Message Of The Day

Thu, 25 Mar 2004

09:33 [zork(~/cc)] cat money_near_mouth.txt

Money, mouth, near each other, good

So, <a href="">Free Culture</a> is available online, under the <a href="">Attribution-NonCommercial</a> license. You can get the whole thing on <a href="">this page</a>, or <a href="">download it through BitTorrent</a> on <a href="">Legal Torrents</a>.

Let me take this moment to point out that I was TOTALLY WRONG, and that Double-L comes through again. Go go Larry Lessig!

Fri, 19 Mar 2004

22:11 [zork(~/cc)] cat founders_found.txt

Founders Found

Ah, so, according to <a href="">this press release</a>, Dr. Lessig "will release" his first two books, as well as his "next book", under the <a href="">Founders' Copyright</a> dedication. That's the semi-license that dedicates a work to the public domain in 14 or 28 years -- either the same or double the original copyright duration in the USA.

I'm not sure if the press release counts as such a dedication, or if there's some other document showing that the work has been dedicated. But, hey: free-as-in-freedom book in 2018! or 2032! Hooray!

07:21 [zork(~/cc)] cat lessig_book.txt

Free Culture

Does anyone know if the <a href="">new book</a> by <a href="">Larry Lessig</a> is available under a <a href="">Creative Commons</a> license or any other freely-distributable agreement?

Dr. Lessig has two other books -- <i><a href="">Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace</a></i> and <i><a href="">The Future of Ideas</a></i>. AFAICT, neither one is freely downloadable or redistributable.

If this is true, why? Is Open Content just for losers and nobodies who can't sell their books or music or films or photos to a "real" publisher? Or is it more important to get out the message of Free Culture than to practice it? Does Dr. Lessig have some personal, economic or political reason not to publish his own books under CC licenses?

I realize that it's probably hard to sell the idea of having a book freely redistributable to a major publisher like <a href="">Penguin</a>. But if people like Dr. Lessig don't make that effort, it's harder for people like me or you to do it when the time comes. When I want to publish my novels as Open Content, it'd be nice to have some precedent.

I dunno; looking over the list of <a href="">staff and directors</a> of Creative Commons, I don't see anyone but <a href="">Eric Eldred</a> with even a tiny bit of experience publishing Free Content. Why the fuck not?

Wed, 17 Mar 2004

22:37 [zork(~/software)] cat bugreport.txt

Bug Report Idiocy

So, I've been thinking about bug reports in the context of Free Software.

I had an experience recently with <a href="">Yahoo! Groups</a>. I had experienced a bug (some incorrect instructions in a form email message), and being a good citizen I had sent a bug report to the listed bug report email address. I got back a form mail telling me to look on their support FAQ pages for "my" bug. Unable to find the bug, I found the closest one, and at the point where the page said, "Did this answer your question? Click here to contact us.", I clicked, filled in another form, and sent off the report.

I got back an automated email message with a copy of the FAQ I had just said didn't answer my message. This time, however, I had a tracking number on the email they sent me, so I responded with the actual information for the bug -- the third time I'd filed the report. This time around, I got a human being, who said someone would look into it.

I filed this bug <b>three times</b>, in three different ways, before a human being looked at it. It was a righteous bug. It was a real bug. It was well-defined and easy to fix. But, most of all, it was an <i>altruistic</i> bug report. I had nothing to gain from seeing this bug fixed: after all, I had already figured out that the text was incorrect. I just wanted to let someone know so they could improve their software and serve other customers better.

The whole thing kind of brought home how hostile Free Software developers are to bug reports. We tend to treat people who make bug reports as whinging babies asking for free tech support and more Zwieback crackers. But really bug reporters should be treated as what they are: good citizens of Freedonia, doing their small part to improve software quality and everybody's computer experience. They're not <b>asking</b> for help -- they're <b>offering</b> help.

When you think about it, a bug report is the culmination of quite a long bit of work. Anyone giving a shit enough to file a bug report is impressive indeed -- after all, they could just throw out the software and use something else. Instead, they figure out the email address or Web page or what have you to make the report, they isolate the bug and try to describe it -- a difficult task, ask any tester -- and try to follow it and advocate for it.

