Older blog entries for mattbradshaw (starting at number 30)

currently enjoying (grin) the pleasures of a nasty stomach flu... not fun. so no work/school for me today. maybe i can get some hacking done in between sleep. i also want to clean out some email as i'm still behind.

re. emk's plans to augment his xml-rpc library with ssl capabilities -- this is a great thing, but you can achieve the same functionality *right now* by simply wrapping all of your communications with stunnel. this might work for people as an *interim* solution. it's working for me, at least, and it is the path that i assume redhat is walking right now as well. i could be wrong on that guess, though.

i apologize in advance for the extremely lengthy entry... guess there's lots on my mind or something. maybe even some of it is a bit interesting...

i have to admit that i was tremendously amused by Iain 's desire to be stalked by a normal and attractive person. :)

dave winer describes his recent emancipation from cable tv. man, do i ever agree that tv is such an appealing waste of time. i can't imagine how much more productive i would be if it weren't for cable... need to do something about this! no more veg-ing! no more veg-ing!

in other news, i finally got my (wonderful) christmas present from my (wonderful) sister in the mail today. double cd of famous jazz performances and its pretty darned sweet. i forgot how much i enjoyed listening charles mingus. also included are miles davis, herbie hancock, t. monk... ahh, this is my soundtrack for the next year.

now that i've been (obsessively) reading a lot of the userland folk's weblogs, i came to the point yesterday where i really wanted to try out dave winer's outliner, radio userland, that a lot of em appear to be in love with. but i didn't (and don't) want to find some windows box to run it on (darned win32 and mac only sw!)... so i decide to try wine (again). wine seems to run quite a lot more (and more stably) than a year ago. but i was unable to get radio userland to work. :( so then i want to run yet another win32-only app, groove, and so i thought i'd roll up my sleeves and try to fix the relavent parts of wine. and that's what i've been trying to do this morning (and now afternoon, man time goes fast). well that and attend a short wedding. oh yeah, and listening to a bit of our new president, gwb. but i don't think i'm progressing that quickly at 'getting' the architecture of wine. if this works, i can promise that i'll have a dorky smile on my face all weekend. :) oh yeah, and this is why open source works if you already didn't know.

my wrists are starting to feel a little better as i've not had too much computer time lately, just a lot more design and reading stuff away from the wicked keyboard. which is fine. last sunday, while doing quite a bit of drumming i felt a little too much numbness for my liking. if it persists, i'll probably go see some doctor. or try acupuncture(sp?) or something.

i haven't forgotten my open payment protocol project (in the flavor of set), but i sure haven't posted much here about it. not much new to report really except that i think i've gotten a pretty good design with about 90% of it done. if you want to take a gander at it, give me an email or something. that should get me off my rump.

Matt's Musings... weird thoughts below

in tech related thoughts, i've been thinking about the (original) design of the web and pondering, "what might have i done differently?" i think the web has achieved such a level of acceptance as a network platform that many limitations present in its design and use are (often) unchallenged and ignored. let's challenge the assumptions, people! because it's fun and maybe something can come of it... oh yeah, and i apologize for my inarticulate ways. :)

my chief objection to the web's design (at present) is that it imposes an extremely one-way communications model. what i'm complaining about is that there exists NO mechanism by which a server can initiate data tranfer to a client. i still wish to maintain the traditional client/server model in which the browser initiates a request for a resource, but i do want the server to have the ability to send new data to the client to update the document. notice that this isn't push technology, as the client would only receive this new updating data from the server during the lifetime of the document being viewed. so instead of closing the connection when the document has been completely transfered, the client would leave the connection open, listening for any updates. the server could then send snippets of js specifying changes using the DOM. i think this would be really helpful, but it does muddy the waters of simplicity and elegance found in the traditional model of simply tranfering a 'document' . in particular, it places a quite heavy burden upon the server, maintaining state and all.

argh! man, when rereading the above in my diary preview that sure sounded crappy. pictures are needed, imo. gosh darnit, why can't standard web tools have a whiteboard! ... back to my rant.

if we look at the context/history of the development of the web, back in the day we weren't thinking in terms of web applications, or at least i don't think that we were. we were thinking in terms of simply transfering documents . so once the document was finished being transfered to the client, the connection and web transaction was done. at least until the client initiated another connection. and there's no ability for the server to send data any more data to the client. in order to make 'the network the computer', we'd have to rely on clumsy polling techniques. there's no way that the server can send an 'interrupt' to the client in other words.

