Recent blog entries for cmiller

Hey, still alive. I'm reclaiming my account, after help from gato.

17 Oct 2003 (updated 17 Oct 2003 at 23:14 UTC) »

I'm not doing much Free Software coding these days. I'm getting my fill of programming at work, which is good.

My GO learnin' is coming along well. I'm playing about six hours per week.

My Canon AE-1 broke. I've got to troll pawn shops looking for another. Or I could use my fancy-schmancy camera all of the time. I'm a little afraid of breaking it, if truth be told.

chaoticset: You used the word "palindrome", but I wonder if you meant "anagram". If I understand you, you want to see if two words contain all similar letters, right? As you're making your list, you should sort all the letters first. Then it's just a matter of string comparison to see if two words are anagrams of each other.

1 Sep 2003 (updated 1 Sep 2003 at 17:56 UTC) »

I have to admit, I don't see anything wrong with "10 items or less". Maybe I'm growing stupid. (Guessing: "ten"? "fewer"?)

dwmw2's frustration with misuse of language mirrors my own. Among apostrophe abuses, my favorite is faking an acute accent that should be over the preceeding letter. This is especially common here in the southern US. "cafe'" Some people even name their children using it. Ha!

Currently, my biggest language irritation is the recent surge in use of "I" outside of the subject of sentences. I think it bugs me because it's not a normal ignorance-of-the-language problem; one has to go out of one's way to use "I" incorrectly.

[I first posted "Currently, by bigest language irritation". :\ I blame my new split keyboard. :) Though, it has proven to me that I type incorrectly, especially in hitting 'y' with my left forefinger, which is no longer possible.]

Dear Mister Language Person: What is the purpose of the apostrophe? Answer: The apostrophe is used mainly in hand-lettered small business signs to alert the reader than an "S" is coming up at the end of a word, as in: WE DO NOT EXCEPT PERSONAL CHECK'S, or: NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ITEM'S. Another important grammar concept to bear in mind when creating hand- lettered small-business signs is that you should put quotation marks around random words for decoration, as in "TRY" OUR HOT DOG'S, or even TRY "OUR" HOT DOG'S.

Dave Barry, "Tips for Writer's"

6 Jul 2003 (updated 6 Jul 2003 at 00:28 UTC) »
sisob: "Found q net connection but it's really hard to type on this french keyboard." Ha! Now that's comedy. I hqd the sq?e experience recently.

I've taken to using a personal web-log, so I don't post here as often as I should. I still read the recentlog daily. What's new?

I'm working regularly these days, which is nice.

My patch to Metacity for a better window-handling mechanism turned out to be harder than I thought it would be, so it's requeued into my "stuff to do" list.

Reading of bgeiger's enthusiasm for Go has gotten me interested. I play a simpler off-shoot game called "Pente" that I learned at school in third grade. I teach the simple rules to every poor soul who comes to my apartment and play them until they get pretty good. Last fall I even bought a roll-up vinyl Go "board" for carrying around, as the boards are the same dimensions. However, if I'm going to play Go, I'll need to purchase some pieces; Pente games are relatively short, and therefore one needs far fewer pieces, so I'm a couple hundred pieces short.

dusting off old tools

I'm relearning to use some tools that I have forgotten about over the last ten years or so. E.g., I had forgotten how cool gnuplot is until I needed to make an illustration recently. The graph I created is pretty simple, but I didn't use 99% of gnuplot's options. If you've never played with it, I urge you to spend 15 minutes to learn a little about it. You may find yourself looking for excuses to make graphs.


Well, if getting oral sex while President and lying about it isn't an impeachable offense, then I ask you, what is?!

31 May 2003 (updated 31 May 2003 at 13:28 UTC) »
abg, it depends on your compiler as to whether your dprintf function will be optimized away. Examine your compiler's assembly output and play with optimization flags, especially the "inline" ones. (Still, there should always be a return(int) outside the #ifdef, right?)


