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darobin (1316)

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Journal of darobin (1316)

Friday August 20, 2004
07:11 AM


The same guy that did Apple's famous «Switch» ads featuring users switching from moronic PCs to Macs is doing the same thing, featuring Republicans switching from a murderous moron to Kerry. Check it out.

Thursday August 19, 2004
08:40 AM


After an email to, one to perl-xml, and a final one to axkit-users, I am now ridded of all my CPAN modules. To put it in PAUSE's exquisite wording, "Sorry, there are no modules registered belonging to RBERJON."

It's been a fun bunch of years being a CPANian, and I can safely say that a lot that I learnt about, heck, more than just computerish stuff has been learnt in the process of putting stuff up there and maintaining it.

But things change and people's interests with them. Perl was my first love and I won't forget it. Nothing I do for work involves Perl even remotely (in fact, very little involves actual coding). What little development I do in my spare time is all oriented around UI-level technologies (SVG, XForms, etc). While there are excellent packages out there in Perl for that sort of stuff (Wx, CamelBones, ...) it's not Perl's forte, and at this point in time I'm using Objective-C most of the time. I'll admit that ObjC's Smalltalkish features also help there -- had Perl 6 been around I would probably be using that instead.

I would like to send a big heartfelt and thankful hug to all that have directly or indirectly contributed to CPAN and the stuff I enjoyed putting up there, whether it be with patches, suggestions, beer, rants and bitching, bug reports, or kamikaze shots at 3am in a hotel patio. Be sure to keep it up!

Thursday November 13, 2003
08:04 AM

The cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys were right

Interesting article :)

Thursday November 06, 2003
04:49 AM

Beer in (Ancient) Greek

I have a serious problem: I need to find out how to say beer in Ancient Greek. One source I looked at said "see wine", which was partly what I feared though I remain unconvinced. Another source said "ὲκ κρΐθω̈́ν μέθὕ". Does anyone know? This, as you will easily guess, if of vital importance!

Tuesday October 14, 2003
04:22 AM

Unnecessary evil?

An interesting IHT article:

"What's interesting isn't that there are fewer people in church," said the Reverend Jean François Bordarier, a priest in Lille, in northern France, "but that there are any at all."

Wednesday October 08, 2003
01:05 PM

Firebird Search Plugin for CPAN

I have no idea if this has been done before, I haven't had time to catch up on use.perl for over a month :( However, in case it isn't, I'll throw it here.

Firebird has a neat little search box at the top right of its UI. The content of what appears there is controlled by what's in $FIREBIRD_DIR/searchplugins. You can add as many as you want, using a really weird (but usable) syntax. It comes with Google and DMOZ (clicking on the icon in the box allows you to choose the one you want).

I added a CPAN search one. You can grab it from along with its icon Drop those in the aforementionned folder, restart Firebird and voilà! you can search CPAN. The icon is the book that does the A in the CPAN logo, credit goes to whoever did that.

Tuesday August 26, 2003
06:45 PM

Politics, Blame, use.perl, etc.

Those of you that follow my journal with even vague regularity will have noticed that many of the recent entries are short, mostly political, entries, and that there is little room for Perl, or even -- alas -- for proper answers to what comments are to be found there. I realize that this may not be considered appropriate by some, wish no quarrel with them, and will no doubt move my journal to some other place when time allows me to. However, there are varied assortments of reasons for this, and some of those follow.

First and least interesting is time. I post about what I notice most, have unfortunately very little time to address objections whether valid, invalid, interesting, or boring, and focus on pointing to other resources way much more than expressing my self. That being said, on to more interesting bits.

It is hard, even for people interested in politics as I am, to find right wing (some of you may prefer to say conservative) people to exchange views, even if briefly, with. Finding right wing people is easy. Finding ones that can articulate non-monosyllabic, in these parts, is hard. Beyond "welfare is evil", "all arabs are terrorists", or "you will burn in hell because you don't believe in <insert favourite fictitious entity>" there is little to be found in terms of "proper" right wing thought around Paris. Even though the current French government is from the right, I could easily pick any right wing economist and roast their actions to silliness. So having two or three right wing people that can finish a sentence without drooling close by is very interesting -- and tempting even when it may be considered off-topic. As a side-note, I realize that some of you may take offense at the equating of religion and right-wingedness that I express above. Simply please keep in mind that that is what I am given to see here. And at the very least, that those that are religious and remotely sane here would refuse in any way -- and probably fight in every way, possibly more than atheists -- any political leader engaging in something he calls a "crusade". And all things considered, unless you want Islam eradicated, for good reason.

So I find value in the opposition. Even when given, as recently, some arguments that I will in all understanding of the weight of words decidedly call delirious -- namely the idea that global warming may not happen, or if it does it is not proven that it is due to CO2 -- the difference is of interest. That particular argument is of course a special case since it is about as valid as the non-incidence of smoking on lung cancer defended by some cigarette companies (hey, it's been shown that over 40% of people that die from lung cancer have cats...), the centrality of the Earth in the Universe, or Elvis' abduction by aliens. It is of value because it is telling when even smart, educated, often science-loving people put forth such claims. And I am sure that they could find such "telling" things in my discourse, because precisely they are smart and educated and all, and we all have our blind spots.