these ideas, which have been floating around my head for some time, came to a point the other day when i was going to implement a web-based (because it's the universal network platform, remember! :) game of scrabble, my wife's fav. game of all time. sure, we could just do it (even easily) in java, but that is way too heavy for my liking. i think that web applications, really lightweight, using insanely familiar constructs are the way to go, or at least try. there was (and is) no way to let the server inform the players (using their handy web browsers) that it's their turn to try and figure out some words. argghh... i thought it might be fun to create an rpc server in moz that the web server could contact, but that is one ugly kludge if i've ever seen one. the above described mechanism of updating documents seemed to be the prettiest solution i could come up with.

i read a term on dave winer's blogs that i thought exceptional at describing the above functionality. "the two way web" but alas, his great meme candidate has another meaning. oh well.

of course, there is great value in 'just being a document viewer', and maybe these web apps should be called net apps and we should just use a network aware interface other than the ever-present web browser. next topic...

another unrelated objection to the present day web is its completely primitive user interface machinery (widgets). sure, i love the simplicity and the elegance that is the widget set found in html 1 (textbox, button, drop-down box, etc etc), but another set of standard widgets needs to exist. jon udell (sp?) mentioned this void a while back in his column at byte.com although some of the stuff he says about xul isn't accurate, imo. is anybody 'fixing' this? where's the w3?

i guess the above is more like an article draft (that's poor!) and not a diary. but oh well. please forgive! :)

anyways, i've rambled long enough. i find this refactoring of the web very interesting and invite any reader's comments. please let me know if i'm insane. thanks! off to the the dishes...

i have to get walking home here pretty quick, but thought i'd fire off a short diary entry...

school is going ok, but i need to 'prove' i have met a prereq for a course. grrrrhhh. i hate treking over to the comp sci. building.

i also hate sun microsystems. on several levels. solaris is crap (in some respects). their support is laughable (i almost got billed $1k yesterday on their error...), this new stupid XPointer breaking patent they hold (talk to DV about that nonesense).

i am going to (yet again) commence in cleaning out about 10k inbox messages.

wife and i had a little disagreement this morning :(

have to call *tons* of youth for a little youth group deal

have *tons* of (useless) homework due next week.

so all in all, i'm in a pretty pissy mood. but it's friday :) there's hope yet.

doh! late for work... but working on work from home. does that count? as long as i'm late though, i might as make it count. :) so let's write a diary entry.

wrists still hurt. but i'm taking some action and trying to fix it. jwz has some really good information on wrist pain that has been really helpful to me. xwrits is getting a little annoying though. :)

i've enjoyed playing lots of tetrinet over my little vacation. my (wonderful) wife also quite enjoys the game. go and try it if you haven't already.

another goodie that i can share w/ you is joel spolsky's treasure of a book, "UI Design for Programmers". It's so very wonderful -- simple yet so powerful. and fun too. joel always has good things to say over at his editthispage.com place.

speaking of a userland guy, i just have to say that all of these userland people are pretty spiffy. really good weblogs. go dave winer! go wes felter!

btw, does anybody else here want a wiki-style editing option here at advogato... i think that'd be, um, yummy. let me know what you think. i still want to keep advogato's simplicity in its code though too. but typing html on a webapp is like 'so y2k'. :) let's move on

my wrists hurt :(

christmas is done, it was fun, corri got presents a-ton, my cold puts snot in my lung

got an optical mouse at my father-in-laws house the wheel wouldn't work till i gave xfree some hurt

should go to job but my sick body sobs so i'll sleep and i'll code and down painkillers a load

what a lame rhyme maybe better next time

tonight i had my first live radio performance. i played all this percussion stuff with some friends who started a new (good) band. i have to admit, i do miss the band days. its really fun and if you do things right you can even make a buck or two. i guess i didn't do things right. ;)

i had reason to celebrate tonight as i finished a test in which much cram-it-into-my-head studying took place. just a few more and then more breathing time.


24 Oct 2000 (updated 24 Oct 2000 at 22:45 UTC) »

yesterday, i attempted to install linux on an old inherited toshiba laptop... and no luck as of yet. and i thought i'd be doing my emacs thing in the bathroom by evening. :( here's the sad story. i got all 'inspired' and planned out how to actually accomplish this hack of an installation. this being a 'hack' as the laptop doesn't have a cdrom, a working pc card thingie, network interface, ... you get the idea. so i figured i would broaden my horizons a bit and try doing a network installation using plip. but i never got that far, as i discovered (*after* purchasing a new cable, and investing time in learning plip of course) that the toshiba just ain't gonna boot linux from its floppy. curses. i think i tried about every bootdisk in existence... if anybody has any linux experience with the toshiba satellite t1950ct laptop please let me know. and yes i've checked the linux laptop pages. :) all of them. the only reason i'm holding onto hope that my hardware isn't bad is that i *can* boot m$-dos from the floppy. go figure. so does this mean that the kernel isn't jiving with the hardware? or the loader (syslinux/lilo), or is linux more keen to hardware problems and aborts... no error msgs, nothing. just thought i'd share the frustration.

time it's time to go home and play handyman. got some new, fancy kitchen furniture to put together. and after that's all done i have some major catching up to do in my studies. it will be a late night as usual.

