Marc, himself, his blogs, and you reading them.

December 16, 2006

Finally. The bags are packed. We're ready to go. Off with the family for little less then 3 weeks to Egypt! Departure tonight.

Noteworthy special dialog:

Why don't you help me out packing, son.
son (aged 6)
Hey mom, what are these?
mom (whishing she remebered those before asking him to help)
Condoms, son.
Intertaining dialogue balancing between honesty, truthfull leveled information transfer and slight evasiveness.
son (showing he understood)
Well, they sure didn't stop me from coming to be.

Apparently totaly unrelated, this dude is filing for a vasectomy upon return... :-)

Anyways. That's all for this year. Probably one of the early ones around: but here are my best wishes for the coming year. Have fun during the season holidays. And see you around in 2007

# Posted by mpo at 09:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 05, 2006
Open source licensing - final version.

Finally an open source license model I completely grasp: The NpBoL. I think it's both the original and the final version since I can't see how one could make it more complete by removing anything from it.

This completely appeals to one of my most natural social tactics. I'ld like to call it the "since you invented your existence into my life, I'll gladly opt to ignore you did so"-approach. Sometimes though public pressure requires you to disguise it with a flair of naivety and continued pleasant surprise...

# Posted by mpo at 08:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 04, 2006
Taming maven-2, part 1.
Or as Howard was putting it; 'appeasing the petty God'.  Matter of fact, the maven team selected his quote to be this week's guiding 'topic' of the #maven irc channel.

Entering maven-2 land is like coming home after the long and winding travel maven-1 was about.  Yeah sure, there is some laundry you badly need to do. But your custom build cutlery is getting a dedicated spot on the cupboard as opposed to getting wrapped up and displaced all the time.  If you're the kind that will never leave ant, that's just fine, but if you ever waged into maven-1, you really should schedule switching to maven-2.

(Although just like maven-1, this release has some rough-edges feeling, I just have my hopes up this is a good sign of release early-and-often that will eventually go away)

Doing injustice to the smooth 80% I'm only adding these simple lists: (anyway, the actual recommendation here is just go and see for yourself)

There is plenty docs already out there (always room for more). Some maven sources that inspired me:
  1. Java posse interview with Brett Porter. (#070)
  2. Better Builds with maven. (Mergere's book)
  3. Almost all of Maven's mini-guides (from this list
  4. helpful hands at the #maven channel
  5. loads of lucky searches at Google
Trick's I've learned already:
  1. check the effective-pom
    mvn help:effective-pom | less
  2. let plug-ins describe themselves
    mvn help:describe -DgroupId=org.apache.maven.plugin -DartifactId=maven-compiler-plugin -Dfull -Dmojo=testCompile
  3. use the -X to get a grasp of the life-cycle steps, and how it all works (pipe through less to read at your own pace)
  4. write those MOJO's, no really, write them!
  5. use the maven2 extension for eclipse, and don't think so fast you should file a bug
  6. don't try to be smarter then the tool (specially: stop thinking pre-goal/post-goal)
Which brings me to the 20% of 'Making Sacrifices on the Maven-2 Altar'.  
[random sequencing of goals]
The immediate advice I got on the channel when opening with "I'm looking for the maven-2 equivalent of the maven-1 'pre-goal'" was this clear "don't hold your breath".

Here is what seems to BE: The order of goals tied to one and the same life-cycle phase are executed
  1. AFTER the one that is tied to the life-cycle for that particular packaging type 
  2. and then in no particular order,
    (although it looks like it follows the order they are declared in the effective-pom)
Note that the order in which you declare plug-ins in the pom is irrelevant!  (Which makes sense if you grasp that changing the plugin-order in the parent pom, could affect the effective order of any child pom.)

So, you are not to expect any ordering between multiple goals tied to the same phase.  Which basically boils down to: we're left over to the goodwill of maven-2 to define enough phases to tie your goals to.

Note: above is unless you are willing to define your own artifact and life-cycle, which might very well the place I end up for other reasons after all. (There afaiu you can define your own phases as you please.) 

[integration tests]

After quite some attempts I'm just giving up on trying to combine regular junit tests and integration tests in one and the same module.  

The fact that both have different life-cycles assigned to them kept leading me to believe that I should be able to combine them in one project easily, but it turned out there was no easy way for me to get the correct ones executed in the different phases.

Well, so far for my first weeks of maven-2.  As they say: "it ain't over till the fat lady sings", and I sure have some more maven-laundry to be done.  If anybody has some advise on the above just drop me a note. # Posted by mpo at 02:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 27, 2006
Insomnia cure

People not tired enough by counting sheep can now switch to counting ubuntu users.

