Name: Pat Deegan
Member since: 2003-03-20 13:08:00
Last Login: N/A



Physicist turned programmer, although I've been coding since the days when I thought 128K of RAM was more than enough and that an audio tape drive was a great place to store programs. User, creator and vector for open source software in general and (GNU/)Linux in particular. Co-founder and CTO of Maybe some other stuff as well.


Recent blog entries by psychogenic

Our new C++ library is pretty much complete. We now have a simple, clear and uniform means of performing a host of activities in C++. We even added an easy-to-use CGI and Fast CGI framework that makes writing C++ CGI interfaces a snap. I've created a few already and, to date, it's been quicker to develop than using the Perl CGI module - it has support for forms, cookies, sessions and a templating engine.

A lot of the library's success is due to reuse of existing components, a few previously developed internally but most created by third parties. Notable support libs include the previously mentioned MySQL CPP API, and the absolutely incredible BOOST library.

I don't think I can overemphasize how useful boost has been to Psychogenic. To date, I've been using (in no particular order) the regular expression, the smart pointer, the generic graph, concept check and tuple components. And those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head! I am still enjoying periodically visiting the boost library list - if you're into C++ and don't know boost, I suggest you go have a look and read up on the first component that strikes your fancy; chances are it will eventually be useful.

After a 15 month hiatus, I'm back to coding C++ and it feels great. My first job has been to define and implement a standard internal toolkit providing a unified API around a number of existing libraries.

I'm just learning a few of the third party libs and am having a little trouble deciding on the best implementations. For instance, there are (at least) two versions of the MySQL C++ APIs: the classic MySQL++ and Murray Cummings MySQL CPP API. The MySQLCPPAPI, which is a branch of MySQL++, seems to have a cleaner and more focused approach but I'm just worried it will eventually die out and for me to either switch of take over maintenance...

I'm really happy about finding the FOX Toolkit: a cross-platform (I'm interested in Linux and Win32), C++ based, GUI toolkit. I'll probably get to use it in our next big project, too.

I'm also getting reacquainted with CORBA - I'm enjoying it more than the first time around but I sure wish the C++ mapping would be updated to at least allow easy use of modern tools like autopointers and STL vectors, instead of custom _var and sequence thingies.

22 Mar 2003 (updated 22 Mar 2003 at 00:43 UTC) »

I've spent part of the day wondering how Psychogenic and I can actually earn a living with Free Software and/or Open Source. We've got a number of projects out, many of which have spawned community interest and are being used fairly widely. I get bug reports, support requests and questions daily but most folks won't be bothered to actually go through mailing list archives and seem to disappear when I mention commercial support. And often, these are people who are using the code in work for which they're getting paid...

I will definitely continue to use and create free software. Whenever a project comes up that I feel would be useful to the community at large, I always try and get the client to consider freeing the source code. My question is rather if we should independently create free software, dedicating our resources to larger projects when the majority of users expect everything to be free (including our time and "oh maybe just one little enhancement")? Perhaps I'm just in a bad mood today...

Read an amazing article, by Thom Hartmann. If you're interested in knowing how we seem to be living in a bad repeat, do check it out. Executive summary, taken from the article:

  • On Feb 27th 1933, Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe firebombs the German Parliament (Reichstag) building
  • Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation's now-popular leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it - that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus
  • This act catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation. Hailed around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man Of The Year."
  • Most people remember his office for the security of the homeland, known as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and its SchutzStaffel, simply by its most famous agency's initials: the SS.

Why is it that I don't recall getting anything of all this in History class?

I got up this morning to the wonderful news of a unilateral move by the US in Iraq - a so called decapitation attack accompanied by buzzwords like target of opportunity and such.

Maybe 'unilateral' is a bit much... As Terry Jones stated in his biting The audacious courage of Mr Blair piece for the Observer:

So I guess the move isn't completely unilateral.

Blair is following Bush and Bush looks like he has the IQ of a dirty sock - who exactly is running this (freak) show? A while back, I read an article that worried me, entitled Bush planned Iraq 'regime change' before becoming President. It talks about a report from 2001 that:

  • refers to key allies such as the UK as 'the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership'
  • describes peace-keeping missions as 'demanding American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations'
  • reveals worries in the administration that Europe could rival the USA

Geez all this does sound kinda familiar (that last point has to do with US fears of an OPEC switch from USD to Euro for intl transactions, I think, something Saddam did in late 2000). Now, here's the really scary part (drum roll, please) - it also states:

  • 'even should Saddam pass from the scene' bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain permanently -- despite domestic opposition in the Gulf regimes to the stationing of US troops -- as 'Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has'

  • spotlights China for 'regime change' saying 'it is time to increase the presence of American forces in southeast Asia'.

I know, I know... this has nothing to do with programming, free software or advogato. But somehow, the load of crap that our government representatives have been piling onto us motivated me not only to finally create my account today but also to actually write something in this diary which is rather surprising. I mean; my navel is as fuzzy as the next guy's but why should you care to peer deeply within like this?

Perhaps if I just sit tight and focus on satisfying my clients and producing "world class code", I can forget about the fact that the world's number one terrorist is laughing it up in D.C. Perhaps this will be my last flamebait entry in this diary, perhaps all will go well, perhaps a couple of first responders from the Ministry of Truth and Homeland Security will show up to help me think straight again.


psychogenic certified others as follows:

  • psychogenic certified RobFlynn as Journeyer

Others have certified psychogenic as follows:

  • mpr certified psychogenic as Apprentice
  • lerdsuwa certified psychogenic as Apprentice

[ Certification disabled because you're not logged in. ]

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