Older blog entries for srl (starting at number 122)

Long time no update. Since my last entry, I've basically dropped out of being an active developer on any project--- much to my frustration, but I think it's just a matter of life refocusing. Spent a long time working on a very very large Zope CMF system, went through major angst, transitioned, burned out on software, decided to pursue a Ph.D. in history. My profile, recently updated, has the rest.

Anyone need a contract hacker?

Still busy. Still biking; I'm almost up to 5 days a week. I've been doing lots at work; helping figure out what a good content management system for us would look like. Also, I've been reading about Extreme Programming. We're going to try an experiment at work to see if we can get XP to be feasible here, since everyone's said positive things about it at various times.

Reefknot work has been slim this week for various reasons, but we're expanding the CVS developer pool again, and we have a developer who's helping us get our RFC-compliance tests kicked into shape. This is a good thing.

Been busy this week at work and not-at-work. It's been swelteringly hot, so much so that I've stayed at work late most nights for the A/C. Less personal-project work than I'd like.

LotR and I have been working on rewriting the Reefknot Bootstrap Guide, expanding and adding things here and there. We're trying to get a good new version out soon to further enlighten the masses about RFC2445 and Reefknot. Maybe I'll finish that this weekend. Rich and I are hacking out changes to Date::ICal that'll let us do timezones properly at last.

The reefknot-devel list has 55 subscribers as of this morning, which makes me very happy. We've had a herd of new interested-people as a result of Skud's talk at YAPC::Europe. Some of them are even sending us patches. We've got promising leads for new developers from the datetime at perl dot org list too, which is nice.

I've made contact with the author of Request Tracker (RT), who's local to Boston. He seems to be interested in adding calendaring to RT, which is a ticket-tracking system. Meeting with him on Monday to bootcamp him into the code. I'm hoping that will work out well.


Spent last night squashing bugs and whatnot in Net::ICal. We had a bunch of tests that were marked failing intentionally--- as an attention-getter mostly, so that we know to write tests in the future. I changed them to TODO tests, which finally work in the latest version of Test::More (thanks to Michael Schwern). That way, they don't overtly fail, but they're still there as markers that we should be testing certain routines more.

After some late-night release-candidate testing with the help of IRC people, I released Net::ICal 0.15, an alpha release with some packaging fixes and better tests. The other major improvement is that it begins to support timezones. I'm really itching to get timezones working properly in Net::ICal.

Started working on defining what will be in Reefknot 0.01. LotR is being helpful with this.

Recruit Recruit Recruit

I really need to talk to someone who wants to write a web-based calendaring app as an example we can distribute with Net::ICal. The cool thing is, this web-based calendaring app should be able to share information with lots of other programs--- anything that uses iCalendar. If you've got time, tuits, and basic Perl skills, mail me and I'll hook you up.

We also need some QA/testmaster sorts to LART us into writing more robust code. We've got a testing framework, and the beginnings of some automated smoketests, but I don't have enough time to manage it all by myself.

Other bits of life

Biking continues to keep me happy. I've discovered that I actually prefer biking to driving, which was kind of surprising. Somehow, biking feels much more... physically connected than driving. I have better senses on a bike, and the road has a texture that it lacks when I'm in a car. I'm beginning to understand why some of the Critical Mass folk call them "cages". Whoosh. I'm now up to 4 roundtrip commutes a week, which is about 80 miles. Yay for getting closer to goals.

jschauma: Yes, I have a significant other. My SO has a fiance. Yes, the fiance knows about me. And yes, everyone's cool with that. We're a family of 3 adults. See the Polyamory FAQ for a primer. And I'm still happy that the fiance baked me a cake.

Spent the weekend chilling out and doing almost nothing related to free software, but that's okay. I needed the downtime. Instead, I bought fall/winter biking clothes, ogled shiny new bikes, and read The Fellowship of the Ring and half of The Two Towers.

My birthday was yesterday; went out to dinner and to the movies. Saw Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, which was good silly fun. Got Cirque du Soleil tickets from my SO, which I'm really excited about, and her fiance baked me a cake. It was happymaking.

Now, to return to hacking.

Advogato as messageboard

harvey: I don't know if I'm going to the Boston DMCA protest on monday. Maybe. But you don't have to parse zoneinfo files yourself; Damon Chaplin wrote something that does that. He's generating iCalendar VTIMEZONE files with it, but you could probably use it for whatever you need. Mail me or something; Reefknot's working on using those VTIMEZONE files for nefarious and fun purposes.

Calendaring cellphone goodness

Spiffy discovery of the day: Sprint PCS has iCalendar-based calendaring for their cellphone customers. It's web-based and will mail your cellphone to remind you of events. And best of all, you can import and export iCalendar to/from their storage system using the website. This is Very Cool; it means I can make Reefknot talk to it. Now all I have to do is hack around with it some. Woo.

Any of you who are working on Evolution: Evo should theoretically also be able to talk to SprintPCS's system via iCalendar. I'll post more details when I figure them out. In the meantime, I'm going to work on hacking something up in Perl to import and export iCalendar to SprintPCS. That would be a really neat hack.


Date::ICal 0.14 is out, finally. I hear that Simon and Skud's talk on Reefknot at TPC went well, and that Larry (Wall) was there. Yay. Now to fix bugs and answer new-user questions.

Rich has been really busy; he's put out 2 or 3 releases of Date::ICal in the last few days, which has been a great help to us. My hat's off to him.


I work in the Fort Point Channel area of Boston, where there's some construction going on. It's the part of town where lots of "new media" (read: web) companies seem to be located. Lots of Adobe users here. Anyway, there are plywood partitions around the construction site with various ad posters. Today, bright red graffiti appeared on the posters. In letters about 2 feet tall, that wall now says, "FREE DIMITRY NOW".

I don't have a digital camera, or I'd post a picture... but I thought people might be interested to know. If you do take a picture of it, speak up. I know there are Boston folk out there.

Hmm. I wonder whether it's crazy to have an Advogato BOF/pub night in Boston sometime, just to match faces to usernames.

Was up late last night working on a release candidate for Net::ICal. Discovered that the nifty Sourceforge data sucker that LotR wrote is now broken--- basically, it's a screen-scraper that lets you generate your BUGS list from the list that's on Sourceforge. I think SF changed their data format; I don't think the code was broken when it was committed. Gee, I wish they'd provide clean data export hooks to their system.

Anyway, I spent a while trying to coerce LotR's module into giving me a BUGS list, then gave up. Prepared a release candidate version of Net::ICal so that Skud and Simon will have something to talk about today. Earlier in the day, worked with Rich on Date::ICal, helping him figure out how to rework the internals. Date::ICal has a new version out (1.20); Rich has been great in working on it while he's at TPC/OSCon.

Went to bed at 2:30, then got up at 7:30 to bike to work and do it all again. I think I'm getting closer to my goal of 5 roundtrip bike commutes a week; this week I'll probably make it to 4, if I'm lucky. (That's 100 miles a week, which I know isn't a lot really, but it's a lot for me.)

Been hacking at Net::ICal the last few days, trying to get a releasable version out in time for Skud and Simon's talk at TPC/OSCon. Other than that, not much. I'm still here.

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