26 Nov 2003 Ankh   » (Master)

Just got back from a week in Japan for W3C AC meetings. Very tired. My laptop died on the 2nd day there; back in Toronto it took an hour and a half for an engineer to fix it. A fuse had blown. It's taking more than an hour and a half for me to recover from the 26 hours of travel from Shin Yokahoma to Toronto, though. Well, OK, 26 hours from when I got up to get breakfrast to when I collapsed in a heap at home, attended by two anxious cats!

A couple of people asked me, incredulously, what did you do in meetings all day without a laptop? and part of me thinks there's something wrong with this picture. First, along came powerpoint presentations (or their HTML slidemaker equivalent) and the visual aid, that once added interest and delight, was reduced to an absurd summary to help remove the need to communciate clearly. Then people realised that they didn't need to listen to the speaker. And now it's hard to speak and be heard, because people expect to be able to view porn or play Ages of Corruption or some other game on their laptops, or read email and chat on IRC and buy socks on eBay.

On the other hand, in the audience, I wrote a fairly detailed outline for a novel, and practiced my calligraphy.

wspace, you're missing the point. The point of XML is not that it's more or less ugly than indented text, it's that I don'thave to parse it, it's that every XML-aware tool can already read it. Consider using XML Query to find all conf entries with timeout < 10:

/host[timeout < 10]

That's more succinct than the corresponding perl, and this is for a format with only one level of nesting and no structure in individual values.

Why would you want humans to edit configuration files anyway?

Thomasvs, for getting rid of stuff, one approach is to go without for a while. I admit it doesn't work for me very well, though. Stuff is a form of security, it shows I'm real.

Exercise: obtain a pair of pyjamas or a track suit or a pair of shorts and a plain tee-shirt (and if you live in the US or Canada, a pair of flip-flops); also obtain a toothbrush and toothpaste, a blank pad of sketch or writing paper and a pen. Wear (only) the items you just purchased, and carry the others in the plastic carrier bag they came in, and take public transport to a hotel. Stay there for a week, writing about your feelings. If possible, ask for a hotel room without a television, or unplug it.

When you return, ask yourself which of the items you own you wanted or needed during that week, and why.

As I said, this tends not to work for me, partly because on my return I get too embroiled in eeryday life to do an actual purge.

MichaelCrawford, like you, I emigrated to Canada, although from the UK not from the US. When I became a Canadian citizen it was because I felt (and feel) that I should contribute more to my surroundings. But if you move to Canada, do it because of a love of Canada, not only because of a hatred or fear of what the US has become. If you do decide you like it here, I'm sure you'll be very welcome :-)

My husband is in the process of becoming a landed immigrant so he can join me here in Toronto.

Latest blog entries     Older blog entries

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!