So the take-away thing is, not taking into account the vanilla (is that the right expression?) stuff about understanding other cultures, that the opportunity to talk to people that disagree and can articulate it is interesting because any political belief requires blind spots, and theirs aren't the same ones.

Different cultures? Yes. I'm sure many that were (foolish|courageous) enough to read this far has pretty much pictured "those others" as Americans. Judging from the comments, they indeed seem to be, even if that is not my specific target at all. But do Americans count as a totally different culture from, say, the French? Even from, say, a french guy that writes better English overall than French, is half-Australian, and sometimes shows off his EU passport? Yes. I've lived in the US, and the single worst mistake to make if you're European is to think that it's the same culture, or even one as closely related as european cultures are to one another. It's not that there's that huge a gap, it's just that there are cultural faux-amis. The movies you've seen, the familiar languag, the politics you've at least heard about, and of course the clichés bandied about in many places trick you into behaving as if understanding the american culture was almost a given when really it is not. The false familiarity works as a wall whereas when confronted with a culture perceived as perhaps more "alien" one will make conscious efforts to understand.

Monstrous? Hmmm, tsssst. Yes, I've been accused of calling the Americans "monstrous" (hi jordan!). Was it deserved? I don't think so, at least I hope not. In my experience, it certainly is not true, far from it. What I will gladly admit to is calling the Bush administration monstrous, or rather I wouldn't since that's not a word I use I and think they're worse than that, but yes I'd use much worse words for them. The comparison of Bushists and Bathists is one that has come up before, and I am not foolish enough to put them in the same bag. The Bathist are worse. But by a matter of degree more than one of essence, both being on the same wrong side of the line [having voted for Bush, or being a "Republican", doesn't make one, in this argument, a Bushist. Thinking that Iraqi WMDs could kill more people than the pollution of industrial countries, and rejecting the Kyoto Treaty and at least part of the war in Iraq -- today -- does]. I do confess to not understanding the lack of social unrest in the US when several young Americans are killed almost daily for government lies (ok pudge, very very unproven statements). If democracy is the reason, which it wasn't until late, why is Afghanistan such a terrible mess today, with talibans still owning much of the place? (you'll note .af was a NATO intervention for large parts, and that I'm not talking about countries that weren't on the radar for that fairly short period of time). There were reasons to go to Iraq, why not change Chapter 7 for that sort of situation as has been discussed repeatedly over the past decade? Oh, and don't tell me terrorism has anything to do with it, please.

Ah well, I've diatribed for a while if I may say so. And not on Perl. If you don't like it say so. If you like it but not here say so. Either way Perl bloody rocks, as it exemplified itself to me today when I could write a program that deduced an XML Schema from a large bunch of XML documents in under thirty minutes :) If you do answer, think twice about your bias and mine. And please be patient, as I don't often find the conjunction of sleeplessness, a my girlfriend's computer, time, and the wish to write a little thing down...

Monday August 25, 2003
06:51 AM

Insult upon Injury

My relationship with the rent agency that I pay my rent to was never really good. Now, they are sueing me based on presposterous claims, for some rather preposterous amounts of money, claiming that I haven't paid my rent for ages when in fact a cursory search for my paper has produced proof that I've paid my rent for all of this year except one month (and that one month could well be just because I haven't dug deep enough in my papers to find the proof).

That, in itself, is already rather bothering. Such lawsuits are rare, and I have no idea what the outcome can be, and if it's the sort that can be settled out of court. Thankfully, I am very close to a lovely young lady that happens to be a very good young lawyer at Paris' largest agency. I'm sure she'll be able to provide a wealth of detail.

But that's not my point herewith. The assignation to court that I received from the Tribunal d'Instance of the 11th, instead of being written in what I believed to be the usual ugly but somewhat geek-friendly constant-width font, is typed out in -- get this -- Comic Sans MS.

Oh, the horror! Oh, the insult! Regaining my lost honour will require bloodshed!

Thursday August 21, 2003
05:30 AM

Déjà Vu

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials (through ubu)

Wednesday August 20, 2003
11:38 AM


As a member of the Program Committee for the upcoming W3C Workshop on Binary Infosets I have been reading through the fortyish currently submitted papers (the deadline is passed, but papers can in fact still be sent).

Two papers in the set are rather strongly opposed to binary infosets (the ability to encode XML information in a binary format). That's fine, negative opinions are more than welcome.

Two papers in the set were also sent as Word documents.

Yes. Those are the same two that promote the superiority of textual formats. It could make a good case, problem is, I don't think it was done on purpose. Ah well, the little ironies of computing...