I've decided to retire this blog — I don't really see myself updating it any time soon, and haven't for over two years anyway. I intend to leave the content on-line for the forseeable future, but have converted it to a static site. As a result, dynamic things like search and comments aren't really going to work.

You can find me on Twitter or on Google+ if you like. Alternatively, I'm usually on IRC as LawnGnome on Freenode.

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Archive for March, 2007

Future PEAR DB Release Schedule

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

One of the problems with maintaining PEAR DB is that it’s a little hard to plan out future releases, given that it only gets bug fixes and no new features. The approach I’ve been using since the release of DB 1.7.8 (the last big catch-up release) is to push out new releases more or less as I fix stuff, which tends to result in numerous small releases, sometimes quite close together. This works, but I know that it would have annoyed me when I was wearing my sysadmin hat, so I’m going to try something different for the next little while.

What I’m going to do for now is to plan a release on the roadmap for the end of each calendar month. Non-critical bugs, instead of causing a full release, will instead be fixed in CVS and a release will be pushed out at the end of the month with that fix and any others that went in. Obviously, if there are no bugs reported during the month, then the release won’t occur and I’ll instead change the roadmap to push the release back a month.

Critical bugs will still get the immediate attention they need, and releases will be made as quickly as possible for them, rather than waiting for the end of the month. However, I think it’s important not to overload programmers, packagers and sysadmins with overly frequent releases, so we’ll give this a whirl for now.

Incidentally, you can assume that DB 1.7.11, which I’ve just released with a FrontBase-only fix, is the end of March release.

(Oh, side note I forgot to put in the initial post: I’ve re-enabled trackbacks on DB for now. If the spam starts annoying me again, then I’ll disable them once again. Here’s hoping.)

SoC It To Them

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Well, I’ve applied for the Google Summer of Code, but it looks like I’m only going to have time to submit one proposal, sadly. I guess I’ll just have to cross fingers and toes on this one.

Now for the countdown to the announcement of who got accepted on April 11…

Pick What Up?

Monday, March 26th, 2007

From Something Awful’s Worst Pick Up Lines topic:

“I’m sine-squared, you’re cosine-squared, let’s get together and be 1″

So. Using. That. Why yes, I am single. Why do you ask?


Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Orange Sky

The sky’s not supposed to be that colour, right? Nice to see some rain, though, even if it is from some storms.

For a Sense of Perspective, Just Look Up

Friday, March 16th, 2007

There’s almost no ambient light around tonight, and it seems to be exceptionally clear. Looking up, the Milky Way stretches out like a beautiful set of tendrils and diaphanous sheets.

It’s eerie, beautiful, something I don’t look at enough, and really hard to describe. I hope we get out there someday and explore its wonder.

A Million Monkeys…

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Note to everyone posting on Mozilla bug 18574 (restore support for MNG animation format and JNG image format): it’s time to get over it. The Mozilla/Firefox drivers have once again made their decision (which I’m convinced is the wrong one made for the wrong reasons, but hey, nobody’s perfect), and I for one could do without the endless, circular arguments that have been filling up my inbox today. Take it to the MozillaZine topic in the URL field, for crying out loud.

Still, I think this does highlight a major flaw in the Firefox development structure: the wishes of users are generally completely ignored. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and won’t be the last. I just hope it never gets to the point where I drop the browser again and switch back to Konqueror.

(And yes, I’ve removed myself from the CC list. No, I don’t have the motivation to maintain my own fork of Firefox. Yes, that makes me a whiner. No, I don’t care. :)

See, Not Everything I Post is a Whinge About Uni

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

I’ve been awaiting the arrival of the Summer of Code mentoring organisations, which were due today. Sadly, there seem to have been some technical glitches at Google, as they first posted five or six mentoring organisations, then dropped them again and put up a message that they’ll be posted here soon.

Obviously I now have the time to actually take part in the Summer of Code (plus, the money would be really handy), but the catch is that I have to figure out what I actually want to attempt. The obvious thing to do is something PHP related, given my work background, but I don’t know if I’d actually be happier picking something a bit different as a change of pace. (I was, for a moment, interested by the idea from Richard Lynch on PHP-DEV to write a JIT compiler as a SoC project — then I attended my PLP lecture on compilers and thought better of it.)

Unfortunately, this is the point where I start second-guessing myself because I’m not visible enough within the open source community and hence feel as though it’s not worth applying for anything. I guess the challenge is to get over myself before the application deadline on March 24 and get at least a couple of applications in.

Anyway, I look forward to the list of organisations and project ideas going up. I’ll doubtless post which ones I apply for on here — provided I actually do apply!

Things That Annoy Me About Uni, 2007 Volume, Part 3

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Opera students who decide that a busy café is the perfect place to run a few scales. Note to self: start retaliating with Opera Singer by Cake.

(Bonus part 3.5: Completely incomprehensible lectures. This one wasn’t really the fault of the lecturer, but if neither he nor the author of the textbook can make the material understandable, then there’s clearly a flaw in the way it’s structured. I feel as though I knew more about lexers and parsers before I went to today’s lecture, which was supposed to be about just that.)

Things That Annoy Me About Uni, 2007 Volume, Part 2

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Thanks for the new common room, guys. Any chance we can get one with working air conditioning and without the annoying rhythmic banging noises emanating from the ceiling next?

Excuse Me, I Think I’ve Just Soiled Myself

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Apparently Portishead (aka the best band of the 90s, bar perhaps Radiohead — sorry Massive Attack, much as I love you) played two new songs a couple of weeks back. Who knows, maybe the new album will come out while I’m still in my twenties.

Also: Wandering Star from the same performance.