Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV Series)

I've been watching a bit of the new Star Wars animated series. It's quite fun! Lots of light saber battles, jedi tricks, bad guys, and some great effects and animation.

I came in partway thru the series, so I may need to dig up some old episodes.

Now... while this looks interesting, if you are looking for excellent television, then go watch Dexter. Best show ever. But it just finished its third season, so it is time to find new things :-)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Java doesn't work? Switch to Python

My friend Anthony just pointed me at this post from Larry Page 12 years ago. Apparently, he never found a solution. The first Google web crawler was written in Python instead.

Seriously funny stuff.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Unique Rectangle (Type 4)

A couple months ago, I downloaded a sudoku application onto my iPhone. I wanted something to do during the "in between times" -- while sitting on a train, waiting to meet up with somebody, or riding a parking lot shuttle. I started with the free version, but eventually upgraded to the paid version to avoid daily limits on the number of puzzles.

The app is called "Enjoy Sudoku", and it is really good. It has a hint mode that will give you a hint, you can ask for more info, and then one more time. It will basically walk you through what is going on, and explains the solving technique.

One of those solving techniques is the "Unique Rectangle (type 4)" and is quite handy. I've learned about BUGs, X Wings, and Locked Pairs. Lots of crazy stuff. This little application for the iPhone has taught me quite a bit about solving sudoku puzzles, and I'm continuing to get better at recognizing when a technique can be applied.

If you're looking for sudoku for your iPhone, then Enjoy Sudoku is a great choice.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Layers of an Onion

Earlier, I had mentioned that one of my first coding projects was to work on Subversion. I took on the herculean task of rewriting a library that has existed since Day One (the "working copy" library for those who may know what I'm talking about). Over the past eight years, it has slowly grown and expanded and been tweaked and prodded and poked. At this point, it is a morass of barbed tangles that nobody wants to get near. A rewrite has been requested for several years now, but nobody had time or cajones to jump in. Well... I decided that enough was enough, and Subversion really needed this work done if it was going to continue to improve and evolve.

As I've dived into it, it has been like peeling layers of an onion. I go to fix something, but to do that, I need to fix something else, which leads me on down to a third thing. Making headway is slow, but I have made some progress. At a minimum, I'm getting a lot of the code cleaned up in support of the larger task.

Subversion 1.6 is scheduled to come out in December. Only a portion of my overall work will be in there, with the bulk to appear in 1.7, next summer. It's a big and long project, but this work will help (literally) millions of Subversion users around the planet.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where am I?

I'm two weeks into a long trip to the east coast of the US and to Europe. I've been here in Washington DC, and will depart for Bardstown, Kentucky on Thursday.

"Bardstown?!" ... Yeah, I'd never heard of it either, but it hosts an annual Bourbon Festival. Being a huge bourbon fan, I'm off to meet a few friends for the weekend and the festival.

After that, off to Munich for Oktoberfest for a week. Then down to Brussels for about two weeks, with little day trips here and there.

Back to Munich for a few days for a conference (SubConf; I'm giving a keynote), then to Spain for a week at another conference. Finally home after that!

Over seven weeks altogether. Whew! I'll periodically post pictures to Facebook and/or Flickr, will update my Twitter/FB status, and will continue to post here occasionally.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Burning Man

I'm currently driving to Burning Man while writing this post. This is my first year... Very excited!!

I've heard rumours of Internet connectivity, but even if there is, I'm going to be mostly offline for a week.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Visiting Bourbon County

Many of you may already know of my love for bourbon. Woodford Reserve, in particular. For about a year, I've been talking with friends about a trip to Bourbon County, Kentucky to visit "the homeland". Well, we've started to organize the trip for mid-September. I've set up a Facebook event for the Bourbon County trip. Unfortunately, I know that I've forgotten to invite some bourbon lovers onto the event, so if you're game, then please add yourself to the event! And please forward to other bourbon aficionados that I've forgotten.

I'm really looking forward to the event! I hope you can join us in the fun!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


On my recent status updates (to Twitter and Facebook), I mentioned hanging out at the WeGame offices. A friend of mine asked about that, kind of wondering whether I'm working here or contracting or something. Nah... nothing so dramatic.

