Tuesday, June 22, 2004

OSCON Presentation Progress

So I did a practice run for one of my OSCON presentations last night with some guys from work as my test audience. I think it went pretty well. I was pretty much on target for time, and that should improve with a few more practice runs.

I need to work on moving smoothly from one slide to the next as opposed to pausing, giving a summary of exactly what I just said, and then having to glance at the next slide to see what the hell I'm supposed to be talking about next. As I said, practice will help with that.

I also got some good pointers on what parts of the talk worked, what parts didn't, and what parts needed to be fleshed out more. I had a good mix of people who had been exposed to some of the subject matter before and people who had not, and everyone seemed ok with it, so I imagine it should work out well for the OSCON audience.

Now I just need to finish the other talk and give that a run through to knock out any bugs before sending the slides off to O'Reilly later this week.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Random Developments

So I was actually rather productive this weekend.

I accomplished at least 3 separate things:

  1. At the prompting of Richard Clamp factored the log retrieval code from SVN::Log::Index out into a new module, SVN::Log. Still waiting for his feedback on the final SVN::Log interface before I let it lose on CPAN though.
  2. Finished reviewing PDFs of the first 5 chapters of the book, and made copious comments on the stuff that was unexplainably broken. If I haven't said it before, I hate Framemaker, it mangles DocBook in ways previously unknown to man.
  3. Wrote GenX4r, a Ruby wrapper for Tim Bray's genx library. It's my first real work with Ruby, but it seems to work, and was quite a bit of fun to write.

Plus, I did laundry, since we now have a washer and dryer.

Oh, and Chris hooked me up with a GMail account, (rooneg@, for the curious), and it's damn cool. I'm using it for FreeBSD mailing lists just to get a feel for it. So far I'm quite impressed.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

Fun with Ruby

So I've been playing around with Ruby over the past few days, and as usual when I play with Ruby I continue to be amazed at how cool it is. Now I just need to come up with a real project to use it in...

A few of the neater things I've been playing aroun with:

  • Rails - A web application framework for Ruby. Actually it's made up of several subprojects, only one of which (ActiveRecord, the Object-Relational mapping package) is available at the moment, but still, it's quite impressive. When the rest of it is ready for prime time I'm going to have to throw together some toy web apps to get a better feel for it.
  • RubyGems - A packaging framework for Ruby code. While it does fall into the totally lame trap of including the name of the language in it's name it still manages to be quite cool. I hope more Ruby projects start using it in the future.
  • Rake - A 'make' like build tool written in Ruby. Actually, the 'rakefile' you write for your project turns out to be a complete Ruby program, so you have all the power of the language right there for you to access. Plus, with Ruby's nice readable syntax the whole thing turns out to be much easier to understand than a Makefile. How cool is that!
  • Ruby 1.8.1's standard library has all sorts of neat stuff in it. Full YAML support, a unit testing framework, a framework for building custom little http servers, XML parsing, the list goes on and on...

Anyway, I'm still in the 'playing around' stage, but all in all I continue to be more and more impressed with this stuff...

Saturday, June 5, 2004

Some Random Stuff

Well, I'm finished moving into the new apartment, and I don't have some need-to-get-it-done-right-damn-now thing to do on the book, so I figure I might as well post something here.

No pictures of the new apartment yet, since I'm still quite a ways from actually unpacking all my stuff, but soon, I promise.

This article by chromatic struck a nerve. I'd kill to have an editor (and other associated people at the publisher) who wanted to work like that, as opposed to the refugees from microsoft-land I currently deal with.

Anyway, I'll have to try to buy him a beer at OSCON for preaching the gospel of using reasonable tools for producing technical books.

I'm positive there's something else I meant to mention once I got around to posting again, but it's totally slipped my mind, so until next time...