The Ubuntu Counter Project - user number # 3730
# Posted by mpo at 08:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 09, 2006
Information Biology
The commodity (in our world) of "being able to read" is hiding a tremendous natural wonder. For me personally it's at least the wonder bringing me one of my biggest joys. Give me letters and I'll enjoy reading, sucking up the memes contrived in them.  By the way: It's fun to see how it's taking a similar place in the lives of our kids (even when the youngest is yet to learn how to make meaning of those funny marks, it's obvious he's already drawn to them)

My current read is Steven Pinker's - "How the mind works" (In Dutch translation and borrowed from a colleague who is now delving through my copy of Oliver Sacks' - "Uncle Tungsten").  I'm somewhere half-way  enjoying the ride through smart insights, remarkable test results, funny anecdotes and clever mind-tricks.  The mainstream of the shared ideas, although those require careful attention to grasp, are easily accepted into my postmodern view of the world.  Since there is no eternal truth, this comes pretty darn close to it IMHO :-).

Pinker's view on "how mankind's step into the 'information niche' has been instrumental to its biological success on this planet" pins down the unbeatable advantage in our world of being natural information processors.  Looking at the rest of the biomass out there it is by far our most distinguishing talent.   It's great how we extended this into non living material that cooperates in the effort, and even more to see how we use our reflections on those machines to gain better insights in how the biological versions are working.

Apparently unrelated I'm receiving this week the invitation to join in on the presentation of Lennart Martens' PhD thesis.  It's safe to state he's one of Belgium's most talented (Java) software engineers.  More importantly to me however he has turned out to be one of those instant-click people I've had the pleasure to meet. Mostly due to a similar sense of humor and some joint interests in (reading!) life I guess.

Anyways, the man kinda left professional software engineering and went back to his biotech roots some years ago.  His goal was to leverage his acquired professional software development knowledge into this extraordinary field of fundamental biotech research (which was predominantly inhabited by dedicated Perl-hackers at the time).  To say he's been successful at that too would be an understatement.  (Naah, there ain't that many people I know that had a publication in Nature, but YMMV).  So yeah, I'll be happily joining in on the presentation next week, not in the least because I'll be treating myself: On top of things, he's quite an entertainer as well.

Anyways. This got me into skim-reading Lennart's work lately. Lennart is making quite an open source statement in his work as well and has been releasing the fruits of his labor under open source licenses. Quite a natural thing to do for government research if you ask me, but apparently important enough in his field of expertise to find some argumenting inspiration in some well chosen quotes:

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."  
-- (attributed to) Sir Isaac Newton

"Information, no matter how expensive to create, can be replicated and shared at little or no cost."
-- Thomas Jefferson

In my current state of mind (being half filled up with Pinker's ideas) this last one reads like Darwin's mission to humanity :-).  If ever you were looking for some reason of being, then why not actively work to exploit nature's selected gift to humans: "Process information" and maximize the effect by sharing it to others so they could do the same?

Well, having a new ubuntu release in the same week accompanied with the example Mandela Movie to explain what the word means is probably just coincidence? Or is there some growing spread of this new meme?

One final note in light of all this. Receiving a compliment for 'sharing your insights' is probably the nicest gift one can get.  Thx mate, and happy to.
# Posted by mpo at 11:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 08, 2006
Dapper Update Story

Updating to the new Dapper distro was slightly less boring then expected. Getting everything up to where I was before was as easy as:

  1. use upgrade-manager -d
  2. fix up the xorg.conf for fglrx
  3. reconfigure vmware
  4. done

Uh, leaving breezy was a breeze :-)

# Posted by mpo at 09:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 01, 2006

It's announced to happen today, but it hasn't happened yet so it seems... So we're still waiting for the big world-wide mayor download feast to start.

Anyway, it got me thinking about way back how this debian peep talked about this other guy that was running this new linux distro. For some reason, that was enough to get me into it. Which means I've been going through the warty-hoary-breezy sequence up to now: patiently awaiting dapper.

The big pre-release-news posted on the ubuntu-fridge this morning is about ubuntu running on Sun's hardware. Unsure what Steven is yet to think about this in terms of practical administration of this new box, but this surely means it could be running an apt-aware OS. {/me thinking 'hoho, now I have a machine-gun (Die Hard)}

For the mere mortals amongst us there is a far more important outcome of this canocial-ubuntu-sun-sparc courtship: A page like this reads as apt-get install sun-java5-jdk. Sweet.

# Posted by mpo at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)