Tuesday, 30-Sep-03 20:04
PTT

Had a very short discussion today with Russell Beattie, which consisted mostly of the words "hello", "woo-hoo", "can you hear me" and "it works". Nothing to write home about (or to blog about, certainly).

Except that we were doing it on 3650s over a GPRS connection, using Buzz2Talk. It's bloody expensive (but at least the cost is the same anywhere in the world :-), a pain in the ass to set up, unreliable, slow, unintuitive, but cool as hell - though in a way only a geek can really appreciate.

Read more from Russ's Notebook, and try it out. My # is 66511, if you want to try and call me.

/me gets warm technogeek-fuzzies :-).

Tuesday, 30-Sep-03 17:13
OK, worried now

(Via: Dan Gillmor, and #joiito.)

Monday, 29-Sep-03 18:45
The IMDB-fight

A quote from a discussion today on IRC:

18:28 <@Ecyrd> But I am no http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0164052/
18:29 <@Ecyrd> Hm. Tostahan voisi keksiä pelin...
18:29 <@Fallafel> Ecyrd, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099781/
18:29 <@Ecyrd> I am afraid you are http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0331648/
18:30 <@Fallafel> was that truly http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0218520/ ?
18:30 <@kijoe> sieltähän alkaa boonus oujee
18:30 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032149/
18:31 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0368456/
18:31 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0281304/
18:32 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0271882/
18:32 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0281523/
18:32 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078346/
18:32 <@kijoe> rauhoittukaapas ny
18:33 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142410/
18:33 <@Fallafel> Ecyrd, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0263335/
18:34 <@Fallafel> no joo, tää ei ole oikein ihmisystävällinen tapa jutella :)
18:34 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0269299/
18:34 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0260866/
18:34 < Gardan> imdb:n vois melkeen norettaa
18:34 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286108/
18:35 <@kijoe> fallan ja ecyn vois vaikka potkaista ;)
18:35 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0380825/
18:35 < Gardan> nii .. 4-5 ekaa oli vielä hauskavitsi
18:35 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049105/
18:36 <@kijoe> /kick fallafel
18:36 <@Fallafel> hähähä
18:36 <@Fallafel> ok, nyt lopetan
18:36 <@Ecyrd> http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0192311/
18:36 <@Ecyrd> Mäkin lopetan tähän =)

I call this "the IMDB-fight". Rules are simple:

  • Any sentence must contain at least one reference to the IMDB.
  • No sentence may contain over five words that are not references to IMDB.
  • The first person to take over a minute to respond on his turn loses, or responds in a way that is deemed by the other players not to be a sensible answer. (Or the one that is kicked off the channel first.)
Monday, 29-Sep-03 00:14
Oops

I accidentally killed my RSS feed during yesterday's software update. Sorry about that.

I used up all of my productivity today by first having a frenzied coding session in the morning, and then going to a cooking class (Japanese, of course. Yum.) By the evening I was in a completely unproductive state (but with a full stomach, mind you), and proved again the old axiom of "GMs being the worst players" during our role-playing session. There was an atmosphere of incoherence rarely seen, even in our games... :-) As an example:

Val (a temperamental lady) has just punched Richie in a surprising move.

Lucas (my character, temporarily turned into a dog and has thus a bit of a difficult expressing himself) asks Ritchie: "Rrough? Bite?"

Poor Ritchie hears this wrong and replies: "Yeah" and nods. The player (and thus, the character) actually thought I said "Alright?"

So, Lucas goes and attempts to take a big bite out of Val's leg (who was actually earlier on responsible for the loss of Lucas's left leg). Much chaos ensues.

Sunday, 28-Sep-03 02:14
Movie culture, Part II

The final movie of the Love and Anarchy 2003: Interstella 5555, which basically consists of four animated music videos of Daft Punk, which have been continued into an hour-long film. There's no dialogue at all in the film: the story is told through images and music - and surprisingly, it works. It's a bit uneven at times, and the music is a bit repetitive at times, but yeah: the story got me captivated and held me in its grip through to the end.

On a separate note, it seems that the 50,000 visit mark on this blog (and Merten's as well) is very near: about 650 to go, and at the current rate of 350 visits/day it should be broken in about two days. This is not counting those who read my blog directly through the RSS feed, which seems to comprise around ~50 people.

