Sunday, February 29, 2004

Best Screensaver Ever

I meant to post this a while ago, but got sidetracked...

In case it wasn't clear yet, the new release of xscreensaver proves once again that it is the king of all screensavers.

I mean come on, how can you not love a screensaver that simulates an old school monitor and actually has a vt100 emulator built in so you can use it as a terminal. That's just too cool for words in my book.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

What A Great Line

While I've never had any use for formats in perl 5, I must admit that the exegesis about them in perl 6 is quite interesting.

My favorite part is the section on what happens when form is called in void context:

When called in a void context, form waxes lyrical about human frailty, betrayal of trust, and the pointlessness of calling out when nobody's there to heed the reply, before dying in a highly theatrical manner.

Friday, February 27, 2004


I'm currently waiting for a number of things to happen.

I hate waiting.

A lot.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Slashdot Jumps The Gun

Just once, I'd like Slashdot to wait until a software product is ACTUALLY RELEASED before posting an announcement about it having been released.

But apparently that is too much to ask.

For the record, the real 1.0 release is supposed to go out tomorrow.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

High Performance Multithreaded Servers

So at work one of the things I work on is a multithreaded server application.

I've written about bugs I've tracked down in it before, and I bitch about it a lot because multithreading in general is a huge pain in the ass. If I could possibly come up with a way to avoid it in this particular application, I would, but I haven't been able to find a feasable way to do that yet, for a number of reasons, some good and some bad.

Despite this hard earned dislike of multithreading, when I read Chris Brumme's weblog entry about some of the issues involved in hosting the .NET CLR inside a high performance multithreaded application (SQL Server specifically), I was just floored by some of the ideas he mentioned. It's stuff like this that makes you want to say "yes damn it, those kind of performance requirements are a damn good reason to use threads".

Specifically, they go to massive lengths in SQL Server to keep exactly the right number of threads executing useful code as they can, which gives huge bennefits for a number of reasons.

It's really neat stuff, and I'm now struggling to determine if any of it is directly applicable to what I'm currently doing. I suspect it'll be difficult to implement, and I'm not sure if it'll be practical due to the constraints of my application (third party code sucks in these sorts of cases), but damn it's an interesting thought experiment if nothing else.

In any event, if you're doing anything with multithreading in your applications you should read his blog entry, even if you never have any intention of hosting the CLR inside an application. The stuff he talks about, in this entry and others, has implications ranging far beyond the CLR, and can be applied to all sorts of programming problems.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

NNW Atom Beta

So there is now a beta of NetNewsWire availabel that includes Atom support.

Seems to work fine as far as I can tell, although I've only tested it with two feeds.

Once again, I remain impressed with what a fantastically cool product NetNewsWire is.

Monday, February 9, 2004

SVN::Log::Index 0.1

So I finally kicked version 0.1 of SVN::Log::Index out the door.

It's a perl module that lets you index Subversion log entries for full text searching via Plucene.

It's not done, by any stretch of the imagination, I've got a bunch of things I still want to do with it (thus the TODO list), but it's far enough long that it's at least debatably useful.

So check it out, either on CPAN (once it manages to work its way out to the mirrors) or at if you're just can't wait.

Oh, and it's my first real perl module, as well as my first perl module released on CPAN, so while I value any feedback, please be gentle ;-)

Friday, February 6, 2004

Well, I Guess It's Officially A Book Now

Apparently my book is now up on amazon.

I suppose this means I really have to finish it now...

Back to work...

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Friend Of A Friend Networks...

So I've been sucked into Orkut, just like the rest of the geek world, and so far I'm impressed.

It's quite a bit faster than Friendster, and it seems to have a better interface. It'll be interesting to see if it holds up under increasing load.

I must admit that part of it's charm is the massively geek-heavy population. I keep running across people I know from one open source project or another, which is cool.

As for the whole "what constitutes a friend" question, I'm going with the someone you would buy a beer for if they were in town definition, which seems as good as any other I've heard.

Another Doctorow Book

Cory Doctorow has a new novel, Eastern Standard Tribe, out.

As usual, it's available for free online, as well as for sale in dead tree form.

I've already ordered my copy from Amazon, and while I'm waiting for it to arrive I'll be reading the free version. I suggest you all do the same.

Monday, February 2, 2004

Plucene 1.0

So Plucene hit 1.0 today.

I've been playing with prerelease versions for a while, for a perl module I'm working on (tentatively named SVN::Log::Index) that will let you index the log entries in arbitrary Subversion repositories for full text searching. It's damn cool, and now that it's out the door I'll have to polish up SVN::Log::Index and sign up for a CPAN account so I can officially release it.