Recent blog entries for motb


I've been checking out Parrot over the past couple of days. Submitted one patch so far (easiest patch ever -- it was a MANIFEST file oversight), but looking to increase that number.

The problem is trying to find out what's needed. I don't necessarily feel like working on string functions, because I don't have Knuth handy (I just moved, so some of my books are still hard to find). I was thinking more along the lines of working in the ability to work with the environment (%ENV in Perl), so I could do some CGI programming in Parrot assembly.

My initial thought is to do it as a PMC based on PerlHash -- call it PerlEnvHash or something like that, and simply stuff the environment into it on creation.

I've also been tempted to write a scripting language that backs up onto Parrot, but that's the last thing the world needs -- another scripting language.

Speaking of which, I took a look at FScript, the Smalltalk-like scripting language for Cocoa. Or at least I looked at the documentation, because I don't have OS X 10.2. It seems stupid to tie it to 10.2 -- the nice thing about ObjC (which I'm guessing it's written in) is the ability to send messages to ids that might be nil and not have it crash the program. It's not like they changed that much from the developer perspective in 10.2.

Other stuff

I quit smoking again today. I had been smoking for the past month or so, partly due to giving in to cravings brought on by stress, and partly due to the fact that it helped take my mind off of my tooth. I'm feeling a bit jumpy, but I'm used to the quitting thing now, so I know it won't last long.

The tooth is being a bit nicer now. It was a little achy when I woke up this morning, but that fixed itself within a few minutes of getting vertical. I need to make an appointment with my doctor anyway, so I'll ask her for another run of antibiotics and pain killers just in case it flares up again before I manage to see a dentist (which will hopefully be soon).


madhatter: Thank you for the pointer -- I shall check it out.

fxn: Please do use the personalized recentlog idea. I'll likely code up an Advogato diary browser in ObjC (with Cocoa) as a way to get familiar with NSDistantObject. Your implementation will be much more useful, though.

Code and the likes

Checked out the Aegis SCM system. It looks fabulous for group work, so I'm playing with it a bit. I still like PRCS for my own projects, though. I'm considering writing a wrapper for PRCS to add support for automatic builds and unit testing -- something Aegis excels at.

Other stuff

Puppies are fine, but being severe brats. I can't blame them too much, though. There are a lot of changes going on right now. Hopefully they'll adapt quickly.

Another metric, of sorts

raph: I know it's likely been said many times before, but folks along the lines of bytesplit and OpenSourceJapsEye (if I remember correctly) are a useful metric in themselves -- few people want to try for negative attention someplace that isn't a fairly strong positive overall.

In terms of useful feature suggestions, may I suggest a "subscribe/ignore" feature such as found on Freshmeat? I think it would be a good way for users to keep track of their favourite diarists, while not being annoyed by those whose opinions they would rather not see.

I envision a new box on the main page, being "subscribed diaries" or the like -- sort of an elective recentlog. I know it will be one more step towards front-page clutter, but I know I would find it fabulously useful, and can only assume that others might, as well.

Of course, I'll be willing to work on a patch, if that's your preferred form of new feature submissions.


I've decided to keep with Mac OS X 10.1. I think it is a good compromise between the original design intent of NeXTSTEP and a decently modern operating system.

Sometime in the medium-term (two to three years) future I'm going to be living outside the city, which will mean limited 'net access -- possibly only UUCP, or dial-up PPP if I'm lucky. Cruising Freshmeat or VersionTracker will be a serious pain in the butt, and doing it regularly will likely be impossible.

I have decided to use Objective C and the Cocoa framework for all projects in the near future. Don't get me wrong -- Ruby will still have its place, and I'm not above O'Caml, Smalltalk, Common Lisp, or any of my other tools. I have just found that ObjC + Cocoa + (possibly) the OmniGroup free code does most of what I need it to, and I feel like I am making good progress in learning it all and putting it into use.


I'm still looking for a job. There is a bright side to it, though -- I'm starting to look at menial labour as a way to make enough to pay the bills and put my share of food on the table. While that may not seem like much of a bright side, it does mean that I'll be able to let my mind wander at work, and I won't be too burned out when I get home to work on my projects.

The part that sucks is that my resume for menial labour is pretty limited -- my last experience in a gas station (where I'm most likely to start applying first) was six years ago. I'm worried about the "over-qualified" label getting in my way. I won't know 'til I try, though.


