Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Essays about Bipolar Disorder and Open Source, new open source programs, and new humour items


I’m sorry for not updating the site’s news feeds for a long time, and as expected there’s quite a lot new.

There’s a new humorous bit in the Aphorisms collection:

Shlomi’s Father: If you don’t sort the dishwasher, the dishwasher won’t be sorted.

Shlomi: No, it won’t be sorted by me.

Shlomi’s Father: No, it won’t be sorted at all. We will throw away the dishwasher.

Together: Along with all the dishes.

There’s a new Chuck Norris fact:

Chuck Norris can make the statement “This statement is false.” a true one.

There are new fortune cookies.

Due to an incident where one of my domains was blocked by a anti-spam blacklist, we now have an anti-spam Policy

I have a new page about me mentoring others in the world open source and/or open content. Also related is the new page about how to start contributing to open-source software.

I have made my essay titled “Dealing with Hypomanias” live and previously announced it on my non-technical blog. Also see a recent related post on the Just 1 Random Guy comics/blog about his experience as a person with Bipolar disorder.

There’s a a new greasemonkey script for expanding the descriptions of

The Black Hole Solitaire Solver page now includes a description of the tables in the SQLite dump that collected the data from running the solver on the first 1 million deals of PySolFC.

There’s a new solver for Kakuraso which is a puzzle game that can be found on the Brain Bashers site. That solver was written in Python using lp_solve.

Another new project is Module-Format, which is a Perl 5 module to perform bulk operations on the various notations for Perl modules.

The Linux Kernel “make xconfig” enhancement patch was updated for the newly released 2.6.37 kernel.

There are some new links in the pages against bad software.

I’ve also updated my resumes.

The site’s building instructions were updated but may still be incomplete.

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Saturday, October 9th, 2010

New humorous bits, fortune cookies, and updated software


There’s a new humorous bit titled “Copying Ubuntu Bug No. 1”. It was also featured on my tech blog where it received several comments.

Tel Aviv, Israel: “Ubuntu can’t have all the fun only for itself”, open source distributors are saying as they rush to copy its Bug No. 1 titled “Microsoft has a majority market share”.

Debian, Ubuntu’s parent distribution, has set up Debian Bug No. 1 which also reads “Microsoft has a majority market share”. Mandriva, another competing distribution has set up Mandriva Bug No. 1: “Microsoft has a majority market share and Ubuntu has a majority market share on the Linux desktop”. Fedora, Gentoo, Archlinux, Slackware and other distributions are expected to follow suit.

Speaking of Ubuntu, tomorrow it would be 10-October-2010 - 10.10.10 and it would be the release date of Ubuntu 10.10 codenamed “Maverick Meerkat”.

There’s a new page with a Hebrew translation of the song “Buy the Fish” from my Humanity - The Movie screenplay.

There are new fortune cookies in the fortune cookies collection and the RSS feed has now been fixed (the corresponding Atom feed is still broken due to a bug in the XML::Atom CPAN module).

Often when I ask the people I train if they know Perl, they tell me “I don’t know Perl. I can only read it.”. I wonder whether it indicates that Perl is not a write-only language as some people like to claim.

-- Gabor Szabo (Perl Programmer and Trainer)

The solver for Black Hole solitaire was converted to C, which made it much faster and less memory-hungry. The results and statistics of running it on the first 1 million PySolFC Black Hole deals are available in the link.

Version 1.03 of libtap, a C library for testing using the Test Anything Protocol (TAP) is now available with several improvements.

Many of the code excerpts in the Perl for Newbies series were corrected for Modern Perl practices.

The website also now has a better “404” page, and as usual there are many new links in the various pages. Enjoy!

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Saturday, August 7th, 2010

“COBOL - The New Age Programming Language”, “Don’t Abuse JavaScript”, and other news


There’s a new parodical page titled “COBOL - The New Age Programming Language”:


And so do:

  • Your bank.
  • Your insurance company.
  • Your government.

COBOL runs your life.

A new page “Don’t Abuse JavaScript!” has been added.

