Older blog entries for shawn (starting at number 11)

flaggz took a few days off of work so things have been a bit hectic. The project we are working on is now starting to be used and stress tested by filling up the database with a large amount of information - and yet, it's just a fraction of the goal.

It will surely be a long night.

Adrian mentioned again that he no longer wants to be webmaster for www.gimp.org. This underlines a problem I mentioned previously. The question is, how does one go about finding a hard-core volunteer to maintain a very popular free software website?

Someone suggested putting up an advertisement for help on www.gimp.org itself. I don't particularly like that idea. Perhaps a posting on a mailing list. But I'm concerned that we have already exploited our most hard-core people and now anyone who wants to help will not stick around for very long. In other words, I think we are just screwed.

After some more pondering, I think we will need to add in a tag to the XML files that simply causes HTML from another file to be inserted. This will clean up stuff a bit. Something like:

<insertfile name="foo.html"/>

This however, will not allow substitution in the html file, which gets us back to the point of using XML for templating. This may not be a large issue at all, but then again...

I'm also completely unhappy with the stuff I implemented two days ago, as it won't really allow adding non-standard modules to mod_virgule, which was kind of the point I started out with. Basically, the system needs to allow appending or prepending functions to handle XML tags. This will allow hooking things in from other .so files or whatever. Then we can add in a modules/ directory into the database and load in anything that is sitting there when advogato initializes. The second attempt is always better.

Spent a lot of time last night hacking on a local version of mod_virgule. I have two XML templates now and a more generic methodology for rendering the XML into HTML. This is perhaps not as impressive as it may sound. Unfortunately, these modifications are of little value without changing a lot of other code as well to use the framework.

Interesting quirks about coding on mod_virgule: XML files must not begin with an empty line or it's a parse error. Parse errors are not handled well right now and looking at the header files for gnome-xml, it's not apparent how to get the parse error which occurred when a document is created. I'm not sure what a Pool is in the code, but I intend to find out sometime. If your code sigsegvs, it sucks. Java wins by a few orders of magnitude for actually giving you an valuable exception upon these type of errors.

I looked at the mailbox I filter all gtk.org and gimp.org webmaster/admin mail into... ugh. I can't keep up with it, never have been able to. If only there was a request system for such a thing, so we could make sure all things got responded to. We don't even really try to keep up with it anymore, 90% of the stuff gets ignored completely. There has to be a solution that doesn't take up a lot of time.

It pains me that gimp.org's content is growing stale. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to get anyone else to work on it; even if they had 100% content control, etc., how do you find that person who is willing to do the work? Unknown.

www.gtk.org will get revamped again by myself soon. I really want to switch to a model which allows other developers to help update content on the site. Perhaps mod_virgule code can be used for this; it's an interesting idea in any case.

I wanted to redo content.gimp.org, because I think there is a need for it's existance, but since I haven't gotton a chance now I don't think it's going to happen. I'm kind of losing interest in the idea.

Ok, bought and put together R2D2 unit which is in the Druid Mindstorm book. Pretty cool. I've been more successful putting together stuff from the books than creating anything original. I can't program the controller yet as I don't have a computer at home capable of such a thing. Well, I could use my notebook which has Linux on it, but I want to see the included software first so I have to find a machine with Windows on it.

Haven't put a lot of time into work for about a week, but we have a large deadline in two weeks so it's about time to start working on stuff again.

I watched "You've Got Mail" today while I was putting R2D2 together. It was not all that great, but the DVD was sitting there so it had to be watched.

I got the "Highlander" DVD for my birthday and watched it this weekend... it sucks so much, as far as quality is concerned. It somehow got the THX certification which I now assume means the creaters of the DVD are doing sexual favors for some of the people on the THX certification board. (Does that even exist?) Without a receiver with a center channel, the DVD is unwatchable because the music track is really loud. I have to really crank up my center channel to hear the voices, and then the audio is OK. However, the video has a huge amount of artifacts in it. Even the opening credits, which are simply a black screen with red letters have artifacts around the letters... and some of the scenes in the movie trick you into thinking you are watching a TV station and that you need to adjust the antenna because it's gotton all full of static. Whoever was in charge of the conversion to DVD should be fired outright or reassigned to another department.

I woke up my roommate last night because I was playing with my legos too loudly.

This is the first diary entry I've written on the Palm V. The wireless modem has been fixed. Perhaps this is the first wireless and keyboardless Advogato diary entry... dunno.

The wireless modem is having problems connecting to the service provider, so the pilot has been a bit less fun for about a day now. I have to report it and see how quick it gets fixed.

The software I've been working on at work is being demoed and all seems to be going very well. Now I need to do up a recommendation for changes that the system needs to have to make it more maintainable and scalable. We did a pretty OK job, but there are a few wierdnesses in the design that can be cleaned up pretty easily. Then we are onto implementing more features.

I've been thinking about making major changes to www.gtk.org. I am currently wondering if we can somehow leverage Advogato code to allow more than myself to update the site.

As it turns out, ssh on the pilot is actually quite usable if you run screen. It seems screen intelligently handles tgtelnet term and everything works wonderfully. Actually have had a use for it too - I was in a parking lot waiting at night after a building closed and I checked my e-mail to find someone's phone number. Kick ass. And today I was at the Science Museum of Minnesota with my girlfriend and was reading at my email in mutt several times. Not sure this is a good thing, actually.

I checked out and set up mod_virgule today; pretty spiffy, as expected.

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