Life lesson #10,013: Chances are, your 12 year old self and 25 year old self are not really the same person. ;-)
Life lesson #10,013: Chances are, your 12 year old self and 25 year old self are not really the same person. ;-)
All went quite well. About 22 people showed up initially and I think 30 people in all because some came in after the break. Only 2 people left after the break, which is good. I thought that I did a good job of covering the information without too many Umms or pauses or getting lost. There were some good questions from the audience and I feel like I helped some people either resolve their problems, guide them to the right place or discourage them from using FrontPage at all. As a viable alternative, I suggested that everyone wait for WebDAV to mature. I think that I'm going to try to work up another presentation to do at ApacheCon Europe in Dublin, Ireland.
During some free time at ApacheCon and while on the plane I wrote the majority of code for the initial versions of numsum, numgrep and numavg. From testing them so far I think they work pretty well and will be well recieved. I'll have to submit them to CVS on sourceforge pretty soon so others can take a look.
Tonight I started doing actual practice run throughs of my presentation. I setup a video camera for a short while in Kiva's conference room so that I could look at what I recorded and critique myself a bit. It's working out pretty well so far. I have a "reheasal presentation" in front of some Kiva employees this Wednesday evening at 6:30pm in the same conference room. Hopefully I'll be ready to go by then. That way I can make some revisions based on their feedback. The actual ApacheCon presentation is on April 5th at 9am.
I've had to halt my development on the modifications I made to AeroMail because of my involvement with ApacheCon. But a guy contacted me who was interested in having me help with a spin off project called BlueFox. Appearently BlueFox is a more official project to implement the features that I added to AeroMail into a full fledged web-mail solution. The main guy who started it says that he isn't so much of a coder as he is an organizer. Here is the SourceForge page for BlueFox.
For a long time I've always thought that there were
certain words missing from our beloved Unix language. A few
times I'll come across situations where I want to pipe the
output of a command from the shell and run it trhough a
program that will give me the sum of all the numbers on
stdin. As a solution to this problem, I've always ended up
writing a sort perl routine on the command line. Last week,
I wrote a short script to do this for me. Now I've created
placeholder page for what are going to by the Numeric
Utilities. Basically they will be a numeric version of the
GNU textutils. If anyone is interested in helping me in
this endevor, you are more than welcome to send me an e-mail and let me know.
I'll probably create an advogato page for it too as soon as
an initial version is released.
[I think a lot of us can relate to this guy.]
Well, last night I finished up writing the written part of the presentation. Today I need to format the document in RTF or HTML so that the conference people can publish the document as part of their conference proceedings. The document I wrote is 17 pages long and over 6000 words. It will probably end up being 20 - 25 pages after I reformat it to fit on pages correctly, etc.
I was able to get Camelot to pay for 4 nights of hotel because of the whole plane ticket fiasco. The guy who I talk to about this tried to tell me how much more generous they are because most other conference don't pay for their speaker's flight or hotel, etc. Then he named two conferences as an example and I hadn't heard of either one of them (JavaOne and SD West/East). I think that it's only fair that speakers get benifits like this since there is not only time spent presenting the material at the conference, but a whole lot of time (every night for the past few weeks) spent preparing the material.
My presentation is coming along quite nicely. I suspect I'll be done with writing it by Friday night and then on Saturday I'll re-read everything trhough, make corrections and then put it into HTML format. I called the travel agency that the ApacheCon people go through and found out that if I wanted to leave the Saturday morning after the conference is over that it was going to cost $1269. But if I left on Sunday it would only cost $350. That's ridiculous. What's more is that Camelot Communications (the people organizing the conference) are trying to get buy with only paying 2 nights stay for speakers, even though if one attended the whole conference it would be 3 nights stay. What a jip.
Well despite the ApacheCon thing, everthing else yesterday went ok. Especially after I came back from lunch at Irish Lion and found a big 19" monitor box addressed to me in the front of the office. To note, I sent KDS back my 17" Radius brand monitor for repairs or replacement after it broke a few weeks ago. What service, they probably didn't have an exact replacement so they instead way cheered me up by sending me this kickass 19" monitor. What joy!!
At work I've been writing a frontpage extensions re-initialization program in Perl. What it will do is re-install the frontpage extensions for a user according to the setup we have in /etc/skel. This will be useful because we have been getting requests from users that seem to want to just fuck up what we've setup for them. Re-initializing a frontpage extension setup was tedious enough to warrant writing this script. I will probably release the program eventually after we have tested it initially.
So Christof Pohl, the author of improved mod_frontpage asked a question on his forum about how he could compile the fpexec without needing the Apache source tree. I was able to look into this more and came up with a solution that only requires changes to the Makefile. Basically the problem was that the current Makefile that he uses has dependencies on files in the source tree instead of using the development files in /usr/include/apache (or wherever) that get installed when you install Apache. I sent the proper information off to him and hopefully now he'll be able to release his changes as a tarball and not as a patch. Then we could make an RPM or a Debian package. I think that would help mod_frontpage be more widely accepted.
