Older blog entries for pphaneuf (starting at number 324)

By the way...

Wow, I'm quite busy these days, haven't been writing (or reading, for that matter!) much...

Mostly, it's to blame on the quest for a place to live in that's going on. I'd like to buy, this time around, so this makes it a couple of notches more complicated than what I'm used to (I've never been an owner, so this is all new to me). The numbers bandied around are making me quite dizzy! Hopefully, we should come out of this with a nice place, but in the meantime, it's time for "let's save up money like crazy for the cash down", so on top of being busy with this stuff, it'll also make me less visible than I usually am (well, uh, it should still be better than the last year!).

In other more geeky news, I think I am succumbing to the coding style of the C++ standard library with regard to naming. For method names, there's more than a few people who are going to think "finally!" (I used to favour a Java-style interCap, like "readUntil", now I tend to prefer "read_until"). This makes a lot of sense, since this is also more common in C and Perl code. But the more controversial part is that the standard library uses all lowercase for class names (it's "unordered_set", not "UnorderedSet"), and I'm getting a crush on those too... Perl, Ruby and Python are using FullyCapitalized style for those, and so are a number of C++ programmers I know, but I'm finding that there is something to be said for adopting the style of the language. I'm also using namespaces and exceptions (mostly in constructors and object-returning methods) more, these days.

So either I'm becoming stylish, or I'm becoming senile. Oh well.

Also, it would seem that the giant jackhammers are following me.

Syndicated 2007-08-24 15:14:07 from Pierre Phaneuf's Diary

By the way...

Wow, I'm quite busy these days, haven't been writing (or reading, for that matter!) much...

Mostly, it's to blame on the quest for a place to live in that's going on. I'd like to buy, this time around, so this makes it a couple of notches more complicated than what I'm used to (I've never been an owner, so this is all new to me). The numbers bandied around are making me quite dizzy! Hopefully, we should come out of this with a nice place, but in the meantime, it's time for "let's save up money like crazy for the cash down", so on top of being busy with this stuff, it'll also make me less visible than I usually am (well, uh, it should still be better than the last year!).

In other more geeky news, I think I am succumbing to the coding style of the C++ standard library with regard to naming. For method names, there's more than a few people who are going to think "finally!" (I used to favour a Java-style interCap, like "readUntil", now I tend to prefer "read_until"). This makes a lot of sense, since this is also more common in C and Perl code. But the more controversial part is that the standard library uses all lowercase for class names (it's "unordered_set", not "UnorderedSet"), and I'm getting a crush on those too... Perl, Ruby and Python are using FullyCapitalized style for those, and so are a number of C++ programmers I know, but I'm finding that there is something to be said for adopting the style of the language. I'm also using namespaces and exceptions (mostly in constructors and object-returning methods) more, these days.

So either I'm becoming stylish, or I'm becoming senile. Oh well.

Also, it would seem that the giant jackhammers are following me.

Syndicated 2007-08-24 14:58:03 (Updated 2007-08-24 15:14:07) from Pierre Phaneuf

I'm now jobful

Seems like I'm now a senior something-or-other at Cypra Media, which did cause me a bit of grief. It's a "targeted marketing" company, meaning at the moment that they'll be sending out emails with ads in them to people who, weirdly enough, asked for it.

I would have liked maybe a bit more "completely new and different" maybe, and while they seem open-minded, they're not quite an actual free/open source software company, merely using a lot of it. But C++ and Perl are two of my favourites at the moment (mostly for their ratio of how much I can bend them to my will to how much they suck), and I think I might be in for learning some AJAXy JavaScript hackery in the process, which I've been meaning to do for a while, so that's that. They're Scrum fans there, which is better than being, say, RUP! Still, I'm more of a chaos model type of person, myself. We'll see, I want to try Scrum first, as it doesn't look completely nuts.

So I'll be starting there as soon as tomorrow!

Syndicated 2007-08-02 03:18:43 from Pierre Phaneuf

Installers

I was reading What's Wrong With Setup.exe?, and so was Avery, apparently.

I pretty much agree with Avery (and commented so on Jeff's blog), but I'd like to comment on how tricky the part about the DMG files is. The problem is that Mac OS X bundles aren't a single file (that could therefore be downloaded "just like that" and would be very intuitive), but is really a directory full of files (that thus can't be fetched off a web server as a single unit).

I guess Apple was focusing more on the shrink-wrap software publisher's point of view (normally shipping an actual CD-ROM), and kind of provided a virtual equivalent, but it does feel a bit weird.

One solution could be to ZIP the bundle, and give the operating system the ability to run them directly. You could then just download an application, and run it, no weird installation, nothing. It'd be a challenge, for sure. For example, the fault handler in the kernel would have to be able to find the page inside of a compressed ZIP file, if you "do it right". You could cheat and decompress it silently, but that'd could make launching a big application with lots of resources very slow, which is exactly what using a bundle is supposed to help with in the first place (by demand-loading resources). I know about the "stuff the resources inside the EXE" trick, but bundles can (and often do) have multiple binaries.

But they could certainly bite the bullet and find a way, I'm sure.

Note that the Apple approach also follows Avery's first advice. Preference files are created as they are needed, while running the application. It also means that a system administrator can simply put up a read-only file share on the network with the applications used in the office, and it'll Just Work (tm).

