Much ado about scripting, Linux & Eclipse: card subject to change


Dr. Strangechannel Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love IRC

An excerpt of today's #eclipse channel log, showing three things:

  1. PDT is hard to install for newbies, especially considering how their website is misleading
  2. some people would rather rant than file a bug
  3. life is surreal sometimes
  4. UPDATE: apparently, this isn't DarthJesus' first appearance

(16:25:52) DarthJesus [n=Godsmith@unaffiliated/jargon] entered the room.
(16:26:12) DarthJesus: how do i change from java to php in eclipse?
(16:26:26) DarthJesus: it took me 17 hours to figure that out last time
(16:27:10) rcjsuen: DarthJesus: define "change from java to php"
(16:27:40) DarthJesus: if eclipse no longer does php i am boycotting your damn product that took 
8 hours to download and used precious hdd space
(16:28:01) rcjsuen: I never implied it did or no longer did php, I am merely asking for further 
(16:28:14) DarthJesus: i want to make a php workspace
(16:28:17) rcjsuen: You are welcome to boycott Eclipse though, we won't stop you.
(16:28:25) DarthJesus: it defaults as java
(16:28:25) rcjsuen: So basically you want PHP capabilities.
(16:28:49) d_a_carver: DarthJesus: Windows -> Open Perspective -> PHP
(16:28:57) rcjsuen: So ask yourself, how would I add PHP capabilities to Eclipse?
(16:29:01) rcjsuen: ~g eclipse php
(16:29:01) KOS-MOS: Try googling -
(16:29:04) rcjsuen: Would be a good start
(16:29:07) d_a_carver: Windows -> Open Perspective -> Other -> PHP actually
(16:29:20) DarthJesus: there is no php perspective
(16:29:39) d_a_carver: DarthJesus: Did you download and install the PDT plugins.
(16:29:39) DarthJesus: you wasted 8 hours of my life
(16:29:49) nickboldt: DarthJesus: if you've got JDK 5.0 + Eclipse 3.3 + PDT 1.0, you get all you 
need for php dev
(16:29:56) nickboldt: ~wiki PDT/FAQ
(16:29:56) KOS-MOS: Check out this wiki article -
(16:30:13) DarthJesus: i dont have that much hdd space
(16:30:15) rcjsuen: Surely you were doing something else when you waited 8 hours for Eclipse to
(16:30:36) DarthJesus: i was staring at the screen wishing i was home with my niece and nephew
(16:30:38) rcjsuen: phpeclipse might be smaller as a plug-in
(16:30:46) rcjsuen: Since that has less deps than PDT
(16:31:03) nickboldt: the PDT all-in-one install is 140M; add a JDK for about 60-80M and you're 
(16:31:05) DarthJesus: i dont want ANY  of the java crap
(16:31:07) rcjsuen: DarthJesus: In that case shouldn't you have done some research prior to 
downloading it?
(16:32:03) nickboldt: yes, phpeclipse is 60-80M (JDK) + eclipse (40-50M) + 15M (phpeclipse)
(16:32:06) DarthJesus: i just hit download eclipse prior known as php ide
(16:32:18) DarthJesus: you have falsified info in your download page
(16:32:20) rcjsuen: prior known as php ide?
(16:32:27) DarthJesus: yes says so on site
(16:32:31) DarthJesus: on download page
(16:32:33) rcjsuen: Please provide a link.
(16:32:35) nickboldt: DarthJesus: what URL, please
(16:32:38) rcjsuen: So we ca nverify this
(16:32:44) rcjsuen: And talk to the necessary personnel to correct it
(16:32:46) rcjsuen: if we made such a claim
(16:33:00) rcjsuen: on itself, we claim "Eclipse is an open source community whose
projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks,
tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle. A large 
and vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors, innovative start-ups, universities, research 
institutions and individuals extend, complement and support the Eclipse platform."
(16:33:07) rcjsuen: which actually has no mention of Java or PHP
(16:33:24) DarthJesus:
(16:33:35) DarthJesus: downloads from the pdt former phpide
(16:33:48) rcjsuen: so what then
(16:33:50) rcjsuen: did you click on?
(16:33:50) DarthJesus: nowhere does it say that they arent fractions of the deal
(16:34:10) DarthJesus: no does it say they are fractions of phpide
(16:34:14) DarthJesus: nor*
(16:34:20) DarthJesus: its misleading
(16:34:20) nickboldt: ~bug207098
(16:34:21) KOS-MOS: Bug 207098 - Downloads page claims Eclipse ships w/ a JRE when this is 
patently untrue -
(16:34:22) rcjsuen: so from that link what did you click next
(16:34:33) DarthJesus: your wording wasted 8 hours of my life
(16:34:36) rcjsuen:   R20070917?
(16:34:39) DarthJesus: and much hdd space
(16:34:40) nickboldt: DarthJesus: please post your comments in that bug so the PDT people will 
fix the error
(16:34:50) rcjsuen: you just went to the page, then what happened
