Older blog entries for roozbeh (starting at number 89)

20 Oct 2005 (updated 20 Oct 2005 at 16:57 UTC) »
i18n: Microsoft has now finally implemented a PersianCalendar class in .NET (MSDN documentation, Michael Kaplan's blog).

The algorithm is the simple 33-year leap rule, which will fail to match the official Iranian calendar around 2089 CE.

But well, it's my own fault: it is the description I provided to Microsoft's Houman Pournasseh in 2001, IIRC, with some test data (the sentence "A leap year is a year that, when divided by 33, has a remainder of 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 22, 26, or 30." in MSDN looks very much to be my own words). At that time, I thought that was the correct rule.

There is also a 2820-year rule suggestion circling in various "patriotic" circles, which is 1) more complex than the 33-year rule; and 2) fails in about 2025 CE, in my own lifetime. For a while, I and Behdad were fooled into believing that this 2820-year rule is the official rule. It was only luck that Houman has asked me about the rule earlier than that. (We don't need that kind of luck in free software much, but that's another story.)

The official rule, implemented in a 1925 law, says that the beginning of the year is the first day of spring, that the year is the "true solar" year "as it has been". This means that one needs to do astronomical predictions of the time of vernal equinox and the true solar noon in order to compute the calendar properly. I am happy that the current predictions match the 33-year rule until about 2089, by when I will definitely be dead (if the law is not changed or something), and people won't be able to blame me for an incorrect implementation. (Well, my children may not like people blaming me for a Persian Y2K, but I guess I should not worry that much.)

20 Oct 2005 (updated 20 Oct 2005 at 12:48 UTC) »
New blood: Farzaneh and Elnaz (both GNOME Persian contributors and members of the FarsiWeb Project) are now members of the GNOME Foundation. Congratulations! There are now five FarsiWeb members that are GNOME members: Farzaneh, Elnaz, Meelad, Behdad, and me.
19 Oct 2005 (updated 20 Oct 2005 at 11:39 UTC) »
Photos: Elnaz is back from the FOSS Road conference in Tajikistan, and has now posted some of her photos, which includes a Monday bazaar from Dushanbe (Dushanbe means Monday in Persian, when the weekly bazaar is being held since more than a century ago in the town). Some of the more interesting (non-bazaar) ones:
Nice people: Wow! You won't believe how much a nice guy Federico is. I spent an hour or something to do something that I could somehow do easily (I had already thought about all the details), and he has thanked me three times for it, once in his blog and twice by email! It makes one love to do him favors.

Joel on Software: If you have not read the book, go and get it now. I got my hand on it last night, and was reading it until 7:45 in the morning, when I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer (hint: I was not a fan of Joel before, I just ordered the book since I thought it may be a nice thing to read). When I woke up at 15:30 or something, I couldn't get out of the bed until I finished it. It's incomparable to the blog, so don't use the blog as a sample of what's really in the book. The book is much superior.

14 Oct 2005 (updated 14 Oct 2005 at 20:51 UTC) »
Women in Iran: Adding to my last post, the largest Iranian automobile manufacturing company (automobile manufacturing is one of the major industries in Iran, possibly the largest), which is a governmental company, has now provided new uniforms to its female employees. Please note that this is not all female workers, but all female employees: the female employees usually work in offices, etc; the workers are mostly male. As far as I can tell, similiar uniforms are not issued to all male employees.

The exact text is something like this: "the company is asking the colleague ladies to wear the uniform that has been provided to almost all of them. Using the uniforms is obligatory, and the presence of the hounorable ladies in the company will be only possible if [they are] wearing the uniform."

Women in Iran: The new Iranian administration is somehow limiting women activies. First, the new Vice President in charge of Sports and Physical Education has mentioned that women's sport program should not be very long, or otherwise "problems" may be created for their husbands. Then, the new Minister for Culture has forbidden the female workers of the ministry and the organizations and offices under the ministry (which include the official Iranian news agency and a newspaper) to work after 6 pm.

The minister has mentioned that this is because "the sensitive role of the country's women in the elavation of the Islamic society and the necessity of effective presence of ladies in the warm focal point that is the family, in order to fulfill the sensitive responsibility of educating the children". I won't say much about the case of mothers, but if you don't have children at home to raise, I guess it's only the first part, your sensitive role in the elevation of the Islamic society, that applies to you. So, logically, it seems that the new minister believes that if a single or childless woman leaves work at 6 pm (or earlier), their absence elevates the Islamic society.

It may not be a coordinated act in the whole administration and may only be random opinions of inexperienced public servants, but it still takes its toll, and results in seeing less women in the society. As someone who has tried to help a few women find their place in the work environment, I am very concerned about this.

10 Oct 2005 (updated 10 Oct 2005 at 16:28 UTC) »
Unicode: Mark Davis has posted a set of globalization gotchas.

WYSIWYG: AbiWord 2.4 has nice mathematical typesetting features it seems: screenshot by Martin Sevior. The horizontal spacing in the formulas still looks horibble to me, having spent so much time with TeX. But I guess not many users do care that much about formula aesthetics. Update: I am not an AbiWord user. I only based my observation on Martin's screenshot. I can't even think about using anything other than TeX for typesetting mathematics.

Hoder: "Neo-Racism: Instead of saying all people from the Middle-East should be treated differently, the US government says people from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen should be treated differently. This dosn't matter even if you have citizenship froma country like Canada. I was born in Tehran and it's enough for the US to treat me like a potential terrorist."
8 Oct 2005 (updated 8 Oct 2005 at 17:03 UTC) »
Run, Luis, Run!

(BTW, Run Lola Run appears to be one of the favorite movies of DEK. It was only being a DEK fan that made me find and watch the movie. I loved it, of course.)

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