Neko is doing pretty good. It seems that Tracey has been a little lax with her -- her obedience has taken a few steps back. Karma is doing great, though. I have her responding to both her own commands and the same commands I use with Neko.

Other stuff

Getting Ellen set up on a Mac. I'm giving her my iMac, because I never use it anymore -- my iBook does everything I want it to, and it's a bit faster. FreeBSD has been a bit of a pain for her, as she's a recovering Windows user with very little time to learn something new. I figure OS X.1 will be good for her -- it's dead friendly, and stable enough.

Contact info updated

I have updated my contact info. Sorry for the inconvenience. Life has been busy, and almost none of it has to do with open source (directly, that is). For what's going on with me, check out my website.

O'Caml, round 2

Grabbed Objective Caml 3.06, and it's great -- a lot of fixes for Mac OS X support, and a few handy new library functions I'm dying to try out. I had originally figured on writing my own programming language, but when it comes right down to it, I'd sooner use camlp4 to define a new syntax for O'Caml.


Absolutely nothing on the job front, unfortunately. I'll be moving in a month or so, and have no idea where to. Check my website for updates.

On getting it

I had that "I get it now" moment with ObjC last night. I'm a happy camper. Starting blocking out the design of the stock photo site engine, so I've got a bunch of interface files and a bunch of catch-up to do in writing implementation code.


Last month, rent was sponsored by the sale of my pro photo equipment. This month, rent was sponsored by the sale of my pro audio equipment. If this keeps up, next month's rent will be financed by the sale of my musical instruments. The month following that by sale of furniture and books. The month following that, selling every computer except my laptop.

If anyone is looking for someone to hire in the Vancouver, BC, Canada area, please let me know. I will e-mail my CV on request, and should have it up on the web in a day or three.


Work still eludes me. I joined the bcmacjobs mailing list, so hopefully I won't have to wait long before a job or two comes across.

You know life sucks when the "overqualified" word comes out. I fscking hate that.


Spending a lot more time in Objective C land recently. Now that I'm getting the hang of it, it doesn't seem so bad. I think it's the similarities to Smalltalk that make it fun to work with. With some luck, I'll find a company that will see my knowledge of lesser-used programming languages as a benefit, as opposed to me "wasting my time", as it was rather un-eloquently put to me recently.


Had a party recently -- approximately the first I've ever hosted. Between the great conversations, fun folks, nude people in the bathtub, great snacks, and cuddle'n'converse session with T, C, E, and L (who was pretty much wrapped up in C) at the end of the night, it was much fun. It's always amusing when there's a game of truth or dare going on, and the youngest person in the room is in their mid-twenties. :)


Just picked up the Hillegass book on programming for Cocoa. So far, I like it -- it makes a lot more sense than most of the other graphical environments. Hopefully this will come in handy for the medical office management system (which I have given up on coding in CGI -- it's just too boring!).

Does anyone know any Vancouver (Canada) based companies that are working on anything OSX related?

Nine to five

Decided that consulting involves too much chasing people for money and too little working on interesting problems. As a result, I'm looking for a good old nine to five sort of job. There are a few good possibilities locally -- with any luck, one of them will come through. If anyone knows any good companies to work for in the Vancouver, BC, CA area, please let me know.

Five to nine

Speaking of nine to fives, like many of us here, it'll be a challenge to be out of bed and to work on time. There is something too tempting about wiling away the night hours reading or coding. If anyone has any good tricks for how to get on a healthy cycle and keep it, please share.


I've been working with C++ again for the past few days. Let me tell you, I really miss some of the conveniences I find with Ruby, Perl, and some of the other scripting languages. I'll get used to it, though. It seems to be the language that gets one jobs these days, and it's not actually difficult.

What does the world need?

A few of the projects I'm working on are a medical office management system (in Ruby), a literate programming tool (also in Ruby), and an e-mail client (in C++). On one hand, they're all fun and educational. On the other hand, I feel like I'm just duplicating what's out there a million times over.

What does the world need? What isn't well-covered in the various open source offerings? I'm horrendous at GUIs and graphics, but pretty good at most everything else. If you have any ideas, please let me know.


Decided it's easier to just update my homepage. Check that out instead. There will even be some code there, as soon as I document it properly. There's a description of what's to come now, though.

I'll still be following Advogato, but rather than cluttering up the recentlog with my (mostly) useless chatter, I'll put it where only the truly masochistic have to see it. :)

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