(16:35:22) DarthJesus: downloads from the PDT (former PHP IDE) project
(16:35:28) rcjsuen: and then?
(16:35:29) DarthJesus: big fat lie
(16:35:39) nickboldt: DarthJesus: did you download the 'all in one' ?
(16:35:40) d_a_carver: Which link did you click, DarthJesus from that page.
(16:35:45) nickboldt: it's only 120M
(16:35:45) rcjsuen: Which link did you click on
(16:35:50) rcjsuen: what happened next
(16:35:53) rcjsuen: you read "PHP IDE" and went "okay i want this"
(16:35:55) rcjsuen: then what happened
(16:35:59) DarthJesus: it should say in big blazing letters if you want php ide download all in 
(16:36:05) nickboldt: hehe
(16:36:15) rcjsuen: So what you did was download Eclipse Classic?
(16:36:18) nickboldt:
(16:36:25) DarthJesus: who the hell uses eclipse for java?
(16:36:28) DarthJesus: o.o
(16:36:32) nickboldt: I've been asking the PDT folks to improve their documentation 
(16:36:32) rcjsuen: DarthJesus: Could you please just answer the question?
(16:36:39) nickboldt: but sadly the best I can do is update the wiki
(16:36:48) d_a_carver: DarthJesus: There are many developers that do work both in Java and PHP.
(16:36:59) DarthJesus: 1.0 Stable Build   S20070910-RC1   2007-09-11 03:30:52 -0400
(16:37:11) rcjsuen: DarthJesus: Assuming you weren't being sarcastic, Eclipse is written in 
Java, so we use Eclipse to write Eclipse, so yes, we use Eclipse for Java.
(16:37:16) DarthJesus: i used the open source whatever mirror
(16:37:23) rcjsuen: okay, so yo uwent to
(16:37:28) rcjsuen: then what hapepend
(16:37:43) rcjsuen: Which link did you click on next?
(16:38:03) rcjsuen: There is a Requirements section that details what you need although per 207098 it doesn't include a JRE.
(16:38:06) rcjsuen: there is also "PDT All-in-One package includes the complete set of software 
to start using PDT immediately. This package already has PDT combined with the complete set of 
prerequisites - you will not need anything else."
(16:38:10) DarthJesus: Eclipse SDK v3.3 version used in this build is here: Linux -->Windows<-- Mac OS X.
(16:38:24) rcjsuen: okay, so you downloaded that, extracted/what-not
(16:38:26) nickboldt: ah, so you started dl'ing all the prereqs
(16:38:28) rcjsuen: and now you want PHP capabilities?
(16:38:39) DarthJesus: i only want phpide
(16:38:45) DarthJesus: i dont give a damn about java
(16:38:48) rcjsuen: But I guess you missed the all-in-one section
(16:38:51) rcjsuen: while reading down the page
(16:38:55) nickboldt: DarthJesus:
(16:38:58) rcjsuen: but instead jumped straight to the requirements one-by-one
(16:39:03) DarthJesus: i clicked top link on every page
(16:39:11) nickboldt: get that. install that. install a JDK (you need it to run Eclipse). voom, 
(16:39:14) rcjsuen: That's certainly fair. I may have done that myself.
(16:39:20) DarthJesus: all in one should be top link on every page
(16:39:25) rcjsuen: DarthJesus: File a bug and tell them
(16:39:39) nickboldt: or add your comments into bug 207098
(16:39:44) rcjsuen: both would be nice
(16:39:54) nickboldt: they need to be told how painfully unusable their site is
(16:40:00) rcjsuen: but you should file a bug for your suggestion
(16:40:03) rcjsuen: because that's what affected YOU
(16:40:10) nickboldt: (which is funny cuz PHP is more often used for web, so you'd think...) ;-)
(16:40:10) DarthJesus: btw use goddamn deflate64 or lzwa or whatever like a normal person
(16:40:15) DarthJesus: .zip is OLD
(16:40:25) rcjsuen: DarthJesus: If  you  have a problem with that, file a bug too.
(16:40:59) DarthJesus: i took atleast 30x longer to download than it should had were it properly 
(16:41:18) nickboldt: DarthJesus: ranting at us won't help. file a bug and tell the PDT folks
(16:41:21) d_a_carver: Anybody know if the PDT folks are going to be at EclipseCon, we can corner 
them then.
(16:41:26) rcjsuen: Sorry, we're not from the PDT team.
(16:41:29) rcjsuen: neither nickboldt d_a_carver or me
(16:41:37) rcjsuen: you can rant at us but we can't do anything about it
(16:41:46) rcjsuen: and it's just wasting your own time ranting at us
(16:41:49) rcjsuen: you seem strapped for time
(16:41:49) DarthJesus: i can blackmail you :P
(16:41:51) nickboldt:
(16:41:52) rcjsuen: use it on something that matters
(16:41:56) rcjsuen: filing bugs to _them_
(16:42:02) d_a_carver: We've asked the PDT team to send somebody here, but no takers as of yet.
(16:43:10) DarthJesus: don't use deflate32 to compress the damn downloads, do: put all in one as 
top link on every page
(16:43:45) nickboldt: DarthJesus: don't: bitch at us; do: open a bug. ;-)


