Tom Insam

UTF8 Openguides

I foolishly offered to make OpenGuides UTF-8 safe. Because I don’t do that enough at work, or something. Anyway, it’s going quite well - because I did all the grunt work in CGI::Wiki a while ago, it’s just a matter of finding all the inputs and outputs and making sure they’re encoded properly. So far, the page contents and names are utf-8 safe, along with the cookie preferences, so your username is good. The search stuff looks scary, and there are various broken plugins, etc, etc, so there’s still stuff to do. I should also do the hooks properly - CGI::Wiki should offer nice functions for this stuff.

I gave a talk today at the London Perl Workshop, brilliantly organised by a shadowy cabal of mysterious figures. Every talk I saw was great, to the point that the inevitable clashes with other talks that I wanted to see were really annoying, but fortunately everything was filmed, so presumably there’ll be video of the talks I missed available at some point. Likewise, all the slides will be around at some point, but until then, my slides are here. Powerpoint, I’m afraid, it’s what the work laptop has, and 1.5 megs, because it’s full of pictures…

Class::Persist 0.30

I’ve done something I’ve wanted to do for ages - get another release of Class::Persist out. This one I consider massively improved over the last one - it’s dropped some of the nastier dependancies, doesn’t require it’s own magic database
tables to be created, can properly put objects into more than one database, and, my personal favourite new feature, all objects are maintained properly as ‘singletons’ - you can only have one copy of any given object around at any one time.

The release should be here: Class::Persist 0.30.

Today I discovered that safari ‘magically’ downgrades latin-1 input in form password fields to their nearest ascii equivalents - typing ‘pásswörd’ into a password box actually submits ‘password’. But you can cut and paste non-ascii in and it works fine. I’m very confused.


flickr is annoyingly slick. I messed around for a few hours trying to learn enough php to parse the RSS feed or use their API or something to get a list of recent photos on the page here, then I realised that there’s a page that just does all the work for you. You need to mess with javascript, but I can cope with that. Don’t I look silly now?

Also, I can get (atom? rssd+? Who cares?) feeds of anyone’s photostream, I can upload from my mobile via email from anywhere (leading to silly photos), I can just link to anything without having to explicitly share it… As has been said to me, these aren’t necessarily very clever features from a technical point of view, but it’s all about the workflow, innit? It’s so easy to use.

Bot::BasicBot 0.5

Bot::BasicBot 0.50 is released. The big thing in this one is nick tracking - the bot will keep track of what nicks are in a given channel, and if they’re opped or not - this is mostly so I can re-write slavorg on top of Bot::BasicBot, and bin slavorg2…


Democracy is nasty. If you can’t explain a voting system in 30 seconds, it’s too complicated for people to understand, which means they won’t trust the results. eg, First past the post is dead easy, I never want to hear a ‘here’s how electoral college works‘ explanation ever again, and Instant run-off doesn’t stand a chance.

For some reason, I’m watching I’m a celebrity, get me out of here, and it’s hit me that, asssuming people don’t change their minds half-way through the week, the voting system feels very similar to instant run-off. I can’t be bothered to work out if it’s equivalent or not, but I suspect it is. It’s clearly a subversive attempt to undermine democracy as we know it.

CVS vs Subversion

Tagging things in CVS

cvs -d user@server:/root co Something
cd Something
cvs tag Tag_Name

Tagging things in Subversion

svn cp http://server/root/Something http://server/root/tags/Tag_Name

The svn tag returns practically instantly. I’m still waiting for the CVS tag to finish. Of course, it’s all software. But svn sucks slightly less.