Recent blog entries for shlomif

Finishing Off The Open Content / Web 2.0 Revolution: (#SummerNSA)

Headers
  • Subject: Finishing off the Open content / Web 2.0 revolution

  • From: Shlomi Fish (a.k.a “Rindolf”), the hacker king of the Open content/Web 2.0 revolution (~2000-2014)

  • To::

    1. Summer Glau, Hollywood actress, known for her roles in Firefly, the Sarah Connor Chronicles, xkcd and Summerschool at the NSA, and who I suspect wishes to become the new hacker queen.

    2. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Hollywood actress and producer, known for playing the fictional Buffy Summers, who was the hacker queen of the Web 1.0 revolution (~1997-2000), in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS). Ms. Gellar was also the frontwoman of the show, and Hollywood’s Alpha female for that period.

    3. Chuck Norris, martial artist, actor, and filmmaker , the inspiration and subject of many satirical “facts” about him, which have become a very powerful weapon by their own right, and also inspired my NSA “facts”, and later and earlier humorous collections of facts.. Furthermore, Mr. Norris appears to be the current Alpha male of Hollywood.

    4. Megan Fox, Hollywood actress, a very inspiring person, and someone whom I suspect wishes to become the next Hollywood Alpha female.

    5. Jennifer Lawrence, Hollywood actress, a very inspiring person, and the present Alpha female of Hollywood. Also provided a lot of inspiration for the multi-sectioned essay “Putting All The Cards On The Table (2013)”.

    6. General Keith B. Alexander, retired United States Army general, and former director of the National Security Agency (NSA).

    7. Joss Whedon, Hollywood filmmaker (writer, director, etc.) who is notable here as the creator of BtVS, and Firefly, and a potential back-up director for Summerschool at the NSA.

  • CC::

    1. Larry Wall, creator of the original “patch” program, the Usenet newsreader “rn”, the Perl programming language versions 1-to-6 and their “perl” implementations and the hacker king of the Open source/Usenet revolution (~1984-1997).

    2. Edward Snowden, former contractor for the CIA and the NSA, who is notable for foolishly, but gallantly, revealing a lot of internal claims of the NSA (= NSA “intel”) and becoming a media hero and an outcast. Mr. Snowden has thought he was under a constant threat for revealing what was likely mostly a product of delusional minds inside the NSA (or false/out-of-date data as intelligence data probably often goes).

    3. Randall Munroe, creator of the xkcd web-comics, which introduced me to Summer Glau, and provided a lot of inspiration and fodder both for “Summerschool at the NSA” and for other aspects of hackerism. He may wish to further collaborate with Glau on her journey as the new hacker monarch.

    4. All action heroes / hackers and geeks / amateurs of the world.

Producing “Summerschool at the NSA” (#SummerNSA)

Your assistance is required in producing the feature film “Summerschool at the NSA” based on my original screenplay. The screenplay is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-by) and its text is original. I have designated my recommendations for some of the cast, and the film should be capable of being filmed mostly or entirely in a film studio and at a relatively low cost.

Note however that I encourage any productions whatsoever of the screenplay, including by enthusiastic independent film makers, on YouTube, and including producing them as voiced animations.

I also neither mind nor discourage any hacks and deviations from the original screenplay, up to and including featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger sending Rihanna to kick the NSA’a ass, or Kermit the Frog doing the same with Fluttershy. (And you may consider both mutations as artistic challenges).

What I do not want is that nothing will get done, and that there won’t be any film - by anyone - in the forseeable future. So please get to it as soon as you can. I need you, and the world needs you.

If you create something, please mark it with the hashtag of #SummerNSA.

I have written about some profitable business models for creators of online culture, which do not involve ad revenue which is small and has proven to be ineffective. Absent from the post, is selling merchandise (see the famous “Merchandising” excerpt from Spaceballs), and putting selected Project Wonderful-like ads, which the web site owner pre-approved of and are non-intrusive. Film makers and artists may wish to deploy them either with “Summerschool at the NSA” or with different cultural works.