I'm going to tackle a metacity bug and one wishlist feature this weekend. The bug is hard to reproduce, and the "feature" may be considered by some to be "crackrock" if I design it badly, but useful and nice if it works well. (Specifics at my weblog.)

18 Apr 2003 (updated 18 Apr 2003 at 02:10 UTC) »


I think Advogato should not be changed. It's a really nice community, and people will come and go. Some people may decide that a community (with all that entails) isn't what they want to participate in; it's okay for people to leave; we should expect it. A scheme that hides warts will also hide freckles, and that won't necessarily make for more beauty.

Raph's trust-metic ideas are attack-resistent but not very apathy- or ignorance-resistent. When you certify someone, you are certifying their competency as a developer of free software, not their competency in deciding how others should be certified. As with any system, the scale grows inflated over time, unless there's a great deal of vigilence to prevent it. Should I be "Master"? Probably not.

I've never stated my position on The War because I'm pretty undecided. Please don't interpret my criticism of authors of posts like

as advocating chocolate. It's the lack of tact I can't stomach, not the position. (Though, seeing enough of those definitely makes me want to be on any-team-other-than-that-guy's.)
14 Apr 2003 (updated 15 Apr 2003 at 03:50 UTC) »

Sorry, timcw. I have a theory that mgl*zer is stress-testing Advogato's trust metric by behaving poorly, but I can't prove it. Every community needs a town fool, right?

Our fool has 16 "Apprentice" ratings, and I suspect that most of those raters don't realize that by giving a rating, they're rating him up; there is no negative rating in Advogato. These people, rated him a journeyer, which suggests you might want to reconsider your rating of them too: binaryfoo, sand, Barbicane, besfred, const, Rabbitt, sye, badvogato, Tofu, kilmo, nixnut, and robocoder.

update: I'm not that thin-skinned, jaldhar; do what you want. How much merit does an author of a single software project and daily diary entries of nothing but vitriol and links to other places deserve, though? I don't think you'd behave the same if you didn't agree with his ravings.

17 Mar 2003 (updated 17 Mar 2003 at 21:28 UTC) »
tk: The real danger is that after you represent people as numbers, Godel's ghost will come show why our societies are either stupidly simple, or hipocritical and internally inconsistent.

In other news, I decided to write my own wiki last night. I'm almost finished, as using apache mod_python, postgresql, and xml.sax makes it almost too easy.

Appended after seeing dyork's diary: I'm using XML to store the data in a neutral format, and I'm providing multiple front-end languages for editing it, so knowledge of Ward's format, structured text, MoinMoin format, et c., or raw XML, will keep you from having to visit TextFormattingRules, hopefully.

I'm working in my loft these days, which doesn't get any direct sunlight. This is great for strain of eyes -- no harsh glare and such -- but not so good for my body's circadian clock, which doesn't have read access on /dev/rtc. I came up with a idea yesterday that I hope will work.

I've used "floatbg", the root window color changer for X, a long time. It's neat that it changes the colors imperceptably on a small scale, but that if you notice your desktop on the scale of 20 minutes, it's a completely different color. It slowly plots a sine-wave through a HSV color wheel, where the hue is time and the saturation is the height of the sine. The value is fixed at start of execution ...until now.

I added an option to change the value setting to be also a function of time, but in the sense that it tries to mimic the amount of light that the sun casts onto the earth based on your system's response to localtime(). At night, the colors are muted and dark shades of gray. At 7AM, the background begins to lighten, peaking at noon with bright pastels, and tapering off through the range of colors, until 7PM, when it's back to "night colors".

Hopefully, this will help my subconcious. It was easier than hacking my medulla oblongata. I _hate_ hardware.

I sent the patch to the original author, but his 14 year-old email address bounced, so I CC'd the Debian maintainer too. Maybe it will be in the next general release, so all we dark-cave hackers won't be so screwed-up by our habits.

I'd paste the source here, but that'd be rude.

Next, maybe I'll see if I can make my window decorations do something similar. I'm using sawfish, and nearly anything is possible when a program holds a built-in Lisp interpreter.

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