That monitor situation
Well, I found out that Radius Inc. was bought out by KDS a year or so ago. On a whim I decided to call KDS and see if they would replace my monitor. Low and behold they will and they were quite nice about it too. I'm happy. Now I just have to take care of my ViewSonic monitor that's having problems. Why do these things happen all that the same time?
Lack of time
Here's another question: How come whenever I finally make time for myself to sit down and do something (like work on my ApacheCon presentation), something else that needs my immediate attention comes up. Yesterday afternoon this happened 4 or 5 times. I never really got anything done. Grrrrrr.
A while back Adrian and I made some changes to Improved mod_frontpage so that it would work as a true Apache DSO module. Chirpo wrote us back today letting us know that our changes would be incorporated into the latest 1.5.1 version of the program. Cool. He also said something about how he wishes he could get fpexec (simular to suexec) to compile without needing the whole Apache build tree. Seeing that, Adrian tipped me off on an idea on how to fix the Makefile so that it will work.
I Have been learning about LDAP lately. LDAP is pretty cool but is difficult to pick up at first because if you're used to relational databases, grasping the concept of object relations is kinda weird. I still don't think I have the overall picture yet. My final goal is to get LDAP working on suso.org so that I do all authentication and most user information tracking through it.
I just about twisted my ankle off playing frisbee last night. Ouch. The monitor on my windows machine when bonkers last night and it looks like I'll have to find a replacement since I think it's out of warranty (don't every buy a Radius monitor). Also the brand new Viewsonic monitor that I bought only a few weeks ago is starting to give me strange ghost images. Badddd. I'm just going to package that one up and take it back to the store for a replacement. What is it with me and hardware?
Back and forth and back and forth and forth and back.. Well, Mark Cushman and I had a rather long discussion on the status of my changes to AeroMail and what to do from here on. He thinks that we have the same goals for the program so he is going to setup a CVS server somewhere as well as a development mailing list for the program so that we can track our own changes as well as have archived discussions. I think this will help greatly in the development of the software. I've received a few more e-mails from people thanking me for making the changes to AeroMail as well as sending bugfixes and more feature enhancements. Open source is cool.
I was able to stay home from work today (because I was there for 12 hours yesterday fixing a broken machine) and begin working on my presentation for ApacheCon. I'm going to try to look through the course notes from last year's ApacheCon to see how other people structured their presentations. Hopefully this will help me write a more successful one.
Too many pairs of jeans and shirts of mine have either gone out of style or have holes in them. So I went out to Target (great place to buy nice inexpensive clothes) and picked up some casual attire. The problem always seems to be that they never have my size. My size being average I would think that they would have more of it. Oh well.
So I received a message from Mark Cushman last night about my changes to AeroMail. He liked them but he didn't want to implement all of the MySQL features. He basically thought that LDAP is a more widely used solution for storing user address books and options. He basically summed things up by saying that the features that I've added to AeroMail are not part of the straight line path that he is taking from version 1.4 to version 2.0 of AeroMail.
I'm cool with that and he has every right as the author of the program to decide where it's going to go. I just don't want to do a code fork. He suggested that I change the name of my code base to something else so as not to confuse users with a name like aeromail-mysql or something like that. So in my first attempt at coming up with a name I tried OreaMail(orea being aero spelled backwards). I went ahead and changed some things in the tarball and released my modified aeromail to the aeromail mailing list as OreaMail 1.0. Before I fell asleep last night I thought of a better name. WindMail. Since Aero is like air I thought Wind would be a nice related name and also it's a pun on windmill. There could be a little logo with envelopes as the blades on a windmill. Ok.....
So I recieved a message from someone on the aeromail list today saying that the changes I made were great and that they were just what he was looking for. That got me a bit hyped up and now I think I might continue on with my fork of AeroMail. But I think what I will do is everytime I make a new release of WindMail, I will also submit the changes back to the aeromail list and likewise whenever a new version of AeroMail is released I will try to incorporate the changes back into WindMail. That way they evolve somewhat as sister programs.
Hmmm, obviously the advogato software doesn't do input checking very well. As I was able to make myself a doubter of project universe by telneting to port 80. Not that I shouldn't be a doubter, but I shouldn't be allowed to be one officially I guess.
Well after a lot of work, I've done it. My changes to AeroMail are finished. In addition to the changes mentioned in my Feb 6th posting, I have made the following:
So I've tarred up my new source tree and made a patch file against the aeromail 1.40 source code. I notified Mark Cushing with this info so that he can decide whether he is going to implement them in the next version or what. I'm going to give him a few days to respond before sending the patch to the AeroMail mailing list. I still haven't heard back from Mark on the e-mail I sent him a week ago.
WOW! It's 2:30am and I'm the stick tommorow morning.. Zzzzzzz.
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