14 Oct 2005 shlomif   » (Master)

Summary of the Past Year

Continuing with last year's tradition, I went over my past year's weblogs' entries, in order to try and summarize the year as a gesture for Yom Kippur. Here's what I can say about them.

The biggest personal trouble happened due to this rumour spreading about my body odour in Hackers-IL. It wasn't really my fault, but I still got too anxious from it. Hackers-IL is a nice forum, which I'd really like to take an active part in , in the future. The person who did this and other insults left, so I won't have to worry about him in the future. He otherwise seemed like an intelligent and knowledgable guy, but he was still trying to irrationally and ignorantly attack me.

The biggest trouble I've been involved in, was the flamefest on the Hamakor mailing lists and blogosphere caused by Elad Efrat. This year, I got to know Elad better and found out he was actually both nice and productive, but simply could be incredibly tactless and insulting. I learned to not take what he says too seriously, and not to argue with him on the points that make him edgy, and I hope other people would learn the lesson.

There were bigger calamities on the global scale: the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and many acts of terrorism, to name those that I recall. One of the good things that happened this year was the disengagement from the Gaza strip. It's not enough to ensure the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, but it's a step in the right direction.

This year, my involvement in large scale FOSS projects diminished a bit. While I still contributed some patches to the GIMP, I instead either:

  1. Worked on CPAN modules or other smaller scale projects that I found useful (and often personally needed)
  2. Did a lot of work for the local community.
  3. Worked on Web-sites, articles for O'Reilly-Net and other online publications, essays, stories, etc.

Except for two "third-party" CPAN modules, I stopped contributing a lot to Subversion. Thing is, they have plenty of very active contributors (some of them are code animals), and they seem to be doing very fine without me. Besides, Subversion just works for me.

On the literary front, I finished writing the "Human Hacking Field Guide". Today, when I was going to revise a part which I wasn't happy it, I also read it till the end, and discovered it was much better than I originally thought of it. (partly due to people's criticism of it). I also made some progress with The Pope Died on Sunday (whose writing began a long time before the death of Pope John Paul II this year), and on the new draft of "The Enemy and how I Helped to Fight it". But it's still wasn't a whole lot.

And finally: I finnally found a job! Positive income is good, I'm writing in Perl which is my favourite language, and I'm learning many new technologies.

Homepage Direction

Finally, a note about my homepage. I decided to take GoingWare's advice about "How to Crush Joel Spolsky Like a Bug" (which was also given to me in some form by a friend), and put almost everything I write on my homepage, and turn it into an even more attractive site for visitors. Lately, I moved it to a fast hosting service (which most people from abroad I asked, said works very well for them), instead of the rather slow hosting on eskimo.iglu.org.il. Plus, content was revamped , section-specific navigation menus were added; also added was more content as well placeholder pages for interesting resources with the site look, feel and flow.

Hopefully, this will cause the site to really take off, and bring me fame, fortune, and the respect and admiration of lots of foxy women. Seriously now, while in 25 May, 2005, the Google query for "shlomi fish" (with quotes) returned close to 38,000 hits, the number grew to almost 100,000 on the 1st of July. Now it's over 200,000. I hope that the new work on the site will cause me to have an even bigger net presence.

(I wanted to show how my homepage looked like at the beginning of my Technion studies, but seems like web.archive.org was blocked by robots.txt by the undergraduate students' server admin. :-()

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