Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

deirdre

19 June 2005

Software geek, writer, and all that that entails.

![](http://static.flickr.com/32/53489739_e87fb2898b.jpg) Photo by [Nathan Ladd](http://www.laddonline.com/), 2005.
![](/wp-content/extra_content/images/deirdre.jpeg) Photo by [Tilman Hausherr](http://www.snafu.de/~tilman/), 1998.

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Small Universe

18 June 2005

So I’m having trouble with Rails, so I log into #rubyonrails, where a guy I haven’t met (but who seems to know his way around Ruby fairly well) is working with me to figure out what’s up.

Anyhow, after web sites are mentioned, he asks if I’m related to Rick Moen. I get asked this from time to time, frequently in some odd context and once upon a time, in an awkward moment in a job interview — I can’t easily say “he’s my husband” without bringing the issue of marital status — a verboten interview question — to the table.

So said IRC dude says that Rick gave him a Linuxmafia ribbon at BayCon, meaning it’s not just some random “knows of” Rick on a mailing list, it’s someone who’s met him. Recently.

It further turns out that said IRC denizen was planning on being at the BayCon picnic the following day (Saturday, which is yesterday as I write this). So we did sort out my problem, which turned out to be fighting the naming scheme of ActiveRecord. Solution: don’t do that then.

It’s funny how the universe can be incredibly small sometimes. That’s basically how I wound up in the bay area in the first place.

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Ahhh

17 June 2005

Proving that the Pascal part of my soul is not dead (merely resting), I was quite heartened to see that Ruby permitted the following syntax:

for i in 0..255

I miss Pascal’s syntax. I rather liked that you could start at any arbitrary number and end at any arbitrary number, inclusive — especially handy for arrays of things.

Ruby also adds the three dots syntax to exclude the last number: 0..255 = 0…256.

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Ahh, Torment

15 June 2005

It used to be that I never got any endorphin kick from exercise. Apparently, some time in the last couple of years, that’s changed. Of course, I wasn’t doing a lot of working out, so I didn’t notice.

The gym I’m currently going to has machines I’ve never seen before, though I’ve worked on their free weight counterparts in the past. So, it’s my new resolution to try out one new torture device machine each trip.

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Ruby on Rails Hype

14 June 2005

Well, in the vein of “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” there are four Rails-like implementations in other languages that I know of — and I haven’t been looking.

Castle Project works on .Net with Ajax support.

Cake is a Rails-like framework for PHP, and Biscuit is another.

Lest the Java folks feel left out, there’s also Trails.

Speaking of Java and Rails, I was talking with a coworker today about RoR and why I thought it was cool. He asked if I’d seen Trails. Well, I haven’t “seen” it, I just know that it exists. I’m sure it’s very cool.

I mentioned, though, that one of the things I liked about RoR was some of the implicit definitions. For example:

@submission = Submission.findby_marketidandmanuscriptid(params[:marketid], params[:manuscript_id])

I didn’t have to create the function findby_marketidandmanuscript_id — it’s implied. That’s what I like about RoR: the power of implication.

My coworker pointed out that you could write a function in Java, yada yada yada. Yeah, but the point is that you don’t write one in RoR. Same thing for setters and getters. For setters and getters:

attraccessor :firstname, :lastname, :homeph

For getters only:

attrreader :firstname, :lastname, :homeph

Done.

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Submissions Migration: Day Two Point Five

13 June 2005

I’ve gotten all of an hour and a half to work on my Rails project since June 9th. I belatedly realized that I’d started at the hard end of the application: that part that connects all the pieces and has a bunch of joins. While I got that working for the list view, I have a lot more work to do before the rest of the CRUD functions work.

I’m taking a brief hiatus from that.

So instead, I’m working on the CRUD functions for the lookup tables right now, which I should be able to bang out fairly quickly.

One thing I wanted to comment on: I really like some aspects of the Rails design. For example, there’s an application.rhtml that’s the template for the site as a whole, but it can be overridden for any controller by creating a layout for it (e.g. for the controller submissions.rb, you’d create submissions.rhtml to override the application’s defaults).

It’s making me rethink how I was going to implement one feature….

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Intel Instead

13 June 2005

Last week, when I heard that Macs would be moving to Intel processors, I really only had one visual that came to mind.

When I worked for Be, one cube held a bunch of miscellaneous hardware. At the entrance of the cube was an inflatable Muench’s Scream wearing a grey “Intel Inside” t-shirt that had been patched to read “Intel Instead.”

So, with that in my hindbrain, what else could I see, really? As others have said, I don’t personally care what hardware a Mac runs on as long as I still get the user experience.

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BayCon, Sunday and Monday

12 June 2005

I’m horribly overdue in writing this. I know. ::hangs head in shame::

Sunday morning, we had a great panel about Villainy, including Neil Zawaki, author of entertaining books about villainy, and Ed Muller, who is way more devious than I’d ever given him credit for.

Easily the highlight of Sunday (being one of two panels I got to sit in the audience for) was BayCon’s traditional “A Shot Rang Out” panel. It’s a simple concept and it depends so much on the people involved. This year, we had Hilary Ayer, Jane Mailander, Martin Young, Writer Guest of Honor Jay Lake, and Lee Martindale.

The concept: The story begins with “A shot rang out.” Each panelist must draw a slip out of a box and end their turn with that line. Anything in the middle goes. Jay Lake, when pulling one of his slips, asked, “Does this have to make any sense at all? The other panelists assured him not.

A few moments were especially worth noting.

Once, Martin ended his turn so spectacularly that Jay Lake, master of improv writing, couldn’t find a way to follow him. Jay ran across the stage and kissed Martin on the head, saying, “I have come to pledge my love for you, for no man has ever left me in such a hard place.”

Later, Martin pulled a slip and said, “Oh, f*, that’s a long one!”

Jay quipped, “Are you sure you said those words in the right order?”

For a few moments, no one could continue on, they were laughing so hard. Perfect retort.

During one of Martin’s turns, Jay’s daughter Bronwyn said something from the front row. Martin turns to Jay and says, “that’s yours, isn’t it?”

My sides ached.

By the time the themed reading rolled around at 7, I’d almost completely lost my voice, so I only read a page and a half.

On Monday, we had the now-traditional Tiki panel, joined by Chris Garcia as the panel newbie. He definitely has a love for things Polynesian. I’m sure we’ll have it next year, because James Stanley’s the toastmaster.

Maybe we’ll figure out a way to get that inter-dimensional rift to WisCon up for next year….

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Mysql's back

12 June 2005

Well, I hope I don’t need to do that again.

Because I installed different packages, and in a different order, than my last Debian system, I wound up with the problem of some users having been created in a different order, thus creating some knotty permissions problems. I fixed these in /var/log/mysql, /var/run/mysql, and for the new stuff in /var/lib/mysql. This solved the reported problem:

Can’t connect to local MySQL server through socket ‘/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock’ (111)

Fine, on to the next problem. Because I rsynced over my old databases, including my root db password, I’d nuked the grant for the debian sysadmin script. I should note that I hadn’t had this problem before because the last time, I’d also rsynced most of /etc as well. After a brief hunt through google, I found that the location for the password is in /etc/mysql/debian.cnf, so I just granted the privileges to ‘debian-sys-maint@localhost’.

After stopping and restarting mysql, I verified that it was all happy again. Blogs for everyone.

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