Who are you people?

Spambots hunting for addresses? Yuppies trying to find pictures of ugly people to point fingers and laugh at in a house party while drinking imported cider? Gorgeous young women who are desperately in love with me but do not dare to confess it? Geeks who sit at home on Saturday evening, coding open source in a desperate battle to score some more whuffie? Bored office workers clicking furiously with both hands in a vain attempt to find the end of the Internet? Friends? Foes? Friends-who-are-really-foes? Foes who just pretend to be friends-who-are-really-foes to protect me from the truth that everyone else is already possessed by aliens and that I am just a part of a reference group for scientific experiments?

Saturday, 27-Sep-03 22:33
Movie culture?

With my usual impeccable timing, I finally went to see the Future of Cinema-exhibition in Kiasma. Impeccable, because it's only open until tomorrow... Anyway, there were a couple of very nice pieces there (like the Alpha Wolf, where you can interact with beautifully animated wolves using sounds), but mostly I was put down by the lack of invention. You see, I used to dabble in 3D graphics, animation, synthetic characters, display systems, and multimedia while doing my thesis at the university, and frankly, I was amazed to see how ... ordinary the exhibits were.

Hey computer artists, you have these incredibly wonderful and powerful tools: learn to use them, will you? Make us laugh, weep, or ponder on deep things. Make us love you or hate you, I don't care. Just try to find some new ideas, ok? The movie and game industry are producing stuff that uses the media in far more inventive manners, and they are treating the computers as tools; they're constrained by budgets and schedules and are not really willing to do art for arts sake.

Or perhaps I've understood the whole thing wrong and the point of art is not exploration and expression? I'm just an engineer; I might well do just that, you know.

Saturday, 27-Sep-03 12:25
JSPWiki v2.2 goes alpha!

OK, so I've bit the bullet and made a first alpha release of the upcoming JSPWiki v2.2. It is a huge change with a large number of new features. Let's hope that in the future it won't take as long between releases... But it is now out there, ready to be tested by the screaming hordes. Again, don't use it in a production environment, because it will change.

I also release 2.0.52-stable for those who just need something they can actually trust to some degree...

Friday, 26-Sep-03 12:47
Ow!

No, I am not drunk, but this pic still seriously hurts my eyes.

In the spirit of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, and the movies that I've seen this week, I wonder what kind of effects we could really do to people with pictures alone.

(Via Joi Ito)

Thursday, 25-Sep-03 23:47
Single life

I have not yet decided whether it's an advantage or a disadvantage of the single life to be able to come back home freely, at any time you like, to the sweet smell of the garbage bag you forgot to take out as you left for a two-day business trip.

Todays movie: Happiness of the Katakuris from Takashi Miike, which opens with an sequence where a woman finds an alien in her soup bowl, and then the said alien falls in love with her tonsils, ripping them out and flying away through the window only to be found by a crow, which eats the alien, and gets then consumed by a stuffed toy with a zipper for mouth.

And that's just the first 60 seconds. After that, it gets confusing.

This musical even contains a karaoke sequence, where the audience can join in on the song. I spent the last 30 minutes of the movie screaming, hoping it would stop.

However, the next movie, The Coast Guard from Kim Ki-Duk, a Korean director who is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favourites, does not disappoint again. It contains a couple of nice "Kim Ki-Duk moments" - one with barbed wire - and has the beauty of a Lamborghini and a Ferrari colliding in slow motion.

I still wonder what's the deal with the animals though...

Thursday, 25-Sep-03 00:02
It felt like a good idea at the time
  • Slept badly the past couple of nights? Check
  • All-day meeting? Check
  • Feeling tired? Check
  • Feeling relaxed after sauna? Check
  • All drunk after sauna? Check
  • Conference deadline coming up today? Check
  • Had no ideas until now? Check
  • Have a really good idea now? Check
  • Take 20 minutes to write a deep proposal? Check
  • Submit proposal? Check
  • Feel bad in the morning? To be decided
Wednesday, 24-Sep-03 07:33
Weirdosity

Ok, so I've been having these really strange flashbacks to Australia for the past couple of days, and who do I run into this morning? My boss from the time I was working there.

Maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something...

Monday, 22-Sep-03 23:21
Кукушка

My only film today, a most delightful movie, Kukushka tells the story of three stranded people in Lapland during World War II.

What luck! Seeing two good movies in as many days. It really makes you forget all of the bad stuff.

Monday, 22-Sep-03 13:33
Word-du-jour

I heard a good word: Impression Management Strategy. Yup. It's not only for corporations anymore. What you thought to be your "style", or "thing" is actually just the way you have built your Impression Management Strategy.

My Impression Management Strategy is mostly this weblog. Every single aspect of it has been carefully designed, measured, balanced, and subjected to test groups, starting from the URL of the site. Every day, my underlings watch how a reader comes to the website, how long he spends there, and where he goes after that. All of my readers have been painstakingly profiled, analyzed, and categorized, so that I can offer just the right content for You(tm).

Not.

Yet.

Tools like Technorati, blogstreet, LinkedIn, BlogShares, and even your friendly neighbourhood web server log file analyzer give us a chance to dig deeper into the social networks that our blogs create. They are in the frontline of our Impression Management. And I believe they will have a strong role to play in our future. Not perhaps the current tools: so far they are merely toys, good keeping us amused for a short while, and playing grounds for testing new concepts.

But eventually, our social life will be technology-bound. It has already distanced itself from location (While walking on the street, I talk regularly to people I see rarely in real life: like relatives who live far away) thanks to the Internet and cell phones. There are people whom I have never met, but through my blog know intimate things about my life. Air travel allows you to meet friends that live far across the globe, and bashing bad American TV shows is an universal pastime.

The question is, how far can we go? Can we leave our impression management to computers who through profiling know exactly what the other person wants to see or hear? How about a video phone that changes your appearance and sound level to be more pleasing to the caller? How about a computer that sits on your shoulder, identifies the person who you are talking with and whispers in your ear so that you can say Just The Right Words? Cyrano de Bergerac would be envious...

We already filter out things from our weblogs, modify the truth so that it is more pleasing, or more jarring, but in general tuned more to conform to the view of the reality that we hold ourselves. There's not a big step left to take anymore.

Transparent Society, here we come.

Sunday, 21-Sep-03 20:20
Ynghldb

Two more movies today. The Five Seasons from Kim Ki-duk didn't disappoint, as was to be expected: This visual and beautiful tale contains little dialogue, but a whole lot of charisma. I try not to miss any movies from Sabu after the hilarious Postman's Blues, but this year's Drive felt a bit patched-togetherish. Though it made me realize that Buddhism and punk rock have surprisingly lot in common.

I guess I was a bit too conditioned already by Kim Ki-duk's previous films. The opening shot with a beautiful Korean lake and a floating house made me suddenly cringe, and later on a simple shot of a fish swimming happily in a stream got me grinding my teeth in anticipation. Those who have seen The Isle know why. But while it still shows that Mr. Ki-duk has a very... brutal view of human relationships, it is an excellent movie. Yup. /me like.

Sunday, 21-Sep-03 10:10
Three more movies

Saw three more movies yesterday: Cowboy Bebop, a decent Japanese animation detective story, Noí Albinoi, an Icelandic film about a too smart guy in a dumb, remote village in Iceland and Infernal Affairs, a Hong Kong action flick.

One thing that I really, really like about movies in these film festivals is that they treat the viewer as an intelligent being instead of a consumer whose reactions can be calculated (like your typical Hollywood summer movie). And the endings for all of the movies were certainly something you wouldn't expect or foresee. In fact, when asked why the movie ended the way it did, the director of Noí Albinoi answered: "Well, I kinda had to finish it at some point."

The other surprising thing how the gas station bar culture ("huoltoasemaolutbaarikulttuuri" in Finnish) is so much alike in Iceland and Finland :-).

Saturday, 20-Sep-03 13:02
Movies galore

Love and Anarchy 2003 is now at full speed. Yesterday I saw Takeshi Kitano's Dolls (Dooruzu), which I figured must've been the weird movie of the week.

Until I saw Resurrection of the Little Match Girl by Sun-Woo Jang. The movie tells the story of a guy who gets caught up in a game where you have to make sure that the little match girl (by HC Andersen, well, something close to it anyway) dies happily by freezing to death, high on butane.

