Why does my XML-RPC calls to Advogato return "403 Forbidden" suddenly? Have I been naughty?
Update: Not anymore.
Things that are not optimal in Helsinki: public transportation during night time. The otherwise excellent travel planner politely suggests that I take a brisk two-hour walk to get home.
I have actually done that, once. It is really not fun to walk for over two hours in -10 degrees in the middle of the night. I'm not lucky enough to be able to ski to the office, either, althogh I doubt I would have enjoyed that more...
As I'm sort of stuck here -- after yesterday's night out with the people from Jolly Dragon (as seen on TV!) I'm not in a position to spend 20 on a taxi ride home -- I've been trying to figure out a nice way to spend this time, and thought I'd might as well update this diary, that has been largely ignored since my move from Sweden to Finland.
A stranger(?) called saksa2000 added me as a contact on Flickr. That's always nice, but as the ever so modest person I am, I was left puzzled as to how and why this person wanted to be my Flickr contact. Clicking through his profile, I landed on his blog - Düsseldorfin Sanomat. Much to my surprise, he had discovered one of my Google Videos. I made it, and a few others just as meaningless, when I had discovered iMovie on my mac. When I uploaded the movies to Google Video, I thought of them as a little embarrasing but possibly cute, as my first attempt of any kind of video editing. But I did not link to them from anywere -- I sent the Google Video links to my sister but not to anyone else -- so I really didn't expect anyone at all to notice them. Consequently, surprise was felt, when I checked the Google Video statistics for my videos, and saw over a thousand views of the four videos there -- halv of them to the "Morning has broken" video. Feel free to check them out for yourself, but as I said, they are a bit nonsensical and embarassing, so don't blame me if you feel cheated afterwards.
Totally unrelated, I have now worked with the Linux team at F-Secure for almost 10 months. We develop anti-virus software with real-time scanning, centralized management, integrity verification and more for desktops and servers as well as an anti-virus proxy. As a quality engineer (which is F-Secure speak for "tester"), much of my work is focused on test automation, so there's a lot of scripting and framework-building going on to get each build tested on a wide variety of platforms as thoroughly as possible. It has been -- and will hopefully continue to be -- a great time, and I think we have a really good team going here. We are a small but rather tight team with fast and open communication. It is a big difference for me, who has mainly worked as a consultant during my career, to work for a software vendor. It is very nice to be able to work with some longer-term perspectives, in contrast to the time-is-money mentality when you are a consultant.
If there are people reading this that haven't already got the message elsewhere: nowadays I live in Helsinki, Finland. I can still be reached using the same e-mail-addresses as before. I am now working for F-Secure Corporation as a Quality Engineer for Linux products.
So there I was, sitting on a train bound home, and feeling creative. I powered up my laptop, switched to Emacs and began hacking away - just to realize that I have no documentation on available on the computer. At all. (Two years ago, I would've used my fancy bluetooth phone and surfed to the nearest Javadoc site using GPRS, but I tend to lose all my cool gadgets so no more mobile Internet for me.)
What to do, when you feel like being productive but still lack the oh-so-vital API reference? I don't know all the methods of the javax.imageio by heart. I don't remember all methods in the classes of package javax.servlet.http, even though I've hammered them over and over hundreds of times.
For some reason though, I still remember some basics of the Reflection API. One reason being, of course, that the basic reflection API is very inituitive and straight-forward. There's the basic Class.forName(), and Class' getMethods() and getFields(), Method's getReturnType(), and so on. So I figured I could write a simple JSP to list the methods and fields of the classes I wanted to use. So that I did. Eventually, I reflected the Reflection API to see how I could retreive information about the classes and interfaces. Later on, I even used reflection to dynamically find and invoke the reflection getters to be able to retreive static values of static class fields.
Of course, I ended up spending the entire train trip doing pointless wheel-invention - a sort of a poor man's reflective Javadoc without the actual documentation - instead of actual billable work. But hey, it was a fun trip to reflection land, and yet another bulky (and buggy!) JSP-hack to add to the list. I never quite finished it, and some things I just couldn't figure out without access to the API documentation (such as how to properly interpret the modifier bits). And now, with access to all the documentation I can handle, the thrill just isn't there anymore. :-)
The world's oldest still running newspaper, Post- och inrikes tidningar [swe] (PoIT), which is the Swedish official announcement body, may be shut down and replaced with digital publishing on the web. It has been published for 360 years, starting at 1645 under the rule of Queen Kristina as they supposedly needed a government voice to tackle rumour problems and present an official Swedish view on national and international events.
In 1791, King Gustav III appoints the publishing rights for PoIT to The Swedish Academy, founded by him five years earlier to nurture the Swedish language and literature. The Swedish Academy is still, 214 years later, the official publisher of the paper. Many different kinds of public announcements, such as information about bankruptcies, are required by Swedish law [swe] to be advertised in Post- och inrikes tidningar. It is also regulated in law that the advertiser much pay an advertising fee. The by far largest PoIT advertiser is the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV), which alone contributes about SEK 20 million (about USD 2.9 million) annually in advertising fees to the Swedish Academy. The surplus is used to fund the creation of the very ambitious project SAOB [swe](Svenska Akademiens Ordbok or Swedish Academy Word Book) (website [swe]), an attempt to document the usage of the Swedish language since 1521 and onward. That is, they practically document the meaning of every word used in society, similar to The Oxford English Dictionary, in contrast to an ordinary dictionary, which would not bother documenting words that hasn't been in use for several hundred years.
In 2001, the Riksdag commissioned the administration [swe] to streamline the somewhat bloated and expensive announcement body and suggest a change in law so that PRV could publish their own announcement on the Internet instead of in PoIT. The paper currently has an edition of a couple of thousand copies. Following this, the magazine Ny Teknik now tells us [swe] that it is being suggested that the Swedish Academy should transfer the publishing rights of PoIT to The Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket) which would then publish the newspaper on the Internet, updated daily. In return, the Swedish Academy will receive a SEK 20 million per year, to compensate for the income loss and facilitate the continued funding of the SAOB project.
footnote: links marked with [swe] are web pages in Swedish only
I'm going to plug this here, too. I'm a (primarily) Java developer with over seven years of work exeprience, and now I want to move back to Stockholm. As I assume I will be interesting mostly for Swedish employers, I have the details in Swedish here. Also check out my private homepage and Bricole, my current business.
On quite another note, this is hilarious: Sex Scandal Rocks Wonka Factory.
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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