And what do FLOSS developers do to reward this initiative? We make <a href="">horrendous</a> bug reporting interfaces. We write <a href="">supercilious claptrap</a> about how bug reports have to come in "the right way". We insult bug reporters. We close bug reports if we don't understand them or can't replicate them. We're dickheads and jerks to people who are trying to help <b>us</b> make better software.

We should knock it off.

Mon, 08 Mar 2004

16:55 [zork(~/web)] cat gripezilla.txt


So, y'know, I'm a big fan of <a href="">Mozillur</a>, and have been since forever and ever. And I'm a big fan of Web Standards, and I think it's pretty cool that Mozillur handles Web standards so well. I mean, fuX0r, about time and all.

But I also think there are some pretty crucial Web standards that Mozilla ignores or handles poorly, and that it needs to do better.

<ul> <li><a href="">SMIL</a>. That's the integrated multimedia language, the W3C's answer to stupid MacroMedia Flash. It's been a W3C rec since 1998, but it's only been implemented in stupid RealPlayer and such. Why? Mozillur has this great infrastructure for downloading and displaying XML files like all getout. Why not SMIL? Why do I still have to look at puzzle-pieces in this day and age? Why are proprietary plugins still on the Web in 2004?</li> <li><a href="">Scalable Vector Graphics</a>. Another great example of a well-defined W3C standard poorly executed. This one is for vector graphics, which is pretty damn cool, since they can be automated/animated with DOM, and you can put links in, and all kinds of stuff like that. Mozillur has SVG support in it, but it's based on some hacked up libraries, and it messes up all kinds of other things -- it'll crash Gnome, for example. So everybody turns it off. Why not fix it? There's quite a few SVG libraries out there, so why not use them?</li> <li><a href="">Dynamic Web Fonts</a>. So, when Navigator became Mozilla, they stripped out the BitStream InstoFont Dynamic Web FontX0r technology, so it could all be Free Software and stuff. Which, like, fine, but nobody's bothered to go back in and re-implement dynamic Web fonts. It's part of the CSS spec, so it'd be nice to support it. Why not? C'mon.</li> </ul>

ANYWAYS, dumb things to think about this Monday morning.

Tue, 02 Mar 2004

20:05 [zork(~/orkut)] cat bloodbath.txt

Great Orkut Bloodbath

So, on Friday last, someone named "OrkutGuy" posted in the Orkut Design community about a new set of terms of service. Certain names were unacceptable, and mine ("Mr. Bad") was one of the examples.

So I got my service turned off on Monday morning. And, like, so what? Stupid Orkut. But it turns out tons of people are getting their asses kicked off orkut. So I'm not the only one. I guess they had a March 1st massacree.

Stupid Orkut. What do they care if people use pseudonyms? Ridiculous "real name" bull-honkey is what it is. I'd hope that by 2004 anyone who had the least bit of Internet savvy would have some kind of grasp of the fluidity of online identity.

I probably wouldn't have any fun on Orkut if I wasn't Mr. Bad. Nobody would know who I am. I've spent almost 10 years investing this identity with personality, connections, and reputation. I don't like being told that it's invalid.

Did I mention stupid Orkut?

Mon, 01 Mar 2004

23:35 [zork(~/slarshdoat)] cat use_em_or_lose_em.txt


So, like, three weeks ago, I got my first moderator points EVER on <a href="">slarshdoat</a>. Which was kind of weird; although I've been reading /. since way back when, I've never really been much of a slashdot good citizen or anything. We're talking about 7 years as a total spectator on the /. social schene.

But then here I was, participating in the most talked-about moderation system on the World Wide Squirrel. Mr. Moderator and shit. Wow! Me! A moderator!

Yeah, I know, it's totally old-hat for most people. Pooh pooh, silly slarshdoat. BUT THEN IT HAPPENED TO ME! I'm no longer too cool for slarshdoat. I've got a JOB TO DO. I've got me some SOCIAL SOFTWARE to PARTICIPATE IN. So I decided to just get cracking.

First, I dutifully read the <a href="">moderation guidelines</a>, and thought deep and hard about the tips presented there. I guess I'd have to be really fair and decent with my mod points, using the for the Greater Good and not just for my own self-aggrandizement.

