Is it real or is it

Everything here is my personal opinion. I do not speak for my employer.
Back: March 2008
Next: May 2008

2008-04-07 »

The Google Situation

    "It's not a company, it's a cult, and frankly I can appreciate that because we're a cult too and the fact is that cults are easier to run than companies."
    -- Fake Steve Jobs

2008-04-08 »

The triumphant return of ion1

I really like the ion window manager. However, recent versions (ie. post version 1.0) haven't added anything I wanted, while adding significant complexity and making it so that certain things I liked in the original are nearly impossible to attain.

Specifically, I have "split this frame vertically" defined as ALT-S-V, and "delete the current frame" defined as ALT-S-X. If I do these commands in quick succesion in ion1, effectively nothing happens; my focus is where it started, and the order of my windows is the same as it was when it started. Unfortunately, I can't find a way to do the same thing in later versions of ion; "delete the current frame" always ends up moving my focus around and changing the order of windows. Probably there's a way to program what I want in "lua", the oddball scripting language it uses, but I haven't bothered to learn lua and I don't see the point of doing extra work.

Thus, I hereby announce the stillborn ion1 revival project. I say "stillborn" because I have taken the source code to ion1, built it as a .deb package for Ubuntu Hardy, and I now plan to stop working on it since it already does what I want, and that was the whole point.

Enjoy.

(If you do happen to want to contribute patches, though, please let me know. ion1 does have a few bugs that I'd love to see get fixed.)

2008-04-20 »

Linus on Caching

    I really dislike adding a cache that is there just because we do something stupid. We can fix the over-abundance of lstat() calls by just being smarter. And the smarter we are, the less the cache will help, and the more it will hurt. Which is the real reason why I think the cache is a really really bad idea: it optimizes for the wrong kind of behavior. So we have other caches and hashes we use, like the index itself, or the name lookup hash into the index, or the delta cache. Maintaining those caches takes some effort too, but those caches aren't there because we're doing something stupid, they are there because they allow us to do something smart. -- Linus Torvalds on caching repeated operations

2008-04-25 »

Shameless request

Hello fellow alumnits,

I know that quite a lot of you work at Google now, so I want to ask for a favour: can you weasel me a preview license to Google Appengine? It sounds really fun to play with, and I even have a project in mind.

Way back at NITI, we used to have a system for catching wvcrash output and querying it in various different ways. I wrote a system similar to wvcrash for AmSchedule Express and other Versabanq stuff, but I haven't yet written a handy analysis and tracking system for the crashes. I think this would be a fun project to run publicly with someone else's resources and let all sorts of software send their crash dumps to it. And since I need it anyway, I'd do most of the work. See? Everybody wins!

(Except Google, who's giving all this away for free :))

Update: Well, that was quick. Thanks, mag!

2008-04-29 »

The "culture of quitting"

Here's an interesting article called Up or Out that talks about how people whose careers have stopped progressing should just leave with no hard feelings... and how this is already the case in legal and accounting firms (ie. if you don't "make partner"), but for some reason doesn't seem to happen in IT organizations.

He even refers to employees that leave happily in this was as "alumni".

This is an interesting point of view, since most people are more obsessed with increasing the quality of their workforce through hiring rather than firing attrition. For comparison, see "hiring above the average" at Google.

Back: March 2008
Next: May 2008

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