Older blog entries for andrei (starting at number 91)

Another year has come and gone. What transpired within this pretty much arbitrarily delimited period of time that matters to me? In no particular order:

  • Monte and I released Smarty template engine.
  • September 11 and subsequent events made me feel that living in this country is less secure that I previously thought.
  • I turned 25 and started feeling my priorities and outlook on life change. So many things that used to seem important now appear trivial and vice versa.
  • PHP-GTK was released.
  • Uzbekistan is suddenly USA's best friend and I don't have to explain where it's located
  • I made new friends (mostly local Russian students) and kept almost all the old ones.
  • Having lived in the same place for 9 years and worked in the same company (that I keep growing disillusioned with) for almost 6 years, it is only natural that I have been entertaining thoughts about making a change.
  • I still haven't met the one.

I am finishing the year unsubscribed from all the PHP mailing lists and keeping my distance from it and the related projects for a while because I am feeling somewhat tired and burned out, and all the bulls**t going on in the community doesn't help. I hope to return to it after some time off.

I hope.. no, I know the New Year will bring all of us something wonderful, something that makes your soul tingle just thinking about it. May all your dreams come true. All I wish for is peace, love, and understanding. The rest will naturally flow out of this foundation. Happy New Year!

rasmus, congratulations to you and Christine on the upcoming release.

On PHP-GTK front, I've implemented support for compiling extensions into shared libraries and loading them dynamically which will prove useful in a few areas. Alan checked in his gtkhtml extension, and I added gdk-pixbuf stuff after hacking the code generator repeatedly. The stuff Alan has been doing with PHP-GTK is amazing.

After a poke from ssb, I made the 'overload' PHP extension support proxied method calls via internal __call() method. Stig says he has cool and immediate need for this.

I'll be visiting Vegas next week, for the first time ever.

12 Nov 2001 (updated 12 Nov 2001 at 18:52 UTC) »
jimw, PHP-GTK docs are written in DocBook .xml and using xsltproc from libxslt project for chunking is very fast. Probably a very good idea to move from DSSSL to XSLT, plus it'll give us more people knowledgeable about these stylesheets.

My 25th birthday came and went. And this year I actually celebrated it properly, with a lively party and a big group of friends. Having something like that at my apartment would definitely result in a noise citation, so we held the party at my friend's basement. Great quantities of food and drinks were bought and prepared and the party started at about 8 pm with 20 people or so. The basement was outfitted with blinking lights, strobe lights, colored lights flashing to music, smoke machine and a cool laser light setup. Definitely better that most of the night clubs around here. So, an hour later everyone is grooving to the beat and consuming large quantities of alcohol. And more people showed up. With presents. Which prompted the presentation and toasting ceremony.

I ended up being driven home about 2 am feeling like I was in one of those full-body VR setups, because my body was trying to do something completely different from what I was telling it. Woke up the next morning just peachy though. Found out that people stayed around for an hour more. Then I looked at my camera and noticed that it had 22 frames shot, even though I put in a new film midway through through the party. Needless to say I haven't a slightest idea what might be on those frames. I guess the people at the photo lab might be in for a good time.

Pretty happy about my birthday though. Got some nice presents and also bought myself something too. A nice set of Infinity speakers, an Onkyo receiver, and a Toshiba DVD player. Finally, I'll be able to enjoy Police Academy in glorious surround sound. What, it's not available on DVD?! Aargh..

Not much news on PHP-GTK front. Markus did a talk at International PHP Conference on it, and it was well received. I will regroup and start on the build system soon.

rasmus, you mean if I want to explore artificial neural network and genetic algorithms for some DNA and protein analysis problem or weather pattern prediction, I'll find a way to hook it into PHP to make it "smarter"? <shudder>

Lately I've been getting an itch to work (probably from scratch) on a project that's separate from PHP and its subprojects (God knows I've been spending a lot of time on them). But when I try to figure out precisely what it is I want to do, I find that almost everything has already been written. Fifteen times over. Just take a look at Freshmeat. So, what's a developer to do? <preparing myself for an inevitable barrage of don't-start-new-projects-help-on-existing-ones replies>.

My workout routine has been going well. I take major portions of whey protein and 3 caps of L-Glutamine regularly, and in the last couple of weeks I started using Ripped Fuel before each workout to see how well it works. The feeling you get during and after weight lifting is great (all those endorphines), it charges you up for the whole day.

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..

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