And then I read that I could only have the points for 3 days. THREE DAYS!!?!? How am I supposed to have Rhadamanthus-like judgement in only THREE DAYS!?

So, then I was on a roll. Gotta hurry, gotta use up these points in three days! If I don't use 'em up, I'm gonna get in trouble. Don't wanna get reprimanded on my first day on the job! Gotta make a good first impression! Use those mod points briskly and well.

So I jumped into an article that was like 14 hours old, with 300 comments or so. Lots of stuff to mod, there! But it was already over-picked. Everything that was funny was already marked "Funny: 5", and everything that used the N-word was already at -1. I had no place in this conversation. Even the stuff that said "Moderators, mod this up!" had already modded to 5 or -1.

But then, as I was moping and worrying that I was never gonna be a good moderator, a NEW ARTICLE came out. Brand new! Like FIRST-POST new! And so I jumped in! And I changed some racist slur to a -1! And a joke to a +2! And then something, and something else! And then I hit moderate, and all my mod points were gone! Gah!

So, I guess what I'm saying is that being a Slashdot moderator is a job I take seriously for no good reason. Weirdly, I seem to get mod points every time I read the site, now. I'm like the Best Moderator Ever and I'm just blessed with mod points. I feel like I've set off some cheatcode somewhere.

Sat, 07 Feb 2004

18:53 [zork(~/sona)] cat uiki.txt


So, I'm super-stupid for Sona right now. I even set up a wiki, the <a href="">Sona Uiki</a>. It actually turned out kinda nice. I got a free Website from <a href="">1 and 1</a> during some promotion they were doing, and I installed <a href="">PmWiki</a>, which may be the easiest wiki software of all time.

On top of this, Maj and I have been doing research on the language's author, <a href="">Kenneth Searight</a>. Searight was an English officer in India, a polyglot, a friend of E.M. Forster, C.K. Ogden, and G.L. Dickinson, a pederast and all around bad freak.

Anyways, we got intrigued about the guy, Maj started applying her super-librarian skills, and now we're going to <a href="">London</a> and <a href="">Cambridge</a> to do more research. How weird is that? We might write a book... we'll see.

Tue, 27 Jan 2004

21:46 [zork(~/cc)] cat new_license_version.txt

New CC License Version

The 2.0 draft versions of the <a href="">Creative Commons</a> licenses are now <a href="">up for public review</a>. The CC licenses have attracted a lot of attention to Open Content, and have really spread a lot better than other previous attempts to make Open Content accessible. Even dumb bloggers are interested, which is pretty amazing, considering what a clatch of narcissistic mouth-breathers they tend to be. (Except <a href="">Seth</a>, of course.)

Creative Commons has only posted the 2.0 draft of the <a href="">Attribution-noncommercial-sharealike</a> license, since it contains all the license elements that have been changed. The licenses were revved to deal with some perceived faults in the 1.0 versions, including the following changes:

<ul> <li>There are provisions for automatic upgrade of licenses; that is, there's now an "any later version" clause. This was missing from the 1.0 versions, making it hard to future-proof Open Content works. <li>There are stipulations for mixing works under different sharealike (kinda sorta like copyleft) provisions, resulting in a work licensed under a combination of all restrictions of the parent works. <li>Authors can now require attribution through a link-back URI. <li>The <a href="">controversial</a> warranty provision has been dropped. In the previous version, the licensor asserted that they had cleared the rights to publish and redistribute the work, and warranted users and creators of derivative works against problems with copyright, trademark, privacy rights, etc. This section was one of the most <a href="">criticized</a> parts of the licenses. In the 2.0 version, an "as-is" disclaimer of warranty has replaced this section. </ul>

(List copied from a <a href="">k5</a> story I posted on the topic.)

Personally, I'm not terribly happy about most of the new revisions, at least in my persona as co-founder of <a href="">Wikitravel</a>. The lack of warranty means that contributors are no longer even nominally responsible for clearing the rights on their submissions -- making my headache that much larger, and making our content that much less useful to downstream publishers.

