Older blog entries for andrei (starting at number 85)

My brother has been discharged from the Uzbek army. Now I can breathe a bit easier.

jimw helped set up automated manual building for PHP-GTK, so now we have documentation being updated daily from CVS and also downloadable versions in different formats. Very nice.

After some discussion on the PHP-GTK development list, we came to the conclusion that it would be better to support dynamically loadable extensions for PHP-GTK, instead of linking them in statically. This became apparent after GtkScintilla and GtkSQPane support was added -- not everyone will need the whole caboodle compiled in. That means I have to redo the build system yet again, and this time really learn libtool. <sigh> I despaired to find a person who could help with that.

Have not got too much time lately to read, as I've been concentrating on tech editing a PHP book and writing a chapter for another one. The deadline is a week away, so hopefully after I will be able to take a short break and maybe even go on a short vacation somewhere. Canada sounds good, and that'll allow me to have my visa restamped in the passport.

Caught a trailer on TV for The One with Jet Li. It looked badass, like a Matrix on steroids. Comes out on my birthday too, and so does Monsters, Inc. - how nice. Reminds me, need to update my wishlist on Amazon.

A whole lot has happened since I last posted, and I am not talking about my personal life. What scares me the most right now is that my brother is in the army back in Uzbekistan and he's supposed to get out on October 20, but Uzbekistan, alas, has been appearing on the front pages again, which is usually not a good thing. So, I've been praying for his safety.

Finished The Gunslinger and almost finished House of Leaves. That last one has a reputation of a very scary book, and I can imagine someone being affected by it in that sense, but to me it just seemed very disjointed, due to the way it is written. But then again, the first first page in the book says This is not for you, so there.

Haven't had too much time for PHP-GTK lately, which is a shame as it's really taking off and people are starting to develop extensions for it independently. And I won't be able to present the talk on it at the PHP Conference in Germany due to stupid issues with my passport and visa. Argh. Oh well, there's plenty of other stuff to keep me busy.

I succumbed to easy thrills of pulp novels and read Atlantis Found by Clive Cussler. It's the kind of novel that requires turning off your brain for the duration, but it's exactly what I needed. He is not a bad author, but some portions are written with evident ham-fistedness. Also, while the novels of this type are bound to feature stereotypical archtypes (a dashing rogue, a trusty sidekick, a damsel in distress), this one doesn't really develop them into interesting characters. Well, at least the main ones are adequate. I understand that this book is only one of 18 based on the adventures of the same character, so I will probably make an attempt at another one in the series, and then decide whether to continue or not.

Also started reading Stephen King's The Gunslinger and Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves. That last one lives up to reputation as one scary book.

I must be one of the last few people who don't have a DVD player. I realized this after a friend wanted to come over with a movie to watch and after I asked if it was VHS or DVD, he looked at me strangely and said, "Funny."

And I also haven't turned my TV on in six weeks.

I am supposed to give a talk on PHP-GTK at the PHP International Conference in Frankfurt in November, but I'm waiting to see how soon my passport/visa situation gets resolved, because both of them expire at about the same time in November and I don't want to be denied entry back into the USA if I travel. The whole INS thing is really ticking me off -- so many rules and bureaucratic junk, I've been here for 9 years and I still have over a year to wait for my green card. And now I read that Mexican president wants Bush to make it easier for illegal immigrants to stay here, where is the justice I ask you?

The Russian group that I'm involved in is producing a weekly radio show that's broadcast on Sundays. Last couple of times I was sitting behind the controls and directing the show. Fun.

rasmus: Why is it that the only time I am ever able to do anything interesting is on planes? Because you spend most of your waking hours on the planes? :-)

I've been running into struct marshalling problems with PHP-GTK. It can't marshal GTK_TYPE_POINTER because there is no way to find out what kind of structure it points to, so each such signal has to be manually marshalled apparently. Hopefully, Gtk+ 2.0 will provide type definitions for all structs that can be passed to signal callbacks.

This weekend I get to be part of a greeting party for a group of new Russian students that are arriving to USA for the first time to attend UNL for a year. I will have to exert my corrupting influence right away, bwahahah..

Looks like I'll need to release next version of PHP-GTK pretty soon, because the GDK keysym constants were screwed up, plus I added support for GtkScintilla and fixed a few bugs. The php-gtk.so is growing in size, and I'm starting to wonder whether I should compile the php-gtk extensions as .so files themselves and have them loaded dynamically by the user. My only concern is how well does dlopen() work from an already dlopen'ed .so?

Turns out I'm reading three books at once: Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor, Stephen Baxter's Raft, and Greg Egan's Quarantine. The last two were bought from half.com from next to nothing -- I love shopping on the Internet.

