Older blog entries for mattbradshaw (starting at number 35)

2 Mar 2001 (updated 2 Mar 2001 at 23:15 UTC) »
criswell, want to thank you for your tux typing program... my daughter loves it! great work. btw, i think you're (slightly) confused in your last entry regarding free software vs. open source. i think what you were meaning to say was that the 'gpl' (not 'free software' ) is a subset of open source. at least in rms' vocabulary. not that it matters at all imo.

school's cooling down a bit with lots of tests done. that's really nice. this is the time to code code code.

here's something quick i'd like to do... integrate my xmlrpc subscription/notification code into advogato's engine, mod_virgule. perhaps then i could be notified when my fave diaries are updated. but don't want to clutter the beautiful code with non core features. let me know what you think. thanks! :)

going to a romanic deal tonight with my amazing wife. suppose i should shave and stuff...

coolness! i'm green again with no more "must be a big-time free software contributor" pressure... :) i was getting worried for a bit there. note for people cert'n me - green is perty.

well, i just got off a brief computing sabbatical (sp?). i didn't touch anything (well, almost) resembling technology and it felt great. spent lots of time with my wonderful fam, and reading. i'd really recommend doing this btw. but now it's time to get back to work. lots to do... and i apologize for not checking mail very much, etc

on my plate for this week:

  • take some tests, do some homework (school is as ugly as ever, of course)
  • put some hours in at the office (pay the bills)
  • have some fun changing the world with software (i'm an idealist, but it *is* very fun)

re: the last todo item (software development goodness), what i'm tackling currently is:

  • xml-rpc based subscription/notification system (backend using c/berkeleyDb, frontend using gtk for the time being but maybe soon patch moz as it should be pretty straightforward)
  • jabber whiteboard stuff (trying to contribute to Sunir's excellent effort but needing to beef up on my svg/gill/ gdome stuff to make it work)
  • my ever present network payment protocol project

in other news, badvogatois pretty sweet. dave winer (advogato acct) is as tech-inspirational as ever. knownow seems to have obtained the infamous wsanchez AND my next-generation (stay connected) web idea i rambled about a while back here (described here). oh yeah, and i am really looking forward to having a popular, open (source, or otherwise) whiteboard like the svg one being developed (mentioned earlier) because that will further my goal of (almost) never having to step foot in an office again. work'n from home for the rest of my life baby! but then again, whywork?

i'm good enough, i'm smart enough... :) later, interested (and otherwise) readers.

over the weekend, i finished up installing a linux box acting as a firewall/masq-router for a family friend. and he *gives* me an awesome portable combination cdplayer/mp3oncd player. mp3trip, i believe it's called. my goodness it's cool. what a generous guy! anyway, if my diary entry sounds a little cloud9-ish, you know why.

i'm not doing terribly much w/ regards to free software at the moment. more like keeping my head above water at school and work. at a meeting today, my boss john and i had a very interesting discussion of machine groupings. what we're doing now (cluttered nis netgroup map, cluttered rdist groupings, cluttered runem groupings) should get elegant here soon.

i'm going to try to get reacquainted with my keyboard at home. it really has been quite some time since i've worked at improving my piano skills and it's begining to show in my playing. i'm looking forward to getting to the next-level. heck, i need to do this with my guitar playing as well. inch by inch...

was (re)reading the berkeley db documentation and it looks like they've gotten it working inside of php. 'bout darned time that php would have an embedded database... mysql be damned!!! :) lots to do today and very little motivation. i want to sleep. sleep a lot. yep. have a good one, everybody.

2 Feb 2001 (updated 2 Feb 2001 at 02:03 UTC) »

i foresee a near future where every news website will look much like this . a natural extension of rss for sure. and i'm offering to help make it happen as it's not a big leap. basically, i'm disgusted by the fact that i waste countless hours cycling through my favorite spots on the web checking for updates. i very much want to subscribe to a site and know when there are updates.

on a similar note, i missed out on the big 'push' phase a few years back. so when i hear people use it as a case study for how the proposed next-big-thing probably ain't the next-big-thing, i'm always curious as to what exactly it (push) was all about. i assume it let people 'subscribe' to certain content. maybe it just wasn't granular enough. i don't know... i'm just curious why push was/is considered 'bad'.

oh yeah, in my last entry i said that rh was probably using stunnel to achieve ssl-encrypted communications with xmlrpc... umm, egg on my face (as usual). from reading adrian's post to the rpc article a few weeks back, it sounds like they've either actually added native support for the openssl libs probably to w3c-libwww or used one of the ssl patches available for the w3c-libwww library.

tonight, i'm supposd to chat with an old high school friend -- i'm pretty sure he's trying to get me set up in some type of internet pyramid scheme. :) that sucks... but i figure i better listen at least, our of courtesy. what are some specific laws outlawing this kind of thing? i know they exist. doesn't matter much. i'll just tell him that i'm 99.99999% sure what he's doing is both retarded and illegal.


almost forgot to mention... i had no choice but to certify people tonight after seeing some of their truly awesome work. sunir, thanks for wiki work and i'm pissing my pants in excitement over your jabber whiteboard extension you mentioned today in your diary. sounds sweet and i'd be willing to lend any help i can to you. just ask. i'll email you to see if you are wanting any help. anyhoo... emk's work is also much appreciated as i've been using his xml-rpc libs in a lot of my stuff lately (for both work and play). keep up the good work! i also noticed ariya enjoys reading jwz as much as i do. :) good night, all. good night, john-boy

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 :(

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