And the ability to "remix" sharealike licenses means that someone could take Wikitravel's <a href="">copyleft</a>ed work and re-release it under a more restrictive license -- say, noncommercial -- that would make us unable to re-incorporate their changes. Letting downstream developers take away freedoms we tried to grant to the world is pretty lame.

Anyways, commentary is welcome on the <a href="">cc-licenses</a> mailing list. I'm pretty sure you can just send mail to <a href=""></a> without being subscribed.

Wed, 14 Jan 2004

06:59 [zork(~/sona)] cat sona.txt

mi abu Sona

So, I'm a big fan of <a href="">constructed languages</a>. Like, y'know, <a href="">Esperanto</a> and stuff. Actually, I'm a big fan of all languages, but conlangs are fun and easy to learn since, being consciously authored by one or a few individuals, they lack that wild-eyed complexity that natural languages have. They just don't have that existentially nauseating feeling of something that exists beyond the human mind.

Where was I? Oh, yeah: I especially like <i>isolating</i> languages -- where the words of the language don't change for tense of verbs or case of nouns. And <i>agglutinative</i> ones -- where you build up words from smaller root parts (like "non-", "pro-", "-ly"). I guess I also am down with <i>minimal</i> languages -- languages with a really small set of root parts.

I was kind of into <a href="">toki pona</a> for a while, but then I got kinda bored by that language's primitivist mind-control. Screw you, toki pona! Stay outta my head! Then I started grooving on this <a href="">Earth Minimal</a> language instead. Just 220 words in the radical lexicon. But, y'know, it doesn't seem that well-thought-out. And the author is a serious crank. Yeah, you have to be a crank to make up a conlang, but not a real serious crank.

So <b>now</b> I'm totally digging on <a href="">Sona</a>. It's got 360 radicals, plus 15 particles, which, y'know, is not really all that much. It's short and sweet, but seems well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. I wrote myself a <a href="">language drill file</a> that works with the <kbd>quiz</kbd> program from <a href="">BSD games</a>. Soon I will be a genius of Sona! Bwahaha!

Tue, 13 Jan 2004

19:07 [zork(~/web)] cat

To plough takes two as well

While I'm scrabbling here, thought I'd say: <a href=""></a> is cool. It's called a <q>social bookmarking</q> site, meaning you bookmark stuff, and it goes on, then everyone else can look at your bookmarks. They get organized by tag words or chronologically... making it suspiciously blog-like. But without any bloggers. Yay!

Anyways, my bookmarks are at <a href=""></a>, because that's a cool song.

Thu, 11 Dec 2003

16:46 [zork(~/cc)] cat partay.txt

Birthday party for Creative Commons

Hey, so, if you don't already know, there's a <a href="">Creative Commons first-anniversary party</a> this Sunday, December 14th, at 111 Minna Street in the City that Knows How.

<a href="">Creative Commons</a> has really revitalized the field of <a href="">Open Content</a> and gotten a lot more long-hair bearded Mac-using hippy musicians and artists into the idea, instead of the long-hair bearded Linux-using hippy programmers and sysadmins that had be in the forefront before.

The upshot: go to this party, and boogie down (or something -- I have no idea what the schedule is). Yay Creative Commons Yay!

Mon, 08 Dec 2003

20:43 [zork(~/wikitravel)] cat discontents.txt


So, Nick seems to be less than impressed with the <a http="">Wikitravel</a> interface. And with good reason: Wiki interfaces are to suck. Editing text in a browser is miserable, and Wiki markup is laughable for anyone who's done serious markup in a reasonable markup language. The process is frustrating, especially for non-trivial edits.

There's a project to make a <a href="">dedicated client</a> for the <a href="">MediaWiki</a> software. We'll see how that goes. There's also a <a href="">modes for VIM and Emacs</a> to edit MediaWiki articles, and I believe someone's coded a full client in Emacs lisp.

One thing he didn't point out is that the navigational interface on the pages is nearly impossible to handle. Every single function you could ever need is on every page -- a serious faceblast of links. Hard to find what you need from all that linkage. I think there's some possibilities for fixing that -- maybe with Javurscript to do twist-down interface menus or something. I dunno.

