Older blog entries for cwinters (starting at number 84)

Slogging along with this new stuff. I both love and hate this time -- lots of new things to chew on and make more sense of the world, but I'm not getting anything done. It'll pass, but it's frustrating.

Setup a jabber server today so I (using gabber) can reliably talk to people on msn messenger (work). Very cool stuff -- relatively easy setup, and it pretty much just works. Except...the aim gateway works only for about 5 minutes, andthen I get a nice message from the AOL IM server saying that I'm using an unsupported client so they're booting me. Bastards.

Wrestled with reading server config info from a childinit handler in mod_perl for way too long today, on my own time. blech.

These JBoss folks are kicking ass and taking names. Sweet.

Figured out that netbeans <-> xemacs thing - tres cool.

Started the new (old) job today. It looks like I'll actually be creating non-web graphical interfaces, which is probably a good thing. The Java part of my brain is slowly waking up, and it looks like we'll be moving from JBuilder to Netbeans as a development platform. Netbeans is pretty massive (tho modular), and it seems that there's a way to have it use xemacs as an editor, but I wasn't quite able to get that to work. (Very beta.) I like the way it uses virtual filesystems, and the IDE itself is pretty nifty, altho I definitely need some more memory. (A few mhz wouldn't hurt, either...)

I was extremely surprised to see that Microsoft released a JDBC driver for MS SQL Server. I know it's based in large part on the driver from Merant, but I'd previously filed this in the 'when pigs fly' category.

It's very strange coming back to this place and going over my old code to remember what's what. Fortunately I haven't been cursing myself too much :-) And everyone has been very warm in welcoming me back.

I wonder: if things go well over the next few months, can I finagle a cool Mac to work and play with OS X?

Total non-hacking day yesterday. It was my wife's 30th birthday (she trails me by almost two years...) and we also bought a new (used) car. (A 1999 Saturn SC2) We've been researching and looking around for quite some time, and because I've been working 1.5 jobs recently we had money for a good down payment. So that was fun, and surprisingly painless, too.

I'm going back to my previous job starting next Monday. Hopefully I won't be changing jobs again for quite some time. I'm going over to a past-and-future co-worker's house later for a fried food fest and the Steelers game. (We'll be going to the gym beforehand to stave off any artery hardening...)

Also figured out how to painlessly adapt SPOPS to use multiple-field primary keys. (They should be outlawed in new apps, but it's useful to use legacy datastores.) This should be in the next release.

I'm really looking forward to a sane work situation again.

Looks like I'll be getting back into Java again. And maybe a stable job, too. (Imagine that.) More later...

Someone sent me this link yesterday and asked if it was me. My wife and I busted our collective guts laughing about it. I think I'm going to give people that link instead of my website from now on :-)

I've been talking with a guy about developing a plugin manager and interface for lots of stuff concerning web applications. And we'd gotten to the point of talking where I had to code something up, so despite all this other stuff I have to do I'm trying to develop a first draft of it. It will be extremely useful if we get it off the ground.

I'm a little hesitant to get into this new P5EE stuff because it will be such a timesuck, and I'm not good at articulating what I mean sometimes with people I don't know. But I'm in a pretty good position to discuss a lot of these issues because I've written web application and data persistence frameworks in Perl and also used J2EE as more than a servlet monkey. (And will probably be using J2EE again very soon...)

Also, SPOPS 0.52 released -- bugfixes and relatively small enhancements. Trying to get these things out more quickly now, with fewer big changes so there are no issues about upgrading.

One of the funniest spam subjects I've seen in a long time: Avoid Gaining Wight

I realize I'm probably tempting fate by releasing new versions of both OpenInteract and SPOPS at 2 in the morning. But so it goes: 1.3 (tons of cool stuff) and 0.50 (mostly bugfixes + enhancements) are on the street.

Built a relatively small website the other day using (gasp!) server-side includes. Refreshing to go back to the extremely short iteration cycles of that type of development, even though I have no patience for mucking with HTML anymore.

Also connecting with the developer of OpenThought, another Perl webapp server. But it approaches things very differently from OpenInteract -- lots of Javascript as it tries to be more of a traditional application. Interesting.

Thing is, he's got many of the same needs as all the other 11 million webapp servers: authentication, data abstraction, sessions.... And hey, why not create a layer that works with everything? So we're hashing that out over email right now. He came to my talk at YAPC in June (and even got one of the t-shirts!). And he's not far away (relatively: probably 3-4 hours driving), so it might be cool as this thing progresses to get together .

Still trying to think of a name for the project. I suck at that.

Happy palindrome day

Found out that a bookstore colleague has lung cancer and six months to live, if she's lucky. And her cat of 17 years died the day before she found out. Unfair isn't the word. Hacking seems so empty sometimes.

Blah blah blah. Uncertain job situation looms -- go to work for a place that's not as socially fun and out in the suburbs (driving to work a necessity) but where I can work on Perl and probably extend OpenInteract and SPOPS on a regular basis. Or work at $OLDCOMPANY doing J2EE and design work with fun people in a location (downtown) easily accessible by public transportation. Stability issues count: $OLDCOMPANY is pretty stable for 6-9 months, but after that is unknown. The other place has been around for a while (~20 years) and does state government work so it won't be going anywhere.

I realize this isn't such a bad situation to be in -- at least I have a choice -- but I'm getting tired of bouncing around, and I want to try and keep working on OpenInteract AMAP but still remain sane. Like I said: blah blah blah.

Finally got wireless working. Someone had posted a patch to get Ad-Hoc working on Prism2 cards with the Linux-WLAN 0.1.9 release. Compiled it in, worked great. So now the gateway has two cabled interfaces (external and internal) and a wireless internal interface. A few modifications to the iptables script and everything is good to go. I should write up this process so nobody else has such pain with these Linksys cards.

Did a ton of work over the last five days to make building typical apps in OpenInteract a total piece of cake. Part of this was building a common file of Template Toolkit widgets and making it available to all templates processed. But this visibly (!!) diminished performance, which was puzzling because it should have only parsed/compiled the common library once. Looking back into the custom TT provider in OI I found that it wasn't doing any caching or compiling. Doh! A few modifications and it's now happy as a clam.

Building apps with this new system is excellent -- define the object, define your templates and some configuration stuff and you've basically got a search form, object searching (including on attributes in other tables), object display, editing and removal. Just like that. And I've got an impossible deadline to test it out on. Always a good combination....

We also adopted a new cat on Friday from the shelter. This makes three cats to two people in the house, so it's officially a cat house now. She's lovely, but she seems to drool a lot (!) when she's happy. Hopefully not a symptom of anything else, because we've grown close to her very quickly.

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