Suffice to say that any movie in which office workers get slaughered to the tune of "Like a Fool" by Nylon Beat can't be all bad. It's a very defining moment to the Finnish national pride when familiar pop music starts playing in the background while a disgruntled chinese food deliveryman empties clip after clip of 9mm submachinegun ammunition into screaming white-collar workers, and the entire movie theater is roaring with laughter.

Friday, 19-Sep-03 17:43
Wiki-tidbit of the day

In the Finnish language, it is possible to conjugate the word "wiki" as "wikistä", which essentially means "to whine".

It is no surprise that on some Finnish wikis this term has found wide-spread usage, and is sometimes practically synonymous to "writing stuff on the wiki".

Good weekend.

Update: Well, yes, it can also mean "to squeak" (as in what mice do). But I guess it's the same thing in this case :-)

Thursday, 18-Sep-03 23:08
Sorry, guys

No, I ain't taking part in this meme (Finnish only, I'm sorry). Nope. No. No sirree. Ain't gonna happen. Nah. No way. Wild horses couldn't make me do it. Never. Forget it. Not gonna do it. Negative. Not bloody likely. Nope said pope. You're not going to get a name from me. No.

(...must...resist...meme...)

Thursday, 18-Sep-03 17:21
Blog spammer?

Matt may have met a spammer that leaves advertisements on blog comments...

I guess it's just a matter of time before this kind of stuff actually gets automated and systematically abused. Especially big platforms like MovableType may be susceptible, since their platform works the same way everywhere. While blogs are in itself immune to this (just don't leak out your Blogger password) due to the pull model used, their comments most certainly are not.

Shudder.

Thursday, 18-Sep-03 11:03
How to win in on-line role-playing games

Simple. Build a bot:

The Autocamp 2000 plays online RPGs with the following rules:
  1. Join any group that invites you
  2. When in a group, follow behind the leader
  3. Attack any monster you see
  4. Accept all trade requests from other players, then give them a melon

The Autocamp 2000 talks to other players with following rules:

  1. If someone says something ending in a question mark, respond by saying "Dude?"
  2. If someone says something ending in an exclamation point, respond by saying "Dude!"
  3. If someone says something ending with a period, respond by randomly saying one of three things: "Okie," "Sure," or "Right on."
  4. EXCEPTION: If someone says something directly to you by mentioning your name, respond by saying "Lag." The many succinct expressions of the Autocamp 2000.
  5. (And remember to accept all trade requests from other players by giving them a melon.)

(Thanks to Henri for this wonderful story. The transcripts are hilarious!)

Wednesday, 17-Sep-03 19:39
My First Time

Today, for the first time ever, I put someone on my kill/ignore file. I've been on the IRC and Usenet since 1989, and never before have I had to resort to such extreme measures, despite having been through (and probably started) several flame wars.

Not today.

The signs were obvious: latching onto your words, seeking confontration, finding anything derogatory from everything that is known about you (and on IRC, it's not much), dissing, foul words... Yup, it's a genuine, boda-fide troll, a delightful gnome that wants just to annoy people.

This time, I just *plonk*ed him, after only a few minutes of the crap he (it?) was spewing.

I think this is an important feature of all social tools - on USENET you have kill files, on IRC/IM you have ignore lists, with email you have email filters, and with weblogs you just don't subscribe to their feeds. The weblog way is the best methinks, since you choose what you want to see, whereas with the other tools you choose what you don't want to see.

Actually, this raises the question whether attempts such as ThreadsML are really helping, since they will bring the USENET model of communication into weblog world, and it makes a bit harder to ignore the creeps. Hm. Must ponder on this.

Wednesday, 17-Sep-03 12:31
OK, so I ain't that extreme

Merten seems to be a bit more left-wing libertarian than me.

Your political compass: Economic Left/Right: -5.62 Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.92

Where does your political compass point?

Tuesday, 16-Sep-03 21:27
Nutty clock

OK, here's a nutty clock.

Tuesday, 16-Sep-03 19:07
What does a blog that has no readers look like?

Whoo, lot's of stuff happening right now. Everybody is raving over misspellings, Apple's new Powerbooks, or Verisign gone evil. (In fact, I am too, but I'm too late to even simulate saying something that has not already been said.)

