In less then 24 hours I will face a good...

In less then 24 hours I will face a good challenge - the second stage of my Google job interview. A Google engineer will call me and ask me deep questions to determine the bottom line of my knowledge. To prepare for that, I wrote a list of thing that I would want to refresh in my mind or to read up on.
There are two saying that came to my mind when I finished the list:
* The more you know, the more you forget
* The more you know, the more you realise that you don't know a lot more.

On a bright side that means that I must really know a lot to come up with this list, on the other side I will not manage to even browse trough materials on all those topics.

It will be fun :)

I just had the weirdest dream ever - I a...

I just had the weirdest dream ever - I am attacked by a daemon who has been raised to believe that the purpose of his existence is to kill me. I overpower him using some of my aikido, but when he tries to kill me while breaking his own arms, I try to stop him by threatening to kill him. He does not listen and I stick his own two knifes in him. He does not die, but weakens considerably and explains that I can't kill him because I do not want it enough, which seamed logical. :)
At this point the strangest thing starts - a small book made of round leather straps falls out of his pocket. The book. The language is clearly demonic, but I (and my friends that are gathered around) try to understand anyway. When we turn to the back of the front cover of the book, I find a circular writing that seams to be in Latin. In a jolt of intuition I start to read it in rhythm of a popular pop song. After around the half of the text, my friends join in. When we finish, we find that the book has transformed form 10cm circular thingies to a proper A4 book and when we turn the page, we see that the text is in Latvian now. We tried to browse forward, but text turned into gibberish further on.
A book that can only be read sequentially and translates itself to the language of the reader - nice idea. :) Unfortunately I woke up at that point and I still have no idea of what was written there. :(

It's been a long time since I've had a m...

It's been a long time since I've had a muscle pain after aikido sessions, but today I do. On Thursday we had a special session when our trainer made one of the best students lead the training and joined us in exercises to "get us know better" :)
In our training we have an emphasis on how the uke (the attacker, who is then being thrown around by the one doing the technique) must help nage (the one doing the throwing) to do the technique properly by only reacting to a proper technique. That means to not fall if you're not out of balance or in pain.
So, then the trainer paired up with me for one of the techniques. We bowed and started the practise. I was the uke, so I attacked. The trainer caught my wrist and twisted my arm. I just stood there as there was no pain - he didn't twist it enough. The trainer looked at me, looked at my arm, said "Hmm" and we started over. Again attack, grab, twist (as hard as he could) and again a "Hmm" - this time a much louder one.
It appears that during the year and a half that I've been showing up to the aikido sessions (very irregularly) my joints have gained really impressive flexibility and some of the techniques just don't work on me anymore (I have been commented on my flexibility before - in a mountain climbing class). So the trainer spent next 20 minutes trying out all the extreme variations of the technique we were doing trying to find a way to bend my arm further. He got to try every one of the dangerous moves he always wanted to and many times I managed to escape grips that he thought were solid as rock. At few point the rest of pupils stopped doing their exercises and just watched me and the trainer rolling on the floor in a deadlock (usually with few of my limbs bent far beyond the angles they were designed for, but still resisting).
It was a really great fun both for me and for our trainer. Except for the muscle ache that for a strange reason only kicked in yesterday evening and really shines today. Ouch. :)

Meike, about the work dullness - you ide...

Meike, about the work dullness - you identified some of the ways of improving your workspace yourself, when you descried it:
* experiment with your audio environment: either speakers or headphones, either pop music, classical music or sound of the forest
* get yourself a cup of tea with sugar and chocolate
* try to find a more comfortable working posture: experiment with chairs, headrests, handrests, legrests, cup holders, mouse pad holders. Envision your perfect working position (without account on any chairs or tables or stuff, but taking laws of physics in mind) and try to realise it using the things that you have around.
* get some kind of a plastic mat under your chair
* get some cube goodies to spice up the rest of the environment around you

Just be creative :)

On a very unrelated note: got a job offer from Google, exploded with excitement, gathered the pieces, replied with a CV, thinking about meaning of life and this particular implementation of it ...

Surveying web projects to remake the Lat...