JavaScript has become popular due to being useful for scripting browsers, which is acceptable due to being the only commonly-acceptable portable choice for that. However, lately, it has been utilised as a host language for many other realms where there are far saner and superior alternatives.

This page aims to explain why JavaScript should not be abused for such stuff.

There are new fortune cookies:

  • dxtr: Do we have any doctors in here?
  • rindolf: dxtr: with Ph.D. or M.D.?
  • munik: I have a PhD in Linguistics!
  • munik: ^ lie
  • munik: :]
  • dxtr: rindolf: I don’t care as long as they can treat patients
  • rindolf: dxtr: heh.
  • munik: :o
  • munik:
  • munik: might be better than #perl
  • dxtr: rindolf: That question would be fun in combat. “WE NEED A DOCTOR HERE!” - “PH.D OR M.D!?”

More recommended open source programs have been added to the favourite open source programs page, including Xfce, Pidgin, tmux and htop.

The Cross-platform abstraction libraries is now licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence.

There’s now a list of calculators on the numerical software page.

There are new links in the “Stop Using Internet Explorer” page the anti-Apple page, and in the PHP Sucks page,

A greasemonkey script to fix a annoyance has been added to the Greasemonkey scripts section. Furthermore, the remove “from=rss” script was updated to deal with the even more obnoxious “from=rss” suffix in recent URLs.

I added details of my Acer Laptop to the “Computers’ Specifications” question on the FAQ.

The site’s source page was updated with up-to-date instructions.

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Presentation about Mojolicious::Lite and New Fortune Cookies


The slides for a presentation I’ve given about the Mojolicious::Lite web-development micro-framework are now online.

There are new fortune cookies on the Fortune Cookie collection:

  • rindolf: She’s a hot chick.
  • rindolf: But she smokes.
  • go|dfish: She can smoke as long as she’s smokin’.

The “Stop Using Internet Explorer!” was enhanced with two new links and the browser coverage there was updated.

There’s now a collection of other high-quality lists of open source software on my favourite free software page.

Here is a stub page for the “Announcing Freecell Solver™ Enterprise Edition” bit.

The front page was styled to look less like a blog, which will hopefully make fewer people think that that is indeed the case.

Some new text was added to the story The Pope Died on Sunday (in Hebrew).

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Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Division Two Magazine and “12 Things a Klingon Programmer Would Say”


Division Two Magazine and “12 Things a Klingon Programmer Would Say”

I’ve set up a mirror of the old Division Two Magazine site that went offline and was replaced by a parked domain. Lots of gems there:

Today I’m going to tackle one of the hottest topics in the industry, comparing Microsoft’s latest offerings to the offerings being released by the major Linux players for both network servers and desktop solutions. I am going to steer clear of “total cost of ownership” arguments, because Microsoft has already funded extensive research that has proven Windows is cheaper to own and operate than Linux. I’m going to be looking at the issue from a pure usability perspective. Which platform saves me the most time? Which platform has the features I need? Which platform has the best third party applications and utilities?

(See “Windows vs. Linux on the Server and the Desktop” by Jorge Lopez, MCSE for more.)

I also added “Top 12 things likely to be overheard if you had a Klingon Programmer” (which was also not originated by me):

12) “Specifications are for the weak and timid!”

11) “This machine is a piece of GAGH! I need dual Pentium processors if I am to do battle with this code!”

10) “You cannot really appreciate Dilbert unless you’ve read it in the original Klingon.”

There are two new fortunes on the shlomif-fav collection.

Added Waf to the “Software Construction and Management Tools” directory. Added Bluefish and Code::Blocks to the list of Editors and IDEs.

New links in anti-Apple page, and the “Stop Using Internet Explorer“ page.

Finally as part of the conversion of the Website META Language’s build system from GNU Autotools to CMake, the web-site’s build process was cleaned up and updated to build more cleanly.

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Thursday, February 18th, 2010

“Escape from GNU Autohell”, List of Editors and IDEs and Factoids’ Fortunes Collection


There’s a new joke in the aphorisms’ collection:

English spelling aims to be consistent. Publicly and methodically.

