Older blog entries for robertc (starting at number 64)

15 Dec 2006 (updated 15 Dec 2006 at 03:16 UTC) »

So, phone call today went something like this

  • Hello Robert [voice I dont recognise]
  • Hi, who is this.
  • This is a courtesy call from Telstra mobile, is that ok?
  • Maybe, what do you want?
  • Are you aware that Telstra a running a special right now - 400 dollars credit and a BRAND NEW PHONE absolutely FREE if you bring your number over to Telstra today?
  • Are, so you are calling me unsolicted even though I'm not a customer of yours?
  • <starts to say something>
  • Let me make this clear, <shouting>FUCK OFF</shouting>
  • dead phone..

Yeah, I was seriously cranky - after the amount of email spam I cleaned out this morning, it was -not- a good day to be spamming my mobile phone number.

I feel somewhat guilty about the abusive (its not my normal persona!) language to the poor shmuck (who sounded like they come from an Indian call centre by accent) whose job it is to spam people, but not very: they are willing to do so - so I dont feel guilty.

I do feel quite a sense of satisfaction though : imagine having one of the pharma spammers on the phone - what would you choose to say to them ?

Added to my list of 'things we need'... a version of icheck that requires less configuration to hook into package builds. Ideally one that we can get running automatically on any package build.

Yes, its sci-fi, but avoiding ABI breaks across all libraries would be fantastic.

19 Nov 2006 (updated 19 Nov 2006 at 04:14 UTC) »

Well, UDS mountain view is over, and all-hands.

I found the USA fun in a number of ways. However, for some reason I recieved the 'SSSS' ("Selected for Secondary Security Screening") marker on my boarding pass in both directions, which is known to not be a coincidence. So someone out there with my name is a security risk, or its because I flew from .au to .us on a .nz passport or perhaps they think I'm this guy.

I think its time we did something about this. I urge every American to start writing to your senator or representative about this.. Bruce Schneier and others have already commented on how ineffective the SSSS mechanism is.

For my part, I'm now boycotting as much as possible every company based in the USA. And I shall never visit the USA except when work compels me to.

Which is of course a shame, as many of the people in the USA are nice: but unless they collectively *do something* and fix their out of control government, the USA is heading into being a surveillance state.

16 Oct 2006 (updated 16 Oct 2006 at 12:19 UTC) »

Just landed a sweet feature for bzr: dotted decimal revision numbers. There is a sample log (warning its 2Mb) where you can see this in all its glory. A sneak preview is here:

revno: 1986
committer: Canonical.com Patch Queue
branch nick: +trunk
timestamp: Wed 2006-09-06 00:33:01 +0100
  (robertc) Add TestCase.applyDeprecated, a common-case
helper for testing deprecated functions.
    revno: 1982.3.3
    committer: Robert Collins <robertc@robertcollins.net>
    branch nick: applyDeprecated
    timestamp: Wed 2006-09-06 09:18:40 +1000
      Change raise AssertionError to self.fail in the new
applyDeprecated test support method.
    revno: 1982.3.2
    committer: Robert Collins <robertc@robertcollins.net>
    branch nick: applyDeprecated
    timestamp: Wed 2006-09-06 09:01:33 +1000
      New TestCase helper applyDeprecated. This allows you
to call a callable
      which is deprecated without it spewing to the screen,
just by supplying
      the deprecation format string issued for it. (Robert
revno: 1985
committer: Canonical.com Patch Queue
branch nick: +trunk
timestamp: Tue 2006-09-05 23:13:00 +0100
  (robertc) Add symbol_versioning.deprecation_string, a
helper for establishing what a deprecation warning for a
symbol, version-format pair will look like.

This is really nice for users, because it lets them address revisions in a somewhat more predictable manner than the UUID each revision has. This feature is in the mainline now, look for bzr 0.12 to be able to use it - or grab bzr.dev now!

It make be a small thing, but barriers to entry are .. barriers to entry.

Erlang has a make-life file built into the system. If you see something like 'Emakefile', you might be tempted to google 'emake'.


Instead, run 'erl -make'.

And this is my point : that should be made much more obvious. Simply saying in the README for an app that uses this, 'build with erl -make' would remove all the mystery.

Man, paper selection is awesomely hard... but we've done it!

My second release as bzr release manager is over - 0.11 is released. John A Meinel will be doing the 0.12 release - and it looks to be a cracker!

I've just released bzr 0.11rc2 which unbreaks the test suite for windows and fixes our commit performance regression! The 0.12 release will be managed by John Arbash Meinel, giving me some more cycles to focus on local performance. Yay!

Had a great time at Shane & Kates housewarming last night... learnt a bit about north-german humour, and spent some hours with conrad on the status of open source:

We have an incredible amount of choice these days - 5 years ago C or C++ was the only default choice for high performance software. Now the boundary has shifted - a lot of high performance software can be written in highly productive languages, and there is robust open source Java support allowing software that needs more performance to be written with dropping down to the metal with C and C++. So C and C++ still have a place, but its becoming less and less the default, and more the special case.

Even when C and C++ is chosen, it seems very rare these days that a new low level library is released without at least one of python/perl/ruby language bindings.

So what does this mean? For most problems that one would like to write a program to automate, you can write it in a high level language and get acceptable performance on any computer bought in the last 3-4 years.

And thats awesome.

Very very cool: Unit testing Athena widgets. Athena is an AJAX toolkit for twisted/Nevow.

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