This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
Played with babes for much of the day, while J, went shopping.
Out to Charlotte North's birthday party in the afternoon with N. at the
Funky Fun House - tried to arrange thoughts on paper, with little success.
Back for dinner, poked at the wycliffe web-site, then
'stewardship' - totally dumbfounded by the staggeringly unusable if
not downright horribly inadequate donation process: if God loves a
cheerful giver - the frustration here is presumably a feature to whittle
out any good cheer. Every year, I hope the situation has improved, and
every year I see it has not.
Prodded mail, talked VPN bits with Bin Li. Knocked up a
document, chat with Alex. Wondered why OO.o 3.0 takes 5 seconds
to save a document of a trivial size, created a far larger
document instead - that also takes 5 seconds to save - amazing
indeed - profiling required.
Quick dinner, calls with Jeff; then Carlos.
Got Cedric to the airport bus on time (Luton is clearly
somewhere you don't want to go to from here). Prodded mail. Call
with Eyal. Lunch.
Upgraded my 64bit machine to OS11.1 - looking nice, helped
weed out a broken mirror issue with Peter, poked at a column for
LXF on flash disks, quick sync. with Kendy.
Of course OpenSUSE 11.1 was just released,
CD is a great way to play, with only a small download. Of course
the new zypper makes adding your favorite missing piece slick & easy too.
Kelli's staff meeting, call with Alex, sync. with Nat; J.
helped improve my prose, bed.
Up early, dealt with M. again - baby sat while J. got H.
and N. to school. Back for more fun with Cedric; out to N's pre-school
play - very sweet.
Back, more discussion with Cedric, misc. phone calls. Fish &
Chips for dinner & sat uplate by the fire chewing over misc. Linux
tools for debugging OO.o.
Training with Cedric - spent a while on corparate bits;
some overviews, dived deep into the writer code on a long &
amusing call with Florian.
Convinced I've hit on the future of programming: what we
need is a graphical programming language, and what better to implement
it in than OpenOffice.org draw using the flow shapes - we can save
langauge of the future that can run anywhere on the server, or the client,
in the meta-virtualised thin-cloud ! A great advantage of this might
be that no programming skill is required anymore to write an office suite:
just drag and drop. Complicated threading problems can be collapsed by
the GUI, the critical specification can be included as a multi-page
adendum to each flow chart element, and consider the sheer productivity
wins from the new language ... First of course, we have to re-write OO.o
using it's own graphical language, errr... or something. Long rest
in a darkened room to overcome buzz-induced madness.
Misc. calls with Peter, Kendy et. al. Slept the sleep of the
dead, modulo gratuitous awakening to deal with N., and stripping the
bed & washing a sick M.
Prodded mail, talked layout with Janneke, and indexing APIs
with Philip. Lunch, BU call, call with Miguel, then JP. Off to Hannah's
school play - lots of small people dressed up sweetly, back. Cedric
arrived for some training action - somewhat crazy activity-wise
home-life intruded on things, back to work.
Up, off to NCC, did creche. Back for lunch, met an American
service-man chap: Ryan on the way, had him in for a drink.
Cleaned the house at some length, got the fire going; Tim &
Julie came over for tea - really lovely to see them, talked much of the
afternoon. Dinner, bathed the babes - M. (still suffering from a crack-down
on her bad behaviour), is a great neologist "un-lid it!" being the
latest demand, in conjuction with closed bottles.
Dinner; dropped the computer table off at Charl & SanMarie's
for safe keeping. Home, bed.
Up earlyish, breakfast - got everyone crammed into the car,
complete with various presents - and set off for P. Risborough for
the annual Steam-train / Father Christmas experience. Amused that
Mary commuted for the first few years of her career to London on a
Arrived, had lunch with Sue, Clive & Adam, mulled wine,
etc. and off to the train. Good to see Steph & Jonny, Sam &
Charlie again - albeit briefly. Enjoyed the train.
Back for cake & drinks, and drove home agian in the mist
and rain - a thoroughly lovely (albeit wet) day.
Got a set of nice mails about
Devel::NYTProf for perl
profiling; apparently that would be the way to go if the problems were
not so (relatively) trivial to find - thanks lazyweb.
Read bugs, followed mail, still pretty groggy; updated to the
latest factory packages. Chat with Vincent. Lunch. Poked make_installer.pl
again - saved another 2 seconds by the somewhat counter-intuitive trick of
turning a 60k entry array into a single string, and then running 20
(pre-compiled) regexps on it - instead of doing ~1 per entry, and
occasionally all 20. 2secs to 0.2secs is quite a win - I wonder why it
was so bad before; I had carefully compiled with
regexps. Anyhow nice to achieve at least some hack no matter how small.
Call with Kelli, then sync with Guy. Clarity. Dinner. Mary Rogers
came over to sort some fund-raising out with J. back to work for a bit.
Up in the night, thumping cold, can't sleep. Increasingly
disillusioned with perl's SmallProf - methinks it lies unhelpfully.
-d:DProf instead which looks saner. Found
and fixed some really dumb algorithm taking 10 seconds, ~25% faster,
good - it's still amazing to me how slow perl regexps (even
pre-compiled) can be.
Mail; knocked off for breakfast, took H. to school, parents
arrived - feeling pretty dead, talked to them for a while, nice to
see them. More mail, lunch. Got a build of the latest ooo-build
going nicely, committed misc. fixes.
