mcelrath is currently certified at Apprentice level.

Name: Bob McElrath
Member since: 2000-06-06 01:16:18
Last Login: N/A

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Linux/Alpha user. Author of banner-ad stripping, web filtering perl software FilterProxy. I've contributed to various free software projects, mostly just bug fixes. FilterProxy is my first big piece of work that's "open source". I've had patches to: mpg123, linux-kernel, linux diamond rio drivers, ... and probably others I'm forgetting. Other than patches, I've generally been a pain in the ass by pointing out bugs in people's software, and not having time to fix it myself. ;) Particularly when it's something that looks neat, and the author didn't have the foresight to make it 64-bit clean.

For my day job I'm studying for my Ph.D. in high-energy physics phenomenology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. And yes, all my physics code will be GPL'd too. (Assuming anyone's crazy enough to want to see it)


Recent blog entries by mcelrath

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Well much to my surprise I received 6 emails about my last diary entry. Greets to Hugo, Kaushik, Sean, Chromatic, Raph, and Scotty. Seems someone agrees about my ideas for discussion forums. I've looked closer at this, kuro5hin, and I think the best features of discussion forums in general are 1) the nested layout, and 2) a moderation/rating system that puts the most interesting stuff at the top. The reason nobody posts on zdnet (and other traditional news rags) is that their discussion software blows chunks. The index layout (just listing the subject and poster) is almost totally useless. I am absolutely not going to load one page for each message.

So I've written a rather lengthy piece on the "future of open source". Since babbling about OSS economics, motivations, and morals seems to be all the rage, I thought I'd jump into the game and do something different at the same time. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. Perhaps I'll submit it to kuro5hin and/or avogato and see if they'll post it. (if you run a news site and would be interested in this, contact me) Gotta finish it first. It's hard to project more than about 25 years in the future, since technological (hardware) developments will play such a crucial role. Then predictive power always decreases with the distance into the future. I hope there are a few good ideas in there that people will pick up on, and allow them to start profitable businesses. Half of prediction is in creating the future, after all.

I'm excited for Titan AE to open next week. I'm a massive scifi and anime junkie, and I really hope it doesn't suck. I didn't see Battlefield Earth (though I read the book), I'm kinda afraid too. Maybe on video.

does anyone else get sick to their stomach when they hear Metallica come on the radio...and then change the station? I wonder how many fans Metallica has/will lose over this whole napster fiasco. Such a shortsighted move on their part. #1 rule of being a celebrity: don't attack your fans. They are your livelihood.

I can't imagine who would read this. I can't imagine who would read this and care what I have to say. That said, this looks like a great place to rant and rave about various topics, with a couple of serious drawbacks:

  1. There is no way for people to post comments about my diary entries.
  2. If there were a way for people to post comments about my diary entries, there's no way to know where an interesting discussion is taking place.

That said, I hope Advogato gains this functionality someday. I'm sick of slashdot. It was the first, but there are clear ways to improve the whole web-based discussion forum idea, and the slashdot folks have a good thing going and zero interest in exploring new ideas. I've recently run into advogato, zope based sites and scoop based sites. Time will tell whether they're going to gain a stronghold, or be better than slashdot. Personally, I'd like to see forays into different types of community moderation. Certification is interesting. But it looks like it has the drawback that there are just too many people to certify. There may well be other developers here that I've interacted with, but how would I know? The list of members is a 500k document! I suppose as articles are posted and I run into other people I may recognize and certify some. But who would care about certifying me?

This place would be an interesting way for OSS developers to interact, but it doesn't seem well organized for much more than a slashdot clone. Why not comments attached to projects? Why not topic pages where more general programming things could be discussed (i.e. HTML/web-dev, client-server design, CORBA/other distributed object systems etc). And of course comments directly to other developers. How about a search system (search through comments). How about a moderation system? (Just because a person is a developer doesn't mean all his comments interesting)

Booga booga.

If you read this, drop me a line. Just curious. Of course, I know well through running an OSS project that has on it's front page "mail me if you get it working"...3000 downloads later and I've gotten mail from maybe 5 people. ;)


mcelrath certified others as follows:

  • mcelrath certified mcelrath as Apprentice
  • mcelrath certified xach as Master
  • mcelrath certified Bryce as Master
  • mcelrath certified chromatic as Journeyer
  • mcelrath certified sad as Apprentice
  • mcelrath certified stevengj as Apprentice
  • mcelrath certified grepninja as Journeyer

Others have certified mcelrath as follows:

  • mcelrath certified mcelrath as Apprentice
  • sad certified mcelrath as Apprentice
  • chromatic certified mcelrath as Apprentice
  • grepninja certified mcelrath as Journeyer

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