Wednesday, July 03, 2002

I have been working on a little perl script today at work and I've found that I miss the virtual desktops of linux. Being able to work on several things at once without having to minimize and alt-Tab through the avaiable programs is really nice. The virtual desktops allow you to switch between groups of windows instead of simply between individual windows as in the traditional single-desktop environment. I'm learning to add forms to HTML documents and then manipulate the results with CGI using Perl and, for the most part, its going well. A couple of weird things have been happening though. When I work with Perl at work, it doesn't do some of the things it does for me at home. At home I'm using Perl under Linux so the environment is different but as best I can recall, when I used this same distribution of Perl in Win2k at home, it worked perfectly. At work I can't seem to get arguments from the command line. I think this has something to do with the fact that the scripts are not actually executable programs and thus windows refuses to send them arguments, but the Learning Perl on Win32 Systems book I found doesn't say anything different for Windows than the normal Learning Perl book says for Unix-type operating systems. I can read files fine from within the script, but that limits me to only using predefined files to do the work I want, and I'd rather be able to enter whatever files I want at the command prompt. The other problem is that if statements simply aren't working. One of the simplest programming concepts just isn't working like it should and I don't know why. While loops seem to work, but thats all I've gotten to function and then only when I use while(<STDIN>) or some other diamond-type operator.

On another note, I've almost finished The Cathedral and the Bazaar and I must say its quite interesting, but not really something I'd recommend to the masses. Its more of an analysis of the Open Source collaborative project management model than anything else and as a result its not too big on entertaiment factor. But, if you're looking for an explanation why Linux is so well written and the exceedingly better funded Microsoft Windows is so buggy, expensive, and behind schedule, this is a good read for you.

A new word for today:
ne·ot·e·ny n.
  1. Retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of a species, as among certain amphibians.
  2. The attainment of sexual maturity by an organism still in its larval stage.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

What I've learned today:

- How to create tables in HTML (yes I know its not that big of a deal, but I didn't know how before)
- How to read from a file in Perl in windows with the ever popular <> diamond operator

I have begun reading The Cathedral and the Bazaar today. This is the famous and often referenced paper by Eric Steven Raymond about the Open Source software movement. It looks interesting and I will probably suggest at some point in the future that everyone should read it, but we'll see about that when the time comes.

I'd really like for the rain to stop so we can get back to that good old Texas heat. With the cloud cover of the last few days, we have been experiencing one of the mildest weeks in Texas in terms of temperature that I can remember and I don't like it one bit! I miss the summer heat when its gone, and dream of it in the colder months. I need that warmth that just soaks into your skin when you leave an over-air-conditioned building. Speaking of which... I went to and used their little calculator to find out the humidity of Fossil building. Apparently we have 100% humidity in here and I'm wondering why it isn't raining in here. :-p

Monday, July 01, 2002

Well today has been another boring day at work. Still nothing to do and 8 hours a day to do it. I can't say I mind getting paid to do nothing but it gets pretty tedious rather quickly. I modified the template for this here blog to include some stuff in the right-hand navigation bar. At present I want to put little notes about various projects I'm working on (and for me, getting through any book is a project!). I love to read but its very easy for me to get distracted and I'm a rather slow reader to boot. I've also included a couple of links to my bookmarks page. I made that page with javascript with which I have very little experience so be forewarned, it may not work! So far as I can tell, the page works in Mozilla (and I assume Netscape as well) but not in Internet Explorer (though it does work in IE locally - its weird). So I guess this gives everyone a good reason to switch to something other than IE!!! I recently did so when Mozilla 1.0 made its debut a couple of weeks ago and I haven't gone back. I highly recommend Mozilla to all you out there willing to throw off your MS shackles! :-p I'm a horrible speller and this is evidenced by the fact that I simply cannot remember how to spell restaurant. I had to look it up just to write it there and in the "Current Reading" section. Spell check is a very good thing, unfortunately I haven't found anything to do that in this blog thingy.
A new word I learned today:
o·nan·ism n.
  1. Masturbation
  2. Coitus interruptus

They say you should learn something new every one said you have to like it though