Up early, prodded mail. Appreciated the 20
great quotes from RMS. More mail.
Ricardo suggested his approach to yast2 / ycp debugging:
ln -sf /dev/stdout ~/.y2log - nice, leaving stderr for
in-line custom fprintfs. Lunch.
OO.o team meeting, good to catch up with the lads. Tried yet again
to get my pristine up-stream build to actually compile, sad really. Poked
at the profile of make_installer. 1.8 million iterations of copy_collector
taking 20 seconds; 1.2 million get_string_of_modulegids_for_itemgid taking ~perhaps
30+ seconds - fun.
Quick call with Kohei, Denzil. Read more perl - some just amazing
code in there.
Poked at profiling perl applications to work out why
make_installer.pl is so fearfully slow - why should it be ?
More calls; pleased by the Q4 CTO employee meeting - seemingly
we're all more engaged than ever; a bonus. Call with Scott.
Up early; poked mail, updated bugs, re-tested; slogged away
at organising things, lunch; call with JP. EMEA earnings call,
more conf callage.
Had Jon over for dinner, great to catch up with him - lots
of interesting stories.
Off to NCC, for Thomas' dedication - fine meal for the whole
church afterwards; good to see so many great people. Home, dug out
keys & showed Charl & SanMarie around our house.
Back; amused to notice that the result of not filing my copy on
time for Linux Format is being featured as the telesales, susbcription
photo. Played with the babes, piano practice with H. bathed
everyone, cleaned up the house a bit, bed early.
Up lateish, porridge; baby-sat while J. headed into town to
plunder Woolworths and stock up on fruit & veg. Re-affixed
external vents - drilling cheap wet brick is most curious.
Lunch, out to Lilly's party in the afternoon - bouncy
castle, party food. Back, the babes watched Ratatoille; bed
Prodded mail gingerly, poked at yast2-gtk issue; burned by ycp
again: what other language hides important syntax / parsing error messages
away in an obscure log, and only when you have Y2DEBUG defined will divulge
basic ycp parsing errors ? That yast2 works so nicely despite that, is
clearly some sort of miracle.
A slew of company meetings today, post the earnings announcement.
Lunch with Effie & Carol - looking after the babes while J. does a
Pregnancy Crisis class for excluded children.
Run out of mice to trap, or I've selectively killed all the
chocolate lovers (hopefully the females); replaced Myriam-mangled vent
outside. Poked at mail, filed more kernel bud scheduling while
atomic syslog fun - I should run netconsole with verbose logging
all the time perhaps.
Tried to unwind some ximian mail forwarding problem spamming my
colleague with a deluge of ML traffic. Prodded a yast2 / slab crasher.
sudo zypper si OpenOffice_org-calc at least
fetches the source now.
Lunch; SanMarie dropped in for it - back to work, call with
Patrick. Discovered my flash disk boot partition type changed to vfat
from ext2 - magic, can boot again; horay. Another dose of corporate
Phoned up Robert & Thomas to try to divine what they want
for Christmas, chatted to Thomas at some length - interesting.
Interested to read some anecdotal piece on
managing programmers; perhaps a surprise only to anyone that has never
been one: increasing the process barrier wherever possible has serious
costs, not least in quality & motivation of staff. Having said
that, a lack of concern for fixing serious bugs causes other problems.
Mail thrash, chat with Guy. Lunch, more mail. Tried to
reproduce the (prolly thermal) CPU hang I was suffering. A rash of
calls, DE meeting, chat with Jeremy.
Dinner, Alpha introduction here with Andy & Simon - it
seems we're running an Alpha course
at our home Wednesdays at ~7:30pm with meal, for the next few weeks;
all interested in attending most welcome; mail me. [ NB. being close to
Newmarket, UK helps substantially, linked web-site is shockingly poor;
bug filed ].
Up early, J. reports hearing the trap go while feeding the baby,
and some considerable thrashing: bother - seem to have one asphyxiated
mouse, which had managed to eat the chocolate from the other trap first,
clearly a jumpy creature.
To work, poked mail, sync with JP, poked at layout again,
prodded yast2. J. returned home upset after a bump; lunch, spent some
time on a paper. Meeting wrt. training.
Tried to install Fedora 10, booted the live-CD: pretty
graphics, having said that Anaconda actually made me finally love
YaST (with gtk+ front-end of course); wow. Filed ticket for the
install failure; almost certainly user-error again bother. Dinner,
J. off to meeting with Mel, back to work - chat with Greg.
Mail prodding, call with Florian, then Kurt & co. Prodded
a yast2 bug to keep my hand in; more mail, OO.o bits, lunch. Filed misc.
un-filed bug back-log. Poked at ipsec tools a little, call with Janneke.
Pleased to see Ricardo found & fixed a lurking, un-noticed
GtkTreeView RTL bug, that has been there for years un-addressed. Nailed
another y2 bug to cut the backlog.
Managed to find a recent nemesis, who silently disables my firefox
cookie and password preferences behind my back:
is the culprit: as (in this case) randomly called by evolution to thumbnail
an HTML attachment on a specific groupwise meeting request; thankfully
managed to track it to the source instead of filing deranged "Groupwise
kills firefox settings" type bug.
Knocked off to discover some mouse-gnawed toy downstairs under the
piano: set traps baited with chocolate, dinner, call from Louise, bed.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)