On Conference Harrassment…

The recent attention given to harassment at conferences was sparked by the  sexual assault described of Noirin Shirley at ApacheCon; her particular attacker’s actions were deranged and criminal, but it’s clearly a variation on an ongoing theme of harassment. This issue raises two questions for future conferences: how do we prevent an atmosphere which encourages […]

The Art of Community (TAoC)

Fuzzy topics annoy me, and hurt my brain as I struggle to quantitify them.  People who talk on these topics grate on my nerves; it’s a kind of geek gag reflex. So I really didn’t like Jono Bacon’s The Art of Community.  It was like a counseling session where all the faults you half-suspected you […]

A nomenclature anecdote

“…an author, with thesaurus in hand, chooses the names of variables carefully…” — Knuth, Literate Programming The Elements of Style‘s invaluable advice for prose (“Omit needless words”) is mapped into C coding as “Curt names win”: I crave descriptive, short, punchy names. Though perhaps not to the extent of K&R, whose approach might be described […]

Being Sampled for The Genographic Project

IBM are involved with the Genographic Project, which is an attempt to “chart new knowledge about the migratory history of the human species”, by cheekswabbing hundreds of thousands of people around the world.  You get swabbed, you get an id to access your history, and they get the consolidated data from the results. My initial […]


I reviewed the code in popt a while back, and got a mail from Jeff Johnson on whether I thought the library worth revisiting (ie. popt2).  I replied that it was, then didn’t hear anything since. There are so many option-parsing libraries around, but I really wanted something simple and yet powerful enough for the […]