Older blog entries for decklin (starting at number 40)

Just a few things I forgot...

Whoo! Go Debian! Potato is stable!

Yesterday Chris Marigold from one of my favorite bands, Blu Mar Ten, showed up on the forwardbound list again. He had a list of a dozen tunes they had in the pipe, that I'm sure aren't coming out anytime soon, because of major stupidity at a certain record label (if you know BMT you know who they are). It occurred to me that the Performer's Protocol would do hell of a lot better job here. Given that BMT vs Aretha and BMT vs Chaka are 'bootlegs', they're not going to get a proper release in the first place, so I figure offering him some money as a thanks for BMT vs Erykah (one of the few things I couldn't buy on CD) couldn't hurt. Maybe even influence him a bit about the non-remix tracks...

On a completely unrelated note, I hate it when people are too stupid to give up.

There's something I need to look at today for aewm... I forget what it is... hmm, early signs of Alzheimer's. azz, thanks for the project page. :-)

Writing this whilst over at the grandparents' looking after the dogs. It's eerily quiet. Living alone is going to suck. What bothers me is that I probably wouldn't care if i had net access right now. I need to listen to Ryan. Probably the most of anyone here...

Finally got around to dealing with azz's MWM hints patch -- I never particularly liked them, but I can deal with having if there and #ifdefed out. Having found another polish item in fixing that, I think I can get the next release out the door.

A really funny thing happened while azz and I were working it out -- we both did almost identical patches for rxvt, and sent them to each other at the same time. Of course, mine used override-redirect and his used MWM_something_or_other_no_border_please_etc, but this isn't too surprising if you know our respective personal tastes on the matter. Hopefully upstream will include them both and users will have the option.

Transparency in rxvt and derivatives is still broken and evil, but I'm not losing sleep over it.

I tidy-ified and XHTML-ified my web pages, and in doing so, I somehow changed my stylesheet so that it doesn't break Navigator 4.x completely anymore. I'm so bummed. I remember when it completely brought down the browser on a Windows system... ;-) At any rate, I highly reccomend tidy.

Decided I am a bumbling idiot that a certain newsgroup shouldn't have to skip over for a while. I know there's one or two of you here... I suppose I'll think about it again when school (and thus work at the STA) starts up again.

As if I needed further proof of having caught the Perl bug, I spent from 4 to 5 AM rewriting a perfectly good C program in Perl. I think it's because I wanted an excuse to fork off my revision, seeing as the author had seen fit to putting in all sorts of bloaty features since then.

Speaking of bloat, XText in Gnapster -- yuck. I'm only wary of it because it comes from XChat, and XChat is leaking memory like crazy as we speak. There are no good IRC clients... and I've become horribly addicted to tabs and Perl scripting. And I suppose I don't like the fact that it was put in before a way to fix the palette back to normal black-on-white was written. However, I am grateful that 1.3.11 is out at all. I sent a teensy patch to jasta back in the 1.3.10 days and I guess it got lost in the deluge of bugmail he surely gets[1]. Now that I'm sonewhat up to date with him, I can expand it and tweak every little UI thing that fits in same category. It's too bad there's no CVS, but I imagine that anything napster-related would attract a bunch of lusers who think they should expect CVS code to always work perfectly and that the author of course has time to answer all their complaints.

And with that, cue a luser rant... Burning off some much-unneeded steam in a good old classic flamewar. It's funny (but not really, I guess) how most people think they are so special that the rules for everyone else don't apply to them. Getting threats of action against ``my ISP'' for something as simple as replying to an insult is funny as hell, especially considering what the non-ISP entity in question actually is.

I am an evil pseudoromantic sap, and I still can't write decently.

Finally got to pinpointing (more like sledgehammerpointing) where the problem that's causing newer 2.[34].x kernels not to boot on my cra^Wlaptop. I've got about half of patch-2.3.11 to look through for the culprit, and sent a hopefully-not-too-clueless request for help narrowing it down further to l-k. I hope everyone isn't too completely locked onto doing 2.4.0-test or 2.2 work.

