My Linux hard disk is causing more and more problems. So I found myself working more with Windows. I installed Cygwin on the desktop computer's Win98 system, but then the CPAN installation of Perl's LWP caused the computer to hang (twice). So I installed it on our Windows XP system, where everything went flawlessly. XP has the option of hiding all the taskbar icons, but I could not find a way to resize the taskbar to make it two rows high. Apparently, it crashes less often than Win98.
Version Control Comparison
I started writing a file in XML format that contained a comparison of several version control systems: CVS, Aegis, Arch, BitKeeper and Subversion. Then I wrote a perl script to translate it to HTML. My main problem in working on it was that my laptop's mouse-pad that was in the way of my hands to the keyboard, caused the cursor to jump. Then, I switched to working on Linux on the desktop computer where it was a better environment.
My code had some problems after I got it to run, but I solved it. I'm using XML::LibXML, perl's interface to libxml, which provides a great API for analyzing XML documents. It's much better than the tedious work involved in working with XML::Parser.
I then set out to write a DTD for the XML format I defined. I encountered two problems. The first was that I had several isomorphic tags and I had to write an identicla element definition for each one and enumerate them inside their container tag. I solved it by generating the DTD by another perl script.
The next problem I encountered was that I wanted the container to contain each at most one of each of the elements in any order. The good people at EF-Net's #perl channel helped me, and it turned out that it was not possible. So I settled for zero or one occurences of any of the tags. (it's the closest thing supported by the DTD definition).
In any case, I notified the Subversion mailing list and afterwards the Arch mailing list about the comparison and received a lot of useful input and corrections. It's great to know there are so many enthusiastic people out there.
"Objectivism and Open Source" Essay
Based on some input from people I sent a notification about the essay to, and some ideas of my own, I updated and revised "Objectivism and Open Source". Thanks to everybody who contributed input!
The bicycle turned out to be fine after all (after we filled a lot of air in the back wheel), so I went out biking the past few days. Yesterday, when I biked and stopped at the Yarkon Park to drink, I noticed some rabbits on a nearby patch of grass. There were two kids nearby who were trying to chase them. I approached them and asked them if the rabbits were theirs. They said yes and told me they ran away and that they tried to catch them.
I helped them in our attempts to catch the rabbits (an older, bigger one who was the father of the smaller one), but we were not successful. When I left, ten minutes later, the rabbits were still on the loose. One anecdote was that the son has escaped to a closed container, so I tried to scare him away by throwing things at him. One date which I threw at him was eventually eaten by him... ;-)