(16:48:47) ***DarthJesus presses forehard into blank space on laptop
(16:49:09) DarthJesus: your site is total crap
(16:49:15) DarthJesus: i demand it be reworked
(16:49:18) d_a_carver: file a bug
(16:49:28) DarthJesus: its not a bug, its stupidity
(16:49:33) DarthJesus: fire you sys admin
(16:49:57) nickboldt: DarthJesus: it's open source. to "demand" without opening a bug is like 
pissing on your car to make it start
(16:50:23) nickboldt: follow the process and you'll get what you want. 
(16:50:38) DarthJesus: there are 134 people in here
(16:50:47) rcjsuen: DarthJesus: And?
(16:50:55) DarthJesus: i am telling 134 people to get off their butt and fix the site
(16:51:06) mxttie: DarthJesus, you are one of the 134
(16:51:09) rcjsuen: But we don't have access, to that site.
(16:51:11) nickboldt: DarthJesus:none of the people in here are PDT committers
(16:51:18) rcjsuen: nickboldt: At least, we don't think so.
(16:51:19) rcjsuen: ;)
(16:51:25) DarthJesus: then why does this channel exist?
(16:51:27) rcjsuen: mxttie: touche
(16:51:38) rcjsuen: DarthJesus: To help users like you and to help each other.
(16:51:40) d_a_carver: for general eclipse support regardless of project.
(16:51:48) nickboldt: not to whinge about the websites
(16:52:06) rcjsuen: But you do not seem to want to help yourself or help other people that may 
hit the same problem as you tomorrow, for instnace.
(16:52:37) nickboldt: (note it's websites plural -- one per project -- if you (as I've said at 
least three times already) have a problem with the PDT website, open a bug:
(16:52:59) d_a_carver: by filing the bug reports you will potentially help people that may run 
into the same issue as you, without it, it'll still exist and may never be addressed.
(16:53:01) DarthJesus: ok i will file a bug: use lzwa asshat and put all in one as top link on 
every page or i will blow up the erie canal
(16:53:09) DarthJesus: :P
(16:53:13) rcjsuen: okay, good
(16:53:15) nickboldt: DarthJesus: yeah, that'll certainly be addressed
(16:53:17) rcjsuen: Tell us the bug # when it's been filed.
(16:53:36) rcjsuen: nickboldt: I'll take the benefit of the doubt that DarthJesus is not going 
to write that literally.
(16:53:47) nickboldt: rcjsuen: here's hoping he's being flippant
(16:54:18) d_a_carver: at least DarthJesus if you create the bug, we can monitor it and ping them
on the issue every once in a while.
(16:54:23) rcjsuen: not 'take', gah, bad grammar
(16:54:41) d_a_carver: Anybody cruise the PDT newgroups to see how responsive they are there?
(16:55:06) rcjsuen: d_a_carver: Not me.
(16:55:46) DarthJesus: i've blown up a canal before x.x
(16:56:58) DarthJesus: just get a big enough sodium brick and enough gallons of kerosine and drop
it from a plane
(16:57:58) Zerone: ah rcjsuen :)
(16:59:06) d_a_carver: rcjsuen: looks like they have one guy that is pretty active.  I may drop a
note about a couple of bugs in that newsgroup to hopefully get some action going.
(16:59:13) DarthJesus left the room (quit: Nick collision from services.).
(16:59:21) DarthJesus [] entered the room.
(17:00:03) DarthJesus: i am agent palmer with the fbi
(17:00:24) DarthJesus: do not associate with the man you have been speaking to under this screen 
(17:00:27) DarthJesus: he is flippant
(17:00:37) DarthJesus: crimnally flippant
(17:02:43) DarthJesus: when invited to our office for a job interview he put cappucino mix in our 
water dispenser and mircodots in our tea kettles
(17:03:10) DarthJesus: why does the fbi need tea kettles?
(17:03:17) DarthJesus: ...wouldn't you like to know...
(17:03:30) nickboldt: DarthJesus: perhaps to make tea?
(17:03:41) DarthJesus: ABORT ABORT
(17:03:51) DarthJesus left the room (quit: Client Quit).


