, the monitor did a snap-crackle-pop routine and now smokes like a bong whenever I turn it on =(. So I'm using the spare monitor now, but it sucks rocks through a curly straw. This may limit the time I can spend looking at code...

Gone to visit family for a bit. If I'm not answering e-mail, that's why. Will be back soon enough.

So the President of the United States signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act into law. And the White House released a little fact sheet about it. But as this Reuters article points out, "The law itself does nothing to create federal requirements or repositories for signatures. That will be left to the marketplace, as will the issue of creating security surrounding digital transactions."

...so it could be a while before we see digital signatures catch on.

After signing it in ink, the president signed the bill with a smartcard. His password: "Buddy", the name of his dog. Aren't you glad the password the U.S. president uses to sign bills is broadcast in national media?

Also note that the white house publications server has a much better addressing system for referencing documents than congress does.

Whee. Adaptive Contrast Enhancement release finally happened. And I put up new example pictures too.

Yikes. Once more, Hans Reiser demonstrates he has all the social skills of an eggplant. In a message to Alan Cox titled "Re: New Linux 2.5 - 2.6 TODO (Alan Cox suggests delaying reiserfs integration)" he writes:

This is just a RedHat bureaucratic excuse to delay reiserfs. [...] The fact is, Chris Mason kicked your asses performance wise and now you want to employ some journaling standardization process to stall your competitors that you can't program as well as.

Why don't you help us with ReiserFS instead of standing in the way of people trying to program?

Aya. Naturally, Alan Cox told him to stop treating the linux-kernel list like slashdot. But the best response I've read so far is Chris Mason's:

[...] In other words, quit saying that I did a better job than ext3. We had different goals, and it will be a long time I before understand things as well as Stephen does.

Why don't you help us with ReiserFS instead of standing in the way of people trying to program?

You're right hans, at least once a week, alan comes over to my house and breaks one of my fingers. I've just been afraid all this time to talk about it.

This is not the first time that Chris has served as the Voice of Reason on the ReiserFS list. I hope we neven find out what would happen to the project without him.

As for my own doings... Well, I know I should have had that new release of adaptive contrast enhancement out by now, but the weather really has been terribly nice. In fact, it didn't even rain on the annual Rose Festival parade here, which is a serious breach in tradition. But there were a few rainy days, so when it does come out, it will be debianizable. Now anyone want to contribute an rpm spec file to gimp-plugin-template?

Preliminary investigations of mitch's gimp-plugin-template today, which resulted in some light dancing with autoconf. But more importantly, there are (unofficial) i386 Debian packages of GIMP 1.1.23 at http://yakk.ucc.asn.au/gimp/ (for aussies) and

deb http://download.sourceforge.net/gimp-plug-ins/ ./

for the right-side-up half of the world.

Many thanks to yakk for doing this while gimp's regular debian maintainer is swamped by his academic life.

I've experienced a dramatic drop in hacking time lately, with even times of the computer being off during waking hours. I blame the weather, you can blame Passions... though I've also had recent cause to be more attentive to my physical well-being.

The latest improvements to gimp-ace really deserved to be released before I get drawn away, though, so I'll have to get it together and kick out a new version soon...

Extracirricular activities include readings on massage and pressure points, Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain, and recognizing that when it's been a year since you were last outside barefoot, you really take notice of those pebbles in the road.

It's been a good couple days for hacking. Seth is definately my hero this week, as he found the cause of two show-stopping bugs in my GIMP plug-ins, one of which had me at the end of my wits. Now color previews work in antialias and Adaptive Contrast Enhancement, so I released a new version of antialias to celebrate. A new version of ACE will follow soon, but I want to get a few more things done there first.

I also whipped up a patch for raph's <cite>Wet Dream</cite>, to enable it as a GIMP plug-in. It does have a bug which prevents it from writing the image back to the GIMP, which is a big block for usability, but it should be a very quick fix once someone recognizies the symptoms
(gimp_drawable_merge_shadow complains that "assertion `gimage->shadow != NULL' failed.").

Overall, I'm happy with the work done there, considering it's one afternoon's hack. It's enough to make sure that anyone who wants to see Wet Dream as a plug-in will have a real base to work on. The patch was nothing complicated, to be sure, but I think I've finally reached a comfortable stage with GTK+ now... An important step in beating the "but that's too hard to program" mind-game.

I just read Bill Joy's article (and ping is right, Virgina Postrel's response does a good job of highlighting the holes), but there's one of his basic values which I do not understand: What's up with his affinity for the "human species"?

Don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are humans. And they're incredibly beautiful creations, too. But does that give them a permanent or exclusive right to existance on this plane? I'm not so sure about that.

Things die. I feel humans will too, sooner or later. I do, however, hold out a hope that the spark of life which flourished on this planet will not be extinguished by our leave. But if something else comes along which is sophisticated and evolved enough to take our place... Why shouldn't it?

I guess if I were robbed of the chance to see what my progeny and I would live to accomplish, I'd probably be unhappy about it, because I don't think of myself as a force of evil. But given the choice between being survived by my own creations, or nuclear irradation, I'd choose robot takeover any day of the week.

Blerg. Spent two hours last night chasing bugs through "How did this code ever work" mode, and then discovered that the reason why I hadn't seen any bugs go away in the past two hours was because when I switched makefiles, I was now building the executable "gimp_ace" instead of "gimp-ace", and "gimp-ace" was the one I was testing.

I knew having a hyphenated executable name would get me into trouble one of these days.

On the up side, you can expect to see a shiny new preview thingamabob in gimp adaptive contrast enhancement before much longer.

Update: Hit a snag in getting that preview to work right. Sent out a distress call... and now I wait and hope for someone to deliver me a clue. In the meantime, I guess it's a good time to mow the lawn.

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