Friday, June 30, 2006

A New Milestone

I've hit a new milestone as a resident of Massachusetts, I now have a toothbrush at Rob and Jessica's place. Of course, this won't really be all that unusual for very long, since soon I'll actually be living here (once here is relocated to a 3 bedroom apartment), but still, a milestone none the less.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Damn Rain

So my Dad and I were all set to go see the Red Sox crush the Phillies today. We even made it in to Fenway and had time to have a hot dog, and right at that point the game was cancelled due to rain. It had actually mostly stopped at that point, but the field was apparently saturated, and the weather reports said that it would rain again later...

The game was rescheduled for tomorrow, but I've been procrastinating on a whole bunch of stuff to the point where there's no conceivable way for me to find the time to go.

In other news, Rob, Jessica and I have actually started looking at apartments.

They visited one in Newton today that looks quite nice, great location, right near the T, good parking, etc. Unfortunately, it's a bit overpriced for what you get, and the laundry in the basement is coin-op, which is pretty lame. It's still on our list of potential places, but we're hoping we can find something better.

We're going to look at another place in Newton tomorrow, and another on Thursday, and hopefully we'll be able to set up an appointment to visit a promising place in Brighton later this week.

It's nice to actually be making progress on this stuff, I mean I like Cape Cod, but I'm really looking forward to living closer to civilization, and it'll be nice to have roomates around again.

Anyway, back to polishing up my OSCON tutorial...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Too Many Presentations...

Since it's actually been really nice out this weekend, for the first time in several weeks, I had some halfway formed plans to, you know, go out and do something...

But that idea sort of fell appart when I realized that OSCON presentations are supposed to be in on the 26th (I'm not nearly brave enough to wait until the morning of the talk to write mine, unlike some people I know...), and I'd only barely begun work on mine. So instead of going out and having fun, I sat around and worked all weekend...

At the very least I'm making progress though. My APR talk is almost done (just need to write a few more examples), and my Subversion tutorial is showing signs of life. The only problem with that one is that I don't actually know how long a talk has to be in order to fill 3 hours (first person to say "3 hours long, of course" dies...), so I'm sort of playing it by ear. I've got a whole bunch of slides, and a lot of examples, some of which I've even written, so hopefully I'll be able to do a run-through later this week and find out if it actually has a chance of filling the time slot.

The Ruby talk's kinda sitting there waiting behind the Subversion one. I've got all the content for it lying around in various articles I've written, I just need to pull it together and get it into slide form. I'm pretty confident on that one though, I mean I've pulled together articles on the subject matter pretty quickly in the past, so I have no reason to believe I can't do the same for a conference presentation.

Anyway, the wonderful thing about deadlines is that this will all be over, one way or the other, by next week ;-)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Any distance for a Concert

So Suz and I drove out to Troy yesterday for a Mike Doughty concert. A good time was had by all.

I was amused to see that while Troy Pub and Brewery is now Brown's Brewing Company it's still the same old place, and the new live music venue they put in next store is a heck of a nice place to see a show. Didn't get a chance to stop by Psi U though, since we got there just in time to grab dinner before the show, and we weren't about to spend the night in Troy afterwards.

As for the show, it was great. The opening act was pretty good, although I'd have liked to see them with their entire band (they kept joking about how they didn't have room in the car for anyone but the lead singer and keyboard player). Doughty and his band were fantastic, as expected. It was his birthday, so about halfway through the set his band brought out a cake with candles and the crowd sang happy birthday to him. The set list was mostly from Haughty Melodic, and was quite good, finishing up with their cover of The Gambler, and then coming back on stage to spend the last 7 minutes or so of his birthday on a short encore. As Ben had told me in the past, Doughty is clearly worth seeing in person, he puts on a great show.

Anyway, it was a great show, even with the long-ass drive out and back, and for everyone who bailed on going you missed out ;-)

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Kicking Off The Abdera Project

So over the past few days things have started to get going on the Abdera project.

For those who haven't heard of it, Abdera is a project undergoing incubation at the ASF with the goal of implementing the Atom Syndication Format (RFC 4287) and the Atom Publishing Protocol. It's starting off with a Java implementation of an Atom parser contributed by James Snell from IBM, and hopefully it will eventually expand to include client and server sides of the publishing protocol in Java, plus parser, client, and server implementations in other languages.

The mailing lists for Abdera were just set up a few days ago, and as soon as some paperwork makes its way through the system the initial code drop will be committed to the Subversion repository. It's a neat project, and I'm glad to be helping out with its incubation. Hopefully it'll even give me a chance to write a little bit of Java code, something I haven't done regularly in quite some time.

Oh, and for the curious, Abdera's name comes from the Greek city, which was the home of Democritus, the philosopher who created the theory of Atomism.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Mailing List Moderation

So maybe its just me, but if you're trying to run an open source project, something that basically lives and dies by random people showing up on its mailing list and making contributions, you'd actually want to go out of your way to make sure it's easy.

When I try and post a mail to your mailing list, and I get a reply back saying I have to subscribe to post, that's a huge turn off. I mean hell, in this case, I was actually subscribed, just under my main email address, not my gmail address. Luckily, I happened to know the mailing list software this list was using, so I knew how to work around it, if I hadn't then I probably would have given up after about 30 seconds and gone and done something else.

Any time someone trying to contribute gives up and goes and does something else, you lose. You lose that contribution, and you lose out on any future contributions that person might have made. Sure, sometimes that person's an idiot, and would be more trouble than they're worth, but sometimes it's the next huge contributor whos participation turns into a big win for the project, but you never know if they give up after they fail to send that first mail.

I mean if you can't get someone to volunteer to moderate your list, maybe you should reconsider the need for the mailing list in the first place...

Monday, June 5, 2006

ETL 0.2.0 Release

Earlier today I tagged and released ETL 0.2.0. Among the many changes and new features are:

  • Addition of a Data Definition Language, for describing sets of variables to pass to a template.
  • Templates can now include other templates.
  • Templates can now define macros.
  • There are now shorthands for printing out variables ([%=) and stripping whitespace from before ([%-) or after (-%]) a directive.
  • Basic arithmatic expressions are now supported.
  • You can now loop over numeric ranges in templates.

For the full list of changes, see the CHANGES file in the release tarball, or the Subversion commit logs.

The release tarball is available from the download page of our new website:

As always, please send bug reports, feature requests, and feedback to the development list,