Nick also pointed out that the templates can be kind of intimidating. I'm also kind of ambivalent about <a href="">templates</a>. It's a three-edged sword: if we have no guidance on how to structure articles, people get weirded out, and argue a lot about what should go where. If we <i>have</i> guidance, they complain about the rigidity, or they feel like they can't make free-form edits. I don't remember what the third edge is.

There's also a problem with too many or too few articles. People seem to feel more comfy adding to an existing article than making a new one. If a page is empty when people start, they get freaked out that they don't know where to begin. If a page has stuff on it already, they get worried they're going to mess something up, or they can't find the area they want to edit in all the Wiki markup.

The <a href=""> CIA World Factbook 2002 imports</a> are probably the worst culprit for this. We wanted to get something in place early, to give at least a little navigation structure to the site, but they ended up being more problem then they were worth. They're just placeholders for real articles, of course. We're trying to <a href="">defactbookize</a> them as they get edited, but it's a slow process. You can compare the <a href="">Central African Republic</a>, a purely CIA Factbook import article, with the <a href="">USA</a>), which is defactbookized and pretty well fleshed out.

Overall, it's good to hear some criticism. I actually am employed right now -- doing some contract work -- but Wikitravel does take up some time. I was happy that Mister Bad Jr. was able to do such a fantastic job on <a href="">Oahu</a>, <a href="">Hawaii</a>, <a href="">Honolulu</a>, and <a href="">Oakland</a>. Hearing about her initial problems makes this even more of an impressive task. Despite all the interface obstacles, she r0x0red again. Beaujolais to her!

Tue, 25 Nov 2003

18:20 [zork(~/wikitravel)] cat postnow.txt


I know a lot of good writers, and I have a lot of friends that support our effort with <a href="">Wikitravel</a>. Many have offered to "submit something", or "help out", but I've noticed a tendency on their parts to think of wiki pages as magazine articles. In their mind, the page must be complete and exquisitely crafted on initial posting.

This is a daunting task, and most people just don't have the time or energy for it. Some folks have, in fact, come through in this way: Johnny Royale wrote up the hilarious <a href="">Walnut Creek guide</a>, and Siduri started <a href="">a guide to the Tenderloin</a>. Tjames made <a href="">Santa Barbara</a>, which is such a great professional page. I love it.

But most people don't, or can't, and then they get intimidated and guilty and they don't want to talk to me about Wikitravel anymore. Which is kind of a bummer for me, because I never wanted a magazine article in the first place. It's like if your Dad promises you some expensive gift for Christmas, and then he can't afford it, so he doesn't get you anything and feels guilty and goes and gets schnockered at the pub on Christmas Eve instead.

The thing I'm starting to grok about wiki -- and I'm not a wiki expert by any means -- is that <a href="">Worse is Better</a>. You don't have to create something beautiful the first time around. In fact, great initial postings may actually be counterproductive. They kind of discourage editing by readers, meaning that community knowledge doesn't get included. It's the <a href="">stub articles</a> that seem to really grow into something information-rich.

I love my friends and I appreciate their goodwill. I know some of the best people in the world. But I wish I could think of an easy way to tell friends who offer to create a new article for Wikitravel that that's not what I really want. Just come over and help out. Create a stub for something that's not there. Expand a stub that is there. Correct someone else's spelling. Look up the phone number for a restaurant listing. Just, y'know, <a href="">plunge forward</a>. It's more fun that way, anyways.

So, Nick, if you really want to help out, check out the pages for <a href="">the Bay Area</a>, for <a href="">San Francisco</a>, or for <a href="">the East Bay</a> and <a href="">Oakland</a>, and just start dribbling in bits and pieces of transit info. You know plenty more about <a href="">Seattle</a> and the <a href="">the Pacific Northwest</a> than is on those stub pages. That's really what I want.

Fri, 07 Nov 2003

18:26 [zork(~/wikitravel)] cat kuro5hin.txt


In my endless quest to promote Wikitravel, I wrote an <a href="">article</a> for Kuro5hin about the site. Talk about your hostile crowd -- I got voted down to almost dump status before I decided to pull the story and submit it for editing. After some simple editorial comments -- "You use '--' too much" -- the mood was much better, and when I submit it for voting it was posted within a few hours.