Syndicated 2007-07-26 19:23:46 from Pierre Phaneuf

I'm a B-person.

Denmark, which I sometimes refer to as "the place the future comes from", gave me another reason to do so: the B-society.

Having just spent a year working a more or less 9-to-6 shift (we had "flex time" inasmuch we could arrive between 8:00 and 9:30), there's no doubt about it (if there ever was!), I'm a B-person.

One of the problem with being a B-person is the clash with the rest of society. Even if work lets me come in and do my hours whenever I want, there's shops, restaurants, and such. Having dinner at almost midnight can restrict choice a little bit, obviously! Social life can also be tricky. Although these is a natural clumping effect between people living similar lifestyles, they might not have as flexible work schedule. And I wouldn't even think of what things would be like with children! Ask anyone who's had to wake me up early in the morning...

But it would seems they're actually trying to tackle the issues, even having B-classes in school that start a few hours later. Just like the French had rules preventing abuse by employers asking employees to work later hours, they're picking up on the fact that, for some people it's asking them to not work later hours that is abuse. And that's the future.

P.S.: Also, in the same line of thought, why the 9 to 5 office worker will become a thing of the past. Not that it matters that much to me now, but I am curious to see how France will integrate that into its culture.

Syndicated 2007-07-13 18:43:27 (Updated 2007-07-13 18:51:51) from Pierre Phaneuf

Saving what again?

As it turns out, this year's change in the implementation of daylight "savings" ended up not saving anything, and actually just causing extra annoyance. The US Congress seems completely taken by surprise by the fact that changing the time does not magically create more sunlight. That extra hour in the evening, scientists and the Department of Energy reminds them, is actually offset by an hour less in the morning! Imagine that!

Seems like there is not even a measurable energy savings. If anything, the biggest impact of the daylight savings change is that a bunch of computerized gadgets needed to be updated, and people with their Blackberry and Palm not being sure if the time was adjusted (some changed the time manually, only to have it change by another at the old switch-over date, for example).

Down with daylight savings! End the madness!

Syndicated 2007-05-21 05:44:15 from Pierre Phaneuf's Diary

Saving what again?

As it turns out, this year's change in the implementation of daylight "savings" ended up not saving anything, and actually just causing extra annoyance. The US Congress seems completely taken by surprise by the fact that changing the time does not magically create more sunlight. That extra hour in the evening, scientists and the Department of Energy reminds them, is actually offset by an hour less in the morning! Imagine that!

Seems like there is not even a measurable energy savings. If anything, the biggest impact of the daylight savings change is that a bunch of computerized gadgets needed to be updated, and people with their Blackberry and Palm not being sure if the time was adjusted (some changed the time manually, only to have it change by another at the old switch-over date, for example).

Down with daylight savings! End the madness!

Syndicated 2007-05-21 05:41:05 (Updated 2007-05-21 05:44:15) from Pierre Phaneuf

My birthday is coming up, you know?

OMG, I so want one of these!

Syndicated 2007-05-16 06:59:38 from Pierre Phaneuf

Reboot

Last weekend, I got my residency permit turned down, which, to make a long story short, means that we'll be heading back to Canada. Seems like I was misdirected by the Consulat de France in Montreal, and from what I hear, it seems to be something they've done a few times ([info]azrhey worked in a place here where they hire a lot of foreigners, due to language skills).

So, it looks like I'm going to be looking for a job back in Montreal.

My weapons of choice are C++ and Perl, but being a Unix/Linux hacker, of course, I am not limited to those, they're just the ones I'm most deadly with. I am comfortable with meta-programming (mostly, but not limited to that of C++ templates), continuations/coroutines, closures, multithreading, as well as event-driven state machines. I am quite effective at code refactoring, particularly in strongly typed languages, where I can use the typing system to my advantage.

I am deeply intimate with Unix/Linux, mainly in the area of network programming (sockets, networking protocols, other forms of IPC). On Linux, I am quite familiar with a number of the high-performance APIs. I have a deep knowledge of the HTTP protocol (and some of its derivatives). I have experience writing Apache modules. I know the difference between bandwidth and latency (and wish more people did too). I have some experience with developing distributed software. I have a higher-than-average knowledge of ELF and Mach-O binary formats, particularly of how symbol resolution works. I know a good deal about component software (dynamically loading modules, for example), and ABI stability issues. While I am not a master at it, I have some Linux kernel development experience as well. I know what make is doing, and why.

Finally, I also have some experience doing project and release management, where I feel I did a pretty good job, and would certainly like to do more of it. I am familiar with the free and open source software community, belonging to a number of projects, including some that were part of my work.

Syndicated 2007-05-12 17:45:47 from Pierre Phaneuf

Down with the Daylight Savings!

Two PhD students in economics at Berkeley are studying the effect of daylight savings observance in Australia (which had a partially extended DST during the Olympics of 2000, thus providing useful data on the subject) and are making such shocking discoveries such as "the extra hour of light in the evening is at the cost of an extra hour of darkness in the morning"! No, really? Wow!

More seriously, it would seem that instead of saving anything, it could actually even have had a slight increase in power use. There are also some reports of increased car usage, but I'm finding that a bit sketchy (are people really that crazy? maybe I'm just too much of an optimist).

In any case, at worst, it generated this hilarious comment on good old Slashdot. Heh.

Syndicated 2007-03-12 15:57:38 from Pierre Phaneuf

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