Implications Of The “Summerschool At The NSA” Films

The open content / Web 2.0 revolution has proven to be a blazing success and a source of decent or better income, esteem, and publicity for many individuals, small companies, large companies, and other organisations. While during the Web 1.0 era, information was hard to find, not reliable, and often hard to contribute to (what Prof. Lawrence Lessig calls "read only" vs. "read/write" in his book Remix, which I read and loved.), in the Web 2.0 era, one can build upon information, which is often cited and reliable, change it, enhance it, and perform many remixes as well as crossovers and “mashups”.

It is my belief that it was I, Shlomi Fish (“Rindolf”), who was the “Hacker King” (a.k.a “Warrior King/Queen/Monarch” / The best-of-the-best-of-the-best / The Saladin / The Qoheleth / The John Galt / etc.) of that revolution. To quote what Quark from the Star Trek franchise said about the Grand Nagus, he/she: «has the greatest business mind… always thinking ten, sometimes twenty steps ahead of everyone else.» and the kind of person who has the same ideas as everyone else only five years earlier and thus is named a lunatic.

Nevertheless, my reign as Hacker Monarch has reached its end with the writing of the screenplay, Summerschool at the NSA. The latter mixed and matched Judaism (Tanakh, Talmud, and Israelism), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the xkcd web comic, the “99 problems” meme, the old “Publish or Perish” adage, the deeds and words of Saladin, open source and open content, some modern but not unthinkable technology, love/romance/sex/relationships, pop culture, and humour, and more into what was essentially a realism, Real Person Fiction, story. Furthermore, it featured fictionalised versions of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Summer Glau, and General Keith Alexander, who was the director of the NSA at the time. I also ended up seeing it as my modernisation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged novel, which was her magnus opus as Hacker Monarch (while still building upon it, referencing it, and going against some of it original premises).

Like Atlas Shrugged, “Summerschool at the NSA” was eventually understood to be my magnus opus, and I passed the baton to someone else, Summer Glau, and thus mostly concluded the open content/Web 2.0 revolution with a mostly happy ending and a blazing success. Sic transit gloria mundi (STGM).

The formalities for concluding all that are:

  1. Directing/producing the feature film or films of “Summerschool at the NSA” in whatever format they shall be done.

  2. Ms. Glau and I meeting somewhere and me asking her these questions, which I'll give along with the answers I expect:

    1. Question: Are you afraid to die?

      Answer: There is no correct answer.

    2. Question: Are you afraid to live?

      Answer: Maybe I have in the past, but I no longer am. I will do and say what seems right and good, whether people like it or not (while still being careful and avoiding being arrogant).

    3. Question: Do you wish to become the Hacker Monarch, while being fully aware of the implications of this role, and taking full responsibility for it?

      Answer: Yes, I do.

  3. I will give her my blessed/cursed amulet of power, a plain brown ten-sided die, that was given to me as a present by my friends at the time, and ask her to determine what to do with it next. I urge her not to throw it away or destroy it (by seeing if it blends or whatever), since despite its low cost and mundaneness, it is a fine piece of engineering.

  4. I will declare Summer Glau as the presiding hacker queen, and step down from my role, and become a hacker king emeritus.

One implication of all this is that we shall finally and almost completely unite these worlds:

  1. The Academia.

  2. The software industry / open source / Internet / World-wide-web workers.

  3. The “content”/culture creators, both the content industry (e.g: Hollywood, the MPAA, the RIAA, and many smaller local franchises around the world) and many hobbyists, amateur, independent and/or unsigned artists and content producers.

This is despite the fact that some of these worlds appeared to be at a constant dispute with each other. This merging of these worlds is similar to the merger of the AT&T UNIX/BSD worlds and those of the early PDP-10-based ARPA-NET and NSFnet hackers that happened at the early 80s, and that in turn led to the open source / Usenet revolution.