Instead, I'll blog about blogging (the safe and sure choice).

There was a party on Saturday, and someone asked me if it's okay to ask about stuff that I blog, and said that reading my blog feels like peeking into my private life, as if doing something dirty or forbidden. I said "no, of course it's okay to ask since I wouldn't write it publically if I didn't want it to be read", but later on that seems like too easy an answer.

A blog isn't exactly a diary, even though the Finnish word we use "verkkopäiväkirja" or "network diary" implies it. A diary is a place where you put your thoughts for yourself; but a blog is really a two-way street. While some blogs are completely diary-like, most do encourage communication with the author in the form of comments or email - and you can always talk about other blogs in your own blog and use permalinks to refer to them. It also seems that most bloggers do like to talk about their blogs, what they have blogged, and other blogs as well. Part of it surely comes from the hype-syndrome, "'cos it's cool to talk about weblogging", but I don't think that's completely it. I never met an artist who didn't like to talk about their work, and most bloggers have a need for self-expression that borderlines on artistic will, if not quality :-).

So, in fact, blogs are really discussions, albeit discussions dominated by one person or group (and thus completely non-democratic). Blogs don't exist in a vacuum; they must have readers: "What does a blog that has no readers look like?", to paraphrase an old Zen koan. And so using the word "diary" to describe them is not quite correct, even though they can be sometimes deceptively diary-like in appearance.

(To Mindy: How about "Hei, oikeesti oon ihan normaali." :-)

Sunday, 14-Sep-03 23:45
Short JSPWiki update

I've managed to fix (hopefully anyway) a couple of age-old problems relating to the "match english plurals" -option. At least all of the tests run.

I also fixed a couple of authentication-related problems; it seems now that everything works except groups. Slowly, slowly...

On a tangent: The development was halted today for a few hours, as I was seriously contemplating throwing my computer out of the window, and just simply give it all up.

The reason was that I tried to upgrade my Debian installation to work natively with UTF-8, which created some really serious and non-obvious issues: for example, the only somewhat functional possible locale is en_US.UTF-8 - NOT fi_FI.UTF-8, or any combination thereof.

Another reason was that this simple JUnit test ceased to work:

        String src = "abcåäö";
        String res = new String( src.getBytes("ISO-8859-1"), "ISO-8859-1" );
        assertEquals( src, res );

You see, according to all possible specifications this should work regardless of the encoding system. But no.

The cure? Load the file in editor, save it. No changes. Just save it.

I have no idea whatsoever what was happening. But it took me hours to figure out, a few reboots (yes, I was that desperate), and at some point I was considering reinstalling Java, or getting rid of Debian altogether. OK, my own fault for running the unstable distribution, but still... My guess is that for some reason, Java started to interpret the file encoding system differently, as it uses the native system encoding. But what I don't understand is that when I reverted to the earlier configuration, it failed again.

Gah. This stuff is getting more and more complicated year-by-year. Or I am getting more stupid. Could be both.

Saturday, 13-Sep-03 15:39
Wanna buy evil?

OK, now I found myself a place to shop. No, it ain't Sharper Image, but VillainSupply.com - Your Online Source For Everything Evil!

You can go real cheap, and start off with an used Al-Qaeda lair for just $18.50 a month, and the world's deadliest shaving kit and upgrade slowly to lunar mass driver and the newest from World Domination Technologies: The WDT Body Mecha Deluxe.

Being evil has never been this easy!

*grin*

Saturday, 13-Sep-03 11:49
Family values and names

Merten ponders on family and genealogy (but in Finnish).

In the Jalkanen family - and to make things more confusing, there are in fact three different lineages using the name Jalkanen, all from different parts of Finland - there have been two previous persons named "Janne". The other one is two years older than me, and also an engineer from the Helsinki University of Technology.

The other Janne was last seen in 1913, leaving to sell some horses in Russia.

I'm so glad I chose engineering over economy.

Thursday, 11-Sep-03 17:47
HIFF

To my utter surprise, there was practically no queue yesterday for the Helsinki International Film Festival tickets! Last year, I remember standing in line for several hours, enduring "witty" comments from drunken fellow Finns who were unable to comprehend that yes, some people really like to see good films.

