Archive for April, 2007

an interesting conversation

Monday, April 9th, 2007

I'm having a conversation with right now about his latest post. I am surprised he mixes home and work so freely. But enough about that. It made me think of a few observations about corporate life.

Aristotle said: “The law is reason free from passion.” I say: “A corporation is greed unfettered by morality.” Or by intelligence, for that matter…

Companies, particularly software companies IME, are usually engaged in a little self-deception. Videlicet:

1) We exist by virtue of the competitive advantage of our IP, so we must protect it at all costs.
2) We hire only the best.
3) Our developers produce amazing stuff, better than anyone else out there.

This leads to the rather reductio ad absurdum conclusions that:

4) Our developers are brilliant in a vacuum. They never talk to anyone else in the industry because of point 1), therefore their brilliance is a direct result of point 2) and the great environment the company provides which enables these amazing ideas.
5) When our developers leave the company, as they do from time to time, they somehow stop being brilliant, because they leave this amazing creative environment.

In some cases I have even heard developers (not just management!) saying things that indicated they actually accepted point 5! I had to jump in and point out this craziness. “So, last week when John worked here, he was brilliant… but now he works at Sonic ScrewdriverSoft, he's somehow not as good?”

new printer

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

I'm fed up with inkjets. Every inkjet – every one – I've had for the last 10 years has lasted no longer than 2 years. One day, they just start dropping lines or printing strangely, probably because of a clogged head or waste tube or something. I tried to fix the last one, but it didn't respond to treatment. So I've fixed the problem: I just won't get any more inkjets ever. It's not worth the hassle. Instead I have a HP Laserjet 2600n now. I'm looking forward to a future where my printer doesn't get uppity just because I haven't printed on it for a month.

OpenWRT Port Triggering update

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

I don’t really have time to bundle my patches into a package or get them included in OpenWRT (must admit I was surprised to find they weren’t already there). But after having some enquiries from people seeking port triggering, I have posted the patch files and a short howto at www.elbeno.com.

KDevelop: so much promise, but a bit rough around the edges

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

I’ve been trying to put together an app using KDevelop as my IDE. IDE-wise, it seems fine: all the usual stuff like syntax highlighting (of course) and code completion, etc. But I find its handling of the gnu autotools a bit rough.

I haven’t found a way yet to specify a build order for files, or better yet, identify source/includes generated by the build process. This means, for instance, that I need to make sure that my .y (bison source) file is before my .l (flex source) file in the compile, so that bison can run and output the include file to define symbols for flex.

Another sticking point is the fact that I can’t seem to get KDevelop to properly define libraries to link against. When I list them as required in the project options, the make fails with e.g. “no rule to make ‘cppunit'”.

I’ve got around both of these issues by manually hacking the Makefile.am, but it’s not very promising for future productivity.

April

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Ah yes, April 1st. The day when the Internet becomes useless because the various editors out there don't seem to understand that it is not an April Fools' joke when every bloody article you read is a bunch of useless tripe.

Less is more, people. And since the Internet enables aggregation so well, that means that to a first approximation, a decent ratio of April Fools' articles for your particular “news” site would be 0.