There will likely be a lot of time to reflect upon my history and achievements during my reign as hacker monarch of the world, but I think the future is more important than the past. I have a lot of potential advice we can use to continue to battle the remaining man-made problems (e.g: bloodshed, suicides, deaths due to arrogance and carelessness, possible present and future environmental problems, unnecessary red tape and regulations, unnecessary hatred, antagonism and distrust, and vandalism) and some questions for further inquiry. However, it's now also up to the new generation of activists of the upcoming post-open content / post-Web-2.0 revolution (whose nature is yet to be discerned) to build upon the work of the activists and action heroes of the open content revolution, and take the world even more forward.

So let me just give some pieces of advice to Ms. (Summer) Glau, which are mostly relevant to other people as well.

Advice To The Upcoming Hacker Monarch
  1. Don’t be too arrogant and/or careless - I don’t want you to get killed prematurely, and it seems God punishes more people for that rather than for being bad.

    Note that Hubris in moderation is still very important as almost all ancient and modern technology (from fire, through Aristotle’s Logic and science, through the Lever, through modern architecture, through automobiles and air and space travel, to computer and computer networks, to this very essay and very word) are product of mankind wishing to defy "gravity" and show his environment that he is not bound by its rules.

    Furthermore, courage and spite is required as a way to avoid the “fear of living”: never fear what some other people think or do not think about you. Furthermore, accept criticism and even encourage people to prove you wrong or even offend you. Like the mightiest Klingon warriors say when they were proven wrong: “What a great day it was for me to die! Thank you for this excellent battle.”.

  2. Don’t feel superior. Even if you are the hacker monarch, everyone else is or can be the most powerful man on Earth, and the Messiah. Even the smallest and most fragile inanimate object, serves an important purpose in God’s (= The King of the Kings of the Kings) world.

    You can never travel the path or survive alone. You need each and everyone and everything out there.

  3. Be Yourself: remember that whatever you do or whoever you are some people will always complain. Please all→Please none. Aim for perfection in imperfection. Remember that You’re awesome.

  4. Take a good care of yourself. Have a lot of “Wine, Women & Song”: Good food and drinks (that taste good and are what you desire at the moment); Good company - of any sex ; and clean, creative, enlightening, fun - however amateuristic or of apparent low quality.

    While it’s OK to be busy for short periods of time, don’t become a wage slave who doesn’t eat and drink well, doesn’t socialise, and doesn’t have time to enjoy themselves.

  5. Seize the day! (= “Carpe diem”) Don’t wait for a special ocassion to enjoy yourself or contribute to the world - or usually both. Every day is the unbirthday of your friends, your fans, everybody, and of you, and it’s a good day to remind them that you love them.

    Every day can be the best day of your life so far.

  6. Don’t be pseudo-Utilitarian: if you made one person a little happier, then what you did was a blazing success. “He who saved one man, has essentially saved the world entire.”.

  7. Never deny that you are the hacker queen: proudly admit it. Too many hacker monarchs did not acknowledge their own self-worth. Don’t repeat the mistake of Larry Wall and of me, and play “The Invisible” who is arguably the worse kind of hacker monarch.

  8. Be a hacker / action hero: bend the rules, violate them, surprise people, defy social norms, dogma, inertia, prejudice, enthropy and gravity, all in order to earn your victory and - be happy and proud doing that.

  9. Be an alpha female (= see “Wesley Snipes” in this essay by Eric Sink) or a beta female (= “Denzel Washington”) or a little bit of both, but don’t be a Gamma↔Omega female.

  10. Get an active online presence. See my plan for that and the comments I got. One further note is to avoid Shaike Ophir’s “The English Teacher”’s definition of monologue as “One person talking to himself”, which I noticed many celebrities succumb to. The more you reply and interact with the people who reply to your online posts and comments, or otherwise interact with them, and collaborate (engaging in a true dialogue), then the fewer redundant answers will be given, and the better quality the discussion will be.

  11. Be honest and enlightened and constantly stay honest and enlightened. Honesty and enlightenment are processes and one must constantly be committed to become more and more honest and enlightened, or else they immediately became dishonest, cynical and stagnate.

  12. Practice the basics of the philosophy of Saladin, a very noble man, a strategical genius, and one of the most notable hacker kings in history.

  13. If you’re in a dilemma or run into some trouble, remember that I and possibly other hacker monarchs emeriti (such as Larry Wall) and your other friends who are hackers and geeks, are always there for you and can give you a fresh perspective on the situation.

