Recent blog entries for stefan

Solstice d’été

Voilà. Nous avons franchi le solstice d’été. Et pendant que d’autres célèbrent le jour le plus interminable de l’année… nous allons secrètement nous réjouir du retour des longues nuits.

  –Méléagant

C’est un de mes moments préférés de Kaamelott. Quel suspense !

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyYmhe6c2NA)


Syndicated 2014-06-21 06:44:34 from stefan.seefeld.name

Solstice d’été

Voilà. Nous avons franchi le solstice d’été. Et pendant que d’autres célèbrent le jour le plus interminable de l’année… nous allons secrètement nous réjouir du retour des longues nuits.

  –Méléagant

C’est un de mes moments préférés de Kaamelott. Quel suspense !

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyYmhe6c2NA)


Syndicated 2014-06-21 04:48:34 from stefan.seefeld.name

OMG !

No, that’s not the acronym you are (likely) thinking of. That’s the Object Management Group, which just held its quarterly Technical Meeting, in Burlingame (near San Francisco).

As a rather turbulent week draws to an end, I’m walking through a slightly rainy San Francisco to take in some more local air.

From San Francisco 2012

At the meeting I broke a couple of records. One, notably, for having brought a (preexisting) set of specifications through the OMG standardization process to full adoption within only 9 months. (We started the initial RFC process at the March meeting in Reston.)

The second, for being the first to submit specifications using DocBook. While this has been a “supported” format (together with FrameMaker), I’m apparently the first one to actually using it in this context.

Most people still submit MS Word documents (yuck !), resulting in a lot of post-processing by OMG’s own editor to massage the text into  OMG / ISO – compliant formats. As a result, the submitters are no longer able to maintain their own specifications, instead requiring OMG’s technical writer(s) / editor(s) to apply their patches for them. What a wasteful process.

By using DocBook, our community is now enabled / empowered to maintain the standard ourselves, which makes everyone involved, as well as (and in particular) those who no longer have to be involved, very happy.

On Wednesday I met with a couple of my colleagues, who happen to live in the area, to celebrate the completion of the above work, as well as to talk about the future.

I also took the opportunity to sneak in a few hours to visit the Muir Woods National Monument, which, by exposing me to an entirely different scale of space and time, relativates many of the other things running through my head.

From San Francisco 2012

Now I’m sitting in a *$ (read: Starbucks) as I have a few hours before my plane takes me back home.


Syndicated 2012-12-15 00:58:46 from stefan.seefeld.name

Las Vegas Adventure

After a rather inspiring (yet exhausting) week at GTC, I’m on my way home from San Francisco to Montreal. I had chosen to fly via SFO instead of SJC, because the connection appeared to be slightly better. On my flight from YUL to SFO, the crew encountered a “minor” technical issue, and chose to land in Denver instead of San Francisco. While we were supposed to take off again within an hour, we sat on the tarmac for >3 hours, when it was announced that the problem was bigger than originally thought, such that the plane could only take off the next day.

I managed to get a different flight to SJC, to arrive 12 hours late at my destination.

Now I’m on my way back, taking a two-leg flight from SFO via LAS to YUL. Arriving in LAS after 22:00, it’s apparently too late to have anyone in the terminal who can give useful information. When I finally figured out where to go to get the connection flight, and make it yet again through security, the plane is already taxiing towards the runway. So I’m stuck in this unfriendly, noisy, and inhumane place (which ironically claims to be the Mecca of the Western world) for the night, .and be home in Montreal 12 hours late.

This makes me miss a concert I have been looking forward to see for months. How annoying…


Syndicated 2012-05-18 08:21:53 from stefan.seefeld.name

Le Chant Du Rossignol

I was recently talking with friends (with whom I’m rehearsing some renaissance music) about how birdsong has been represented / imitated musically throughout history. One of the most beautiful birdsong I have experienced myself is nightingales singing in crisp air, right after some good rainfall.

Youtube has some nice nightingale recording, for all those who can’t experience this first-hand.