I think this article is better than the Advogato one. For one, I wasn't drunk when I wrote it. It abuses the Cathedral-and-Bazaar metaphor something terrible, but I figure that's OK. The big problem is that most readers seem to have all kinds of fear about Wiki abuse, vandalism, commercial advertising, etc. I have been fielding questions in the K5 comments area, but most foks just don't seem to get that dedicated Wiki users can overpower transitory abuse. I'm going to have to put info about that in the next article I write.

The articles I've written this week have had good effect. People seem to really dig the idea behind Wikitravel, and there's been a lot of activity and new users. We jumped up over 100 registered users last night -- how long till we have 1000? It's been a little hard absorbing the new user base, but I think we're proceeding apace. I'm kind of glad we've had the last few months to figure out what we're doing, since our <a href="">help text</a> and <a href="">manual of style</a> are more or less complete and ready for newbies to peruse. We'll see -- I'm fearing the first mention on slashdot.

Wed, 05 Nov 2003

19:08 [zork(~/wikitravel)] cat advogato.txt


So, I wrote an <a href="">article</a> for Advogato last night about <a href="">Wikitravel</a>. Me and Maj have been having Tuesday night dinner parties, and we had about 8 people over, and drank everything vaguely alcoholic in the house, so when folks were leaving around 2AM, I figured it'd be a good time to scratch something out and post it. OK, maybe not such a good idea, but it seemed really reasonable at the time.

Anyways, I don't seem to be getting the same kind of hostility towards my UFO beliefs there as I got from travel sites. It might just be more of a comment on the state of Advogato than anything else. I dunno.

I re-read the article today. It's way too long, and full of grammar and spelling mistakes. Advogato has no interface for editing articles, either. Lesson learned: don't try to write serious articles when you've been guzzling Windex.

Tue, 04 Nov 2003

03:44 [zork(~/wikitravel)] cat ufobeliefs.txt


URGH. So, I think I mentioned my stupid <a href="">Wikitravel</a> fetish, right? Anyways, today I was thinking that it'd be a good idea to spend some time telling other people about the site. Like, people who actually give a shit, instead of MOTD readers.

So I looked on <a href="">Open Directory</a> for some sites that had something to do with <a href="">travel</a>. And there's two sites that are featured: <a href="">Virtual Tourist</a> and <a href="">Lonely Planet</a>. So, I went and I signed in to both services, reviewed their terms of service, spent about an hour on each to get a feel for the lay of the land, and scanned around their crufty Web fora for the right area to post in, and then wrote brief posts saying that if anyone was interested in making their own, free travel guide, well, Wikitravel was for them. No vitriol, no money-changer cursing, just a gentle URL and an explanation of what we're doing.

Big mistake.

When I got back to my computer tonight, and went to check on the status of my posts, I found that both accounts -- one at each service -- were locked out. I guess Free Content is too much for the Man to handle. But I kinda feel like I was <a href="">fired from Waldenbooks for my UFO beliefs</a>.

Webzines face tough times.

Thu, 30 Oct 2003

20:35 [zork(~/wikitravel)] cat wikitravel.txt


So, my beautiful <a href="">fiancee</a> is a travel writer. She's really good. And I'm a Text Libre advocate. That's really annoying.

Anyways, we started a site to make a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. It's like <a href="">Wikipedia</a>, only for travel. And it uses the <a href="">Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License</a>, rather than the crufty <a href="">GFDL</a>.

It's called <a href="">Wikitravel</a>. It's fun, but it's hard, too. Which I guess the best things in life are like that.

Wed, 28 May 2003

21:06 [zork(~)] cat elena.txt


So, my niece didn't arrive until Saturday morning around 5AM. My sister-in-law was in labor for like 24 hours before they admitted her to the hospital, and after that it was another 8 or so hours before the niece made her appearance.

Her name is <b>Elena Priscilla Prodromou</b>, she's healthy and happy, and the first member of her generation in my family. We're all stupid giddy about her.

My brothers and I all assembled at the hospital waiting room and watched DVDs all night until the baby came. An excellent sleepover. We were therefore the first people to get the birth announcement, and we were in the birthing room about 45 minutes after the whole thing went down. I got a <a href="">picture</a> of me with the little bundle. Heh.