    ( An independent person is not someone who does everything on their own using feudalism taken to extreme. As long as he or she takes full responsibility for the outcome of their actions, they can ask or even pay for help or advice. )

  14. Finally, remember - Sic transit gloria mundi! You will most probably not be the hacker monarch forever, because one day you too will create your magnus opus, and a younger (at least in spirit), more awesome, action hero will displace you as hacker monarch, because they want it more badly than you. And they can be a man or a woman or a group, fact or fiction, animal, vegatable, or mineral, etc. And then you too will become the Hacker monarch emerita and actually feel relieved about all that.

Have a lot of fun, stay smashing and awesome, and hack on!

Hail, Saladin! Hackers of the world, unite!

References and Further Reading
  1. “The Eternal Jew” - an early attempt at codifying “Rindolfism”, which is my personal, one man, dynamic philosophy.

  2. “Putting all the Cards on the Table (2013)” - a multi-sectioned essay, that was written in March 2013, a short time before I wrote Summerschool at the NSA, and which was inspired a lot by Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence, and the fact that she won the Academy for it (at age 22).

  3. Summary for “Putting more cards on the table (2014)” - points for an essay that is an update/ammendement to the previous one.

  4. “Saladin Style” - a short, irresponsible essay about Saladin’s innovative and inspiring strategy and philosophy, that still has direct implications today.

  5. My works of fiction, humour and action heroism and my essays

  6. About “Rindolf” and “Rindolfism” - a page about my nickname and personal philosophy and my hopes and expectations for the future of me, Summer Glau, and everyone else.

  7. My Twitter feed, where I posted many thoughts and insights about “#SummerNSA” and other things. I have some other presence on social media sites.

Licence

This work is copyright by Shlomi Fish and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution licence version 3.0 (or any later version). See my interpretation of it.

Syndicated 2014-08-31 12:13:12 from shlomif

Buffy - a Few Good Slayers; Summer Glau and Emma Watson Facts; and More

Here are the recent updates for Shlomi Fish’s Homepage.

  1. Buffy - a Few Good Slayers is a new Buffy fanfic screenplay based in a forked branch of the Buffyverse.

    [ Text on the screen: Sunnydale High School Orientation Day ; Sunnydale ; California

    First few chords of Miley Cyrus’ “Party In The U.S.A”. Rebecca “Becky” Shepherd is shown walking in the high school lobby listening to the song playing from her smartphone that is tucked on her belt. She is wearing a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic shirt, and has a name tag that reads "Rebecca Shepherd (Slayer)". ]

    Cliff: Yo, Brony girl, stop!

    Becky: Hey, sorry for not paying attention [she pauses the music]. What’s up?

    Cliff: Chankey here [points at Chankey] and I are looking for a slayer to complete our team. You don’t seem exactly like slayer-material, but since all the other slayers we talked with were taken, I guess we should settle on you.

    [ Becky smiles. ]

    Becky: Sure, I’d love to be team with you. Let’s register.

    [ She uses her smartphone to register. ]

    Becky: OK, done.

    Chankey: [in an English accent] Smashing!

    Becky: Chankey, is it? Are you British?

    Chankey: Yes, Miss Shepherd.

    Becky: “Becky” please.

    Chankey: Yes, well, I am of Indian descent and carry an Indian name. I have photographic memory, and did extremely well in my studies. I was supposed to start studying in Harrow School (the notorious public school, or what you Americans will call a “private school”) because I had many friends there, but then became aware of some demonic activity in Greater London, and was indoctrinated as a watcher-wannabe here.

    Chankey: I don’t have any friends here.

    Becky: [Grabbing his hand.] I’m sure you’ll make some.

    Chankey: Yes.

  2. There are new pages with some factoids about Summer Glau and with factoids about Emma Watson:

    • Summer Glau does not have to hurt you if she doesn't want to. Chuck Norris kills everyone in sight.

    • Summer Glau can lead a horse to water, and then it will drink out of its own volition.

    Some photos were also added to the facts pages to spice them up.

