Rasputin is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Colin Wass
Member since: 2000-03-28 21:49:27
Last Login: N/A

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I'm back after an extended absence. Some things you might like to know about me: I've been a coder for a very long time, starting out on FORTRAN in the early 80's, eventually learning C, Perl, PHP and a bunch of others. I like politics (Canadian), philosophy, good wine and challenging problems. I don't like computer games. I've been involved in International Standards for almost 10 years. Originally working on SQL, more recently on IT security standards. If you really need to know, the group is officially called Canadian Advisory Council on IT Security (CACITS), advising the Standards Council of Canada (SCC)for ISO/ITC JTC1 SC27. I work in the telecommunications industry, focused primarily on responding to security issues in our products. I also play a role in business management and operations for the line of business (department)I'm in. My position is also responsible for (again within the business unit) dealing with the issues that arise from utilizing Open Source products inn some of our solutions. I've been involved with OpenSource since the mid 1990's. I focus mostly on FreeBSD, but that's an issue of comfort and experience more than anything else. I have made minor contributions to some projects in the past, but nothing to get overly excited about.


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So, I obviously never got around to posting any research papers (blame my boss, apparently there are patents in them thar papers).

Anyhow, playing on a personal project (calendar and project management system for GTK on BSD) I realized one of my bad habits might have applicability to a wider audience. During the development stage, a required file in my world is called "developer.notes". The point is pretty straight forward, it's a repository of my thoughts, rants, comments, etc about the code I'm working on. I never allow it to leave the project (i.e. no one who hasn't worked on the software will see my notes). It captures almost everything, since it's convenient, it's a great way to think with my keyboard and I know it won't ship as part of the final package. It is, however, exceptionally useful as a reminder, developer documentation, whatever.

Some sample paragraph openings (I see no need to share the entire note set):

Thoughts for evolution...apparently MySQL can dump as XML, so...

Look! I documented the data structures.

Next up, start building even more happy little dialog boxen.

This is horrifying, I'm not even half way to alpha and...

You get the idea, I hope. If you find this a useful idea, please use it and share. If you've already been doing this, well done. Otherwise, have a great week-end.

Welcome back. I'll enjoy a bottle of Merlot to celebrate the return. OK, so I was already into the Merlot, but I'm glad Advogato is back.

So, this space is moving slower than most online diary and article discussion fora I've seen. I think I like that.

After the monthly operations review, I've actually started serious thinking about what the required elements of a support model would need to be for those products that have an Open Source software base. From a corporate perspective, this is actually harder than it seems, but an interesting problem. Anyone who's managed a large, geographically diverse support group probably has some idea of what I'm trying to do.

An interesting piece of fallout from my efforts to deal with supporting Open Source software in proprietary hardware scattered all over the world is an examination of the nature of supportability and communications system resiliency. If there's anything worth discussing here, I'll put together an article and post it. If not, then I probably won't. We'll see how I feel and what happens.

I look back and I notice the last time I logged in or posted was back in 2000. Wow, things have come a long way since then. I'm still somewhat ambivalent about online diaries, but I've matured (OK then, don't believe me) so we'll see what happens. More to come, I'll try to hit this at least a couple times each week. Maybe during my lunch-time browse fest, might be a nice change from news and such.

Been a pretty good week in California. Mostly sorted out the hand-over to my new position. Get back home tomorrow, and find out just how badly confused my life has become in my absence.
Managed to even get a few hours in at the LinuxWorld. The best part was definately the BSD BOF. Finally had a chance to put some faces and voices to a bunch of people. Also had an interesting (but short) chat with Jordan H. He had to run away a little early because of other commitments, but while he was there it was worth while. Talked to a few other people. All in all, pretty good time. The exhibitors area was mostly interesting, although I only had a couple of hours to wander about. There were a bunch of exhibits I wanted to catch, but I just ran out of time. Oh well, maybe next time.
Still sorting out my distributed architecture problem, but in the interim, I'm putting together a single point system to get the bigger pieces debugged. Should have something we can play with internally in a week or three, and available to anybody who wants it about a month after that. Stay tuned to this space ;)

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