... i am the fashion police.

(doh! i check my links to amihotornot.com and blammo, nudity. it wasn't this way just a few days ago... so just wanted to warn you - links may be 'bad'. sorry.)

slowly becoming an "expert" on the SET standard. how completely boring i've become...

i've finally found the time to set up my own wiki server for my university employer. it works superbly (sp?) for documentation as documents live dynamically, and creating/modifying is so simple. this will give me more time to play around with zope as well. much rejoicing.

it's time to finally buckle down and clean out my inbox. i think there's something like 8K messages. i hate it when i do this (which is way too often).

life will settle down, life will settle down, life will settle down...

sorry that it has been so very long since i've last written. i'll try to keep more regular in the future. :)

what's happened lately... lets see here.

as of late, i have been experiencing the tyranny of the urgent in full force with so many little stupid things to do. school especially. i'm *not* going to miss pointless classwork when i'm shortly gone. nor numerous tests covering material that i could care less about (can you say "macroeconomics"). pretty darned frustrating as i've been unable to concentrate on growing my business. it's going to be a challenge to meet some of my self imposed deadlines. but such is life i guess.

my wife and i have recently been trying to consistently go out with this other couple and do fun stuff together. this last weekend it was the guy's (david and myself) turn to dictate what-to-do. so we had lots and lots of fun with lasertag (w/ good radiohead music as the shooting soundtrack btw), go-carting (i'm unbeatable mwhahahaha), minigolfing (very beatable here), and the like. and we topped off the evening with some killer food. i don't know how to pronounce what i had but it was tremendously tasty. i'm really looking forward to doing this again soon.

i've come to the conclusion that wikis are really cool! use them. read them. saturate yourself in them. etc. i'm advocating the use of a zope product doing wikis here at (isu) work to do internal documentation. the traditional documentation cycle is tedious and i see wikis as a fun (!), new way of doing documentation here. i'm planning on setting this up before the end of the week. i want to augment our wiki a bit though - user authentication, tighter versioning, the capability to deny anonymous writes, etc. hopefully something already exists along these lines but if not i don't see why i couldn't do this all quick-like.

in other news i've learned that standards bodies are funky. very funky indeed.

while in des moines at my father in law's, i set up (and am still in the process of setting up <grrr>) a little linux based firewall protecting his internal network from the big and nasty internet coming out of his cable modem. we're using old (486ish) hardware with an isa bus so i'm a bit concerned about performance hits. i didn't get any metrics on the kind of speed he's getting out of his cable modem but i suspect it's not fast enough to be hindered by a slow firewall. if he says its slow i'll take a look at getting him some better hardware for the firewall. but anyway, this little project was completely painFULL. went thru 2 cdrom drives and both were damaged. so no easy distro install for me... :( was curious about the linux router project so i finally gave it a whirl. cool, linux w/ needed tools all on a floppy or two. no install needed. all smiles. doh. it runs 2.0.x kernel with ipfw. i want my ipchains!!! don't want to learn an obsolete tool if i don't have to. ok... found materhorn (modified lrp) with 2.2 (ipchains... ahh). its working after a lot of tweaking to get the kernel to like his older hardware. but now i find out that his @home provider changes to use dhcp (@home had static ips before???). curses! have to fit that (dhcp support) on a fregin tiny floppy too. arggghhh... to be continued.

in sysadmin work, i've been trying to figure out how to put some of the high availability stuff i learned a while back to use in other services such as our print servers, etc. sometimes i feel that its all academic for us as we'll hardly ever need it. at least its decently fun to do.

been working on getting some good (good == somebody besides me making them) logos. i finally think i've come across the winner. and that's good as the website needs to go live SOON (before nov 1).

speaking of websites, at (isu) work we just hired a pretty cool web person. seems like a very nice and knowledgable lady. we really needed to refill that position. this should take some stress off of our backs.

btw, thanks lilo for the information on file delta stuff that you threw up in your recent diary entry. very good stuff that i wouldn't have come across easily otherwise. thanks again.

been reading david kahn's the codebreakers. its a fun read. also in the history side of things, i just now noticed that i got the history channel on cable. this very good veg-on-the-couch-when-i'm-too-tired-to-think material. better than, say, oprah. ;)

i'm sure there's been a lot more that went on but i forgot it all.

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