Older blog entries for brondsem (starting at number 23)

29 Jun 2003 (updated 29 Jun 2003 at 04:29 UTC) »
Take a look at GNU's Savannah. I have projects hosted there and at sourceforge and their services are comparable. The Apache Software Foundation probably has some stricter requirements for inclusion, but may be an option; and Tigris.org looks like a good possibility too. And thanks to Google Sets, there is the Whichever Group.

Found more.. an advogato article linking to a few more.
WYSIWYG XML editor...
XXE is still a little rough around the edges, but by far the best I've found yet, almost like a "word processor". Using XXE, I cut-and-paste parts from a msword document and created a structured XML doc in just minutes. It's a java app, the standard edition is free, and the other editions cost money (but let you write plugins and even get the source code). Even without plugins, you can extend the interface to make it easy to edit any type of XML document. It doesn't use an XSL template, but stylesheets to do the formatting. Other options were Xopus which uses XSLT in Internet Explorer, but it recently went proprietary and isn't currently available; and the Bitflux Editor which uses XSLT in Mozilla browsers and is open source. Everything else I found was just node-tree editing.
ICFP Programming Contest is this weekend. Won't have time for it this year, but last year it was fun. Never even got it completely functional, but fun nonetheless.

I've moved into a new house for the summer. SBC has awful DSL & phone service. Speed and such is fine, but thinks keep breaking and when they fix it, they break something else.

Started internship at Gordon Food Service. Have learnt XSLT which is nice and useful, but quite verbose. Have also been using Apache Forrest which is a decent implementation of Cocoon (a very cool concept), but rough around the edges. Might just be because I was using the CVS version. No matter what though, their website needs some serious updating and little details and FAQs added to make the whole thing much more user-friendly. If only I didn't have so many ideas of my own, I might devote some time to giving it a facelift.

I've also been introduced into J2EE, JSP, and Struts. I'll have to look into the latter 2 as an improvement over my current cgi language of choice: PHP.

CGI Languages:

  • Cold Fusion is like VB for the web (quick and easy) but too simplistic and not widely supported.
  • Perl has tons of modules but a unique syntax, wasn't designed for the web and seems hard to write large, structured code.
  • PHP has widespread support, but no full OO yet, no truly easy db access (ADODB is getting there), and seems like I spend more time escaping variables and quotes and tags then I do really coding (but phpHtmlLib helps).
  • ASP is microsoft-centric.
  • Python is nice, but not designed for easy web and db access. Unique syntax.
  • JSP I haven't looked into yet.
Oh, gosh, how I'd like to write my own. I have grand ideas, but it would be a monstrous project and by then maybe PHP will mature or some new language will arise and be the perfect web language.

I've used PHP, and ADODB in particular, in both linux and windows. It's always important for developers to write quality code if they plan to distribute it, but I have had no problems with ADODB. Who cares if lines end with ^M? It still works and good editors can recogonize and handle that type of line ending. I have edited the Postgres driver and have not had any difficulties working with the code. The author has been responsive and helpful also. Overall, PHP to me seems like an easy way to put up a few pages with functionality, but it doesn't seem to have all the capabilities I would like to build a full software system. Perhaps PHP 5 will help.
Game Development
Lots of success lately, especially in getting the fps and player speed up to something reasonable. Hopefully next week we'll implement enemies and can make a release available before exams.

Thin Clients
This summer AJ and I will be setting up the CSX lab, probably with thin clients, or something like that. Neither of us have done this before, so hopefully the PXES or LTSP projects will help us enough.

I'll be working at Gordon Food Service this summer with a few friends. It'll be a good time, I expect.

The semester's almost over and we need to hurry up and finish the project so that we can present it next saturday. AJ and I will continue to work on it after the course finishes though.

It's cool to see other Christians in the Open Source community. I'm taking a Biblical Literature course this semester and you do see a lot of discrepancies, but that doesn't mean the book is wrong. I enjoyed reading your post.
Website hits
Found out to my pleasant surprise, via awstats that splike.com is the 3rd result on a google search for mpeg codecs. I wonder if my instructions have actually helped anyone besides me.. i got a lot of hits, but never any email or such.

Dorms were really quiet since most people went home for the long weekend. I have lots of relatives in Grand Rapids, so my family came here. Good food, good times.

Two tests, a paper, and research to be done this week.

Finally found the root of a double-encoding bug when inserting blobs into a postgres database. Still need to clean up some code to retrieve last inserted id, and then submit a patch.

Upgraded KDE to 3.1.1a and encountered my first major problem with gentoo's portage system. I think the source of the problem was that I had installed masked versions of some apps, like MySQL 4.0.12. At any rate, I had to do several remergings that shouldn't've been necessary, but it all works now.
16 Apr 2003 (updated 16 Apr 2003 at 16:56 UTC) »

Heard an interesting lecture on information forensics (meaning, finding and interpreting digital crime evidence) by Scott Ksander of MSU. Pretty interesting, especially when he mentioned that one guy he knows of gets contracted out to companies at $600/hr. Maybe I should look into what it would take to get certified.

Insane memory usage

I can reliably duplicate a system freeze caused by Debugger, KBibletime or Phoenix. I don't know the true source of the problem, i'm afraid it's in the kernel. But I've managed to get 'top' running after it starts (it's not completely frozen) and found phoenix using 1498M of memory. Wow. If anyone has any ideas how I could find a kernel bug like this, let me know.

"Backups are for wimps. Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it." -- Linus Torvalds

Well, the ice-storm is gone and the weather is warm again... hopefully to stay.

We've begun to use phpHtmlLib for FamilySite and it's great. We're just generating XHTML, but it supports lots of other things, like SVG, which I would love to use to generate family tree images from the database.

Does the ACLU concern itself with RIAA legislation and other tech laws that seem to be very consumer-limiting in favor of business-profiting? If not, I think there should be some sort of legally-minded organization that can stand up as a united front against some of the legislation in the US. At the very least, it might even be able to help people draft these laws because it seems that the people who write them sometimes don't even truly understand the technology, and therefore the implications they have.

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