Or how I am spending my summer vacation....
Not that I think anyone is missing me or cares, but I have been off the grid for a few weeks. After enough blood work to feed a small family of vampires and other much more unpleasant tests, it has been determined that I have http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mononucleosis what fun!
I don't know when I will return to the land of the living but hopefully soon.
The other day I was thinking about NP complete problems, then my mind wandered over to quantum computing, then it settled on thinking about electricity. Specifically, the path of least resistance. Traveling salesman problem perhaps?
Contrary to lay belief, electricity does not just follow the path of least resistance. It follows all paths simultaneously with a current that is inversely proportional to the resistance of that path. In other words, the weaker the resistance, the stronger the current.
So I really don't know enough about the subjects to think it through but this is the type of stuff that pops into my head.
When I think of a spontaneous or impulsive person - I think of someone who is always doing something different.
By that definition - I am not spontaneous or impulsive. I like things a certain way and while I don't fight change (ok, maybe a little) I certainly don't welcome it.
And yet - I have momentary bouts of insanity where bizarre things enter into my head and I execute them blindly. Today it was bicycling into work. You see, I am at least 40 pounds overweight and haven't exercised (let alone been on a bike) in about 3 years.
Do you think any rational thinking could have prevented me from making the 10 mile trek into work this morning?
In other personal news - Jasmine is doing great and will be turning 3 months old this Sunday. I have a pretty poor website up at http://www.gatcomb.org/ if you are interested. The 3 of us are driving up to Maine in June for my neice's graduation - she is first in her class.
In tech news, I have pretty much just become an observer on #perl6. I do have 2 projects that I am working on - one in perl5 and the other in C. I have been taking a 3 week cycle approach to them. (1 week on Perl, 1 week on C, 1 week off). It has helped avoid even further burn out.
I am turning 30 this year. I never really appreciated how much dedication it takes to be married, raise a child, take care of a house you own, and maintain a decent paying job. Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world but I am truly amazed by those that do that plus find time to have a social life and work on fun projects in their personal free time (ok - stop laughing).
I guess with time comes experience and hopefully with experience comes a bit of wisdom.
A fellow #perl6 geek was kind enough to host a page for me for a couple of weeks as perlmonk.org is still down.
I seldom make New Year's resolutions.
It is even more seldom that I actually attain them.
This year - my resolutions are for my family, not for me.
I resolve to try and be a better husband.
I resolve to try and be a good father.
I resolve to try and be healthy (which means losing weight).
So some time back I decided to take some time off keeping up with what everyone else was doing and try to accomplish 1 of 2 things I considered to be difficult. So far I am batting 0.
The first one was a personal task - learn Tagalog (the primary language of the Philippines). I learned a few more phrases but nothing resembling fluency.
The second related to the Perl community - write a book. I actually made significant progress on this one. My idea pitched to O'Reilly was well received. I produced an outline along with mounds of research. Unfortunately, life happens and I just could not in fairness devote the time necessary to writing a book when my family deserved it more. Oddly enough, another publisher contacted me unsolicited to see if I would be interested in writing a book on Perl for them. I realized that it would have been in direct competition with O'Reilly's Cookbook series and declined.
I am not sure what I should do with the book. I have thought about using the outline to write perl.com articles instead. Maybe I should just turn over my ideas and research to brian (http://use.perl.org/~brian_d_foy/journal/28208)
In personal news - Jean and I just returned from a 3 week vacation in the Philippines. I did something pretty serious to my knee and need to go to the doctor soon.
There are other things that I want to write about but wisdom tells me that opening my mouth will remove all doubt.
It is unlikely that anyone reading this doesn't know what Pugs is since it is all the rage, but just in case - http://pugscode.org/
Pugs is the brain child of Autrijus Tang. He decided to take a 6 month sabbatical from paying work to see what resulted. He did not pursue funding because he wanted the freedom to take the project in any direction that felt right.
The result has been amazing and it has also added much needed fuel to other people on other projects. Unfortunately, the 6 month self-allotted window of time ended 2005-08-01. So what does that mean for Autrijus and Pugs and the rest of us? I had a chance to talk to him yesterday to find out. While I have changed the wording of the conversation for brevity, I believe the intent of what was being said remains in tact.
