Older blog entries for cjwatson (starting at number 4)

Like half the rest of the world, it seems, I went to see "The Lord of the Rings" last night. Half-expecting the magic to have been ripped out of it in the making of the film, I was very pleasantly surprised. It's not often I see something that could be put into the blockbuster category for sheer spectacle and still manage to capture the spirit of the book it was founded on so well.

I must re-read it over Christmas. How long do I have to wait for the second film again?

Today a crowd of us from work went skiing and snowboarding. I hadn't done either before, and opted for skiing. Wow. I know what people see in it now.

Not much to speak of on the free software front; seasonal shopping, parties, and general madness have been taking up most of my time. Several things are going to need doing early next year, mainly a new man-db release, and then I hope to throw myself back into Debian QA work. We've got to release woody soon, and it would be kind of nice to freeze for woody+1 not long afterwards so that we don't have another 18-month lag. I suppose I should go and work on debian-installer if I want that to happen.

Ian Jackson has some interesting ideas to help speed up the Debian release process, although I'm not yet sure if I agree that he's trying to solve the right problem. I suppose Debian has adapted to the testing distribution well enough, so it's possible to experiment, although we really need one quick release before it's politically possible to fiddle with the process any more.

Oh, Slashdot, not again.

I had an excellent weekend visiting my ex-girlfriend (as just a friend, before you ask!), and spent a while in the pub last night catching up with a net.acquaintance I hadn't seen in two years or so. We had the scariest conversation where we discovered we knew a lot of the same people through entirely independent routes, and he filled me in on loads of things that happened to me and that never made sense at the time. It's true, I'm convinced: there are only six different people in the world. They're just all very busy.

Somehow this all fitted in rather well with reading some more of The Illuminatus! Trilogy on the way back home on the train. I'm not sure yet whether I'm missing the point when I think bits of it make a lot of sense. If somebody tells you you should be paranoid about everyone, do you trust them?

We had a small Debian UK meeting last night. Rather quiet - just a few people who were coming up to Cambridge for university interviews, the usual Cambridge geek crew, and a few others who could make it here on short notice. Still, there were some people I hadn't met before who with any luck will get more involved in the future.

Ripped out large chunks of man's logic and started replacing it with code that doesn't date from 1994 and that might actually be maintainable (then again, that's pretty much the story of my work on man so far). All this so that case-insensitive lookups will work.

My bug count seems to be climbing again, as I can't make any more changes to stuff in Debian base until Anthony pushes the magic button to branch off that bit of woody. I'm still not fully convinced that I understand how the branching is going to work with the new staged freeze, but I suppose it should be OK as long as nobody screws with shared library dependencies in unstable/base after the branch.

Well, I was less drunk, at least to the extent that I remember how I got home. :)

Went through a bunch of LDP documents this morning and got the free count up even more than I'd hoped. I think that if we give the benefit of the doubt to various documents we can have over 75% of the HOWTOs in main. The situation looks a lot brighter than it did a couple of days ago.

I spent most of last night and today getting flamed on Slashdot over the news that a lot of the LDP documents aren't DFSG-free and so the Debian doc-linux package, which I maintain, will have to be split into main and non-free portions. Naturally all the Slashmonkeys jumped on this, probably not helped by the exaggeration of the deadlines involved in the story itself. I've given up wasting my time trying to correct people's misconceptions and plain lies - the code is going to be enough work as it is.

On the upside, licensing debacles like this usually cause a few more people to pick free licences. And it actually turns out that the problem isn't as bad as we first thought it was: newer versions of the LDPL are free, which probably puts another 15% or so of the HOWTO collection into main. Work progresses on trying to decide what goes where.

We have a Christmas party at work (paid work, that is) tonight. Wonder if I'll be any less drunk than I was by the end of last year's?

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