My friend Jared started WeGame last year, and has a big cozy office here in SoMa with a dozen or so people. I pack up my laptop and come over to get out of the loft. Hang out with real people, a fridge of drinks, access to a printer and fax, network connectivity, and whatnot. It is kind of like the coworking concept that my friends over at Citizen Space have been encouraging and talking about for a long while.


In my first post on this blog, I mentioned going to Europe. I spent about four days in various places in Belgium, and several days in Amsterdam. One of the days in Belgium, I got a chance to go and visit the Westvleteran Brewery. This was an awesome experience, given that the Westvleteran 12 is pretty consistently rated as the best beer in the world.

My first experience with the Westvleteran 12 was in February 2006 when I was in Brussels for the FOSDEM conference. I remembered it as "good, but with sort of a sweet/bock style flavor." I'm not a bock beer fan, so on this trip, I was approaching the 12 with a little trepidation. At the cafe there next to the abbey, I ordered a pint. Woah. Way way better than I remembered. No wonder it gets such great ratings.

Getting a hold of Westvleteran beer is difficult. The abbey only sells to individuals, and only one case maximum at a time. And not all varieties on any given week. The stuff is in huge demand, but they won't alter production. The abbey doesn't need more money, so they don't make more beer.

If you get a chance to go, or a chance to try the Westvleteran beers, then go for it! You won't be disappointed.

(and yes, I brought some home with me...)

Friday, August 15, 2008


People who follow my Twitter feed have seen that I'm currently in Hawaii (spur of the moment trip!). Kauai to be precise. This is the first time on this island. I've been to Oahu and Maui a couple times each, and the Big Island once. Kauai is a pretty island, and lightly populated.

Yesterday, I had a Hawaiian "plate lunch" with Kahlua pig and Laulau. Wow. An incredibly tasty meal! Another local item I learned about is Koa wood. It has a beautiful grain that shows through when polished. I saw some very artistic boxes made of Koa wood at a store here in Lihue. One other "local item" is the Red Dirt t-shirt that I bought. Some very cool products!

This visit is fun, but a bit somber because the reason for the visit is to care for a sick family member (doing okay!). I'll be back to Kauai in October and that will be a "real" vacation.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Thanks everyone for the well-wishes!

The most frequent question i've been asked is which Open Source project(s) I'll be working on. The non-helpful answer is "whatever seems cool" :-) seriously, though... I do have some ideas now, but nothing really ties me to them except if they're interesting.

Big ones right now are the svn working copy library, the serf library, and the new Apache web server. Thinking about some others, but first up is to jump back into svn.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I never really paid attention to blogs until I started working as the Engineering Manager for Blogger at Google, back in April 2004. Oh, certainly read some blogs here and there, but never really felt like I had anything to say in a blog. Once I started working on Blogger, I "got it" but did not want to write one for fear of people mixing my opinions with Google's opinions.

Today, that has changed. I have left Google and thought this post about "why" would be a great start for my own little corner of the Internet.

My time with Google has been awesome. It is an amazing company to work for. After Blogger, I spent several years working with Chris DiBona to shape Google's Open Source policies and strategies. I traveled and spoke about Open Source. For a while, I was involved with Google Gadgets, and Google App Engine. But I was getting distracted (more on that in a bit) and I sorely missed writing code. Last year, I switched things around and started to work with Neal Gafter and the Google Calendar team to add CalDAV support (just launched yesterday!). After that, I worked again with the App Engine team for a while.

But I've really been missing out on writing Open Source code. It has been several years since I have significantly contributed code to any Open Source project, and that has been a growing dissatisfaction for me. I've been involved with Open Source for over fourteen years... it is one of the things that I love to do.

I've also been greatly distracted by a major upheaval in my life. As many of you may know, about two years ago, I moved out of the house and a relationship that was over 18 years long. I've since moved to San Francisco, met many wonderful new friends, and have met someone that brings new joy into my life.

My departure from Google is going to allow me to get back into Open Source development. It is going to allow me to travel. And it is going to allow me to explore where I'm going with my new life. I see a world and a lifetime of opportunity with this move, and am tremendously happy about it.

And no, I'm not going to be working any time soon. Please feel free to contact me about short-term projects, and I'll keep it in mind, but I don't foresee any real interest until at least January.

In closing... I'm here for a few days, then off for a wonderful week in Europe. More trips are planned later this year, and I'll write about those as they come up.

See you around, my friends.