Older blog entries for djm (starting at number 11)

dtucker: I care about password expiry, just not this week. BTW the IXUS v3 is very cool - mine is 1 month old today :)

bjf: The John Safran(sp?) video is hilarious, especially the part where they stake out Ray Martin (awful Australian pseudo-journalist) and go through his trash - mirroring the reprehensible pop-journalism tactics that he has employed many times. I was told that Ray used his connections to have the video banned. As for getting a copy, ask a media studies student.

GPS: I bought a rs-232 GPS from deluo.com along with a couple of USB->rs-232 adapters that are known to work with OpenBSD. So far I have some cool "ticker-timer" plots of my tracks through the city of Melbourne using some python code and gnuplot.

Unfortunately there seems to be few freely available maps of Melbourne - most of the data is proprietary, and the stuff that is free is of more interest to geoscientists than to me.

wainstead: Re: Applescript. Wow - I'd love to see a similar level of automation possible with one of the free unix desktops. I suspect that it would be somewhat difficult to implement something really powerful, because of X11's separation of WM, toolkit and app.

Apart from the power that such a system would bring, I can think of another really compelling reason to add a standard scripting capability to X11 desktops: testcases. A decent scripting language would make automated GUI app testing very simple. (Not that I know anything about GUI app design...)

Is this even on the radar of the desktop developers?

Life
Life has been good. One week ago I finished a Masters degree (business) and the relief from responsibility is palpable. I have had time to read, watch videos, go out to the cinema and work a bit on the house. Lovely.
Python
I have just started playing with Python, after a couple of years of almost-but-not-quite motivation. It is quite a nice language which lends itself to a more disciplined mode of work than, say, perl. Unfortunately I suspect that it will take a while to get used to all its nuances and idioms. I expect that this will become my language of choice for short non-text-munching programs and especially for GUI tools. I expeted that the whole "whitespace as syntactic element" was going to annoy me no end, but I hardly noticed it at all.
PyGame
The reason I have started playing with Python. Wow. This library is really well structued and the whole of Python+SDL is much more than the sum of the parts. My stupid "blast the politician" game is fully functional with graphics, sound and joystick support in 250 lines of code. Still trying to figure out how much of the really cool sprite architecture works when using OpenGL though.
Silly Desktop
I am starting to get frustrated with Metacity; it has some really stupid behaviors and the developers seem more intent on pleasing mythical "real users" than people who submit bug reports backed up with patches. Worse, there is no obvious knob to turn to switch window managers to something less patriarchal.
softflowd
I posted the code to a relatively niche project of mine and was suprised to receive three sets of patches in the first week. More scary was that someone else has already built pretty much the same thing, right down to the commandline options. Theirs is a weird "GPL but you have to pay us first" licensing approach, so I don't feel like I have wasted my time.
27 Oct 2002 (updated 27 Oct 2002 at 11:40 UTC) »

Lots of trolls on Advotgato now. Thanks raph for allowing me to ignore them easily!

mbp:
Unfortunately John Howard represents exactly the opposite: doctrine without decency. Remember that this is the man who installed a former head of a church as Australian head of state - I can't imagine a more ridiculous action in such a multicultural society

A good quote I noticed in the local paper today:

"Terrorism is not a substitute for war, but a preparative. The purpose of instilling terror is to force a polarisation of conflict by making neutrality an impossibility, so that armed confrontation becomes inevitable." - Germaine Greer, "The awful day Australia stopped being everyone's best mate", The Melbourne Age, 2002/10/21

I have been using Redhat 8.0 for a couple of weeks and the "(null)" beta for a few weeks before that. I am very impressed with the usability of the desktop, but less impressed with its stability. gnome-terminal leaks memory like a pig, forcing me back to xterm. X tends to lock up if left in a GL screensaver too long.

The integration of widget sets is sweet and the font AA is very nice. The only blemish on this is the inconsistency and ugliness of OpenOffice (which is otherwise a brilliant product) - I wish Sun had bit the bullet and ported it to Gtk.

By the 8.2 release, I would find it difficult to argue in favour of spending AUD$1000 on MS Windows and Office for a business desktop.

OpenSSH: I think that the recent release went very well. Anyone who did not have their head in the sand knew and had an opportunity to close the vulnerability. A few people are complaining that Theo "cried wolf" in not just recommending that the offending feature be disabled. Perhaps they would feel differently if it was a feature that mattered to them (as it matters to the people who use it)? A typically selfish attitude to take.

Quoth jfleck:

The problem, as many of the recent whiners on Advogato do not seem to grasp, is that free software is about doing something. It's not about complaining about what other people do.

This is so true, but the problem isn't limited to Advogato. It seems that Free Software has come to mean "Free to complain, abuse and belittle developers' contributions".

Perhaps people assume that everyone hacking on Free Software is paid to do so. Perhaps they don't stop to think that their actions demotivate individuals who frequently try to squeeze Free Software development time in around very busy work and personal schedules.

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