Of course, I got there a bit late, and one of the movies I was anticipating had already been sold out. The first that's ever happened, too...

Anyway, as an experiment I am going to put them online here, so if you happen to be in the same showing, come and say Hi.

This is my current list of movies I am going to watch at the Helsinki International Film Festival 2003.

19.9.

  • 21.00 Andorra 1 Takeshi Kitano: Dolls
  • 23.30 Bio Rex Jang Sun-woo: Resurrection of the Little Match Girl

20.9.

  • 14.00 Bio Rex Watanabe & Okiura:Cowboy Bepop
  • 16.30 Bio Rex Dakur Kari: Noí Albinoi
  • 19.00 Bio Rex Lau & Mak: Infernal Affairs

21.9.

  • 12.00 Bio Rex Kim Ki-duk: Five Seasons
  • 14.15 Kino Engel 2 Sabu: Drive

22.9

  • 18.30 Bio Rex Alexander Rogozhkin: Käki

25.9

  • 18.30 Andorra 2 Miike Takashi: The Happiness of Katakuris
  • 21.00 Andorra 1 Kim Ki-duk: The Coast Guard

(BTW, all of the layout above is done with CSS, so if your browser breaks, let me know. I'm slowly getting the hang of it...)

Update: It seems that IE simply refuses to show it as a two-column list (which is fine, at least you can read it), but Konqueror (and thus, presumably, Safari) dies horribly.

Thursday, 11-Sep-03 12:23
OMG LOLOL

let me piss u off I guess this is one way to combine IRC and blogging...

(Through Les.)

Thursday, 11-Sep-03 12:19
Blog portal

The dreaded word "portal" made another appearance yesterday at the blogit.fi meeting. For some really strange reason I promised to contribute regularly to the upcoming Finnish blog service... I must check my medication again.

On a separate note, my condolences to all Swedes reading this blog. The tragedy is felt strongly here, too.

Thursday, 11-Sep-03 12:01
Go, Linus

This is why this guy is a geek hero - not only because of starting off Linux, but also because of his sense of humour: Linus Torvald's response to SCO's open letter.

However, we have to sadly decline taking business model advice from a company that seems to have squandered all its money (that it made off a Linux IPO, I might add, since there's a nice bit of irony there), and now seems to play the U.S. legal system as a lottery.

(Through Erik, the überlinker.)

Update: I just realized: the advertisement on Linus's message advertises Windows Small Business Server 2003. A coincidence? :-)

Tuesday, 09-Sep-03 12:31
RSS weather

Visa points out RSSWeather.com, which allows you to get weather forecasts as RSS feeds.

Yay! Another good use for RSS!

Tuesday, 09-Sep-03 00:59
Why all APIs are not equal

People ask the question: why is the MetaWeblogAPI (MWA for short) not sufficient for wikis as such?

I guess it's possible up to a certain extent, but there are a few reasons why I think it's still a bad idea:

  • Versioning. Supporting the versioning inherent in many Wikis would need a new field to be added in the MWA getPost().
  • getPost() does not define in which format the page should be returned (WikiMarkup, HTML or something else). Again, a new field is required.
  • A method to get the links from a page is highly useful for things like the JSPWiki:TouchGraphWikiBrowser. Wikis inherently refer to themselves much more than weblogs, so it's only natural to reflect this in the API as well.
  • Forward and backward links are a bit of a problem as well: In order to do other things like basic edit/view, you would need to be pretty good at guessing the format of the URLs as they come in the rendered HTML. This is why there's the href -field in the WikiRPCInterface.listLinks(), btw. For an example of this in action, see http://www.mahlen.org/jspwiki.
  • There is no way to download attachments. While there's a way of uploading using the MWA newMediaObject(), there's no corresponding getMediaObject().

If the getPost() would have a struct as one of its parameters, then some of the above things would not be a problem, since you can pretty much add arbitrary fields to a struct without breaking existing apps. However, this is not the case, and you would need to embed the version number in the "blogid" parameter. This is clearly a kludge, and very, very fragile.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for interop and stuff. And frankly, there's no reason why a wiki shouldn't support a MetaWeblogAPI as well (JSPWiki does), but I think that in order to gain the most out of a Wiki, you need an API designed for the strengths of wiki technology and does not treat it as a bastard offshoot of weblogs :-).