Fri, 23 May 2003

01:49 [zork(~)] cat bucky.txt


So, I'm going to see "The History (and Mystery) of the Universe", the one-man play about the life and work of Buckminster Fuller, currently in San Francisco at <a href=''>The Project Artaud Theater</a>. I saw it a couple of years ago before I left The City, and I really liked it.

Anyways, my sister-in-law was due to give birth last Saturday, and we've all been anxious to see her actually pop. I've got the cigarette-at-the-bus-stop theory: as soon as you stop waiting and start doing something else enjoyable, the thing you were waiting for will happen.

On that principle, I got tickets for me, all 3 of my brothers, my sister-in-law, my mom (who loves Fuller) and my dad. Wouldn't you know it: my brother called this afternoon to say that my sister-in-law is having a lot of 'activity' and they think they might be going to the hospital instead of the theater.

I'm so damn good.

01:43 [zork(~/joap)] cat release.txt

A Quasi-Sexual Release

Man, there's a reason that software release and sexual release both use the word 'release'. There's something exhilirating about making your first release of a piece of software you've been working on for a while.

Anyways, I uploaded the first (0.01) version of <a href="">joap-perl</a> today. Beaujolais for me!

Sun, 18 May 2003

06:37 [zork(~/iamdum)] cat mailx.txt

Mail Is Hard

So, I'm hungover today and I still have bits of sam's hair in my socks, which is itchy. And my botheredness with mailx is getting me down.

So I'm begging someone to tell me: is there any way to trick <a href=''>mailx</a> into using my real email address instead of user@hostname? Some kind of env variable or .mailrc setting or something? Or is that just Wrong and Bad and not to be done?

It's not like I use mailx to do all my email stuff. I'm using a program (<a href="">arch</a>) that spawns off mailx for mail notification of, umm, _stuff_. So it's gotta be mailx, it's preferably an env var or config file setting, and it's gotta be easy.

Everyone do my homework for me.

Fri, 16 May 2003

01:53 [zork(~/guile)] cat schismatic.txt


You know, I think nick gives short shrift to the fine <a href="">Guile</a> Scheme implementation. I mean, hey, sure, there's problems, but it _is_ the GNU extension language. It deserves some respect.

01:44 [zork(~/joap)] cat perl.txt

Did I mention JOAP? I mentioned JOAP. Anyways, after I got the JOAP spec working, I realized that nobody was going to use it unless there was some accompanying software. And I also realized that nobody was going to build that software except for me.

So I started working on a <a href="">Perl package</a> for JOAP. Specifically, it lets you expose Perl classes on the Jabber network through JOAP, without a lot of hassle -- just a bit of metadata specification. And it lets you use JOAP objects someone else exposed in your Perl code in a completely transparent way. You just do some set up, and then you've got JOAP objects as Perl objects.

This is the most Perl coding I've done in like 7-8 years. It's frustrating, of course, but it does remind me of all the fun parts of Perl. It _is_ a modifiable language, like Scheme or Forth, but the modification is so secret and strange as to be totally abstruse. That kind of makes it fun, though.

Of course, after joap-perl goes 0.1, I'll be starting on joap-python. Then joap-java. It's like I did something really wrong and now I have to pay for it in programming hell forever.

01:35 [zork(~/joap)] cat spec.txt


So, I've been interested in <a href="">Jabber</a> for a while. My interest flagged for a bit, but when we needed to have on-line meetings for the Pigdog <a href="">Burning Man</a> trip, I figured Jabber was a natural fit.

Since then, I've been dicking around with various Jabber coding, and it's kind of become a madness. I now maintain a <a href="">console-mode Jabber client</a> as well as its accompanying <a href="">C library</a>.

After delving into Jabber so much, I got fixated on the idea of using Jabber as distributed object framework. After a while, I wrote a spec for the protocol I thought up, called <a href="">JOAP</a>. It's been about all I've been doing for the last 4 months, and it's been fun. Check it out.

[zork(~)] cal
[zork(~)] tree
[zork(~)] cat README