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Name: Colin Barrett
Member since: 2004-05-04 00:59:17
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Homepage: http://www.fourx.org

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I'm a 17 year old High School student in Hawaii. In the fall [of 2004] I'll be attending the University of Maryland @ College Park. I enjoy formulating abstract solutions to concrete problems. :-)

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I had an interesting idea for Advogato. I noticed that people were linking to Adium in their diary entries, and I thought it would be awesome of there was a way to track it. The best way would be to display backlinks on the Project page (recently mentioned by J Random Hacker). Kind of like a Wiki.

In other news, I've been feeling really ill/depressed lately. Programming, or doing much thinking at all, really, has become bothersome. It's really hard to concentrate! I suppose I'm just a little nervous about High School ending, and other stuff that's going on this summer. It's all very scary.

I've been attempting to keep up my Python-fu by practicing. Having mixed success at that. I'd really like to finish up pIRCy, an IRC-bot a friend and I are working on. He hasn't imported the sources into SVN yet though, which makes it difficult to work on. I've been doing some work on Growl recently. I guess it's more fun to work on a small developing project than it is to work on something as gargantuan as Adium.

Speaking of Adium, I'm considering how I want to allow the Evil Menubar Duck to return. I'm thinking of adding him as part of the Menu Controller. That may be the cleanest way to do things. I need to talk to Adam about it though. I want his opinion. Evan seems to be burning out on File Transfer. I hope he doesn't die. He sounded pretty bad when I talked to him earlier today. I'm sure he'll be fine, but I'm a little worried. I worry too much. I'm starting to wander, and that's a sign it's time to end this entry. Take care.

Well, I've been experimenting with Planet, and I must say it's very cool. It's a feed aggregator, but instead of displaying them on your local computer, it creates a webpage. I'm going to use it to grab all the blogs of Adium developers and put them all together on a webpage. I'm really impressed with how easy it is to set up. There are no dependancies except Python 2.2, which everyone really should have anyway. Setup was a snap, took me a few minutes. It seems to be quite customizable. I'm going to have fun playing with it, methinks. It seems to have problems with certain feeds though *cough*xanga*cough*. Oh well, I guess nothing is perfect.

Things have been going slowly for me, programming-wise. I haven't been terribly productive, despite a lot of free time. It's an annoying feeling, and I'd like to shake it off somehow. Ah well, I'm sure I'll get over it. I've got some neato stuff in the works for Adium, like bringing back the Evil Menubar Duck, for starters. I think he's going to be even more dangerous this time. I hope he doesn't get lose on Adam's computer and delete half of his home directory again. That was not fun.

I'm beginning to wander, so I'll wrap this up. That CSS Font news article I talked about last time is almost ready. Expect to see it soon. I set up that planet thing, so you can check out planet.fourx.org for an aggregate of my blogs (and possibly in the future, blogs I read). Neat stuff.

Well well, It's been a bit since I've updated this. Oh well. Anyway, more programming. Getting back into the swing of things, finally. That stuff in the account view I talked about earlier hasn't happened yet. Haven't been able to gather Adam and Evan together without them fretting about our DO and Thread code. Oh well (Too bad, it looks like Adium's not gonna be ready for the ADA on the 17th...)

I'm going to rant a bit about Cold Fusion. I hate it. I absolutely detest it. I can't understand why someone would want to use such a proprietary language. Apparently, my employer adores it, and refuses to install PHP on their server for a "toy program" I wrote for them. So, I get to rewrite it in CF. Fat chance of that ever happening. I really don't know what to tell them, though. It's not exactly missions critical, but I really don't want to say to them "Um, sorry, your development tools suck." It doesn't help that I found out that they're all a bunch of undercutting scabs, which really irks me, coming from a union family ("scabs" probably isn't the right word, but they charge dirt and undercut everyone else, so, eh, close enough). I'm pretty much just spinning my wheels waiting for the internship to end. Then, of course, I need to find an actual job. Joy...

Speaking of jobs, I'm doing some (unpaid) work for my school (see a pattern? I'm too nice for my own good). It's a pretty straightforward project; currently, the Summer School teachers have to write out all their comments by hand. Me and one of my former CS teachers are working on moving this over to a web-based system. If only the slate was totally clean, this would be a breeze. Unfortunately, it's not. All of the student data is stored in a Paradox server that's totally separate form the web server. So, when grading time comes, we have to do an export from Paradox to a csv file, which is imported into the MySQL database. Thankfully, we don't have to export back to the Paradox server; all the reports are generated from the PHP-driven website. I'd work on my Python-fu, but PHP is easier for someone from a C/Java background to read (they need to be able to change it after I leave). I've got this mostly planned and sketched out, but I haven't started on the code side. I have about half of the layout finished, and it's working in [Win|Mac]IE 5 and Safari 1.2. I'll see how Netscape handles it later on.

Now, in some forward looking news, I've got an idea for an article to post. It's a problem that's been bothering me for a while, and now that I've been doing some web design again, I've noticed it even more. I'm talking about fonts. Currently, a page designer has half a dozen choices of fonts to use on their website. What if there a way to allow you to upload a file to the server, and have a stylesheet load and use the serverside font (yes, there's been something like this before. But that was a plugin, and nobody felt like downloading it). I'm going to propose a clean solution. Stay tuned, folks (Surprisingly, this has been one of my longest entries, well, ever, in any blog, ever. Cool.)

4 May 2004 (updated 4 May 2004 at 04:52 UTC) »

I have been sucked back in to programming, and it's a wonderful feeling. Lately, I've found my time occupied by Adium. I've been working on the UI for blocking, setting up the contextual menus and adding a table view for adding and removing users. I can't wait to get back into this more. There will be plenty of time for that later.

time passes...

Yeah, about that Blocking UI. It's definitely NASAL. I've found a shortcoming in the way we deal with subclasses of the AccountViewController adding additional tabs to the tab view. The current system works fine when only one subclass maintains all the tabs, but if you try to leave the generalized code in a superclass, you run into major problems. A, if not The, solution is to switch from "server pull" to "client push". Currently, the superclass pulls all the tabs from view_auxiliaryTabView and adds them itself. I'm thinking of switching that around, and having the subclasses tell the superclass to install a specific tab view. That should lead to more flexibility. In theory.

 

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