I added a new fortune cookies’ collection with factoids about Chuck Norris/etc., concentrating the ones from the collections of facts section. There are also some new fortune cookies there:

  • Shlomif:BTW, have you read my stories yet?
  • Sjors:I haven’t
  • Shlomif:Ah.
  • Shlomif:If you read my stories, I’ll give you 1,000,000 virtual dollars.
  • Sjors:Causing me to have a lot of extra virtual time!
  • Shlomif:And be virtually rich.
  • Shlomif:And then you can virtually bribe virtual politicians.
  • Shlomif:And buy a lot of virtual goods.
  • Shlomif:LOL.
  • Sjors:Then, I’d be virtually happy
  • Sjors:Too bad... :P
  • Shlomif:It’s a virtual win-win situation.
  • Shlomif:You can hire many virtual programmers to write a lot of virtual code for KMess.
  • Shlomif:“My old virtual dad used to say to me: ‘virtual money does not bring you virtual happiness, my virtual son.’”

There’s a new page with a list of text editors and IDEs. I also added a page titled “Escape from GNU Autohell!” explaining why the GNU Autotools suck so much and why you should switch to CMake or a different (and better) alternative.

I added a new Greasemonkey script for providing self-links for headers with an id= attribute.

The Freecell Solver project intro now contains a summary.

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Thursday, January 14th, 2010

New Programs, New Fortunes, and a New Revision of “The Case for Drug Legalisation”


I added the 5^n riddle page to the puzzles section.

Two new fortunes have been added to the fortunes’ collection:

  • rindolf: Su-Shee: “I always wonder why the people I hang out with are so pedantic. And then I remember: because they are so pedantic.” — a Perl-ILer. ;-)
  • Zaba: rindolf, because they use warnings
  • * rindolf adds “use Zaba;” to his code.
  • Zaba: oh no, I’m being used!
  • * rindolf adds “abuse Zaba;” to his code.
  • rindolf: Next: “misuse Zaba;”
  • Zaba: ouch!

The English version of “The Case for Drug Legalisation” is now at the second revision with a note about “Why Politicians Support The Prohibition”.

There’s now an automated solver for Black Hole Solitaire available on the site and I also started maintaining libtap again. I also added a Ruby script for setting the names (and number) of XFCE’s workspaces/virtual desktops.

Links to some prominent programs were added to the Directory of Numerical Software page.

The annoying text-on-hover over the sections of all the DocBook/XML-based essays (using the title attribute) was eliminated by using a DocBook/XSL customisation.

Finally, I performed many changes to the homepage’s internals and build system that will allow for an easier maintenance into the future.

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Monday, December 14th, 2009

New Text for The Blue Rabbit’s Log, The Parable of the Elephant in the Circus, Directory of Numerica


New text was added to The Blue Rabbit Log screenplay:

[ A crowded pub in the role-played world. The Blue Rabbits enter. ]

Clover: OK, now that our horses are in the stable, we can get some rest. [Hands some coins to the pub-man] Meals and drinks for the six of us.

Guy sitting on a stool at the bar (Guy #1): hey, I think I recognise you. You’re The Blue Rabbit Adventuring company, right?

Clover: yes, we are. [does a rudimentary bow] Clover, at your service!

Guy #1: hell, I ain’t need your service!

Guy #2: yeah, we don’t need no adventurers’ service here.

Guy #1: yeah, problem with adventurers - they are trouble makers. They create troubles where none exist before so they can solve them later.

Guy #2: yeah! [and he shakes mugs with Guy #1]

The Computer Art page was made more semantic and accessible.

I added my contributions to Mandriva to the page “Contributions Made to External Open-Source Projects”.

A new mini-directory of prominent Numerical Software (currently heavily incomplete) has been added to Open Source resources section.

The “shlomif” collection of fortunes which was getting very big and out of control has span-out the Freenode #perl fortune cookies and Freenode ##programming fortune cookies. There are some new fortunes there.