(17:12:57) DarthJesus [n=Godsmith@unaffiliated/jargon] entered the room.
(17:13:19) DarthJesus: ok who was calling me on the phone?
(17:13:47) ***DarthJesus glares
(17:16:06) DarthJesus: it was some sort of satanic loud annoying beep noise
(17:16:35) DarthJesus: i simply said 'i dont do ctty' and hung up
(17:21:30) ***DarthJesus pases out ..... dart in neck... gak


Powerfully Lame Marketing

I'm not one to bash the competition, but I need to mention this. zx pointed me to a "Pro NetBeans" site, bearing this post:

But lame attempts at humour aside, this site is whois-privacy-blocked:

Administrative Contact:
   Whois Privacy Protection Service, Inc.
   Whois Agent (
   Fax: +1.4256960234
   PMB 368, 14150 NE 20th St - F1
   Bellevue, WA 98007

Most of the posts (almost all by "admin") are about Sun's point-releases of their JDK (snore), or features in NetBeans. Who's moderating this site? Could it be the NetBeans girls? Certainly isn't the Eclipse Ladies... ;-)

On the plus side, Amazon isn't so "Pro NetBeans" with its site ads (they're not all O'Reilly, o'really).

Notes 7 vs. 8: Inbox Folder Warning Message Smackdown

In today's installment of my ongoing series on Lotus Notes' unique personality, I present a nuissance warning message that apparently means nothing and affects nothing. But it appears three times, just to make sure I'm sufficiently warned. Granted, it only appears if you do something really odd (like installing Notes 8 on top of Notes 7, which I'm sure is NOT a supported install method), then go back to using Notes 7. Still, it's pretty funny, for me at least.

