I've been learning to fly for the past few weeks (YAY!) but it can really take a lot out of you. I'm flying twice per week, and am going through ground school at the same time. Tuesday and Wednesday - the days I do ground school and my first lesson of the week, respectively - are the days where I stagger around like a zombie, bolting from work on the nose at 5:00 to get to ground school, and not getting home until 10:00. Wednesday I telecommute from home, but it still means I work late to make up for the several hours I'm away from home.
But, its all worth it. I'm only complaining now because its late at night, I'm tired, but not willing to go to sleep yet since I haven't had a chance to work on any of my OSS projects.
Well, its been ages since I've written in this journal, and since I have an account here, and plenty of tripe to spout off, I might as well take advantage of it. I mean, when someone gives you a soapbox, even when you have nothing valuable to say, you should say it regardless. How else can you explain the profusion of blogs out there?
Well, some updates. I'm giving a talk at OSCon 2004 titled "Introduction to Developing Client/Server Applications in Mozilla/XUL", and hopefully I won't trip over my own feet on the podium. This will be my first visit to OSCon, and even my first talk I'll ever be giving. I expect my audience to be pretty forgiving about my presentation though; after all, we're all geeks here, and we seldom crawl out from under our rocks, and can probably relate to each other.
I've recently begun playing with RDF. Oh baby, it rocks! Even more than that, I've been doing more than ever before in Mozilla, especially now that I'm applying REST methodologies to my work. I'm developing a prototype project for something at work, which will also be the sample project for my talk, and it promises to be very sexy.
I've realized that, with all the software I've written, all the cool experiments I've conducted with programming, and all the libraries I've ever spun together to "get the job done", I only have 3 CPAN modules. Three! Count 'em. One...Two...Three. Not much to show for 7 years of Perl development, eh? I must admit that most of my code during the first 4 years really stunk, the other 3 could probably have been better spent on module development, rather than the odd one-off.
Oh well, here's to a belated new-year's resolution: I'm going to work on more CPAN modules, either in fixing (and probably adding) bugs, adding features, or creating new modules that need creating.
After almost a full year since my last journal entry, I felt this deserved an update, especially considering my resurgance in the CPAN community. Yes my faithful geek voyeurs, I have paused momentarily in my daily mad-dash to get my deadlines met to release a few tidbits I've worked on to CPAN.
I have a few that I still need to package and upload, and the modules I have out there already need better testing support; probably using Apache::Test, so I can actually bang against these taglibs, instead of giving it the usual "faith" approach; e.g. praying that it'll work properly.
I also have some command-line scripts that, while not CPAN-esque modules per-se, they are valuable system administration and automation tools that I'd like to share. I'm going to have to hut around for the proper way of deploying these. Or perhaps just wrapping them up into modules, and making the scripts just stubs that call the modules (ala Mail::SpamAssassin, one of the coolest mail-related modules out there).
Anyway, back to work.
I felt that I needed a break to clear my mind; distance myself from software, home, pets, etc. My single goal was to focus on my writing, and leave all the day-to-day crap behind. What's happening instead is I'm floundering. I don't have my nice and fast computer, no dual monitors, no nice printer, and instead am on an aging Celeron with an ergonomically-incorrect desk and an uncomfortable desk. The way things are going now, I can't wait to get back home so I can write in peace.
Well, you know what they say about "Best laid plans"...well I can't remember what they say about them, but I'm pretty sure it can't be good.
After almost a year with my head buried in the "Real World©", I'm finally able to get back into AxKit almost-full-time. Starting with AxKit::XSP::Session -- my first, unsuccessful, attempt at writing an XSP Taglib -- I banged it into shape, and renamed it AxKit::XSP::BasicSession (to get rid of the nasty namespace stomping-on-other-modules-feet problem). I'm really happy with it now; it has a bunch of really cool features, not the least of which is that it actually works now! I have one up on Microsoft at least.
Add to that some changes to AxKit::XSP::PerForm, and a new Parameter Taglib (still in limbo unfortunately), and I'm feeling pretty good.
I've written a quickie article on using ESQL in the real world, and have thrown it up on my site. Maybe it'll help some poor new quasi-newbie out there.
Anyway, back to my real job.
Well, it's been practically forever since I wrote in my journal. The content management system has come a long way, reached version 1.0, followed by a bugfix release 1.0.1, and then promptly screeched to a halt. The database server is gone, it's all filesystem based, and though the database will come back sometime in the future, any file modifications are made on every request. And the way I update XML files needs to become more generic.
Anyway, back to work.
Another day, another bug. I've gotten PostgreSQL to play nice with mod_perl, I've gotten my stylesheets and my pretty look & feel all set up, and now I'm working on making everything "go".
Alas, it was not meant to be. I'm butting heads with my requirement to have my XSP pages in frames, but they're all loading from the session at the same time, causing each page to create their own session...and...etc.
I've gotten lots of people trying to help, but nothing seems to be doing it. Maybe I'll try putting sessions in PostgreSQL, and hope it's transaction and record locking features will help out.
NOTE: One thing I've never really appreciated about journals is their ability to help you come to conclusions. Maybe they should be a prerequisite to asking questions on mailing lists: "Do you have a problem? Okay, have you written a journal entry about it yet?"
Anyway, here it is, and here I am.
Now, back to work.