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rjbs (4671)

rjbs
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http://rjbs.manxome.org/
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I'm a Perl coder living in Bethlehem, PA and working Philadelphia. I'm a philosopher and theologan by training, but I was shocked to learn upon my graduation that these skills don't have many associated careers. Now I write code.

Journal of rjbs (4671)

Thursday February 03, 2005
11:47 PM

candelmas, catholicism, and coding

[ #23014 ]

I haven't been to Mass in quite a while, and I got to thinking that it's a pretty good time to try to start going again. Tuesday night while Gloria was at yoga practise, I walked over to St. Anne's and checked out the schedule. The church was closed, but I copied down the contents of their display board.

It always strikes me as a little weird that I can't just walk into the church at any reasonable hour. Or maybe they figure that 19:30 isn't a reasonable hour.

So, I headed back the next morning for Mass. It was Candlemas, which I'd never seen. The Mass was pleasant, although a little off, and the blessing of the candles was totally unexciting; I still enjoyed it. With only the first four or five rows of pews occupied, though, I think the priest could've gotten away with skipping the microphone.

I'm trying to feel more motivated to feel motivated, and to avoid the meta-work yak-shaving that often robs me of both time and energy. While looking for some information on the church calendar, I found this site:

        http://www.easterbrooks.com/personal/calendar/index.html

It's very cool as far as the data goes, but it's not my favorite thing to look at, and I'd love to have the data available for general use. I emailed the owners of the site, asking for the underlying data and promising to release tools to the public domain. I'm really hoping to hear back soon, and I'm especially hoping to get the data. I think I will be sad if they say no.

In the meanwhile, I'm working on Religion::Bible::Reference again, trying to bring its range parsing more into line with useful ranges. Before, I handled "John 3-4" and "John 3:4-5"; then I changed things to accept "John 3:4-5,3:7-8" but what's more common is "John 3:4-5,7-8"

I didn't want that to read as "book three, verses four through five; also, books seven through eight" so I'm giving up on some other cases to handle the ones I care about more. It's this sort of work that really makes me feel like a lousy programmer. I'm not very good at parsing, and I basically don't write serious algorithms. I need to make a serious effort to learn these things before I become unable. Lately, I feel I am growing stupider every day.

Still, I made some decent progress with the code tonight. I'm not happy that I'm going to have to leave it with failing tests, but I'm not going to stay up too late to fix it.

In other news: "Stealing Sheep" is still a very enjoyable read, and makes me feel enthusiastic about going to church (and I am hoping that actually going to church will not ruin that enthusiasm). I moved more databases at work, and everything went well; I am really getting to love using OmniOutliner to make my plans. Saturday I will go see Queensryche play in Philly. (Is there a "yuml" HTML entity?) Wednesday I will go to Trevor's to watch the premier of the original Battlestar Galactica series on DVD. In late April I will go to Gloria's sister's wedding -- but I got the tickets today.

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  • "and I am hoping that actually going to church will not ruin that enthusiasm"

    Your enthusiasm should not be based on the "church" but on your relationship to God and knowing that in church is where He wants you to be. It says so in His word.

    • Absolutely. Even acknowledging that, it isn't realistic for me to think that my enthusiasm won't be affected by the community in which I am. If my congregation is dull and lifeless, or if it's difficult to find friends among them, or if I find that I'm actually unwelcome, it will make it hard to be excited.

      That doesn't make it right to give up or be despondent, but it won't do any good to pretend beforehand that it can't happen. I stick by what I said: I am enthusiastic, and I hope that the obstacles t
      --
      rjbs
    • You're a protestant, aren't you ? To my knowledge only protestants have this interest in personal relationship with God or saints, while the earlier monotheisms focus more strongly on rites and communities. (Just trying to understand the subtle differences between those religions)
      • This isn't true. Catholics (should) also want a personal relationship with the Lord. If you're interested in a good, canonical reference to some of these questions, consult the Roman Catechism:

        http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/2266095633

        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385479670

        It's less than ten dollars, and contains the official answer to most questions about the big doctrines.