  3. There’s a new feature about “Emma Watson getting interviewed for a software developer job”.

  4. How to Get Help Online is a new feature about where and how to get help online. It has a 2014 edition.

  5. “Why I Do Not Trust Non-open-source Software”

  6. Page about the new “Back to my Homepage” logo

  7. The old page, “Stop Using Internet Explorer!” now has a note as being deprecated and a page with some essential updates

  8. There are now EPUB versions of the screenplays for free and direct downloading or viewing. Share and enjoy!

  9. I added the section about Rindolf “Aim Very High” Hitlower:

    Not only is Rindolf an evil Reindeer but he is the notorious insane tyrant and mass-murderer, Rindolf “Aim Very High” Hitlower. As you may have guessed, people said that my nickname “Rindolf” reminded them of “Adolf Hitler”, and even though I was offended by it for a long time, I eventually decided to take it to my advantage too. Recently (Late June, 2014) I’ve told people that I decided that in my personal and professional life, I will aim very high in the hope that I will hit the aim or perhaps a little lower, and so settled on this nickname.

Syndicated 2014-07-09 05:17:37 from shlomif

Freecell Solver 3.26.0 was Released

Freecell Solver version 3.26.0, has been released. It is available in the form of a source archive, from the download page. Freecell Solver is an open source library and some command line applications, for automatically solving several variants of card Solitaire / Patience games, including Freecell.

This release features some fixes for crashes on malformed input, as reported by the Mayhem team to the Debian bug tracker (thanks!), fixes for newer versions of the GCC compiler, CMake and Games::Solitaire::Verify, and some other changes that are mentioned in the NEWS file.

Enjoy!

Syndicated 2014-05-19 08:17:00 from shlomif

Game Recommendation: “Untrusted: a User JavaScript Adventure Game”

If you’re a software developer, you should check out the game “Untrusted: a user JavaScript adventure game” which someone on ##programming referred me to and which I became fond of. It is a game that involves writing some JavaScript code in certain designated places in order to make progress.

On a different note, I found the Jamendo album Nanofly by StrangeZero to be very nice and you should also check it out.

Syndicated 2014-04-21 09:47:40 from shlomif

Google Announced It Will Discontinue Its Web Search, Gmail And Google Docs Services

1 April, 2014, Tel Aviv, Israel: Google announced today that following its popular decision to discontinue not-so-popular services such as Google Reader, it is going to discontinue other services such as Google Web Search, Gmail, and Google Docs.

“These services have been suffering from declining use and popularity”, a Google spokesman said, “as a result, Google decided to discontinue them in order to remain profitable.”

Google Web Search is disabled: “Not your lucky day”
The New Google Web Search front page.

After discontinuing these services, Google will focus on more profitable ventures such as version 9 of V8, its open-source JavaScript engine (= "v8 v9"), and its mobile operating system, Mandi the Womanoid. It is also going to provide its world-famous customer service as a service to other companies (“Google Customer Service as a Service” or “GCSaaS” for short).

The same Google spokesman also noted that Google is considering to discontinue Google AdSense and AdWords, because they too are proving to undermine its profitability.

Copyright and Licence

This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2014, and is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 Unported (or at your option any later version).

For securing additional rights, please contact Shlomi Fish and see the explicit requirements that are being spelt from abiding by that licence.

The homepage screenshot was adapted from the Google homepage, with the sources available.



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Syndicated 2014-04-01 07:50:07 from shlomif

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Announces New Versions of the GPL

1 April, 2014, Tel Aviv, Israel: “FOSS developers don’t have enough choice when it comes to licensing.” says the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Thus, in order to contribute to the noble cause of licence proliferation, it announced new versions of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

The FSF announced the GPL version 4 (GPLv4), GPL version 5 (GPLv5), GPL version 6 (GPLv6), as well as the GPLv7, the GPLv8, the GPLv9 and the GPLv10 — all with their LGPL (Lesser GPL), AGPL (Affero GPL), and LAGPL (Lesser Affero GPL) variants, and all mutually incompatible with one another and with the GPLv2 and the GPLv3 (which are in turn now deprecated).