Q: What are your immediate plans now that your sabbatical is over?
A: I will split consulting gigs and Pugs development 50/50 for the next 2 months. After that I will likely focus more time on paying work so I can take another sabbatical in early 2006. While the next one may be shorter, my intention is to spend some time in Europe with leo and/or other lambdas/camels.
Q: If I recall correctly, you have indicated that you are no longer opposed to funding. Given the number of major direction changes in Pugs over the last 6 months, would you accept funding if it meant giving up the freedom to take the project in any direction you felt was right?
A: I am open to funding but the way TPF grants currently work, namely having fixed delivery goals and timelines, isn't in alignment of how I want this project to operate. I can shift priorities and journal my efforts but that's about it.
Q: If TPF or someone else were interested in funding you for Pugs development, how much would it cost?
A: I have been able to focus completely on Pugs as well as travel to various conventions and hackathons for $3000 USD per month.
Q: How much capital would you need before you get started?
A: I haven't stopped Pugs development and I don't intend to. Funding, in any amount, means not having to devote a propotional amount of time to paying work. In other words, I am completely flexible.
Q: If someone is interested in helping support Pugs development financially, what should they do?
A: For now email - things may change but if they do I will post about that myself.
I decided a couple of weeks ago (http://use.perl.org/~Limbic%20Region/journal/25807) that I wasn't accomplishing anything of any significance because I was too busy keeping up with what everyone else is doing.
I also admitted to myself that perhaps the reason I was doing that was because in such a league of extrodinary gentlemen (and ladies), I would find myself sorely lacking.
Having realized there was a possibility of fear and being tired of thinking about all my unfinished projects, I decided to go about doing 1 of 2 very difficult things that I have wanted to do my whole life. The first is related to the Perl community and the second is a personal goal.
So what does this have to do about a dream concerning Larry?
While I have been waiting to hear about the first idea (requires support and funding) I haven't started the second as I believe either will be an all consuming process. So I am at work (a previous job) and Larry is coming on site to consult. We are sitting down to get started and Larry is trying to turn on this two light lamp. I keep trying to tell him he isn't doing it right as it requires two switches to be in the right place at the right time and he finally gets it.
Now I have never met Larry. I don't think there is anyway that he would have required that much instruction to turn on a light - but maybe subconciously I was telling myself I still have something to offer even if I am not on par with the league of extrodinary gentlemen (and ladies).
In any case - if I haven't heard about the first idea this week, I will be off the grid even further as the secondary project is completely non-programming.
I am officially assuming role of lurker in all the usual haunts until further notice.
It commonly accepted that the breadth of information in almost any field is too much for anyone to gain a level of mastery over. One must resign themselves to a narrow area if they are going to be any good at what they do.
I have found that I do not accomplish much of anything with any significance because I spend the majority of my time keeping up with what everyone else is up to.
This isn't a bad thing. I am able to help people find resources that meet their needs without being able to give them specific help myself. I am not under any illusions that I am missing out on doing something great by not focusing my efforts on a personal project.
It is time for me to see what it is I am capable of accomplishing. There are 2 projects that I have in mind. One of them is non-technical and would result in a personal achievement that no one but a handful of people would appreciate. The other is something technical that the community would benefit from but requires someone else agreeing that it is a profitable idea and willingness to fund it.
I will still be lurking, but TTFN
One day Pugs stopped building on my home machine (Win32). It blew up during the build process when it got to Prelude.hs
It happened to coincide with a known problem with Prelude.hs and another patch that pretty much broke everything else.
After those issues resolved - it continued to be b0rk. I tried EVERYTHING - no avail.
Just as I was about to give up, I remembered having deleted the perl.exe in the root directory of GHC.
You see, I have everything Pugs related under a single umbrella. GHC shipped with a perl56.dll and perl.exe which was interfering with my 5.8.7 perl since . takes precedence over anything in %PATH on Win32. I tried a few things after deleting it and everything appeared to work normally - to include GHC.
So since I hadn't just renamed the files and I didn't want to re-install GHC to test if that was the problem. I just copied the 5.8.7 dll and exe to the GHC root directory and what do you know - it worked.
Why is GHC hard coded to look for a perl in its root directory? Why would the error message not be more descriptive 0x01 or some such thing? I don't know, but problem SOLVED!