Taking pills makes me sick. It can't be what's in them, because they can't possibly dissolve that quickly. It has to be the act of swallowing. I think it's psychosomatic.

Pet peeve: CD-ROM drives that skip. I wouldn't even be using this one if my Discman wasn't horked. *sigh*...

[1] Eep, I just used ``bugmail'' as a generic, non-Bugzilla word. I'm getting enough of the real thing to necessitate a dedicated mailbox now, and I'm not even the one doing the fixing... :-)

jlbec: oh dear, don't use that.

if /bin/foo -bar; then

Never involve test unless you really must...

The coconuts problem in almost 80 chars:

perl -le'N:for(0..9999){$x=5*$_+1;for(1..5){$x=int($x*5/4+1);next N if$x%5!=1;}print$x;}'

I'm sure this can be improved, as I'm not much of a golfer (search Deja...), but it's still wonderfully evil. Note that the lower bound for where I have placed 9999 is good old familiar 1024... since bwtaylor has obviously taken a much more mathematical approach to the solution, perhaps he can enlighten us here. (And yes, I do have a non-obfuscated version of the above.)

Haven't gotten anywhere on the 12 coins problem. I once read a Piers Anthony book in which this puzzle played a semi-important part, so I'm sure the solution is rolling about in my subconscious somewhere.

If anyone wishes, I can type up the oracle problem...

Whee! My Debian account has finally been created. Time to get through the whole process: 6 weeks exactly. Not bad.

Hacked muddleftpd a bit. In doing so, I observed two things:

  1. All the bugs I fixed were C-ish things, such as not zero-terminating a buffer, dealing with endianness yourself, etc.
  2. Making fixes was made much harder due to the fact that almost every library function was wrapped in something that was supposed to prevent this. These wrappers are, of course, subtly different from the thousands of others like them that have been written from scratch.

Which says something to me about software in general... I think that problems which would fall under (1) are not inherent problems with C; they are symptomatic of poorly understanding and applying the C idiom (not to mention poorly applying the language itself when there's no need for it). Using a plethora of C-with-a-C++-accent constructs is indicative of the programmer thinking C doesn't have an idiom, which is just not true.

Continuing the language thread... For the past few days I have subscribed myself to perl6-language. The threads flying around there are some of the most interesting stuff I've read recently. If you can't deal with another hundred or more mailing list messages per day, take an hour or two and browse the RFCs.

I can see it now, the '=>' operator will be called cons-ing. And the new keword for accessing a pair will be CAR and CDR...
-- Chaim Frenkel (tongue in cheek) to Damian Conway

What [...] parodies everything in the world, yet leaves you feeling good about the world?
-- TorgoX, #perl

So many CS books to read, so little time... Reminder to self: do something about that MWM-hints patch, and read the tidy docs...

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Sound of the moment: Chronic, Hardleaders, Reinforced. yum.

graydon: Thanks for restoring some modicum of sanity to the articles. ;-)

gjb: Please just make new diary entries.

<purl> Teach a man to fish and he may feed himself. Give a man a fish and he'll ask you if you could please cook it for him while you're at it.


I am depressed. It's because of this.

lilo: Of course, they've already sued the folks writing Pan. Everyone go read the 07-26 news item... ;-) Now, let's see if I can get myself in trouble:

perl -wne 'print unpack "u", $_;'

Lookit that! It's illegal!!!! No one would say that except evil pirate communists!!!

Not much coding happening. Instead of continuing work on my Mozilla package, I migrated the styles to a skin for the included packages. Once that's stable I will start thinking about the package again.