GPL v3 is out! Now it's GPLv4, GPLv5, etc.
The New GPL logo now that GPLv3 was deprecated.

In addition, by popular demand, the FSF introduced some often requested variants of the GPL: Strangely-enticing GPL (SEGPL), Diamond Encrusted GPL (DEGPL), Zebra Flavoured GPL (ZFGPL), Objective GPL, GPL++, GPL Enterprise Edition (GPLEE), Industrial Strength GPL (ISGPL), GPL for Dummies (GPL4D), Unusable GPL (UGPL), GNU Passive Aggressive Public Licence (GPAPL), Proprietary GPL (PGPL), Non-Free GPL (NFGPL), and I Can't Believe It's Not The GPL (ICBINTGPL).

The Free Software Foundation is also going to introduce one GPL licence each day in an effort known “Daily GPL”, where each daily GPL breaks compatibility with all the previous daily GPLs. As an FSF spokesman said “We hope that soon there will be more versions of the GPL (“GPLs”? Hmmm…) than GPL-licenced software”.

The GPLs’ proliferation has met with some positive responses from organisations who need to deal with them. The administrators of Freecode, a releases announcements and cataloguing site for UNIX software, noted: “This initiative is threatening to make the database table holding the possible options for software licences larger than all other tables. We’re contemplating to just consolidate all these licences under one option of ‘Under one or more of the FSF so-called-‘GPL’ licences’.”.

In the meanwhile Linus Torvalds had this to comment: “I always was a big fan of version 2 of the GPL, but the new FSF licence The Positively-Awesome Make-Yourself-At-Home Fine-Grained-Control World-Domination-At-A-Snail’s-Pace GNU General Public Licence (GPL) from 2014-04-01-10:35:49 up-to-and-excluding 0123-04-01-01:55:09 seems like such a sexy licence, and I’m considering adopting it (after I implement some custom changes to make it more to my liking.). Good thing it didn’t take the FSF too long to come with a half-decent alternative to the GPLv2.”.

Copyright and Licence

This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2014, and is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0 Unported (or at your option any later version).

For securing additional rights, please contact Shlomi Fish and see the explicit requirements that are being spelt from abiding by that licence.

The Logo was created using Inkscape based on the SVG in the GPLv3_Logo in the English wikipedia (which is in the public domain but may contain trademarks), and modified using Inkscape by making use of “Mail Ray Stuff” font by Ray Larabie (found on dafont.com), which isn't a libre font, but its licensing terms seemed usable and acceptable for this purposes (and it is available for some kinds of commercial use). Here are the sources.



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Syndicated 2014-04-01 07:45:04 from shlomif

Tech Tip: add a notification (or any other command) after a command-line task has ended


I discovered that one can add a notification after a command you've already
started running has ended on a UNIX system by suspending the command
using “Ctrl + Z” and then typing something like
“fg ; n --msg 'Command finished'” (where “n” is the command I use for
notifications). “fg” brings a job to the foreground, and for more information
about it see
its wikipedia
entry
and the Unix Background Jobs entry on thegeekstuff.com.



Licence




You can reuse this entry under
the Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 Unported
licence, or at your option any later version.
See the
instructions
of how to comply with it.

Syndicated 2014-03-30 15:33:49 from shlomif

Tech Tip: Resetting the GLib/Gtk+ Default Apps on Linux (e.g: the Default Browser)

In this tip, I would like to describe how to reset the default apps, and especially the default browser, for GLib and GTK+. These are used by desktops like GNOME and XFCE, and by GTK+ applications such as HexChat or claws-mail. My problem originally was that I accidentally pressed the "Yes" button when Firefox Nightly (installed under a prefix under /opt) asked me whether I should set it as the default browser, which caused HexChat and Claws-Mail to open links using it by default.

Anyway, to resolve this problem do this:

  1. Go to ~/.local/share/applications.

  2. Backup this directory somewhere safe.

  3. The mimeapps.list file contains the reference to use the offending apps under the *.desktop files there which you can search for the reference to the apps.

  4. Remove these line or their portions from mimeapps.list.

Now you may need to restart the desktop apps or the desktop environment (not sure).

Hope it helps.

Here’s how I found it: after some false leads of either trying to recursively search my home directory for occurrences of /opt/firefox and reading the source code of HexChat, GLib and gtk+ to see where this happens (there were too many levels of indirection there), I ended up doing “strace -f -o hexchat.strace hexchat” and inspecting the strace file for hints.

Licence

You can reuse this entry under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence, or at your option any later version. See the instructions of how to comply with it.

Syndicated 2014-03-08 11:31:14 from shlomif

The Lost Souls of Freenode

I originally wanted to written a more prose-like blog post about the topic of “The Lost Souls of Freenode”, echoing some of my frustrations from trying to help people on Freenode channels, especially #perl and ##programming and I started from keeping a list of bullets and sub-bullets and decided to keep it this way out of being lazy. Maybe it can also be considered the blog equivalent of some wikiHow pages.

After I gave a link to the bullets to someone I met on Freenode, he told me he hasn't found any of what he read here surprising from his experience on IRC and as a tutor and T.A. (= Teacher Assistant) in an American college.

  • “Many Lost Souls” on Freenode's #perl - IM conversation.

  • Quote the conversation about “First rule of #perl channels” (meaning that Freenode’s #perl is our first line of defence).

  • People having problems getting indentation right.

  • People who /msg me after asking.

    • Either they think that's the way to answer.
    • Or they think that I cannot help them because there's another conversation.
    • They're usually not willing or cannot afford to pay.
    • Someone who thought that paying me 50 USD / hour for private help was too high.
  • * People who want us to write their code for them.

  • “Help me with a script I found.”

    • Often badly written.

  • “Help me with using a program / my operating system / etc.”

    • Not even related to coding.

    • “Are you using version control?” “No, what's that?”
    • Automated tests?
    • A debugger?
  • Old versions of perls.
    • Homework/scholastic constraints.

    • “We didn't study it yet”

    • “No external modules / CPAN”

    • “Not allowed to any built-in language data structures, including not arrays.”

      • Mandatory course.

      • Graded 0 once because was programmed on Python-2.7.x and tested on Python-3.3.x (on Windows).

  • One who didn't know what files are nor did file I/O.

    - Ruby

    - private conversation with someone else who didn't know what files are.

Syndicated 2014-02-25 14:02:09 from shlomif

Freecell Solver 3.24.0 Release: Mourning Adrian Ettlinger

Freecell Solver version 3.24.0, has been released. Freecell Solver 3.24.0 is available in the form of a source archive, from the download page. Freecell Solver is an open source framework (library and some command line applications), for automatically solving several variants of card Solitaire / Patience games, including Freecell.

This release is dedicated to the memory of Adrian Ettlinger who passed away on 23 October 2013, who was a good Internet friend of the primary maintainer of Freecell Solver (= Shlomi Fish), and who contributed a great deal to Freecell Solver and to Freecell research and programming in general (among other major life achievements, and contributions to man kind). You can read an obituary of Mr. Ettlinger by Shlomi Fish as it was posted to the Freecell Solver Discussions mailing list, and also read an an interview that Fish conducted with him back in 2003.

The new video-editing preset was named in honor of Ettlinger’s previous work in pioneering non-linear video editing back when he worked as an Electrical Engineer (and later as a software developer) for CBS corporation.


In any case, the main highlights of this release are:

  1. New Feature: the -l video-editing (or -l ve for short) flare-based preset that tends to yield shorter solutions on average. See a post with some performance analysis.

  2. A bug was fixed when providing input without a trailing newline character (“\n”). This was reported against the online JavaScript version was Olaf and was fixed globally. Thanks, Olaf!

  3. The distribution now contains the sources for the Split FCC (= Fully Connected Component) Solver which was an unssuccessful attempt to solve Windows Freecell deal No. 384,243 with two freecells. It may prove of general utility in the future, though.

Hope you enjoy this release and we extend our sadness to the other family members and friends of the late Mr. Ettlinger.

Syndicated 2014-02-21 17:12:00 from shlomif

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