Monday, 08-Sep-03 15:45
SCO sales is not authorized to sell Linux license

Well, considering all the armwaving and threats, it seems that SCO sales department simply is unable to sell you a license to use Linux. M. Drew Streib attempted to buy a license, and this is the result:

I called them again today, and a salesperson, beginning with "I don't know quite how to explain this", let me know that there wasn't a product manager for Linux licenses, and that there wasn't currently a way for salespeople to sell these licenses. They were frustrated, too.

Heh. So, apparently nobody has bought a license - for the simple reason that it is impossible to buy them. :-)

Saturday, 06-Sep-03 16:59
Tourism

Sometimes it's cool to walk in your home town like you were a tourist. I'm eating a late take away lunch on the Senate Square Church steps, enjoying the sun and the lazy Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, 06-Sep-03 12:03
Tech brief

Don picked up my posting on yawning, and also seems to be involved in a discussion about Wiki APIs.

First, a short explanation on the tech behind this weblog: This is an instance of JSPWiki, where each entry is a separate WikiPage. The Main page aggregates then all of the pages which have a certain signature in their name onto the front page, producing the weblog you see right now. This allows cool stuff like doing collection pages, such as Ropecon2003, or EGC2003, where I just insert a string like [{WeblogPlugin startDate='310103' days='31'}] to get all of the entries from January 2003, for example.

JSPWiki (and thus, this weblog) support the XML-RPC Wiki API, as well as the MetaWeblogAPI. The support for the latter is not complete, but it is quite enough so that I can moblog from my cell phone. What happens is that I basically send an email to a predefined address, where a custom script takes the email, parses it and posts it to the weblog using the said MetaWeblog API. The script is smart enough to take the attachments from the email and modify the entry so that they are properly inserted in the text. Of course, I have to write my entry using WikiMarkup, but trust me, it is far easier to do on a cell phone than HTML!

Yes, all Wikis use different markup rules - but actually, that's not really a big problem. So far, the biggest use of the WikiRPCInterface has been adding functionality into JSPWiki itself - a machine halfway across the world uses it to check up what has happened on the JSPWiki main site, and sends email to everyone who has subscribed to it. This is a highly important thing - I did not have to implement that by myself; I just implemented an API and someone else wrote it (thanks Mahlen!). This is really no different from writing a proper, plugin-based architecture for a Wiki, except that the external developer is no longer bound to Java, or Perl, or Python, or PHP, or whatever language the lead developer of the wiki decided to use. In essence, it allows you to write simple plugins and do batch processing on a Wiki without having to understand its internal implementation!

In fact, defining a standard markup language for Wikis (such as WikiML) should work well with this kind of an XML-RPC/SOAP API approach: just add another method that gets the text in WikiML instead of rendered HTML/WikiMarkup. It does not matter what markup the wikis themselves use.

I also believe that Wikis will converge slowly. It seems to me that MoinMoin style markup is winning, and with the stuff like Radeox from the SnipSnap folks, you can separate the rendering of the markup from the WikiEngine itself, making it largely irrelevant what markup people use, since you can just plug in the markup you want to use.

However, there will always be differences in markup. You see, doing stuff like complex TWiki markup just is out of the reach of the smaller players, and since making a basic wiki is really easy, people are not going to bother to use the same markup. They might adopt some common practices, but some wikis need stuff like syntax highlighting, and others will need direct drawing on page, etc... In the end, the one and only solution is to get rid of the markup altogether, and make a WYSIWYG wiki - sort of a distributed version of MS Word.

Phew. There is already a Wiki API standard, but so far not too many seem to have adopted it. I would very much like to see discussion what is needed, what is too much, and how to make it better.

Saturday, 06-Sep-03 11:23
Milk and cookies

Yesterday was a good day; I got a packet from Australia containing (among other things) genuine ANZAC bisquits, stuff that I got seriously addicted on while I was living down under. I plan to spend a night with a good book, a glass of milk and a huge pile of cookies... Woo-hoo!

Also, I managed to beat my teacher at go with five stones handicap, and got a promotion to 4 kyu. Which was kinda surprising because I was very tired yesterday evening, and I haven't really been feeling much up to playing for the last few days. I've barely managed to rack up about as many games since the EGC 2003 than I had in the actual tournament.