        One's community and one's personal relationship with God exist to reenforce one another; at least, that's
        --
        rjbs
      • I am not a Catholic, but I have had many discussions with them, and it is also so that the Catholic Church emphasizes that a person should maintain their commitment to God and the church whether or not the particular church (congregation, parish) they find themselves in has personal problems or not.

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Protestant != Catholicism

        Protestant \Prot"es*tant\, a. [Cf. F. protestant.]
           1. Making a protest; protesting.

           2. Of or pertaining to the faith and practice of those
              Christians who reject the authority of the Roman Catholic
              Church; as, Protestant writers.
  • Given your interest in the church calendar, etc., I thought you might be interested to know that Larry Wall's wife Gloria has a Bible reading schedule [wall.org] based on the Revised Common Lectionary. Now, my church doesn't use a lectionary, so I've never personally used this schedule, and this lectionary is from a consortium of Protestant churches, so you might not be interested, but I thought I'd mention it.

    I wonder if religious geeks like to do Bible reading schedules. :)

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • I will check Gloria Wall's schedule out, but of course the RCC has its own reading schedule. I've been poking at Religion::Bible::Reference in part to make it better at understanding the references likely to come from the church's cycle.

      Next, I'll give it iterators, so I can iterate over "jn8:32-35,37-40,42" and then I'll hook it up to a bible.

      Sword is (as I understand it) not capable of providing a Catholic bible.
      --
      rjbs
      • Next, I'll give it iterators, so I can iterate over "jn8:32-35,37-40,42" and then I'll hook it up to a bible.

        Will each use of the iterator provide a verse? How about iterating over John 3-7? Would it provide 5 chapters in 5 calls, or every verse of those 5 chapters?

        Just asking the tough design decisions to force you to answer them up front before coding. :)

        Sword is (as I understand it) not capable of providing a Catholic bible.

        I did not know that, and had assumed they had that handled. Lookin

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
        • Each iteration will be a verse. "John 3-7" is a big Problem Case for me. I've seriously changed how the parser works and what it recognizes a few times, and I think I still will before 0.01

          At the moment, "John 3-7" doesn't work, but "John 3;4;5;6;7" does and will iterate over every verse. The edge case that I'm avoiding is "John 3:2-7" which should go from 3:2 to 3:7, but one could argue that it's the same as 3:2-7:end. I think that a rule that says "if neither beginning nor end is versed, then it's tw
          --
          rjbs
          • The edge case that I'm avoiding is "John 3:2-7" which should go from 3:2 to 3:7, but one could argue that it's the same as 3:2-7:end.

            I would argue for the first interpretation. While I've occasionally seen attempts to notate with the second interpretation, it's confusing to human beings, let alone parsers, and comes off as a "mistake." If a person wants the second interpretation, it's easy enough to look up the last verse and notate the full thing, or even just 3:2-7:999. :)

            --
            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • I wonder if religious geeks like to do Bible reading schedules. :)

      I certainly do... for the first couple days anyway. :-) Then all those "look! a shiny!" jokes start to hit a little close to home.

      The best advice I ever recieved was when someone pointed out to me that there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, i.e. one per day of the month.

      The Proverbs have done a lot for me; the monthly iteration has helped get them into my self. And I actually do the reading (well, I do it often, anyway). That never

      • I followed the Proverbs schedule for a little over 2 years, and it was great. I discontinued to make room for other reading, but I intend to put it back some day.

        At the same time I also followed a Psalm per day schedule. I often got behind on this, but I always seemed to manage to catch up. I think I benefitted a lot from both of these plans. (And hitting Psalm 119 every 150 days was always a memorable event. :) )

        One more I'll throw out that I have done at other times: Revelation 2-3 consists of sev

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers