Recent blog entries for roguemtl

I was down in NYC for about a couple days of LWCE. Saw the talk from Simon Horman (of VA Linux Systems) regarding the use of BGP to provide transparent end-user redirection to the nearest mirror sites (Super Sparrow). I heard ESR speak regarding the value of people and actively maintained information (room was standing-room-only and mostly full of consultant types (who came specifically to hear ESR speak), it seemed, but clearly some developers edged in with questions).

During LWCE, I had a chance to have a good talk with kojima of Conectiva and fejj of Ximian. And I caught the showing of "Revolution OS" (a well-done documentary by JTS Moore; a documentary which may someday finally explain to my grandmother what we're all up to ;-).

Since returning, I've been doing some testing (and use, of course :-) of Conectiva Linux and have been discussing some project ideas with the other Marble Horse FSG guys. OLS Transcription Project stuff is moving ahead at a good pace, with several transcript releases currently pending final review. The bulk of my planned work load for this week fits under the documentation and advocacy categories; brewing up some new editorial material and finishing out some minor loose ends. Should be an interesting week.

Yesterday, I released STPhp 1.1.0, an enhancement release.

This morning, I posted the transcript for the OLS2000 talk on EXT3. This transcript was produced by the OLS Transcription Project.

27 Oct 2000 (updated 27 Oct 2000 at 21:31 UTC) »

I've been quite busy working on a number of things. Next week will mark the real start of trying to find a job doing free software things full-time. I've been eyeing various ideas for the last month or so and it is now time to pursue them :) Resume available upon request.

I am proud to announce the OLS Transcription Project, a project to provide high-quality transcripts based on the recorded sessions provided from the Ottawa Linux Symposium. We are actively seeking participation of people interested in transcribing talks and people interested in checking over transcripts which have been completed (we currently have 27 talks that require transcription and 3 talks pending QA). See the site for more details.

Things have been fairly busy and I've been working on a fairly wide assortment of free software things. You can read my regular daily diary on the Marble Horse Free Software Group website (a phpKISSdiary system).

New releases of STPhp (internationalization suite for PHP), lyxconv (multi-format conversion tool for LyX documents), and phpKISSdiary (multi-user PHP-based diary system) are all on their way in the next two weeks, along with website content for two of the three.


I made the first public release of STPhp on the 9th of October. STPhp is a PHP-based string translation suite designed as a simple internationalization tool to work without requiring non-standard dependencies; only the core of php3 is required, which means STPhp can be easily used in places where you, the code creator or installer, do not have control over the php binaries or configuration. STPhp is designed with a simple architecture, allowing you to store your translations in the manner you choose, so as to provide the highest possible performance with the lowest possible maintenance overhead. STPhp functions by externalizing the messages from your application, storing them until your application requests them.

The manual for STPhp may be found here.

Other projects

For the last couple of weeks, I've been working more hours than not on a number of smaller projects. Now that STPhp has been released, two more should be released in the next two weeks. There should also be announcement/release of some of the documentation work I've completed; that should happen in the next couple of weeks as well.

Thought of the day: If source code is not to be considered a form of speech (and thus protected as free speech), does this mean it to be exempt from slander and libel law? Could source code inciting a riot or otherwise threatening public health be treated in the same manner as speech of that nature? (as unlikely, perhaps, as that may be)

15 Sep 2000 (updated 15 Sep 2000 at 16:20 UTC) »

I started writing Conflux on August 30th; came up with the idea a couple days before. Was unable to find anything quite matching my idea, so I decided I had to implement it (and had the time to do so, since I have not been working a regular job :). Having sunk a lot of time into developing both the idea and the software, the first public release is now available from the Marble Horse Free Software Group site and from its primary home at SourceForge.

Primary distribution page for Conflux
Alternate distribution page for Conflux
Advogato project page

Conflux provides a number of useful features, both for the individual and for workgroups; lots of potential applications for this code. The basic notions are this: a perl backend (which may be run as a daemon, via cron or standalone), the collector, which performs searches on your behalf and posts the resulting URLs to a central database; a PHP3-based frontend which allows you to submit searches (to be performed now or later), view results and bundle together useful searches and search results. A number of more advanced features have already been implemented, including a family tree model for tracking search history.