Surveying web projects to remake the Latvian Open Source Associations web page. At this point we are hosting it on TikiWiki, but people are increasingly unhappy about it and so am I. I like very much that Tiki is very integrated and has all we need and all we might ever need (wiki, blogs, forums, articles, photo galleries, categories, users, messages, comments, calendar, ...), but it has several shortcomings:

  • The wiki syntax is very complex and hard to learn

  • The code is very bloated

  • Tiki eats lots of memory and CPU

  • It is kind of brittle - in many instances pages are sent out incomplete and only reloading the same page fixes that

  • There were some security issues with user uploaded files. I personally think that all files should be held either in database or in folders inaccessible by the browser and fed out to users by a specialised script

  • Plugins, while a very powerful tool, make the complex syntax even more complex

  • Many pages that the user gets can/should not be refreshed as that will cause a repetition of an action (adding another copy of the same comment, ...). In my mind,

  • The generated HTML pages of Tiki are huge - starting with a 100 Kb per page (including css and javascript, but excluding any images).

  • Many features that are natural for uses of PHPBB2 or other forums come like an afterthought in Tiki, like threading, named multilevel quoting, avatars

  • It is hard to maintain a modified version of Tiki and keep up with upstream changes

My ideal feature set:

  • Wiki

  • Forum (multiple named forums in categories)

  • Blog (multiple separate blogs with sepatare set of tags and a rss/atom feed for each blog, tag or combination of tags)

  • Calendar for planned upcoming events

Additional technical requirements:

  • Every object must be commentable

  • The same Wiki syntax must be used everywhere

  • Unified linking schemes with InterWiki support

  • There should be WYSIWYG edit option

  • Unified users and groups

  • Every page that users view must be a view page and not an update page. For a simple example: user is at viewpage/SomePage and fills a form there that will add a comment to the page, the form is being submitted to addcomment/SomePage with the comment data in POST headers, when the addcomment script has added the comment, it redirect the user back to the viewpage/SomePage, maybe indicating which comment was just added, so that user can see the change highlighted. Even better if it can be done, like in GMail, when the new comment is incorporated into the page without a reload and a request is sent to the server independently.

  • Names of Wiki pages must not be limited neither to CamelCase nor to ASCII chars. I want to be able to have pages called "Juridiskā informācija" or "開眼 の 司会者" :)

  • WAP version

  • It should be possible to attach files and images (with proper preview thumbnails) to each and every item: wiki pages, comments, blog posts, forum posts, news items, calendar entries, other files and images (hmm that would be weird :P)

  • It would be perfect if it was written in Python with proper objects for everything and database based object persistence

As you can see, I face a long selection/adaptation/programming prospect. I wish I could use as much of existing open source components and contribute my changes back, so they can be properly maintained within respective projects.

The optimum scenarion would be a construction of some kind of TikiWiki Light with the needed functionality, code cleanup, restructurisation, ... Will have to talk to TikiWiki project heads for that.

Lets start a new meme - a useful one thi...

Lets start a new meme - a useful one this time.
This page has 5 IQ tests with a very good content.

I got 136 on the first test.
Now I am trying the "Test for exceptional intelligence". The crack that authors of this stuff were smoking is so strong that it qualifies under weapons of mass destruction. After two hours I tried to work trough 14 of 25 questions and only managed to answer 4. I wonder how long will it take for me to acctually finish the test :P

Once again - be prepared, this is not for the weak of mind or the short of time.

Remote restore fixed. Full planned funct...

Remote restore fixed. Full planned functionality reached.
All that I planned to do for Simple Backup is done as of version 0.7.
Now I only need to wait for the evaluation from my mentors at Ubuntu and to fix all bugs they and all other users find :D

I also did a bit of refactoring in this release oriented towards less memory usage. Results:

  • Memory usage while restoring dropped by 30-50%

  • Memory usage while making a new backup reduced ... tenfold?!?!

I like it :D

What I do not like is the performance of GnomeVFS over ssh (Bug #155872) and also a need to download all the backup image *twice* to restore anything (in the worst case). Sadly I can not do much in either case :(
( Of course I could fix the GnomeVFS ssh module and write a new tar implementation with an external file positioning cache, but I fear that it is somewhat beyond my capabilities :) )

A World of Warcraft World

A World of Warcraft World

Kind of a scary list of things that will, according to the author, happen in the future of global MMORPGs. I have read many books on the subject and I find that the author should propably read "False Mirrors" by Sergej Lukjanenko. At this point that book is the best description of how our world could look like when taken over by Internet and MMORPGs.