I’ve said before that I’m not a frequent desktop Linux user. It’s certainly my operating system of choice on servers (where I like to use Debian if possible), but it’s still a much harder sell on the desktop for me. That’s mostly down to 2 things - X configuration issues and applications. I’ll cover the X issues later (I never use X on servers which is why it never bothers me) but on the application front, I find it very hard to feel 100% happy and productive without Visual Studio, Photoshop and to a lesser extent iTunes 😀The former is still the primary reason, you can fault it’s compiler but the Visual Studio debugger is still without equal in my opinion, which easily pays for itself in time saved.
I tackled a few varied tasks today. One was addressing a bug in the rubber-band selection code I’d written, since it became bizarrely clear to me as I was sipping my tea very late last night that under orthographic projection it should never work. Oddly it had seemed to work but I hadn’t had have time to properly stress test it, and I think it must have been a fluke. Funny how these things occur to you when you’re not concentrating on them.
Yes, I am at the moment merrily tucking into my own dog food, whilst working hard on my editor project. It’s far from the first time of course, typically the majority of contract work I do for others is using OGRE and as such I’ve had my fair share of experiencing it from a user perspective. And you know what, it’s actually pretty tasty. I spend an awful lot of time working in a bubble of sorts, advising people how to use OGRE in their products and trying to make it both powerful, flexible and intuitive at the same time - it’s actually really nice to step away from that and work on a specific application of my own, and not have to worry about anyone else’s problems, about generality, about how this feature might be used by others, about whether feature A is appropriate for both B and C - I just have to make it work the way I want, then I stop.
I’ve caught these short sketches a few times on Paramount Comedy and they regularly leave me in stitches - basically it’s a series of 1-minute shorts where a stereotypical Essex boy & girl express views on their everday lives in Shakespearean style verse. Extremely funny, if you like irony and fast word-play comedy (that might well be a British thing, I’m not sure) so I thought I’d share links to videos of them on Paramount’s site.
Last week we had a meeting of our local developers group, when various things were discussed (including a Summer of Code presentation by yours truly). One of the things that came up was the dislike of some in the room for Linux package management, the main issue being raised that ‘you have to resolve a million dependencies when you install something’. I disputed this, but on reflection it really does depend on what distribution you’re using and how you manage it.
I definitely have a soft spot for animals. I always have, as far as I can remember, and when I was younger I was dead set on becoming a vet, until I realised I didn’t fancy having to slice open, or worse put down, particularly cute furry creatures. I’ve had quite a lot of pets over the years and tend to get on pretty well with any creature, cats / dogs / rabbits / horses / lizards - you name it 😀Even when we get mice in the house I don’t particularly like having to kill them if I can help it - luckily our traps tend to just stun them, at which point I can grab them and release them into the hedgerows at the bottom of the garden, hoping of course that our cats don’t catch them again and bring them back in (which is invariably how they got loose in the house in the first place).
I’ve been using wxWidgets quite a lot over the last week and a bit, and I’m now just at the stage where I’m comfortable using it. I’ve used quite a few windowing systems before (including raw Win32, MFC, VB, Java, .Net and a few esoteric tool-specific ones) and they’re all much of a muchness once you get down to it - however each still has it’s own implementation nuances and it can take a while to get settled.
I’m been having some really annoying issues with my internet connection for the last 36 hours or so. CVS has been really playing up especially, which has scuppered my ability to do some cross-branch merging that I’ve been wanting to catch up with. It’s been really odd - mostly browsing & downloading has been fine, albeit feeling pretty slow when opening new web pages, navigating around etc, and small CVS operations like diffs and log viewing has been generally ok, but if I try a global update or merge, I’m in hangsville.
I’m back; refreshed, revitalised and a little bit sunburnt. The weather was absolutely fantastic for April - we didn’t see a single cloud for the entire 4 days, and whilst we’re not the laying-on-the-beach types (when you grow up in a place where a beach is always within spitting distance, the novelty isn’t quite there anymore), just being outside walking around for that time was enough to absorb a fair amount of solar radiation, most of it on the bridge of the nose.