Among the many occurrences in musical compositions, this excerpt from “Le Chant Du Rossignol” by Igor Stravinsky strikes me as particularly resembling, though that may just be my own musical / aesthetic bias showing through. (Just listen carefully to the beginning of this excerpt and compare that to the very beginning of the nightingale recording above. Isn’t that amazing ?)

There are many others, such as Olivier Messiaen’s “Chants D’Oiseau”, or even his “Quatuor pour la fin du temps”. And of course, there are many older ones, too, such as Janequin’s “Le chant des oiseaux”, which appears a little affected in comparison.

It might be interesting to build a themed concert out of this and similar material.


Syndicated 2011-09-29 19:09:07 from stefan.seefeld.name

How Fortunate the Man with None

You saw sagacious Solomon
You know what came of him,
To him complexities seemed plain.
He cursed the hour that gave birth to him
And saw that everything was vain.
How great and wise was Solomon.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s wisdom that had brought him to this state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You saw courageous Caesar next
You know what he became.
They deified him in his life
Then had him murdered just the same.
And as they raised the fatal knife
How loud he cried: you too my son!
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s courage that had brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You heard of honest Socrates
The man who never lied:
They weren’t so grateful as you’d think
Instead the rulers fixed to have him tried
And handed him the poisoned drink.
How honest was the people’s noble son.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s honesty that brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

Here you can see respectable folk
Keeping to God’s own laws.
So far he hasn’t taken heed.
You who sit safe and warm indoors
Help to relieve our bitter need.
How virtuously we had begun.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s fear of god that brought us to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

– Bertold Brecht (from “Mother Courage”)


Syndicated 2011-02-07 05:18:28 from stefan.seefeld.name

Vernal equinox

Spring is here !

Google just published the list of this year’s GSoC mentoring organizations. DocBook will participate for a first time, as will (as usual) Boost. If you are interested in any of this, don’t hesitate to get in touch !

I have also started looking into switching to CLang as Cpp/C/Cxx parsers for Synopsis. While this looks very promising, there is still quite a lot of work that needs to be done before this will be usable. Any help is highly appreciated.

Syndicated 2010-03-20 15:33:33 from stefan.seefeld.name

A matter of perspective.

“Barack Obama has given voice to what many of the world think about America - and it’s not flattering. That much of the world - composed as it is of autocrats and dictators and weak and wobbly defenders of human rights and human dignity - isn’t happy with the United States is not news.”

See, what “much of the world” isn’t happy with may not be “the United States”, but this dangerously stupid and arrogant world-view. Grow up, start to consider yourself part of the world, not above it, and things may get a little more balanced.

Syndicated 2009-10-11 14:14:11 from stefan.seefeld.name

Google Summer of Code

A too short and too rainy summer has almost passed by in a blink of an eye. I mentored two GSoC projects this year. One of them, adding Python 3 support to boost.python, was very successful, and I just merged the changes into trunk. As I don’t expect any surprises there, I’m sure the code will be ready for inclusion into the next release. Yay !

The other project wasn’t quite as successful. Not only did it require a lot more hand-holding from my part, but it didn’t result in nearly as much improvements as we had hoped for.

Neither result came as a surprise. In fact, I probably could have predicted it when reviewing the applications. But as I’m an optimist, I always hope for a better outcome, even if there are warning signs. As I will participate in this year’s GSoC Mentor Summit, I’m sure I will hear from other people what they have to suggest as to how to evaluate proposals to avoid surprises.

Syndicated 2009-09-21 15:12:35 from stefan.seefeld.name

Montreal Jazzfest

It’s this time of year again. I typically don’t go to many concerts, but instead take my refill a little earlier in the year, at the Festival Musique Actuelle in Victoriaville. Not so this year. The FIMAV organizers had decided (or where forced) to skip a year, so I went looking for interesting concerts here in Montréal to take in. Usually this is a little hard, as the festival has somewhat degraded over the years, to the point that some even call it the “Carneval du Jazz”.

I was lucky, though, and got to see two concerts: One with Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow, and Antonio Sanchez. The other with Bill Frisell, Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, and Rudy Royston.
Both concerts were fabulous. As each time, I’m totally blown away by Bill Frisell’s ensembles, and their musicality.

Syndicated 2009-07-09 04:06:43 from stefan.seefeld.name

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