Rant time... Some weeks ago I sent a rewrite to the author of a perl script which used LWP. Last week, I see it's been updated with the major item being ``No longer depends on LWP.'' It's not really his fault; he just applied a patch from someone else and I doubt he knows better. But it really pisses me off that someone would rather spend 30 minutes writing and debugging their own code rather than 30 seconds installing LWP. Common modules are there for a reason. Newbies on clpm whine all the time, ``but I can't install LWP on that machine!!'', as if it's our fault. What exactly is the incentive for sysadmins to provide a complete, non-borken Perl installation if all the lusers just paste in cargo-cult buggy reimplementations of LWP::Simple?

Frobbing about with XShape* some more. I noticed there was a totally unrelated shape bug and fixed that... Need to review the implementation though.

Interestingly, GTK seems to grab the mouse when you double-click on a CList. So if you have a callback that segfaults, and you run the program under a debugger, your WM becomes useless. Well, at least twm does; that's all I tried to make sure it wasn't my fault. (in fact, that's all I ever run twm for, but it's quite useful... ;-)) The whole grabbing mechanism in X bothers me. It's too easy for bad code to muck up your whole session. There should be some way for Xlib to back out upon receiving a SIGSEGV or similar... I need to think about what the problems in implementing this would have been, because it's impossible that someone just forgot about it.

deekayen: So I wouldn't usually bring up politics, but... I had to complain to a US Senator today for forging an Approved: header (hi Kalev) and suggesting that people attach an image to all their emails/postings. Bleh. It's a shame as I'm all for Nader... If this wasn't something that mattered to me I'd have already scored a point against whatever cause he was supporting.

Iain: Hey, someone else found RMF. No, I'm not registered, but it seems that one can't go about 6 hours without someone mentioning it in my favorite IRC channel.

Skip This department: I still can't lie. Another 75 milligrams...

I think it was here that someone mentioned Linus's posting about symlinks -- The web archives updated today, so I was able to read it. I was glad to find out I've been doing exactly what Linus has for some time now ;-)

Still waiting for debian-devel archives to be pushed to the web site, because I lost (itchy delete finger) the email about the new keyserver, and I want to know what's going on with that when I sent my key to key-maint. If a fellow Debianer reads this, It'd be appreciated if you could bounce it to me. [Update 11:30 AM: thanks to brother for sending it, you can ignore this request now.]

Got up reeeealy early (parents are gone, taking care of the puppy) and ran into my AM (who lives in .au) on #debian.

Packaged dagrab and aewm for debian, with many more minor cleanups in aewm to facilitate packaging. Wrote one man page so far, 2 to go. Need to ITP today. Todo before I release this one is to fix the shaped window handling as per azz's suggestion.

Also, did a small patch for xchat to make script loading better. Perl makes it really easy to write poorly styled code, and even I am guilty of this...

[Update 11:30 AM: Apparently people who don't know me (a radio show I e-mailed) have trouble guessing my gender from my name. I'm male... I'm curious as to whether anyone here was wondering.]

[and some more... I think something should be done about /person, it's over 700kb. Whine whine whine gimme search etc. ;-)]

Argh. I am extremely pissed. You'd think my license is clear enough:

Copyright (c) 1998-2000 Decklin Foster. All rights reserved.


This program is free software. You are granted permission, free of charge, to copy this program, modify it, and distribute/publish/sell copies of it, as long as this license is not modified or removed from the copyright notice. You may also use parts of this program's code in your own software, if you agree to distribute it under this license.

Nowhere in there does it say, ``You can take this code, modify part of it, strip out the license, replace it with the GPL, and credit yourself.'' Please understand that I'm not biased against the GPL -- it could have been any other license.

And this person is distributing a binary and a Star Wars .jpg in the tarball. And the modified portion of the source has been clumped together into one horribly formatted file.

And I was not even contacted once.


I feel dirty. No, I'm not telling you. It involves Perl.

jschauma: That's hilarious. I found a mirror of the auction page if anyone is interested.

Heather just posted the greatest thing to linux-elitists.

We're off to build the lizard, the wonderful lizard of Moz...

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