Recent blog entries for lordsutch

Wow, it's been eons since I made a diary entry... scary.

Big news for me is that I passed my comprehensive exams, so now I've been elevated from being a "doctoral student" to a "doctoral candidate." So now I have more to show for 3 years than the lousy T-shirt... :-)

I've been futzing with woody CD scripts and a few other things. Currently I'm fighting with DirecTV's online account access to figure out how to add HBO without killing my local channels in the process...

No, Mulad, the reporting of Miguel's talk wasn't the problem... it was that the raving hordes of first-post trolls at ./ are such karmawhores that they think anything other than slavish devotion to command lines is verboten. Not to get off on a rant...

M17 has a weird bug in that scrolled text entries seem to make the text being entered in them disappear on Win32. Maybe I should report it (or maybe it's abuser error) ;-)

Pretending to be a secretary is, um, interesting, particularly when you're cleaning up their leftover messes.

Potato release notes seem to be progressing nicely. Joey Hess seems to have distilled my verbiage into something worth reading. Perhaps if there's call for a book-length version of the release announcement, I'll write it. ;-)

reportbug: no bugreps is good news. 1.1r4 must have been fine... or at least runnable. I think I took "release early and often" a bit too far...

Current job: Pretending to be a secretary since our department's former secretary quit/was fired (depending on who you ask). Fun...

Debian stuff: I have made four distinct releases of "reportbug 1.1" to incoming in the last 12 hours. I swear bumping to 1.0 cursed my code. Anyway, if you downloaded 1.1 from incoming, make sure you get the one that's there now.

The other news is that I'm putting together the Debian 2.2 release announcement on debian-publicity. Lots of good feedback so far; if you want to take a poke at it, either join the list or ask me to email you a copy.

infodragon: You may want to look at either GtkHTML or CscHTML; the latter is de-GNOME-ified. From the screenshot, the latter looks like it can render Slashdot decently, which Mozilla definitely doesn't. (Not that I've played with either widget myself.)

RoutePlanner is hovering near a 0.4 release while I simultaneously improve the detailed database (you can now visit the Maritime Provinces of Canada and a few more relatively obscure hamlets of Mississippi) and look for bugs in the editor. I kinda wish the FTP admins would process the new packages at ftp-master.debian.org, if only so I could get some more testers. Of course, there's this little thing called potato too... :-)

Speaking of FTP, I'm thinking of fooling with reimplementing Apt-Proxy using FTP and HTTP instead of rsync and piping through downloads to the requester (apt-proxy blocks until the whole file arrives, which makes apt-get timeout on big files on a serial link). Maybe I'll get some work done on it sometime...

dmerrill: I agree with aigeek that meeting in real life is a much different experience than meeting any other way; for example, I've met a bunch of the Debian gang over the past year, and my impressions of many were different before the face-to-face than they were after. For about 4 years, I was involved in a particular MUD and had a similar reaction. People for some reason seem to need physical interaction to nail people down; I can't explain why. Perhaps it's because our social cognition is tied to the whole experience of meeting someone in the flesh. Meeting people in the flesh isn't a perfect way to assess people (a lot of stereotypes come in there, but they come in any way...), but we manage best that way for some odd reason.

Oh, BTW, "in the flesh meeting" certainly isn't an anachronism; my uncle, who works for FedEx (probably one of the most wired companies in the world) as a sales exec to a major computer manufacturer, spends a lot of his time commuting between Silicon Valley, Sacramento, and Memphis. Granted, sales is a touchy-feely profession, but that doesn't explain the need to have a physical meeting in Memphis every 6-8 weeks.

RoutePlanner hit 0.3 today; in about a week of real hacking it has now surpassed what seemed to take years in C on AmigaOS. Rapid prototyping r00lz :p Those of you who don't want everything in the universe installed on your systems should check out this release; it'll work (albeit slower) without the kitchen sink; hell, it'll even run on JPython, if you uncompress the database first (no zlib in JPy). (I tested it and nearly keeled over when all I had to do was bypass import timing.) And nothing runs on JPython :-). Maybe it'll even run on Win32 and MacOS. All it needs for the tty version is barebones Python, and you need that for reportbug anyway.

In the real world, I TiVo'd Nuremberg and thought it was interesting; then I watched the History Channel documentary (which I think was probably a BBC documentary at some point) and felt cheated by the miniseries. IMHO the whole production glossed over the USSR's complicity in WWII, and Goering gets sympathy from one of the guards (some Southern lieutenant named "Tex") by Commie-baiting (I guess since Goering was vehemenantly anti-Communist, that means that all anti-Communists are bad or something). OTOH Jackson was the only justice of the time to have the balls to stand up for free speech (and was IIRC a dissenter in the Japanese internment cases), and that didn't get played up either. A lot of the time I felt like I was getting lectured to (us Americans and our lack of historical perspective, nach). Overall, maybe I'm reading too much into the show ;-). And at least Alec Baldwin's chest toupee didn't make an appearance.

Nothing much else of excitement to report. Being unemployed (until August 21, when I get to teach Introduction to American National Government to impressionable undergrads) has its perks...

A weird segfault in reportbug turns into a hunt for some weirdness in libpthread on Linux/m68k. So far, we can duplicate the problem on 040s (1 Amiga, 1 Mac), but not 060s (2 Amigas). Anyone with an 020 or 030 got time to test it?

RoutePlanner is progressing nicely; I'm about 6 hours of hacking away from having RouteEdit working (the main things left are designing the extend/break dialog and figuring out how to get the city selector from the RoutePlanner widget tree to import into RouteEdit's). I've come to the conclusion that glade (with libglade) is something of a double-edged sword, and that Gtk really needs builtin double-click handling. I hate to say it, but MUI got the whole GUI toolkit thing right 5 years ago (i.e. back when I wrote the original version of RoutePlanner), and we're still catching up.

What tausq said. I don't think I can add anything.

Well, I finally got off my butt: RoutePlanner is released to the world. Now, go forth and plan your next roadgeek expedition. ;-)

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