I see that there is an effort to turn Perl and Python into .NET languages, but there is an issue that I don't quite understand -- how will the C-based extensions for those languages be called from the resulting MSIL code? Using PInvoke? Somehow else?

Released PHP-GTK 0.1. It should be pretty stable now. Now I have to come up with a creative project to use it on.. :-)

Saw Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes. Mediocre effort at best -- the weak and confusing storyline undermines everything. The sets, makeup, and FX are pretty good as expected, though.

This year's OSCon was my first one and I enjoyed it a lot. Of course it helped that it was in San Diego which I haven't visited before, but now that I have, I'm in love with it. Especially the weather. It'll have to go on my list of potential places to live. Anyway, I wish I could have gone to a few more very interesting talks but I had to spend some time hacking on my own presentation. Next year I'd better prepare it upfront.

Do not partake excessively of spirits on a night before work lest your tongue feel hairy in the morning and your head resonate with the movement of air molecules.

Decided to finish reading The Rise of Endymion. God, I just love that series. I need to buy all 4 books and re-read them again sometime.

After much discussion we are approaching a consensus on the namespaces implementation in PHP. That should be a good way to structure packages and PEAR especially.

Frank Kromann and I are giving a talk on PHP-GTK at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference next week. I can't hope to attend all the interesting talks that are scheduled but I will make sure to steal cool ideas from at least a couple. ;-) Oh, and I've never been to San Diego before and I'm going to have one day all to myself, so I need to figure out how to best spend it.

12 Jul 2001 (updated 12 Jul 2001 at 19:32 UTC) »

A month later, to a day, and it hasn't gone by aimlessly. I've successfully resurrected lxr.php.net and the daily changelog/news updater on the new PHP machine. The only remaning thorn is bonsai.php.net since it needs some help from qmail and I need some help from sascha due to my woefully inadequate knowledge of anything qmail related.

Inbetween work, job, employment, and profession, the new build system for PHP-GTK got finished and committed. It was shamelessly stolen from PHP itself and mutated a bit -- the end result is that PHP-GTK can support configurable extensions based on GtkObject, such as GtkHtml, gdk-pixbuf, and others. The only two currently bundled ones are (surprise) gtk+ and libglade.

Nedit has always been a good editor to me, so I contacted the current developers to inquire whether they've considered making it into a Gtk+ widget. No response so far -- either they are busily hacking away on it, or they are all in intensive care after having busted their guts laughing at my amusing email.

Ihe PHP-GTK manual structure was finished, thanks to the defs-to-docbook generator, and I've put up the initial version online at gtk.php.net/manual. There are only a couple of documented classes so far, but this should make it easier to get contributors to concentrate on the content instead of the XML tags.

Biking 25 miles every weekend has been an enjoyable affair, but still not as easy as I hoped it would be. The next goal is to do 40 miles by the end of the summer.

Every week I get an urge to make myself a simple homepage with a couple of tools to keep track of my booklist and other stuff, but somehow that urge keeps getting transmogrified into something else a couple of days later. Any tips on making myself do it?

Having joined language-dev list and hoping to impress everyone with my erudition, I now have to fess up my lack therof and ask, what are computed jumps?

On a less cheerful note, lately every day seems to be just like the last one. It's making me afraid that I'm starting to lose the imagination and energy necessary to make each day unique. I would guess that I'm not the only one who's run into this, so what's the scoop? How do you get out of the rut?

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

12 Jun 2001 (updated 12 Jun 2001 at 20:13 UTC) »

The machine hosting PHP CVS and mailing lists was taken offline after the attack on VA SourceForge since they were hosting it. So, now we have cvs.php.net on a temporary machine and are working on setting up a permanent replacement.

I took advantage of this to start restructuring the build system of PHP-GTK once again to more closely resemble that of PHP itself. With the new system, it'll be easy to write extensions to support different GtkObject derived libraries such as GtkHtml, Bonobo, and so on. Funny, extensions for a PHP extension.

We've also split out PHP-GTK docs into its own repository as it's getting quite large. I've written and James Moore modified a tool that generates DocBook files directly from the .defs files that describe GTK+ API, so all that needs to be done is just filling in the content -- piece of cake, right? James is doing further work on XSL stylesheets and the final result should be really nice.

I've also started work on new Python-like argument parsing routines for Zend API. It should now be quite easy for extension authors to parse parameters passed from PHP.

I was glad to have a chance to do some boating & fishing over the Memorial Day weekend. Beautiful views, nice weather, everything turned out just perfectly. I'll have to go back to South Dakota again some time.

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