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.

Thanks for reading!

Archive for July, 2009


Monday, July 27th, 2009

As I’ve mentioned a few times in the past, this blog is available over IPv6 as well as IPv4. Inspired by Dan Siemon, I thought I’d have a quick dig through my HTTP access logs and see how many requests come in over IPv6.

Type Unique IPs
IPv4 13,514 98.8%
IPv6 165 1.2%
Total 13,679 100%

That’s actually a bit more than I expected, since at best only four of the unique IPv6 IPs can be attributed to me. I wouldn’t say that IPv6 has hit the mainstream yet, but even 1% of traffic’s an interesting result.

On the overuse of parentheticals and their applications to high school reunions

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Next weekend is my eleventh high school reunion. If it seems like an odd number for such a thing, well, there was a tenth last year, and presumably it went so well that they decided an eleventh was in order. Honestly, I did wonder briefly if it was just a reflection on the quality of our mathematics department. I didn’t go last year (in spite of some cajoling from one of my then-new friends, who basically suggested that I take her to prove… something that I wasn’t entirely clear on at the time, but which evidently would have been in the spirit of fuck you, I’m an anteater — suffice it to say that it only really started making sense once I found out more about her school experience), and I’m not going this year.

Oddly enough, I’ve had plans for next weekend since the start of the year, so I breathed a bit of a sigh of relief when the reunion was plonked on the same weekend; I mean, it saved an awkward excuse to cover not being very interested in seeing pretty much anyone from my high school. Broadly speaking, the (single digit figure of) people I want to be in touch with I’m still in touch with, with only one or two exceptions.

Still, it got me thinking back. I mean, what conversations would I realistically have given the shared experiences feel like a lifetime ago? Hell, I’m a pretty different person these days to the guy I was in 1998. Conversations? They’d be one liners at best; to whit:

  • The bully: So, hey, how about that ear thing you tried once outside science class? Did you ever stop breathing through your mouth?
  • The sort of friend of convenience I didn’t bother keeping in touch with: Yeah, sorry about the whole not calling thing. For, like, eleven years. How ’bout them Eagles?
  • The druggie (hell, which one?): Did you end up killing all your brain cells, or did you get lucky like me and manage to wise up before that point?
  • Most perilously of all, the first serious crush: Shit, you were all I wanted when I was thirteen. Subconsciously, I still compare every partner to you, no matter how unattainable you are living there almost fifteen years in the past (because really, I can only think about how you were then; I know nothing about you now). So, uh… how’s the food?

How the hell do you respond to any of that? And presumably I’d be getting similarly awkward conversational gambits my way (heard you got kicked out of a university less than twelve months out of high school — way to go, man!) which I’d have equally little interest in engaging with.

Maybe I’ll have more perspective in time for the twentieth. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my lost weekend next week with my friends.

Unordered lists are fun

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Additions to my list of things I shouldn’t do while feeling emo and heartachy:

  • Buy music
  • Choose clothes to wear from my extensive collection of XKCD shirts
  • Prepare any sort of work presentation that needs to be upbeat and cheery
  • Read Questionable Content‘s archives

Whoa. I might just add don’t read Webcomics to that.

Let me fire up the DeLorean

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Found and reported a couple of PHP 5.3 bugs yesterday. That isn’t such a surprise; it’s a new release, after all, and we’re currently in the midst of developing code for the first time against 5.3 here at work. One of them is a crasher, but an obscure one reliant on the new-in-5.3 INI_SCANNER_RAW mode in parse_ini_file and a rather odd configuration file, so as these things go, it’s pretty minor, and scottmac has jumped on it very promptly indeed (thanks!). The response from Jani was interesting, though:

Thanks for not reporting this before release..

Now, Jani does a tremendous amount of work triaging PHP bugs and I — and every other PHP developer (particularly those of us who does this for a living) — owe him a huge debt for that. But frankly, I resent the implication that I’ve somehow sat on a crasher since before 5.3.0 was released and only submitted it now as some sort of weird vendetta against the PHP internals team. Funnily enough, I only found it while I was reducing the other, more trivial bug down to a minimal test case.

I get far worse things implied in my direction when I’m out on a Saturday night in Northbridge, so really, I’m not that fussed. (I’m obviously a bit fussed, though, since I’m writing this.) I do wonder how somebody new to the PHP community would feel, though — my guess is that you could forget about future bug reports in some cases, and that just isn’t a win for anyone.