March 2008 Archives

Further Evidence of Geekdom

| | Crossposted
In preparation for a demo that could lead to a huge opportunity, I worked two weeks straight, most nights until midnight, sometimes until after 2am. No rest for the wicked weary on the two weekends, I just plowed straight through.

I’m done, back banging on the stuff on which I should be working, and I was very much looking forward to a respite this weekend.

There’s just one minor glitch. The problem I left on Friday evening is sticking in my craw. It’s interesting. I know I should leave it until Monday, but here I am logging into the VPN to grab the file so I can at least map out how I think it should be solved.

Hopefully that will exorcise this demon, and I can go back to enjoying a weekend with my sweetie.

[This has been rolling around my head for a few weeks, and I’ve been chomping at the bit (until my site redesign was finished and MT was working again for me) for the time I could write it.]

I play at being a misanthrope. It’s not all charade, there is certainly a fair bit of my character that is completely anti-social, and while I’ve come out of my shell in shocking and scary ways in recent years, I’m still rather introverted.

But at the deepest level, the essential kernel, I am an optimist. A humanist. A romantic.

There hasn’t been much fuel for that spark in the public space in recent years, in fact in most ways we haven’t been sliding toward oblivion so much a stampeding toward it.

And yet, as I observed the political process recently I’ve found myself experiencing some odd emotions. While reading reading Jon Taplin’s Blog I put my finger on it. The odd sensation I couldn’t quite grasp was hope.

I feel hopeful. Not that we’ve turned around and are headed in the right direction, but that maybe we’ve turned a (slight) corner. That some more people are starting to ask hard, important questions. That people might actually be willing to put aside differences, and dig in for the herculean task of rebuilding everything the last 8-10 years has torn down.

I fully expect these hopes to be dashed. We, as a nation, have been coddled and encouraged to stick our heads in the sand for too long for it change overnight. And the siren song of blissful ignorance is powerful. But, if the cards fall well, that dashing could be delayed until after January. Several months of hope could do me (and many of us) a world of good.

Edit: I finally figured out what was breaking the crossposting of this entry. The original draft of this entry, had I been able to publish it, would have coincided perfectly with the speech about which everyone is talking. It’s gratifying to see so many of us feel the same way.

I know it’s more of that blinding hope, but I can’t help but feel that the choice before us is between the politicians of the past; and a statesman, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a generation, who will lead us into the future.

Redesign

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A scientific breakthrough! I compressed another 9 years of slacking and ambivalence into just two.

In reality, my hand was forced. When Six Apart announced plans to release Movable Type 4 under the GPL, I was overjoyed. I’d been itching to upgrade our installation (version 2.65, circa 1999-2000), and it was the perfect opportunity. I’m very glad that WordPress’s design (single blog, single author) made me put off spending any time seriously considering it.

But it left me with dilemmas: First, the ljcrosspost plugin for 2.x was abandon-ware (I submitted a few patches, and the website disappeared shortly thereafter), and even if it wasn’t, it suffered some major flaws. After failing to find a suitable replacement[*], I resigned myself (with some excitement, I’ll admit) to write my own.

And then there was the design for my site. If I was going to have to rework my Movable Type templates for my blog, I might as well revert the templates to the new defaults and update the design as well.

And here we are. It’s not finished, but most of the major pieces are in place. And I don’t hate it. This in itself is a victory. I’m actually more or less pleased with it, for now.

[*] I’ve since found a cross-post plugin that is written by someone who knows what he’s doing, has a nice preference UI, and does more than just LJ. But he doesn’t have all the features mine has (though arguably some of those could/should be a separate plugin), and the license terms are less than ideal. So I’ll keep working on mine. (With the intent of releasing it under the GPL)

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