I also had a good lunch talk; and got an email of the best kind. By the end of the evening, the cliché "tired but happy" was as good choice of words as any.

Friday, 05-Sep-03 18:20
Logo for JSPWiki
Oo, Ebu drew a nice logo for JSPWiki. Thanks!

We've been looking for one for a while... And this one struck me personally because of the go imagery.

Now we just wait for someone to make us a better-looking default template...

Friday, 05-Sep-03 16:36
What a boring test

Even though I am a trained physicist, this I found just utterly stupid.

What kind of a subatomic particle are you? Neutron -- You don't take sides, you just sort of hang out and blend into the crowd. If someone lets you loose though, you can cause some serious damage. If you are arround too many other neutrons you get bored and start to decay.

(As usual, via Merten)

Friday, 05-Sep-03 15:14
Twenty questions

OK, so the meme sticks. Thanks to Merten and Visa, I feel now strangely compelled to describe myself using inappropriate musical terms.

In this exercise, you are supposed to answer the following questions using song titles from a single artist. I have chosen Kylie Minogue.

1. Are you male or female?

"Cowboy Style"

2. Describe yourself:

"Spinning Around"
"I'm so high"
"Dangerous game"

3. How do some people feel about you?

"Confide In Me"
"Koocachoo"
"In Denial"

4. How do you feel about yourself?

"Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi"
"Never Too Late"
"Give Me Just A Little More Time"
"Live And Learn"

5. Describe your boy/girlfriend.

"Bittersweet Goodbye"
"The world still turns"

6. Where would you rather be?

"Right Here, Right Now"
"Step Back In Time"
"Celebration"

7. Describe what you want to be.

"Free"
"Drunk" (Hey, it's Friday afternoon as I'm writing this :-)

8. Describe how you live.

"I Should Be So Lucky"
"Heaven And Earth"

9. Describe how you love.

"The Locomotion"
"Finer Feelings"

10. Share a few words of wisdom.

"Your Disco Needs You"
"Breathe"
"Turn It Into Love"

Wednesday, 03-Sep-03 18:41
Films galore

The Helsinki Film Festival has opened its website: movies, timetables, etc - it's all there.

My keen sense of prediction feels two weeks of sleepless nights coming up...

(Has it really been a year since I turned single? Gah. I also predict a wave of self-pity and loathing. Crap.)

Tuesday, 02-Sep-03 22:36
This man is officially cool

I happened to hang in #joiito, and mention that I would need a GNU ~ChangeLog to RSS converter and what happens?

Les Orchard whips up one for me in a couple of hours.

How cool is that?

Tuesday, 02-Sep-03 15:37
"But officer, how did you find me!?!"

The Register: Doh! Man steals GPS tracking device, used to monitor criminals on probation.

Tuesday, 02-Sep-03 15:11
I won!

Click on the image to view evidence.
The Google Dance has started again, notes Russell, AND I'M #1 JANNE! Woo-hoo! Take that, you obscure Japanese band, or the equally obscure Swedish band!

The sounds you are hearing are the shuffle of your hair from your vigorous headshake, a sigh emerging from your mouth, and the click of the mouse as you hit the "Back" -button.

Well. At least I'm #1 on one of the Google servers at some point of the dance =).

Tuesday, 02-Sep-03 11:57
Software patents, tiny delay

The vote has been delayed, reports Slashdot. I think the effort of some very prominent sites such as Apache Software Foundation may have brought the issue to the common public. Let's hope the MEPs see the light. It seems that at least Matti Wuori, a Finnish Green MEP, agrees with EFFI. (Thanks to Ville for letting us know.)

I rewrote the script on jspwiki.org to display the notice to everyone not coming from the jspwiki.org domain, so each visitor should now see it at least once.

Monday, 01-Sep-03 22:57
Ropecon revisited
If you're an industry pro, there are worse things you could do today than send your CV to the RopeCon folks and beg to be invited as a ~GoH at the next available opportunity.

Our Guest of Honor, Jonathan Tweet, has updated his own diary about his trip to the Ropecon 2003. He seems quite happy :-).


Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.



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