Here's how you can play along at home:

  1. Install Notes 7 (WMC) on Linux
  2. Install Notes 8 on Linux (on top)
  3. Create a folder in your Inbox database (er, "application") with Notes 8
  4. Try to open that folder w/ Notes 7, and you get this warning message three times:

-- Clicking OK three times disposes the warnings,
and everything apparently works fine.
Thank goodness I was warned!


I never meta data I didn't like

In my collection of web-based errata (ever wondered why this site is called Division By Zero?), I've snagged a lot of Google snafus. Here's my first Google-IBM composite snafu -- an Adsense ad from IBM sitting next to my Gmail:

-- Yes, quite.

Then, clicking on the link for 'More related pages >>' yielded this:

Temporary Error (502)
-- Does that mean "502 (Bad Gateway). When a server acts
as a go-between it may receive an invalid request. This code is
returned when that happens" [1]? Or is it more like this 502? ;-)


Happy 15th, Thinkpad!

I'm on my 4th Thinkpad (770X, T23, T40, T60p) since I started at IBM, and with the exception of the first motherboard in the T40 (which died within the first few weeks and was quickly replaced), they've all survived admirably.

Happy 15th, Thinkpad!


NOTE: For the record, there should be no inferred or implied interpretation of the selection of the source tune used for this parody. Simply, I was out walking my dogs this afternoon through Curran Hall Ravine, listening to that album, and it struck me as a perfect rhythm to talk about the benefits of structure and rules in terms of clarity, consistency, and ease of use. Ed uses photos & analogies, I use punk songs & parodies.

I don't want anyone to think that I'm trying to imply that the EMO's rules are somehow bad, malicious, or simply just lies. ;-) Au contraire, Bjorn's readiness to improve processes and simplify overhead proves the opposite. I'm well aware that we're all in this together and the point of setting rules and standards is to ensure things are done legally, consistently, and without perceived bias toward any given member company or other.

Anyway, enjoy...


Stored conversations, open processes
Some think we're stupid, that's their thing
But we build useful tools, coordinate with rules
So we can overcome

Lambasting critics, with naught but rhet'ric
Your accusations have worn thin
But we've got work to do, and out in public, too
We've got one on you!

Rules... make it better
Rules... aren't forever
Rules... to be consistent
Rules... for the betterment
Rules... from the EMO
Rules... from the Councils
Rules... keep IP clean
Rules... 'till review's done... rules

Management office, process designers,
With best intentions at heart, yeah
Try to improve workflows
Despite critical shmoes
Truly this job blows

But when there's...

Rules... (to) make it better
Rules... (that) aren't forever
Rules... simplification
Rules... for automation
Rules... don't like 'em? change 'em
Rules... we'll rearrange 'em
Rules... keep things structured
Rules... 'nuff damn lectures...


Rules are designed to serve you
Committer reps: your way for change
Rules are designed to serve you
Contact their home on the range!

Rules... make it better
Rules... aren't forever
Rules... to be consistent
Rules... for the betterment
Rules... from the EMO
Rules... from the Councils
Rules... keep IP clean
Rules... 'till review's done...

Rules... (to) make it better
Rules... (that) aren't forever
Rules... simplification
Rules... for automation
Rules... don't like 'em? change 'em
Rules... we'll rearrange 'em
Rules... keep things structured
Rules... 'nuff damn lectures... rules

Billy Talent - Lies


Notes 8: The Good, The Bad, The YouTube Videos

Now that Ubuntu 7.10 is out, is it time to upgrade to Notes 8? Here's some random Notes 8 love:

The Three Laws Of Eclipse

Bjorn just posted his first draft of The Three Laws Of Eclipse, ostensibly in response (in part anyway) to my perceived piercing from yesterday. Clearly not everyone was amused by my attempt at levity, and for that I'm sorry. That was not my intent.

In my humble opinion, The Three Laws is *EXACTLY* what we need. Something simple, concise, and easily referenced. (Unlike the rambling blog entry that will now follow.) ;-)

A couple of years ago I took a course about presentation skills called Think on your Feet (developed by McLuhan & Davies -- yes, that McLuhan), and one of the big things it stressed was what I'll call 'the rule of three':

  1. Three bullets to a section, three items on a slide.
  2. Three aspects of a topic (points in time, degrees of complexity, etc.).
  3. Three parts of a talk (intro, content, summary).