I added the text of the parable of the Elephant in the Circus:

I once walked to a circus and saw a huge elephant tied to a small poll with a rope, just standing there. So I wondered why is the elephant so obedient and doesn’t break away from the stick with all of its enormous strength and mass. So they told me this story: once when the elephant was very young, it was tied to the pole the same way. Naturally, it didn’t like that and tried to escape, but try as it might, the rope and the pole were too strong for it. So the elephant eventually gave up.

Finally, the section navigation menus of the various sections are now formatted in a nice, expandable, GUI-like tree (assuming JavaScript is enabled). If JavaScript is not enabled, there’s a standard HTML fallback. This is thanks to jQuery TreeView Plugin

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Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Second Revision of “Create a Great Personal Home Site”


The second revision of the essay “Create a Great Personal Home Site” has now been finally published and is available for public viewing:

It’s amazing how much has changed since I’ve published this article a few years ago. The most important trend was probably that personal blogs seem to have become much more prevalent than personal web-sites up to the point that some people referred to as a blog. I have been annoyed at this to some extent, and even wrote an entire essay about the distinction between a home page and a blog and why this homepage is not a blog.

Nevertheless, as an active blogger, it’s not that I hate blogs or try to underrate them - it’s just that I think that I invest more effort and rigour in writing articles or essays on my home page, than I do on the various random stuff I post to my blogs. (Or to other similar public channels, such as mailing lists, web forums, comments on other people’s blogs, etc.). I also feel that it is easier to find posts on my personal web-site than on most people’s blogs.

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Friday, November 13th, 2009

New Material for the Stories and a Page for the XML-Grammar Project


The texts of the lists of stories and their descriptions in the Humour page and its Stories section were merged, updated and enhanced.

There are new Chuck Norris Factoids:

Chuck Norris is the greatest man in history. He killed all the great men who could ever pose a competition.

There’s also a new factoid about XSLT: redirects to XSLT.

The text of The Pope Died on Sunday was converted to XML-Grammar-Fiction (see below) and was continued a little. The story is written in Hebrew, and there is still no English translation.

The original screenplay The Blue Rabbit’s Log has new text and its ideas page has also been updated:

[ Mordox disappears. The Blue Rabbits arrive. Bryte sees Galku who tries to look innocent, but Bryte rushes to him and lifts him up in the air. ]

Clover: you, where’s Mordox? Tell us what you know!

Galku: What are you looking at me? I’m completely innocent!

Galku: See no incredible selfishness and total in-consideration of everybody else’s welfare and interests. Hear no incredible selfishness and total in-consideration of everybody else’s welfare and interests.

Bryte: you mean “See no evil - hear no evil”?

Galku: I knew it was a good definition.

There’s also some new text in Star Trek: “We, the Living Dead”:

[ Katie is sitting on a table in DS9. She is busy writing something on a qwerty-like keyboard attached to a small text pad. Jake approaches her. ]

Jake: Katie, oh there you are. I thought that OTF-1 left DS9 already.

Katie: yes, it did, I’m still technically working for them.

Jake: really, how?

Katie: with the marvels of technology: remote access and Q-ness.

Jake: Q-ness?

Katie: yes, check this out.

[ Katie stands up, makes a gesture with her hand. A portal appears near the ground showing a different part of DS9. She steps into it, and the portal closes. A few moments later, a normal Star-Trek door opens and Katie steps out of it. ]

Katie: tada!

Jake: wow! So you are now “Qatie” with a Q?

Katie: Qatie [with a Qoph sound] heh, I like it.

The XML sources of the fortunes cookie files are now viewable as HTML from the web, and naturally, there are newer entries.

There’s a new design for graphics based on an old aphorism of me.

There’s now a page for the Web-CPAN XML-Grammar meta-project, which aims to create re-usable XML grammars and related tools for various purposes, and there’s a page for the XML-Grammar-Fiction module for writing works of prose.

The page design and layout were slightly improved with some important links at the bottom (Web 2.0-style), old cruft removed from the left side bar, and other changes.

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