A number of innovative (I think) features are planned for Conflux. The basic framework and core functionality is done, so I decided to release the first public version. Conflux currently works with MySQL (via perl DBI and php3 w/MySQL support); other database flavors will be supported in future versions (starting with postgres and DBM). Hopefully others will find this to be a useful tool :) Conflux 0.11 has been released under the GNU GPL v2 or above. Though there is enough documentation to get Conflux set up (and the user interface is mostly self-explanatory), I've been working for the last couple of days on a high- quality manual which I'll eventually release under the GNU FDL 1.1 or above. Full manual should be included with the next public release.

14 Sep 2000 (updated 14 Sep 2000 at 20:39 UTC) »

I've been working on a special project of my own since August 30th; I feel it has finally reached the point of basic maturity that I am ready to post. Several of the Marble Horse crew have had a peek at it and have found it useful; I've had a chance to incorporate their initial refinement list, so things are certainly heading in the right direction. First public release should be tomorrow; waiting for the sf project registration to go through now. (I will, of course post some detail and a project entry on advogato tomorrow :)

Since the move to Michigan, I've not been working a regular job. Definetely time to start looking, at this point. Ideally, I'd like to work from home; travel is a bit of an issue, due to family obligations. We shall see what happens.

I've also been pursuing two other ideas for the last month, one of which is a documentation/proposal project. The treatise has been maturing nicely and should be ready in the next couple of weeks. (Though clearly it is not a revenue generating idea at this point.)

Remember: regular exercise and a diet of food are important to sustaining ones self in the long term :)

"I was born yesterday" (some years ago); can only make this statement once a year, I suppose.

Certified straznp, a long-term friend (as far back as high school). I remember chatting with nate about the benefits of free software, pgp and things of the sort quite a few years ago. We both had freenet (in the original sense of the term; the BBS-esque system written at CWRU) accounts back in the very early 90's and frequented the local BBS scene. Nate is now working for SGI on their Linux Kernel testing suite (recently mentioned on LWN and KT). We chatted for a bit about copyright assignment things this morning.

I've been working quite a bit with phpWiki from an internal perspective; Wiki's are an excellent resource for developing your thoughts, creating outlines for projects and things of the like. Have thought of a couple useful features I'd like to implement in phpWiki if given the time.

Talked yesterday with snippy about one of the ideas I had; he took to it happily, so it may pan out. dexter goes back to class soon; heard he bailed out the local school when they encountered netware issues a day or so ago.

Have been hacking on Spruce a fair amount, though not for the last few days. Working on spinning off some of the code from Spruce which might otherwise be abandoned when one of the upstream libraries obtains sufficient support to meet Spruce's needs. 0.7.4 is out now; the release after 0.7.5 will probably have an additional chunk of my work. fejj is an excellent maintainer.

Have a few new projects going. Also took some time to visit the local library three times in the last month. They have an excellent CD selection and, of course, books. :)

Spent some time hacking on Spruce; added some new word wrap handling and corrected a SMTP-related bug. Lots of things have happened since last diary entry; much work, some play. Glad to see people accomplish long-term tasks and have patches absorbed into the mainstream.

Nearly settled.


Wednesday: Saw Miguel's talk; much made sense. Rik van Riel and bcrl's talk on Linux MM was excellent. They did a fantastic job of covering all of the MM territory, discussing throughput and latency in a member of contexts. Their talk was geared well to the audience, IMHO; I was rather suprised that both khemicals and I took quite so much away from the talk (a credit to the presentation abilities of riel and bcrl).

Yesterday: Saw talks by tytso (filesystems), willy (Linux on PA-RISC), sct (ext3) and the ARPsec talk. Enjoyed the first three; especially sct's talk (I have been using ext3 for a couple months now and it has been working out well; so well, in fact, that I gave wife root on one of the boxes and am much less concerned with her mucking the fs in the event that she does not do a proper shutdown.). I have an HP 715/100 sitting at home which I'll be delving into when I return home from OLS.

Today: Stayed up late to work on some code and discussion with snippy and khemicals after dinner with that pair and snippy's girlfriend. Ottawa is a fun place. Got up late and plan to attend the sessions after lunch (and make especially sure to be around for the pgp/gpg keysigning bit at 5pm).

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