The human brain works well with the number three, for many reasons I won't bore you with. If you have a chance to take the course, I highly recommend it.

The reason I mention it is because the 'Three Laws of Eclipse' works perfectly in tune with the guidelines from that course -- you have three major rules, and the rules break into no more than 3 subpoints. This would work great as a powerpoint (for execs, PMCs, ID people, lawyers, policy people) and also as a quick wiki/webpage, as currently formed (for the geeks). Different audiences, different format; same content, same themes.

Because it's simple, it's memorable. Because it's memorable, it will stick with people.

And because it will stick, we'll stop feeling that the rules change too often. Or that there's too many.

Just for the sake of contrast, have a look at this 29-section legal-ish-style document.

Now, look at this page, where we find an explanation and history (in the linked bug) about why the document was changed, and everything relevant is conveyed in 3 (well, 4) easily-digested sections.

As a side note, perhaps annual changes aren't too often. As David says, the need for change is normal. Perhaps, as Mik points out, the problem is communication. This is IMHO twofold:

a) announcements of changes are not communicated to Joe Average Committer -- this could be my fault for not being subscribed to the right mailing list. Should these be done on cross-projects-issues-dev@ and/or the lists? Or as a committer-wide announcement like the notes Denis sends once in a while about outages and new infrastructure? I'd say all of the above.

b) changes (due to (a)) seem to happen without a stated reason for the change. Again, this could be just the way my brain works: I need to know WHY a change is happening, even after I've accepted it's a good thing. And I need to be able to easily look up when and why so that when I've forgotten something (as I am wont) I can be shown the error of my ways by my own search or that of a friendly reminder from Bjorn. (This works both ways -- I nag Bjorn, he nags me, and over time we both fix things and improve. Win-win.)

So while I could probably pull the CVS history of documents and see when/why, it's not nearly as friendly as having a quick note sent to the committership at large saying "this rule has been changed from ___ to ___ because of problems with ____ so we're trying a new approach this year." Or better, having a bug to point at, like this page with this bug.

Oh, and just in case anyone out there thinks that from up on this pedestal of mine I don't strive to practice what I preach, contrast before with after, when I realized that the Modeling Releng doc had gotten too big for wikipedia to handle it, much less human users. (It's still too damn big, but hopefully more manageable when chunked up into smaller docs.) I'm open to suggestions if you have a better way.

Seems that 43 years later, it's still true. The way you convey information is often more important than the information itself.


So long, and thanks for all the FOSS

Recently, Wayne blogged that he's had to apologize for Linux's quirks.

Don't worry, Wayne, you're among friends. I've been apologizing for the better part of a year that my Thinkpad T60p w/ MEPIS 6.0:

  • doesn't to dual-monitor very well (cursor on second screen tends to disappear, get mangled, or just freeze as it crosses from the laptop to the monitor, so I have a text-selection-pointer no matter what I'm doing on that screen)
  • crashes unexpectedly when left alone for hours
  • needs ALT-PrtSc,S,U,B to recover from said crashes, or from being put to sleep/suspend
  • won't do wireless very well anymore (even with several reboots between config changes)
  • sort of works with MEPIS' "bioauth" fingerprint reader, but needs to be swiped twice for every authorization and only works for SOME root-required password requests.

Actually, my current setup involves dual booting between Windows XP Pro and Linux, sharing the same ext3 partition and thus same Eclipse workspace in both OSes. There's a few quirks still to work out, like:

  • .lnk files vs. cygwin symlinks -- .lnk files work in Explorer and Eclipse, but not in cygwin; conversely, cygwin symlinks don't work in Explorer or Eclipse. Pooh.
  • all the filenames in your ext3-hosted workspace must be Windows-friendly in terms of length and special characters like ":" or the workspace loaded in Windows throws 'can't find file' errors and you can't save files. Double Pooh.

