So apparently jamesh and sad share a birthday. Still I know no-one with mine. The closest person is Dick, who, fortunately lives in the same town, so joint celebrations are easy. And JennV shares one with my sister, but they live about as far away as sad and jamesh.
I'm writing here because I think putting Advogato-related thoughts in my diary will confuse the people who read that. Oh dear, two diaries. How ostentious.
The whole certification thing: loads of people have certified me, and I feel a bit rotten not certifying them back. My problem is that much of the certification looks to me like I would have to make judgements about things like -- well, code. Yeah, right. I could probably decide based on other things: many of the people here are people who have spent time and effort fixing bugs, explaining things (everything from fonts to find syntax) or rescuing me from near-disaster at very short notice from mailing list woes, DocBook travails, and CVS horrors. That's certainly something I can comment on :)
"anti-"certification: yuk. If you don't think someone does anything positive, then don't certify them, or certify them as Observer. I've seen loads of comments about the colour ranges: reading Advogato mostly with Lynx, I have managed to miss that, so my impressions of people are based on the info they provide about themselves, the links to their projects (wow, there's some cool ones about) and what they write. It's fun like that. If ever the day comes when diaries are too many and voluminous to read all of them, I won't be selecting on the basis of certification anyway. Like Ankh, I'd want some kind of random element in addition to the list of diaries I read regularly. I think I'm the one who first mentioned the connection with David Brin's "Earth" book to him (brilliant book: read it!) after seeing his mention of a "buggy algorithm".
roguemtl's article: Nice to hear from the other side. Some of the comments refer to saying thank-you being enough. It's quite true. There are plenty of people who don't reply to feedback, and plenty who reply with, well, fairly off-hand comments that make me disinclined to approach them again. But there are also dozens and dozens of people who say thanks if you contact them about their program, (even if the comments are rubbish!) and it really does make a difference. I'm not alone in this. I get email from people who foolishly think I can help with something and I talk to people at shows, and I see and hear "I did tell them, but I heard nothing back, so I stopped using it/am switching to the rivals" quite a bit. And as for seeing your name up in lights: I dunno. I don't entirely subscribe to the ego-inflation thing that esr wrote about. The first time I saw myself being referred to as having fixed something (in a ChangeLog after I sent some corrections to a manual), I was actually embarrassed, because it was in there with all the people who Made It Work and stopped it core-dumping and so on. But seeing "fixing Telsa's weirdo bug" in CVS commits is rather... well. Yes. That's fun.
I have heard that previewing can do dangerous things to HTML tags, but here's hoping it all survives...
[Edited quite some time later to remove dead links: if it's going to get archived, they had better go]