So far the dual-boot scenario is the best of both worlds, since I can share both features (using Eclipse Extension folders) and workspaces between the Eclipses... along with nearly identical shell access (Konsole or cygwin inside WinTabber), IM/IRC clients (Pidgin or Gaim), browsers (Firefox or Flock), office tools (MSO or OOo).

Besides, who doesn't apologize for Microsoft's stuff? Vista's "so annoying I'll just turn it off" security system? Outlook viruses like the dreaded Mailissa? IE exploits? Security patches that make things less secure? Or even just dumb-ass VBScript bugs?

But c'mon, it's okay to love your linux. It's cool. It's free (as in beer). And suffering is the road to enlightenment, or something like that.

No system is perfect. Just use what you love and tolerate its quirks, or divorce it for something sexier.

Release Review Today!

UPDATE: Clearly not everyone was amused by my attempt at levity here. My apologies.

Wake up, the EMO's on fire
And they're sick of policing th'entire
World of Eclipse releases
Cuz the PMCs should be

"Rename" is the last chance for hope
When there's no such thing as unrelease
Your GA build's in the ditch that
You dug yourself in

Last chance to get your slides in place
Nothing but hell to pay
If you forget your review

Release Review Today - celebrate your SDK!
Post your N&N and hang 'em high
On the wiki and your home
Release Review Today - get on your knees and pray
Forget your review and you'll be screwed
But at least you're not alone

Marquee lights in the middle of June, now
Old bugs come back, no boon now
Your oldest allies are your long lost PMCs
Sit though the review and you'll find
That it's a +1'ing good time
Unless you're a hotbed of non-diversity



Review Day! Vote +1!

Last chance to get your slides in place
But the policies seem to change each day
When all you wanna do is... try to... comply

[Chorus] x 2

Review Day!

Green Day - Deadbeat Holiday


OS Nadir?

Of course, they're not the only ones having problems tonight:


Error: Completed Successfully

I love error messages like these:

Error: User request completed successfully
-- Great, then why can't I proceed?

Video Codecs & Unpacking Script

BitTorrent a lot?

Annoyed at always having to unrar, move the resulting video file, then move the source folder out of your incoming folder and into your 'ready to be deleted when share ratio is > 1' folder? (I use > 3.) I am. Here's a quick unpack script for doing the above in one simple command. Works with foo.rar and foo.part01.rar as the input file.

Secondly, do you find sometimes you can't play the videos you've downloaded? Or you try to share them with someone, and they work great for you but that someone can't play them? Here's a quick list of places to get a/v codecs/players for Windows. You may not need all of these, but if you can't play audio or video, try these. As always, YMMV.

  1. Install updated Windows Media Player & DivX Codec/Player Bundle
  2. Install codecs from c|net: [1], [2], [3] and Nimo

For linux users (*ubuntu, debian, etc.) see these walkthroughs for installing libdvdcss and w32codecs: [1], [2], [3].


Linux in the Mainstream

You know Linux -- well, ubuntu, anyway -- is gaining mainstream acceptance when it gets a nod on a show like Veronica Mars.

Meanwhile, here's a collection of some Linux / "I'm a Mac..." spoof ads:


Notes 8: Dead by Dawn

After just under two months of loving and hating Notes 8's usability issues, it has died completely, the result of several hard drive crashes & unsolicited KDE logouts.

But in true Lotus fashion, Notes 8 leaves me with these hauntingly unhelpful messages:

This software has encountered a problem and needs to close
-- ok, but what problem?

Failed to login
-- makes sense given the previous error message
and the fact I wasn't asked to login,
but how is this helpful?

The only saving grace here is that because I installed Notes 8 on top of Notes 7, I can still run Notes 7 even though 8 is no longer functional. Of course the dictionary is now utterly corrupt so every email I try to send throws an error message until I disable spellcheck...

Error accessing User Dictionary File
-- why can't we just fail gracefully here
and skip the spellcheck with a warning?

Delivery Options... > Basic > [ ] Auto spellcheck
-- there's apparently no way to turn this off by default

... And I already miss the 'more addictive than crack' 'cached locally for better performance' 'not just the IBMers' typeahead name lookup functionality of Notes 8 (which I got addicted to thanks to GMail, and Lotus had the good sense to adopt too).

Still, at least Notes 7 is quasi-functional enough to make do until I have time to reinstall the whole thing from scratch, or Notes 8.0.1 is released next year, whichever comes first.

And really, I can't fault Notes (entirely) for its early demise. Then again, everything else on the machine works great despite the crashes... well, everything except:

  • Konqueror won't let me save bookmarks anymore.
  • I get unexpectedly logged out from KDE when I leave the machine alone for a while.
  • When left alone for long periods, sometimes the screen dies and the only way to ressurect it is with the klaatu verada nikto-like incantation of Alt-PrtSc-S, Alt-PrtSc-U, Alt-PrtSc-B.
  • My cursor will disappear after about 6hrs and only be visible on the secondary screen as a purplish narrow rectangle. Ever try using a mouse when you can't see the pointer? It's about as much fun as boxing with your computer.

Yes, it's so time to upgrade to a new OS.

EMFT: The Ten Components

After a way-too-long hiatus, the EMFT components Net4j and CDO are once again publishing builds, ready to run on Eclipse 3.3 / EMF 2.3 / Europa.

Teneo, EMF Compare, and as of this week, Modeling Workflow Engine (MWE) also have builds available. Get them here:

The other two current components do not yet have builds available, but their code is available for download in CVS:

Coming soon are at least three new components. Stay tuned for more information as they are provisioned.

At least 3 of these components also plan to be included in next year's Ganymede release.

EMF: Customer Loyalty Generator

You're probably aware that among other things, EMF is a code generator. But did you know it's a business generator too? "EMF generates customer loyalty and longer-lasting business." Not only that, but you can use EMF to improve your health.

Some other EMF sightings:


Ubuntu 7.10 is coming


EMF: September Release Roundup

A quick list of some recent EMF releases:

  • EMF 2.4.0M2 (Eclipse 3.4.0M2 / Ganymede)
  • EMF 2.3.1 (Eclipse 3.3.1 / Europa)
  • EMF 2.2.4 (Eclipse 3.2.2 / Callisto)
  • EMF 2.1.3 (Eclipse 3.1.2)
  • EMF 2.0.6 (Eclipse 3.0.2)

Also, here's a few EMF-related releases out last month:

Did I miss anything? Let me know!


Burn The Evidence

I recently graffiti'd the Eclipse Planning Counncil Agenda with my $0.02 because I saw something I felt was incorrect. Not being one to posture and postulate wildly w/o facts to back myself up, I also created this supporting document: EMF 2.3 Plan History.

Why? Because on a recent blog entry, Bjorn brought up some excellent suggestions about having a good communication strategy so that your consuming teams (users, developers) can properly be made aware of lumps in the gravy.

At first I was annoyed, because I thought he was throwing rocks at EMF. But because I know we did damn near everything but sending up smoke signals to get the message out, I'd like to instead underscore all the places you can document and announce your plans to help grow your community:

  • Architecture Council (meetings + minutes on website)
  • Planning Council (meetings + minutes on website)
  • Europa/Ganymede meetings (meetings + minutes on website)
  • website (4 places: home, news, downloads, docs -- reuse information widgets or database content to be able to inform people in many ways)
  • Eclipse wiki (project page, project category page)
  • project newsgroups -- don't be afraid to cross-post to related newsgroups
  • Cross Projects mailing list (cross-projects-issues-dev@)
  • Planning Council mailing list (

We have no favourite channel. We use them all. Sure, it's a lot of work and could be construed as overkill, but IMHO it's worth the cost because it shows project maturity and respect for the people who use your code. Need a more instant-gratification or cost-benefits-analysis rationalization than the warm-fuzzy-feelings one? How about free testing? Tell people about your planned changes and they can adapt faster -- and give you feedback sooner.

Oh, well, time to crank up some Billy Talent and let the weekend begin.